What to Watch This Week: April 30 to May 5

From an HBO dramedy about the Watergate break-in to an Ed Sheeran documentary, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Stone Cold Takes on America – Sunday, April 30, A&E | Series Premiere

Since the early 1990s, the pile-driving phenom they call “Stone Cold” Steve Austin has been one of the biggest names in the WWE. But on his way to earning the title of “superstar,” the wrestler sacrificed a lot, missing out on some of life’s simple pleasures and unexpected adventures. Now, he’s determined to make up for lost time, hopping in an RV and accepting various “challenges” from fans across the U.S. that push him out of his comfort zone. On the one hand, it’s a bid to cross some things off the old bucket list, but you can also expect plenty of war stories from the man’s two-plus decades in the ring to slip out along the way. (Fittingly, this show premieres a week after Austin’s episode of A&E’s WWE Rivals.) Indeed, Stone Cold is a man who loves his fans and is eager to reconnect with them, even as he seeks out new experiences and life lessons.

2. A Small Light – Monday, May 1, National Geographic | Series Premiere

Many of us grew up hearing the harrowing story of Anne Frank and how the girl and her family hid in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam during the Second World War. But it’s always a story worth retelling if it helps educate and inspire, especially when creatives can develop a new way to present it. Enter this biographical miniseries, which revolves around the unsung hero responsible for hiding the Frank family: Miep Gies. The Dutch woman risked her life to shelter the family for more than two years in that secret apartment, and her story of kindness, bravery and integrity continues to resonate today.  

Bel Powley (The Morning Show) plays Miep in the eight-episode offering, while Liev Schreiber plays her boss, Anne’s father Otto Frank. In the premiere, we see how Miep came to be Otto’s secretary, as well as how quickly things crumbled around the Franks and other Jewish families once the Nazis rose to power, turning Ms. Gies from secretary to saviour. 

3. White House Plumbers – Monday, May 1, HBO Canada | Series Premiere

In 1971, just a week after the infamous Pentagon Papers were published and laid bare for Americans the misdeeds of their leaders, the White House established a special investigations unit to keep classified intel away from journalists. They were called the Room 16 Project, or the White House Plumbers, and served as President Richard Nixon’s “fixers.” They were the same men who would later take down the presidency.  

The controversial figures at the centre of that scandal are the subject of another satirical political series from Veep Emmy-winner David Mandel. Based on the 2007 book Integrity by Egil Krogh and Matthew Krogh, the show homes in on D.C. operatives E. Howard Hunt (Woody Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Justin Theroux), who were tasked with plugging the press leaks by any means necessary. Ultimately, they went too far, and accidentally destroyed the president they were trying to protect by masterminding a certain illicit wire-tapping operation at D.C.’s Watergate Office Building in 1972.  

Harrelson and Theroux also serve as executive producers on the project, but they’re just the tip of the star-power iceberg. Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) plays Hunt’s wife Dorothy, while Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) and Zoe Levin (Bonding) play their daughters. Meanwhile, Domhnall Gleeson (The Revenant) is John Dean, Nixon’s White House counsel; David Krumholtz (Numb3rs) joins as attorney William O. Bittman; Kim Coates (Sons of Anarchy) plays Frank Sturgis, the Plumbers’ muscle; Gary Cole (The Good Fight) portrays FBI deputy director Mark Felt; John Carroll Lynch (Fargo) is the “formidable and corrupt” former attorney general who heads up Nixon’s re-election campaign; and Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham (The White Lotus) is Judge John Sirica. 

4. Jimmy O. Yang: Guess How Much? – Tuesday, May 2, Prime Video

It’s been a couple of years—it’ll be three in August, to be more precise—since Jimmy O. Yang made his standup comedy special debut on Prime Video with Good Deal, so it’s good to see that he’s finally back again with a new endeavour, this one titled Guess How Much?  

You may remember that Yang got his start as one of the stars of HBO’s Silicon Valley, but he got an even bigger boost when he appeared in the smash-hit film Crazy Rich Asians. This past summer, Yang made further waves stealing scenes in the comedy Easter Sunday, co-starring Jo Koy, Tia Carrere and Lou Diamond Phillips, along with a role in Netflix’s Steve Carell-starring comedy Space Force.  

With his new special, Yang tackles such topics as “love languages, loser friends and negotiating with his Asian parents,” and rest assured there’s much more.

5. Jewish Matchmaking – Wednesday, May 3, Netflix | Series Premiere

Already binged your way through the third season of Indian Matchmaking? Pining for another dating show that classes up the usual Bachelor-esque shenanigans with a thoughtful cultural exploration? Meet Aleeza Ben Shalom. The savvy matchmaker is here to help Jewish men and women from around the world (but mainly America and Israel) find their perfect partners and get started  on that happily ever after.  

“Jewish Matchmaking features singles in the U.S. and Israel as they turn their dating life over to a top Jewish matchmaker,” Netflix teases. “Will using the traditional practice of shidduchim dating help them find their soulmate in today’s world?” Shidduchim, for those who don’t know, is a matchmaking system wherein Orthodox Jewish communities introduce singles to one another in hopes of wedded bliss.  

