From Hollywood royalty to international dramas, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Chesapeake Shores – Sunday, August 15, 6 p.m. & 8 p.m., Super Channel Heart & Home | Season Premiere
Super Channel Heart & HomeIt’s bittersweet news for fans of this soapy family drama when it returns after a two-year hiatus. Jesse Metcalfe, who’s played tortured musician Trace Riley on the Hallmark series since its debut, is leaving. We don’t know exactly how the character will be written out, other than that it’ll be dealt with in the first two episodes, which will feature flashbacks detailing his decision to hit the road after the events of the season-four finale. Adding a dash of controversy, the actor revealed earlier this year that he decided to leave for creative reasons, when he learned the direction that new showrunner Phoef Sutton planned to take Trace. (“I wanted to leave on top,” he explained to heartbroken fans on Instagram.)
It’s a tough pill to swallow for sure, but the good news is there’s another hunk at the ready to steam up the Shores. Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill, iZombie) joins the cast as Evan Kincaid, a charming, infectiously upbeat billionaire who brings a new development project to town.
From the sounds of it, he very quickly starts flirting up a storm with Abby (Meghan Ory) who, in other news, is just starting to come into her own as her father Mick’s (Treat Williams) new business partner.
All told, it’s a year of new beginnings top to bottom, given the aforementioned showrunner shakeup.
“Throughout my career, I’ve sought out shows with truly character-driven storytelling, where the drama or the humour comes from everyday moments,” said Sutton in a statement. “I’ve been a longtime fan of Chesapeake Shores for that reason. The O’Briens are a television family you look forward to spending time with and a huge part of that is the chemistry of its talented cast. I’m looking forward to working with them and, together, producing an exciting new season for viewers to enjoy.”
2. Love Island – Sunday, August 15, 9:01 p.m., CTV & CBS | Season Finale
CTVFrom one utterly absurd reality dating battle to another! Our time in Casa Amor (that’s “Love House” in Spanish, FYI) is coming to a close, as we find out which couples will stay together and which ones have fizzled out.
Over recent weeks, there have been plenty of trials for our scantily clad romantics, from impossibly sexy temptations to love triangles and so much more. But as they say, all’s fair in love, war and reality TV. This week, those who remain are put through one final challenge, wherein relationships are tested and the audience gets to make the last call on who walks away with a little less dignity but a lot more cash.
After getting off to a somewhat rocky start a few years back, this U.S. remake of the wildly popular British format has become a solid ratings performer for CBS. Alas, still no word on a potential season four.
3. Grill of Victory – Monday, August 16, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., Food | Season Premiere
FoodSabin Lomac welcomes three more amateur grillers to compete for the prize of a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen and entertainment space. Their task this week? Flame-broil the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner—in the process fielding such “curveballs” as a lunchtime salad trio and a stuffed dinnertime entree.
4. Bachelor in Paradise – Monday, August 16, 8 p.m., City & ABC | Season Premiere
CityIf you’re bummed that the soapy drama has come to a close on Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, well, buck up—because a brand-new instalment of this spinoff is here to bring the heat.
After taking a year off due to COVID, the show returns in a new era for the Bachelor-verse, given that it’s the first season of any Bachelor series to air in the wake of Chris Harrison’s official exit. (His absence from the last Bachelorette was, at the time, billed as an indefinite leave.) And while ABC’s powers-that-be prefer not to name a new host for now, there are several interesting temps lined up for this season. They include David Spade, who has surprisingly been a Bachelor fan for years; Tituss Burgess, late of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; former NSYNC-er Lance Bass; and rapper Lil Jon.
Meanwhile, as ever, the contestants will be made up of love-seekers from Bachelors and Bachelorettes gone by.
That includes several from the recent Katie Thurston season, who are, of course, relative newbies to Bachelor Nation. But does that put them at an advantage or disadvantage?
“It’s an interesting dynamic between the people who kind of know each other and then Katie’s guys come in,” Tre Cooper, who was eliminated in week six of Katie’s season and will now get another shot at love in Paradise, divulged during a podcast. “We have our own little sauce that’s dope. So, people are going to be excited to see what we shake up... I’m excited for people to see what happens. I don’t want to give away too much, but it was a whirlwind.”
5. Superman & Lois – Tuesday, August 17, 9 p.m., The CW | Season Finale
The CWThe story of Clark Kent, Lois Lane and their teenaged sons Jordan and Jonathan as they left Metropolis to start over in Smallville has been one of The CW’s bigger successes in this COVID-addled season of television—attracting solid reviews and ratings to boot.
This week, chapter one comes to an end, but luckily for fans, the series got a season-two order back in March, just a week after it premiered. (Less luckily, there won’t be any new episodes this fall, as the show is being held for winter 2022.)
