From Oscar-winning foreign flicks to celebrity good deeds, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Celebrity IOU – Monday, June 21, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., HGTV
HGTVTV’s got no shortage of feel-good home renovation shows—ones that aim to help struggling families win dream homes, or offer surprise renos to community heroes who never stop to think about themselves.
This Property Brothers-hosted effort does much the same, but it stands out for one simple reason: lots and lots of Hollywood celebrities! (Melissa McCarthy, Viola Davis, Brad Pitt, etc.). Of course, it’s not the celebs themselves who are having their guest bathrooms retiled or their pool houses turned into pool mansions; rather, each week, the featured star chooses someone who made an impact on them before fame and fortune, and surprises that person with a well-deserved housing upgrade.
The second half of season two arrives this week. B.C.’s own wonder twins Drew and Jonathan Scott are back, of course, and once again they’re welcoming a slew of A-listers, including Emmy-winner Darren Criss, Kevin Hart, Howie Mandel, Josh Groban, Ali Wong, LeAnn Rimes and Gwyneth Paltrow.
In week one, it’s all about the Kardashians—specifically, Kris, Kim and Kendall—as they whip up a surprise “backyard retreat.”
2. Motherland: Fort Salem – Tuesday, June 22, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., ABC Spark
ABC SparkIn the second season of this drama set in an alternate reality ruled by witchcraft, the trio of young warrior witches defending America confront higher stakes, dangerous magic and a deadly new threat from an ancient group of witch hunters known as the Camarilla.
3. Good on Paper – Wednesday, June 23, Netflix
NetflixAfter years of putting her career ahead of love, standup comic Andrea (played by real-life standup Iliza Shlesinger) has stumbled upon the perfect guy, Dennis (Veronica Mars’ Ryan Hansen), a quirky nerd with disarming charm who coaxes her into letting her guard down. On paper, he checks all the boxes but is he everything he appears to be? Her best friend Margot (Margaret Cho) senses something’s fishy, and urges Andrea to embark on a wild goose chase to uncover who Dennis really is.
4. The Blacklist – Wednesday, June 23, 10 p.m., Global & NBC | Season Finale
GlobalIt’s more father-daughter dramatics in the season-eight ender as Red “makes a disturbing request to Liz in exchange for the truth about his identity.” Whatever the result, rest assured: season nine of this conspiracy thriller is already in the works.
5. Making It – Thursday, June 24, 8 p.m., CTV & NBC | Season Premiere
CTVParks and Rec co-stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are back for a third instalment indulging their love of arts and crafts in this NBC competition. Specifically, the challenges in this COVID-era season look to emphasize “how making things brings together communities, friends, neighbours and families.”
6. Girls5Eva – Thursday, June 24, 9 p.m. & 9:40 p.m., W Network | Season Finale
W NetworkHamilton star Renée Elise Goldsberry chats with TV Week about her career, her aspirations as a teen and her well-received comedy hit, Girls5Eva.
TV Week: How much fun was it to shoot those throwback music videos?
I’m a child of the MTV era. I definitely grew up in my house copying every single thing anyone ever did in a music video. When I was trying to be in a girl group in the ’90s, that’s what we did; we had a reference from our childhood that we were trying to emulate, and that’s what we did as actors in [this show]... It’s something that I think more middle-aged people should have a chance to do, and I think that’s why TikTok is so successful [laughs]. Because you never want to feel like you’re too old to pull out your best ’90s moves and sing some ’90s licks with other people.
Given that you were once pursuing pop stardom, is there an alternate timeline where you landed where your character, Wickie Roy, is today?
Oh, for sure! That could’ve happened. I think I would’ve done a better job. If I had been a part of a one-hit-wonder girl group and I had a chance to go solo, I don’t think it would’ve not worked for the same reasons it didn’t work for Wickie. I don’t think I would’ve said, “My background singers are not allowed to wear makeup.” There are some ridiculous diva moments that she had that blew it for her.
Just how much of a game-changer was Hamilton for your career?
