From the return of American Horror Story (starring Kim Kardashian!) to an action-packed John Wick prequel series, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
1. The Gold – Sunday, September 17, Paramount+ | Series Premiere
From Ocean’s 11 to Netflix’s recent Kaleidoscope, heist thrillers have a unique, kinetic, altogether-singular appeal. This particular one has the added intrigue of being true (more or less). An all-star U.K. cast led by Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville, Slow Horses’ Jack Lowden, Sanditon’s Charlotte Spencer, Knightfall’s Tom Cullen, Preacher’s Dominic Cooper and more bring to life the story of the 1983 Brink’s-Mat robbery, wherein six crooks broke into a warehouse at the Heathrow International Trading Estate in London. They walked away with £26 million worth of gold bullion, diamonds and cash, making it one of the largest robberies in British history. Most of the gold was never recovered.
Here, that crime is explored in full from the points-of-view of the criminals and the police tasked with catching them.
Having already made a splash across the pond on the BBC, The Gold is, per its press release, “a pulsating dramatization which takes a journey into a 1980s world awash with cheap money and loosened morals.”
2. Telling Our Story – Sunday, September 17, CBC Gem | Series Premiere
This groundbreaking series flips traditional Canadian history on its head, challenging the notion that Europeans “discovered” the country and the First Nations peoples who had thrived there for centuries. From this starting point, Telling Our Story “turns history right-side up,” connecting stunning natural scenery with tales and traditions and eloquent and charismatic protagonists from 11 First Peoples—11 distinct cultures speaking 11 different languages—who inhabited the land that we now know as Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick. They are: Abenaki, Anishinaabe, Atikamekw, Cree of Eeyou Istchee, Innu, Inuit, Kanien’kehá:ka, Mi’kmaq, Naskapi, Huron-Wendat and Wolastoqiyik. As a bonus, CBC Gem is now a free streaming service.
3. Michelle Wolf: It’s Great to Be Here – Tuesday, September 19, Netflix
Daily Show alum Michelle Wolf returns with a standup special divided into three half-hour episodes: “New Neighborhood,” “All Struggles Matter + Me Too” and “News to Me + All Beautiful.” Her riffs include: dating, sexual harassment, race relations and living in a new country.
4. Becoming Frida Kahlo – Tuesday, September 19, WTVS & KCTS | Series Premiere
This three-part documentary series explores the extraordinary life of celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. In addition to delving into her artistic legacy, viewers will also be taken through the major personal and political events of her life, including her stormy and devoted relationship with acclaimed muralist Diego Rivera, with whom she walked down the aisle not once but twice.
5. Bones of Crows – Wednesday, September 20, APTN & CBC | Series Premiere
Making a TV show is a lot more expensive than it used to be, which is why some production companies and broadcasters are experimenting with new hybrid models. Enter this five-part drama from writer-director Marie Clements. Last year, a Bones of Crows movie came to theatres, telling the story of Cree code talker Aline Spears (Alaska Daily alum Grace Dove), who pushes past a traumatic upbringing in Canada’s residential school system and fights systemic starvation, racism and abuse. The series features all of the same actors in the same roles, telling the same story, spanning 100 years as Aline and her family endure injustice and dream of a better tomorrow. CBC has several such projects on the horizon. The network is also set to bring both the feature film BlackBerry and the TIFF-selected documentary Swan Song to viewers in series form this November. By investing in multi-platform projects such as these, storytellers have more revenue sources to draw from and more opportunities to bring partners onboard.
That in mind, Bones of Crows is now considered the largest-scale Indigenous-led production in Canadian history, with filming taking place across 57 days in five different cities. There were 160 speaking roles, a crew of over 110 and roughly 1,200 extras. Moreover, there was an Indigenous elder on set whom the cast could consult before shooting some of the heavier scenes.
Indeed, the five-part structure allows the filmmakers to dig deep on the nuances of these important, oft-overlooked issues. And speaking of expansion... in our next issue (September 23-29), TV Week will bring you an exclusive chat with director Marie Clements and star Grace Dove.
6. American Horror Story – Wednesday, September 20, FX | Season Premiere
The FX anthology series that reshaped the TV landscape returns for a 12th season to shock and amuse. This year, the subject/subtitle is “Delicate,” tackling female reproductive health. As per the network, it revolves around an actress named Anna (AHS mainstay Emma Roberts) who wants nothing more than to start a family following several failed IVF attempts. With buzz surrounding her latest film growing, Anna can’t help but feel like someone—or something—is targeting her, and her chance at having children. Notably, this is the first season of American Horror Story to be based on a book (Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine). The cast also includes AHS fave Zachary Quinto, Pose’s Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, iconoclastic model Cara Delevingne and reality diva Kim Kardashian.
