From courtroom courtships to video music honours, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Get Duked! – Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime VideoIt was first slated to arrive a couple weeks back, under the moniker Boyz in the Wood. But now, this acclaimed Scottish horror-comedy flick about four nerdy kids who stumble into a mind-bending, hip-hop-infused nightmare in the Highlands has been both rescheduled and retitled.
2. P-Valley – Sunday, August 30, 12:55 a.m., Starz 2
Starz 2The audacious strip-club drama rolls along with season one, as Uncle Clifford goes to war for the souls at Chucalissa, while back at the club the Pynk family bands together for what could be its biggest (read: most profitable) evening yet.
3. 2020 MTV Video Music Awards – Sunday, August 30, 5 p.m. & 8:30 p.m., MTV Canada; 8 p.m., CTV2
Chance Davis/MTV CanadaAward shows are one of the many, many casualties of COVID-19, and a prime example can be seen with this week’s MTV Video Music Awards. When the gala was originally announced in June, hopes were high that the virus would be on the wane by late August; as a result, the VMAs were slated to be held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the first event to take place at the venue since the global pandemic shut down live performances in front of crowds.
The event’s producers issued a vague statement that, quite frankly, raised more questions than it answered, noting that there will be “limited or no audience” in attendance to watch the show in person.
“Show producers alongside Barclays Center management have been working closely with state and local officials to implement best practices for everyone involved. Among the measures all parties involved have aligned to include extensive social distancing procedures, meaningful capacity limitations and the virtualization of components where possible,” that original statement declared.
However, in August New York Governor Andrew Cuomo shut that down, declaring there was no freaking way the VMAs would be held at a 19,000-seat venue. Instead, a subsequent announcement noted that “it became clear at this time that outdoor performances... would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event.”
And so, fans will see socially distanced performances from iconic locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island, featuring such stars as Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, BTS, Doja Cat, J Balvin, Maluma, Roddy Ricch and CNCO. Meanwhile, actress-singer Keke Palmer will make her debut as host of what’s sure to be the most unusual VMAs ever.
4. The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons–Ever! – Monday, August 31, 8 p.m., City & ABC
CityBachelor Nation has been positively awash in drama these past few months. For a series that hasn’t produced any new episodes all summer long, it’s certainly captured its fair share of headlines.
First came the news that former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay would cut ties with the franchise if the producers and executives didn’t start incorporating more diversity. Then, ABC announced that it had cast the very first Black bachelor, Matt James, ahead of Bachelorette Clare Crawley’s season debut. While many thought that was strange timing for the series (it always saves the next Bachelor or Bachelorette announcement until after the last season airs), things got even weirder when word came out that Crawley had been replaced midway through filming of the new Bachelorette season by former Bachelor contestant Tayshia Adams. Like we said, drama.
But hey, all of that is weeks and weeks away, so for now let’s just continue basking in the nostalgia of another classic chapter of Bachelor history via this COVID-inspired spinoff. Tonight, Chris Harrison visits with Nick Viall to relive season 21. The duo will be joined by several of the memorable women from that edition, including Alexis Waters (no word on whether her shark/dolphin costume will make a cameo), Kristina Schulman (whose adoption story definitely had an impact with Nick), as well as Corinne Olympios and Taylor Nolan, who will undoubtedly continue that epic emotional intelligence argument when they come face-to-face (virtually) once again.
Reminiscences and emotional face-offs aren’t the only thing to expect in the three-hour instalment, though. Nick promises to have some interesting updates concerning his personal life.
5. Mapleworth Murders – Monday, August 31, Quibi (Stream) | Season Finale
QuibiIf you’ve caught the first two “murder blocks” of this new Quibi comedy-mystery series, then you already know that it’s an unabashed homage to/parody of Murder, She Wrote, with Saturday Night Live writer Paula Pell starring as full-time mystery writer and part-time mystery solver Abigail Mapleworth.
In the last case of the season, Abigail takes her niece Heidi (Hayley Magnus) as her plus-one to see her favourite singing group, BBPS (BcBillan Brothers Plus Sisters), played by James Anderson, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph and Andy Samberg. In short order, however, the BcBillans are killed off, one by one, which is obviously a real bummer for Abigail, being a fan and all, but it also proves to be truly terrifying, as there’s only one way for our sleuth to uncover the killer: she must take the stage herself!
