From groundbreaking dramas to dishy reality favourites, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Story of Late Night – Sunday, May 2, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., CNN | Series Premiere
CNNThis six-part docuseries takes a deep dive into the world of late-night talk shows, taking viewers on a journey through the storied genre’s most memorable moments.
Spanning a history of more than 60 years of engaging with, adapting to and influencing our rapidly changing society, late-night television has grown into a thriving entertainment phenomenon and vitally important cultural institution. The series features archival footage of late-night legends such as Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and David Letterman, alongside interviews with today’s popular comedic voices, including Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Chelsea Handler, Trevor Noah, Conan O’Brien, Seth Meyers, James Corden, Amber Ruffin, Desus & Mero, Whoopi Goldberg, W. Kamau Bell and many more. Behind-the-scenes decision makers including Lorne Michaels and Jeff Zucker are also featured, offering their own firsthand accounts of an entertainment medium that changed the face of television forever.
2. Bless the Harts – Sunday, May 2, 7:30 p.m., City & Fox
CityAs the Harts struggle to repair their old car (as much for sentimental reasons as anything else), Wayne and his best buddy Travis (guest star Kenan Thompson) chase their shared dream of opening a bar. Get your fill of the Hart clan while you can, as it’s just been announced this second season will be the show’s last.
3. Pose – Sunday, May 2, 7 p.m. & 8 p.m. (repeating at 10 p.m. & 11 p.m.), FX Canada | Season Premiere
FX CanadaIt’s one of the most groundbreaking shows of the past decade, with the largest-ever transgender cast in TV history, and the first leading-actor Emmy win for an openly gay Black man (Billy Porter as the one, the only Pray Tell). But alas, all good things must come to an end—and often, that end is far sooner than we’d like. Such is the case for FX’s New York drag-culture-drama, which is set to wrap after just three seasons.
When we pick back up, the action has jumped ahead to 1994, and Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) has a lot more than the ballroom on her mind. As a mom juggling new love and a new job as a nurse’s aide at Roosevelt Hospital, she’s got plenty to keep her busy and pull her away from the drag scene.
Then, in the second of two back-to-back instalments, we check in with Pray Tell, whose alcoholism has hit new lows.
With AIDS emerging as the leading cause of death for Americans aged 25 to 44, not to mention a ferocious new House that has all the members of House Evangelista pondering their legacy, it’s bound to be an eventful seven episodes.
4. American Masters – Monday, May 3, 6 p.m., WTVS; 9 p.m., KCTS
PBSThe new documentary Amy Tan: Unintended Memoir profiles the life and literary career of the titular author, known for such novels as The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife. Archival imagery—including home movies and personal photographs—are interwoven with animation and original interviews to bring viewers an intimate portrait of this groundbreaking writer in the final film from documentarian James Redford (son of screen icon Robert Redford), who passed away in October. Recalling her career trajectory during one of the interviews, Tan admits she’s bemused by the way it all turned out. “Often I think I’m dreaming my life,” she says.
5. Selena: The Series – Tuesday, May 4, Netflix
NetflixGet ready to have “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” stuck in your head all over again. The bittersweet saga of Tejano music superstar Selena Quintanilla (Walking Dead alum Christian Serratos) returns for its back half this week. In the midseason finale, Selena’s father had just fired her guitarist (and eventual husband) after catching wind of their affair, and the family had just met Yolanda Saldívar (Natasha Perez), a.k.a. the president of Selena’s fan club who eventually ended the musician’s life at the age of 23. But there’s still quite the rollercoaster to go—a few more giddy highs and devastating lows—till we reach that horrific conclusion.
The first few episodes back highlight Selena’s struggle to balance family and romance with her skyrocketing fame, as she becomes one of the most successful, revered Mexican-American singers of all time.
6. The Real Housewives of New York City – Tuesday, May 4, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., Slice | Season Premiere
SlicePour yourself a big ol’ glass of WTF, because the Housewives of the Big Apple are back and, as ever, they’re packing some outsized drama befitting the city that never sleeps.
Season 13 of this spinoff is missing one familiar face (farewell, Dorinda Medley) but it welcomes a new one: Eboni K. Williams, who also happens to be the first Black Housewife in this show’s history. Judging from the previews alone, she’s going to give all the women a serious run for their money in the antics department, and she’ll specifically go head-to-head with Luann de Lesseps. Meanwhile, Leah McSweeney, who joined the cast last season and brought an intriguingly fresh perspective as the youngest Housewife in this particular mix, continues to troll all of the ladies with her talk of “Hos” and “Karens.”
And while viewers with a delicate constitution may want to have earplugs at the ready for some of the high-pitched arguments that will inevitably go down, it looks as though there’s some good clean fun in store this season too—from a nude painting class to a trip to historic Salem, Massachusetts. (Insert “witch” joke here.)
7. The Circle – Wednesday, May 5, Netflix | Season Finale
NetflixSeason two of this reality experiment has been more Machiavellian than ever, in part because the players know a little more about what to expect from the show, but also because... well, who doesn’t consider themselves a quarantine expert at this point?
Still, this Internet-enabled cross between Big Brother and Catfish is so inherently bizarre, surprises are no doubt in store for viewers and contestants alike. After weeks of emojis, DMs, cameos (Hi there, Chloe from Too Hot to Handle!) and snap judgments, all the action comes to a close with Wednesday’s finale.
At stake is $100,000, as the remaining players battle for the crown of top social media influencer. You may think you know who will take it home, but let’s not forget season one’s thoroughly unexpected winner: Joey Sasso. So, yeah, it’s still anyone’s game.
8. And Tomorrow the Entire World – Thursday, May 6, Netflix
NetflixGermany’s submission for Best International Feature at the 2021 Academy Awards, this provocative drama follows a young woman who joins protests against the rising tide of fascism—only to find herself drawn into increasingly dangerous situations while her own violent tendencies escalate. As a result, she must confront a profound personal dilemma in deciding whether she can justify using violence as a way to counter violence and bigotry.
9. Jupiter’s Legacy – Friday, May 7, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixJosh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb head up this dark comic book drama based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Mark Millar (Kick-Ass). It’s a generation-spanning saga that focuses on the world’s first-ever superheroes, as well as their grown-up kids, who struggle to escape mom and dad’s towering shadow.
10. Dynasty – Friday, May 7, 9 p.m., The CW | Season Premiere
The CWWill this be the year that the Carringtons finally implode? Well, yes, probably. But that doesn’t mean they won’t find a way to rise from the ashes, fiercer and soapier than ever. Grab the tea and settle in for a fourth season of decadent shenanigans. Things seem especially dire for the “dynasty” in tonight’s premiere, as the trailer hints at lots of financial strife (Blake wonders if someone has an extra couple of billions laying around), and even some violence (including Blake squaring off against a priest, and Anders pulling a gun on Adam).
Meanwhile, here’s hoping for some happier times too, especially as Fallon and Liam plan their wedding, which was originally supposed to go down in season three before the coronavirus halted production and put a pin in those filming plans.
“We would have seen Fallon and Liam get married, which we may still see next season,” showrunner Josh Reims previously teased to TVLine. He also revealed that, “Blake was going to finally go to war with Alexis, Jeff and Adam,” and that the show was, “Setting Sam up to have a new relationship.”
Meanwhile, one more thing to look forward to is the miraculously continued presence of Daniella Alonso as Cristal. If you’ll recall, she replaced exiting star Ana Brenda Contreras in the matriarchal role last season—after Contreras herself took over the part from Nathalie Kelley following season one. That makes her the longest-lasting Cristal yet. Way to go, Daniella! (But also, watch your back.)