From reality starlets to major music honours, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. This Is Paris – YouTube Originals
YouTubeOriginalsBack in the early 2000s, hotel heiress Paris Hilton parlayed her notoriety as a Los Angeles club kid into reality show fame when she teamed up with bestie Nicole Richie for the Fox hit The Simple Life. A brief but well-publicized stint in the slammer led Hilton to become more of a punchline than a celebrity, followed by some largely unsuccessful attempts at reinventing herself. The latest is this YouTube documentary, in which she contends the ditzy dimwit that viewers saw onscreen was simply a character she was playing. Whereas here, “I just wanted to pull the curtain back and show my real life,” Hilton explained at the TV Critics Association press tour.
2. Bob’s Burgers – Sunday, October 11, 9 p.m., City & Fox
CityBob must stretch his culinary skills well past burger-flippin’ after Mr. Fischoeder (voiced by Kevin Kline) asks him to temporarily manage the kitchen at his new nightclub. Meanwhile, Bob’s kids unwisely decide to throw a pool party in their basement—using an old stock tank as the “pool.”
3. The Bachelorette – Tuesday, October 13, 8 p.m., City & ABC | Season Premiere
CityIt’s hard to remember a more anticipated season of a reality show. Putting aside the fact that the TV landscape has lately been devoid of people flirting, scheming and backstabbing their way to true love, the headlines emerging in advance of the new Bachelorette have been nothing short of salacious. When Clare Crawley was first announced as this year’s leading lady, she turned heads as the oldest Bachelorette in franchise history (she was 38 at the time). But then the pandemic hit and things were put on hold. During that time, calls for systemic change and a heightened awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement after the deaths of people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others also began impacting this predominantly white show; in particular, Rachel Lindsay (the first Black Bachelorette) and Mike Johnson (a contestant on Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise) called on Bachelor Nation to get with the times.
While ABC seemed to do just that by naming its first-ever Black Bachelor, Matt James, for the winter edition, the franchise also threw everyone for a loop by announcing that this season of The Bachelorette would feature two leading ladies. According to reports, it’s because Crawley found love early on with one of her suitors on the show (which was filmed at a “bubble” resort in Southern California); and so Tayshia Adams was brought in to replace her midway through, becoming the show’s second-ever Black lead.
Starting this week, we get to see how that very atypical sequence of events unfolded, in a 16th season that host Chris Harrison has teased “blows up” the show as we know it.
4. The Amazing Race – Wednesday, October 14, 9 p.m., CTV & CBS | Season Premiere
CTVTravel is still on hold for many of us—for reasons already discussed—but luckily this globetrotting competition filmed its 32nd season in full before the lockdown hit. Production actually wrapped way back in December 2018; the season was supposed to debut this past spring, but CBS, sensing that they may be a little hard-up for fresh programming come fall, decided to hang onto it till tonight.
Join host Phil Keoghan as he doles out Detours, Roadblocks and other quirky, maddening twists that not only ensure these 11 new teams experience the trip of a lifetime, but that they’ll also have to really earn that million-dollar cash prize.
This year, the show includes stops in Trinidad and Tobago, France, Germany, Kazakhstan and Brazil, before wrapping at the Superdome in New Orleans. Furthermore, Keoghan promises a “back-to-basics” approach—which means no crazy themes, gimmicks or forced interactions with “all-star” contestants. Instead, it’s about showcasing real relationships in surreal circumstances, a.k.a. what first made this award-winning series a hit all those years ago.
5. Archer – Wednesday, October 14, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Adult Swim
Adult SwimLana and Cyril go on a double date with Archer and his new lady friend. Over the course of the evening, that lady friend unlocks Archer’s “innermost desires” and, as if that weren’t dangerous enough, she gets exposed to some top-secret intel courtesy of Cyril.