6. The Good Fight – Thursday, September 3, 9 p.m., W Network | Season Premiere
W NetworkPart four of this Good Wife spinoff is finally hitting Canadian airwaves—months after it was originally scheduled to debut. The season (which already aired in the States) follows Diane and the rest of the Reddick, Boseman & Lockhart team as they try and recover from the loss of their top client. Add in the fact that one of their founding partners’ names has been completely tarnished, and it only makes sense that, as we open back up, the group has accepted an offer from multinational law firm STR Laurie to become a small subsidiary.
With all of their decisions now being filtered through an army of executives which threatens to swallow our heroes and their office culture whole, this promises to be the most intense season yet. Joining regular players Christine Baranski, Cush Jumbo, Audra McDonald, Sarah Steele, Michael Boatman, Nyambi Nyambi and Delroy Lindo is Good Wife alum Zach Grenier (reprising his role as lovably sleazy divorce lawyer David Lee), along with new additions John Larroquette as a head honcho at the mega-firm that just bought them up, and Hugh Dancy as a military officer turned lawyer who takes a liking to his new co-workers—one of them in particular. What’s more, Michael J. Fox returns to his fan-fave Good Wife role of Louis Canning.
7. Dr. Pimple Popper: Before the Pop – Thursday, September 3, 7 p.m. & 11 p.m., TLC
TLCSome people haven’t been feeling like their top selves during quarantine because their roots have grown out or their feet are in desperate need of a pedi. But the unfortunate folks on this new virtual edition of Dr. Pimple Popper are concerned with a whole other kind of growth. Join Dr. Sandra Lee as she gives remote consultations to patients during the pandemic and guides them on how to take matters into their own hands—literally.
With Lee’s direction (and a bit of self-prodding and poking), patients whose skin conditions have been festering and worsening in this COVID reality will finally get some kind of relief. Or at the very least, they’ll have a better idea of the proper treatment they’ll need once they can see Dr. Lee in-person, when she’s able to squeeze her way back into viewers’ hearts while cameras capture every pus-filled move.
Sure, it’s not the same as watching the Pimple Popper herself take out cysts or growths and compare them to all of our favourite foods, but at this point we’ll take what we can get.
8. Young Wallander – Thursday, September 3, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixEver wondered what Kurt Wallander, that broody sleuth from Henning Mankell’s acclaimed novels, was like in his 20s? The creators of the BBC series certainly have, and as a result, we get this stylish reimagining. Follow along with the rookie cop as he takes on his first-ever case and struggles to clean up present-day Sweden.
9. Love, Guaranteed – Thursday, September 3, Netflix
NetflixYou never know what’s going to serve as inspiration for a romantic comedy. Take Love, Guaranteed: the concept came to Rachael Leigh Cook—who also stars in the film—after hearing about a guy who sued Coors because their beer wasn’t actually made with water from the Rocky Mountains, as the company had long claimed in ads.
It doesn’t exactly sound like the stuff of romance, does it? Well, to be fair, Cook adapted the idea somewhat. In the film, an attorney named Susan (Cook) takes on a client named Nick (Damon Wayans, Jr. of New Girl fame) who wants to sue a dating website because they guaranteed love and he didn’t find it. Ironically, in the course of working on the case, Susan and Nick start to discover that there’s chemistry between them... but of course, you probably figured that.
Cook didn’t actually write the script, but when she pitched her idea to writers Elizabeth Hackett and Hilary Galanoy—you probably know them best from the film Falling Inn Love—it proved to be a match made in heaven.
Of course, we can’t guarantee that you’ll love Love, Guaranteed, but how’s this for a bonus? Heather Graham is also in the cast... and at no extra charge!
10. I'm Thinking of Ending Things – Friday, September 4, Netflix
NetflixNothing is as it seems in this dark psychological thriller from Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter behind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Being John Malkovich. Kaufman pulls double-duty here, directing a characteristically offbeat dramedy, which stars Jessie Buckley as an unnamed character who travels with her boyfriend (Friday Night Lights alum Jesse Plemons) to meet his parents (Toni Collette and David Thewlis) for the first time one snowy weekend, despite her misgivings about their relationship. Unfortunately for what’s-her-name, those misgivings only intensify as she’s thrust into a series of weird events that have her wondering not only what’s going on with her love life, but with her sanity and the suddenly fluctuating nature of reality.
“I don’t set out to do a mindf***,” Kaufman teased to Entertainment Weekly. “I’m not setting out to do something that ‘tops’ some sort of brainteaser I might have done before. But there’s no question I’m trying to build on the stuff that I’ve already done.”