From a reboot of an iconic game show to a TV reimagining of a classic ’90s movie, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99 – streaming now on Netflix
NetflixWoodstock ’99 was meant to be a celebration of peace, love and great music. Instead, the festival degenerated into riots and destruction. Utilizing rare insider footage and eyewitness interviews with an impressive list of festival staffers, performers and attendees, this three-episode docuseries goes behind the scenes to reveal the egos, greed and music that fuelled three days of utter chaos.
2. Lightyear – streaming now on Disney+
Disney+ After a brief theatrical run that raked in more than $200 million at the international box office, this animated Toy Story spinoff is now available to stream on Disney+. Described as “the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear,” former Captain America Chris Evans voices the titular space ranger who inspired the toy as he embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo and Darby (Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi and Dale Soules), and his robot companion Sox. As this motley crew take on their toughest mission yet, they must learn to work as a team to stop the evil Zurg (James Brolin) and his robot army from stealing a crucial fuel source.
3. Becoming Elizabeth – Sunday, August 7, 11:25 p.m., Starz 2; Crave (Stream) | Season Finale
Starz 2The palace intrigue hits a crescendo for young Elizabeth Tudor and her family, as King Edward sits at death’s door, briefly uniting his estranged sisters Mary and Elizabeth in solidarity. But with Mary slated to assume the throne, Elizabeth considers seizing power instead.
4. Password – Tuesday, August 9, 10:01 p.m., CTV & NBC; Wednesday, August 1, 9:01 p.m., NBC – Series Premiere
CTVThe late, great Betty White may be gone but she’s far from forgotten, as will be witnessed when the latest reboot of this iconic game show makes its debut with two episodes (the first on Tuesday, the second on Wednesday).
You see, back in 1961, White first appeared on the show and quickly became a staple, which makes total sense: it was there that she met her husband, the series’ original host and creator, Allen Ludden. Over the years, White maintained a close association with the franchise, including when Jimmy Fallon resurrected Password as a segment on The Tonight Show. Unsurprisingly, the erstwhile Golden Girl has also been dubbed the game’s greatest player, so when Fallon’s version of the show makes its primetime debut with Keke Palmer as the new host, there will be a much-deserved tribute in store.
If you need a refresher, in each episode celebrities are paired with average folks from across America. Together, the teams try to guess a mysterious password for a cool cash prize. Fallon will be one of the participating celebs over the initial eight hour-long episodes, with Yvette Nicole Brown, Tony Hale, Jon Hamm, Chelsea Handler, Heidi Klum, Joel McHale, Chrissy Metz, Martin Short, J.B. Smoove and Meghan Trainor also dropping by.
5. A League of Their Own – Friday, August 12, Prime Video | Series Premiere
Prime VideoIn case you were wondering, there’s still no crying in baseball. OK, so we don’t know whether Tom Hanks’ famous line from director Penny Marshall’s 1992 flick actually makes it into this TV reimagining, but fans can only hope. For now, there are a few things we do know.
The series hails from creators Will Graham (Mozart in the Jungle) and Abbi Jacobson (Broad City), with Jacobson also taking on the lead role. Like the movie, the series follows fictional stories inspired by the real-life All-American professional women’s baseball league that launched while the men were away fighting the Second World War. There’s a cranky coach (played by Nick Offerman), a protagonist (Jacobson) trying out for a club called the Rockford Peaches, and a ton of nifty homages (including a part played by original co-star Rosie O’Donnell). However, the serialized nature of this project means it will also get to go a lot more in-depth than the movie ever could.
That entails richer character arcs, more complex explorations of sexism and empowerment, and a look at the women who played in the Negro Leagues; the latter is largely manifested in a woman named Max (Chanté Adams), who is turned away from the initial tryouts... but her saga doesn’t end there. Telling that marginalized story and others like it while staying true to the original was so important to Graham and Jacobson they reached out to get Marshall’s blessing before her death in 2018.
Now, they’re ready to offer their own, inclusive spin on a classic. “That includes straight people, queer people, people of colour... all the people who couldn’t get fit into the two-hour 1992 movie,” Graham told Vanity Fair. “Our focus is just on telling those stories joyfully, truthfully and in a way that resonates with the world now.”
