From reality glam queens to returning zombie terror, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Fear the Walking Dead – Sunday, June 2, 6 p.m., 9:19 p.m. & 11:38 p.m., AMC I Season Premiere
AMCSeason five picks up in the wake of Alicia, Morgan and the gang deciding not to head for Morgan’s old skull-stomping grounds in Alexandria, but instead continue searching for people to help in Texas. That choice denied fans a crossover with the parent show, but as consolation, this year Morgan will be joined by fellow Walking Dead refugee Dwight (Austin Amelio), the horribly scarred Savior double agent with a heart of gold. Also on the horizon: swarms of “nuclear” zombies! (The writers totally aren’t running out of ideas. They promise.)
Tonight’s premiere finds the group’s humanitarian quest leading them into a perilous new land, where “everything is not what
it seems.” Here, they’ll
meet friends, enemies and frenemies like Once Upon a Time’s Karen David, Orphan Black’s Matt Frewer and pint-sized Cooper Dodson, brother of Major Dodson, who played poor, doomed Alexandrian Sam (recipient of Carol’s cookies and worst undercover zombie ever).
2. Relatively Nat and Liv – Sunday, June 2, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., E! I Series Premiere
E!WAGS may be long over, but the cameras are just heating up on Canadian cousins Natalie Halcro and Olivia Pierson. The Langley natives debut their latest reality series this week, with plenty of drama in store—but it’s a slightly different sort of drama. Up until now we’ve known this duo for their fashion-related wheeling, dealing and social-influencing; this new series promises to showcase another side of the glamorous gals, as they head home to B.C.
“We are fashion designers and cousins, we come from a really big family,” Halcro, who supposedly makes $15,000 to $20,000 per Instagram post, says in the show’s trailer. “I feel like in L.A. we’re known for being those glam girls. When we get home to Vancouver, we can be ourselves.” In addition to the real Natalie and Olivia, we’ll get to meet their loud and lively moms, Rhonda and Julia; Halcro’s sister Stephanie (the black sheep, for purposes of this series we’re sure); as well as Halcro’s brother Joel and Pierson’s brother Owen.
It’s those latter two siblings
who will be essential in helping the cousins take their brands to the next level, through the curation of Halcro and Pierson’s first fashion line. Add in family rivalries, a bit of romance and rejection, and that massive social media presence, and these women could very well be
the next Kardashians. That makes
it fitting, perhaps, that Kim herself also appears in the show’s promo, thanks to a partnership she has with the cousins. And something tells us that, behind the scenes, Kardashian also had plenty of advice on how
to slap together a career-launching family-based reality program.
3. Downton Abbey Returns! – Sunday, June 2, 8 p.m., KCTS
PBSKeep calm and carry... oh, you know what? Go ahead and flip right out! It’s been three years since we last visited the Crawleys’ sumptuous Abbey, but with the long-rumoured movie officially set for a fall theatrical release, the buzz is starting to build once more. No doubt, PBS will have
a marathon at some point to get us back up to speed, but for a more concise primer, this two-hour special promises to recap the most memorable and integral moments from the series that was, while also giving us new footage of the film to come. Naturally, the whole affair is hosted by
Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), whose insights into both the upstairs and downstairs happenings remain unparalleled. The only thing that would make this even better? Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan) co-hosting; alas, unlike the butler and housekeeper’s against-the-odds love story, we fear this union simply is not to be.
4. Property Brothers: Forever Home – Monday, June 3, 10 p.m., 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., HGTV I Series Premiere
HGTVWhen it comes to lifestyle television, Vancouver’s own Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, continue to be the gold standard, striking just the right balance of humour and home-reno savvy to carve out their own unique niche in this competitive genre. The latest spinoff of their HGTV flagship is Property Brothers: Forever Home, which finds the Scotts helping families whose current property requires a complete overhaul in order to transform each into a “forever home” by renovating key spaces according to the family’s unique needs.
