From revving racers to 9 to 5 reunions, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Great North – Sunday, April 24, 8:30 p.m., Fox
FoxHoneybee and Wolf meet the best-looking fella in Lone Moose. Who’s voicing him? Why, Justified’s Timothy Olyphant, of course—who’s previously parodied his handsomeness on The Office and The Good Place. Elsewhere, Beef’s boat needs repairs, which means he can’t fish for an entire week!
2. Better Things – Monday, April 25, 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., FX Canada | Series Finale
FX CanadaAfter five years of FX letting creator/star Pamela Adlon “tell stories the way I see the world and want the world to be seen,” this gritty family sitcom caps off with a finale that forces Sam to reckon with the fact that her “little girls” are growing up and leaving mom behind.
3. We Own This City – Monday, April 25, 8 p.m. & 11 p.m., HBO Canada | Series Premiere
HBO CanadaAkey creative force in reshaping the TV landscape back in the early 2000s, The Wire’s David Simon returns with another cop drama, this one based on an unfortunately true story. Adapting a book by Baltimore Sun journalist Justin Fenton, Simon and his co-creator George Pelecanos unravel the real-life rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF).
Much as he did in The Wire, Simon picks apart what happens when the powers-that-be prioritize arrest numbers and “drugs on the table” over actual police work, a situation which here allows for police corruption to flourish.
On that note, heading up the GTTF is The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal as real-life BPD Sgt. Wayne Jenkins. He’s flanked by The Good Wife’s Josh Charles (pictured above) as Officer Daniel Hersl, and Jamie Hector (a.k.a. The Wire’s resident drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield) as Detective Sean M. Suiter.
4. Radford Builds – Monday, April 25, discovery+ (Stream)
discovery+Whether you’re an aficionado of classic cars or you just want to get to know Renée Zellweger’s partner a little bit better, carve out some time on your Monday for this new offering. Master mechanic Ant Anstead heads up a show on Canada’s latest streaming service, just a few months after it premiered the special Radford Returns.
This full-blown series aims to take us all on a deeper dive into the world of Radford-designed automobiles, as Anstead and co. examine the technical (and emotional!) demands of building a “supercar.” To shoulder that Herculean task, Anstead has recruited classic Lotus team members Jenson Button (a former Formula One champion racecar driver) and Clive Chapman (son of late Lotus Cars founder Colin Chapman). Chip Foose, an original Lotus Type 62 designer, also joins to give more details on what goes into creating a car from clay and foam.
Meanwhile, we’ll also get to see Mr. Button slide back behind the wheel and test-drive a few Lotus autos—“both old and new.”
5. David Spade: Nothing Personal – Tuesday, April 26, Netflix
NetflixLast year, David Spade took a break from his usual gigs to do something a little more high-profile than usual: guest-hosting Bachelor in Paradise. After two episodes, however, he took a hike—a decision which was made by Spade himself rather than the producers, in case you’ve heard otherwise—and returned to what he’s been doing more consistently of late: standup comedy.
Filmed at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, this hour-long special is Spade’s first for Netflix, and it finds the former Saturday Night Live/Just Shoot Me star tackling myriad topics, from his unique method of turning down drugs to his utter disdain for crabs.
A quick sidebar to close: be sure to also check out Spade’s SNL-centric podcast, Fly on the Wall, which he co-hosts with his fellow alumnus, the great Dana Carvey.
6. Bullsh*t the Game Show – Wednesday, April 27, Netflix
NetflixIn the years following his standup comedy exploits, and his foray into the dramatic (St. Elsewhere), Canadian treasure Howie Mandel has found his true calling via reality TV. Now, the man is taking his hosting talents to Netflix (and fans can only hope some standup specials will follow).
Bullsh*t the Game Show hails from the same production company behind everyone’s favourite epic-fail bake-off, Nailed It!. In each episode, contestants work their way up a money ladder by either answering a question correctly or—if they don’t know the answer—giving an incorrect answer in such a confident manner that others believe them to be right. That means you don’t have to be the smartest guy or gal in the room to win big money—only the most persuasive.
This is, of course, just the latest step in the Mandel’s lifelong journey to make us chuckle. The man remains a panellist on the juggernaut that is America’s Got Talent, as well as the recently launched Canada’s Got Talent. And come cancellation or recasting, don’t expect him to stop anytime soon.
“Why do I need to stand in front of strangers and try to tickle people who may not be ticklish? Why? I don’t know!” he mused in a 2020 interview with Esquire. “It bothers me. I love it. I crave it. I need it. But it also bothers me. I’ll go fly to Cleveland and play a concert and then find out that at 2 o’clock in the morning, there’s another club open and there’s three people left, and I need to get on that stage and try to entertain those strangers. Why? Just go home, Howie. But I need that. I need that.”
