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What To Watch This Week | April 8–14’s stellar viewing recommendations for the best shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

If you’re not watching the weekly comedy double-feature of the year, Palm Royale and Loot, Wednesdays on Apple TV+, remedy that. Former Saturday Night Live stars Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph are killing it in these parables of wealth, privilege, and fantastic fashion (the wardrobe budgets on these shows must be insane).

This week’s What to Watch picks include new Robert Downey Jr. thriller The Sympathizer, an animated take on Good Times, a TV adaptation of the video game Fallout, Michael Douglas historical biopic Franklin, and UFL spring football action. Get watching!

What’s new on TV this week

Several people stand in front of a red background; the man in front has a dramatic beam of light across his face.

The Sympathizer | HBO, Max | Drama, thriller

Miniseries premiere, Sunday, April 14: Echoing Peter Sellers in Dr. Strangelove, Robert Downey Jr. plays multiple roles in A24’s The Sympathizer, a wartime satire and espionage thriller based on Thanh Nyugen’s Pulitzer-winning novel. The seven-episode series follows “The Captain” (Hoa Xuande, Cowboy Bebop), a communist spy during the end of the Vietnamese War and his subsequent life (and mission) in Los Angeles. But wait, there’s more: The Sympathizer is partially directed by Park Chan-wook (Oldboy).

How to watch the UFL

UFL | ABC, FOX, ESPN | Sports, football

New season: It doesn’t bode well for the newly merged XFL/USFL football league, UFL, that opening weekend already happened and not many viewers noticed (just over a million, according to the ratings). But, maybe this spring football thing will catch on yet—the 12th time’s the charm. This weekend’s UFL games include D.C. Defenders vs. Arlington Renegades, Memphis Showboats vs. Birmingham Stallions, Houston Roughnecks vs. Michigan Panthers, and St. Louis Battlehawks vs. San Antonio Brahmas.

Jump to your preferred streaming service for more recs

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What to watch on Netflix this week

An image of a woman split down the middle; in one half, she is smiling, and in the other, she is serious (like a mugshot)

What Jennifer Did | Netflix | Documentary

Movie premiere, Wednesday, April 10: In 2010, Ontario woman Jennifer Pan told dispatchers on a frantic 9-1-1 call that her parents had just been murdered in their home by armed intruders. But was Pan, who had a history of deception, telling the whole story? Of course not—we’re not true-crime doc noobs here. What Jennifer Did, from documentarian Jenny Popplewell (American Murder: The Family Next Door), details Pan’s schemes with police footage and new interviews about the still-ongoing case.

An animated version of the family from Good Times.

Good Times | Netflix | Animation, comedy

Series premiere, Friday, April 12: Netflix’s new animated reboot of the 1970s sitcom Good Times is no nostalgia trip, but rather a modern-day update with the anarchic attitude of Adult Swim series like The Boondocks and Black Jesus (Black Jesus himself, Slink Johnson, even lends a voice). Jay Pharoah, Yvette Nicole Brown, and J.B. Smoove lead the voice cast, and the show counts Seth MacFarlane, Stephen Curry, and the late Norman Lear, the original Good Times creator, among its producers. Not for the kiddies.

What to watch on Peacock this week

In the foreground, a knife-wielding Chucky looks huge compared to the White House in the deep background.

Chucky | USA, Syfy, Peacock | Drama, horror

Season 3 spring premiere, Wednesday, April 10: Can we stop with the splitting up of seasons already? Like the recently returned American Horror Story: Delicate, Chucky paused its third season back in October and now comes sauntering back five months later like a missing cat. Anyway, Chucky (voiced by Don Mancini) is still racking up a body count in the White House and, in this season’s even weirder subplot, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) is facing increased legal scrutiny for her killing spree as … Jennifer Tilly.

A man looking at the camera with an awkward smile on a blue background. The man is Tim Downie.

Hapless | Peacock | Comedy

Series premiere, Wednesday, April 10: Journalist Paul Green (Tim Downie, Outlander and Baldur’s Gate 3) works for “the fourth biggest Jewish publication in the U.K.,” The Jewish Enquirer. He’s also a bit much. Hapless is a cringe comedy in the vein of Curb Your Enthusiasm and every comedy ever compared to Curb Your Enthusiasm—it’s a looong list—with a distinctively British twist. It’s also not “new,” having premiered overseas in 2020, and Peacock’s release combines the show’s two seasons into a single 14-episode run.

What to watch on Prime Video this week

A woman wearing a blue Fallout vault suit in front of a noseless man in a hat and a man in a big robot suit. Also there's a dog and some bottle caps.

Fallout | Prime Video | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Thursday, April 11: TV adaptations of video games have been hit (The Last of Us and Twisted Metal) and miss (Halo and, well, Halo) lately, but Fallout has showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan (Westworld) going for it, not to mention the great Walton Goggins as noseless villain The Ghoul. Gamers already know that Fallout is set in a post-nuclear war Los Angeles of the distant future, but what’s the story here? We’re going to find out together when all eight episodes drop on April 11.

A group of young people with shocked expressions look up into a fish eye lens, like a front door peep hole.

Apartment 404 | Prime Video | Reality, game show

New series, now streaming: South Korean series Apartment 404 has already aired in 21 other countries and regions, but now the U.S. will finally get a look at what’s essentially an escape room game show. Presumably, South Korea’s next TV innovations will involve ax throwing and Top Golf. The mysteries and situations of Apartment 404 are based on real events of the past, with each episode eventually spinning out into silly chaos. Really, it’s no more dumb than The Masked Singer, which this country takes seriously.

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More of what to watch on streaming this week

A man and a woman face each other without looking at each other. Both look very serious.

Blood Free | Hulu | Drama

Series premiere, Wednesday, April 10: In 2025, lab-grown meat has replaced the real thing, and one monolithic corporation controls the product. What could go wrong? Korean drama Blood Free centers on BF Group CEO Yun Jayu (Han Hyojoo) and the mysterious bodyguard hired to protect her from the company’s increasingly dangerous enemies, Woo Chaewoon (Ju Jihoon). It’s a slick corporate drama with sci-fi undertones and a simmering sense of dread, intensified by the conceit that this all happens next year.

A man in a tri corner hat stands on a boat in the 1700s.

Franklin | Apple TV+ | Drama

Series premiere, Friday, April 12: Benjamin Franklin (Michael Douglas) embarks on a secret mission to France to procure money and military aid for the American Revolution in 1776. Never mind that Franklin was 70 at the time and had no diplomatic experience. He was just a smart, charismatic character who engineered the Franco-American alliance and the peace treaty with England against all odds. Franklin is based on Stacy Schiff’s book A Great Improvisation, and three of eight episodes stream on April 12.

New movie releases available to rent/buy on VOD this week

An animated panda kung fu fighting. On a green background, he appears to be fast as lightning.
  • Kung Fu Panda 4 (April 9)
  • Baghead (April 9)
  • Ennio (April 9)
  • The 50 (April 9)
  • Wes Is Dying (April 9)
  • One Life (April 9)
  • Damaged (April 12)
  • Strange Way of Life (April 12)
  • Coup de Chance (April 12)
  • Food, Inc. 2 (April 12)
  • Blackout (April 12)
  • LaRoy, Texas (April 12)
  • Lost Angel: The Genius of Judee Lee (April 12)

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