From new fashion challenges to returning housewives, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Starstruck – Crave (Stream)
CraveJessie (New Zealand actress/comedian Rose Matafeo) is a millennial living in East London and juggling two dead-end jobs when, while enjoying a night out at the pub with a pal, she encounters a handsome man. Witty banter and tipsy flirting ensue.
Fast-forward to the following morning, when she wakes up next to the guy. As she gathers her clothing and snoops around his apartment, she gradually comes to the realization that she’s unwittingly had a one-night stand with famous movie star Tom Kapoor (Nikesh Patel).
After she sneaks out, assuming the ultimate outcome of her debauched evening will be an amusing anecdote, she’s surprised when Tom tracks her down and tells her he’d like to see her again.
That’s the premise of Starstruck, a new six-episode rom-com that asks an intriguing question: Can a big-time movie star have a relationship with a non-celebrity, and if so, what complications would arise?
Matafeo, who also created and co-writes the series, puts a fresh spin on the rom-com genre we’ve seen play out in such films as When Harry Met Sally... and Notting Hill, navigating the complicated feat of capturing the feel and essence of those classics while never seeming derivative.
2. The Real Housewives of the Potomac – Sunday, July 11, 5 p.m. & 10 p.m., Slice | Season Premiere
SliceThe Maryland arm of the Housewives empire is down a cast member in season six, as fan favourite Monique Samuels is out. But no matter! The rest of the cast is more than ready to pick up the slack and throw some shade.
Dr. Wendy Osefo, who climbed aboard last year, is back with “a new attitude,” but her husband Edward might not be on the same page. Meanwhile, Gizelle Bryant hits a bump in the road with her ex, Jamal, while trying to build a happy home for herself and her kids. Then there’s Candiace Dillard Bassett, who’s struggling to keep everything in balance as she works towards her master’s degree, puts together an album and continues her acting career. But when her husband, Chris, begins managing her career... well, things get a tad messy. Ashley Darby is also back and adjusting to life as a second-time mom, while Karen Huger and Robyn Dixon round out the list of returning cast members.
Helping fill the void left by Samuels is Mia Thornton, an entrepreneur and mother-of-three who joins the series with a husband 32 years older than she is. Also in the mix (but as a “Friend” rather than a full-fledged Housewife) is Robyn’s pal Askale Davis, another mother-of-three, with a proud Ethiopian heritage, who “likes to stir the pot."
3. Jack Irish – Monday, July 12, Acorn TV (Stream) | Season Premiere
Acorn TVIn the third and final season, Guy Pearce reprises his role as Jack Irish, a former criminal lawyer, part-time debt collector and private investigator with a knack for getting wrapped up in things he shouldn’t. This farewell outing delves deep into Jack’s past, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself.
4. Gunpowder Milkshake – Wednesday, July 14, Netflix
NetflixThis high-octane, female-led action thriller focuses on Sam (Karen Gillan, Guardians of the Galaxy), raised by a ruthless crime syndicate known as The Firm after her mother (Game of Thrones’ Lena Headey), an elite assassin, was forced to abandon her when she was just 12. Fifteen years later, Sam has followed in mom’s footsteps and grown into a fierce killer, efficient as she is loyal, with a well-earned reputation for cleaning up The Firm’s most dangerous messes. But when a risky job goes wrong, Sam must choose between serving The Firm and protecting the life of an innocent young girl (Chloe Coleman).
With a target on her back, Sam has only one chance at survival: reunite with her mother and her lethal associates, known as The Librarians (Michelle Yeoh, Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino). These three generations of women must learn to trust each other, stand up to The Firm and their army of henchmen, and use the skills they’ve developed against those who could take everything from them.
5. Loki – Wednesday, July 14, Disney+ | Season Finale
Disney+The most-watched series in Disney+’s short history comes to an end after six episodes, as the god of mischief (Tom Hiddleston) and his pal Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) make one last bid to save the timeline from collapse. Expect laughs, tears and maybe a big, fancy cameo or two.
6. My Unorthodox Life – Wednesday, July 14, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixAnew reality series focuses on fashion mogul Julia Haart, formerly part of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, who’s since become the CEO of Elite World Group. After taking the reins of this global talent empire, Haart has been on a mission to revolutionize the industry from the inside out. Meanwhile, her children include a TikToker, an app designer, a lawyer and a high schooler, all torn between two conflicting cultures; Haart helps them reconcile their Orthodox upbringings with the realities of the modern world.
7. Never Have I Ever – Thursday, July 15, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixCreator Mindy Kaling’s savvy coming-of-age comedy returns for year two. Mississauga’s own Maitreyi Ramakrishnan continues to dazzle as Indian-American teen Devi, who’s still dealing with drama at home even as she struggles with the pressures of high school and the confusion of young love.
8. Deep – Friday, July 16, Netflix
NetflixIn this mind-bending thriller from Thailand, four medical students participate in a secret neuroscientific study on insomnia. If they can stay awake for the duration of the experiment, they’ll make a fortune—but if they fall asleep for more than 60 seconds, they die.
9. Lisey’s Story – Friday, July 16, Apple TV+ | Season Finale
Apple TV+The reviews for Stephen King’s new series (which the author himself adapted) have been mixed. But, love it or hate it, you can’t say the show lacks ambition. Tune in for episode eight and see how Lisey (Oscar-winner Julianne Moore) comes to grips with her late husband’s secret dark side and her own crippling denial.
10. Making the Cut – Friday, July 16, Amazon Prime Video | Season Premiere
Amazon PrimeHosts Tim Gunn and Heidi Klum return for season two of their post-Project Runway gig (which is really just Project Runway... except on Amazon now).
Once again, the duo will offer a cool million bucks to whichever designer proves they have the talent, ambition and perseverance to take their brand to the next level. However, that’s where the similarities between year one and year two end. As a result of the pandemic, this new crop of competitors weren’t able to traverse the globe to seek inspiration from historic, glamorous cities.
Also new this year? The judges. Gone are Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie and Joseph Altuzarra, and in their place are acclaimed designer Jeremy Scott and Mississauga-born America’s Next Top Model alumna Winnie Harlow.