From quarantine cooking to fierce drag royalty, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. Little Fires Everywhere – Amazon Prime Video
Amazon PrimeReese Witherspoon was in her mid-30s and at the height of success when she realized she needed to take her career into her own hands. “I wasn’t happy with the choices that were being made for me, and I didn’t see a place to exist within the industry that we had,” says the 44-year-old actress. “There just wasn’t a spectrum of storytelling for women that I felt like was representative of the world that we walk through.”
With the emergence of premium cable and streaming, Witherspoon has not only been able to choose her own projects, she has created a production platform so powerful that every actress in Hollywood, from Meryl Streep to Nicole Kidman to Jennifer Aniston, is eagerly climbing onboard. “I had no idea the whole world would open up for us, but it has changed my life,” says Witherspoon. “The ability to work with different kinds of storytellers, to be able to option books and partner with other people I respect and admire, who also have a perspective that is not my own but is just as valuable, has changed my entire experience.”
Her latest project, following a series of hits like Big Little Lies and The Morning Show, is a TV adaptation of Celeste Ng’s acclaimed novel Little Fires Everywhere, and her latest producing partner is Scandal star Kerry Washington. In the eight-episode limited series, Witherspoon plays Elena Richardson, an affluent mother of three whose life is upended when she rents an apartment to nomadic artist Mia Warren, played by Washington. As the show opens, we see Elena’s big house in flames—surely a metaphor for her life—but as the series progresses, the climax is the least troubling of this series’ unravelling events.
2. Killing Eve – Sunday, May 31, 7 p.m. & Midnight, CTV Drama | Season Finale
CTV DramaThe game of cat and mouse caps off round three. Seasons one and two vacillated between darkly humorous and just plain dark. This year? Well, it’s shown us a whole new shade. Both Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer have been at their best, as Eve and Villanelle were forced to deal with game-changing deaths, bitter betrayals and, in the season’s standout moment, a family reunion that was both cathartic and utterly devastating, as Villanelle (a.k.a. Oksana) returned to her childhood home in Russia, forging new bonds before severing an old one quite definitively by murdering her own mother. It was a shocking turn that found the assassin at her most emotionally exposed, setting the tone for the rest of the season and perhaps the rest of the character’s arc.
Does this season finale, like the last two, hold in store a fateful confrontation between Villanelle and Eve? If so, considering the series has already been renewed for a fourth go-round, it’s likely both characters will make it through intact... but then again, every time we think we know something for sure with this show, the writers go ahead and prove us dead wrong.
3. Top Chef Canada – Monday, June 1, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Food Network | Season Finale
Food NetworkIt’s been a big, emotional season, played out by some of the most talented chefs from across Canada, but it all comes to a close this week when host Eden Grinshpan names this year’s winner.
Before that, there’s a lot of drama to sink our teeth into. Following last week’s shocking reveal that Stephanie and Imran will go head-to-head in a sudden-death cook-off for failing the pasta Elimination Challenge, we’ll see which one of them joins Francis and Lucy in the Top 3. Then, for the first time in the show’s history, the three top chefs will go head-to-head in a progressive four-course tasting menu that’s designed to showcase their sparkling personalities.
With a new luxury car, a trip to Italy and a $100,000 cash prize on the line, you can bet that these three will be pulling out all the stops in order to impress Mark McEwan, Mijune Pak, Janet Zuccarini, Chris Nuttall-Smith and their ever-discerning palettes.
4. Laurel Canyon – Monday, June 1, 8 p.m., Crave1
CraveThey may have come for the cheap livin’ but they stayed for the creative musical atmosphere of Laurel Canyon.
The so-named two-part documentary uses archival interviews and footage to tell how the rural enclave in the Hollywood Hills became home to a laundry list of some of the most influential and famous names of 1960s and ’70s music, among them the Eagles, The Doors, The Mamas & the Papas, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, The Byrds, Bonnie Raitt, The Monkees, Little Feat and Jackson Browne.
