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What to Watch This Week | Sept. 20–26

Doom Patrol and The Great British Baking Show return, and Promising Young Woman arrives on HBO Max in this week’s What to Watch viewing recs.

Curious about what to watch next? Overwhelmed with choices? Check out our TV and movie recommendations for this week below. You can also skip down to your favorite TV streaming service to check out the hottest TV series and movies available now.

What to Watch | TV

Doom Patrol | HBO Max | Action, fantasy

Season 3 premiere, Thursday, Sept. 23: The weirdest TV series in the DC Universe returns, and the damaged-but-determined superheroes (Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Jovian Wade, Diane Guerrero, Matt Bomer, and Timothy Dalton) of the Doom Patrol still have 99 problems and counting. One is the arrival of Madame Rouge (Michelle Gomez, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), a time-traveler on an urgent mission she now can’t remember—inconvenient. Season 3 also introduces the Dead Boy Detective Agency, a team of ghost sleuths (told you, it’s weird). Today, 3 of 10 new Doom Patrol episodes drop.

Foundation | Apple TV+ | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Friday, Sept. 24: The TV adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s expansive Foundation novel trilogy has been in the works for years—if any place has the money to make this happen, it’s Apple. Foundation is a story that spans centuries but starts with a mathematician (Jared Harris) working to save—or at least preserve the knowledge of—a galactic empire he predicts is doomed. Meanwhile, the emperor of said galaxy (Lee Pace) doesn’t believe the apocalypse hype, setting up what showrunner David S. Goyer calls “a 1,000-year chess game” between the two. If you like deep, complex sci-fi (we see you, Expanse fans), Foundation is for you.

The Great British Baking Show | Netflix | Competition, reality

Season 9 premiere, Friday, Sept. 24: Technically, Netflix refers to this season of the imported Great British Baking Show as Collection 9, while in the UK it’s known as series (or season) 12 of The Great British Bake Off. Confused? No worries, it’s still comfort-food viewing as usual, with returning judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, and a new batch of 12 amateur bakers facing off in a 10-week competition. In this collection/season/series of GBBS, the youngest baker is 18 (Freya from North Yorkshire) and the eldest is 70 (Maggie from Dorset). Since new episodes air in England a few days earlier, beware of internet spoilers.

What to Watch | Movies

The Starling | Netflix | Comedy, drama

Movie premiere, Friday, Sept. 24: Comic actress Melissa McCarthy doesn’t often do drama (check out 2019’s underrated crime thriller The Kitchen), so you should know that The Starling leans more heavy than hilarious. Following a personal tragedy, Lilly (McCarthy) finally finds peace in gardening—unfortunately, a starling bird keeps attacking her in her otherwise tranquil space. Lilly turns to a quirky veterinarian (Kevin Kline) for help, and the pair soon bond over their troubled pasts, if not Lilly’s exasperated obsession with killing the feathered fiend. Again, The Starling is not your standard wacky McCarthy comedy.

Birds of Paradise | Prime Video | Drama

Movie premiere, Friday, Sept. 24: In other bird news, Birds of Paradise is actually about ballet dancers (as is the new fall FOX series The Big Leap—a good week for ballet). Broke American dancer Kate (Diana Silvers, Booksmart) wins a scholarship to an elite French ballet academy and soon enters into a fraught frenenyship with Marine (Kristine Froseth, The Society) as the two compete for a contract with the Paris Opera Ballet. Birds of Paradise comes off as Black Swan Jr. with a hint of Euphoria, but still less dark than STARZ’s gritty ballet drama Flesh and Bone. Also, not to be confused with the kiddie cartoon of the same name.

Promising Young Woman | HBO Max | Drama, thriller

HBO Max premiere, Friday, Sept. 24: One of the most disturbing and controversial movies of 2020 moves from the video-on-demand void to HBO Max—now’s the time to embrace the chaos of Promising Young Woman. Cassandra (Carey Mulligan) is out for revenge against men who prey on impaired women on behalf of her best friend who was assaulted years earlier. The twist here is that Cassandra’s vengeance is psychological, not violent—she’s a vigilante who deals in shame instead of murder. While it’s fun to watch creepy club bros get taken down, be prepared for a shock ending that provides at least some disquieting closure.

Our top TV and movies picks

Universal advice on what to watch for all people at all times is impossible, but we’ve assembled some of our current TV and movie favorites that we think you might dig (if not, give us yours—we’re cool with that).

What to watch on Netflix

Netflix is the 8,000-pound gorilla of streaming, a content cannon that generates more original shows and movies than even TV professionals like us can keep up with. Not everything that comes after the big “N” (dun-dun!) is top-shelf entertainment—ever seen The I-Land or Fuller House?—but Netflix’s batting average is still pretty impressive.

