What to Watch This Week: August 29 to September 3

From comedy capers to cowboy teachings, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From comedy capers to cowboy teachings, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Wicked in Concert – Sunday, August 29, 8 p.m. & 10 p.m., WTVS; 9 p.m., KCTS

In celebration of the reopening of Broadway, PBS presents this special live performance of Wicked, one of the Great White Way’s most beloved musicals. Original stars Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth host, with performers including Mario Cantone, Gavin Creel, Ariana DeBose, Cynthia Erivo, Stephanie Hsu, Rita Moreno, Jennifer Nettles, Alex Newell, Isaac Powell, Amber Riley, Gabrielle Ruiz and Ali Stroker.

2. Housebroken – Monday, August 30, 9:01 p.m., CTV2 & Fox | Season Finale

In the season-one finale of Lisa Kudrow’s new cartoon, Honey enjoys a wild and crazy night with Coyote, before having a change of heart—which incidentally spurs Chief off on his own adventure. The result? They both end up in mortal danger. Can the rest of their pet therapy group get it together and save them?

3. Sparking Joy – Tuesday, August 31, Netflix | Series Premiere

One look at the title of this new series should tell you exactly who the star is, but just in case it doesn’t ring a bell: expert organizer Marie Kondo is back! So clear out a little space in your weekly bingeing calendar.

Sparking Joy is a follow-up to the decluttering guru’s 2019 hit Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Only now, she’s not convincing reluctant homeowners to part with old books, trinkets and legwarmers. Rather, this show digs into how Kondo’s “only keep what brings you joy” ideology can have a profound effect on companies, communities and relationships, as she lends her expertise to three small businesses in need of a little physical and spiritual refresh.

“The impacts of tidying are surprising, emotional and transformative in the lives of the people Marie meets,” reads the official logline. In addition to her new clients, Kondo gets a little more personal this time out, allowing the cameras into her own home, where we’ll get to meet her husband and three kids and see whether she holds herself to the same exacting standards as all those borderline-hoarders we met in Tidying Up.

It’s just the sort of program we could all use right now, after living so much of the past year-and-a-half under varying degrees of lockdown. “Spending most of the day at home makes it easy to blur the boundaries between work and personal time, but it’s important to distinguish between the two,” Kondo recently told Forbes. That, and practicing gratitude, are her surefire ways to “connect with what sparks joy.”

4. Only Murders in the Building – Tuesday, August 31, Disney+ | Series Premiere

True crime podcasts are all the rage these days, which is at the heart of Only Murders in the Building, a new comedy whodunit starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez.

The three play neighbours in an upscale apartment complex in New York City who are randomly thrown together when a homicide occurs in their building and they unexpectedly bond over their shared obsession with a podcast recounting a brutal murder in Oklahoma. (Tina Fey hilariously portrays the podcast’s host in a series of recurring cameos.)

Martin (who is also the show’s co-creator and co-writer) stars as Charles, a washed-up TV actor who is occasionally recognized for his role in 1990s TV cop show Brazzos and his awkward catchphrase, “This takes the investigation into a whole new direction!”

Short plays Oliver, a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer whose career is verging on despair, while pop star Gomez is Mabel, a young woman with more than her fair share of secrets. As this unlikely trio of amateur sleuths pool their knowledge to solve the crime, cash-strapped Oliver comes up with the idea of documenting their efforts for their own true crime podcast.

As these somewhat inept detectives continue digging, their investigation takes some unexpected twists and turns; at one point, rocker Sting—who also lives in the neighbourhood—is deemed a suspect.

Throughout the course of season one’s eight episodes, they unravel the complex secrets of their building, stretching back years, while inadvertently revealing the lies that they’ve been telling each other, eroding the trust they’ve built while also coming to realize that the killer might actually be living among them.

5. How to Be a Cowboy – Wednesday, September 1, Netflix | Series Premiere

Professional bull rider Dale Brisby uses all his social media savvy and considerable rodeo skills to keep cowboy traditions alive. In this new reality show, he’s teaching the world how to cowboy right as he embarks on a mission to train the next generation of cowpokes at his own Radiator Ranch in Texas.

6. Afterlife of the Party – Thursday, September 2, Netflix

In this new flick, a party girl (Victoria Justice) dies in a freak bathroom accident and ends up at the pearly gates with a less-than-stellar case for admittance to heaven. Luckily, she’s got a guardian angel, who gives her five days to go back and make things right with her loved ones.

7. Q-Force – Thursday, September 2, Netflix | Series Premiere

It seems unlikely that we’ll get any more episodes of Will & Grace—one multi-season revival is probably plenty—and that’s no doubt fine with star Sean Hayes. He’s busy with this new animated series, which he co-created with Michael Schur, whose past credits—including Parks & RecreationBrooklyn Nine-NineThe Good Place and Rutherford Falls—are more than enough to make any new show bearing his name a must-watch.

Hayes voices Steve Maryweather, a.k.a. Agent Mary, formely a rising star at the American Intelligence Agency… until he admitted he was gay. Although they can’t legally fire him, the AIA does assign him to West Hollywood—out of sight and out of mind. Yet rather than simply fade away, Maryweather puts together a squad of LGBTQ+ misfits with skills as impressive as his own, including expert mechanic Deb, master of drag and disguise Twink and hacker Stat. Their name? Q-Force. But of course, you already guessed that. Ah, but did you guess this? In order to get AIA approval, their team must include a new, straight member—Agent Buck—and to say that he’s out of his element is an understatement.

In addition to Hayes, the voice cast includes Gary Cole, Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, Laurie Metcalf and Stranger Things‘ David Harbour.

8. The Good Fight – Thursday, September 2, W Network | Season Finale

After a year of tearful goodbyes, oddball judges and ethical quagmires (you know, the usual Good Fight stuff), Liz and Diane close the book on season five. Luckily, they’ve managed to secure a continuance—season six is on the docket for 2022.

9. Sharkdog – Friday, September 3, Netflix | Series Premiere

If you’re part of the ’90s generation that grew up with the animated character known as Catdog, then the announcement of a series titled Sharkdog is almost certainly going to inspire you to think, “So, what, it’s about a half-dog, half-shark creature?” And if you were to think that, well, you’d be 100 per cent correct: the show revolves around a 10-year-old boy named Max and his pal Sharkdog, who—to borrow a line from Netflix’s description—is “half-shark, half-dog, with a big heart and a belly full of fish sticks!”

For better or worse, Sharkdog has no real clue about how strong and fast he is, nor is he aware of how much chaos he tends to stir up wherever he goes. But what he does know is that Max is his best friend and vice versa… and really, isn’t that all that matters in the end?

10. Worth – Friday, September 3, Netflix

Following the horrific 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Congress appoints attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) to lead the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Entrusted with allocating financial resources to the victims of the tragedy, Feinberg and his firm’s head of operations, Camille Biros (Amy Ryan), face the impossible task of determining the worth of a human life in order to help families who have suffered incalculable losses.

When Feinberg locks horns with Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), a community organizer mourning the death of his wife, his initial cynicism turns to compassion as he begins to truly comprehend the human cost of 9/11. Based on true events, Worth is a moving reminder of the power of empathy and the value of human connections. Tate Donovan, Shunori Ramanathan, Talia Balsam, Laura Benanti, Marc Maron, Ato Blankson- Wood, Carolyn Mignini and Victor Slezak also star.