What to Watch This Week: October 2 to 7

From a reality revival of The Love Boat to a new Marvel series worth howling about, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From a reality revival of ‘The Love Boat’ to a new Marvel series worth howling about, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. East New York – Sunday, October 2, CTV & CBS | Series PremiereEast New YorkCTV

Looking for a new crime procedural with a gritty edge? The officers of the 74th precinct in this new cop drama hope to deliver. The action picks up after Dep. Inspector Regina Haywood (Amanda Warren) is promoted in East New York. There, a working-class neighbourhood, social upheaval and gentrification have been giving police—and the citizens—a run for their money. As Haywood works to implement a creative new strategy to protect the community she grew up in, she’ll have to first earn the respect and trust of the men and women she’s tasked with leading. If Haywood has her way, the staff won’t just be serving their community; they’ll also be a part of it. Of course, we should expect plenty of resistance along the way. 


2. The Great Canadian Baking Show – Sunday, October 2, CBC | Season Premiere

The Great Canadian Baking ShowCBCBust out your favourite whisks and make sure those batter bowls are sparkling because the sixth season of the famous Northern bake-off is back this week. This season, 10 new amateur bakers from across the country will come together to compete in a series of themed culinary challenges, all of which celebrate their diverse backgrounds, their families and their communities.  

Like in previous seasons, each hour-long episode features three rounds: the Signature Bake, the Technical Bake and the Show Stopper. While one ecstatic home baker will walk away as the Star Baker each week, someone else’s dreams will fall faster than an ill-planned soufflé when they’re ousted from the tent. There is more than just pride on the line, however: over the course of eight episodes (plus a holiday special!) these bakers are competing for a handsome cash prize. In the end it will come down to three remaining bakers, whose skills are only matched by their joy of creating delicious concoctions. Now that’s something any amateur baker (or expert taster) can get behind.  

This year, the competitors represent a wide range of ages and backgrounds, and they hail from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba. Comedians, actors, writers and Second City alumni Alan Shane Lewis and Ann Pornel return to co-host, while pastry chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Kyla Kennaley have the tough task of returning to the judges’ table to sample all of these bakers’ delicious creations.   

New to the franchise and hungry for more after the first episode debuts? Head to CBC Gem and catch up on the first five seasons anytime. Just be sure to stock up your own pantry beforehand, because this series is as mouthwatering as it is inspirational.


3. Making Black America: Through the Grapevine – Tuesday, October, KCTS & WTVS | Series Premiere

Making Black America: Through the GrapevinePBSHenry Louis Gates, Jr. hosts this four-part series that chronicles the vast social networks and organizations created by and for Black people—beyond the reach of the “white gaze.” As Gates explains, the titular grapevine is far more than just a metaphor in Marvin Gaye’s classic Motown hit, but the underground means of communication that Black Americans used to communicate among themselves, having been “excluded behind the colour line” and responding by creating a wholly unique “world of their own, a sepia world, a world beyond the veil.” 


4. Sherwood – Tuesday, October 4, BritBox | Series Premiere

SherwoodBritBoxCritics have hailed this gritty BBC crime drama one of TV’s all-time best, the fictionalized retelling of the actual events that took place when two local residents in an industrial town surrounding Sherwood Forest were murdered, reopening old wounds and engulfing the community in tension and fear. Soon everyone is under suspicion, neighbours are turning on neighbours, and no one can be trusted — especially not the authorities. Enter two London detectives (Philip Glenister and David Morrissey) to seek the truth — who must put aside their own complicated history. Also starring Lesley Manville, Joanne Froggatt and Kevin Doyle.


5. Hasan Minhaj: The King’s Jester – Tuesday, October 4, Netflix

Hasan Minhaj: The King's JesterNetflixHasan Minhaj is no stranger to Netflix. Homecoming King, his 2017 standup special for the streaming service, earned him a Peabody Award, and his Netflix series, Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, ran for two seasons and won him his second Peabody.  

Now, having successfully navigated the pandemic, he’s back with a new special: The King’s Jester. Filmed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, this set finds the man waxing comedic about such topics as fatherhood, fertility and freedom of speech. “One of the things that’s the undercurrent of my work is family, and not to be corny about it, but it does allow me to speak with a level of authenticity,” Minhaj told Cultured. “What I love most about personal storytelling is even though it’s just my experience, at the very least I’m providing a sincere perspective that’s authentic.” 


