There are lots of new shows premiering this week on all of the major streaming services, from Netflix’s highly anticipated Shadow and Bone, based on the Grisha book trilogy, to Kate Winslet as Mare of Easttown in the HBO Max original drama. Plus, lots of shows are releasing full seasons — even multiple seasons — of programming for young kids, like PJ Masks, and shows aimed at teens and tweens, like Liv and Maddie. There’s a lot to digest, but here’s a look at the best new and returning shows you can confidently put on your “watch list” this week.
Shadow and Bone
A TV series adaptation of the popular Leigh Bardugo Grisha book trilogy, which currently includes Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, Shadow and Bone has been called the biggest series debut for Netflix this year. The story is set in a world where war has taken over, and Alina Starkov, an orphan and soldier, begins training as a magical soldier known as Grisha. Combining magic with fantasy, a compelling story, and a diverse group of characters, the highly anticipated series includes eight episodes in its inaugural season.
Luis Miguel: The Series
This Spanish-language biographical series about Mexican singer Luis Miguel returns for its second season. Diego Boneta stars as the title character in the authorized version of his storied life, including a demanding father who was obsessed with making him a star, a mother who disappeared mysteriously, and his career journey to becoming one of the most successful Latin music artists, if not the most successful, in American history. Miguel himself is named among the executive producers of the series, which picks up in the ’90s for season 2 following the funeral of Miguel’s father.
A kid’s favorite, PJ Masks is about Amaya, Greg, and Connor, child superheroes who emerge each night as their alter egos, Owlette, Gekko, and Catboy, to fight enemies like Luna Girl and Night Ninja, ensuring they don’t ruin the next day for everyone. The Disney show, a French-British interactive computer-animated series, is based on the book series Les Pyjamasques. Four seasons have aired to date since it launched on Disney Junior in 2015, and season 3 is now available to stream.
Izzy’s Koala World
Izzy Bee returns for a second season of this docuseries that follows the teenager through her adventures as a koala caretaker on Australia’s Magnetic Island. There, Izzy’s family runs a clinic that rescues and rehabilitates koalas that have been injured or orphaned. It’s just the kind of feel-good show you might need right now, and one you can watch with the whole family.
The first season of this Italian comedy-drama sci-fi series uniquely centers around the Black Italian experience. Based on the book Non ho mai avuto la mia eta by Antonio Dikele Distefano, it’s about Omar, a shy young boy who happens to possess the superpower to be able to make himself invisible. As he learns more about his special abilities and tries to escape danger in his hometown, he struggles with having to fill the role of ‘hero” when he really feels like a “zero.”
Life in Color with David Attenborough
Rather than just discuss how various animals use colors to aid in their survival, whether it’s birds seeking out mates or tigers using their stripes to protect their young, this limited series truly sets itself apart with the use of technology that allows viewers to actually see the world the same way an animal might. Sit back and relax as Emmy-winning broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough goes on a journey with you to explore the beauty of nature and wild animals. It’s a fascinating series fittingly released just in time for Earth Day.
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me
Academy Award-winning actor and Grammy Award-winning musician Jamie Foxx is going back to his comedy roots in this sitcom about Brian Dixon, a single dad whose life is turned upside down when his teenage daughter moves in with him. Also starring Foxx’s former In Living Color castmate David Alan Grier as his character’s father, Foxx harkens back to his sketch comedy days by playing several other characters on the show as well. These include Reverend Sweet Tee, Cadillac Calvin, and Rusty. The sitcom is sure to be full of those moral moments and predictable laugh tracks that are essential components of any successful sitcom. Stream all eight episodes of the first season.
This Korean series has been compared to How To Get Away With Murder, so if you’ve been missing that Shondaland series, this just might fill the hole. The crime drama begins when an incident puts ambitious students at a prestigious law school and their tough professor into a tailspin. Two episodes will be released each week — alongside their release date on the native network jTBC — for a total of 16 episodes to complete the first season.
My Love: Six Stories of True Love
At a time when relationships seem fleeting, the six couples featured in this limited docuseries have stood the test of time. Each elderly couple from different parts of the world has been together for decades. The series follows their lives over the span of a year, examining what makes them tick, how they interact, and their secrets to a successful and enduring relationship. It’s guaranteed to be full of heartwarming and inspiring stories.
