What to Watch This Week: May 8 to 13

From over-the-top bling to beloved Emmy darlings, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From over-the-top bling to beloved Emmy darlings, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. The Big Conn – Apple TV+

The Big ConnApple TV+This four-part series tells the hard-to-believe (yet absolutely true) story of Eric C. Conn, an aptly named Kentucky attorney with a flashy, larger-than-life persona and a penchant for extravagant living. As it turned out, Conn was living a little too large, so much so that he attracted the attention of some whistleblowers whose tips led to a federal investigation. That was when it was discovered that Conn had managed to defraud the U.S. government out of more than a half-billion dollars, in the largest Social Security fraud scheme ever recorded in American history.  

That, however, is only the starting point of this bizarre true-crime story. After he was put on trial and found guilty, just before his sentencing, Conn—who was under house arrest—cut off his ankle bracelet and made a break for it. He managed to stay one step ahead of authorities, somehow making it to Honduras—where he was eventually nabbed and returned to the U.S. Sentenced to 12 years in prison, Conn had an additional 15 years added onto his term due to his botched attempt to flee the country.  

While Conn remains behind bars, he left the lives of the numerous Kentucky citizens in shambles, forcing them to hire lawyers as they attempt to get the benefits they depend upon reinstated after becoming victims of Conn’s con.

2. Clean – AMC+ (Stream)

CleanAMC+In this crime thriller, a garbage collector named Clean (Adrien Brody, who is also co-screenwriter and producer) is seeking a quiet life of redemption when an attempted good deed sucks him into the orbit of a local mob boss (Glenn Fleshler), where he’s forced to confront his violent past. Also starring RZA.

3. The Silence of the Lambs – Monday, May 9, 8:26 p.m., AMC

The Silence of the LambsAMCThe adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel won five Oscars, including one for Jodie Foster as Clarice, the FBI trainee who seeks the insight of imprisoned psychopath Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to catch a killer that likes to skin his victims.

4. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – Wednesday, May 11, 6 p.m. & 9 p.m., Slice | Season Premiere

The Real Housewives of Beverly HillsSliceThe ladies of sunny Beverly Hills are back for a 12th season, but from the early looks of things, there will be plenty of shade thrown. In a trailer ahead of the season debut, several cracks are already forming in these wives’ friendships, and no one is safe from the wine splashes or the witty rejoinders.  

In the mix are all of last year’s leading cast members: Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Erika Jayne, Garcelle Beauvais, Crystal Minkoff and Sutton Stracke. They’ll be joined by returning friend Kathy Hilton, as well as new full-time Housewife Sanela Diana Jenkins and Friend Sheree Zampino. 

While it’s always tough for newcomers to find their place amongst this crew, this season in particular will probably be extra dicey. That’s because Erika’s legal woes are once again expected to loom large in many of the storylines, and the ladies’ distrust of their former pal just seems to keep growing.  

Other big life events, such as the death of Lisa’s mom and the gunpoint robbery Dorit and her kids went through, are also teased in the trailer.  

Beyond that, a rift between Kyle and her sister Kathy appears to be forming, led by the always trouble-making Rinna. Also, Erika’s drinking seems to be getting the best of her—something Garcelle is quick to point out.  

Amidst all this drama, there will be a little time for some fun in the sun; we can say for sure there’s a ski trip and a getaway to Mexico forthcoming. Here’s hoping this notoriously volatile cast can put their differences aside long enough to enjoy them.

5. Hacks – Thursday, May 12, 10 p.m. & 10:35 p.m., Crave1 | Season Premiere

HacksCraveOne of my hands-down favourite new TV series of 2021 was Hacks, a hilarious dark comedy focusing on Deborah Vance (Jean Smart), a washed-up comedian who’s become comfortably wealthy by phoning in the same stale act she’s coasted on since the 1990s for tourists in Las Vegas. When her longtime Vegas residency is yanked because she’s not pulling in the crowds she used to, her agent partners her with millennial comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder), who lost a promising TV gig for being a little too edgy on social media. 

The first season found the pair of women feeling each other out, pushing each other’s buttons and ultimately developing a mutual respect grounded in comedy.  

Back for season two, Hacks now finds these unlikely comedy partners hitting the road, as Deborah workshops her first new material in decades, with Ava helping her to shape a relevant, provocative act that will place the once-hot comic back on top. 

As this “dark mentorship” evolves on the road, returning cast members include Carl Clemons-Hopkins (as Vance’s long-suffering employee), Kaitlin Olson (as Deborah’s recovering-addict daughter, DJ) and Christopher McDonald as Marty Ghilain, owner of the Vegas casino that’s given Deb the boot after 30 years as his headliner. 

Fans can expect to see some new recurring guest stars in the new season, including Laurie Metcalf (The Conners), Martha Kelly (Baskets), Ming-Na Wen (The Book of Boba Fett) and Susie Essman (Curb Your Enthusiasm). 

As series co-creator Lucia Aniello divulged to Entertainment Weekly, Deborah and Ava start the season “in a really good place,” but hinted that “there’s trouble afoot… there’s something floating out there that fully will disrupt that equilibrium of peacefulness and happiness.”

