What to Watch This Week | April 18–24
CableTV.com’s expertly curated viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
Next week, Amazon’s free, ad-supported streaming service IMDb TV will be renamed . . . Amazon Freevee? Not to second-guess a bazillion-dollar company, but why drop the highly recognizable IMDb brand in favor of that? Sure, it’s no worse than Tubi, Hulu, or SplorkTV (I just made that last one up and you didn’t even blink), but Freevee? Fine, whatever.
This week’s What to Watch hotlist includes the final run of Better Call Saul, the long-awaited returns of Barry, The Flight Attendant, and Russian Doll, a Cypress Hill hip-hop doc, and a star-studded dramatization of the Watergate scandal, Gaslit. It’s a busy week—better put some fresh batteries in your remote.
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What’s premiering this week
Season 6 premiere, Monday, April 18: Breaking Bad prequel series Better Call Saul is one of the last holdouts of “prestige TV,” or shows that transcend mere entertainment to reside in critical heaven. Which means there’s much riding on the final season of Better Call Saul, wherein the series fades into the storyline of Breaking Bad and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) becomes New Mexico’s premier criminal lawyer (more like criminal/lawyer). If you’re behind on the show, check out our How to Watch Better Call Saul guide and buckle in.
Geico 500 | FOX | Sports, racing
Coverage begins Sunday, April 24, 3 p.m. EST: Nothing says spring like stock car racing—specifically, the annual Geico 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The steep-banked race is known as NASCAR’s most competitive and volatile contest, with many first-time winners taking home the Vulcan Trophy (12 since the first Winston 500 in 1970). And yes, the Talladega Superspeedway was the setting for Will Ferrell’s 2006 hit Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Russian Doll | Netflix | Comedy, sci-fi
Season 2 premiere, Wednesday, April 20: The first season of Russian Doll premiered over three years ago—but what’s time anymore, really? That season found acerbic New Yorker Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) stuck in a time loop, living (and dying) the same day over and over again. Season 2 is more ambitious, introducing time travel that spans four decades and several countries. The concept may have changed, but Lyonne’s hilariously caustic performance and Russian Doll’s mind-bending plot twists and visuals remain.
White Hot | Netflix | Documentary
Documentary premiere, Tuesday, April 19: From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, Abercrombie & Fitch was the clothing brand to wear, even though the hairless hunks standing outside the mall stores wore little of it (yes, that was an actual job). The hiring and marketing practices of A&F were eventually revealed to be exclusionary, discriminatory, and just plain gross, clashing with the retailer’s “all-American” image. White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch chronicles this particularly weird fashion era.
What to watch on HBO Max this week
The Flight Attendant | HBO Max | Comedy, drama
Season 2 premiere, Thursday, April 21: The surprise hit of 2020 is back, but this time around Cassie (Kaley Cuoco) is a flight attendant and a part-time CIA operative (best not to think too hard about it). When a man she’s tracking in Berlin suddenly winds up dead, it’s déjà vu all over again for Cassie, but this time she has to face the crisis sober after spending season 1 in a vodka-soda haze of chaos. The Flight Attendant is as fun and fizzy as ever, and Cuoco once again proves herself to be far more than a Big Bang Theory punchline.
Season 3 premiere, Sunday, April 24: Of all the comedies making long-awaited comebacks this week, Barry has the most lingering questions to answer. Are the police off hitman Barry’s (Bill Hader) trail? Are Barry and Sally (Sarah Goldberg) still a thing? Will aspiring actor Barry finally take out his former boss Funches (Stephen Root) and get out of the killing business for good? What’s up with NoHo Hank (Anthony Carrigan)? Season 3 will have (some) answers, with two new episodes dropping Sunday, April 24.
What to watch on SHOWTIME this week
Cypress Hill: Insane in the Brain | SHOWTIME | Documentary, music
Documentary premiere, Wednesday, April 20: Trailblazing (emphasis on blazing) L.A. hip-hop group Cypress Hill are so synonymous with marijuana, of course SHOWTIME had to premiere this documentary on 4/20. Insane in the Brain chronicles Cypress Hill’s rise from ’80s wildcards to rap icons in the ’90s and beyond, advocating for cannabis legalization all along the way. Hip-hop peers like Ice-T and Public Enemy’s Chuck D weigh in on the group’s influence on the genre, as do—wait for it—Cheech & Chong.
The Man Who Fell to Earth | SHOWTIME | Drama, sci-fi
Series premiere, Sunday, April 24: It was first a book, but The Man Who Fell to Earth is best-known for the 1976 cult classic movie that starred David Bowie in the title role. In this new 10-episode series adaptation, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange) takes over as an alien who finds Earth not much better off than his own dying home planet. The Man Who Fell to Earth also stars Rob Delaney, Jimmi Simpson, Kate Mulgrew, Clarke Peters, Sonya Cassidy, Joana Ribeiro, and Bill Nighy (Nighy plays Bowie’s character from the ’70s).
W2W wildcards of the week
Gaslit | STARZ | Drama
Series premiere, Sunday, April 24: The true-crime docudrama wave isn’t over yet—here’s Gaslit, ripped from the Slow Burn podcast’s take on the Watergate scandal of the ’70s. Producer Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot, Homecoming) has enlisted some serious star power for Gaslit, including Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Dan Roberts, Betty Gilpin, Shea Whigham, Allison Tolman, Patton Oswalt, Nate Faxon, and more as lesser-known key players in and outside of the Nixon administration (Richard Nixon himself isn’t expected to appear).
Season 2 premiere, Sunday, April 24: Surreal comedy Three Busy Debras premiered during the equally surreal time of spring 2020, alongside Tim & Eric’s relatively lucid Beef House (R.I.P.). Now, the Debras (Sandy Honig, Mitra Jouhari, and Alyssa Stonoha) are back for a second season of housewife lunacy in suburban Lemoncurd, a town even David Lynch would find a bit extra. In a first for Adult Swim, new episodes of Three Busy Debras will be available on HBO Max the day after they premiere on cable.