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What to Watch on TV This Week Skip to content

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What to Watch on TV This Week

The final season of 'Suits,' the Gina Torres spin-off series 'Pearson' and more

Suits, Season 9

(USA Network, premieres July 17, 9 p.m. ET)

Who needs Meghan Markle? Prince Harry may have stolen her from this sharp, quippy soap opera about ethical conflicts in a high-pressure law firm — only her voice saying goodbye on the phone is heard in the show's ninth and final season — but even without her, it's royally entertaining. Haughty Katherine Heigl sizzles as Samantha, a ruthless attorney enraged that the firm just threw her mentor (Wendell Pierce) under the bus to protect its chief operating officer Donna (Sarah Rafferty) and top litigator Harvey (Gabriel Macht). So when she finds out Donna and Harvey have finally hooked up after all these seasons, things get downright interesting. This is the law show where the cases take a back seat to the over-the-top human drama. — Tim Appelo (T.A.)


Pearson, Season 1

(USA Network, premieres July 17, 10 p.m. ET)

Suits veteran Gina Torres, 50 (the talented real-life ex of her The Matrix franchise costar Laurence Fishburne), produces and stars in a spin-off series — the first-ever network series built around an Afro-Latina woman. Her character, Jessica Pearson, got disbarred on Suits — a big occupational hazard at that law firm — so now she's reinventing herself as the fixer for the mayor of Chicago (Morgan Spector). Her character is partly inspired by Kellyanne Conway, but mainly she's a new, deeper Jessica Pearson. We discover her backstory, her motives and her relatives in the projects, who are menaced by a developer whose big bucks back Jessica's boss. It's a fresh take on a popular character, worth checking out for any Suits fan. Plus, her outfit almost upstaged the bride at Meghan Markle's wedding, and her wardrobe on this show doesn't disappoint either. — T.A.

Catch Up With

Harlots, Season 3

(Hulu, Wednesdays, streaming anytime)

There's new blood this season in Hulu's feisty feminist costume drama set in London's brothels of the 1750s. Last year, enemies got madam Lydia Quigley (Lesley Manville, 63) locked up in the Bedlam insane asylum. So it's new brothel boss Charlotte (Jessica Brown Findlay, Downton Abbey's Lady Sybil Crawley) who faces a showdown with the scary new pimp in town, Isaac Pincher (Alfie Allen, the late Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones). She gets help from her close friend Lady Fitz (Liv Tyler), who's rich yet still oppressed by men — and her own scandalous secret. But don't count Lydia out: Even from inside Bedlam, she may be a threat. Harlots’ second season was better than the first, and this one could make you flip your powered wig. — T.A.


Hollywood Game Night, Season 6

(NBC, Thursdays, 9 p.m. ET)

Sure, Jane Lynch, 58, won an Emmy for Glee, and she'll probably win this year for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But she won two Emmys for Hollywood Game Night, the show where she invites celebrities to a beach-house backyard and coaches them in contests like building ice-cream cones until they fall, or diving into her backyard pool full of rubber balls, or identifying a pop song played backward. First contestants this season: castmembers of SuperstoreThe Good Place and American Ninja Warrior. Coming up: actors from Veep and Orange Is the New Black— T.A.

Grantchester, Season 4

(PBS, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

The bad news is that beloved hunk James Norton is quitting the role of Sidney Chambers, the two-fisted vicar who fights crime and his own romantic yearnings in a picturesque 1950s village near Cambridge on the Masterpiece Mystery hit that's like Father Brown with sex appeal. The good news is that Norton's still there for part of Season 4, and his coming departure is good for fiddling heartstrings. Can his old-school police detective partner (Robson Green, 54) ever find a platonic bromance so great with another vicar? Say, with Grantchester's new hot priest Will Davenport (Tom Brittney, OutlanderUnReal)? Brittney does well as the new holy gumshoe, roaring in on a motorbike with James Dean attitude. Unlike Norton's and Green's characters, Will didn't fight in World War II: He embodies the first stirrings of the British counterculture, so in some ways he's a better foil for Green's Elvis Presley-loathing, anti-counterculture veteran detective. — T.A.


