From the latest at Litchfield to a battle at the ball, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Killing Eve – Sunday, July 22, 6 p.m. & 8:15 p.m., Bravo | Series Premiere
BravoVillanelle and Eve are two women with a passion for murder, one committing it and the other investigating it. Their fates become inexorably intertwined in a thriller series debuting this week on Bravo, following a very acclaimed run on BBC America down south.
In Killing Eve, Jodie Comer (The White Princess, Rillington Place) stars as Villanelle, a paid assassin who happens to be very good at her job. She’s an understated beauty with an innocent look and a burning appetite to kill.
She comes to the attention of Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy), a security officer with the MI5 in London, following a successful hit on a Russian politician in Vienna. Though she is happily married to math teacher Nico (Owen McDonnell, My Mother and Other Strangers) and has a good life, Eve is unsatisfied with her work, feeling that by now she should be chasing assassins around the globe. And in the mysterious Villanelle, she has found her quarry—a fixation that quickly morphs into a volatile emotional cocktail of fear, attraction and competition.
What follows is an epic game of cat and mouse played by two women who are obsessed with each other and their jobs. That’s especially true of Villanelle, who derives obvious pleasure from her hits, to the point where the paycheque is just a bonus.
2. Pose – Sunday, July 22, 6 p.m., 7 p.m. & 9 p.m., FX Canada | Season Finale
FX CanadaStep right up for the ultimate ballroom showdown, as Ryan Murphy’s latest TV experiment closes out its first season. When the House of Evangelista faces off against the House of Ferocity at the Princess Ball, only one Mother of the Year can be named.
3. My Lottery Dream Home – Sunday, July 22, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., HGTV | Season Finale
Facebook/HGTVIn the season finale, host David Bromstad heads to St. Louis to ask one lottery-winning couple just how much of their windfall they’d like to blow on a new home. Will they stake it all on dream digs or plat it safe with more modest accommodations?
4. Celebrity Family Feud – Sunday, July 22, 8 p.m., City & ABC
ABCIn the night’s first celeb charity match, the cast of Grey’s Anatomy take on their counterparts in firefighter spinoff Station 19. Then, the family of The Real co-host Adrienne Houghton will feud it up with sisters/singers/actors Aly and AJ Michalka and their assorted loved ones.
5. The Last Defense – Tuesday, July 24, 10 p.m., ABC | Season Finale
ABCOver the course of season one, this Viola Davis-produced docuseries has profiled two currently active death-row cases that highlight the injustices of the American justice system. Tonight wraps up the saga of Julius Jones, a 40-something man who’s been staring down a death sentence for 20 years, ever since he was convicted of killing a man in a carjacking while he was in college. His appeals exhausted, Jones is on the verge of execution, but new evidence could mean a new trial.
6. Colony – Wednesday, July 25, 7 p.m., Bravo | Season Finale
BravoIt’s not easy for a young family living under the rule of mysterious alien occupiers and their human collaborators. This is something Will and Katie Bowman (Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies) know all too well. After two seasons in enemy-occupied L.A., straddling the line between rebellion and collaboration, Will and Katie were forced into the wilderness at the start of season three, losing one of their kids, before making it to a new colony in Seattle. Things seemed better there, but as they all came to learn, there was a subtler form of tyranny at play—one that demanded opposition.
In tonight’s finale, Will makes a huge sacrifice in order to keep his family safe, Katie puts everything on the line to help refugees outside the walls, Snyder has a hard time controlling a colony during the chaos of war, and Bram and Gracie come to a big decision.
7. Queen of the South – Thursday, July 26, 6 p.m., Bravo
BravoWhen you’re the head of a burgeoning underworld empire, you inevitably wind up turning a blind eye to certain unsavoury goings-on. But Teresa Mendoza finds a crime she can’t ignore tonight, putting her life on the line to rescue a group of girls being trafficked by her new European business partner.
8. Nashville – Thursday, July 26, 9 p.m., W Network | Series Finale
W NetworkIn terms of TV characters, we’re hard-pressed to think of anyone who’s had more curveballs thrown at him than Deacon Claybourne (Charles Esten), a talented singer/songwriter whose life seems to careen from one crisis to the next. Over six seasons, the country vocalist has dealt with alcoholism, liver cancer, finding out that he’s the biological father of Rayna’s daughter Maddie, the passing of his sister, and of course, the death of his soulmate Rayna James.
Heading into this week’s series finale, viewers are no doubt hoping that for once we can leave him in a happy place, even if it’s not quite the happily ever after he had in mind. “Storylines are not just storylines, if you do them well,” Esten told Variety ahead of the season ender. “They are part of people’s lives, so it’s almost incumbent on you to do them as well as you can. If you look back at all the characters, yeah they all wanted that record, that chart-topping hit, that super-successful band, that next album, that production company, that label. But again and again they learned that maybe what they really needed was to be there for the person that needed them.”
9. Orange is the New Black – Friday, July 27, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixGet ready to go to the max maximum-security, that is. When the series that aims to highlight the daily struggles endured by the multitudes trapped in America’s “crowbar hotels” returns for a sixth season, Litchfield Prison will be no more. Its demise came after last season’s three-day standoff in which the women took guards hostage and rioted in response to the death of Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley).
When we last saw the ladies, they were being separated and shipped off on buses to unknown, but certainly less-hospitable accommodations. Meanwhile, a handful of prisoners that had been hiding out from the chaos in a bunker awaited their fate, hands in the air as weapons-wielding guards stormed in.
As promos promise, it’s a “whole new world” for Piper (Taylor Schilling) et al. when we return. The updated opening credits reflect as much, with images of shackles replacing phone booths and new sleeping quarters popping up in lieu of the “cushier” ones from the past. These changes are just the latest in a string of alterations that have transformed the show from being a dark comedy into one that is more of a full-blown drama, sparking more intense post-viewing water-cooler conversations among longtime fans.
And while we’re technically only 10 months into Piper’s 18-month prison sentence, it appears show creator Jenji Kohan may play fast-and-loose with the show’s timeline to engage with some of the things happening during the current U.S. president’s administration.
“Do we just throw the timeline out the window?” Kohan pondered in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Season five is season five, but for six, I don’t think anyone can help but incorporate some of the feelings associated with what’s going on and the divisions and all that stuff.”
10. Extinction – Friday, July 27, Netflix
NetflixThis week, Netflix goes back to the sci-fi well with Extinction, which was originally set to be released in theatres. The film follows a family man (The Martian’s Michael Peña) whose nightmares of losing his wife (Masters of Sex’s Lizzy Caplan) and kids threaten to become reality when an alien force suddenly lands on Earth. Co-starring Luke Cage’s Mike Colter and directed by up-and-comer Ben Young (Hounds of Love), the pedigree here is high, but some pundits are a tad skeptical in light of the original studio’s decision to give the film up.