From a final foxtrot to holiday magic, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Us – Saturday, November 23, 8 p.m., Crave1
Crave1Sketch comic turned horror auteur Jordan Peele follows up his groundbreaking debut Get Out with an even more ambitious “social thriller.” Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o stars as Adelaide Wilson, who heads to Santa Cruz on holidays with her husband (Black Panther’s Winston Duke) and two kids. Then one night, their vacation home is invaded by doppelgängers — a family that looks exactly like them, except they’re feral, violent and have a bone to pick with their privileged counterparts, who’ve been living the good life while they toiled away, forgotten underground. It’s a long-overdue reckoning, and indeed the Wilsons aren’t the only ones whose bill has come due, as people the world over are brought face-to-face with their shadow selves.
2. 2019 American Music Awards – Sunday, November 24, 8 p.m., CTV & ABC
CTVIt’s been another year full of surprises, snubs and host-less broadcasts, but now, at long last, award season is starting to wind down. And while it never goes fully into hibernation (we’ve still a handful of smaller shows, like the Gotham Awards, and the Golden Globe nominations are right around the corner), the last big showbiz shindig bows tonight in the form of the American Music Awards. And indeed, these 2019 AMAs are not lacking in star power.
3. The Simpsons – Sunday, November 24, 8 p.m., City & Fox
CitytvA few weeks after their “Treehouse of Horror” Halloween episode, the writers offer up another bone-chilling, rib-tickling anthology, this one all about Turkey Day — featuring a riff on the very first Thanksgiving, a troublesome A.I. and “a dangerous space mission complicated by a sentient cranberry sauce.”
4. Dancing with the Stars – Monday, November 25, 8 p.m., City & ABC | Season Finale
CitytvThis may have been one of the most controversial seasons of the dancing series to date (Sean Spicer, anyone?) but the toes have been tapped, the votes have been cast and now all that’s left to do is to hand out the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy to one salsa-savvy celeb in this week’s finale.
5. Prodigal Son – Monday, November 25, 9:01 p.m., Global & Fox
GlobalParents, they mess you up. Even when they mean well, mom and dad leave an indelible imprint. And no one is quite as aware of a father’s impact as criminal profiler Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne, a.k.a. The Walking Dead’s Paul “Jesus” Rovia), whose deep insight into how killers think comes from daddy dearest being a notorious serial killer.
6. Bluff City Law – Monday, November 25, 10:01 p.m., City & NBC | Season Finale
CitytvJimmy Smits may be a small-screen legend, but in the age of Peak TV, star power doesn’t go quite so far as it used to. The first season of his legal drama wraps tonight after just 10 episodes, and while the series hasn’t officially been cancelled, odds of it returning for another run next year are reasonably doubtful.
7. The Irishman – Wednesday, November 27, Netflix
NetflixDe Niro. Pacino. Scorsese. Netflix. It’s a combination that has been generating a lot of conversation, particularly among theatre owners who again are divided on the relatively new practice of having only a limited run of a major movie that’s then made available to streaming-service subscribers shortly afterward.
The Irishman has stirred that pot again, heightened by the shared calibre of the talents involved... and much more should be heard about it when Netflix begins offering the film globally this Wednesday.
Much as Alfonso Cuarón was at the crux of a controversy for making Roma (for which he won his second Oscar as Best Director) exclusively for Netflix, Martin Scorsese is in that place for doing the same with The Irishman, which reunites his frequent collaborator Robert De Niro with Al Pacino. Those legendary Oscar winners both were in The Godfather Part II (1974) but didn’t share any scenes, something remedied by Michael Mann’s Heat (1995) and then again by the rightfully derided Righteous Kill (2008).
The Irishman is based on the true story of Frank Sheeran (De Niro), a trucker turned underworld underling who develops a problematic friendship with union leader Jimmy Hoffa (Pacino). In the tradition of such other Scorsese films as Goodfellas, Casino and The Departed, the alliance becomes complicated when Sheeran’s boss and best friend: crime-family kingpin Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci, another longtime Scorsese associate and Academy Award owner, coming out of retirement) orders Hoffa’s demise, and Sheeran to be the person to get it done.
8. Merry Happy Whatever – Thursday, November 28, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixDennis Quaid’s stints on the small screen haven’t been frequent and rarely involve comedy, so to find him suddenly starring in a new Netflix sitcom is kind of a big deal. Set in Philadelphia, the series casts Quaid as Don Quinn, a man who’s devoted to his family but is decidedly cautious when it comes to letting anyone new into the fold. As such, he’s got his guard up when his youngest daughter, Emmy (Bridgit Mendler), returns home from Los Angeles for the holidays with her new boyfriend Matt (Brent Morin) in tow.
9. The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration – Thursday, November 28, 8 p.m., ABC
ABCWhat better way to kick off the holiday season than with a little Mickey, Minnie and all the Frozen you can handle? Disney lovers across the continent should gather for this week’s two-hour special, which promises to spread a little good cheer with performances by Shaggy, Sting and Pentatonix, behind-the-scenes sneak peeks at forthcoming attractions, including Disneyland’s brand-spankin’ new Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance, and of course, cameos by a few iconic mice, ducks and princesses. Hosts Matthew Morrison (Glee), Emma Bunton (a.k.a. Baby Spice!) and Canadian Jesse Palmer (The Bachelor) are on hand to guide us through the merry-making.
10. The Report – Friday, November 29, Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime VideoWe do love us a good CIA story, probably because the true inner-workings of the Agency are so enticingly shrouded in mystery. But as we get ready to settle in for this Adam Driver-starring thriller, we have a feeling we may just be uncomfortable. The docudrama, directed by prolific screenwriter Scott Z. Burns (The Bourne Ultimatum), follows FBI agent Daniel Jones as he takes a deep dive into the interrogation techniques used by the CIA on suspected terrorists in the wake of 9/11.
It all culminates with the real-life 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report exposing not only the nature and extent of the torture, but its effectiveness (or lack thereof). The findings caused quite a stir back then and remain controversial as ever today. Annette Bening, Jon Hamm, Michael C. Hall and Maura Tierney round out the cast.