What to Watch This Week: November 7 to 12

From salty Christmas comedies to groundbreaking Canadian creations, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From salty Christmas comedies to groundbreaking Canadian creations, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. What Happened, Brittany Murphy? – Crave (Stream)

Brittany Murphy was just a teenager when she burst onto the scene with a fan-favourite performance in the iconic 1995 teen comedy Clueless. She followed that up with roles in such high-profile films as Girl, Interrupted and rapper Eminem’s 8 Mile, yet what initially appeared to be a promising Hollywood career eventually fizzled out, with many pinning the blame on her controlling husband Simon Monjack, who reportedly micromanaged all aspects of her life and career. Sadly, Murphy’s life was cut short in 2009 at the far-too-young age of 32.

This two-part HBO Max docuseries investigates the unusual circumstances behind Murphy’s death, which was ruled to be the result of pneumonia combined with anemia and “multiple drug intoxication” from both prescription and over-the-counter medication, with the medical examiner claiming her death could have been prevented had she simply sought medical treatment. Featuring new archival footage and interviews with those who were closest to her, What Happened, Brittany Murphy? goes beyond the tabloid rumours to examine how Hollywood sexism impacted her struggles, as well as lingering concerns about her controversial relationship with husband Monjack—who died five months after his wife, of near-identical causes.

2. Father Christmas Is Back – Sunday, November 7, Netflix

As viewers know all too well at this point, everything arriving in theatres or on TV of late was at one point delayed or otherwise complicated by COVID. That includes this dark British holiday flick—and the cast, unlike their characters, are feeling very merry that they were able to get it shot at all.

“This situation has really been a disaster for everybody in every part of our industry—and, of course, most other industries worldwide!” star Elizabeth Hurley told Sky News in September of last year. “So I think what’s been fantastic about doing this [movie] is that people have been able to earn money, feed their families and actually work.”

Set in York, the film sports a mostly U.K. cast—with a couple of notable exceptions. It revolves around four sisters—Hurley, Nathalie Cox, Talulah Riley and Naomi Frederick—with a history of ferocious bickering, who gather for Christmas at their ancestral manor, only to discover that their estranged dad (Kelsey Grammer) will also be in attendance, along with his new girlfriend (Doom Patrol‘s April Bowlby). All that and John Cleese, too!

3. Unidentified with Demi Lovato – Sunday, November 7, 11 p.m., W Network | Series Premiere

The titular pop star and their sister embrace their shared passion for UFOs, embarking on a road trip across the U.S., seeking out close encounters and chatting with alien experts.

4. Yellowstone – Sunday, November 7, 5 p.m., 7 p.m. & 9 p.m., Paramount Network

The cattle-ranching, back-stabbing, land-grabbing Dutton clan returns for a fourth season, which arrives with the ominous tagline: “Everybody pays.” Joining Kevin Costner et al. this year are Piper Perabo (Covert Affairs) and Oscar-nominee Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook).

5. Impeachment: American Crime Story – Monday, November 8, 7 p.m., 8 p.m.& 10 p.m., FX Canada | Season Finale

The reviews for this third chapter of Ryan Murphy’s celebrity true-crime anthology have been mixed at best. The show has found plenty of fans who appreciated the female-forward perspective that reconsiders how Monica Lewinsky (Beanie Feldstein) and Linda Tripp (Sarah Paulson) were treated by authorities, the media and the general public during the Clinton sex scandal. Others have criticized what they feel is a superficial exploration from a series that really dug deep with its takes on O.J. Simpson and Versace.

Whichever side you land on, it all wraps up tonight, as the Starr Report brings the world to a standstill and Bill is officially impeached; meanwhile, Linda faces the consequences of her decisions and Monica struggles to pick up the pieces of her shattered reputation.

6. Sort Of – Tuesday, November 9, 9 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., CBC | Series Premiere

A new Canadian comedy bursting with heart, Sort Of follows the exploits of Sabi Mehboob (played by Bilal Baig, who co-created the series with Fab Filippo of Save Me), a gender-fluid millennial who straddles various identities, including bartender at an LGBTQ+ bookstore/bar, the youngest child in a traditional Pakistani-Canadian family, and the nanny/de facto parent to an urban hipster family whose mother has suffered a serious bike accident.

7. Passing – Wednesday, November 10, Netflix

Adapted from the acclaimed 1929 novel, this drama tells the story of two Black women, Irene Redfield (Tessa Thompson) and Clare Kendry (Ruth Negga), who can “pass” as white but choose to live on opposite sides of the colour line during the Harlem Renaissance in late-1920s New York. After a chance encounter reunites the former childhood friends, their lives become increasingly intertwined, threatening to expose the lies underlying Irene’s carefully constructed life in white society.

8. Dopesick – Friday, November 12, Disney+ | Series Premiere

Based on true events, this miniseries chronicles how a greedy pharmaceutical industry pushed doctors to prescribe their patients highly addictive opioids, creating an addiction epidemic characterized by death and despair. Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson, Peter Saarsgard and Kaitlyn Dever star.

9. Red Notice – Friday, November 12, Netflix

One of several Hollywood productions shooting in Vancouver to be halted because of the pandemic, Red Notice was also one of the first projects to resume filming. The story focuses on top FBI agent John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson), who follows up on a “red notice,” Interpol’s highest-level warrant to hunt and capture the world’s most wanted criminals. His global pursuit places him in the middle of a daring heist where he’s forced to partner with the “world’s greatest art thief,” Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds), in order to capture the “world’s most-wanted art thief,” known only as “The Bishop” (Gal Gadot). The high-flying adventure that ensues takes the trio around the world, across the dance floor, trapped in a secluded prison, into the jungle and, worst of all for them, constantly into each other’s company as they engage in a globe-trotting—and exceptionally stylish—game of cat-and-mouse; although, which of the three are mice and which are cats is something of an open question.

10. The World According to Jeff Goldblum – Friday, November 12, Disney+ | Series Premiere

One of the first original shows to debut on the Disney+ streaming service, Jeff Goldblum’s globe-trotting docuseries is back, with the first five episodes of season two dropping this week. As in the first season, Goldblum is our quirky guide to uncover all manner of surprising secrets about seemingly familiar topics. This season, Goldblum meets with legendary comedy-magic duo Penn & Teller and viral superstar Zach King for an inside look at magic, delves into the truth about monsters by meeting movie monster-maker Phil Tippett and then going on a hunt for Bigfoot, and takes a deep dive into the world of dance.