What to Watch This Week | July 31–August 6
CableTV.com’s ace viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
Lollapalooza 2023 kicks off this Thursday, August 3, featuring headliners Billie Eilish, Karol G, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Lana Del Rey. If you’re a music fan who wants to avoid TikTokkers, Instagram models, and the outdoors in general (like me), you can watch the whole festival on Hulu from the comfort of your couch—check out Taylor Kujawa’s How to Stream Music Festivals guide.
This week’s What to Watch picks include the streaming premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, farewell seasons of Physical and Reservations Dogs, the sophomore runs of The Lincoln Lawyer and In the Vault, new drama The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, and WWE SummerSlam pro wrestling action. Welcome to August!
Jump to your preferred streaming service
What’s premiering this week
Physical | Apple TV+ | Comedy, Drama
Season 3 premiere, Wednesday, August 2: In the third and sadly final season of ’80s fever dream Physical, housewife-turned-aerobics-semi-mogul Sheila (Rose Byrne) has new competition in the form of Kelly Kilmartin (Zooey Deschanel in her most un-Zooey Deschanel role ever), a bubbly blonde sitcom star with the upper hand of national TV fame. Physical remains a dark and pointed look at negative body image and self-shaming to the end, and Byrne’s comically fierce performance deserves all the Emmy nominations (she’s received none). Two of 10 episodes stream on August 2.
WWE SummerSlam | Peacock | Sports, wrestling
Coverage begins Saturday, August 5: Live from Ford Field in Detroit, it’s SummerSlam 2023! Matches include Seth “Freakin’” Rollins vs. Finn Balor (World Heavyweight Championship match), Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair (WWE Women’s Championship match), Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso (Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match), Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Intercontinental Championship match), Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar, Ricochet vs. Logan Paul, and Ronda Rousey vs. Shayna Baszler.
What to watch on Netflix this week
The Lincoln Lawyer | Netflix | Drama
Season 2 pt. 2 premiere, Thursday, August 3: (Seinfeld voice) What’s the deal with Netflix breaking up seasons into halves just a month apart? Like The Witcher, the new season of David E. Kelley’s The Lincoln Lawyer premiered with just five episodes in July, then delivers the next five in August … why? Anyway: Season 2 finds Lincoln-driving lawyer Micky Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) taking on a new murder case and also possibly solving season 1’s unresolved mystery (no, it wasn’t about Netflix’s questionable programming practices).
The Wasteland | Netflix | Drama, horror
Movie, now streaming: Looking for some late summer scares? Spanish horror flick The Wasteland (2022) just might be for you. Set in the 19th century, Lucia (Inma Cuesta) and her young son Diego (Asier Flores) lead a secluded life in a home far removed from society. All is well until a mysterious creature reeking of evil begins stalking their house, inching closer every day. Complicating matters, Lucia is unsure of her own sanity, so it might be up to Diego to save them both from The Beast. Another argument against ever leaving the house.
What to watch on Hulu this week
Season 4 premiere, Monday, July 31: British comedy Breeders, following the parenting travails of Paul (Martin Freeman) and Ally (Daisy Haggard), comes to an end with season 4, which jumps ahead in time five years from the previous season. The kids are now teens, Paul and Ally are on the verge of separation, and a surprise announcement from 18-year-old Luke at Christmas dinner blows up the already fragile situation (no spoilers, but you can probably guess what’s up). Breeders is one of the most honest family depictions on TV; catch up on Hulu.
Reservation Dogs | Hulu | Comedy, drama
Season 3 premiere, Wednesday, August 2: Another great series is ending—August is a cruel month. At the outset of Reservation Dogs’ final season, Bear (D’Pharaoh Woon-a-Tai), Elora (Devery Jacobs), Willie Jack (Paulina Alexis), and Cheese (Lane Factor) are still stranded in California but soon make their way back to their Oklahoma reservation home to grow up and move on. Show creators Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi promise “road trips, bathroom wisdom, Bigfoot, revenge, and healing” in Reservation Dogs’ last round, if not the return of White Jesus (Incubus singer Brandon Boyd).
What to watch on Disney+ this week
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 | Disney+ | Action, sci-fi
Movie streaming premiere, Wednesday, August 2: After a thoroughly disappointing recent slate of Marvel movies and TV series (looking at you, Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania and Secret Invasion), it’s a relief that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is such a tearjerking triumph. Vol. 3 is mostly an origin story for the rancorous Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), but Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Mantis (Pom Klementieff), and the rest of the Guardians all get their chances to shine. And, as always, James Gunn’s soundtrack slays.
Muppets Haunted Mansion | Disney+ | Comedy, musical
Movie, now streaming: The heavily-hyped new Haunted Mansion movie may be a bomb, but 2021’s Muppets Haunted Mansion is anything but. In this Muppets musical, Gonzo and Pepé the King Prawn dare to spend the night in a haunted mansion with a gaggle of ghostly spirits. Besides Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the Muppets gang, Haunted Mansion also stars Will Arnett, Yvette Nicole Brown, Taraji P. Henson, Danny Trejo, and Sasheer Zamata. Of course, Staler and Waldorf are also on hand to razz the proceedings.
W2W wildcards of the week
In the Vault | Crackle | Drama, thriller
Season 2 premiere, Monday, July 31: It’s almost back-to-school time, so how about a college-set murder mystery series? Season 1 of In the Vault followed a group of freshman dorm hallmates (including The Thundermans’ Audrey Whitby) dealing with the suicide-but-possible-murder of one of their own, but also suspecting one another of killing mean girl Liv. The killer was revealed at the end of the first season—no spoilers here—with the new season picking up with the new sophomores trying to keep their secret. Will a nosy true-crime podcaster be their undoing? Catch up on Crackle—it’s free.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart | Prime Video | Drama
Series premiere, Friday, August 4: The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart, based on the novel by Holly Ringland, is an atmospheric slow-burn miniseries about young Alice (Alya Browne; Fear the Walking Dead’s Alicia Debnam-Carey later), who’s displaced from her abusive home by a deadly fire that kills her parents. When she’s sent to live with her uptight-but-mysterious grandmother (Sigourney Weaver), Alice finally begins healing from her trauma. Come for the plaintive redemption story; stay for the gorgeous Australian backdrop.