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What to Watch on TV and Streaming This Week

A bounty of shows arrives with NBC’s Peacock TV launch, plus our Netflix and Amazon picks

It’s a brave new world — on TV that is —  with the arrival of NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock TV. From hits like Saturday Night Live and Law & Order to great new original series, Peacock puts the must-see back in TV. Our critics pull the best of the new crop, plus a summer bundle of documentaries, crime dramas, and the best of Netflix and Amazon.

Critic’s Pick of the Week

Brave New World

(Peacock TV, July 15)

Aldous Huxley’s 1932 novel becomes the flagship original series of NBCUniversal’s immense new streaming service, Peacock TV, which offers 7,500 hours of free entertainment (including Downton Abbey, Frasier and Jurassic Park) and 15,000 hours for those who pay $4.99 a month, or $9.99 for ad-free shows. Trapped in Huxley’s scary future dystopia are Demi Moore, Alden Ehrenreich (Solo: A Star Wars Story), Harry Lloyd (Game of Thrones) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey). There’s plenty more to discover on Peacock this week: Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, David Schwimmer’s new comedy Intelligence, and countless don’t-miss hits, from SNL to Law & Order.

Watch it here: Peacock TV

RELATED: Actor Dulé Hill talks with AARP about his comedy, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home, color awareness and life in quarantine. Read the interview, here.


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The Perfect Pairing for Your Repeat Streaming of Hamilton

Hamilton: History Has Its Eyes on You

(Disney Plus, July 10)

ABC News’ Good Morning America coanchor Robin Roberts interviews the creator and stars of the must-see musical Hamilton.

Watch it here: Disney Plus


Guilty Pleasure of the Week

Showbiz Kids

(HBO, July 14, 9 p.m. ET)

Alex Winter (Bill & Ted Face the Music) hosts a documentary about former child stars, including Milla Jovovich, Evan Rachel Wood, Jada Pinkett Smith and E.T.‘s Henry Thomas.

Watch it here: HBO


Compulsive Watch of the Week

The Nest

(Acorn TV, July 13)

The UK-centric Acorn TV premieres a BBC drama series about a rich, infertile Welsh couple — Martin Compson (Line of Duty) and Sophie Rundle (Bodyguard) — who hire a surrogate mom and get swept up in a murder case.

Watch it here: Acorn TV


The One Thing Not to Miss on Netflix This Week

The Old Guard

Although Charlize Theron, who turns 45 next month, will be replaced by a 20-something actress in the upcoming prequel to her smash hit Mad Max: Fury Road, her string of successes continues with the superhero movie The Old Guard. She plays the leader of the Immortals, who cannot be killed but must fight for their freedom.

Watch it here: Netflix

Addicted to Netflix? Aren’t we all! And there is — as always — a summer bounty of cool new shows and original films that have arrived this month. Don’t feel overwhelmed, though: We’ve got your critic-approved short list of what you can’t afford to miss. Get the list here: The 16 Best Things Coming to Netflix in July


What to Watch Right Now on Amazon

Ali

See why Will Smith got an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Muhammad Ali, the legendary boxer and activist who was transformed by the 1960s and Malcolm X.

Watch it here: Amazon Prime Video

Love Amazon? There’s so much to watch on this vast streaming platform, and it can feel overwhelming trying to catch the best things that arrive every month. Relax! Our critics have handpicked the 15 no-miss films and series arriving in July — and the list is right here: 15 Great Things Coming to Amazon Prime Video in July

RELATED: Missing all those TV games this summer? We hear you! Our critics went to bat to name 17 Great Baseball Movies to Watch at Home Right Now. As you might imagine, it’s a home run.


Best New Show for Food Lovers

Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi

(Hulu)

The Top Chef star and best-selling author steps into the world of culinary culture and travel so defined by the tragically departed Anthony Bourdain with her own new travel show about diverse cuisines in the United States: Chinese, Mexican, African American and more.

Watch it here: Hulu

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi discusses filling Anthony Bourdain’s shoes and her personal recipe for happiness. Read AARP’s interview, here.