In tonight’s finale, the Man of Steel faces his “worst nightmare,” while Lois instigates a standoff with Leslie Larr, superpowered assistant of CEO Morgan Edge. Elsewhere, Lana and her family agree to help General Lane.
Fun fact for devotees of the larger Arrow-verse, this episode is directed by The Flash co-star Tom Cavanagh.
6. Awkwafina is Nora from Queens – Wednesday, August 18, 7 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. (repeating at 10 p.m. & 10:30 p.m.), Much | Season Premiere
MuchAfter scoring big laughs and big ratings when it debuted at the start of 2020, Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens had its breakout momentum slowed by the pandemic. Fortunately, fans of the series—which was and remains inspired by YouTube comedian turned movie star Awkwafina’s real-life upbringing—need wait no longer: season two kicks off this week with not one but two new episodes.
In the season premiere, the series borrows a page from NBC’s dearly departed Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist, with Nora getting an MRI and having something go wrong... although instead of hearing music and seeing song-and-dance numbers, she travels back in time, arriving in 2003, where she tries to warn her younger self about all the mistakes she’s about to make.
In episode two, Nora trains a new CBD store employee and later gets caught off-guard by Daniel’s decision to pop the question. (We’re not spoiling anything: it’s a moment that’s quite prominently featured in the trailer.)
In addition, season two will feature guest-star turns from the likes of Margaret Cho, Ross Butler, Lauren Ash, Alex Borstein, Haley Joel Osment and—playing Nora’s dad in flashback—Alan Kim.
All told, 2021 is shaping up to be another major year for Awkwafina: she’s also in upcoming Marvel blockbuster Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Apple TV+ flick Swan Song.
“It’s insane: I’m doing it every day and many weekends,” the actress said in a recent interview with Allure, which was conducted while season two was still being filmed. “But it fills the time up better when you’re busy rather than kind of idle. I was watching this Joan Rivers documentary and she has this scene that I really relate to, where she pulls up a calendar and said some iteration of, ‘My nightmare is when these boxes are all blank.’ ”
7. Everything Will Be Fine – Friday, August 20, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixIn this bittersweet Mexican dramedy, a broken-up husband and wife continue living together for their child. But, well-intentioned as they may be, making a happy home when you can’t particularly stand your partner is near-impossible.
8. The Loud House Movie – Friday, August 20, Netflix
NetflixSince its debut in 2016, The Loud House has been one of Nickelodeon’s most beloved animated series, focusing on Lincoln Loud, the only boy—and middle child—in a family of 11 children. The majority of the 120-plus episodes have been set within their fictional hometown of Royal Woods, Michigan, but now they’re headed to Netflix for The Loud House Movie, an adventure which takes the Louds all the way to Scotland, where they find out that they’re descended from Scottish royalty and—even better—their ancestral home is a castle. (Lincoln, in particular, is beside himself to discover that he’s technically the Duke of Loch Loud.)
And if news of this flick has you psyched, buckle up, because there’s also a live-action Loud House movie on the horizon!
“I’m super-excited about both of those projects,” executive producer Mike Rubiner told Animation World Network last year. “It’s a really fun challenge to tell bigger, longer, more epic stories about this family we’ve all grown to love.”
9. Sweet Girl – Friday, August 20, Netflix
NetflixDevoted family man Ray Cooper (Jason Momoa) vows justice against a pharmaceutical company for pulling an experimental drug that could have saved his wife from terminal cancer. But when his search for the truth puts his daughter in harm’s way, Ray’s mission turns into a quest for vengeance while protecting her.
10. Truth Be Told – Friday, August 20, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere
Apple TV+The popularity of true crime podcasts has exploded over the past decade, as listeners find themselves enthralled by real-life tales of the macabre and tragic, as meticulously recounted by intrepid journalists. That has, of course, led to a number of TV adaptations—Dirty John, Serial, etc. This Apple TV+ offering taps into that phenomenon—except that it’s centred on a true crime podcaster who happens to be entirely fictional!
Season one followed Poppy Parnell (Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer) as she was compelled to take a second look at the case of Warren Cave (Aaron Paul), a convicted murderer Poppy herself helped put behind bars.
In season two, that case has been closed, which means no more Mr. Paul. But Spencer is back, ready to dig into another murky crime. She’s joined by Kate Hudson in what’s being billed as the Almost Famous actress’s first lead TV role. She plays media mogul Micah Keith, a childhood friend of Poppy’s who asks for help after her husband is killed.
But can Poppy really trust her old pal? As secrets, lies and manipulations slowly come to light, a lifelong bond will be put to the test.