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From soapy reality romance to top gridiron honours, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week
Star Himesh Patel discusses the acclaimed post-apocalyptic miniseries with TV Week
TV Week: In contrast to, say, The Stand, where there’s a supernatural element to the plague, Station Eleven feels chillingly similar to how COVID really played out in its early days…Yeah, and it’s a relevance that we couldn’t have predicted, because we shot episode one before COVID came to Western shores. It’s very surreal looking back on it—scenes in episode one, especially. So many moments that are really haunting… because all of that was shot already, but it looks like it could easily have been informed by what we all went through afterwards.
That said, there’s much more humour in this show than you’d expect from an apocalypse drama.That’s something Hiro [Murai] brought to the table with his direction, because as we know from a lot of his work, he’s got a very specific and dry sense of humour which doesn’t make itself obvious; he does it through his choice of framing and his choice of editing and all these sorts of tiny moments… There’s also an optimism at the heart of [the show]. I think it’s about hope. The Traveling Symphony is hope. It’s hope on wheels. They go around this circuit every year. They bring joy to people. People look forward to watching them perform Shakespeare…
For your character, Jeevan—this aimless writer—when the pandemic hits, it almost gives him a purpose in life that he was lacking…It kind of taps into the anxieties that he has [pre-pandemic]. He wants to just take control of a situation and, yes, step up to some level of responsibility. When he gets the call from his sister, it’s unexpected—not least in terms of the content of what she’s telling him [the impending outbreak]—but in terms of him being the one that she calls. Because she says, not long after that, when she’s in the hospital, something along the lines of, One of my brothers has got a Pulitzer and the other one eats cereal for dinner—but guess which one I called.
After becoming the victims of a violent mugging, pregnant Robin (Hannah Emily Anderson) and husband Ben (Jake Epstein) decide to flee the big city and move to a small town, in search of a calmer, less dangerous life. Everything seems idyllic, until they meet their next-door neighbours, Sharon and Guy (Kyra Harper, David Ferry). At first, the couples hit it off, until Robin becomes unsettled by the extreme interest that Guy and Sharon seem to be taking in her pregnancy. A shocking series of events leads our heroine to the horrifying realization of the chilling plans they have for her and her unborn child.
It’s been said that tragedy plus time equals comedy, and Ms. Pat is one comic who knows this better than most. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, the woman endured a pretty awful childhood—surviving sexual abuse, a brief stay in juvenile detention and even a stint selling crack.
Thankfully, a caseworker encouraged Pat to try her hand at comedy, and the rest—including a book, an album, a sitcom based on her life (BET+’s The Ms. Pat Show) and a podcast—is history.
That rise through the showbiz ranks continues with her very first Netflix special. During the course of this hourlong set, Pat talks about growing up poor in Atlanta during the Reagan era, how her mother made her get baptized at multiple churches as a way to score cash and much, much more.
A sublime thriller that managed to eclipse the TV series on which it was based casts Harrison Ford as the wrongly convicted Dr. Kimble—on the run from the cops, searching for the one-armed man who killed his wife. Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar as the wily U.S. marshal nipping at his heels.
This new co-production between BBC One and American streamer HBO Max weaves a uniquely unsettling tale. A strict and imposing architect with a dark past (David Oyelowo, Selma) offers a down-on-her-luck PR executive (Black Mirror‘s Gugu Mbatha-Raw) the chance to live in a gorgeous house of his own design, for an absurdly low rent.
The only catch? She must abide by his every last rule, keeping the place clutter- and possession-free (seriously, this guy puts Marie Kondo to shame). It’s unusual, to say the least, but all seems fine at first—until our heroine realizes the house is changing her in strange, subtle ways. And when she learns that the place’s last tenant (Jessica Plummer) died inside the house while adhering to the same draconian rules? Well, it’s a red flag.
The mind-bending four-part mini was created by author J.P. Delaney, based on his own novel of the same name. Parts one and two premiere on the Crave cable channel this week, but if you’re a subscriber to the Crave streaming service, you can binge the full series starting Thursday.
