From romantic meet-cutes to biting satire, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Amazon Prime Video
Prime VideoIt’s been 14 years since moviegoers first had their jaws drop and their sides split from seeing Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat. Waiting almost a decade-and-a-half to sequelize one of the biggest comedy hits of the 2000s, though... is that too long? Not with a film like this.
Consider how much of the comedy came from people not realizing that the man identifying himself as Kazakhstan journalist making a documentary about life in America was actually a British comedian in disguise, having a laugh at their expense; then, think about how hard it would’ve been to do that again in the immediate wake of the film’s explosive global success.
As it is, it’s obvious from the trailer for this follow-up (which, by the way, is subtitled: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) that there are plenty of people who still recognize Borat the moment they see him. Solution? Simple enough: he wears a disguise (err... another one). But there were still some problems with the film: as Cohen related in an op-ed in Time, he pretended to be a right-wing singer at a gun rights rally in Washington State and it went... poorly.
“When organizers finally stormed the stage, I rushed to a nearby getaway vehicle,” wrote Cohen. “An angry crowd blocked our way and started pounding on the vehicle with their fists. Under my overalls, I was wearing a bulletproof vest, but it felt inadequate with some people outside toting semiautomatic weapons. When someone ripped open the door to drag me out, I used my entire body weight to pull the door back shut until our vehicle manoeuvred free. I was fortunate to make it out in one piece. The next few weeks will determine whether America will be so lucky.”
2. Fargo – Sunday, October 25, 7 p.m., 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., FX Canada
FX CanadaSeason four hits its halfway mark this week, so naturally things are getting tense. Loy goes on the attack and Gaetano pays the piper while Oraetta loses her cool, Rabbi puts his life on the line and Josto questions orders.
3. The Eric Andre Show – Sunday, October 25, 9 p.m., Adult Swim | Season Premiere
Adult SwimNo series on television has utterly deconstructed the talk show format more than The Eric Andre Show, a dada-esque slice of comedy absurdity that delights in tormenting guests, such as the time Jimmy Kimmel found himself tickled by the couch he was sitting on, or when Clueless actress Stacey Dash’s “interview” included live rats. Now that the world is openly falling apart at the seams, host Eric Andre is back with new episodes of TV’s craziest talk show—a perfect fit for the undeniably crazy time we’re living in. Highlights of the new season include sidekick Hannibal Buress quitting the show, along with the birth of his clone, Blannibal, in addition to comedian Felipe Esparza co-hosting, Get Out star Lakeith Stanfield loitering and more. Along for the ride, this season’s guest stars include figure skater Adam Rippon, actors Dermot Mulroney, Luis Guzmán, Tia Carrere and Robin Givens, former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy star Jai Rodriguez and singer Omarion, among others.
4. Facing Race – Sunday, October 25, 9:30 p.m., NBC
KING 5As issues involving racial injustice and inequity continue to roil America, this series presents frank, unvarnished conversations about an often uncomfortable topic, yet one that desperately needs to be discussed. Originally aired back in September, the show begins by examing how America arrived at this point in its history, explaining why race and white privilege matter. Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo, who wrote the bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, is one of the contributors to the first episode, and explains why she now believes the current moment is unlike any other in history and shares her hopes for what will happen next.
5. Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine – Tuesday, October 27, Netflix
NetflixFor decades, comedians have hit it big by impersonating presidents, from Vaughn Meader (JFK) to Rich Little (Richard Nixon) to Alec Baldwin’s SNL take on the current occupant of the White House.
Yet no comedic interpretation of Donald Trump has been as unique as that of Sarah Cooper, dubbed the “Trump Whisperer” for her hilarious TikTok videos in which she simply lip-syncs to one of the president’s more out-there speeches (say, complaining about low-flush toilets or pondering the virus-fighting effectiveness of disinfectants), with her facial expressions illustrating the outright absurdity of his words—without having to use her voice at all.
So popular has Cooper become, this week brings the debut of her first Netflix comedy special, Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine. Described by Netflix as “a variety special full of vignettes dealing with issues of politics, race, gender, class and other light subjects,” Cooper will welcome “a fantastic array of special guests who will participate in short interviews, sketches and more shenanigans.”
Cooper has some heavy hitters backing her behind the scenes. Directing the special is actress Natasha Lyonne, star of Netflix’s critically acclaimed comedy Russian Doll, while SNL alum Maya Rudolph (currently back on that show portraying vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris) is among the producers.
6. Archer – Wednesday, October 28, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Adult Swim | Season Finale
Adult SwimSeason 11 comes to a close with Archer and the team heading off to Antarctica—that’s a new one, huh?—to solve a murder mystery with worldwide implications. The fact that the episode’s titled “Cold Fusion” is no doubt both a clue and a pun. Be warned: this might just be the loquacious spy comedy’s last outing.
7. Holidate – Wednesday, October 28, Netflix
NetflixEverybody loves the holidays, right? OK, maybe not everybody. In fact, this film pointedly focuses on two individuals who absolutely hate the holidays: Jackson (Luke Bracey) and Sloane (Emma Roberts), neither of whom know each other when the film kicks off, although they have a meet-cute at an unbearable Christmas party.
Seeing that they share an active dislike of the season, the pair makes a pact to be each other’s “holidate” for any more parties that pop up on their respective social calendars.
Of course, they assure each other this is really, genuinely just a favour they’re doing for each other, but let’s not kid ourselves: there’s zero chance that, by the time the closing credits roll, they won’t have fallen in love and found themselves on the path to a happily-ever-after.
8. Departure – Thursday, October 29, 10 p.m., Global
GlobalThe mystery of Flight 716 gets even murkier this week, as Kendra (Archie Panjabi) can’t make sense of conflicting evidence and is blindsided by betrayal. Meanwhile, continuing his downward spiral, A.J. (Alexandre Bourgeois) puts his and Kendra’s lives on the line.
9. Jazz at Lincoln Center Presents: A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration – Friday, October 30, 7 p.m., WTVS; 9 p.m., KCTS
PBS/Lincoln CenterBig Bird, Elmo and more of our favourite feathered and furry friends sing classic Sesame Street songs alongside the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.
10. The Mandalorian – Friday, October 30, Disney+
Disney+Get ready for all the Baby Yoda you can handle. At least, that’s our takeaway from the trailer for this Star Wars series, which drops its anticipated second season this week in the wake of an impressive 15 Emmy nominations. It seems as though this outing is all about the titular bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) and his mission to return Baby Yoda—a.k.a. “The Child” to the little moppet’s mysterious home planet.
Along the way, obstacles will abound, including a mysterious hooded woman, a slew of colourful bad guys trying to gun down our antihero at every turn, and endless other perils of planet-hopping in a galaxy at war.
The new season welcomes Justified’s Timothy Olyphant in a top-secret role, Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano from beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and perhaps even an appearance by the legendary, presumed-dead Boba Fett.
As for the familiar faces established last year? Expect Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito and Gina Carano to reprise their roles. No word on how they’ll factor into the mission to save The Child, but if you’re new to the series, it’s important to note that Baby Yoda isn’t actually a child version of Yoda: he’s an entirely new character that fans have taken to calling Baby Yoda because so far, there’s no other name for that species... that adorable, making-2020-better-one-episode-at-a-time, species.