It’s Big Brother meets Catfish in this unique experimental reality series that is perfectly suited to quarantine times. Each player is holed up in a different apartment on a different floor of the same building. They never meet or even speak to one another, only ever communicating by text-based messages (and emoji) using an intelligent artificial intelligence (A.I.) system. All that’s shared is a carefully curated social media profile for each person, with little additional details added as the series progresses.
Are the profiles fake, or are the people really who they say they are? The first season proved far more heartwarming than expected as people from all walks of life opened up to one another and formed beautiful friendships in a way they likely never would have had they crossed paths in real life. It’s a lesson in not passing judgment and being accepting of others while also realizing that not everything, or everyone, is what/who they seem behind a screen. The first four episodes are available this week, with four episodes released in each of the two weeks thereafter, followed by a finale on May 5, 2021.
Sasquatch, also known as Bigfoot, is one of the best-known mysteries and folklores. People all over have, for centuries, tried to find the supposed mythical creature, claimed to have seen it, or been involved with hoaxes involving the ape-like creature. Questions of Sasquatch’s authenticity aside, 25 years ago, there was a triple homicide that Sasquatch was supposedly guilty of committing. This Hulu original docuseries takes viewers deep into the heart of trying to solve this puzzling case with the help of investigative journalist David Holthouse.
The Jessica Biel-produced Freeform drama thriller, which will stream on Hulu, follows residents in a small town in Texas dealing with the sudden disappearance of a popular young girl named Kate. After her nerdy classmate Jeanette is accused of having something to do with Kate’s mysterious disappearance, Jeanette becomes the most hated person in the country and must deal with the constant sneers and implications that she knows more than she’s letting on. The story is interestingly told over the course of the same day, June 21, in three different years: 1993, 1994, and 1995.
Topher Grace (That ’70s Show) makes his return to the small screen in this comedy about three adult siblings, each of whom has ended up in a different social class, with lives that have all taken different paths. While the youngest sibling has managed to do well for himself running a private equity firm, the middle child is firmly in the middle class and struggling to get by. Meanwhile, the eldest child, daughter Sarah, can barely pay her bills. Inspired by the real-life story of co-creator Michael Colton, Home Economics centers around how each sibling has their own hardships that involve far more than just superficial money and status. New episodes are released weekly.
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay
The second season of this comedic drama about a 20-something man in Australia who becomes the primary caregiver for his two teenage American half-sisters following the death of their father is now streaming. Neurotic and completely out of his depth, Nicholas tries hard to fill the hole left by their father and help his siblings through their coming-of-age trials and tribulations.
Katey Sagal heads up this drama that is inspired by the life of legal clerk and environmental activist Erin Brokovich, who serves as an executive producer. Annie “Rebel” Bello is a legal advocate who is passionate about helping others in their fights for justice. Along with Rebel’s messy, funny, and fearless tactics, there’s one small detail that can’t be overlooked: She doesn’t actually have a law degree. But that doesn’t matter because she manages to help get the job done anyway.
Check out the second half of the sixth season of this historical fantasy series that is inspired by the sagas of legendary Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok. Ragnar begins as a farmer but as he helps raid England and fight alongside his fellow warriors, he is eventually named king. As the series has progressed, subsequent seasons focus on his sons and their adventures throughout various locations around the world, including England, Scandinavia, and North America.
Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet stars in this crime drama miniseries about detective Mare Sheehan, who is thrust into the reopening of an unsolved local missing child’s case. She tries to focus her energy on helping find closure for the girl’s grieving mother, even though she believes the girl will never be found. But she must balance this with the many other cases that pop up, including ones that intertwine with her own troubled personal life. Mare of Easttown has already received very positive ratings, with critics noting that Winslet, not surprisingly, does a beautiful job, and that her performance is further propped up by a central mystery with a “strong sense of place and character.”
