From comic book vigilantes to feminist movie heroes, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Star Trek: Discovery – Sunday, November 12, 5 p.m. & 8 p.m., Space | Season Finale
SpaceCBS’s acclaimed reinvention of the iconic space adventure series prepares to beam down one last episode, before the show heads off on a two-month holiday hiatus. Throughout the first nine episodes, Discovery has distinguished itself from all the Trek shows that came before with its darker tone, bigger budget and heavily serialized (as opposed to adventure-of-the-week) storytelling. We’ve followed First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) and their crew down the fraught path to war with the Klingons and we’re expecting nothing less than another nail-biting cliffhanger with this instalment, “Into the Forest I Go,” which is based on the old adage, “Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”
Given that Michael has caused her share of grief in this war (and done as much as she can to undo the damage), we’re hoping this means a huge landmark moment for the leading lady and her journey of self-“discovery.” (See what we did there?)
Also, rumour has it fans can look forward to the arrival of a certain blast from the past.
2. The Simpsons – Sunday, November 12, 7:30 p.m., Global; 8 p.m., Fox
FoxIt’s well known that Mayor Quimby is a less-than-scrupulous public official (hookers and bribes and misappropriated tax dollars, oh my!). Well, Marge has finally had enough and decides to run for the office herself, but to sway voters, she starts making jokes at Homer’s expense, which works surprisingly well.
3. War Art with Eddie Redmayne – Monday, November 13, 9 p.m. & Midnight, Knowledge
Knowledge NetworkYou may know Eddie Redmayne best as a thespian—he did, after all, win the Best Actor Oscar for The Theory of Everything and headlined one of last year’s biggest blockbusters in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them—but when he was a student at Cambridge University, his field of study was art history. Now that he’s kind of a big deal, Redmayne is in a position to combine his fame with his interests and he’s doing so by hosting this look at the history of war art, wherein he meets with artists in their studios, visits museums to check out individual pieces and travels to the sites of past battles immortalized in war art.
4. American Horror Story: Cult – Tuesday, November 14, 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., FX Canada | Season Finale
FX CanadaThe jury is still out on whether this clown-filled chapter has won over fans who’d grown weary of this long-in-the-tooth horror anthology. But—at the very least—it’s given us some of the most nightmarish imagery in series history. The politically charged paranoia comes to an end with a finale titled “Great Again.”
5. The Blacklist – Wednesday, November 15, 8 p.m., City & NBC
CityThere’s a large assortment of feds, spooks and crooks populating the world of The Blacklist, and each of them has their own unique connection and way of dealing with the man at the centre of it all, Red Reddington. Even the best of these bonds don’t tend to get much cuddlier than uneasy truce.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the working relationship between Red and Tom. Both shady characters at their cores, the men have tolerated each other because of their respective feelings for Liz; but even that can only take them so far.
In this week’s winter finale, when Tom vanishes, Liz does everything she can to track him down while Red’s own hunt for a certain incriminating suitcase full of bones puts him on a direct collision course with his missing frenemy. It’s been a long time coming.
6. SEAL Team – Wednesday, November 15, 9 p.m., Global & CBS
GlobalAfter 12 seasons of quippy crime-solving on Bones, David Boreanaz was eager to find another project that would equally engage him as an actor. The producers of SEAL Team connected Boreanaz with a Navy SEAL whose real-life experiences fascinated the actor. “We all go to bed and are cozy in our blankets at nighttime, and there are people out there that are fighting for our freedom and are fighting for us,” says the actor. “I think what’s interesting is, when he comes home, how he deals with his own inner turmoil and how he deals with his personal life. That was one of the things that mainly drew me to the show.”
What drew Canadian actress Jessica Paré (Mad Men) to SEAL Team was the idea that the series could be a way for people to find new perspective on topics that often cause heated debate. “So many people could really stand to step back from their very long-held and perhaps static convictions to have a deeper conversation,” she says. “That’s the opportunity that I personally welcome in this project.”
7. Project Runway – Thursday, November 16, 5 p.m. & 11 p.m., Bravo | Season Finale
BravoOne of the longest-enduring entries in the reality TV genre has been this show about wannabe fashion designers, who are willing to sew their fingers down to the bone, scrambling to complete host Tim Gunn’s every haute couture challenge, that they might distinguish themselves as the next Ralph Lauren or Donatella Versace. Several networks (and a shortlived Canadian version) later, the series is still alive and kicking as the 16th season comes to a close this week.
As judges Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia (the creative director for Marie Claire) and designer Zac Posen prepare to name this season’s winner, it’s worth tipping our hats to a season that has—for the first time in the show’s history—put an emphasis on diversity by including models ranging from size zero to 22 (a long-overdue development). With two more seasons coming down the pike in the near future thanks to an early renewal, let's hope they keep it up.
8. 9 to 5 – Thursday, November 16, 8 p.m., ENC2
IMDBJane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin play three secretaries who have disparate personalities but share one thing in common: they’re all sick of their sexist boss (Dabney Coleman). To get revenge, they kidnap him, but the situation soon escalates to a level that they never planned.
9. Marvel's The Punisher – Friday, November 17, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixIf ever there was a clear definition of an antihero, Marvel’s Frank Castle certainly fits the bill. Nicknamed the Punisher, the tortured vigilante took no prisoners as he systematically avenged the brutal killings of his wife and kids in season two of Daredevil. What sets him apart from other heroes, even dark ones like Daredevil and Batman, is that Frank Castle has no desire whatsoever to lock the bad guys up — his mission is to put them in the ground. The grizzled ex-soldier now returns to Netflix in his own spinoff series that digs into the larger conspiracy that led to the death of his family, and, as expected, there’s no room for mercy.
10. Tim & Faith: soul2soul – Friday, November 17, 8 p.m., TMN1
ShowtimeSuperstar spouses Tim McGraw and Faith Hill hit the road again this past summer, and this two-hour special documents their acclaimed Soul2Soul world tour. In addition to concert footage, also included are never-before-seen interviews and behind-the-scenes footage capturing their chemistry on and off the stage.