What to Watch This Week: March 6 to 11

From country honours to returning reality favourites, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From country honours to returning reality favourites, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Road Runner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain – Sunday, March 6, 6 p.m. & 8:30 p.m., CNN

Anthony Bourdain took the culinary world by storm with the publication of his wildly successful memoir Kitchen Confidential, spilling semi-scandalous stories from his years toiling in the kitchens of some of New York City’s finest culinary establishments. This acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Morgan Neville traces the rapid transformation that followed, taking Bourdain from renegade line cook to celebrity chef, a global-trotting commentator and renowned television host who attracted legions of fans who followed him to exotic locales throughout the world on his food-and-travel TV series No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown. Neville synthesized the essence of thousands of hours from Bourdain’s professional archive, family photos, home video, personal letters, and more than 30 original interviews with people close to the man during his life, in order to develop a compelling portrait of a complicated and often enigmatic figure. Bourdain achieved more than he could have imagined until tragically taking his own life in 2018. Roadrunner delves into his complex psyche, exploring his conflicted feelings about his unforeseen success, using artificial intelligence to eerily mimic Bourdain’s voice to narrate letters he wrote.

2. Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty – Sunday, March 7, 8 p.m. & 12:30 a.m., HBO Canada | Series Premiere

Basketball fans won’t want to miss this fast-break series from Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up, The Big Short), chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s-era Los Angeles Lakers, which featured such legendary players as Magic Johnson (played by Quincy Isaiah) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Solomon Hughes) under the leadership of coach Pat Riley (Adrien Brody). Winning Time tells the true story of one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties—a team that defined an era, both on and off the court. John C. Reilly plays team owner Jerry Buss, heading an all-star ensemble that also includes Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Tracy Letts, Jason Segel, Julianne Nicholson, Hadley Robinson, Tamera Tomakili, Brett Cullen, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Joey Brooks, Sarah Ramos, Spencer Garrett, Molly Gordon, DeVaughn Nixon, Delante Desouza, Jimel Atkins, Austin Aaron and Jon Young, with Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson, Sr. and Sally Field as Jessie Buss.

3. The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards – Monday, March 7, 5 p.m., Prime Video

Country music icon Dolly Parton hosts this year’s ACM Awards, which, for the first time ever, won’t be airing on broadcast television but on a streaming service. Parton will be joined by co-hosts Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.

4. The Thing About Pam – Tuesday, March 8, 9:01 p.m., NBC; 10:01 p.m., Global | Series Premiere

Two-time Oscar-winner Renée Zellweger returns to TV for a true-crime miniseries about Pam Hupp, the Missouri woman who orchestrated the 2011 murder of her best friend Betsy Faria (American Housewife‘s Katy Mixon)—a terminal cancer patient. Her goal: collect the insurance payout, while framing Faria’s husband Russ (Glenn Fleshler).

After Zellweger learned about Hupp from the podcast that inspired the show, she knew she’d found a great fit—albeit one that’d require a whole lot of padding. “I learned that it’s a different kind of skill to work with your entire body covered in prosthetics,” she admitted at the TCA winter press tour.

Rounding out the cast are Josh Duhamel as Russ Faria’s attorney, Joel Schwartz, and Judy Greer as relentless prosecutor Leah Askey.

5. Pam & Tommy – Wednesday, March 9, Disney+ | Series Finale

Pamela Anderson has made it clear that she will never watch this dramatization of her rollercoaster marriage to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee. But that doesn’t mean we have to steer clear of the Lily James- and Sebastian Stan-led miniseries. The show, which spans from the couple’s drug-fuelled meet-cute in Cancun through the humiliating aftermath of their personal sex tape being stolen and sold online by a disgruntled home contractor (Seth Rogen), comes to a close this week. Thus far, writer Robert Siegel (The Wrestler) and director Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya) have walked an interesting tightrope between salacious and incisive—aiming for a few chuckles, but also probing the ways in which the Baywatch star was commodified by society.

“As a friend of Pamela, at least no one will ever ask me again if the tape was really stolen,” a source told Entertainment Weekly. “In the ’90s, Pamela’s body was deemed by a judge to be public property. There was no question the tape was stolen property, but the court decided it wasn’t private property because her body belonged to the world.”

6. The Masked Singer – Wednesday, March 9, 8 p.m., CTV & Fox | Season Premiere

By now, we’re more or less desensitized to the nightmarish mascot get-ups featured on TV’s wildest sing-off. What absolutely can still shock us? The famous faces who happen to be hiding inside of them. And boy does season seven deliver on that front.