A Black Lady Sketch Show
Need some laughs? Tune into the second season of this sketch comedy series, with skits performed predominantly by Black female comedians. After the first season received universal praise back in 2019, a second season was commissioned, but the pandemic delayed its release. While Quinta Brunson does not appear in the second season, season 2 adds a pair of new featured players, Laci Mosley (Florida Girls) and Skye Townsend, daughter of Robert Townsend.
It’s sci-fi meets period drama in this HBO Max original about a group of seemingly ordinary women living in Victorian-era London. After a strange entity passes over the city, they realize they are among the Touched, each having strange and supernatural abilities, like being able to see the future or generate balls of flame. Early reviews of the show are lukewarm, despite the talented cast and the fact that Joss Whedon is behind the show. Nonetheless, it might be worth checking out to judge for yourself. Episodes are released weekly.
Check out the fourth season of this Cartoon Network anthology series about a train that travels through a barren landscape and on which a variety of strange events occur. As passengers move from one train car to another, they must complete a variety of challenges to help get them through emotional trauma in hopes of finally making it back home. Though all set in the same universe, every season features a mostly new cast of characters, with some recurring. The first three seasons to date have been met with glowing reviews, so it’s expected that season 4, which has been confirmed to be the last, will continue the trend.
While the first season of this comedy premiered on Comedy Central in 2019, the second season will officially move to HBO Max, thus making the show a “Max Original.” Simon and Kareem have just graduated from community college and are balancing their jobs working at a rent-to-own shop with some small-time hustling side gigs, which range from selling black market Viagra to popcorn on street corners.
The Other Two
Another Comedy Central series that will premiere its second season on HBO Max, The Other Two is a series for a new generation that knows all too well about the influence of the internet and how quickly one can gain fame but also how fleeting it can be. Two millennials — Helene, a former professional dancer confused about her future, and Drew, an aspiring actor who can’t seem to find good roles — must cope with the fact that their 13-year-old brother Chase has become an internet celebrity seemingly overnight following the release of a viral video.
Frank Of Ireland
In this Amazon original comedy, Frank is a reclusive, recently single 32-year-old struggling musician living in Dublin, Ireland, with his mother. As he tries to make it through everyday life and the messes he has left behind, he gets help from his best friend, Doofus (really). Starring real-life brothers Domhnall and Brian Gleeson, the New York Post calls the series a “live-action Beavis and Butt-Head.” With six half-hour episodes in the first season, the silly humor might be just what you need right now.
The first season of this Amazon Prime Original anthology series will be set in the ’50s and tell the story of a Black family who moves to an all-white neighborhood in Los Angeles. As they try to fit into their new home and surroundings, they continue to encounter malevolent forces that taunt and are seemingly out to harm them.
Amazon is throwing its hat into the animated superhero series ring, though this one isn’t exactly family-friendly. Invincible is based on works by The Walking Dead‘s Robert Kirkman, which is your first indication that it’s pretty gory and violent. Steven Yuen (who played fan-favorite character Glenn on The Walking Dead) voices Mark Grayson, a teenager whose father Nolan (J.K. Simmons) is secretly Omni-Man, the most powerful superhero in the alternate world. When Mark turns 18, his superhero abilities begin to take shape. As he slowly transforms into Invincible, he must learn how to control his craft while also coming of age as a young man and learning truths about his father.
Many new series claim to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen, but in the case of Calls, it’s totally true. This series features voice actors only, but it isn’t animated. Rather, each dark and dramatic episode, which runs for just 10-15 minutes, includes a looping background image with audio and text running across the screen of dialogues in a phone call, along with background noises. It sounds obscenely boring, but one episode in, and you’re guaranteed to be hooked. It’s exciting, nail-biting, intense, and thought-provoking. The fact that the series, dubbed an “immersive television experience” and based on the French series of the same name, is so engaging even though you aren’t really seeing much on screen is a testament to the acting abilities of the top-notch cast, which includes everyone from Pedro Pascal to Aubrey Plaza, Rosario Dawson, and Lily Collins. Note that some of the background animations can be headache-inducing, but it’s worth it.