If You Love Carol Burnett (and Who Doesn’t?), You Need to Know This

Carol Burnett speaking to the audience on The Carol Burnett Show

CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Was The Carol Burnett Show a highlight of your weekly TV life? Remember her Q&A’s with the audience, her hilarious sketch comedy and the cavalcade of stars who appeared with her over 11 laughter- and song-filled years? Then you’ll be thrilled that Shout! Factory TV just released all 11 seasons on streaming platforms (find out more here). We caught up with Burnett recently to chat about her favorite guests over the years, how she’s handled quarantine and her plans for the future.

Read it all here: Carol Burnett, 87, on Her Classic Show and the People She Loves


Stay Current on Coronavirus

An illustration that reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses

Courtesy of Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS; Center for Disease Control

Nova: Decoding COVID-19

(PBS, check local listings)

Meet one of the first COVID victims and the scientists racing for a cure.

Watch it here: PBS

Coronavirus, Explained

(Netflix)

In a new documentary series, Bill Gates and other sensible experts clarify the coronavirus pandemic, efforts to beat it and ways to manage its mental health impact.

Watch it here: Netflix

The Virus: What Went Wrong?

(PBS and YouTube)

Frontline investigates how COVID-19 spread, and how leaders around the world struggled to cope with it.

Watch it here: PBS, YouTube


Jerome Flynn as Detective Inspector Bennet Drake, Matthew Macfadyen as Inspector Edmund Reid and Adam Rothenberg as Captain Homer Jackson in Ripper Street

Bernard Walsh/BBC AMERICA

Catch Up on Crime

Need to escape into some classic TV mysteries? Pick a favorite from our 9 Mysteries to Binge Watch Now and solve crimes on VeraRipper Street, and Agatha Christie’s Poirot, among others.


AARP Talks With …

Get behind the scenes of the biggest shows on TV right now with interviews with Killing Eve’s Sandra Oh, Mrs. America’s Margo Martindale, Making the Cut’s Tim Gunn, and Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi.


Also Catch Up With ...

#Anne Frank: Parallel Stories

(Netflix)

In a replica of Anne Frank’s secret hideaway in her family’s Amsterdam home, Helen Mirren, 74, reads from the young author’s famed diary in this moving documentary. Historians and Holocaust survivors fill in the Shoah story.

Watch it here: Netflix


Suits, Season 9

Don’t miss the slam-bang finale of one of TV’s best legal (and plot-knottiest) dramas.

Watch it here: Amazon Prime Video


I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

(HBO)

Michelle McNamara’s best-selling book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer, was a riveting read. Now, director Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?) 50, has adapted the book into the year’s most fascinating murder documentary series. The film doesn’t just focus on Joseph DeAngelo, the empty soul who evidently raped more than 50 women (murdering at least 10) and was nabbed while the doc was in production, but it also plumbs the soul of crime writer McNamara, who died of a heart defect before DeAngelo was caught. If you liked Serial or Making a Murderer or the Robert Durst doc The Jinx, this six-episode series is for you.

Watch it here: HBO

RELATED: 3 Seriously Scary Must-Reads for True-Crime Junkies


The Sommerdahl Murders

(Acorn TV)

Get your crime fix in the gorgeous Danish beach town Helsingor, where a headstrong detective finds a young woman’s cadaver in the sand and hunts the killer, assisted by his best-friend gumshoe and his forensic expert — who happens to be his neglected wife. And his best friend’s in a love triangle with her. The love subplot of this four-episode series is meh, but the sleuthing is good Scandinavian noir.

Watch it here: Acorn TV


Netflix’s Black Lives Matter Collection

Netflix unveils a useful, intelligently curated menu of 48 or so top titles including When They See Us, Moonlight, Malcolm X and the current must-see, Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (which could win star Delroy Lindo the Oscar he’s deserved for some time, and maybe the Emmy, too).

Watch it here: Netflix


Perry Mason

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

The great John Lithgow plays the legal mentor to Matthew Rhys’ Perry Mason in a reboot of the wildly popular long-ago TV series starring Raymond Burr, now set in 1932 Los Angeles. Don’t expect a weekly witness breakdown on the stand, however. This version is more Raymond Chandler than Burr, and the atmospherics are a whole new world.

