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What to Watch This Week | October 17–23

CableTV.com’s bang-up viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

Because of host Megan Thee Stallion, you may have woken up on Sunday morning and clicked on Hulu to watch Saturday Night Live for the first time this season. But all next-day NBC content now streams on Peacock. The internet is not happy about this. My take: SNL should be concerned that no one noticed until the third episode of the season.

This week’s What to Watch picks include the returns of Documentary Now! and The Vow, the NBA season tip-off, a new chapter of American Horror Story, a semester at The School for Good and Evil, and new virtual reality sci-fi thriller The Peripheral. It’s TV time!

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What’s premiering this week

Documentary Now! | IFC, AMC+ | Comedy

Season 4 premiere, Wednesday, October 19: The last season of Documentary Now! ended in March 2019, but it’s finally back for Season 53 (actually Season 4—it’s part of the joke). This comic tribute to classic documentaries ups the star power this season, with Alexander Skarsgård, Cate Blanchett, and Harriet Walter joining Fred Armisen and writers John Mulaney and Seth Meyers in the ridiculousness. Where’s Bill Hader? Probably busy with Barry.

NBA Tip-off | TNT | Sports, Basketball

Coverage begins Tuesday, October 18: The 2022–23 NBA season launches with an east/west double-header: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics, and Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors on TNT Tuesday, followed by another twofer Wednesday on ESPN with New York Knicks at Memphis Grizzlies, and Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns. Check out CableTV.com’s How to Watch the NBA guide for the best ways to catch all the B-ball action this year.

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What to watch on Netflix this week

The School for Good and Evil | Netflix | Drama, fantasy

Movie premiere, Wednesday, October 19: It’s all there in the title: The School for Good and Evil molds young heroes and villains so the balance of good and evil can be properly maintained. BFFs Sophia and Agatha are kidnapped and drafted into opposing teams at the enchanted academy in this adaptation of the 2013 Soman Chainani novel, which stars Charlize Theron, Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett, and Ben Kingsley.

Jexi | Netflix | Comedy

Movie, now streaming: Originally released in 2019 and noticed by no one, comedy Jexi arrived on Netflix this month and instantly cracked the Top 5. Why? Who knows. Jexi is a lightweight romantic comedy about an everydude (Adam DeVine) whose new smartphone maliciously morphs from friendly assistant to possessive nightmare. A steady baseline of laughs is maintained by DeVine, Michael Peña, Rose Byrne, and Ron Funches, making Jexi worth a look.

What to watch on Hulu this week

American Horror Story: NYC | FX, Hulu | Drama, horror

Season 11 premiere, Wednesday, October 19: As usual, little is known about the latest plot of Ryan Murphy’s long-running American Horror Story ahead of its premiere, save that it takes place in New York City (or the NYC could stand for Naked Young Corpses, which would also track). Returning Murphyverse actors include Billie Lourd, Zachary Quinto, Russell Tovey, Leslie Grossman, and Denis O’Hare. The first two of 10 AHS: NYC episodes drop on October 19.

The Paloni Show! Halloween Special! | Hulu | Animation, comedy

Special premiere, Monday, October 17: Long before he found success with Rick & Morty and Solar Opposites, writer/animator Justin Roiland pitched The Paloni Family Comedy Show to FOX. The network passed—and went with a cartoon Napoleon Dynamite?!—but now the Paloni Family is back and hosting 13 scary animated shorts from various animators and writers. Voices include Pamela Adlon, Zach Hadel, Vatche Panos, Kari Wahlgren, and, of course, Roiland.

What to watch on Apple TV+ this week

Acapulco | Apple TV+ | Comedy

Season 2 premiere, Friday, October 21: Charming bilingual comedy Acapulco premiered in 2021 with little hype, but it fits perfectly in Apple TV+’s roster of premium-quality originals. The series follows wealthy Maximo (Eugenio Derbez) regaling his nephew with the story of how he landed his dream job (and fell in love) at an Acapulco resort in 1984. Come for the pool boy misadventures of young Maximo (Enrique Arrizon); stay for the Spanish-language ’80s pop hits.

Raymond & Ray | Apple TV+ | Comedy, drama

Movie premiere, Friday, October 21: Half-brothers Raymond (Ewan McGregor) and Ray (Ethan Hawke) reunite at their father’s funeral, with whom they both had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad relationship. Raymond and Ray see the funeral as a chance to reconcile their feelings and reinvent themselves for the better, and the Apple TV+ synopsis promises “There’s anger, there’s pain, there’s folly, there might be love, and there’s definitely gravedigging.” Sold!

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W2W wildcards of the week

The Vow | HBO, HBO Max | Documentary

Season 2 premiere, Monday, October 17: HBO’s 2020 docuseries The Vow took a deep, disturbing look into New York’s NXIVM “sex cult” and cringey leader Keith Raniere—naturally, it was a big hit because “sex cult.” Season 2 (or Part 2) picks up with the legal aftermath for Raniere, bringing forth previously unseen footage and even more shocking revelations, including the fact that Raniere still has supporters and followers (cults gonna cult).

The Peripheral | Prime Video | Drama, sci-fi

Series premiere, Friday, October 21: Caring for an ill mother and facing small-town, dead-end job prospects, Flynne (Chloë Grace Moretz) takes a gig testing out experimental VR equipment. When the experience seemingly evolves into real life (and death), she might not make it back. The Peripheral, based on a William Gibson novel, is brain-twisting sci-fi with fantastical special effects that prove Amazon didn’t spend all of its money on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

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