6. The Real Love Boat – Wednesday, October 5, Global & CBS | Series Premiere

The Real Love BoatCBSIf TV has taught us anything in the past few years, it’s that what’s old is new again. Enter the premise behind this new series, which is definitely grounded in the past. The Real Love Boat is inspired by the show of the same name, in which vacationers boarded a luxe cruise ship.  

Here, real-life singles set their relationship goals to full steam ahead when they board a Princess Cruises ship for a Mediterranean voyage in hopes of finding their soul mates. Of course it won’t be as simple as wining and dining; there are compatibility and chemistry challenges to face along the way. Only one lucky couple will win the cash prize (and the ultimate luxury cruise), plus their potential first mate. 

Real-life married couple Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell host. “After years of consuming, arguing about and dissecting unscripted television, hosting a reality series seemed like a dream come true,” the duo said in a statement. “When we heard it was aboard The Real Love Boat, that dream got an iconic theme song—‘We promise something for everyone.’ ” 


7. Grey’s Anatomy – Thursday, October 6, CTV & ABC | Season Premiere

Grey’s AnatomyCTVAnyone who has watched this medical drama from the beginning would agree that it’s been stuffed with jaw-dropping twists, turns and cliffhanger-endings over the past 18 years. So we didn’t think the show could shock us any further heading into season 19, but then star Ellen Pompeo—Dr. Meredith Grey herself—revealed she is reducing her role this year. Rather than anchoring nearly every episode as per usual, the star is taking a break in order to film and produce a Hulu series. (It’s an untitled family drama about a couple who adopts an eight-year-old girl with a rare form of dwarfism before they realize all is not as it seems.) That means Pompeo will only star in eight episodes of Grey’s this year and now many fans are wondering what that means for the show’s future. “[Grey’s is] still gonna be just fine without me—I’m still gonna do the voiceover,” Pompeo told Deadline ahead of the premiere. “And I’ll be back at Grey’s for the finale, and we’ll see if we can keep it going,” she continued. “I’m gonna always be a part of that show—I’m an exec producer, I’ve spent two decades of my career on that show. It’s my heart and soul and I’ll never truly be gone as long as that show’s on the air.” 

On the bright side, there are still plenty of other stories to dig into when we return. Let’s not forget that when we last saw these docs, Owen (Kevin McKidd) was running from the law with Teddy (Kim Raver), Bailey (Chandra Wilson) had just quit her gig as chief, Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) was taking a sabbatical, and the entire residency program that first introduced us to these characters all those years ago was in serious jeopardy. 


8. Luckiest Girl Alive – Friday, October 7, Netflix

Luckiest Girl AliveNetflixBased on the bestselling novel, Mila Kunis stars as a young woman who appears to have the perfect life—high-paid job as editor of a popular women’s magazine and betrothed to the scion of a wealthy family. She questions everything, however, when forced to confront a horrific series of traumatic events from her teens.


9. Werewolf By Night – Friday, October 7, Disney+

Werewolf by NightDisney+This Halloween-themed special resurrects the 1970s-era Marvel comic book of the same name, focusing on a shapeshifting quasi-werewolf who is capable of transforming from human to beast on a whim, no full moon required, in order to battle the forces of evil. Gael García Bernal stars as lycanthrope superhero Jack Russell, while Laura Donnelly is monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone. Harriet Sansom Harris is Verusa, leader of the monster hunters—and isn’t quite what she appears. 


10. Catherine Called Birdy – Friday, October 7, Prime Video

Catherine Called BirdyPrime VideoIt’s been a minute since we’ve seen anything from Lena Dunham, and now the writer/creator/star of HBO’s Girls is back as director of this new film, a medieval comedy-drama (based on the novel of the same name) set in the 13th century. Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey stars as 14-year-old Catherine, nicknamed Birdy for her feathered menagerie of pet birds, whose strained relationship with her parents (Andrew Scott and Billie Piper) becomes even more so when her father tries to marry her off to the highest bidder before the family goes completely broke. Catherine’s defiance winds up sending several well-heeled suitors packing, leaving just one option left: a proposal from a decrepit old man known as Grey Beard. “It isn’t a story about a teenage warrior,” Dunham told Vanity Fair of what sets her movie apart from others set in the same era. “It isn’t a story about a forbidden teenage romance. She doesn’t have magical powers. It doesn’t fall into [those] tropes. She really is just a complicated, tough—at times doing challenging and unlikable things—young woman.”