Divorce Season 3

(HBO, Sundays, 10 p.m. ET)

The oddly age-proof Sarah Jessica Parker, 54, brings back her star-studded show about middle-aged divorce with a new producer (from her old show Sex and the City), and the third season is better than the second — which got 34 percent higher ratings from critics than the way-too-bitter Season 1. She's got a new beau; her ex (Sideways Oscar nominee Thomas Haden Church, 59), has even bigger news; and she's losing her beautiful house and art gallery in lovely Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. But she's got friends (SNL's Molly Shannon, 54, and Talia Balsam, 60) as tight as her Sex and the City crew. Showtime's The Affair lost its mojo after a strong start; Divorce faltered at first, then became first-rate grownup drama. —T.A.

 


The Simple Heist, Season 2

(Acorn TV, streaming anytime)

The excellent British TV streaming service presents the hit Swedish comedy-drama about two best friends, a math teacher (Lotta Tejle, 59) and a doctor (Sissela Kyle, 62), who became bank robbers after getting sick of being condescended to and ignored by society after turning 60 and losing their fortunes. In Season 2, they switch to art theft. If Thelma and Louise were Swedes and 60, they might be this much fun. — T.A.


Stranger Things, Season 3

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

In the pop-culture-soaked sci-fi series with DNA from Stephen King, Steven Spielberg and John Hughes, it's the Fourth of July 1985 in Hawkins, Ind., an all-American town with a bizarre, body snatching Mind Flayer monster who erupted from beneath it last season to terrify the coming-of-age teens and scared parents, especially Winona Ryder, 47, as stressed as you've ever seen her. In Season 2 the kids fought the Flayer to a draw, so all is calm and bright in Hawkins. Kidding! You don't have to know all the backstory to get with the new season's scares and retro references — might as well jump right in for a retro-'80s thrill ride. — T.A.


Years and Years

(HBO, Mondays, 9 p.m. ET)

Emma Thompson, 60, who's on a 10-year, $2.8 billion-grossing winning streak that dwarfs her Oscar-winning 30s, is peaking right now with her comedy Late Night and this smash hit series about a futuristic apocalypse that begins in 2019 and gets worse in 2031. Thompson plays a quirky tyrant in heels instead of jackboots, the rising demagogue Viv Rook — though since she's named after the second-most powerful piece in chess, her power is not secure. As the world floods with rising seas and refugees, dirty bombs detonate, left- and right-wing maniacs destroy democracy, teens literally become their smartphones, and people start to need eight jobs at once to survive, Rook rises (and so do her opponents). A fascinating fantasy by Russell T. Davies, 56, the writer of Doctor Who and Hugh Grant's also-must-see A Very English Scandal—T.A.


The Loudest Voice

(Showtime, streaming anytime)

Spotlight writer-director Tom McCarthy's seven-part adaptation of Gabriel Sherman's book about Roger Ailes, the brilliantly successful creator of Fox News who lost his job because of sexual harassment charges, will likely only please people who loathe Fox News and peeve everyone else. But you have to admit that Russell Crowe, 55, looks impressively more like bald, plump Ailes than his usual self. Sienna Miller plays his news-exec wife Elizabeth Ailes, and Naomi Watts, 50, plays Gretchen Carlson, the Fox News host whose lawsuit sparked his fall. —T.A.

Always Be My Maybe

(Netflix, stream anytime)

Even better than Crazy Rich Asians (and more highly rated by audiences as well as critics), this delightful Asian American rom-com is more like real life: Randall Park plays a self-doubting, self-sabotaging underachiever courting his childhood sweetheart (Ali Wong), who's now a madly successful chef — with competition from the hottest star of the moment, Asian Canadian Keanu Reeves, 54, in an utterly hilarious role as the most pretentious, obnoxious possible version of himself. He's the kind of star who picks up the restaurant check, saying: “Six thousand four hundred dollars, less than the residuals from my movie Speed!” —T.A.

Frankie Drake Mysteries

(Ovation, Saturdays, 9 p.m. ET)

Do you enjoy Murdoch Mysteries ? Right after its Season 12 finale, tune into another show by its creators. Set in 1920s Toronto, it's about the town's first female detective agency, led by Frankie Drake (Lauren Lee Smith), who takes on cases the cops ignore — and clients who don't dare talk to the police. —T.A.