For All Mankind
Stream the second season of this science fiction series that tells an alternate history of what might have happened if the space race never ended. Instead of the U.S. achieving that historic Moon landing, season 1 begins with the Soviet Union actually getting there first. Already renewed for a third season, the 1960s-set series has received decent reviews thus far. Accompanying season two will be Apple TV+’s first companion podcast, For All Mankind: The Official Podcast, hosted by Krys Marshall, who plays Danielle Poole on the series.
The Snoopy Show
Join Snoopy and friends for this new series, which was released just in time for the comic’s 70th anniversary. The animated family show stars the title character and his best friend Woodstock as they partake in a variety of new adventures. Based on the Peanuts comic strip, Snoopy returns as the Masked Marvel and a flying ace that fights the Red Baron. And, of course, we can’t forget about his other friend, Charlie Brown.
Check out the second season of this historical comedy-drama starring Hailee Steinfeld as a fictional version of the title character. With a third season already ordered as well, the coming-of-age series takes a humorous look into the world of a rebellious young teenage girl who despises societal conventions and traditional expectations about gender identity. All the while, she yearns to be a writer, constantly trying to keep up with her own vivid imagination.
Puppy Dog Pals
Premiering on Disney Junior in 2017, this computer-animated children’s TV series has four seeasons, and the third will finally begin streaming this week. As the name implies, it’s about two puppy dog brothers and friends, Bingo and Rolly, who go on adventures together in their neighborhood as soon as their owner Bob leaves for the day. They are joined by their kitty sister Hissy and a robot dog Auto-Doggy Robotic Friend (A.R.F.).
Liv and Maddie
All 80 episodes of the four seasons of this Disney Channel kids comedy are now available for streaming. Dove Cameron does double duty playing both Liv, an actor who returns home after starring in a TV show for four years, and her identical twin sister Maddie, a tomboy who stayed back home while her sister became famous. Along with each story, the episodes each include documentary-style cutaways where the characters discuss what they were really thinking during various situations and scenes.
Hazen Audel, an extreme adventurer, returns for more survivalist excitement in the fifth season of this reality docuseries. From having to search for sources of water and food to building shelter and learning to make fire, it’s Survivor without the melodrama, competitive challenges, and obstacle courses, nor the million-dollar prize at the end. In each season, Audel must also learn different skills from the native inhabitants as he travels to different regions. This is down and dirty survivalism at its finest in some of the most hostile places around the world.
John Stamos stars in this new sports dramedy that was created by Everybody Loves Raymond‘s Brad Garrett. Stamos plays Marvyn, a basketball coach whose temper gets him fired from his job and sent to coach the basketball team at an elite girl’s private school. Also starring Jessalyn Gilsig (Vikings) as the far more easygoing assistant coach and Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) as the no-nonsense dean of the school, episodes will be released weekly for a total of 10 in the first season.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Just as Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) fans are accepting the end of the season of WandaVision, which was a roaring success, the next MCU series installment is here. The highly anticipated Marvel project centers on Sam Wilson (a.k.a. Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (a.k.a. Winter Soldier), and fans can now check out episode two. Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the pair team up to fight crime and go on adventures around the world. Delivered like a movie separated into six episodes, a new episode will be released each week through to April 23.
The latest project set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany reprise their roles as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch and Vision, respectively, in this miniseries that is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Now that Thanos is no longer a threat, the pair are just your average couple living a boring suburban life, Leave It to Beaver-style, in Westview while trying to conceal their powers from others. They enter different decades, deal with typical television tropes, and bring a new level of humor to the characters, but something strange is going on. The series marks the first project in the MCU’s Phase Four strategy, which will include a variety of movies and TV series released between 2021 and 2023. Now that the finale has streamed, you can binge all nine episodes to catch up on the water cooler chatter.
The second season of this Star Wars franchise space Western commenced on October 30, 2020, and came to an end on December 18. Not surprisingly, season 3 is also already in the works. The series, which took home an impressive seven Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards and was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, is set five years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and follows the story of a bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who is trying to locate someone known as “The Child,” now known as Grogu (and affectionately called “Baby Yoda”), followed by his adventures with the adorable creature. This will be one to savor since the third season won’t arrive until the end of 2021, though there are a few spinoffs in the works to whet your appetites while you anxiously await the next almost year to come and go.
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