5. Amy Schumer Learns to Cook – Tuesday, June 2, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., Food | Season Finale
FoodThis Food Network series, self-filmed by quarantining comedian Amy Schumer and her chef husband Chris Fischer, wraps up its first—and possibly only—season. To cap off this culinary TV experiment, the couple decide to make every night movie night in quarantine, while Fischer cooks lamb sliders and an unconventional Greek salad dip. Meanwhile, designated bartender Schumer mixes up some comforting hot toddies to take the edge off isolation.
6. Blindspot – Thursday, June 4, 9 p.m, CTV & NBC
CTVWhen a terrorist group sets its sights on a chemical weapon, the path to salvation may be a stroll down memory lane: specifically, to the team’s early days at the FBI, which held some “key details” pertinent to this case. On the personal front, Weller gets bad news about his daughter’s condition.
7. Toxic Beauty – Thursday, June 4 , 8 p.m., CBC
CBCAre the same skin-care creams and powders we rely upon to keep us looking good actually causing hidden harm? That’s what this provocative documentary sets out to explore, the result of a three-year investigation into the unregulated—and often toxic and carcinogenic—chemicals widely used in beauty products.
8. 13 Reasons Why – Friday, June 5, Netflix | Season Premiere
NetflixFew TV series in recent years have generated so much controversy as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. Based on a 2007 young adult novel, the first season centred on the suicide of teenager Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), who leaves behind 13 cassette tapes for the 13 classmates she blames for bullying, belittling and ignoring her to the point she took her own life.
The scene depicting that suicide, in fact, proved to be so disturbing that Netflix wound up cutting it out of the episode two years after its release, reportedly at the urging of mental health professionals.
The first season ended with a defining moment when the final tape revealed Hannah had been sexually assaulted—her rapist, Bryce Walker (Justin Wright Prentice), placed under arrest.
Fans of the show were hooked, yet when 13 Reasons Why returned for season two, it wasn’t the same show, instead morphing into a courtroom drama that followed the trial of Bryce (who received a slap on the wrist, sentenced to three months’ probation).
In the third season, the show attempted to return to its roots by delving into the hot-button problems experienced by modern teenagers, yet wound up being criticized for a preachy, after-school special approach that often felt clumsy and ham-handed, culminating with Bryce’s murder.
This week, the series returns with its fourth and final season, focused on finding out who killed Bryce, and viewers can only hope that bringing the saga to its conclusion will facilitate a return to form.
“Liberty High School’s senior class prepares for graduation,” reads Netflix’s brief synopsis. “But before they say goodbye, they’ll have to keep a dangerous secret buried and face heartbreaking choices that could impact their futures forever.”
9. Dear... – Friday, June 5, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere
Apple TV+This 10-episode docuseries is the latest from executive producer R.J. Cutler, the famed filmmaker of such acclaimed docs as A Perfect Candidate and The September Issue. Inspired by Apple’s groundbreaking “Dear Apple” advertising spots, Dear… takes an inventive and cinematic approach to biographies, exploring the fascinating lives of some of the most iconic figures in society today, using the personal letters written to the celebrities by those whose lives have been changed through their work.
The series will profile a number of internationally recognized leaders, including media mogul Oprah Winfrey, feminist crusader Gloria Steinem, movie director Spike Lee, Hamilton star/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, music icon Stevie Wonder, Sesame Street stalwart Big Bird and more.
10. RuPaul's All Star Drag Race – Friday, June 5, 8 p.m., Crave (Streaming) | Season Premiere
CraveThe series that first put drag on the map is strutting back onto the catwalk for a fifth season of All Star action. This year, the contestants include a charismatic array of previous competitors, with every single one of them bringing something uniquely fierce to the table.
Season-one vet Ongina and her bald head will look to set some new trends, while India Ferrah will prove her personality is just as over-the-top glamorous as her looks. Season 10’s "Jewish Barbie" Miz Cracker and Meyhem Miller are also in the mix, as are season eight’s Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry and two-time catwalk warrior Jujubee. Shea Coulée, Blair St. Clair, Mariah Paris Balenciaga and Alexis Mateo round out the cast. One the line are a $100,000 grand prize and a place in the Drag Race Hall of Fame.