What TV shows are on Netflix?

Bridgerton | Comedy, drama | For fans of Dickinson, Gossip Girl, Outlander
Cobra Kai | Comedy, drama | For fans of Into the Badlands, The Karate Kid, Kingdom
Dead to Me | Comedy, drama | For fans of Barry, Fargo, Weeds
The Queen’s Gambit | Drama | For fans of The Crown, Mad Men, The Undoing
The Umbrella Academy | Action, drama | For fans of The Boys, Deadly Class, Doom Patrol

What movies are on Netflix?

Enola Holmes | Comedy, drama | For fans of Knives Out, Sherlock Holmes, A Simple Favor
The Irishman | Drama | For fans of Boardwalk Empire, GoodFellas, The Sopranos
The Old Guard | Action, sci-Fi | For fans of The Boys, Highlander, Watchmen
The Trial of the Chicago 7 | Drama | For fans of Erin Brockovich, Primal Fear, The Social Network
The Wrong Missy | Comedy | For fans of Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, We’re the Millers, Why Him?

What to watch on Hulu

Hulu has broken away from Netflix’s shadow in recent years as a competitive original content producer—in quality, at least; no one can keep up with Netflix’s quantity. The addition of FX on Hulu, a joint venture that streams FX shows the day after broadcast and provides original FX exclusives to Hulu (like sci-fi thriller Devs), is a new premium milestone in streaming TV.

What shows are on Hulu?

The Great | Comedy, drama | For fans of The Crown, Reign, The White Queen
The Handmaid’s Tale | Drama, sci-fi | For fans of Big Little Lies, Outlander, The Walking Dead
Mrs. America | Drama | For fans of Big Little Lies, Mad Men, Succession
Solar Opposites | Animation, comedy | For fans of Futurama, Resident Alien, Rick and Morty
Woke | Comedy | For fans of Atlanta, Broad City, Dear White People

What movies are on Hulu?

Happiest Season | Comedy | For fans of Booksmart, The Half of It, Love Simon
Into the Dark | Anthology, horror | For fans of Channel Zero, The Twilight Zone, Twin Peaks
Nomadland
| Drama | For fans of Call Me by Your Name, The Rider, Songs My Brother Taught Me
Palm Springs | Comedy, sci-fi | For fans of Back to the Future, Bridesmaids, Groundhog Day
Run | Drama, horror | For fans of Flowers in the Attic, Mommy Dearest, Room

What channels are on Hulu Live?

Hulu has serious on-demand content, but Hulu + Live TV ups the game with a livestreaming TV channel lineup that works like cable (without the cable). In addition to local channels like FOX and NBC, Hulu + Live TV also features Bravo, ESPN, FX, Syfy, TNT, and over 50 more.

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What to watch on Amazon Prime Video

Prime Video, Amazon’s on-demand streaming service, is home to thousands of new and classic movies, but it’s also making waves with its original shows and films. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel hit first, and recent originals The Boys, Hunters, and Upload have earned some critical nods.

What TV shows are on Amazon Prime Video?

The Boys | Action, drama | For fans of Daredevil, Doom Patrol, Watchmen
Fleabag | Comedy | For fans of Better Things, Broad City, Killing Eve
Hunters | Action, drama | For fans of Grindhouse, The Man in the High Castle, Watchmen
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel | Comedy | For fans of Fleabag, Gilmore Girls, Younger
The Wilds | Drama, mystery | For fans of Dare Me, Lost, The Society

What movies are on Amazon Prime Video?

I’m Your Woman | Drama | For fans of American Hustle, The Kitchen, Thelma & Louise
One Night in Miami | Drama | For fans of Ali, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Malcolm X
Sound of Metal | Drama | For fans of Her Smell, James White, Whiplash
Suspiria | Drama, horror | For fans of Black Swan, Final Destination, The Grudge
The Vast of Night | Drama, sci-fi | For fans of Close Encounters, Super 8, War of the Worlds

What channels are on Amazon Fire Stick?

Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices, which include the Cube and the Stick, have hundreds of channels (a.k.a. apps) available for on-demand and livestreaming TV. Prime Video is in the mix (of course), as are Netflix, Hulu, HBO, YouTube TV, Sling TV, Philo, Pluto TV, and plenty more.

What to watch on HBO

HBO is synonymous with “prestige TV,” cranking out critical favorites and cultural phenomena year after year—Game of Thrones and Curb Your Enthusiasm probably couldn’t have happened anywhere else. HBO’s new streaming counterpart, HBO Max, is taking it to the next level.

What TV shows are on HBO?

