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What to Watch This Week | May 30–June 4’s superb viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

This week’s installment of What to Watch is coming to you a little later than usual because of Memorial Day, if not a triple-finale hangover thanks to the weekend farewells of Succession, Barry, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Also, the harrowing season finales of Yellowjackets, Love & Death, and Fatal Attraction—it was an emotional rollercoaster of a weekend, we all earned a day off.

This week’s What to Watch picks include the premiere of HBO’s controversial The Idol, new sci-fi series Vortex and The Lazarus Project, Australian crime comedy Deadloch, the return of The Eric Andre Show, and the 2023 NBA Finals. Let the summer TV season begin!

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What’s premiering this week

The Idol (HBO)

The Idol | HBO, Max | Drama, music

Series premiere, Sunday, June 4: The controversial and pricey HBO series The Idol has been in production for so long that it must be perfect, right? Not according to mixed reviews at Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, which ranged from “stellar” to “shameful” to “torture porn.” Still, producer Sam Levinson (Euphoria) predicts The Idol “will be the biggest show of the summer,” and he’s probably right. The story: A troubled, Britney-esque pop star (Lily-Rose Depp) falls in with a self-help cult leader (Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye); sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, and way more sex ensue.

NBA Finals

NBA Finals | ABC | Sports, basketball

Coverage begins Thursday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT: It’s the Denver Nuggets vs. Miami Heat in the first game of the 2023 NBA Finals, which could go seven rounds up to June 18 if necessary. As detailed in’s How to Watch the NBA Finals guide, all you need is access to ABC to enjoy the whole series, and you don’t even need a cable, satellite, or live TV streaming service to do it—just hook up a digital over-the-air antenna and watch for free.

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What to watch on Netflix this week

I Think You Should Leave (Netflix)

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson | Netflix | Comedy

Season 3 premiere, Tuesday, May 30: Aside from the all-purpose “We’re all trying to find the guy who did this” meme and the star’s previous association with the underrated Comedy Central series Detroiters, I don’t get much out of I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. But, I’m in a clear minority, as the beloved sketch comedy show rolls into its third season with a guestlist that includes Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, Will Forte, Ayo Edebiri, Jason Schwartzman, Sam Richardson, Mitra Jouhari, and Tim Meadows. Fine, I’ll give Tim another chance.

Vortex (Netflix)

Vortex | Netflix | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Friday, June 2: French import Vortex sets up a not-too-distant future (2025 to be exact) wherein the police use VR tech to solve crimes—what could possibly go wrong? Let’s start with this: Police Capt. Ludovic Beguin (Tomer Sisley) discovers a glitch in the system that allows him to communicate with his late girlfriend 27 years in the past, right before she died. If he can help her avoid her demise, what does that mean for his present, his wife and son, and existence itself? Some serious timey-wimey business here, oui?

What to watch on Max this week

Reality (HBO)

Reality | HBO, Max | Drama

Movie premiere, Monday, May 29: Adapted from the play This Is a Room, which itself was based word-for-word on FBI interrogation transcripts, Reality dramatizes the incaceration of former NSA translator Reality Winner (portrayed in the movie by Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney). Winner was arrested for leaking government information during the 2016 presidential election, which is apparently a bigger crime than storing multiple boxes of classified White House documents at your golf club. Reality won raves on the film festival circuit this year, particularly for Sweeney’s performance.

Eric Andre Show (Adult Swim)

The Eric Andre Show | Adult Swim, Max | Comedy

Season 6 premiere, Sunday, June 4: When The Eric Andre Show premiered in 2012, most predicted it would last until maybe late 2012. Now here it is 11 years later, a new season arriving just in time to alleviate our late-night-talk-show absentee pain during the writers’ strike (#WGAStrong). Guests/victims of Andre’s gonzo antics this season include Blac Chyna, Cypress Hill, Diplo, Meagan Good, Jon Hamm, Natasha Lyonne, Raven-Symoné, Rico Nasty, Tinashe, Waka Flocka Flame, and Jaleel White, as well as Lil Yachty and Lil Nas X (he’s cornered the Lil market).

What to watch on Prime Video this week

Deadloch (Prime Video)

Deadloch | Prime Video | Comedy, drama

Series premiere, Friday, June 2: Not much ever happens in the titular seaside town of Deadloch, tucked away in the Australian island state of Tasmania—until a local man turns up dead on the beach. It was a murder, and now it’s up to town detective Dulcie Collins (Kate Box) and big city investigator Eddie Redcliffe (Madeline Sami) to close the case. Show creators/writers Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan (lotta Kates on the set) frame Deadloch as a stern crime drama sprinkled with enough humor to keep the eight-episode series from becoming just another brooding murder mystery.

Shiny Happy People (Prime Video)

Shiny Happy People | Prime Video | Documentary

Series premiere, Friday, June 2: It’s been said here before that Religious Cults Gone Bad is now a documentary sub-genre, and Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets adds a reality TV twist. The TLC series 19 Kids and Counting ran for an astonishing 10 seasons, following the family of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, until molestation allegations against eldest son Josh surfaced in 2015. There’s also the matter of the Duggar-adjacent Institute in Basic Life Principles, a highly suspect religious organization accused of systemic abuse. Wonder why this docuseries isn’t on TLC?

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W2W wildcards of the week

The Rising (The CW)

The Rising | The CW | Drama, supernatural

Series premiere, Monday, May 29: The new plan at The CW is to not produce any scripted content of its own, but to import shows from other countries—hey, it’s new to you, U.S. citizen. Along with Australian surfer drama Barons, which also premiered on Memorial Day, British supernatural series The Rising kicks off The CW’s summer with the story of Neve Kelly (Clara Rugaard) solving a murder … her own. Neve’s dead (which would have been a better show title), and she’s determined to spend her nonexistence finding out whodunnit. Out-weird that, Riverdale.

The Lazarus Project (TNT)

The Lazarus Project | TNT | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Sunday, June 4 (rescheduled from January): As with all things owned by Warner Bros. Discovery, it’s a bit of a surprise to see a new sci-fi series pop up on TNT, a network that’s now mostly about reruns and wrestling (just ask the producers of Snowpiercer). The Lazarus Project is a British import about a clandestine organization that sends the world back in time whenever it faces extinction—the title Be Kind, Rewind was already taken. Sounds cool, but probably don’t expect TNT to air the in-production second season if you get hooked.

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