What to Watch This Week: July 9 to 14

From the series finale of The Blacklist to a Barcelona-set sequel to sci-fi horror hit Bird Box, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From the series finale of The Blacklist to a Barcelona-set sequel to sci-fi horror hit Bird Box, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Grantchester on Masterpiece – Sunday, July 9, WTVS & KCTS | Season Premiere

Now that preacher Will (Tom Brittney) has at last settled down with Bonnie (Charlotte Ritchie), it’s time for some long-overdue domestic bliss, right? Wrong! 

At some point during the course of season eight’s six new episodes, a fatal accident will shake the good reverend to his core, threatening his marriage and the life he’s built in Grantchester, while sparking a painful reckoning with “faith, forgiveness and redemption.” As ever, Will’s got his good pal and partner-in-crime-solving Geordie (Robson Green) to pull him back from oblivion—though the detective inspector himself will face a crisis of his own, at the precinct. Before all that, the intrigue revs up tonight at a fun-filled charity motorbike race where a gifted young cyclist is found dead. 

In the weeks to come, look for art heists, armed robberies and a suspicious suicide. 

2. Luann and Sonja: Welcome to Crappie Lake – Sunday, July 9, Slice | Series Premiere

The original Real Housewives of New York cast members are on a bit of a break, relegated to the sidelines as a new group of socialites take their place on the upcoming 14th season of the show when it debuts next month. In the meantime, we know there is an edition of Ultimate Girls Trip to look forward to featuring many of the O.G. NYC cast, along with this all-new spinoff starring two of our favourite New York ladies: Luann De Lesseps and Sonja Morgan. 

Here, the two of them selflessly leave the bright lights and chardonnay of the big city behind for the backwater of Benton, Illinois, working with the 7,000 residents to beautify the town and bring it back to life following the devastating effects of the pandemic. There’s some inherent, Schitt’s Creek-esque comedy afoot as Sonja and Luann—who are accustomed to the finer things in life—stay at a questionable motel (bed bug spray is provided) and take part in local pastimes such as barehanded fishing and the annual Testicle Festival. They’ll also roll up their sleeves and get dirty to help put in a new park, pull off Christmas in July and go mudding with monster trucks. 

Mind you, much as Luann and Sonja are fish out of water, the townsfolk are equally confounded by them. Many have no idea who these city-slicking, thong-flashing creatures are (some hilariously refer to them as being from “Hollywood”). Of course, that culture clash isn’t enough to stop our two gals, who are both single, from flirting with every last eligible bachelor in town.

3. Secrets of Miss America – Monday, July 11, A&E | Series Premiere

This four-hour limited series delves into the long-kept secrets of America’s oldest beauty pageant, exposing the shocking scandals at its core after a whistleblower leaked emails in 2017 that exposed misogyny within the board of directors, claims of racism in the pageant’s history, the topic of mental health among contestants and the banning of the controversial swimsuit competition. Told by pageant insiders—including more than 20 former Miss Americas sharing their stories—viewers get a glimpse at the secret pageant culture that perpetuated racism, bullying, body shaming and much more.

4. The Afterparty – Wednesday, July 12, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere

We know what you’re thinking. “Hey, you did a whole big story about this show premiering back in April! What are you trying to pull here!?! Let me speak to your supervisor!” Please, please, calm down. Put your pitchforks back in the barn, your tomatoes back in the crisper. You see, after TV Week went to press with that issue, Apple decided to delay the season-two return of its goofy, Rashomon-esque murder mystery… so now, we’re previewing it all over again.

 Created by Christopher Miller and executive-produced by Miller, Phil Lord and Anthony King, season one revolved around a group of folks who attended their high school reunion, only for one of them to wind up dead. Each episode provided a different character’s perspective of what happened, each done in a different genre—from action to animation to musical extravaganza. 

This second chapter revolves around a wedding attended by returning season-one characters Aniq (Sam Richardson) and Zoe (Zoë Chao), where the groom’s vow of “till death” is fulfilled all too quickly. So the twosome immediately call the best sleuth they know: Detective Danner (Tiffany Haddish). 

“Zoe and Aniq were really the emotional heart of the first season, so it felt cruel to not bring them back, and Detective Danner is the Poirot of the series,” Miller explained to journalists at the TCA press tour. “It seemed like it’d be fun to get them to work together this time to solve a murder at a wedding. And then we just worked at trying to think of some funny characters, some interesting stories, some interesting twists, and then we got the best cast in all of television—so it’s just easy, you guys!” 

This year, that cast includes such A-list additions as Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Vivian Wu and Jack Whitehall.