6. Day Shift – Friday, August 12, Netflix
NetflixMeet Bud Jablonksi (Jamie Foxx), a hard-working divorced dad whose only goal is to provide a good life for his eight-year-old daughter as he struggles to make ends meet cleaning swimming pools in California’s mundane San Fernando Valley.
Or at least that’s how it appears. Bud’s pool-cleaning business is actually a front for his real vocation: decapitating vampires for the international League of Vampire Hunters.
That’s the premise of new Netflix horror-comedy Day Shift, from first-time director J.J. Perry, who’s worked as second-unit director and stunt coordinator for the Keanu Reeves-starring John Wick movies.
Unlike such similar projects as Van Helsing and Blade, in which the ghoul hunters have seemingly unlimited resources and fight the undead due to some noble calling, Bud has an entirely different motivation. “Vampire hunting is a business—cutting necks and cashing cheques,” observes fellow hunter Big John Elliott, played by Snoop Dogg. Bud concurs: “You know what I see when I see a vamp? A big ol’ dollar sign.”
Bud is very good at what he does, although his unorthodox methods have created headaches for his bosses at the League, who prefer vampire killing to be low-key and have put him on ice after being forced to clean up one too many of his messes.
Desperate to earn $10,000 for his daughter’s tuition and braces, Bud is given one more chance—but only if he partners with rookie hunter Seth (Dave Franco), whom he reluctantly trains on the job while embarking on a vampire-killing spree to earn the cash he needs.
“Day Shift is a pulse-pounding thrill ride with action, danger and grounded comedy mixed with a deep mythology—the key ingredients for the absolute best time you can have watching a movie,” gushed producer Shaun Redick.
7. For All Mankind – Friday, August 12, Apple TV+ | Season Finale
Apple TV+Just when you thought the outer-space intrigue couldn’t be any more gripping, came the third season of this critically acclaimed series from co-creator Ronald D. Moore. What started as an alternative version of the 1960s Space Race has jumped to the 1990s, where the U.S., Russia and a private company are battling to be the first to land on Mars. And sure, there have been some questionable cosmetics decisions when it comes to aging up lead actors like Joel Kinnaman and Jodi Balfour, but that’s a small quibble in a show that offers epic scale, intimate character work and truly stunning twists.
The season-three finale arrives Friday. And given that every episode for the past few weeks has felt like a finale-level event, we’re expecting something extra-special—no doubt setting the stage and upping the ante for season four, which Apple has already pre-flighted for launch next year.
8. Lucy’s School – Friday, August 12, Apple TV+
Apple TV+Apple TV+ expands its Peanuts empire with this one-off special. Charlie Brown and the gang are nervous about switching to a new school in the fall, so Lucy takes it upon herself to launch an alternative that’s for kids, by kids. But to her surprise, being a teacher is much harder than it looks.
9. Never Have I Ever – Friday, August 12, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixIn the penultimate chapter of Devi’s story, amidst all the other teen drama/trauma, our heroine is once again torn between two suitors—Paxton and Ben. But she may now have a third in the mix, when Anirudh Pisharody joins the cast as Des, a private-school kid who’s handsome, and just as smart as Devi to boot.
10. Rogue Agent – Friday, August 12, AMC+ (Stream)
AMC+This intriguing drama tells the incredible true story of Robert Freegard (played by Happy Valley’s James Norton), a career con artist who worked as a barman and car salesman while impersonating an MI5 agent. Targeting women, Freegard would earn their trust by convincing his victims they were being targeted for assassination by the IRA, which led him to isolate the women from their friends and families so he could coerce them into giving him money and sex.
One of his marks, Alice Archer (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace), initially finds herself seduced by the man’s charms until discovering who he really is. This leads her to become obsessed with stopping him. Alice ultimately becomes the architect of his downfall as the information she’s gleaned about Freegard while he tried to con her leads to a chilling game of cat-and-mouse as a high-stakes manhunt aims to bring him to justice. The cast also includes Sarah Goldberg, Shazad Latif, Freya Mavor, Jimmy Akingbola and Julian Barratt.