It’s something of an odd week for football lovers, since this is usually the time of year we’re out shoppin’ for our fave Super Bowl snacks, placing our bets and wondering how the halftime performers (which, this year, entails a collective of Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Mary J. Blige) will fare/flop.
Instead, the big game has been pushed by a week thanks to the NFL extending its regular season from 16 to 17 games for the very first time. As such, we have a hiatus.
That doesn’t mean you have to be totally football-free, however, thanks to this annual award show. Tune in to learn who will take the MVP trophy from last year’s winner, Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and other Honors like Coach of the Year and Comeback Player. Key & Peele/MADtv funnyman Keegan-Michael Key is your host.
Described as a supernatural love story, The In Between stars Joey King (The Kissing Booth, The Act) as Tessa, a teenage girl who’s spent her life bouncing from one foster home to another, coming to believe she’s undeserving of acceptance and happiness. Everything changes, however, when she has a chance encounter with Skylar (Kyle Allen), a true romantic from a neighbouring town who allows the girl to leave her lifelong sense of inferiority behind as her heart opens. Just as their budding romance begins to bloom, tragedy strikes when they’re involved in a car crash, in which Tessa survives but Skylar is killed. In the aftermath of the accident, a slew of unexplained incidents take place which convince Tessa that Skylar is trying to reconnect with her from the afterlife.
With the help of her best friend (Celeste O’Connor) and a newfound belief that true love never dies, Tessa attempts to bridge the gap between this world and the next in order to ensure their love story receives the epic ending she believes it deserves.
Parks and Rec alum Jenny Slate and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Charlie Day combine their considerable wits in this new film, which is headed straight for Amazon.
When Emma and Peter bump into each other in the stairwell, they’re both at an all-time-low in their respective lives. Just kicked to the curb by their partners (Scott Eastwood, Gina Rodriguez), neither of them has any idea what to do next. But after commiserating over some java, the two hatch a plan: since their significant others have already found new lovers, they resolve to ruin those relationships so that both exes come running back. Will they fall for each other along the way? We can’t say… but we wouldn’t rule it out.
I was a huge fan of Jenny Slate, always have been, Day told Marie Claire in January. I knew she would have no problem handling the comedy or the drama, because I’ve seen Obvious Child. She’s so amazing in that movie… She’s hilarious and innovative and really smart, and also a really passionate person. I really wish I could go into another movie with Jenny, and another.
In this new thriller from director Steven Soderbergh, Zoë Kravitz stars as an agoraphobic Seattle tech worker who uncovers evidence of a brutal crime. Facing resistance, she realizes the only way she can see justice done is by doing the one thing that scares her the most: exiting her apartment.
Hard to believe it’s been two whole years since this absurdist dating experiment debuted and proceeded to occupy our every waking thought! It was certainly a case of art (if you can call it that) imitating life, with the show arriving at the absolute perfect time in 2020, when COVID lockdowns were just beginning. The captive global audience was nothing less than captivated by hot singles looking for romance sight-unseen—chatting each other up from the confines of isolation pods.
With season-one legends like Jessica Batten, who let her dog drink wine from her glass while stringing along poor Mark Cuevas, and Kenny Barnes, who seemed all-in on his relationship with Kelly Chase… right up till he left her at the altar, we’re psyched to see what sort of hapless romantics producers have in store for us next.
Now, finally, the wait is over. The first five episodes of season two arrive this Friday on the streaming service. And yet again, the show will drop our jaws, then leave our mouths watering, as the next four don’t show up till the following week, then the finale on Friday, February 25th.
The shenanigans resume under the guidance of hosts/celebrity-love-story-incarnate Nick and Vanessa Lachey. It’s set in Chicago and, as ever, contestants will break the ice unencumbered by the distraction of beauty—flirting up a storm without ever actually setting eyes on the stud or dud they’re dating. Only those who accept a proposal will ultimately meet in-person, after which it’s back to the real world, where each couple will have to figure out whether love can truly be blind outside the confines of a high-concept reality show.