What to Watch This Week: February 20 to 25

From insightful stand-up to nostalgic documentaries, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From insightful stand-up to nostalgic documentaries, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Ali Wong: Don Wong – Netflix

When it comes to comedy projects, Ali Wong and Netflix have forged an impressive partnership that seems to be serving both of them quite well. It all started with Wong’s first Netflix standup special—2016’s Baby Cobra—and continued with her second, 2018’s Hard Knock Wife, after which came a 2019 rom-com film, Always Be My Maybe. And soon, we’ll be enjoying her first Netflix TV series, Beef.

Before that, though, we’ve got another special: Don Wong, a Valentine’s Day offering filmed at the Count Basie Theater in New Jersey. It features Wong quipping on such topics as the challenges of monogamy, how she really feels about single people and her “wildest fantasies.”

This hour of hilarity also represents a reunion between Wong and her Always Be My Maybe director Nahnatchka Khan, who helmed the special.

2. And Just Like That… The Documentary – Crave (Stream)

Go behind the scenes as Sarah Jessica Parker and the Sex and the City crew reunite for their HBO sequel series, recounting all the emotions, attention to detail and artistic struggles that brought And Just Like That… to life.

3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Sunday, February 20, 10:05 p.m. & 12:50 a.m., HBO Canada

Whenever John Oliver is on hiatus, you can’t help but wonder what he’s thinking about the news of the day. Well, wonder no more! Season nine premieres to find the witty Brit, like all the rest of us, immersed in “the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and a highly polarized political landscape.”

4. America’s Got Talent: Extreme – Monday, February 21, 8 p.m., NBC | Series Premiere

If you thought the acts on the regular version of this variety show are off the dang wall, just wait and see what the Extreme contestants have in store. As with the original, average folks audition for the AGT panel—except here, host Terry Crews and lead judge Simon Cowell are flanked by WWE wrestler Nikki Bella and motorsports great Travis Pastrana. What’s more, everyone hitting that stage is a daredevil or stunt performer of some sort. The network promises “outrageous, unique and jaw-dropping moments”—to the point that one of them, Jonathan Goodwin, was critically injured last fall during filming. Yet with great risk comes great reward—in this case, the chance at $500,000 for the winner.

Before Monday’s premiere, be sure to tune in to NBC on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. for a mid-Olympics preview of the calamities to come.

5. Jeopardy! National College Championship – Tuesday, 8 p.m., Chek & ABC | Season Finale

The classic game show’s first primetime college tournament administers its final exam. Host Mayim Bialik challenges last week’s quarterfinals winners to come up with all the right questions—with the best in class earning both top marks and a $250,000 prize.

6. The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder – Wednesday, February 23, Disney+

First making its debut on Disney Channel in 2001, The Proud Family shared the animated adventures of 14-year-old Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt), her parents (Paula Jai Parker and Tommy Davidson), grandmother Sugar Mama (Jo Marie Payton), and friends Dijonay (Karen Malina White), Zoey (Soleil Moon Frye) and LaCienega (Alisa Reyes). Twenty years later—and 15 after the show ended its run—the cast has reassembled for more cartoon adventures. Look for an array of celebrity guest stars lending their voices to the Disney+ revival, including Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Chance the Rapper, Tiffany Haddish, Anthony Anderson, Gabrielle Union and many more. During a recent session at the Television Critics Association press tour, the cast discussed the experience of returning to voice characters they first played decades earlier, having aged themselves while the characters remain the same. “It’s like being in a beautiful time machine,” said Frye.

7. Big Brother: Celebrity Edition – Wednesday, February 23, 8 p.m., Global & CBS | Season Finale

Another season of celebrity-driven shenanigans comes to a conclusion, with Julie Chen Moonves hosting the big reveal about which of this year’s stars will walk away from the Big Brother house victorious, carrying $100,000 to donate to the charity of the winner’s choice.

8. A Madea Homecoming – Friday, February 25, Netflix

You knew it would happen eventually—and now, it has: writer-director-star Tyler Perry returns as outrageous Southern grandma Madea Simmons. Just what brings everyone’s favourite elder stateswoman of comedy back this time? Why, her great-grandson’s college graduation, of course! Unfortunately, the festivities hit a snag when some long-buried family secrets emerge, grinding Madea’s illustrious homecoming party to a halt.

The cast includes such familiar faces as Tamela J. Mann (Cora), David Mann (Mr. Brown), Cassi Davis (Aunt Bam), Brandon Black (Tim) and Isha Blaaker (Davi). Plus, there’s a decidedly unexpected crossover: Brendan O’Carroll pops up to play his Mrs. Brown’s Boys character, Agnes. As avid fans well know, Madea was supposed to have retired definitively with 2019’s A Madea Family Funeral, but ultimately, tough times forced her creator/inhabitor to reconsider. As Mr. Perry told Entertainment Weekly, “I was looking at the state of the world and how polarized it is… Nobody’s laughing. Nobody’s getting the chance to belly-laugh anymore. And I’m like, ‘What tool do I have in my arsenal that can bring that kind of laughter?’”

Perry actually started getting his chuckles last month with some advance publicity for the film, taking to Instagram and posting a mock album cover claiming that Madea was about to drop a new record titled Ma-Delle: 90 and that she’d be doing an interview with Oprah to promote it. Surprisingly, Oprah herself decided to join in on the fun, leaving a comment in which she replied, “HellURRRRRR. It’s me. I’m ready for our sit-down convo. Need to know what you’ll be wearing so I can coordinate colours and set background. Have your people call my people.” Hey, when Oprah’s replying to your social media posts, you know you’ve made it!

9. No Exit – Friday, February 25, Disney+

On her way to deal with a family emergency, a blizzard forces Darby (Havana Rose Liu) to seek shelter at a highway rest area with a group of strangers. When she stumbles across an abducted girl in a van, it kicks off a life-or-death struggle to uncover which of them is the kidnapper.

10. Viking: Valhalla – Friday, February 25, Netflix | Series Premiere

After six seasons, it’s hard to even hear the word “Vikings” without conjuring up images of Ragnar, Lagertha and Ivar the Boneless. But this new spinoff introduces us to a whole new generation of ferocious pillagers and plunderers—just as the Vikings near the end of their reign, but also make their biggest mark on the pages of history. The series takes place 100 years from where the original left off, following Norse exploits in discovering the New World, while really digging into how Christianity infiltrated their society, cleaving it in two like a bearded axe.

Produced by original creator Michael Hirst, it follows the legendary explorer Leif Erikson (played by Sam Corlett) and his ferociously anti-Christian sister Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson). The story starts when they leave Kattegat—the Vikings’ trusted home base—and pursue their own dreams of conquest. Like the first series, actual historical events serve as the dramatic tentpoles; however, there is a lot of creative licence to be taken, given how sketchy those real-life records actually are. Also like the original, this new iteration promises to have some pretty badass women.

“I latched on to Freydis, who I thought was a spectacular female character,” new showrunner Jeb Stuart (Die Hard) told Polygon.

And she’s not the only new warrior woman on the block. Stuart also discovered a historical figure named Emma of Normandy (played here by Laura Berlin), a girl who left home at 15 but became one of the richest women in Europe by the time she was 20 years old. “One of the things I love about the era, especially from a writing standpoint, is women [in Danish culture] could own property and they could rule kingdoms,” Stuart continued. Considering Viking women were granted that “right” long before the Danish, it sounds like we need an episode where Emma and Freydis meet—stat!