From the series finale of The Walking Dead to Pete Davidson and Kaley Cuoco hooking up in a time-travelling rom-com, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. A Christmas Country Harmony – Sunday, November 20, CTV Life
CTV LifeSweet Magnolias stars Brooke Elliott and Brandon Quinn reunite in this holiday rom-com, starring as former country-music duo and ex-sweethearts Chrissy Kessler and Luke Covington. When the two exes run into each other years after Chrissy disappeared, leaving Luke high and dry, they discover the old spark is still there while realizing they can only survive the holidays with the other’s help.
2. The Walking Dead – Sunday, November 20, AMC | Series Finale
AMCWhen this zombie thriller debuted in 2010, not even the most optimistic AMC executive imagined it would turn into one of the biggest series on TV. Now, after 11 seasons of groundbreaking ratings, skull-crushing character deaths and more spinoffs than you can shake a crossbow at, the end is nigh.
Who lives? Who dies? Impossible to say! Well, not impossible, given that there are at least three more shows on the way over the next two years—all starring the original cast. Those include an untitled series led by fan-fave Daryl (Norman Reedus) that takes place in Europe; Dead City, a Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) romp set in New York; and the long-awaited return of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).
3. Welcome to Chippendales – Tuesday, November 22, Disney+ | Series Premiere
Disney+Years ago, when comedian Kumail Nanjiani got in such incredible shape for his Marvel role, he made headlines worldwide. Little did he—or his legions of fans—know that one day he would also play the guy who created the most popular male strip-club franchise of all time: Chippendales. In this miniseries based on a true story, Nanjiani is Indian immigrant Somen “Steve” Banerjee, a man who comes to America intending to work hard and make something of himself. But once he finds his niche in the exotic-dancing biz, things take a turn for the criminal.
It’s a role Nanjiani revealed to The Hollywood Reporter was “by far the most challenging job I’ve ever done”—one that will change minds. “He does bad things,” the actor continued. “You could say, ‘Well, this is a negative portrayal of an Indian guy,’ but you could also choose to look at it like it subverts the stereotype of the model minority.”
In real life, Banerjee transformed a single Los Angeles bar into a den of beefcakes that would eventually spread across the globe, raking in millions of dollars.
Banerjee’s tale, and that of Chippendales itself, will unfold over the course of eight episodes—a stranger-than-fiction true-crime affair rife with backstabbing, FBI informants, arson, death and a highly complex criminal investigation. (All of which was previously covered in A&E docuseries Secrets of the Chippendales Murders.) At the centre of the conflict is Banerjee’s partner Nick De Noia (The White Lotus Emmy-winner Murray Bartlett), the man who rode a signed napkin all the way to Phil Donohue and Sally Jessy Raphael; De Noia claimed he was the genius behind the brand, sparking fury and resentment from Chippendales’ actual creator. Juliette Lewis and Annaleigh Ashford round out the ensemble.
4. Echo 3 – Wednesday, November 23, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+This action-packed thriller, based on the award-winning Israeli series When Heroes Fly, follows Amber Chesborough, a brilliant young scientist who’s the emotional heart of a small American family. In a layered drama set against the explosive backdrop of a secret war, when Amber goes missing along the Colombia-Venezuela border, her brother, Bambi, and her husband, Prince—two men with military experience and complicated pasts—struggle to find her.
5. The Swimmers – Wednesday, November 23, Netflix
NetflixHaving won over audiences during its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festlival, this crowd-pleasing drama is based on a true story that begins in war-torn Syria and concludes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Sisters Yusra and Sara Mardini (played by real-life sisters Nathalie and Manal Issa) have pursued rigorous swim training with their father (Ali Suliman) since childhood. By 2015, with Syria’s devastating civil war escalating, their dreams of Olympic gold are quickly fading when they decide to risk the perilous journey to Europe. Accompanied by their cousin (Ahmed Malek), they escape first to Lebanon, then Turkey. Then, in a stunning sequence, they board a small boat overflowing with fellow refugees to cross a frequently lethal stretch of the Mediterranean Sea. When they finally reach their destination, they encounter swim coach Sven Spannekrebs (Matthias Schweighöfer), who offers the opportunity to fulfill their lifelong dream of reaching for Olympic glory.