5. American Experience – Tuesday, June 4, 8 p.m., KCTS
PBSOne of the most important moments in America’s gay rights movement takes centre stage in this instalment of American Experience. Back in 1969, the Stonewall Inn was one of the most popular gay bars in New York’s Greenwich Village, but when the NYPD raided the establishment (for dubious cause) on June 28th of that year, the patrons didn’t go quietly. Over the course of the next six days, Greenwich Village became home to a violent protest, one which has subsequently been referred to as a turning point in the modern gay civil rights movement. We’ll learn all about it in Stonewall Uprising.
6. America’s Got Talent – Tuesday, June 4, 8 p.m, City & NBC
NBCIf Terry Crews should gain the nickname “Mr. NBC,” he won’t mind.
Still co-starring on critically beloved cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which relocated to that network in the television season just ended, the athlete-turned-actor added hosting duties on America’s Got Talent: The Champions this past winter. Now, he’s overseeing the parent contest, too: Crews succeeds Tyra Banks (and before her, Nick Cannon) as America’s Got Talent returns for its 14th NBC season. Crews isn’t the only newcomer
for this round, since Dancing With
the Stars alum Julianne Hough and actress Gabrielle Union (Breaking In) assume Heidi Klum’s and Mel B’s former seats on the judging panel alongside returnees Howie Mandel—marking his 10th anniversary as part of the show
—and Simon Cowell, who created the international Got Talent format and continues to serve as an executive producer.
7. Black Mirror – Wednesday, June 5, Netflix I Season Premiere
NetflixThe fifth season of the acclaimed anthology has arrived, and—at
a mere three episodes—it’s the shortest to date. Actors this time out include Avengers: Endgame’s Anthony Mackie, BlacKkKlansman’s Topher Grace and, oddly enough, Miley Cyrus. While the storylines are being kept under wraps, expect the new episodes to continue tapping into society’s growing unease with the modern world, tackling themes of techno-paranoia with Black Mirror’s signature panache.
8. Grown-ish – Wednesday, June 5, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m., ABC Spark I Season Premiere
FreeformThe first spinoff from ABC’s black-ish returns for the summer with new episodes centred around eldest Johnson daughter Zoey and her college chums. Hopefully, it’ll be enough to hold you over until the second black-ish spinoff, mixed-ish, premieres on ABC this fall.
9. Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City – Friday, June 7, Netflix I Series Premiere
NetflixLauren Morelli was only 11 years old when Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) made her first televised trek to Barbary Lane in San Francisco. But when the Orange Is the New Black writer received a call to come in and consult on the series reboot of Tales of the City, she dove into Armistead Maupin’s book series about a young woman whose sheltered world opens up when she, on a whim, decides to extend her visit to San Francisco permanently.
“It was such a lovely experience to get to read those books fresh at this age, and to really revel in how progressive I find Armistead’s stories and voice still,” says Morelli. “The story he was telling in 1978 still feels so relevant and still feels so important, even now. It’s very rare that I pick up a book and find a giant community of diverse queer characters who are being portrayed living their lives rather than there for shock value.”
Morelli’s consulting gig soon turned into a stab at writing the pilot, eventually ending in her heading up the entire show. Tales is now her baby, albeit one she feels has been raised by a village. “The lovely thing about Tales of the City is that it’s a show about a community and I feel like a community is also responsible for making it,” she says. “While I felt a great deal of responsibility for the storytelling and the characters, they’re of course originally Armistead’s. And there was also this really amazing creative team, some of whom executive produced the original as well. It’s a really lovely amalgamation, of all of our voices.”
A diverse community remains at the core of the beloved series, when Mary Ann makes her return to 28 Barbary Lane to attend Anna Madrigal’s (Olympia Dukakis) 90th birthday party. “She’s intersecting with a lot of people that she has very rich, complicated history with and at the centre of that is Shawna [Ellen Page], her adopted daughter, who Mary Ann left 25 years ago,” says Morelli.
10. Warrior – Friday, June 7, 10 p.m., HBO Canada I Season Finale
HBO CanadaThe genre-bending period piece, which was inspired by the writings of Bruce Lee and has blended martial arts and dramatic flair to truly singular effect, wraps its inaugural run. Good news for fans: the powers-that-be are so enamoured of this San Fran crime saga that production on season two began months ago in South Africa.