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What To Watch This Week | May 13–19’s top-notch viewing recommendations for the best shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

Here are those dreaded six words: Have you checked out my podcast? Give a listen to TV Tan Podcast as we (myself and co-host Tommy Milgro) make our way to 500 episodes; ep 494 is available now on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Amazon Podcasts, and all the usual outlets. Plug over.

This week’s What to Watch recs include the returns of Bridgerton and Outer Range, the farewells of Young Sheldon and So Help Me Todd, Jimmy Fallon’s 10-year Tonight Show anniversary special, new true-crime docuseries Murder at the Motel, and WNBA 2024 season tip-off action. Watch! Now!

What’s new on TV this week

Outer Range (Prime Video)

Outer Range | Prime Video | Drama, sci-fi

Season 2 premiere, Thursday, May 16: When it premiered over two years ago, Outer Range appeared to be a Yellowstone clone, complete with a rugged, brooding patriarch (Josh Brolin), familial drama, and a murder mystery thrown in for good measure. But then, a giant hole in the fabric of reality opened on the ranch, and a mysterious woman (Imogen Poots) showed up to transport the story to a paranormal plane. Season 2 promises answers, but likely even more questions. All seven episodes will stream on May 16.

How to watch the WNBA

WNBA | ESPN2, ESPN+ | Sports, basketball

Coverage begins Tuesday, May 14: Yes, college B-ball phenom Caitlin Clark will play as a rookie pro on the first day of the regular 2024 WNBA season, as the Indiana Fever will take on the Connecticut Sun on ESPN2 and ESPN+ (4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET). Then, the Phoenix Mercury will face off against the Las Vegas Aces (ESPN2 and ESPN+, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET), and the Minnesota Lynx will battle the Seattle Storm (ESPN3 and WNBA League Pass, 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET).

Jump to your preferred streaming service for more recs

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What to watch on Netflix this week

Ashley Madison Sex Lies & Scandal (Netflix)

Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal | Netflix | Documentary

Series premiere, Wednesday, May 15: If you’re thinking, “Didn’t I just watch a documentary about the 2015 Ashley Madison dating site hack?”, you’re right: The Ashley Madison Affair streamed just last year on Hulu. Netflix’s new Ashley Madison: Sex, Lies & Scandal covers much of the same ground, right down to the stock imagery of a shushing woman on the poster. But why settle for one doc when you can have two? (See also: Hulu and Netflix’s dueling Fyre Festival features.) All three episodes stream on May 15.

Bridgerton (Netflix)

Bridgerton | Netflix | Drama

Season 3 premiere, Thursday, May 16: Shondaland period-costume drama Bridgerton has been on holiday since 2022, and now Netflix is breaking the long-awaited third season into four-episode installments over May and June? Way to build goodwill before price hikes, NFLX. Season 3 centers on the friends-to-lovers-but-maybe-not relationship between Penelope (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin (Luke Newton), aka “Polin.” What will Lady Whistledown say? Part 1 streams on May 16; Part 2 on June 13.

What to watch on Peacock this week

Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

The Tonight Show 10th Anniversary Special | NBC, Peacock | Comedy, talk

Special, Tuesday, May 14: Now that James Corden and The Late Late Show are gone, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is my least favorite late-night network talk show. That said, 10 years on NBC is worth celebrating, and Fallon’s show does have a few positives going for it, like a consistently top-notch guest list, the Fallon Book Club (more people reading is never a bad thing), and house band The Roots (“From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!”). BTW, Late Night With Seth Meyers is also 10 this year. Just sayin’.

Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Saturday Night Live | NBC, Peacock | Comedy

Season 49 finale, Saturday, May 18: Aside from a disastrously unfunny February episode hosted by “comedian” Shane Gillis, season 49 has been one of Saturday Night Live’s most solid seasons ever. The 2023–2024 SNL season kicked off with the killer threefer of Pete Davidson, Bad Bunny, and Nate Bargatze and hit the homestretch with Maya Rudolph, Dua Lipa, and Ryan Gosling (a Beavis for the ages). Jake Gyllenhaal hosts the finale—how about him and Keenan Thompson as Ren & Stimpy?

What to watch on Paramount+ this week

Young Sheldon (CBS)

Young Sheldon | CBS, Paramount+ | Comedy

Series finale, Thursday, May 16: The Big Bang Theory ran for 12 seasons, which is arguably four seasons longer than it should have. (Imagine: Kaley Cuoco could have done The Flight Attendant years earlier.) Likewise, the CBS prequel series Young Sheldon didn’t seem like a great idea after so much Big Bang, but the comedy quickly established its own identity with a warm cast, smart writing, and no laugh track. Young Sheldon will get its own spinoff with Georgie & Mandy’s First Marriage this fall, which may prove critics wrong again.

So Help Me Todd (CBS)

So Help Me Todd | CBS, Paramount+ | Comedy, drama

Series finale, Thursday, May 16: Hordes of petitioning viewers are peeved about the cancellation of So Help Me Todd after two seasons on CBS. Not me—I’ve been on the record that this lightweight legal dramedy sucks from day one. It takes a special kind of creative sinkhole to utterly waste the talents of Marcia Gay Harden and Skylar Astin as a mother-and-son attorney/detective team, but So Help Me Todd did it so thoroughly that Thursday replacement series Elsbeth looks like genius in comparison. Bye, Todd.

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More of what to watch on streaming this week

Smiling Friends (Adult Swim)

Smiling Friends | Adult Swim, Max | Animation, comedy

Season 2 premiere, Monday, May 13: Smiling Friends is everything an Adult Swim series should be, a surrealist blend of animation styles to keep late-night herbal enthusiasts guessing between Door Dash deliveries. The aesthetic may be bizarre, but the plot is simple: Smiling Friends Inc. is a small company dedicated to providing happiness to hotline callers in need, which usually (OK, always) turns out to be more complicated than expected. Smiling Friends season 2 will premiere May 13 on Adult Swim and Max.

Murder at the Motel (A&E)

Murder at the Motel | A&E | Reality, crime

Series premiere, Wednesday, May 15: A&E’s new true-crime docuseries would more accurately be titled Murder at the Motels since each episode investigates a homicide at a different American motel, kicking off at the New Falls Motel in Falls Township, Pennsylvania. “Formerly known as iconic, family-friendly interstate stops, many American motels have become places where transience and anonymity often go hand-in-hand,” A&E says in a press release that’s not going to win over Trip Advisor as an advertiser.

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

Godzilla x Kong The New Empire
Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024)
  • Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (May 14)
  • Chasing Raine (May 14)
  • Sasquatch Sunset (May 14)
  • Sting (May 14)
  • 3 Bed, 2 Bath, 1 Ghost (May 14)
  • Tiger’s Apprentice (May 14)
  • Faceless After Dark (May 17)
  • End of the Rope (May 17)
  • You Can’t Run Forever (May 17)

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