From funny sitcom finales to celebrations of rock royalty, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Hillary – Netflix
Sundance/NetflixOriginally debuting in early March on streaming service Hulu (which isn’t available in Canada), this four-part documentary series quietly arrived here on Netflix. A former first lady, senator, secretary of state and failed presidential candidiate, Hillary Clinton has been a polarizing figure, not quite able to shed the baggage of husband Bill Clinton’s impeachment and sex scandal, remaining wildly unpopular with the hardcore Republican base. This program charts her life story from ambitious law student to half of a political power duo, constantly smashing every glass ceiling placed atop her. While it’s doubtful that Hillary will change opinions of her, it does paint a detailed and fascinating portrait of a feminist trailblazer who’s devoted her life to public service and whose list of accomplishments (especially when compared to the guy who actually won the election) is both impressive and staggering.
2. Better Call Saul – Monday, April 20, 6 p.m., 8:30 p.m. & 11 p.m., AMC | Season Finale
AMCIt’s been a long, slow burn to transform recovering con man Jimmy McGill into morally bankrupt criminal lawyer/lawyer criminal Saul Goodman—indeed, much longer and slower than the creators envisioned when they first set out to craft their Breaking Bad spinoff. But Jimmy took a big step this fifth season, finally adopting the “Saul” name, while also continuing his personal descent, becoming further enmeshed in the Albuquerque underworld, opening the door for some more BB cameos—in particular, DEA duo Hank Schrader and Steve Gomez.
Yet of course, Jimmy’s transformation won’t be complete until next year, when the sixth and final season arrives. As leading man Bob Odenkirk put it at the start of this season: “The snowball is coming down the mountain and breaking up.”
3. Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince – Tuesday, April 21, 9 p.m., City & CBS
CityAt a time when large gatherings are being discouraged, CBS already had a new concert special recorded.
As the TV home of the Grammys, the network typically unites music stars right around the time of that awards gala to tape a separate show. Staged last January, Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince—airing this Tuesday, on the exact four-year anniversary of its subject’s passing—gathers artists from across the music world including John Legend, Common, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, Beck, Foo Fighters, Usher, Mavis Staples, Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince associates Sheila E. and Morris Day to salute the icon known as “The Purple One.”
4. Wild – Wednesday, April 22, 8 p.m., Starz 2
Starz 2Her marriage falling apart and her mother dying, Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) slips into self-destructive behaviour. Realizing where her life is headed, she decides a drastic reboot is in order and sets out to hike 1,100 miles of the treacherous Pacific Crest Trail all by her lonesome.
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Thursday, April 23, 8:30 p.m., City & NBC | Season Finale
CityAndy Samberg, Melissa Fumero, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews and the rest of the Nine-Nine crew call it a wrap on the seventh season of the always-hilarious cop comedy. Given that the show was recently renewed for an eighth season, don’t be surprised to see a cliffhanger ending in this week’s finale.
6. We’re Here – Thursday, April 23, 8 p.m. & 12:35 a.m., HBO Canada | Series Premiere
HBO CanadaAs viewing options expand in this ever-growing landscape of cable networks and streaming services, so too do the types of voices being represented. One such voice belongs to drag culture, popularized through series like RuPaul’s Drag Race and recent Emmy darling Pose.
This week, HBO is getting in on the action with the debut of a six-part series. It features Drag Race alums Bob the Drag Queen, Eureka O’Hara and Shangela Laquifa Wadley as mentors to tentative newbies interested in giving the catwalk a whirl. Specifically, they recruit and train an array of small-town folks from across the U.S. to perform in a one-night-only drag event, helping them build the confidence to find and flaunt themselves in a whole new, liberating way.
7. Will & Grace – Thursday, April 23, 9 p.m., Global & NBC | Series Finale
GlobalWhen a series disappears from the airwaves for a dozen years, it’s reasonable to assume it’ll never return... or at least, that was the case until just recently, when oh-so-many classic programs started rising from the TV graveyard. It began in earnest with Will & Grace, the sitcom’s core foursome—Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes—reuniting for a YouTube video just ahead of the 2016 election, which promptly turned into a full-blown revival at NBC.
The staggering response from fans upon its comeback resulted in a significant shift in the mindset of network executives and, in turn, a significant number of discussions about bringing back other defunct series. Three seasons into the reboot, however, Will & Grace is calling it quits a second time, and this time it really is the last goodbye. Series co-creator Max Mutchnik—in an Instagram video—made the finality crystal clear: “The apartment is empty, we’re telling that story, they have moved on and this series is officially over. Thank you, everybody.”
Have your hankies at the ready for this last-ever episode, in which Will is about to leave NYC behind, Grace is on the verge of giving birth, Karen thinks she’s found a way to get closure with ex-husband Stan and Jack might just finally get the Broadway break he’s so desperately desired. Afterwards, at 9:30 p.m. on NBC, settle in for a retrospective special hosted by McCormack.
8. After Life – Friday, April 24, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixSo many people find Ricky Gervais’s comedy to be tasteless that it seemed nigh-on impossible that the British provocateur could take a show about a man who copes with his wife’s death by removing his filter and telling everyone around him what he really thinks, and not only make it funny but quite poignant. Yet Gervais pulled it off, garnering some of the most remarkable reviews of his career to date.
“I have never had a reaction like this before,” he said in a statement when the series was renewed. “It’s been insane. And heartwarming. But now I have to make sure the second season is even better, so I’ll probably have to work much harder than usual. Annoying, really.”
So what can viewers expect? Well, Tony—played by Gervais—continues the grieving process, trying to become a better friend to the people around him, but it’s not easy. For one thing, it goes completely against how this exceptionally bitter journalist usually acts. The people closest to Tony have their own problems, of course—chief among them, the very real possibility of the local newspaper being shut down.
9. Defending Jacob – Friday, April 24, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: A boy turns up dead and your child—the person you raised and love unconditionally—is accused of the killing. In Defending Jacob, it is the 14-year-old son of assistant district attorney Andy Barber (Chris Evans) and his wife Laurie (Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery) whose fingerprint is found on a classmate brutally murdered two blocks from their house. Jacob (Jaeden Martell, of It fame) does have a connection to the victim, but his parents are convinced this is all a horrible mistake. But what did happen, deep in those woods?
The eight-episode limited series, based on the 2012 novel by William Landay, was initially planned as a feature film, but when showrunner Mark Bomback read the book, he felt it would be better served as a TV show. “My mind just started racing about all these avenues within the story that would have gotten short-shifted if they were a film,” he says. “I don’t love the term ‘elevated thriller,’ I think it’s a bit condescending sometimes. But in this case, it is an elevated thriller in that we’re really diving super deep into the characters’ journey. My favourite kind of genre obeys the rules of a genre but is ultimately about something. And that’s what this is.”
10. Elton John: Uncensored – Friday, April 24, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., BBC Canada
BBC CanadaSir Elton John sits down with interviewer Graham Norton for a candid conversation about his difficult childhood, his struggles to cope with fame after skyrocketing to stardom, overcoming his issues with addiction and the battle with prostate cancer he waged in secret.