6. Shaq – Wednesday, November 23, HBO Canada
HBO CanadaFeaturing a series of revealing interviews with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, this HBO original docuseries tells the story of a basketball legend unlike any other, whose larger-than-life personality transcended the sport and transformed him into a cultural icon. In addition to chronicling his ascent to superstardom, as a dominant force who won four NBA championships, league MVP honours and changed the game, Shaq also encompasses the man’s life off the court, from his upbringing in a military family to his deepest personal relationships and prosperous broadcasting and business careers. Among those interviewed for the series are: O’Neal’s teammates Penny Hardaway, Dwyane Wade, Dennis Scott, Brian Shaw, Derek Fisher and Rick Fox; head coaches Phil Jackson and Pat Riley; former Lakers general manager Jerry West; and members of O’Neal’s family, including his mother, Dr. Lucille O’Neal, siblings Jamal and Lateefah Harrison, and three of his kids—Taahirah, Shareef and Myles.
“We kept this documentary real from the start, and I do feel like it is the most honest look into my life and career up until this point,” said O’Neal in a statement. “This process allowed me to reflect publicly in a way I haven’t before, and I’m so proud of the work everyone has done to put it all together.”
7. Lizzo – Thursday, November 24, Crave
CraveThis new doc chronicles the journey of the trailblazing, flute-playing superstar who has become the movement the world desperately needed just by being herself. It’s taken Lizzo 10 years of hard work and perseverance to become an “overnight sensation,” and viewers will witness the inspirational story behind her humble beginnings and her meteoric rise, with an intimate look into the moments that shaped her rise to fame, success, love and international stardom. “Growing up I never dreamed I’d get to experience all of the things I’ve accomplished in my life, and I’m just getting started,” said Lizzo in a statement.
8. Disenchanted – Friday, November 25, Disney+
Disney+Startling though it may seem, it’s been 15 years since the release of Enchanted, the delightful blend of animation and live-action fairy tale fun which served for many as a gateway drug into the work of Amy Adams. Fans have been clamouring for a sequel ever since, and it’s finally come to pass with Disenchanted, which picks up the story of Giselle (Adams), who seemed—as is the case with all good fairy tales—to have lived happily ever after in New York City with her Prince Charming, a.k.a. Robert, played by Patrick Dempsey. Alas, life in the Big Apple has grown a bit much for Giselle, so she and Robert move their expanding family to the suburbs, specifically a community called Monroeville. Unfortunately, Giselle’s continued failure to find what she wants results in her decision to reach back to her magical homeland of Andalasia for assistance, only for her plan to backfire and transform Monroeville into a fairy tale. Can she figure out what to do to switch back the spell and return things to the way they were?
9. Meet Cute – Friday, November 25, Prime Video
Prime VideoWhat looks like love at first sight between Sheila (Kaley Cuoco) and Gary (Pete Davidson) isn’t, because she’s got a time machine and keeps reliving their first date over again.
10. Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special – Friday, November 25, Disney+
Disney+When it was first announced that James Gunn was going to be offering up a holiday special featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were understandably giddy. After all, between his work on the first two Guardians films as well as in his work on the DC Universe side of things (The Suicide Squad and the HBO Max series Peacemaker), Gunn has consistently proven that he’s one of the best directors in the superhero genre, showing an adeptness at delivering just the right mixture of action, humour and heart while also being unafraid to show the depth of his comic book knowledge by throwing in obscure characters and extremely nerdy Easter eggs. Since the announcement of this special, however, it has been revealed that we’re on the cusp of the conclusion of Gunn’s work with the MCU, since he and Peter Safran were recently named as co-chairs and co-CEOs of DC Studios, making this special somewhat bittersweet, since we know that there’s only one more Gunn-helmed project yet to come: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3, set for release on May 5 of next year. But why wallow in despair when there’s so much fun coming our way? Based on the trailer, Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special looks like it’s going to be an unbridled blast of sci-fi superhero entertainment. The plot revolves around Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) being severely bummed out after the departure of his beloved Gamora from the team, resulting in the rest of the Guardians deciding to try and help him get over his heartbreak. One way they’re apparently planning to do this: by kidnapping Kevin Bacon. Clearly, this won’t go well—we know this much from the trailer—but we’re psyched to see the full story of the special unfold.