5. What We Do in the Shadows – Thursday, July 13, FX Canada | Season Premiere

Your favourite fang-tastic roommates are back for their fifth season, starting with two back-to-back episodes. This year, vampire master Nandor becomes aware that his human familiar Guillermo is spending less time with him and more time with Laszlo, but there’s a reason for that: Laszlo, ever the scientist, is studying some peculiar changes Guillermo is undergoing in the wake of his bold (and apparently not-so-successful) bid to become a vamp at the end of season four. Meanwhile, Nadja battles a hex, at the same time reconnecting with her family from the Old Country; “energy vampire” Colin decides to run for political office; and The Guide is on a quest to figure out where she fits in with the gang. 

“We pick up right where we left off,” Guillermo portrayer Harvey Guillén told Entertainment Weekly. “Guillermo is done waiting for his turn. Guillermo is taking matters into his own hands. And Guillermo is taking no prisoners. It’s just like, ‘We’re done.’ The clock is ticking. The whole idea of becoming a vampire is becoming a vampire at a young age, where you’re still youthful. I mean, look at the familiars who were never made to vampires in the past seasons—it’s kind of disappointing.”

6. Survival of the Thickest – Thursday, July 13, Netflix | Series Premiere

Michelle Buteau has been all over Netflix for quite a while now, not only as a standup comedian—perhaps you remember her 2020 special Welcome to Buteaupia?—but also as host of both the shortlived cooking competition The American Barbecue Showdown and yet-ongoing reality series The Circle. Plus, scene-stealing roles in Tales of the City and Always Be My Maybe. Now, she’s getting another chance to stretch her wings as an actress, starring in a series based on her own book of essays Survival of the Thickest. 

Buteau plays Mavis, a plus-sized stylist who must rebuild her life after her boyfriend turns out to be a cheater—leading to a new apartment and a new job. Luckily, she has two very good friends, Khalil (Tone Bell) and Marley (Tasha Smith), to help her through this difficult — but somehow still uproarious—time.

7. The Blacklist – Thursday, July 13, Global & NBC | Series Finale

After 10 years, more than 200 episodes and several big-time cast shakeups, the James Spader-led conspiracy thriller is fading to black. 

Yes, Thursday’s two-part season-10 finale also serves as the series finale, and given how many times the writers have pulled the rug out from under us over the years, expect another twist or three. As loyal fans know, each episode during the show’s pulse-pounding, mind-bending run has been titled after the bad guy the team was hunting that week. So it’s fitting that the series ender is dedicated to the greatest master criminal of them all: Raymond Reddington himself. 

“It’s been incredibly fun to create the strange, devious and delightful Blacklisters to challenge Raymond Reddington and our FBI Task Force each week,” showrunner John Eisendrath said in a statement. “We appreciate our dedicated fanbase who came along for this wonderful ride and are excited to share this final season with them.”

8. The Jewel Thief – Thursday, July 12, Disney+

Get ready for the unbelievable true story of notorious Canadian thief Gerald Blanchard, one of the most creative, calculating and accomplished criminal masterminds in modern history. In this doc, two unlikely Winnipeg detectives track Blanchard across the globe as he perpetrates a series of increasingly elaborate heists in a quest for fame and notoriety through a life of crime.

9. The Summer I Turned Pretty – Friday, July 14, Prime Video | Season Premiere

When season one of this coming-of-age dramedy debuted last year, it already had a pretty solid fanbase thanks to Jenny Han’s bestselling novels. Across seven episodes, we followed charmingly befuddled 16-year-old Belly (Lola Tung) as she hung out with brothers Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno), and landed herself in a tricky love triangle. By the time the debutante ball arrived and Jeremiah left Belly alone on the dance floor, her choice was clear. Because it was Conrad who stepped in to save the day (and the dance), solidifying their relationship. 

No doubt, it was a Summer to remember, but season one was just the appetizer for our Belly. Season two is when we get to the main course of this bittersweet romance. Belly is dreading coming back to Cousins Bay, given the brothers’ feud for her heart and the return of their mom Susannah’s (Rachel Blanchard) cancer. As if that weren’t enough, an unexpected visitor threatens the future of Susannah’s beloved house. So Belly, problem-solver that she is, rallies the whole gang to save it. 

Along the way, she may finally realize what it is (and who it is) she truly wants. As for Susannah’s fate, book fans may think they know what to expect in the coming episodes, but the author has hinted that this second season may not follow the second novel to the letter. “I don’t want to spoil too much but the books have been out for a while. You never know what could happen with the show,” Han explained to Variety. “I was open-minded going into it. I was considering a lot of different possibilities.”

10. Bird Box Barcelona – Friday, July 14, Netflix

This sequel to Bird Box expands the story begun in the 2018 horror hit starring Sandra Bullock, following Sebastian (Mario Casas) and his young daughter Anna (Alejandra Howard), as they navigate their own sightless survival journey through the desolate streets of Barcelona after a mysterious force decimates the world’s population. As he forms uneasy alliances with other survivors and they attempt to escape from the city, an even more sinister threat unexpectedly emerges.