7. Spy Kids: Armageddon – Friday, September 22, Netflix
As hard as it may be to believe, it’s been 22 years since writer-director Robert Rodriguez first kicked off his Spy Kids franchise. Way back then, the storyline revolved around married agents Gregorio (Antonio Banderas) and Ingrid (Carla Gugino) and their tots Carmen (Alexa PenaVega) and Juni (Daryl Sabara), but by the time the fourth film in the series—2011’s Spy Kids: All the Time in the World—landed in theatres, we’d moved on to a whole new crop of kids, with Carmen and Juni now grown up enough to be spies in their own right. With this fifth film (coming straight to Netflix because... well... such is life and such is cinema in 2023), the adventure centres upon a completely new family—Nora and Terrence Tango-Torrez (Jane The Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez and Shazam!’s Zachary Levi) and their kids Patty and Tony (Everly Carganilla and Connor Esterson). Making it even more of a family affair is the fact that this film was co-written by Rodriguez and his own son, Racer. In this particular adventure, the Kids unwittingly help a game developer (American Crime Story’s Billy Magnussen) release a computer virus that gives him control of all the world’s technology. As a result, they must become pint-sized secret agents and save not only the world but, yes, mom and dad too.
8. Somewhere in Queens – Friday, September 22, Stars 1 & Crave
Having headlined one of the most successful sitcoms of all time, followed by a slew of film and TV roles that showcased not only the depth of his comedic talent, but the fact that he is, indeed, a damn fine dramatic actor as well, Ray Romano chuckles into fresh territory yet again.
Debuting at the Tribeca Film Fest circa 2022, Somewhere in Queens finds him writing, directing and starring in a dramedy that comes from a very personal place for the erstwhile standup.
He plays Leo, a blue-collar guy who, along with his wife Angela (Laurie Metcalf), is raising a teenaged son. Young Matthew (Jacob Ward) is quite the athlete, and Leo lives for the weekly basketball games that find his kid lighting up the court. Matty get an unexpected shot at greatness in the college ranks... until disaster strikes. At that point, Leo must go to “unexpected lengths to keep his son on this new path.”
Speaking about his motivations for making the film, Romano tongue-in-cheekily told ScreenRant: “The only story I had in mind was I wanted to make it about an Italian family from Queens. I wanted to write what I know. I grew up in an Italian family, but not the traditional family that you see in the movie. That was more like my wife. I married into that family.
“So for 35 years I’ve been to all those parties, and the weddings and all the traditional stuff, and I wanted to do a story about that world. I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be about. At the time, as we were writing it, it was my son who was graduating high school, who played on the basketball team, and I got such a thrill going to the games. And being proud of him, and also basking in the attention, if I’m being honest, as pathetic as that is. I don’t get enough attention in my real life. I have to get it there.”
9. Still Up – Friday, September 22, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Described as an “almost romantic comedy,” this new series follows the after-hours relationship between Danny (Craig Roberts) and Lisa (Antonia Thomas), who have bonded over their mutual insomnia. The two keep no secrets—except the feelings they’ve unexpectedly developed for each other.
10. The Continental: From the World of John Wick – Friday, September 22, Prime Video | Series Premiere
Over the course of four blockbuster John Wick action flicks, Keanu Reeves’ titular hit man relied on the assistance of Winston Scott (Ian McShane), proprietor of New York’s Continental Hotel, which covertly caters to the world’s most notorious assassins.
A new prequel series arrives this week that takes viewers back a few decades to explore the hotel’s beginnings while revealing Winston’s backstory, in The Continental: From the World of John Wick. “The three-part series will explore the origin behind the iconic hotel-for-assassins centrepiece of the John Wick universe through the eyes and actions of a young Winston Scott, as he’s dragged into the hellscape of 1970s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind,” reads the synopsis. “Winston charts a deadly course through the hotel’s mysterious underworld in a harrowing attempt to seize the hotel where he will eventually take his future throne.” Before any of that happens, young Winston (played by Colin Woodell, recently seen as mysterious Buckley Ware/Feliks in The Flight Attendant) must face off against the hotel’s current manager, ruthless crime kingpin Cormac, played in the series by a menacing Mel Gibson.