From high-kicking reboots to top acting honours, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Walking Dead – Sunday, April 4, 6 p.m., 9:24 p.m. & 11:48 p.m., AMC | Season Finale
AMCThe season-enders of AMC’s apocalypse drama have always tended to be game-changing, blowing up the status quo (in some cases literally) and ushering in a new world order. But the finale for year 10 is an especially interesting case, given that it will set the table for the show’s farewell season, which begins airing this summer.
If nothing else, tonight’s episode will be a big one for Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Our first clue? The title: “Here’s Negan,” which references a run in Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels that served as an origin story for the bat-wielding wild card. And while the show often deviates from the comics, the episode’s official synopsis does hint at a trip down memory lane.
Looking to defuse tension, Carol takes Negan “on a journey,” during which the man finds himself reflecting on the past and coming to a decision about his future.
2. Malika the Lion Queen – Sunday, April 4, 8 p.m., Fox
FoxAngela Bassett is narrator of this two-hour wildlife documentary featuring the lionesses of a pride in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, taking viewers through the exhilarating and harrowing life of a lioness named Malika. This untold story of the lioness’s experience is an educational exploration about the true queens and leaders in the lion kingdom, described as “a stunning masterpiece of visual storytelling” focusing on one of the most powerful animals on the planet. Boasting Bassett’s smooth narration and some of the most dazzling wildlife footage ever shot, Fox promises a “perfect evening of entertainment for the whole family.”
3. My Grandparents’ War – Sunday, April 4, 5 p.m., WTVS; 8 p.m., KCTS | Series Premiere
PBSThis four-part documentary series looks back at the Second World War and its lasting impact on different communities around the world, by focusing on how the families of four world-renowned actors were impacted. Individual episodes follow the histories of Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Rylance, Carey Mulligan and Kristin Scott Thomas. As Bonham Carter explained during a virtual appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour, participating in the series provided her with a rare opportunity to vicariously experience what her grandmother went through as a younger woman, altering the perception she’d always had of her grandmother as an elder. “I had a vague sort of an approximation, myths almost, of both my grandparents that we followed. This just filled in a lot of the detail and brought them very vividly to me,” Bonham Carter said. “Violet, my grandmother, I would have been her age when the Second World War happened. So I met them almost as peers. It was really extraordinary.”
4. 27th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards – Sunday, April 4, 9 p.m., Global
Amazon PrimeThespians unite to honour their own (plus, their stunt people), with the casts of One Night in Miami and The Trial of the Chicago 7 among the contenders. The host-free gala is expected to be a hybrid in-person/virtual affair, so get ready for another game of I-Spy Celebrity Dogs!
5. Birdgirl – Sunday, April 4, 9 p.m. & Midnight, Adult Swim | Series Premiere
Adult SwimIn this animated spinoff of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Judy Ken Sebben (voiced by Paget Brewster) inherits her father’s company, known for the most socially irresponsible products and practices in history. To repair decades of damage, her superhero alter ego, Birdgirl, assembles a ragtag team of misfit crimefighters to undo all the luridly dangerous decisions of the previous generation and its various “world-saving” products gone bad.
6. Family Reunion – Monday, April 5, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixThe city-dwellin’ McKellans (led by Tia Mowry) continue adjusting to a more laid-back existence in small-town Georgia with their loving yet no-nonsense grandma M’Dear (Loretta Devine). The hit Netflix sitcom returns for part three well over a full year after part two debuted; though expect fewer episodes this time out.
7. Soul of a Nation – Tuesday, April 6, 10 p.m., ABC | Season Finale
ABCA few weeks ago, this six-part series set out to give us an authentic look at being Black in America, including but not limited to the racial reckoning that’s happened around the world since George Floyd’s tragic death at police hands. Tune in tonight for the final chapter. So far, the show has tackled themes like Black joy, faith and the question of what comes next, all while amplifying important yet underrepresented voices within the community.
There’s been no word yet from ABC as to whether Tuesday’s finale, titled “Reconstruction,” will mark the end of the series. But either way, producers, hosts and correspondents like Jemele Hill, Marsai Martin, Linsey Davis and Michael Wilbon have hopefully been able to open a few eyes and spark some long-overdue conversations.
8. NCIS – Tuesday, April 6, 8 p.m., Global & CBS
GlobalNCIS director Vance assigns McGee, Torres and Bishop to COVID compliance duty at a foreign affairs summit, where they discover a link to another NCIS team’s murder case. Of special interest to fans is that Vance himself, actor Rocky Carroll, directed the episode, marking the 15th time he’s stepped behind the camera on the show. But that’s not all: Pam Dawber of Mork & Mindy fame—and, let’s not forget, real-life wife of NCIS star Mark Harmon—guest stars as an investigative journalist.
9. Kung Fu – Wednesday, April 7, 8 p.m., CTV2 & The CW | Series Premiere
The CWNot being able to live up to your parents’ expectations is one thing, but going from law student to a bona fide Kung Fu badass who takes down entire gangs and walks on air is . . . quite another.
Meet Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), a Chinese-American woman who does exactly that. After experiencing a quarter-life crisis, she drops out of college and goes on a life-changing journey to a monastery in China. It’s not till she’s back home in San Francisco, however, that the real fun begins. When Nicky realizes that her hometown is rife with corruption and criminals, she sets out to use her newly acquired skills to pull the city back from the brink.
She’ll need some help of course, which is where her siblings, ex-boyfriend and a new love interest fit in. (Naturally, expect a triangle.) It’s a good thing she’s got people watching out for her too, because when Nicky’s mentor is murdered, the assassin sets their sights on Nicky next.
10. Them – Friday, April 9, Amazon Prime Video | Series Premiere
Amazon Prime VideoIf you’re tired of waiting for more clues about the next season of American Horror Story, or you’re just tired of that show’s repetitive twists and late-season collapses, then this is your lucky week. A much-anticipated anthology from creator Little Marvin and executive producer Lena Waithe (The Chi) will be unleashed on Friday. Using the horror genre to explore the plights of marginalized groups throughout American history, this first season is subtitled Covenant and centres on a Black family in the 1950s as they pack up their lives in North Carolina and seek to start over in an all-white Los Angeles neighbourhood; they’re part of what’s known in history books as The Great Migration, when many people of colour fled the Jim Crow South in search of greener pastures.
But what the Emory family finds in this bright-and-shiny suburb is a community that, from the start, does all it can to drive them away with a ferocious campaign of harassment and intimidation. Worse yet, there seems to be something supernatural afoot in their new home (particularly the basement).
Yet make no mistake: amidst the demons, ghosts and whatever other bumps in the night, it’s the very human neighbours who really send a chill down your spine.
“My next mission is to hope that people can watch me grow and do things that may be unexpected,” Emmy-winner Waithe explained to IndieWire of her evolution as an artist. “If I’m doing something that looks like something I did already, that’s a problem. I want to aspire to be always shifting and evolving, and not always being able to recognize myself.”