That said, despite the traditional roots of her calling, Shalom is anything but old-school. “I’m not your granny’s matchmaker,” she explained to E! News. “Join me and daters from across the U.S. and Israel as we tap into ancient wisdom and apply it to modern love.”

6. Ed Sheeran: The Sum of It All – Wednesday, May 3, Disney+

This new four-part series provides a never-before-seen look at the life and music of massively successful British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. Part concert film and part origin story, The Sum of It All traces Sheeran’s journey from busking on street corners to performing in some of the world’s largest venues, with Sheeran opening himself up for a definitive and searingly honest view into his private life as he explores the universal themes that inspire his music.  

The show follows Sheeran during a particularly intense period after he learns of life-changing news involving his wife, Cherry Seaborn, revealing his hardships and triumphs during the most challenging days he’s ever endured. Blending exclusive, never-before-seen personal archives, present-day actuality, authentic interviews with his wife and loved ones, and intimate performances in cinematic locations, this series widens the lens to unearth what Sheeran thinks of the world, of himself and his music, while showcasing the hits that have made him a global superstar.  

“I’ve always been very guarded in my personal and private life; the only documentary I’ve ever made has been one that focused on my songwriting,” said Sheeran. “Disney approached me to make a four-part documentary, and it felt like the right time to open the door and let people in. I hope people enjoy it.”

7. The Other Two – Thursday, May 5, HBO Canada | Season Premiere

If it seems like it’s been forever-and-a-day since the last time you saw a new season of The Other Two, you’re not entirely wrong: season two wrapped its run September 23, 2021, and we’ve been waiting for season three ever since.  

A quick recap of the premise: the series revolves around the members of the Dubek family, specifically teen pop sensation Chase Dubek (Case Walker), his older brother Cary (Drew Tarver), who’s an aspiring actor, and his older sister, Brooke (Heléne Yorke), who started out as a dancer but has been trying out other professions along the way. When season two wrapped, Cary was finally kicking off production on his first film, Night Nurse, which sounds like good news until you discover that the table read took place on March 13, 2020, a.k.a. the day the U.S. government declared COVID-19 to be a national emergency. Oops. There’s some fast-forwarding that takes place before season three kicks off, by which point Night Nurse is finished and finally having its belated premiere. “Our show is so grounded in what feels real and current,” co-creator Sarah Schneider told Vanity Fair. “We didn’t want to make a show that completely ignored our current situation and the ongoing effects of living through a global pandemic. We are three years in the future, but all of our characters have been impacted in some way by what we’ve all gone through. And we just tried to explore different funny routes that that would take them.”  

In 2023, Chase is about to turn 18, which opens up a whole other world for the pop star. Meanwhile, his mom Pat (Saturday Night Live alum Molly Shannon) has become insanely popular—and powerful—with her talk show. And, of course, we know where Cary is. The question is, where has Brooke’s career taken her during the years that have passed? Viewers will just have to wait and see. 

8. Sanctuary – Thursday, May 5, Netflix | Season Premiere

This gritty Japanese drama (not to be confused with the Canadian sci-fi series of the same name) weaves the tale of a desperate kid who sees a chance to rewrite his destiny via the world of sumo wrestling. With his cocky attitude and magnetic energy, he quickly upends an industry deeply rooted in tradition. 

9. Silo – Friday, May 6, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere

As scientists continue to warn us all about climate change, expect an influx of dark sci-fi fare that imagines what life may look like in the not-so-distant future.  

The latest is based on a series of novels by Hugh Howey and was adapted for the screen by Canadian scribe Graham Yost (Justified). It picks up in a toxic dystopia where thousands of survivors live in a giant silo deep underground. Everyone abides by a strict set of rules supposedly meant to protect them, but when a disparate array of citizens begin questioning the order of things, it leads to murder, conspiracy and shocking revelations. Among the key players: Rashida Jones as a plucky I.T. expert, David Oyelowo as the silo’s conflicted sheriff and Mission: Impossible mainstay Rebecca Ferguson as a brilliant engineer looking for both answers and revenge. 

10. The Articulate Hour – Friday, May 6, WTVS & KCTS | Series Premiere

Viewers in search of television fare that sets a higher intellectual bar than WWE wrestling and the Real Housewives will want to check out this new series that focuses on intelligent people engaged in various creative pursuits, having illuminating discussions about the ideas underlying what it is that they do. “From acclaimed musicians and bestselling authors to designers changing the way we live, each episode explores what great creative thinkers and doers can tell us about who we are, who we’ve been and who we might become,” notes a description of The Articulate Hour.  

Bringing together artists, scholars and other big thinkers to explore the ideas that shape us, each instalment delves into a different topic, as viewed through the lens of art, culture and science, often revealing some unexpected insights into our common humanity. The debut episode focuses on memory, with artists and scholars discussing the reliability of our recall and the surprising ways in which our memories fuel creativity.