From Vancouver chefs to very scary clowns, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Affair — Sunday, August 25, 8 p.m., Crave1 I Season Premiere
Crave1To repurpose a famous story’s title, it’s the end of The Affair. The fifth and final season of the Showtime series begins Sunday, with notable cast alterations for its concluding stanza. As its viewers well know, Ruth Wilson left the regular cast last year, and so has Joshua Jackson—but the legacy of their formerly married characters Alison and Cole remains on the show in the couple’s now-grown daughter Joanie, played in adulthood (via forward-flashing segments) by Canadian Oscar-winner and True Blood alum Anna Paquin. In a “climate-change-ravaged” future, Joanie heads to the Montauk resort where the titular affair first took place, seeking answers about her late mother.
2. On Becoming a God in Central Florida — Sunday, August 25, 9 p.m., Crave1 I Series Premiere
ShowtimeHow far would you go to give your family a better life? Manufacturing crystal meth? Selling homegrown weed? That’s old news. Try out-scheming a pyramid scheme.
This vicious dark comedy starring Kirsten Dunst (last seen on the small screen in Fargo) centres on Krystal Stubbs, a minimum-wage-earning wife and mother who’s just trying to get through the day while her husband Travis (Alexander Skarsgård) fantasizes to the point of hallucination about leaving his tedious—but bill-paying—day job for the glorious wealth promised to him by the founder of a pyramid scheme. But when the scam leaves the family in ruins it’s up to Krystal to pursue the American Dream for both of them, by any means possible.
3. Ballers — Sunday, August 25, 9:30 p.m., HBO Canada I Season Premiere
HBO CanadaAs Ballers kicks off (get it? Kicks off!) its fifth season, there’s one thing that makes this show truly remarkable: it still stars Dwayne Johnson. Sure, he’s an executive producer, but given how profoundly busy the erstwhile Rock is with his movie career, the fact that Spencer Strasmore continues to maintain a substantial on-camera presence would seem to be a testament to the gargantuan actor’s genuine love for Ballers. In fact, as Johnson explained via Instagram, he wasn’t even able to start production on this new season of his sports-agent comedy until he completed filming Jungle Cruise, his new Disney blockbuster, at which point he no doubt had to do some major gear-shifting.
4. Power — Sunday, August 25, 2:25 a.m., Starz2 I Season Premiere
StarzIt’s been a banner year for big-ticket television shows ending, and this week marks yet another series kicking off its final season. When Ghost, Tommy and the rest of their underworld crew return, we pick up moments following the fifth-season finale, in which Angela’s life hung in the balance. As we learn the fed’s fate, it sets Ghost off on a dangerous trajectory, one from which he might not be able to return.
5. 2019 MTV Music Video Awards — Monday, August 26, 5 p.m. & 11 p.m., MTV Canada
MTVBlast off to the moon with this week’s celebration of all things music and music videos. The annual show goes down in New Jersey this week hosted by standup comic Sebastian Maniscalco, who’ll sic his sardonic wit on an auditorium packed to the rafters with some of the industry’s most beloved young superstars.
Among the nominees who will probably be saying “thank u” this year is Ariana Grande, who along with Taylor Swift, leads the pack with 10 nominations. Meanwhile, teen sensation Billie Eilish is close behind with nine nods and the Jonas Brothers are continuing their reunion romp with nominations for Song of the Year, Best Pop Video and the grand-prize Video of the Year for “Sucker.”
6. Christina on the Coast: My Perfect Paradise — Wednesday, August 28, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., HGTV
HGTV Fans of Christina Anstead’s first post-Flip or Flop series get a little bonus in the form of this one-hour special, which finds the real estate guru and husband Ant celebrating their newly blended family by turning their backyard into a fabulous oasis.
7. Iron Chef Canada — Wednesday, August 28, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Food I Season Premiere
Food NetworkA fresh batch of challengers arrives to test their mettle against Iron Chefs Lynn Crawford, Rob Feenie, Hugh Acheson, Susur Lee and Amanda Cohen. In the season premiere, B.C.’s own Michelin-star recipient Stefan Hartmann (regional executive chef at Tacofino) takes on the aforementioned Lee in a battle of offals (aka animal entrails and organs). This week’s guest judges include Mijune Pak (Top Chef Canada), Brad Smith (The Bachelor Canada) and culinary writer Jeffrey Merrihue.
8. It — Wednesday, August 28, 8 p.m., Crave1
Crave1Seven kids from a small town in Maine face their worst nightmare in the form of Pennywise, a shape-shifting monster that emerges every 27 years to prey on children. Based on the Stephen King bestseller, the critically acclaimed 2017 pic became the highest-grossing R-rated horror film of all time.
9. Falling Inn Love — Thursday, August 29, Netflix
NetflixWe always love a good title pun, and this Netflix original rom-com certainly delivers. It also caters perfectly to our weakness for soapy, Hallmarkesque love stories, weaving the tale of a high-powered San Francisco executive (Christina Milian) who loses her job and boyfriend in the same week, but wins a charming little New Zealand inn after drunkenly entering a contest. Alas, the place doesn’t exactly scream curb appeal, which prompts our heroine to hire a cute local contractor (Adam Demos). Naturally, sparks fly as she learns to adjust to a slower pace of living and he awakens within her a burning passion for... um, hotel ownership. Directed by Just Friends’ Roger Kumble, the film was shot on-location in New Zealand.
10. Carnival Row — Friday, August 30, Amazon Prime Video I Series Premiere
Amazon PrimeBroadcasters, networks and streaming services are seriously upping their game. When it comes to grabbing viewer attention, a sweeping story and beautiful effects are no longer enough—now it’s also about how much star power you can reel in.
Which brings us to this week’s premiere of Carnival Row, a big-budget series in which a human detective (Orlando Bloom) has a dangerous affair with a fairy (Cara Delevingne) in a Victorian fantasy world. When their relationship inadvertently results in the collapse of peace and a string of murders, an unimaginable monster emerges. It all sounds pretty out-there, to be sure, but the eight-episode offering is also rife with underlying themes of race and immigration relevant to our reality.