From reality reunions to comedy that's out of this world, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Real Housewives of Atlanta – Sunday, May 24, 7 p.m., Slice
SliceFans are used to seeing the Real Housewives come together for the post-season reunion specials, where their rivalries bubble over into face-to-face battles. This time out, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the show’s first-ever virtual reunion, and viewers will see if the ladies (egged on, as usual, by Andy Cohen) can maintain the same level of hostility remotely.
2. 2020 Canadian Screen Awards – Monday, May 25 to Thursday, May 28, Academy.ca
Academy.caWith this year’s ceremony cancelled, there are still awards to be handed out, via virtual presentations streaming on the website of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. The online shows will be narrated by the likes of Eric McCormack and Lloyd Robertson.
3. The Titan Games – Monday, May 25, 8 p.m., Global & NBC | Season Premiere
GlobalIf you’ve been searching for some motivation to head back to the gym (whenever gyms open back up), season two of this obstacle course series ought to do it. Dwayne Johnson returns to host the two-hour premiere, as contestants compete in a new set of challenges designed to test the mind, body and heart.
4. America's Got Talent – Tuesday, May 26, 8 p.m., City & NBC | Season Premiere
NBCIt’s a strange time for reality television across the board as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have forced so many productions to go dark. But some series, like American Idol, and now this endearingly wacky talent competition, are figuring out how to bring the same acts viewers know and love to television sets from the comfort of the contestants’ own homes. When the lights go up on season 15 this week, AGT will look markedly different than in times past. While the crew was able to film some live auditions before the coronavirus pandemic hit the States, ultimately producers decided their best bet would be to start accepting virtual auditions. Also going virtual? Host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and newcomer Sofía Vergara, hot off her 11-season run on Modern Family.
Someone who probably won’t be tuning in? Gabrielle Union. The former judge was cut loose after raising complaints about a hostile work environment and in general just not vibing with Simon Cowell. While Union is the only one to make such claims thus far, it did spark an internal investigation by the network and studio. So indeed, you can bet the judges’ panel will themselves be under heavy scrutiny this year.
5. Hannah Gadsby: Douglas – Tuesday, May 26, Netflix
NetflixMany a comedian has found mainstream success while managing to maintain a decidedly outside-the-box comedic style, but it’s fair to say that when it comes to standup sensations, Hannah Gadsby is in a realm of her own. In writing about Gadsby’s latest special, Time magazine set the stage for anyone who wasn’t already familiar with the Aussie comedian, referring to her as “a self-described butch lesbian writer-performer with autism” who “engaged and enraged audiences in 2018 with her show Nanette.”
Ironically, those enraged audiences only served to provide Gadsby with inspiration for Douglas, during which she reflects on how the majority of those who mouthed off about the audacious anti-comedy of her 2018 special were male, which leads her into... well, we don’t want to spoil anything. Let’s just say that the inspiration leads her down some rather hysterical paths. It’s also worth mentioning that anyone concerned about Douglas being as serious at heart as its predecessor needn’t worry. “It’s really playful,” she told The Guardian late last year. “I’m having more fun onstage. Which is important for me, because I put myself through the wringer performing Nanette.”
By the way, the special is called Douglas because it’s named after her dog, which also explains why Netflix has described it as “a tour from the dog park to the Renaissance and back.” But we like Gadsby’s own take better: as she said in the special’s trailer, “It’s gonna be good! Unless you don’t like it—then it’s still gonna be good, and you’ll be wrong.”
6. Game On! – Wednesday, May 27, 8 p.m., Global & CBS | Series Premiere
GlobalFormer Key & Peele star Keegan-Michael Key is host of this new game show from producer James Corden, based on Corden’s own long-running U.K. show, A League of Their Own. Originally slated to premiere back on May 20th, Game On! introduces two three-person teams, captained by tennis champ and entrepreneur Venus Williams and Super Bowl champ Rob Gronkowski. Also along for the ride are comedians Bobby Lee and Ian Karmel in addition to a rotating roster of sports stars, comedians and celebrities. The teams will go head to head in over-the-top physical challenges, from seeing who can dunk the most basketballs over a tank of water while harnessed on a bungee cord, to taking on a sumo wrestler in the ring. In addition, the teams will also have their sports knowledge put to the test with an array of trivia questions, such as “Which football player cried the longest after winning a championship?” and “Which of these athletes was the largest baby when they were born?”
7. Siren – Thursday, May 28, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., ABC Spark | Season Finale
ABC SparkThere’s an epic undersea battle in store for the mermaid tribes in this week’s third-season finale, with Hope’s life very much on the line. As Ryn and Ben confront Tia under the waves, back on shore, Maddie and Robb work together to find a cure for Xander, and Helen tries to help the hybrids restore order.
8. Central Park – Friday, May 29, AppleTV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+Right in the middle of Central Park in New York City lives the Tillerman family. Dad Owen (Leslie Odom, Jr.) is caretaker of the 843-acre area, which means he lives on the grounds with his journalist wife Paige (Kathryn Hahn) and kids Cole (Tituss Burgess) and Molly (Kristen Bell). But their—and all New Yorkers’—happy, nature-filled existence comes under threat when filthy rich hotel heiress Bitsy Brandenham (Stanley Tucci) devises an evil plan to turn the park into condos for the wealthy.
9. Defending Jacob – Friday, May 29, AppleTV+ | Series Finale
Apple TV+The show that brought Chris Evans to the small screen wraps its limited run. As the shocking crime that rocked a small Massachusetts town is at last unravelled, the truth about Jacob’s actions will be revealed, while his parents make one last desperate bid to save him.
10. Space Force – Friday, May 29, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixThe youngest branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, Space Force, was established in December 2019 and is the space warfare service of the U.S. army. It’s a former faction of the Air Force that, after feeling like the branch’s ugly stepchild for too long, has separated into an independent agency, and today the mission of Space Force is to establish space superiority and offensive and defensive space control. But above all—amusing as this may sound—Space Force is a very real thing.
Inspired by the comedic potential of this new agency, Greg Daniels—master of workplace comedies—and his former Office star Steve Carell take a stab at figuring out what’s going on behind the scenes of this unique workplace.
Carell stars as General Mark Naird, who finds himself in charge of Space Force and relocated to its secret base in Colorado. Though initially excited about his promotion, he soon discovers he’s perpetually stuck between a rock made out of political interests and a hard place guided by science.