From returning comedies to racy cliffhangers, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Cooking with Paris – Netflix
NetflixWe can probably all agree that a Paris Hilton reality show is just inherently... hot. (Sorry, but you legally can’t discuss one of Paris’s shows without using her catchphrase somehow.) So is it any surprise that Netflix wanted to be in the Hilton biz, following the viral success of her at-home YouTube cooking vid?
If you haven’t come across that particular absurdity in your YouTubing, we’ll issue a warning: don’t tune in for this show expecting a master class... just the opposite, in fact.
“She’s turning the traditional cooking show upside-down,” Netflix explains. “She’s not a trained chef and she’s not trying to be. With the help of her celebrity friends, she navigates new ingredients, new recipes and exotic kitchen appliances. Inspired by her viral YouTube video, Paris will take us from the grocery store to the finished table spread—and she might actually learn her way around the kitchen.” Of course, fans might argue that Hilton actually does know a thing or two about the culinary arts given that the YouTube video in question ended with a decent-looking lasagna.
All told, even if it isn’t terribly instructive, Cooking With Paris looks to serve up a goofy, self-aware kitchen spoof—a nice palate-cleanser after bingeing the latest seasons of Top Chef, Hell’s Kitchen, etc.
Plus, you’re bound to glean at least a tip or two... like stocking up on pre-shredded cheese or popping on your designer sunglasses before chopping an onion. Because obviously no one wants runny mascara in the kitchen—that’s so not hot.
2. Vivo – Netflix
NetflixIn this new animated feature, a musically gifted kinkajou (voiced by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda) and an energetic, quirky tween (Ynairaly Simo) embark on the adventure of a lifetime to deliver a song to his cherished owner’s long-lost love, making a perilous detour through the Florida Everglades. Featuring original songs by Miranda, the voice cast also includes Zoe Saldaña, Juan de Marcos González, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael Rooker, Nicole Byer and Gloria Estefan.
3. The White Lotus – Sunday, August 8, 8 p.m. & 11:35 p.m., HBO Canada
HBO CanadaMore misery in paradise this week, as Belinda tries to keep Tanya's focus squarely on her business proposal, Nicole is unhappy about Mark divulging details of their relationship to Quinn and Rachel questions her future.
4. The L Word: Generation Q – Sunday, August 8, 9 p.m., Crave1 | Season Premiere
CraveIn December 2019, this groundbreaking series returned after 10 years away, looking to capture the zeitgeist once again in a whole new era for the LGBTQ+ community; it featured plenty of original cast members but several new ones as well—to reflect life experiences that were left out the first time around.
This week, the reboot is back for season two, which picks up on the heels of some potentially game-changing cliffhangers. Most pressingly: who did Sophie (Rosanny Zayas) hop on a plane and fly off to start the next chapter of her life with—Finley (Jacqueline Toboni) or Dani (Arienne Mandi)?
As it happens, season two in totality is very much about new beginnings.
For Bette (Jennifer Beals), that means reevaluating her career and potentially pursuing a new love interest after her run for mayor of Los Angeles ended in defeat. For Shane (Katherine Moennig), it means struggling to find herself now that the divorce is official.
Meanwhile, there are several high-profile guest stars joining the cast this year, including Rosie O’Donnell, Griffin Dunne (This Is Us) and Donald Faison (Scrubs).
5. The Bachelorette – Monday, August 9, 8 p.m., City & ABC | Season Finale
CityDespite all sorts of behind-the-scenes calamity and personnel shakeups, this latest season of The Bachelorette ends pretty much like all the others: with our leading lady (Katie Thurston) choosing her soulmate... and then, almost certainly, breaking up with that soulmate a couple months later.