Watch it here: HBO

RELATED: Read our interview with stars John Lithgow and Matthew Rhys here: Perry Mason Comes Back to TV With a Raymond Chandler Twist


Yellowstone, Season 3

(Paramount Network, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET)

Kevin Costner rides increasingly high in the saddle in this steadily improving melodrama about Montana’s top rancher who’s beset by ruthless developers, neighbors in a national park and a Native American reservation, his own quarrelsome clan, and a newcomer: a smiling, ominously ambitious hedge fund manager (Lost’s Josh Holloway).

Watch it here: Paramount Network


Great Performances: Ann

(PBS.org and the PBS Video app)

Was there ever a more dramatically promising character than the late, great and always outspoken Texas governor Ann Richards? Or a more talented actor to play her than Emmy winner Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men, The Practice)? On a career roll at 77, Taylor scored a Tony nomination for her work in the play, filmed for PBS on stage in Austin (the state capital where Richards ruled the roost from 1991 to 1995).

Watch it here: PBS

RELATED: AARP talks with Holland Taylor about Ann Richards, women in politics and how she’s handled life during quarantine. Read the whole story, here.


Bosch

(Amazon, Season 6. Seasons 1-5 also available)   

The cantankerous L.A. homicide detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver, 58) is back for a sixth season. Stephen King tweeted this week, “There’s nothing better than BOSCH…The story is engrossing, the cast—led my Titus Welliver—is superb, and nobody is phoning it in. One of the best shows now on TV.”

Watch it here: Amazon


BBC Television Shakespeare Collection

(BritBox)

For the first time, you can binge-watch all 37 of the BBC’s legendary Shakespeare adaptations. Helen Mirren in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It, John Cleese in The Taming of the Shrew, Patrick Stewart in Hamlet, Roger Daltrey in The Comedy of Errors, Judy Davis in The Merry Wives of Windsor? We’re there. Free with a trial subscription (There’s a 7-day free trial, followed by $6.99/month or $69.99/year).

Watch it here: BritBox


How to Get Away With Murder, Season 6

The triumphant final season of TV’s intense legal thriller shows why star Viola Davis, as law prof Annalise Keating, became the first black woman to win the lead actress Emmy. Can Annalise survive her high-drama lifestyle? Tune in and see.

Watch it here: Netflix


Grey’s Anatomy, Season 16

(Netflix)

Now you can binge-watch the latest season of the longest-running prime-time medical drama (more seasons than ER, Scrubs, or M*A*S*H), and all 15 previous seasons, too. And if you like the lively style of Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes, 50, who made Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh famous, binge her other Netflix shows, How to Get Away With Murder, Seasons 1 to 5, and Scandal, Seasons 1 to 7.

Watch it here: Netflix


Video Globetrotter

(Lifetime TV)

Beat the quarantine blues with a vicarious video vacation led by travel maven Scott Eddy, who explores Trinidad, Antigua and Grenada in the first episode. Discover sugar-sand beaches, pungent street food, ziplining, Carnival, ultra-luxury resorts and Caribbean characters having more fun than you. Best enjoyed with a rum punch.

Watch it here: Video Globetrotter


Mrs. America

(Hulu)

Cate Blanchett, 50, is sensational as homemaker advocate and Phyllis Schlafly, who torpedoed the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, despite the frantic efforts of feminists Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman, 60), Rep. Bella Abzug (Margo Martindale, 68) and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, the first black female presidential candidate (Uzo Aduba).

Watch it here: Hulu

RELATED: Cate Blanchett and Tracey Ullman Hail Mrs. America and Margo Martindale on Success at 68 and Life at Home


Making the Cut

(Amazon)

Tim Gunn, 66, and Heidi Klum (who calls him her “TV husband”), 46, didn’t get to do much together on Project Runway. But they sure do on their new show, on which a dozen designers vie for $1 million and their own Amazon fashion line.

Watch it here: Amazon

RELATED: Tim Gunn's Fashion Advice for Folks Over 50


FBI: Most Wanted

(CBS, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)

Producer Dick Wolf's Law & Order spin-off Law & Order: SVU spawned the spin-off FBI — and now that's got a new spin-off, about a grownup investigator (FBI's Julian McMahon, 51) whose Fugitive Task Force hunts the worst bad guys on the FBI's top 10 criminals list. It's got a better cast than some Dick Wolf shows, whose spin-offs tend to become hits.

Watch it here: CBS


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