What to Watch This Week: March 13 to 18

From reality-based scandals to annual accolades, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From reality-based scandals to annual accolades, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. 27th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards – Sunday, March 13, 7 p.m., The CW

We’re in the midst of another very interesting, very atypical awards season, which continues Sunday with the Critics’ Choice gala. The yearly celebration of film and TV has been an emerging player for a few years, but now they’re poised to take a few steps up the ladder—what with the Golden Globes sitting out 2022 while the recently scandalized Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) focuses on creating a more inclusive (and less corrupt) voting body. The show was actually originally scheduled to take over the Globes’ annual January slot… before Omicron intervened.

But now, finally, it’s coming to a screen near you, and the Critics Choice Association (CCA) has tapped comedian Nicole Byer (Nailed It!) to join returning triple-threat Taye Diggs (All American) in emceeing the festivities.

“This is definitely going to be the best Critics’ Choice Awards show ever,” said CCA head Joey Berlin in a release. “Imagine Taye and Nicole up in front of a big, beautiful room full of all the biggest stars in film and television—all dressed to kill, drinking champagne and hoping to win. It’s going to be a blast!”

So, just what gives this show the sort of credit the HFPA is currently lacking (if recent reports are to be believed)? Well, as opposed to a small, mysterious council long-rumoured to be open for business when it comes to their trophy-distribution policies, the CCA is a group of nearly 500 people who critique film and TV for a living. “The CCA is unique because it is a large and diverse national voting group, representing every major market around the U.S. and Canada and many smaller markets,” Berlin previously told Variety.

Hey, sounds great! But as with any awards body, even these critics’ choices are bound to have fans crying “Snub!” in a category or two.

2. Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy – Sunday, March 13, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., CNN | Season Premiere

Stanley Tucci was already a beloved actor, known for The Devil Wears Prada and the Hunger Games franchise. Then, he became a social media superstar after videos of himself mixing cocktails went viral in the early days of the pandemic.

Not long after, Tucci won even further acclaim with the release of Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, a food-focused travelogue that followed his journeys sampling the culture and cuisine of various regions in Italy, the land of his ancestors, and where he and his family lived for a year in the early 1970s.

Outfitted in elegant bespoke suits, Tucci proved to be a charming and erudite tour guide—not to mention a hit with viewers, even winning an Emmy for Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special.

What viewers didn’t discover until after the fact was that Tucci was battling cancer while filming that first season, and was being treated for a tumour found at the base of his tongue. As he later revealed, an episode in which he chowed down on a huge Florentine steak may have appeared mouthwatering, but was actually more like an endurance test for the actor as he struggled to both consume the meat and keep it down.

Now cancer-free, Tucci is back with a second season to explore even more of Italy. “People imagine it’s always sunny and people are playing mandolins and eating pizza and chicken parmigiana — which isn’t even an Italian dish,” Tucci told CNN. “Because my parents were so respectful of their heritage, that cultural identity was really important to me, and still is.”

His goal for the show remains showcasing the country’s vast diversity, “and how it came about—from geography, from invasions, from the influences of the Arab world, from the Spanish, the Normans, the Austrians. It’s an incredible culinary melting pot.”

3. The Porter – Monday, March 14, 9 p.m., CBC

Buckle up, because Zeke and Marlene are taking quite the road trip in this all-new episode of CBC’s buzzy civil rights miniseries. Meanwhile, Junior is shaken when Queenie unleashes her violent side and Lucy tries to nail her debut as featured performer, which could open up a whole new world of opportunities.

4. The Cleaning Lady – Monday, March 14, 9:01 p.m., CTV & Fox | Season Finale

How far will one mother go to save her ailing son? For Thony De La Rosa (Élodie Yung), the answer has proven to be: as far as it takes—from doctor to maid to crime-scene fixer for the Vegas mob. All that twisty-turny intrigue comes to a close with season one’s 10th and final episode. No word as of yet on a potential part two.

5. Mr. Mayor – Tuesday, March 15, 7:30 p.m., City; 8:30 p.m., NBC | Season Premiere

The pandemic hit everyone hard, but as far as TV shows go, few were more adversely affected than the inaugural season of Mr. Mayor—which ended up being truncated to a mere nine episodes. The series, created by 30 Rock duo Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, unexpectedly popped back up on the schedule in mid-December with a holiday instalment, but now it’s returning with the proper debut of season two.

Just a quick bit of catch-up for those who didn’t get around to watching season one: hot off his roundly acclaimed run on NBC’s The Good Place, Ted Danson plays Neil Bremer, a retired businessman who—rather than just kicking back and enjoying his wealth—decides to run for mayor of Los Angeles, mostly to impress his daughter. To everyone’s surprise, he wins… which forces him to figure out what, if anything, he stands for, and how to keep the largest city in America afloat.

Chapter two kicks off with the mayor having hired some “innovation consultants,” which alternately freaks out and annoys his regular, long-suffering staffers. It also peeves off his aforementioned daughter, since the consultants show up on the day dad promised to take her to the DMV for her driver’s test!

6. Beyond the Edge – Wednesday, March 16, 9 p.m., Global & CBS | Series Premiere

Survivor, but make it famous! That was no doubt the pitch for this outdoor endurance test, as celebs trade in their cushy lives of luxury to scrape by in the perilous jungles of Panama.

There, they’ll have to push themselves like never before, roughin’ it under absolutely brutal conditions for two weeks to prove their mettle and win a little cash for their favourite charity.