6. DC’s Stargirl – Tuesday, August 10, 8 p.m., The CW | Season Premiere
The CWCourtney Whitmore (a.k.a. Stargirl) is back for a second season juggling homework, young love and world-saving superheroics. In episode one, that balance gets a little lopsided, leading stepdad Pat to take the family on vacay. Meanwhile, Courtney’s fellow Justice Society member Hourman keeps tabs on Solomon Grundy, and Wildcat struggles to come to grips with killing the villainous Brainwave last year. Speaking of which, now that Courtney and friends have taken out the Injustice Society of America, there’s a new Big Bad in town this season: Eclipso (Nick E. Tarabay) and his superhero-encasing diamond. “I’m so excited for Eclipso. He’s so terrifying. I’ve always loved the character,” creator Geoff Johns said at New York Comic Con-Metaverse. “He’s a very different antagonist or villain than the ISA... It’s such a different, darker, scarier threat.”
7. Riverdale – Wednesday, August 11, 8 p.m., The CW
The CWIn the season-five summer premiere, Riverdale is in chaos following the prison break. Archie takes the lead in chasing down the remaining convicts, while Tabitha enlists Agent Betty to help figure out what happened to Jughead.
8. Brooklyn Nine-Nine – Thursday, August 12, 8 p.m. & 8:30 p.m., City & NBC | Season Premiere
CitytvThe debut of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s eighth season (with back-to-back episodes, no less) may be exciting for fans of the sitcom, which jumped from Fox to NBC a few years ago, but it’s an excitement tinged with anxiety over the knowledge that, alas, this will also be the final season.
“Ending the show was a difficult decision, but ultimately we felt it was the best way to honour the characters, the story and our viewers,” co-creator Dan Goor wrote in a statement back in February, when the news first broke. “I know some people will be disappointed it’s ending so soon, but honestly, I’m grateful it lasted this long.”
And to be fair, that’s a pretty reasonable mindset when you consider just how few series have managed to make a successful jump between two networks. Given the comedic sensibilities of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, however, it should come as no surprise that the first paragraph of that aforementioned statement offers a little less sentimentality. In it, Goor wrote, “When [co-creator] Mike Schur and I first pitched the pilot episode to Andy [Samberg], he said, ‘I’m in, but I think the only way to tell this story is over exactly 153 episodes,’ which was crazy because that was exactly the number Mike and I had envisioned.”
You, uh, probably also won’t be shocked to learn that the series’ final episode will be No. 153, but as far as what to actually expect from the conclusion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, your guess is as good as ours: NBC is playing it close to the vest.
We can, however, tell you that co-star Stephanie Beatriz offered up a description in an interview with Bustle that pleased us: “In the words of Jake Peralta, it’s going to be super toit. Obviously, you can’t make everyone happy, but we’ll hopefully make a lot of people happy.”
9. Gossip Girl – Thursday, August 12, Crave (Stream)
CraveThe Internet’s biggest gossip monger has proven savage as ever in this reboot, and we have to imagine he or she has saved a big OMG moment for the midseason finale. But beyond that, can Julien and Zoya squash their beef? Can Luna and Monet stop lobbing shade grenades? Will Keller just grow up already? Tune in, find out.
10. Modern Love – Friday, August 13, Amazon Prime Video | Season Premiere
Amazon Prime VideoLove comes in many forms (familial, romantic, platonic, “It’s Complicated”), which means there are infinite new directions for Modern Love to take when it kicks off season two. Once again, each episode of this anthology will tell a standalone story, all based on real people written about in the weekly New York Times column of the same name. Another carryover from season one? A star-studded cast, which this year includes actors like Kit Harington, Minnie Driver, Zoë Chao, Anna Paquin, Garrett Hedlund, Tobias Menzies, Lulu Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Jesse Eisenberg... the list goes on.
In terms of something new? The production goes global, with at least one episode leaving New York behind for a trip to Dublin, Ireland. And that may well be a sign of where this show is headed going forward.
“Being given a green light to proceed with Modern Love is a great opportunity for us to continue to tell stories of love, while opening up the series into new cities and worlds,” writer, director and executive producer John Carney said in a statement after the series was first renewed. “The possibilities are truly endless. Subsequent seasons can really branch out and dig deep into what it means to love in this complicated world. It’s incredible news for everyone involved in the series, and we are dizzy with the possibilities moving forw ard.”
Given how very isolated people have been feeling over the past year and a bit, this sounds like exactly the type of binge we could all use right about now.