From the series finale of Fear the Walking Dead to Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham’s musical holiday special, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Börje: The Journey of a Legend – Sunday, November 19, Viaplay | Series Premiere
This six-part drama series is inspired by the remarkable true story of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey legend Börje Salming (played by Valter Skarsgård), who was affectionately known as “The King” during his 16-year career with the Leafs, particularly during the NHL’s ultra-aggressive 1970s era. The series follows Salming’s journey from a small-town Swedish outcast struggling to find his place in society, to becoming a beloved and world-famous hockey player and trailblazer for European players in the NHL. The series also focuses on the unconditional love between Börje (who died from ALS in November 2002) and wife Margitta (Hedda Stiernstedt), who follows him to Canada. As he’s thrown into instant hockey stardom, Margitta struggles to cope with the unwritten rules surrounding the team while navigating the norms of being married to the NHL player of the year. In addition, Jason Priestley stars as legendary Toronto hockey scout Gerry McNamara.
2. Fear the Walking Dead – Sunday, November 19, AMC | Series Finale
The original Walking Dead spinoff shambles and groans its way across the finish line, wrapping an eight-season run that, despite existing in the shadow of one of the most iconic series of all time, managed to carve out a bloody, poignant niche all its own on the TV landscape.
In tonight’s super-sized finale, the fates of our survivors will be revealed, as they go to war with both the dead and one another. As director Michael E. Satrazemis told Entertainment Weekly: “The entire back half of the season is really tight and really special. We have some very big-scope episodes. We’ve got a couple down the rabbit hole sort of episodes where we take a little right turn and hook away. They’re going to be surprising and beautiful. This back half [of season eight] is very emotional. Every cast member has an amazing episode. And it has a proper ending.”
3. Stamped From the Beginning – Monday, November 20, Netflix
In his book Stamped From the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, author Dr. Ibram X. Kendi explores the history of anti-Black racist ideas and the impact they’ve had on the United States. Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams expands on those themes in this new documentary, with music and visual sampling injected to create vivid storytelling with a hip-hop sensibility in order to explain how racist ideas became imbedded within American culture, in order to then deconstruct them. Williams has tapped some key figures, including political activist Angela Davis, to bring the past alive through the stories of historical figures who took radical stands against racism, including poet Phyllis Wheatley, memoirist Harriet Jacobs and journalist Ida B. Wells. Williams also tackles the whitewashed legacies of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, and explores the problem with pervasive white saviour narratives. Discussing Stamped From the Beginning in an interview with Time, Williams explained why he felt it was necessary to make this documentary. “I can’t escape from the realities of being a Black man in America, so I’m going to talk about those realities,” Williams explained. “I am constantly exploring the realities of my existence as a gay man and a Black man and if I don’t explore them, then who is?”
4. The Lazarus Project – Tuesday, November 21, Showcase | Season Premiere
One of the most genuinely striking science fiction series of the past decade returns for season two, as George (Paapa Essiedu) and the rest of the Lazarus Project agents must face the consequences of his decision to use their time-jump technology to save the love of his life—in the process putting the lives of every other man, woman and child on the planet in jeopardy.
With everyone caught in a three-week time loop, teetering on the edge of oblivion, the stakes couldn’t be higher, as both the fate of humankind and the soul of our protagonist hang in the balance.
There is, indeed, a certain visceral thrill to The Lazarus Project, and some fascinating ideas of temporal mechanics being dissected. But the true strength of the show lies in its deft blend of the intellectual and the intimate, the global and the personal, the plot-driven and the character-driven.
As creator Joe Barton told TV Week recently: “That was the big thing with series one, was that we had this concept of time loops and the ‘checkpoint day’ and the machine and this organization... I was always confident that once people got it, once they got that idea, that they would come along with us for the ride. But you have to get it across quickly and succinctly and in an entertaining way. That’s the challenge. We tried a few different things. There was a scene in the first series where Paapa asks Anjli [Mohindra] how all this works. And she says, ‘Unless you have a degree in physics, you won’t understand it.’ It’s trial and error [as a writer]. You have to ask yourself, ‘Would I be enjoying learning this information?’ And obviously it helps when you have actors who can come in and sell this... well, it’s not nonsense, but it is all basically made-up stuff—and you have to buy it.”remaining pairs will advance to one final, winner-take-all hole to decide who hoists the Cup.
5. Leo – Tuesday, November 21, Netflix
Adam Sandler continues his exceptionally lucrative arrangement with Netflix, this time producing and starring in an animated family comedy about a “jaded, 74-year-old lizard” who’s spent his entire life in the terrarium of a Florida classroom, who learns he’s only got one year to live and sets out to bust loose.
6. Swan Song – Wednesday, November 22, CBC | Series Premiere
This four-part docuseries immerses viewers inside the National Ballet of Canada as it mounts a legacy-defining new production of Swan Lake, directed by ballet icon Karen Kain on the eve of her retirement. With full access granted to the filmmakers, the verité-driven documentary follows Kain and a group of young dancers, weaving Swan Lake’s dramatic creation process with intimate scenes from the subjects’ personal lives as they push toward one of the most significant nights in their company’s history, chronicling creative conflicts, devastating injuries and personal sacrifices amongst its subjects who, in various ways, confront ideals of race, class and body standards.
7. The Earthshot Prize – Wednesday, November 22, KCTS
Celebrate the annual ceremony of Prince William’s prestigious environmental award, with this year’s star-studded event honouring this year’s five winners and showcasing their innovative solutions to help repair the planet within the next 10 years.
8. Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas – Wednesday, November 22, Apple TV+
A veteran performer of screen and stage, British actress Hannah Waddingham saw her career soar to new heights upon the debut of Apple TV+’s hit soccer comedy Ted Lasso. Playing relatably messy team owner Rebecca Welton for three seasons has netted her an Emmy and several high-profile roles in other projects like Hocus Pocus 2 and PBS’s Tom Jones. Now, she’s parlaying that success into her very own holiday special, which finds the triple threat showing off her considerable pipes live at the London Coliseum, crooning yuletide favourites and sharing the stage with a few, as-yet-unannounced special guests. Will her Ted Lasso co-star Jason Sudeikis be among them? Wouldn’t that be a kick!
9. Squid Game: The Challenge – Wednesday, November 22, Netflix | Series Premiere
Back in September of 2021, with the world still very much in COVID lockdown mode, isolating audiences found a most peculiar way to pass the time, watching a tongue-in-cheek South Korean thriller called Squid Game. It was about a group of disenfranchised people given the chance to win some life-changing money by competing on a twisted game show. Alas, only after the competition began did they realize it was more than cash on the line: it was their very survival.
It became one of the most popular original series in Netflix history, and a second season is, of course, on the way. But before that, we’re getting a reality spinoff that recruits 456 real-life contestants to battle it out in an array of devious, brutal, Squid Game-inspired challenges for a potential prize of $4.56 million. Some of the “games” will be plucked directly from the TV show, while others will be brand new.
Details beyond that are scant, but we have to imagine that the punishment for failure will be less severe than evisceration. (Indeed, the requisite “deaths” will be signified by exploding red dye packs.) And yet, all the same, “strategies, alliances and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated,” and genuine friendships crumble, heartbreakingly, in the face of all that cold, hard cash.
10. 97th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Thursday, November 23, NBC
Our neighbours to the south celebrate their annual day of thanks, as usual, with an eclectic array of floats and celebs, all sponsored by a department store. This year, those celebs include Cher, Bell Biv DeVoe, Pentatonix and Josh Gad.