Well, Mr. Mandel, it just so happens that every good reality television competition needs an ever-so-slightly unhinged host. On that note, let the Bullsh*t begin!
7. The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes – Wednesday, April 27, Netflix
NetflixAccording to the tagline for this new documentary, “the brighter the star, the darker the truth.” That is certainly the case with Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, whose tragic death in 1962 at the age of 36 spawned an array of rumours and conspiracy theories that flourished for decades, often overshadowing her talent and shrewdness at marketing the onscreen persona she created—which was markedly different from her actual self. By piecing together her final weeks, days and hours through previously unheard recordings of those who knew her best, this feature-length doc illuminates more of her glamorous, complicated life, and offers a new perspective on that fateful night. While her death was officially deemed to be the result of an accidental drug overdose, the interviews contained on the tapes bolster those long-held theories that her death was no accident, revealing that the investigation was reopened in 1982, while evidence at the time indicates that information surrounding the day of her death was quickly hushed up, for reasons that have never been explained.
Eerily enough, one of the film’s most memorable lines is spoken by Monroe herself, stating: “The true things rarely get into circulation—it’s usually the false things. It’s hard to know where to start if you don’t start with the truth.”
8. Tokyo Vice – Thursday, April 28, 9:40 p.m., Crave1 | Season Finale
CraveBefore cementing his place in film history with Heat and Collateral, director Michael Mann lent his ample cinematic talents to Miami Vice, helping launch one of TV’s most iconic cop dramas. Just recently, the man returned to his small-screen stomping grounds to mount this gorgeously shot crime thriller, which airs its finale on Thursday.
Based on reporter Jake Adelstein’s 2009 memoir, the six-episode drama stars Ansel Elgort (West Side Story) in his first big television gig, playing a Western journalist working for a publication in Tokyo. The lad pushes his bosses to let him cover the city’s eclectic criminal underworld, only to find himself a little too close to his subjects for comfort.
9. Grace and Frankie – Friday, April 29, Netflix
NetflixFriday marks the arrival of this Netflix hit’s final run of episodes, and all told, it’s downright miraculous that Grace and Frankie has lasted for seven entertaining seasons—the seventh, of course, having been split in two by COVID complications, even further extending the show’s time in the zeitgeist. When the cancellation axe dropped, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin reflected on this unlikely longevity in a joint statement: “We are both delighted and heartbroken that Grace and Frankie will be back for its seventh, though final, season. We’re so grateful that our show has been able to deal with issues that have really connected to our grand generation. And their kids, and amazingly, their kids as well! We’ll miss these two old gals, Grace and Frankie, as much as many of their fans will, but we’ll still be around. We’ve outlasted so many things—just hope we don’t outlast the planet.”
The show’s producers have gone out of their way to avoid spoilers, but it would’ve taken a force of nature to hide the news that Dolly Parton is guesting during these final episodes, thereby fulfilling viewers’ long-standing dreams of a 9 to 5 reunion. That said, we don’t really know how substantial the country music icon’s appearance will be, but... does it really matter? It’s Dolly!
Plot details have been kept tightly under wraps, but based on publicity shots released for these last 12 episodes, we can confirm there’s absolutely no way fans will avoid shedding some tears for the denouement of these two frenemies-turned friends-turned business partners-turned criminal co-conspirators. As TV Line wrote, “These pictures don’t reveal much about the actual storyline, but based on the photos, it seems viewers can expect an ending for the story that’s just as heartwarming and touching as the rest of the show has been.”
10. Ozark – Friday, April 29, Netflix
NetflixThe sordid story of the Byrde family and all of their good (but mostly failed) intentions comes to a close when the highly anticipated back half of the fourth and final season drops this week. And if you haven’t been paying attention, now is the time to go back to the beginning and catch up with this award-nominated show, which paints everyman Jason Bateman in a whole new light. The first episode picks up where the emotional first half left off, and Ruth (Julia Garner) is on the warpath as a result.
The spoiler-filled trailer shows her going against Marty (Bateman) and Wendy’s (Laura Linney) one wish, and complete chaos follows. “We would be cheating everybody if we jumped past the emotional place we were in,” showrunner Chris Mundy teased to TVLine. Ruth vs. the Byrdes isn’t the only showdown to look forward to as the season wraps. Family, the definition of family and what a person will do in order to protect their family continues to be a dominant theme. And of course, there’s the ongoing power struggle between Marty and Wendy, which historically has done neither spouse any good.
Add in a resolution to that ambiguous, flash-forward car wreck that was teased at the beginning of season four, and there’s a lot of ground to cover before this thriller goes dark for good.
“There’s a feeling on our show all the time where anything can happen at anytime, and I like that unease,” Mundy continued to TVLine. “We felt like people [watching the season four premiere] might be confused for a split second, but then when the [action cuts immediately] to Mexico they’d realize [it was a flash-forward]. But we didn’t want to do any more of the math for them.”