From stylish Tarantino classics to animated reunions, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Jackie Brown – Tuesday, July 6, 9 p.m., Starz 2
IMDBThe influence of Elmore Leonard is all over Quentin Tarantino’s films. But in 1997, Tarantino straight-up adapted one of Leonard’s novels, Rum Punch. The retitled story follows a cash-smuggling flight attendant (Pam Grier) caught between her arms-dealing boss (Samuel L. Jackson) and the FBI (Michael Keaton).
2. Monsters at Work – Wednesday, July 7, Disney+ | Series Premiere
Disney+Disney-owned Pixar has racked up numerous box-office hits over the past few decades, ranging from Toy Story and its sequels to the Cars, Finding Nemo and Incredibles franchises, generating more than $15 billion along the way.
Another of Pixar’s success stories has been 2001’s Monsters, Inc., based on the premise that the city of Monstropolis is powered by the screams of human children, elicited by the likes of such professional “Scarers” as James P. “Sulley” Sullivan (voiced by John Goodman) and Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal).
Twenty years later, the Disney+ sequel series Monsters at Work brings viewers back to Monstropolis. The show begins on the day after the Monsters, Inc. power plant was rejigged to harvest children’s laughter instead of screams, thanks to Mike and Sulley’s discovery that laughs generate 10 times more energy than screams.
While Goodman and Crystal are back to reprise their roles, they’re not the focus. The show has assembled an impressive voice cast comprised of Mindy Kaling, Henry Winkler, Lucas Neff and Alanna Ubach, with recurring characters voiced by Bonnie Hunt, John Ratzenberger, Jennifer Tilly, Bob Peterson and Aisha Tyler.
3. Gossip Girl – Thursday, July 8, Crave (Stream) | Series Premiere
CraveHey, Upper East-siders! It’s time to chuck those head scarfs and laptops (how quaint!), because this HBO Max remake of the 2007-2012 CW soap is tackling a whole new class of teens with fresh online platforms and social conundrums to grapple with. Sure, there are some commonalities—like privileged high schoolers who congregate on the Met steps and fight for that coveted “Queen B” status, as well as the titular dirty-little-secret monger, once again voiced (in narration) by Kristen Bell. But that’s pretty much it.
This time out, an anonymous “Gossip Girl” emerges by way of Instagram, where she outs the In Crowd’s various scandals. It’s also worth noting that this reboot is billed as being a lot darker than the original, which itself came under fire from parent groups for its depiction of teen debauchery.
“Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private-school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl,” reads the official logline. “The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years.”
4. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness – Thursday, July 8, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixThe Resident Evil film franchise, which began as a video game, is now being reimagined once again, this time as a state-of-the-art horror-action anime series. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness focuses on two of the video game’s most popular characters, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield. “By adding suspense into dynamic action scenes,” a Netflix press release declares, “this series will reveal a Resident Evil world unlike anything seen before.”
5. Grown-ish – Thursday, July 8, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m., ABC Spark | Season Premiere
ABC SparkWhen a television series revolves around college, it’s only a matter of time before it make its way to senior year (a.k.a. season four). And give credit where credit’s due: it’s pretty darned impressive that grown-ish delivered a season-three finale in March and is already back for its season-four premiere.
The new instalment kicks off as Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and her pals—still in the midst of summer vacation—make their way down to Mexico for good times that include drinking games, the inevitable hookups and relationship drama, and even a wedding. And not to spoil anything with regards to what happens when they finally get back to Cal U to start their fourth year, but the pandemic comes into play... to a certain extent. Additionally, Zoey discovers she must complete an internship if she wants to graduate, putting our hero in a position where she has to interact with someone she’s actively been avoiding.
Oh, and don’t be surprised to see Zoey’s dad Dre (Anthony Anderson), star of parent series black-ish, pop up soon-ish for a confrontation.
6. Atypical – Friday, July 9, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixThe fourth and final season of this dramedy following the journey of Sam Gardner (Keir Gilchrist), a teenager on the autism spectrum, finds he and his parents (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rapaport) facing a challenge they never anticipated as Sam sets his sights on a nearly impossible goal.
7. Black Widow – Friday, July 9, Disney+
Disney+Anyone who was ticked off that super-spy Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) didn’t get a full, Tony Stark-level funeral following her death in Avengers: Endgame (and we know there are a few of you out there) can rejoice that the Avenger they call Black Widow is back in action this week. Having debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe way back in 2010’s Iron Man 2, Natasha finally gets a film all her own—one that was supposed to debut in blockbuster season 2020, before COVID messed everything up.
Now, it’s getting a hybrid release, both in theatres and on streaming service Disney+; if you do plan to watch it on the latter, however, you’ll need to shell out a few extra bucks for a “Premier Access” account. (The movie will be available to regular Disney+ subscribers sometime down the line.)
Alas, don’t expect a resurrection for Ms. Romanoff, as this film is a prequel, set just after the events of Captain America: Civil War but before Avengers: Infinity War, when Natasha is on the run from the government, and forced to confront her blood-soaked past as a Russian secret agent. Which means a reunion with the “family” of assassins she once belonged to. That includes Stranger Things’ David Harbour as “dad,” Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) as “mom” and Florence Pugh (Little Women) as Natasha’s “sister,” who, rumour has it, may just be the next Black Widow. Though not on the best of terms, they all reluctantly come together to take down a far more nefarious adversary.
Black Widow marks the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but only the second female-led offering (2019’s Captain Marvel was first)—and it’s safe to say fans are more than ready for a new sort of superhero adventure.
8. How to Become a Tyrant – Friday, July 9, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixRuling with an iron fist requires that an aspiring dictator understands the well-established playbook for how to attain absolute power and hang onto it. This new docuseries, narrated by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage, looks at some of history’s most notorious despots, chronicling their respective rises and inevitable falls. From Mussolini to Hitler to Gaddafi and more, the series demonstrates that, throughout the centuries, the way in which tyrannical rulers have grasped control of their respective populaces follows a startlingly predictable path, beginning with the tyrants in question promising, “I alone can fix it all.”
9. The Snoopy Show – Friday, July 9, Apple TV+
Apple TV+Snoopy and his little pal Woodstock are back for the last seven episodes in the debut season of a show that pushes Charlie Brown and his fellow humans to the background so that the real stars of the Peanuts gang can have their time in the spotlight (or on the roof, as the case may be).
10. Secret Celebrity Renovation – Friday, July 9, 8 p.m., CBS | Series Premiere
CBSBig-time celebs like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Wayne Brady and Paula Abdul clip on the toolbelt and show their gratitude to folks who’ve made an impact on them over the years. ET’s Nischelle Turner serves as host.