6. Bling Empire – Friday, May 13, Netflix | Season Premiere

Bling EmpireNetflixLos Angeles’ hottest Asian socialites are back for a second season, and after all of the more-fabulous-than-fiction antics they got up to last year, we can’t wait to see what’s next.  

Christine Chiu, Kevin Kreider, Kelly Mi Li, Kim Lee, Kane Lim and Gabriel Chiu are here, once more, to waste money, flirt shamelessly and duke it out for social status. But they aren’t the only ones glamming up the screen this year. Joining the second season are former Rich Kids of Beverly Hills star Dorothy Wang and philanthropist Mimi Morris.  

“Although Mimi now lives in the height of luxury, she has never lost her work ethic nor her strong survival skills in the face of adversity,” Netflix teased. That’s good… because “adversity” is never in short supply on Bling Empire. 

7. The Kids In the Hall – Friday, May 13, Prime Video | Series Premiere

The Kids in the HallPrime VideoTo say that fans of beloved Canadian sketch series The Kids in the Hall are giddy about the comedy troupe’s return to television with new episodes is a bit like standing in the middle of a torrential rainstorm and saying that you’re feeling a bit damp: it’s true, but it’s such a dramatic understatement that it hardly does the situation justice. The original TV incarnation of The Kids in the Hall began in 1988 (on HBO in the U.S. and here in Canada on CBC) as a one-hour pilot special, the success of which spawned a proper series that ran for three seasons on HBO before making the jump to CBS for two more. After concluding its run in 1995, the Kids returned the following year with a major motion picture, Brain Candy, which was only a minor success in theatres, but almost immediately became a cult hit. Since then, the troupe has undertaken a few tours—one in 2000 and one in 2008, plus a well-received performance at the 2007 Just for Laughs Comedy  

Festival—and they also returned for a 2010 miniseries entitled Death Comes to Town. Oh, yes, and lest we forget, they also reunited for an episode of Dave Foley’s mid-2010s CTV sitcom Spun Out. Still, it’s been 27 years since Foley, Scott Thompson, Mark McKinney, Bruce McCulloch and Kevin McDonald last did a proper sketch series together, so the fan excitement is absolutely, positively warranted. “We just have always been together—even when we don’t see each other for a long time, we just fall right back into it,” Thompson told the CBC recently. As for the new series itself, he described it as “us doing sketch comedy, at this stage in our life. Trying to reflect the world we’re in and make funny. All we’re doing is trying to make each other laugh—and if other people laugh, that’s just a really nice side effect.” 

8. Shoresy – Friday, May 13, Crave (Stream) | Series Premiere

ShoresyCraveJared Keeso reprises his Letterkenny character in this spinoff that sees Shoresy join the Sudbury Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization, recruited by the team’s general manager (Tasya Teles) as part of her plan to end the team’s losing streak and actually win a game. 

9. Senior Year – Friday, May 13, Netflix

Senior YearNetflixThis new comedy flick stars Rebel Wilson (of Pitch Perfect and its sequels) as a woman who awakens after spending 20 years in a coma, the result of an unfortunate cheerleading accident when she was in high school. Now that she’s back, she seizes on the opportunity to return to school and finish her senior year, along with attempting to regain the top-dog status she held when she was 17 and fulfilling her teenage dream of becoming prom queen—despite the fact that she’s now 37 years old.  

Of course, a lot has changed since 2002, leading her to discover social media as she learns to adapt to her new reality after the world moved on without her. “You mean, I’m just supposed to jump forward?” Wilson’s character complains at one point in the film. “I just found out there are eight more Fast & Furious movies!” 

In addition to Wilson, other stars in the film include Alicia Silverstone, Justin Hartley, Angourie Rice, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Mary Holland and Chris Parnell.

10. Sneakerella – Friday, May 13, Disney+

SneakerellaDisney+Given the title of this new Disney+ film, it’s no spoiler to reveal that it’s an adaptation of the oft-told Cinderella story, but just how much has been changed from the original fairytale—well, that’s what might prove to be a bit on the surprising side. In this modernized version, the story revolves around El (Chosen Jacobs), an aspiring sneaker designer who works as a stock boy in the shoe store that his late mother owned, and lives with his stepfather and his two evil stepbrothers. (OK, fine, Disney only refers to them as “mean-spirited,” but you get the gist.) When El meets Kira (Lexi Underwood), the daughter of legendary basketball star turned sneaker tycoon Darius King (played by actual former NBA great John Salley), love is in the air. However, it takes some Fairy Godfather magic to get El to follow his passion and achieve his lifelong dream of becoming a real sneaker designer. 

 “I think what’s so appealing about the story is the aspirational element… and that people want to believe in good things happening,” said executive producer Jane Startz of the message she hopes that viewers will take away after watching Sneakerella. “He has dreams, and he wants there to be magic in his life,” she adds of protagonist El. “But in our story, in our iteration, magic is about real life.”