The Handmaid’s Tale, Season 3

(Hulu, Wednesdays)

With her daughter safely off in free Canada, June (Elisabeth Moss) schemes to resist tyranny in woman-hating Gilead. But who can she trust? Her commander (The West Wing’s Bradley Whitford, 59), who helped June’s child escape but still seems slippery and sinister? The new commander in town (Law & Order: SVU’s Christopher Meloni, 58)? The sometimes nice, sometimes monstrous Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd, 63)? Our advice: Trust nobody. And wait until you discover what Lydia’s backstory is. — T.A. READ ANN DOWD INTERVIEW


Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

Laura Linney, 55, reboots the show that made her famous. Linney’s Mary Ann Singleton returns to boho San Francisco and her wacky landlady Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis, 87), 20 years after abandoning her daughter (Ellen Page) there. After all this time, the locals are still, as Anna puts it, “flawed, narcissistic and doin’ our best.”  —T.A.

Big Little Lies, Season 2

(HBO, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

Now that the tormented women of beautiful Monterey (Nicole Kidman, 51, Laura Dern, 52, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley) have successfully hushed up their ugly secret — the murder of an abusive husband was not, as they claim, an accident — what could go wrong? The dead man’s smart, relentless mother Mary Louise (Meryl Streep, 69, whose actual name is Mary Louise Streep) shows up asking nosy questions. The cast was tops to begin with, but Streep raises everyone’s game. Big Little Lies is a must-see — again.  —T.A. READ LAURA DERN INTERVIEW

Good Omens

(Amazon, streaming anytime)

The last request of iconic fantasy author Terry Pratchett, who died in 2015 at 66 of Alzheimer's disease, was that Neil Gaiman, 58, should finish their puckish collaboration Good Omens. Inspired by their odd-couple friendship, the miniseries stars Michael Sheen, 50 (The Good Fight), and David Tennant, 48 (Doctor Who), as an angel and a demon joining forces to save the world. Jon Hamm, 48, soars as the angel Gabriel (a total jerk). —T.A.

Ask Dr. Ruth

(Hulu, streaming anytime)

America's favorite nonagenarian sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, entertains and educates America in this delightful documentary.—T.A. READ RUTH WESTHEIMER INTERVIEW

What's My Name: Muhammad Ali

(HBO, streaming anytime)

Boxer Muhammad Ali, one of the top-three titans of American pop culture, gets a documentary equal to the great man's ambition and complexity. It's directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training DayThe Equalizer). —Ken Tucker FULL REVIEW

The Code featuring Dana Delany

CBS

Dana Delany in 'The Code.'

The Code

(CBS, Mondays, 9 p.m. ET)

Will grownups never get tired of NCIS-like military police procedurals? Nope, especially when the casting is as appetizing as Dana Delany, 63, as Col. Glenn Turnbull, top-ranking Marine Corps judge advocate. She's been a stellar performer in military roles ever since China Beach made her famous, and it's hard to imagine The Code won't please its eager audience. —T.A. READ DANA DELANY INTERVIEW

Kevin Costner (Right) and Woody Harrelson star in 'The Highwaymen' on Netflix.

Merrick Morton/Netflix

The Highwaymen

(Netflix, streaming anytime)

In a straight-shooting chase drama, Kevin Costner, 64, and Woody Harrelson, 57, play the real-life Texas Rangers who, despite carrying a few extra pounds that make it hard to vault fences in pursuit of criminals, managed to track down Bonnie and Clyde. The aging buddies have star power and excellent chemistry, and Kathy Bates, 70, is good as Texas Gov. Miriam “Ma” Ferguson. —Thelma M. Adams (T.M.A.) FULL REVIEW | READ KEVIN COSTNER INTERVIEW 

Martin Clunes in 'Manhunt'

Acorn TV


Manhunt

(Acorn TV, streaming anytime)

When this smart true-crime mystery starring Doc Martin's Martin Clunes aired in England in January, it got over twice the percentage of U.K. viewers that The Big Bang Theory got in the U.S. Based on a book by the London detective who caught Levi Bellfield, killer of two women and a 13-year-old girl, it's as good as Helen Mirren's Prime Suspect — and the crime is solved in three episodes, faster than Yank killer thrillers usually manage. Clunes proves as good at drama as he is at comedy. — T.A. READ MARTIN CLUNES INTERVIEW

Aidy Bryant walks down the street in a scene from 'Shrill'

Hulu

Shrill

(Hulu, streaming anytime)

Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant helped write herself a major career-boosting show that will put fat-shaming people to shame and win everyone's hearts. It stars Bryant as a young journalist, John Cameron Mitchell as her sarcastically perfectionist boss and SNL's Julia Sweeney, 59 — who's just returned to Hollywood after 10 years as a full-time mom — as her diet-obsessed mother. As delightful as Girls, only about a totally nice person. —T.A READ JULIA SWEENEY INTERVEW

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