6. 2020 Billboard Music Awards – Wednesday, October 14, 8 p.m., CTV2 & NBC
CTVOne of music’s most prestigious nights is at long last upon us. The three-hour gala was first slotted for April, but like so many other events, it was booted down the schedule by this pandemic. When the curtain does go up this week, Kelly Clarkson takes over hosting duties for the third time, and she’s bound to be joined by a slew of special guests—in-person or virtually. Meanwhile, Clarkson becomes the third person in the show’s history to tackle the hosting gig three or more times: Kathy Griffin co-hosted for three years running from 1998-2000, while Chris “Ludacris” Bridges emceed in 2014 and went on to co-host for the next three years.
Topping the list of nominees this year is rap superstar Post Malone with 16, followed by Lil Nas X with 13 nods, and Billie Eilish and Khalid with 12 apiece.
7. The Real Housewives of Orange County – Wednesday, October 14, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., Slice | Season Premiere
SliceOne of basic cable’s defining franchises began in the O.C. way back in 2006. Season 15 finds the Housewives beckoning a new recruit into the fray: online music CEO Elizabeth Lyn Vargas, who, like the rest of these ladies, must grapple with a new COVID reality.
8. Social Distance – Thursday, October 15, Netflix | Series Premiere
NetflixFrom the mind of Orange Is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, this new anthology features a rotating cast playing an array of very different characters, united by the fact that they’re all coping with life in the early days of social distancing. Each of the eight standalone episodes looks into the power of the human spirit amidst uncertainty and isolation, all told through a virtual lens. It’s a series designed to capture the worldwide mood of the moment, as people have been forced apart and told to connect virtually—relying on technology to keep them sane.
Behind the scenes, this project was developed in much the same way as its characters (and audience) have been existing of late. The idea cropped up early on in quarantine, and the writers never met in-person during the entire process. In fact, every single component of the show was done from the cast and creators’ own homes, and some of the actors’ real-life relatives also guest star. So who are the actors in question? Watch for appearances from the likes of Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Peter Scanavino (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), Oscar Nunez (The Office), Guillermo Diaz (Scandal) and Asante Blackk (When They See Us), to name a few.
9. Star Trek: Discovery – Thursday, October 15, 6 p.m. & 10 p.m., CTV Sci-Fi | Season Premiere
CTV Sci-FiFrom its beginnings back in the ’60s, Star Trek has been known for weaving social commentary into its stories of outer-space derring-do—a tradition that some feel has been sorely lacking in this CBS All Access reboot.
Judging by the first look at season three, it seems all that’s about to change. When the story picks up with Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green), the U.S.S. Discovery has been blasted further through time than we’ve ever gone in any Trek series, all the way to the year 3188. There, about 931 years after their departure, the crew realizes that the Federation has fallen—in the aftermath of a mysterious event known as “The Burn.” But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost, as the Discovery decides to take up their old mission, re-instilling the values of the Federation to a dying universe that needs something to believe in.
Naturally, that mission won’t be easy, but if anyone knows how to overcome the odds, it’s Michael Burnham. After all, there was a time when she herself was nothing but a lost cause.
10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Friday, October 16, Netflix
NetflixIt’s been said that history repeats, and it’s easy to draw a clear distinction between the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 and the anti-Vietnam War marches of 1968.
One notorious event from that era took place during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, when what was meant to be a peaceful protest turned into a violent clash after police and the National Guard began brutally assaulting protesters.
The protest had been organized by the Youth International Party, a.k.a. the Yippies. As a result, Yippie leaders Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden, along with Black Panthers co-founder Bobby Seale were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot.
That’s the starting point of The Trial of the Chicago 7, a new film written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing.
The A-list cast is headed up by Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen as Hoffman, Jeremy Strong (Succession) as Rubin, Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) as Hayden and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchmen) as Seale.
Also starring are Oscar-winner Mark Rylance as legendary defence attorney William Kunstler, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) as prosecutor Richard Schultz, Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon) as Judge Julius Hoffman and Michael Keaton (Birdman) as former Attorney General Ramsey Clark.