Euphoria | Drama, teen | For fans of 13 Reasons Why, Pretty Little Liars, Skins
Lovecraft Country | Drama, sci-Fi | For fans of The Magicians, Penny Dreadful, Watchmen
Perry Mason | Drama, mystery | for fans of Boardwalk Empire, Goliath, True Detective
Succession | Drama | For fans of Arrested Development, Billions, Mad Men
Watchmen | Action, drama | For fans of The Boys, Jessica Jones, Titans

What movies are on HBO?

Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn | Action, drama | For fans of Joker, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman
The King of Staten Island | VOD | Comedy, drama | For fans of The Big Sick, Lady Bird, Punch Drunk Love
Joker | Drama | For fans of American Psycho, Batman, Suicide Squad
Ford v Ferrari | Drama | For fans of Ad Astra, Dunkirk, Rush
The Invisible Man | Drama, horror | For fans of The Babadook, Halloween, Us

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What to watch on HBO Max

HBO Max is HBO’s new streaming-only service, featuring movies and TV series you can’t get on HBO (or elsewhere), as well as exclusive Max Originals (like Ridley Scott’s Raised by Wolves and Seth Rogan’s An American Pickle). It costs the same as regular HBO and is available on most streaming devices.

What TV shows are on HBO Max?

The Flight Attendant | Comedy, mystery | For fans of Barry, Dead to Me, Killing Eve
Doom Patrol | Action, drama | For fans of The Boys, Titans, Watchmen
Harley Quinn | Animated, Comedy | For fans of Batman Beyond, Birds of Prey: Harley Quinn, Suicide Squad
Heaven’s Gate: The Cult of Cults | Documentary | For fans of The Jinx, Seduced, The Vow
Search Party | Comedy, drama | For fans of Bored to Death, Dead to Me, You’re the Worst

What movies are on HBO Max?

An American Pickle | Comedy | For fans of Back to the Future, Knocked Up, This Is the End
Class Action Park | Documentary | For fans of Boys State, The Last Dance, Making a Murderer
The Little Things | Drama | For fans of The Bone Collector, Seven, Zodiac
Locked Down | Drama | For fans of Locke, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Ocean’s 11
The Witches | Comedy, fantasy | For fans of Into the Woods, Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus

What to watch on Disney Plus

Disney+ arrived on the streaming TV scene in December 2019 and became the service to have overnight. With an overwhelming library of Disney classics, the Star Wars, Marvel, and Simpsons universes, and original hits WandaVision and The Mandalorian, Disney+ is a steal at $7.99 a month.

What TV shows are on Disney Plus?

Encore! | Reality | For fans of Glee, High School Musical, Queer Eye
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series | Comedy, musical | For fans of Glee, High School Musical, The Office
The Mandalorian | Drama, sci-fi | For fans of The Expanse, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars
Muppets Now | Comedy | For fans of The Muppet Show, The Office, Sesame Street
WandaVision | Comedy, drama | For fans of Avengers, Bewitched, Black Mirror

What movies are on Disney Plus?

Artemis Fowl | Fantasy | For fan of Lemony Snicket, Maleficent, Pan
Black is King | Musical | For fans of Black Panther, The Lion King, School Daze
Hamilton | Musical | For fans of Django Unchained, Dreamgirls, Evita
Magic Camp | Comedy | For fans of Camp Rock, Dodgeball, The Mighty Ducks
Soul | Animated, fantasy | For fans of The Book of Life, Coco, Inside Out

What to watch on Peacock

NBCUniversal’s on-demand streaming service Peacock has three plans: a free, ad-supported tier with 7,500 hours of available content; a $4.99-a-month tier with 15,000 hours of content (with ads); and a $9.99-a-month tier with the same 15,000 hours of content and no ads. Peacock is also the exclusive streaming home of NBC classics The Office, Parks & Recreation, and 30 Rock.

What TV shows are on Peacock?

A.P. Bio | Comedy | For fans of Community, Corporate, Vice Principals
Brave New World | Drama, sci-fi | For fans of Altered Carbon, Snowpiercer, Westworld
Departure | Drama, mystery | For fans of 24, Lost, Manifest
Intelligence | Comedy | For fans of Archer, Community, The IT Crowd
Yellowstone | Drama, western | For fans of Justified, Longmire, Sons of Anarchy

What movies are on Peacock?

Psych 2: Lassie Come Home | Comedy, mystery | For fans of Psych, The Mentalist, Sherlock
Reservoir Dogs | Action, drama | For fans of Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Snatch
Trolls World Tour | Animated | For fans of The Croods, How to Train Your Dragon, Trolls
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? | Documentary | For fans of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Free Solo, RBG
Zombieland | Action, comedy | For fans of 28 Days Later, Happy Death Day, The Walking Dead

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