I always say that success in the current world of media that we have is sometimes so siloed—it’s explosions in different areas. And what was so unique about Hamilton is that it feels like it popped [with] so many different demographics. It did what theatre had never done in my lifetime... And it gave us an opportunity to do all kinds of things—to be in films, to put out albums, to be in television shows, to create television shows. My company of actors in Hamilton are just beginning to blossom into the kind of artists and the kind of innovators they’re going to be.
7. Good Girls – Thursday, June 24, 9 p.m. & 10 p.m., NBC
NBCSure, this show began as a trio of suburban moms who were trying to make some cash so they could support their families. But can anyone deny that the main selling point so far in season four has been the ladies’ partner/nemesis/love interest Rio (Manny Montana) and learning more about his backstory? Luckily, when the season returns this week (with two back-to-back new episodes), we’ll glean lots more about the character with a little help from his councilman cousin/brother Nick (Ignacio Serricchio).
“We tackle [Rio’s] origin story, and how he evolved from being a teenager into the criminal he is today and where he first developed his swagger and how he came into prominence,” showrunner Bill Krebs teased to Distractify. “Part of the reason why he’s been so smooth is he was influenced by someone else in his life... who is also a part of his crime ring, and will ultimately end up being a part of a love triangle.”
8. Sex/Life – Friday, June 25, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixInspired by author BB Easton’s 2016 memoir 44 Chapters About 4 Men, Sex/Life stars Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest) as a housewife named Billie who, of course, loves her children. However, she’s also struggling to settle into life as a devoted wife and mother if it means losing herself in that role. In exploring her turmoil, the show features detailed flashbacks of Billie’s life before marriage and motherhood, including plenty of hot-and-steamy scenes with a former lover named Brad (Adam Demos, UnREAL). That rose-tinted view of the past can be titillating for any parent who feels their sense of self slipping away, but for Billie in particular those memories are a lifeline.
To authentically capture this aspect of the female experience, producers enlisted a lineup of all-female directors and mostly female writers, and made use of, for instance, breast prosthetics to showcase the transition of a woman’s body pre- and post-baby.
“It was just super-juicy. It’s like biting into the richest piece of chocolate I’ve ever had,” Shahi explained to Entertainment Weekly. “The way [they] wrote about sexuality and female sexuality was just so refreshing. I felt like it was just so important also to get that out... I think society sometimes tells mothers that they can only be that one thing. That’s not true. Just because we are moms, we don’t have to let those days where you just felt wild and free go. Is there a way to be both? For me, that was a big theme in my life.”
9. Wolfgang – Friday, June 25, Disney+
Disney+As a teenager in Austria, Wolfgang Puck harnessed his love of cooking to escape the harsh rule of his stepfather. A local apprenticeship forged his path to train at a revered French restaurant before the ambitious young chef landed in America at age 24. Making his way to Los Angeles, Puck found himself immersed in the Hollywood scene of the 1970s when he began working at posh restaurant Ma Maison, crafting an original menu around fresh ingredients. Thanks to Puck, the once-tacky eatery became a favourite of the Hollywood elite; however, the lack of acknowledgement from Ma Maison’s owner pushed Puck to take the biggest risk of his career and open his first restaurant, Spago, an instant hit where celebrity clientele dote equally on Puck’s unique version of new American cuisine and his larger-than-life personality.
Almost by accident, Puck created the concept of “celebrity chef” with his decades-spanning TV appearances, building a staggering global empire of restaurants, cafes and products for home cooks, yet behind the scenes all those frenetic professional demands created chaos in his personal life.
From famed documentary filmmaker David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi), and the creators of Chef’s Table, Wolfgang presents a candid, inspiring and emotional documentary that follows a culinary legend reckoning with the price of his dreams.
10. Another Round – Friday, June 25, 8 p.m., Crave1
CraveWinner of Best International Feature at the 2021 Oscars, this Danish flick stars Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) as a teacher who’s stuck in a rut... until he and three colleagues, taking their cue from a Norwegian psychiatrist, vow to keep themselves a little drunk all through the school day.