From animated hijinks to regal anniversaries, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Evil Twin – Sunday, April 25, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., Lifetime
LifetimeThe word “bonkers” doesn’t even begin to describe the over-the-top plot of this wackadoodle Lifetime original, but fans of this sort of stuff are guaranteed a good time. Protagonist Emily (B.C.-born actress Emily Piggford of Hemlock Grove) escapes an abusive relationship by fleeing to her hometown. Upon returning, she’s in for a shock: she has an identical twin (also played by Piggford), who’s been kept secret from her for her entire life. Unfortunately, as it turns out, Emily has exited one fraught and dangerous situation only to find herself in another when she comes across evidence that her twin may well be a deranged murderer.
2. Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days – Sunday, April 25, 8 p.m., ABC
ABCOn November 10, 1969, children’s television changed forever. No, that’s not hyperbole: it’s a fact, because that’s the day the world took its first-ever stroll down Sesame Street.
When TV producer Joan Ganz Cooney and Carnegie Foundation vice-president Lloyd Morrisett conceived of the show, it was with an eye towards taking the addictive qualities of TV and using that power for good, and it’s fair to say they succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. While we’re not entirely sure why a show that debuted in 1969 is having a 50th anniversary special in 2021, it’s not something that viewers are likely to quibble over, especially when you consider that the special’s roster of interviewees includes such famous fans/former guest stars as W. Kamau Bell, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Gloria Estefan, Whoopi Goldberg, John Legend, Lucy Liu, Olivia Munn, Questlove, Chrissy Teigen and Usher, among others.
In addition to spotlighting the show’s biggest moments from these past five decades, viewers will be taken through the Sesame Workshop’s creation of a Black family of puppets who have just taken up residence on Sesame Street as part of a new racial justice initiative.
3. Fatma – Tuesday, April 27, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixA perfectly average house cleaner (Burcu Biricik) realizes she’s got a rare gift for committing and getting away with murder, mostly because folks are forever underestimating her. It’s a skill our antiheroine puts to good use, as she cuts a bloody swath across Turkey in search of her missing husband.
4. Headspace Guide to Sleep – Wednesday, April 28, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixWith the constant stresses and distractions of modern life, plenty of folks have trouble drifting off to sleepy land at the end of the day. This new series, a sequel of sorts to the Headspace Guide to Meditation, offers stories, sounds and music to help ease you into a restful slumber.
5. The Handmaid’s Tale – Wednesday, April 28, 6 p.m. & 7:15 p.m., CTV Drama | Season Premiere
CTV DramaIt’s been nearly two years since June Osborne (Elisabeth Moss) stared down the camera with that unmistakable glare, which means it’s also been two years since the character safely ferried all of those children out of Gilead, getting shot for her efforts. When the award-winning, zeitgeist-grabbing series finally returns for season four this week, June’s situation is just as grim as when we left her; the show picks up just moments after that tense season-three finale, with June’s fellow Handmaids helping nurse her back to health. (Of course, no one expected the series to go on without its Emmy-winning leading lady, so her ultimate survival will come as no big surprise.)
This year, our previously enslaved heroines are on the run, which means we get to see much more of this totalitarian dystopia than ever before. Gone is the constricting Waterford house, which has been exchanged for new homes, outdoor locations and a return to Canada, where some of the characters are now hiding out (or, in Fred’s case, imprisoned).
Meanwhile, because starring in nearly every scene and being a hands-on executive producer wasn’t enough, Moss is also adding “director” to her résumé this year. She helmed three of the 10 episodes. “I’ve had an incredible opportunity to learn from [this show],” she said during a virtual session at the TCA winter press tour. “I said that in the very beginning. I want to be able to participate, and I want to be able to help; I want to be able to also learn. And I still am, every day, learning from all of our producers. Now I have a production company, and now we are doing a bunch of other stuff.”
Whatever that “other stuff” may entail, we’ll certainly be tuning in.
6. Things Heard and Seen – Thursday, April 29, Netflix
NetflixWhen a Manhattan artist (Amanda Seyfried), her husband (James Norton) and their young family relocate to a storied hamlet in the Hudson Valley, she slowly comes to suspect that her marriage has been infected with a sinister darkness, one that rivals the fraught history of their new home. Also starring are Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul), Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) and Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus).
7. 2021 NFL Draft – Thursday, April 29, 5 p.m., ABC
ABCThe gridiron greats of tomorrow take their first step toward the big league in this Thursday’s NFL Draft. The year’s top prospects include a pair of QBs: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and BYU’s Zach Wilson. The pitiable Jacksonville Jaguars (1-15) hold the No. 1 pick.
8. People Presents William and Kate’s Royal Anniversary – Thursday, 8 p.m., The CW
The CWIn celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, this one-hour special looks back at their spectacular 2011 wedding while looking ahead at the ways in which the couple are likely to redefine the British monarchy.
9. MacGyver – Friday, April 30, 8 p.m., Global & CBS | Series Finale
GlobalAfter five seasons, TV’s most inventive secret agent is calling it quits. Speaking with Deadline, CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl eulogized the series as follows: “The MacGyver team travelled far and wide to repeatedly save the world with little more than bubble gum and a paper clip, and made this show distinctly their own.”
10.The Mitchells vs. the Machines – Friday, April 30, Netflix
NetflixEver since the dawn of The Terminator franchise (and possibly before, depending on your love of sci-fi and your fear of technology), much of the human race has had this slight, nagging concern that maybe—just maybe—our increasing dependence on gadgets could eventually lead to robots becoming sentient and overthrowing their creators... or is that just us?
Nah, it’s definitely not just us: director Michael Rianda (Gravity Falls) and producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The LEGO Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) clearly have similar fears, because they’ve brought us The Mitchells vs. The Machines. The quirky animated feature stars Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson as Katie Mitchell, a budding young director who’s just been accepted to the film school of her dreams. But to get there, she’s forced to endure a family road trip with her dad (Danny McBride), mom (Maya Rudolph), little brother (Rianda) and the family’s pet pug, Monchi.
In the midst of their journey, however, there’s a sudden tech uprising around the world—talk about your bad timing!—and it’s up to the Mitchells to save all of humanity.
Other voices in this all-star cast include Conan O’Brien, Eric André, Chrissy Teigen and Oscar-winner Olivia Colman.