Typically, when host Nick Cannon takes the stage and celebrity-guessers Robin Thicke, Jenny McCarthy-Wahlberg, Nicole Scherzinger and Ken Jeong settle in for some fresh absurdity, we have absolutely no idea who’s competing. That changed, however, when Deadline leaked a very big reveal indeed. According to the website, former New York mayor and Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was unmasked in an episode filmed this past January, leading Jeong and Thicke to walk off stage in protest—though they did later return to finish up filming on the segment with their fellow panellists.

It’s unclear how much of that exchange will actually make it into the final cut of the episode, or, for that matter, which episode Giuliani appears in. For now, Fox is staying mum on the subject, issuing a statement that it doesn’t comment on rumours or speculation, in order to preserve the element of surprise. As we wait and see how that particular controversy plays out, there’s another format change afoot. In a season themed “The Good, The Bad and The Cuddly,” contestants are grouped into one of those three categories; early costume reveals include a lemur, a frog prince, a gladiator, an ogre, some sort of an animal astronaut and an alien ant thingy. There’s been no word on Giuliani’s category, but we expect many of you out there have strong opinions on where he should be.

7. Survivor – Wednesday, March 9, 8 p.m., Global & CBS | Season Premiere

Jeff Probst and the gang return to Fiji for season 42. This time, instead of being split in half, the 18 new contestants are divided into three tribes of six, which producers hope will create a “faster, more extreme” competition, with twists being dropped in at “a relentless pace that will push these castaways to their limits.”

8. The Adam Project – Friday, March 11, Netflix

As movies that would have once required a trip to the multiplex to watch are now regularly premiering on streaming services, the latest finds Ryan Reynolds reuniting with his Free Guy director Shawn Levy for their new collaboration, The Adam Project.

The Vancouver-born actor stars as the titular Adam, a fighter pilot from a future in which time travel has become a reality. When a mission goes wrong and he’s forced to crash-land his jet, he finds himself in 2022, where he teams up with his younger self (played by Walker Scobell) to embark on a mission that involves their father (Mark Ruffalo). As a result, Adam is forced to come to terms with his past while fixing the future (meanwhile, Jennifer Garner plays Adam’s mother, and the Ruffalo-Garner pairing should prove an irresistible draw to anyone who swooned over the pair in their beloved rom-com 13 Going on 30).

In a recent interview with Collider, Levy promised that the action-heavy film delivers “all the things we want from a time travel adventure movie,” but noted that The Adam Project also operates in much the same vein as heartwarming tearjerkers like Field of Dreams and Frequency. “Because imagine if you could go and have empathy for your parents now that you know what you know as an adult,” the director said. “Imagine being able to tell your kid self, ‘Yo buddy, you’re going to be OK. You’re going to be OK.’ It literally gives me goosebumps because this is a fundamenal human journey.”

For Reynolds, the movie hit home for him in a way that many of his other projects haven’t. “Certainly, The Adam Project, I would say, is probably one of the most personal movies I’ve ever done,” he told Collider. “Not to give too much away, but that one is really special to me.”

9. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Friday, March 11, Prime Video | Season Finale

Fans will bid farewell to Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as the fourth season comes to a close with the titular comedienne having discovered her true superpower is simply being herself, regardless of what society has to say about it. See ya in season five!

10. Turning Red – Friday, March 11, Disney+

There’s no such thing as a Pixar film that isn’t worth a look—seriously, their track record has been so solid for so many years that it’s impossible to imagine these people releasing something that’s a complete waste of time, even if many of their recent offerings have paled in comparison to the halcyon days of WALL-E and Up.

So it should come as little surprise that we’re excited to check out their latest endeavour, about a 13-year-old girl (voice of Rosalie Chiang) who, upon entering the throes of adolescence, discovers that whenever she gets too excited, she “poofs” into a giant red panda. (Ah, the perils of puberty… )

Danielle Feinberg, the film’s visual effects supervisor, recently spoke with ScreenRant about creating yet another indelible cartoon world. “Before the pandemic, we got together in small groups doing ‘looks’ development, so they all bonded,” she said. “We got a really collaborative thing going and tried really hard to foster that, knowing that for a new look, you had to bring your A-game and everybody had to be talking. I’m really proud of the crew because, despite being at home over Zoom, they found this really collaborative and wonderful place to create the film.”

Beyond leading lady Chiang, the voice cast also includes a pair of Canadians: Killing Eve‘s Sandra Oh and Never Have I Ever‘s Maitreyi Ramakrishnan.