What to Watch This Week | April 11–17
CableTV.com’s hand-crafted viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
There’s a new reality series about a certain famous family premiering on Hulu this week. While it seems like something that should be included in a TV preview column like What to Watch, I just can’t. I’ve avoided promoting obviously fake “reality” TV over my entire TV reviewer career, why start now? You’re on your own, K, K, K, K, and K.
This week’s What to Watch hot picks include the return of USFL football, women’s prison mockumentary Hard Cell, David E. Kelley’s new Anatomy of a Scandal, supernatural Western Outer Range, and cheesetastic horror flick Titanic 666. Go forth and stream!
Jump to your preferred streaming service
What’s premiering this week
Swimming with Sharks | The Roku Channel | Comedy, drama
Series premiere, Friday, April 15: Quibi (R.I.P.) is the defunct gift that keeps on giving. Swimming with Sharks, a remake of the dark 1994 showbiz satire of the same name, was originally intended to be a Quibi original before the service shut down in 2020. This version flips the genders with Kiernan Shipka (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as an intern at a Hollywood studio who becomes obsessed with her ruthless boss (Diane Kruger, The Bridge). All six episodes of Swimming with Sharks drop April 15 on The Roku Channel.
Coverage begins Saturday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. EST: Before the XFL (’member that?), there was NFL challenger United States Football League in the ’80s. The new USFL consists of eight teams split into North and South divisions, and the first game of the 2022 season pits the New Jersey Generals against the Birmingham Stallions in Alabama. In an unusual move, the inaugural game will be simulcast on FOX, NBC, and Peacock; subsequent games will air on those networks, as well as FS1 and USA. Are you ready for some year-round football?
Hard Cell | Netflix | Comedy
Series premiere, Tuesday, April 12: It’s The Office, but set in a women’s prison—Hard Cell, get it? Series creator/director/star Catherine Tate spent some time on The Office as divisive Brit Nellie, so she knows her way around a workplace mockumentary. Here, she plays upbeat-if-inept prison governor Laura Willis, a former events planner now charged with managing a colorful klatch of criminals. Tate also plays a handful of inmates in the six-episode series—see if you can spot her as they rehearse a prison musical (great idea).
Anatomy of a Scandal | Netflix | Drama, thriller
Series premiere, Friday, April 15: TV veteran David E. Kelley makes his Netflix debut with Anatomy of a Scandal, based on the same-named Sarah Vaughn novel. As you’d expect from Kelley, it’s a courtroom drama, but Anatomy of a Scandal is also a psychological thriller about upper-crust British politics. The properly British cast includes Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend, Michelle Dockery, and Naomi Scott, with S.J. Clarkson (Succession, Dexter) directing all six episodes streaming April 15.
What to watch on Peacock this week
Killing It | Peacock | Comedy
Series premiere, Thursday, April 14: Here’s another prison-related comedy—one more and we’ll have a trend (I vote for a comic reboot of Oz, let’s make it happen). Killing It, from the producers of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, stars Craig Robinson as a cash-strapped prison guard in dire need of funds to buy a piece of land. When his Uber driver (Claudia O’Doherty) turns him on to a local snake-hunting contest with a $20,000 payout, Robinson goes into full Blade mode to win it all. Warning: if you have an aversion to snakes, Killing It may not be for you.
Kevin Can Wait | Peacock | Comedy
Now streaming: Kevin Can Wait, a 2016–2018 CBS series recently added to Peacock, was a problematic domestic sitcom from the jump. First, it was nowhere near as funny as star Kevin James’s previous comedy, The King of Queens. Second, his King of Queens costar Leah Remini was brought in late in the first season to boost the show’s sagging ratings. Third, Kevin’s wife (Erinn Hayes) was killed off by season 2 with nary a mention, inspiring the 2021 dark comedy series Kevin Can F**k Himself. On second thought, watch that on AMC+ instead.
What to watch on Apple TV+ this week
Roar | Apple TV+ | Comedy, drama
Series premiere, Friday, April 15: Female-centric series GLOW remains sadly canceled, but show creators Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch are bouncing back with Roar, an anthology comedy/drama based on the same-titled book of short stories. Roar’s six episodes (all of which are available April 15) tell individual modern-day fables about women dealing with a man’s world. The killer cast that includes Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merritt Wever, and Issa Rae, plus ex-GLOW stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin.
It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown | Apple TV+ | Animation, comedy
Special premiere, Friday, April 15: Charlie Brown’s aspirations to win a big baseball game are thwarted when his little sister Sally finds a tiny flower on the pitcher’s mound and stops the game to protect it. After all these years, Chuck still hasn’t figured out that he should just stay out of sports. It’s the Small Things, Charlie Brown continues the slick animation style that mixes Peanuts’s old-school cartooning with the 3D look of that otherwise disturbing 2015 CGI movie.
W2W wildcards of the week
Outer Range | Prime Video | Drama, sci-fi
Series premiere, Friday, April 15: It seems like there should have been a knockoff of mega-hit Yellowstone years ago, but Prime Video finally strikes with Outer Range. Impossibly named Wyoming rancher Royal Abbott (Josh Brolin) has his own Yellowstone-sized share of family drama and get-off-my-land conflicts with outsiders, but Outer Range also throws some paranormal activity into the trail mix. This supernatural modern Western also stars Imogen Poots, Lili Taylor, and surprise, ex-Yellowstone actor Will Patton.
Titanic 666 | Tubi | Drama, horror
Movie premiere, Friday, April 15: It’s about time someone made a movie about the Titanic. Tubi original Titanic 666 tells the terrifying tale of the maiden voyage of the ship Titanic III, which sails right over the resting place of the original Titanic (not cool) and becomes instantly infested with haunted souls. If you’ve been missing the cheesy Saturday-night disaster flicks that Syfy used to crank out on the regular, Titanic 666 might scratch that itch, or at least make you wonder how 90210 actress AnnaLynne McCord wound up here.