From not-so-super heroes to summer binge picks, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Boys — Amazon Prime Video
Amazon PrimeBetween Marvel and DC, there is no shortage of superheroes in today’s entertainment landscape. As we get more and more jaded by politics, climate change and inequality, these caped crusaders give us hope. They challenge us to be better people. They make the world a better place. Or do they?
What if those we held up on pedestals were actually just... pompous jerks? The Boys deconstructs the vastly inflated superhero mythologies and, in making their heroes as corrupt as the people they’re supposed to protect us from, has a bloody good time with it.
2. The Order — Netflix
NetflixThe Vancouver-filmed supernatural-drama will debut with a second season in 2020, as production begins later this summer. While cast members, including Canadians Sarah Grey and Katharine Isabelle, previewed the upcoming return at San Diego's Comic Con earlier this month, summer provides the perfect time for viewers to binge all the episodes which dive deep into a secret society of werewolves and other spooky beings at fictional Belgrave University.
3. Shark After Dark — Sunday, July 28 to Thursday, August 1, 8 p.m. & Midnight, Discovery
DiscoveryRejoice, dear viewers, for Shark Week has returned, chumming the airwaves with all manner of docu-specials us ravenous channel surfers are helpless to resist. And as always, one of the trustiest guides to gnawing through all of the saltwater action is this late-night talk show, which returns for a seventh season. This year’s newly minted host, comedian Rob Riggle (The Daily Show, Modern Family), takes up emcee duties alongside returning co-host Bob the Shark (Bob Oschack, who is really just “that guy in a shark suit”). Together they’ll welcome celebrity guests and wade through all of the day’s highlights, before previewing the programs swimming their way onto the schedule next.
4. Years and Years — Monday, July 29, 8 p.m., HBO Canada I Series Finale
HBO CanadaWith the rise of certain political leaders and their draconian policies, many people have spent recent years glued to cable news, emotions running the gamut from impotent rage to abject terror, wondering just what will become of our world in the age of Trump-style populism. With this miniseries, Doctor Who mastermind Russell T. Davies, no stranger to peering into the future, has given us a chillingly plausible hypothesis. The sixth and final chapter in his increasingly dystopian tale, as told through the eyes of the extended Lyons family, debuts tonight, with plenty of chaos in store.
As billionaire PM Viv Rook tightens her grasp on England, the Lyons fight back, with Rosie standing up to the troops surrounding her home and taking drastic action with Lincoln by her side. Meanwhile, Edith and Celeste form a secret alliance in the wake of news about Stephen, and things take a deadly turn with the Erstwhile Policy, prompting several Lyons to embark on a last-ditch mission to save Viktor. We very much want to hope for a happy ending, but the show, much like the real world it’s extrapolating upon, doesn’t seem headed in that direction.
5. Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? — Tuesday, July 30, Netflix
NetflixGiven that she was co-showrunner on a series that was cancelled because of controversial tweets sent out by its star, you might be surprised that Whitney Cummings was able to come out of the scandal smelling like a rose. Don’t be: thanks to the show sharing its title with the name of the star in question (Roseanne... in case you didn’t know, we’re talking about Roseanne), nobody else really had to deal with much in the way of trickle-down effects. As such, Cummings is currently in the midst of working with Lee Daniels and Lisa Kudrow on the forthcoming Amazon series Good People. But until that gets here, fans of the comedian will be able to enjoy her inaugural Netflix special, Can I Touch It?
6. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: Reunion Part Three — Tuesday, July 30, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m, Slice
SliceJust when you thought we’d dissected all there was to dissect about the weddings, toxic friendships and a little scandal known as Puppygate, comes a third season nine reunion. Alas, it’s still missing the Housewife we really want to hear from: Lisa Vanderpump.
7. I Am Sam Kinison — Tuesday, July 30, 10:15 p.m., Crave1
Crave“When you’re not afraid to make the crowd scared, uncomfortable, sad, all of those other emotions, you can take them into such a weird, uncomfortable place.” So says comedian Bill Burr in this documentary about Sam Kinison, and if you’ve heard Kinison perform, then you know that a) Burr has summed up his act perfectly, and b) his ability to take crowds into that weird, uncomfortable place is what made him one of the most legendary standup comics of the ’80s.
Of course, he was also a man whose flaws—and demons—were plentiful, and while he was plenty funny enough to impress his peers and inspire future comedians, Kinison’s struggles with illicit substances proved to be a tremendous hindrance. It was a rollercoaster ride of a career, but the man undoubtedly left his mark on the comedy world.
8. Deal or No Deal — Wednesday, July 31, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m. I Season Finale
NBCHowie Mandel concludes his first revival season—technically the seventh overall, if you count the four seasons on NBC and two more in syndication—of the briefcase-based game show that once provided a paycheque to the future Duchess of Sussex. With the series already renewed for another season, tune in to this week’s finale in order find out if any of the contestants manage to walk away with the million-dollar grand prize.
9. Archer — Wednesday, July 31, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Adult Swim I Season Finale
NetflixIn space, no one can hear you scream. Thankfully, that means they also can’t hear you crying over the end of this sci-fi season of Archer. Is this the final season? Still unclear, but if our sardonic, self-absorbed hero does return, this erstwhile spy comedy will, once again, ditch its current premise for an entirely new one. Maybe Victorian England this time?
10. Jane The Virgin — Wednesday, July 31, 8 p.m. & 8:59 p.m., The CW I Series Finale
CW CanadaJane The Virgin wraps its five-year run at the 100-episode mark with two final tales Wednesday.
Looking back on her Golden Globe-winning run, star Gina Rodriguez credits creator Jennie Snyder Urman with teaching her “a lot about myself, and a lot about what I can do with my craft. When you go and you do a film [as Rodriguez did recently with sci-fi fave Annihilation] and you have a short amount of time, and you don’t have as much voice to say your opinion, and you’re not helping write it, you have to come full with whatever you’ve got. And I’ve been training for years to go and do that.”
For all of the Virgin cast, Rodriguez notes the show has been “our breakout, every single one of us. The knowledge of how hard it was to get to that space, the knowledge of how lucky and grateful we are to be on a show that we love, [it] just has never gone away. We know how lucky we are to be able to complete a show and have a vision for that completion. We’re not just dragging it on or trying to tie it up real quick because we’ve got to end it.”