Among those competing are Full House star Jodie Sweetin, former (and very memorable) Bachelor Colton Underwood, The Real Housewives of New York City‘s Eboni K. Williams, country singers Lauren Alaina and Craig Morgan, Super Bowl champion Ray Lewis, NBA champ/reality TV star Metta World Peace, supermodel Paulina Porizkova and NFL legend Mike Singletary.

7. Minx – Thursday, March 17, 9 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., Crave1 | Series Premiere

Make no mistake about Minx: HBO Max’s latest isn’t afraid to let it all hang out… and no, that’s not just an expression. In a 2021 interview with Collider, exec producer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy) briefly touched on the series, describing it as “a fictionalized retelling of the origins of Playgirl magazine” and promising it would be “very, very funny.” Of course, a show can change a lot in a year, over the course of the development process. But based on advance screeners, we can confirm that, at the very least, Feig’s assessment of the humour remains completely accurate.

Set in Los Angeles in the ’70s, it stars Ophelia Lovibond (Elementary) as Joyce, a feminist writer who’s on a mission to start her own magazine, one that provides women with the sorts of articles they actually want—not what male publishers think they want or try to tell them they want. Where Joyce runs into a problem, however, is that her bold female-forward vision for the mag makes it an extremely tough sell at this point in American history. Enter Doug (New Girl‘s Jake Johnson), a publisher whose bread and butter is—shall we say—of the adult persuasion. Yet he sees the merit in Joyce’s concept and puts his money where his mouth is. The only catch: he firmly believes that the seriousness of the articles must be offset by something more marketable, i.e. a nude male centrefold.

It’s a tough pill for Joyce to swallow at first, but with the financial backing Doug can offer and the freedom he’s giving her in terms of editorial content, she’s hard-pressed to refuse.

While this show is definitely funny, not to mention fascinating from a historical standpoint, it’s also… well, we’ll just come right out and say it: there’s lots of full-frontal male nudity in the first episode. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

8. Human Resources – Friday, March 18, Netflix | Series Premiere

This spinoff of hit Netflix animated comedy Big Mouth takes an even edgier approach, pulling back the curtain on the daily lives of the creatures—Hormone Monsters, Depression Kitties, Shame Wizards and more—who help humans journey through every aspect of their lives, from puberty to parenthood to their twilight years. It quickly becomes clear that though the protagonists are creatures, they have a lot of humanity themselves. In addition to Nick Kroll, Maya Rudolph and David Thewlis reprising their Big Mouth roles, the all-star voice cast includes Aidy Bryant, Brandon Kyle Goodman, Keke Palmer and Randall Park.

Viewers will also meet some new critters—including Petra the Ambition Gremlin (voiced by Rosie Perez) and Keith From Grief (Henry Winkler)—along with the return of such familiar fiends as Mona the Hormone Monstress (Thandiwe Newton), Simon Sex (Jemaine Clement), Tito the Anxiety Mosquito (Maria Bamford) and Gavin the Hormone Monster (Bobby Cannavale).

9. WeCrashed – Friday, March 18, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere

There are all kinds of atypical working arrangements popping up these days, as COVID has given rise to telecommuting, virtual meetings and inventively slapped-together home offices.

But if you take a stroll down memory lane—all the way back to 2008, to be exact—a certain edgy real-estate startup hit the scene pioneering the concept of a “flexible” shared workplace. Specifically, WeWork’s goal was to offer tech companies affordable, adaptable spaces in which to do business—breaking the mold of drab, cubicle-lined offices. Then, it all went fascinatingly wrong, in a stranger-than-fiction tale that’ll be brought to light by a new series starring Oscar-winners Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables).

WeWork rose from a tiny, one-room operation to a global brand valued at $47 billion in under a decade. Alas, its collapse was even quicker. Within a matter of weeks, this house of cards came tumbling down amidst a failed public offering and allegations of profound mismanagement. What precisely happened, you ask? Co-created by The Office‘s Lee Eisenberg and directed by Crazy, Stupid, Love‘s John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, WeCrashed sets out to provide an answer via a closer look at controversial figurehead Adam Neumann (Leto) and his wife Rebekah (Hathaway); the show digs into the inextricable link between their unconventional business practices and their unconventional romance—the press release dubbing them: “the narcissists whose chaotic love made it all possible.”

Anthony Edwards (ER) and America Ferrera (Superstore) round out the A-list ensemble.

10. Windfall – Friday, March 18, Netflix

There’s wondering how the better half lives, and then there’s breaking into a tech CEO’s empty vacation home and getting the billionaire’s-eye-view. Such is the case for a guy known simply as Nobody. Erstwhile How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segel puts on his serious pants again to play the burglar in question, whose plans are interrupted when the homeowners—played by Lily Collins and recent Oscar-nominee Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)—suddenly show up. What was supposed to be a relaxing vacation (for owners and intruder alike) quickly turns into a psychological chess match, as Nobody holds the couple captive, leading to a tense, darkly satirical standoff between these One-Percenters and their disenfranchised captor.

It’s not just a comeback for Segel (who reunites with his The Discovery director Charlie McDowell and co-star Plemons), it’s also a side of Collins we haven’t quite seen on Emily in Paris. “This brilliant script provided me the opportunity to take ownership over a completely different character than any I’ve ever played before,” the actress noted on Instagram.