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What to Watch This Week | August 28–September 3’s lit viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this weekend.

How about that Riverdale finale last week? In case you missed it, I recapped all seven seasons of Archie and the gang’s long, strange trip in the 49 Wildest Riverdale Plotlines. You’re welcome.

This week’s What to Watch picks include the return of The Wheel of Time, the final seasons of Archer and Disenchantment, PBS mysteries Professor T and Van der Walk, horror flick Perpetrator, and WWE Payback pro wrestling action. Let’s watch some TV!

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What’s premiering this week

Wheel of Time (Prime Video)

The Wheel of Time | Prime Video | Drama, fantasy

Season 2 premiere, Friday, September 1: Not to be confused with Prime Video’s other mega-budget swords-and-sorcery epic, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, The Wheel of Time closed its first season way back in 2021 on a cliffhanger: Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) and Lan (Daniel Henney) had been separated as a new threat was setting sail in the west. Season 2 promises to hew closer to the original book series, much to the relief of Wheelheads, with three of eight episodes arriving September 1.

WWE Payback 2023 (Peacock)

WWE Payback | Peacock | Sports, wrestling

Coverage begins Saturday, September 2, 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT: Live from PPG Paints Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it’s WWE Payback 2023. On the card: Seth “Freakin’” Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (World Heavyweight Championship), Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez (Women’s World Championship), Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch (Steel Cage Match), Iyo Sky vs. Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair (WWE Women’s Championship), Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor, and more.

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What to watch on Netflix this week

One Piece (Netflix)

One Piece | Netflix | Drama, adventure

Series Premiere, Thursday, August 31: Monkey D. Luffy (Iñaki Godoy) gathers a motley sailing crew to find the “One Piece”—not a flattering swimsuit, but a treasure that will make him the ultimate King of the Pirates. One Piece is a live-action, English-language adaptation of the same-named Eiichiro Oda anime series that’s produced 1,000+ TV episodes, 15 movies, and over 50 video games, so there’s plenty of material to work with here. All 10 episodes of One Piece will stream on August 31.

Disenchantment (Netflix)

Disenchantment | Netflix | Animation, comedy

Season 5 premiere, Friday, September 1: Matt Groening’s (The Simpsons, Futurama) animated comedy-fantasy about rebellious medieval princess Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) comes to an end. Sayeth Netflix, “To save Dreamland from Queen Dagmar’s wicked rule, Bean must vanquish her mother and outrun a prophecy that foretells she will kill someone she loves. The stakes are as high as ever as our heroes face Satan, a headless corpse, an evil scientist, and most terrifying of all, their true destiny.”

What to watch on Hulu this week

Archer (FXX)

Archer | FXX, Hulu | Animation, comedy

Season 14 premiere, Wednesday, August 30: Archer was supposed to wrap with season 10, then season 12, and now here we are at the “real” end with season 14 (we’ll see about that). In the spy comedy’s alleged final run, Lana (voiced by Aisha Tyler) takes charge of The Agency, while Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and the team join forces with Interpol to take down an organized ring of jewel thieves (because they always work so well with others). Two of at least eight new episodes premiere on August 30.

Talladega Nights (Hulu)

Talladega Nights | Hulu | Comedy

Movie, streaming Friday, September 1: When asked about favorite movies he can’t not watch whenever he scrolls by them on TV, Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan named the 2006 flick Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby as one of the all-time “great comedies” he’ll never skip. Who knew Nolan had such a gonzo sense of humor? Talladega Nights preceded the mighty Step Brothers, considered the apex of Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly films, by two years. Is it time to reassess?

What to watch on PBS this week

Professor T (PBS)

Professor T | PBS | Drama, mystery

Season 2 premiere, Sunday, September 3: Says PBS, “Professor Jasper Tempest (Ben Miller) is obsessed with cleanliness, structure and order. But his genius for solving crimes means he constantly has to get his hands dirty, helping the police to crack their most difficult cases.” So, Professor T is Monk? The parallels between the professor and early-2000s OCD germaphobe crime solver Adrian Monk are eerily similar, though Professor T has a more academic, less comedic, spin. OK, we’ll allow it, Britain.

Van der Valk (PBS)

Van der Walk | PBS | Drama, mystery

Season 3 premiere, Sunday, September 3: As the WGA/SAG-AFTRA writers’ strike stretches into fall, we’re going to be relying even more on European imports to fill the TV void. So, now’s a good time to get to know Amsterdam police detective Piet Van der Walk (Marc Warren). Based on the crime novels of Nicolas Freeling and the 1972–1992 ITV series, the reboot Van der Walk follows Piet and his partner Lucienne (Maimie McCoy) as they solve cases against the gorgeous backdrop of the Netherlands. Lekker!

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W2W wildcards of the week

Phoenix (Tubi)

Phoenix | Tubi | Action, drama

Movie premiere, Wednesday, August 30: When U.S. Army Sergeant Fiona “Phoenix” Grant (Natalie Eva Marie, WWE) suspects that her father’s “suicide” was actually a murder, she heads back to the states to take down the ruthless drug kingpin (Oleg Prudius, John Wick 2) responsible for it. Action flick Phoenix also stars Randy Couture (The Expendables) and Neal McDonough (Captain America) and was directed by the auteur who brought us such cinematic classics as Black Warrant and The Champagne Gang.

Perpetrator (Shudder)

Perpetrator | Shudder | Drama, horror

Movie premiere, Friday, September 1: On her 18th birthday, “problem” child Jonny (Kiah McKirnan) is sent to live with her eccentric aunt (Alicia Silverstone), who reveals that Jonny now has supernatural powers passed through female generations. Soon, Jonny and her girlfriend Aviva (Casimere Jollette) are tracking down a sadistic serial killer who’s been abducting other schoolgirls, only to learn that he’s not the only monster in society. Cred: The Chicago Tribune calls Perpetrator “sly” and “poetically gory.”

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