From timely docs to daytime honours, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. United We Sing: A Grammy Salute to the Unsung Heroes – Sunday, June 21, 8 p.m., City & CBS
CBSHarry Connick, Jr. hosts this two-hour musical tribute to essential frontline workers. Watch for Cyndi Lauper, Little Big Town and Tim McGraw. And, of course, don’t be surprised to see Harry himself tickle the old ivories.
2. Perry Mason – Sunday, June 21, 8 p.m. & 12:25 a.m., HBO Canada | Series Premiere
HBO CanadaFor nine seasons, from 1957 to 1966, TV viewers tuned in each week to watch the courtroom adventures of crusading criminal defence lawyer Perry Mason, portrayed by Canadian Raymond Burr. More than 40 years after the final episode aired, HBO is debuting a reimagined reboot of Perry Mason that looks nothing like the iconic legal drama.
Drawing from the source material, Erle Stanley Gardner’s detective novels, this gritty version is set in the early 1930s, featuring Emmy-winner Matthew Rhys (The Americans) in the title role. Here, Perry Mason isn’t a lawyer—yet—but a war veteran recovering from a broken marriage, making ends meet as a private eye in Los Angeles.
3. Property Brothers: Forever Home – Monday, June 22, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., HGTV | Season Premiere
HGTVIf you’re finding it hard to keep track of all the shows Jonathan and Drew Scott have on the go, don’t blame yourself. The Canadian duo seem to be more popular than ever, both up here and in the States, with appearances on everything from Dancing With the Stars to A Very Brady Renovation to Celebrity IOU, not to mention a new season of the show that put them on the map, Property Brothers. Add in bank commercials, a furniture line and the fact that Drew is now dating the former New Girl herself Zooey Deschanel, and it seems like the B.C.-born twins really are everywhere.
This series, now entering its sophomore run, is a bit more personal, however, as the guys themselves settle into more adult lifestyles. In each episode, they meet a couple that, at some point, bought a fixer-upper; yet as the years ticked by, they were never quite able to find the time or money to transform it into a genuine dream home.
4. Snowpiercer – Monday, June 22, Netflix
TNTSeven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, the remnants of humanity survive by circling the globe in a perpetually moving locomotive. Snowpiercer, as the train is called, mirrors society on Earth, where the lower classes live in squalor within the guarded tail section while the elite occupy the front cars. A murder onboard rocks the carefully monitored ecosystem, requiring the upper-crust voice of the train, Melanie Cavill (Jennifer Connelly) to seek assistance from the tail end, in the shape of former homicide detective Andre Layton (Daveed Diggs). Though Layton’s cooperation is met with suspicion from both sides, he’s convinced his help could lead to better conditions for him and his friends—whether through negotiations or rebellion.
5. Athlete A – Wednesday, June 24, Netflix
NetflixWhen gymnast Maggie Nichols came forward to reveal that Larry Nassar, doctor for the U.S. gymnastics program, had sexually abused her, she was designated “Athlete A,” hence the title of this new Netflix doc, which delves into the horrifying facts about Nassar. A team of reporters from the Indianapolis Star began investigating claims levelled against the longtime USA Gymnastics physician, but it was as a result of Nichols’ bravery that hundreds more survivors of the man’s abuse came forward as well. Through interviews with the victims and their parents, filmmakers Jon Shenk and Bonni Cohen (An Inconvenient Sequel) tell us the whole sordid tale.
6. Crazy Delicious – Wednesday, June 24, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixWhat would Nailed It! look like if the contestants in question has a bit more culinary skill and were asked to whip up a savoury meal instead of a (not-so) Pinterest-worthy dessert? A little something like this U.K.-born home cooking series, in which participants are asked to make something “crazy delicious” (emphasis on the “crazy”) out of everyday ingredients, reinventing classics along the way.
7. Transhood — Wednesday, June 24, 8 p.m. & 12:55 a.m., HBO Canada
HBO CanadaFor those without a personal connection to someone who’s transgender, it can be difficult to grasp exactly what that descriptor means or what they’re going through. A new doc called Transhood aims to change all that, following four transgender kids in Kansas City—ages four, seven, 12 and 15—over a five-year period.
“I love to tell coming-of-age stories because transformation over time is fascinating to me,” director Sharon Liese told Women and Hollywood. “When I met with the Transgender Institute in Kansas City, I was immediately in awe of the people I met at support groups. I was especially drawn to the kids who were finding their voice and figuring out how to tell the world who they are. When I started filming five years ago, people knew even less than they do today about trans folks. I fell in love with the kids and their families immediately and wanted the world to see what I see in them.”
The film shows these children “coming of age” while also following the evolution of their families, who learn along with them just how hard it can be for a transgender child in the heartland of America.
8. Eurovision Song Contests: The Story of Fire Saga – Friday, June 26, Netflix
NetflixIn this new musical comedy, aspiring Scandinavian singer-songwriters Lars Erickssong (Will Ferrell) and Sigrit Ericksdottir (Canada’s own Rachel McAdams) get the opportunity of a lifetime when they’re chosen to represent their home nation of Iceland in the famed Eurovision Song Contest, in which songwriters throughout Europe face off in the world’s biggest song competition. But will their original composition—“Volcano Man”—hit all the right notes? They’ll find out as they finally have a chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.
In addition to Ferrell and McAdams, other stars in this Netflix Original include Pierce Brosnan (as Erik Erickssong, father of Ferrell’s character), former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and pop singer Demi Lovato as fellow Eurovision Song Contest competitors, and British talk show host Graham Norton as himself.
9. Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 – Friday, June 26, Disney+ | Series Premiere
Disney+This six-episode documentary series takes us behind the scenes on the making of the sequel to the animated Disney mega-hit, including an inside look at the voice performances of actors Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, Sterling K. Brown and Evan Rachel Wood.
10. 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards – Friday, June 26, 8 p.m., CBS
CBSThis year, the Daytime Emmys are back where many feel they should never have left—on television. A streaming-only event the past several years, the ceremony returns to CBS for its 47th annual edition this Friday. Like so many other pandemic-era specials lately, the program will be a “virtual” affair, with presenters and recipients participating via remote links.
Among the nominees are celeb chef Rachael Ray—up for both her eponymous, syndicated weekday show and her 30 Minute Meals revival on Food Network—and Sara Haines, a nominee in the Entertainment Talk Show and Host categories (along with Michael Strahan and Keke Palmer) for ABC’s Good Morning America spinoff Strahan & Sara & Keke, currently on broadcast hiatus but still offering fresh online content.