I’ll be honest with you: I write the introduction to this story the Friday before it publishes, so referencing any current events means this paragraph will already feel dated by the time you read it two days later, given the speed at which history is happening. So I will just make a few guesses about what happened between my now (Friday) and your now (the day you read this), using the trajectory of the last two years as a guide. Wow, I can’t believe a hellmouth opened underneath Washington D.C. and sucked almost half of our elected officials into the netherworld! Weird! Since the apocalypse is upon us and Beelzebub’s serrated fingernails are grabbing at your ankles, now would be a good time relax with some new television.
Our list of editors’ picks for the week of Jan. 10-Jan. 16 is below, but if this isn’t enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, or our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.
Series premiere Sunday at 9/8c on HBO
The story of Tiger Woods has always been ripe for documentation, but there’s never been a better time for it than now. HBO’s two-part, three-hour look at Woods’ phenomenal rise, incredible fall, uncertain future, and recent comeback is more than just about an athlete, it’s about the machine that makes heroes and sets up traps for them to fall into. It’s all here: a Black man crashing a white-dominated sport, a company (Nike) building a brand around race, a father pushing his child too far, and the inevitable scandal of extra-marital affairs and substance abuse. Featuring never-before-seen footage of Woods and interviews with those closest to him (but none with Tiger himself), Tiger — more general public-friendly and unbiased than ESPN’s sporty and fawning The Last Dance — will be loved by golfers and appreciated by anyone fascinated with the life of a groundbreaking icon.
Series premiere Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW
As someone who thirsts for anything that has a fresh take on the familiar, The CW’s latest Canadian import, Trickster, is a warm welcome. The supernatural coming-of-age story, which was well reviewed at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, takes the tried-and-true formula that so many YA shows use, but filters it through the eyes of Indigenous people, following a teen from a broken family who slings drugs part-time working the drive-thru window of a fast-food joint. But things start to get more complicated when the young man begins to experience strange things, like seeing his doppleganger at parties and encountering talking crows. On the surface it seems like something that would fit right at home on The CW, but it has the vibe of a supernatural indie film from an up-and-coming first-time director — there’s some clumsiness, but that’s far outweighed by the positives — as it explores Indigenous folklore via a teen show.
Season 2 premiere Tuesday at 9/8c on Fox
Sure, it’s a mash-up of various ideas from other TV shows and movies, but Fox’s Prodigal Son was one of the best new broadcast series from last season. The Walking Dead‘s Tom Payne stars as Malcolm Bright, a criminal psychologist working with the police to better understand (and catch!) serial killers. How does he know so much about them? They’re quite literally in his blood, as his father is renowned mass murderer “The Surgeon” (a delightfully unhinged Michael Sheen), and Malcolm unfortunately learns that he might be more like his dad than he wants to be. Nature vs. nurture is explored while procedural elements and twists carry the show week-to-week.
Season 4 premiere Thursday on HBO Max
Few shows capture the intricate dance between the good intentions and overstepped bounds of millennial milieu than Search Party, a comedy that started off on TBS during the network’s impressive makeover in 2016 (a makeover that has already been dismantled) but moved to HBO Max for Season 3. Arrested Development‘s Alia Shawkat stars as Dory Seif, a post-grad occupational nomad who becomes obsessed with a missing persons case involving a college schoolmate. Pulling her self-absorbed friends into the mix, their quest for the truth leads them to — well, I don’t want to say too much in case you haven’t seen it yet, but it’s a wild ride. One of the darkest and funniest shows on air with a superb cast, Search Party isn’t for everyone, but those it’s for will fall hard for it.
One Night in Miami
Friday on Amazon Prime Video
If Regina King is half a good a director as she is an actor, then her directorial debut, One Night in Miami, should be fantastic. King gets behind the camera to tell the story of a night when four legends in their fields — boxer Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), football great Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.), and activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) — hung out together after Ali’s title fight against Sonny Liston and contemplated the power and responsibility that they have. Reviews were high, with praise for King and her direction, as well as being a fantastic adaptation of the play it’s based on.
Season 2 premiere Friday on Apple TV+
Apple TV+’s cockeyed horror show Servant is back and creepier than ever in Season 2. The claustrophobic thriller, created by Tony Basgallop and executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, began as a wild-eyed but mechanically precise story about a family unraveling in the wake of a tragedy. In Season 1, Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) hired live-in nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to care for the lifelike “reborn doll” that a grieving Dorothy believed was her son — only for the doll to somehow become a living baby. Now, the show goes full supernatural in its sophomore season as Leanne’s true nature is exposed. It’s the details that make this show stand out, like the rich wallpaper of the Turners’ Philadelphia brownstone, the wet, wet, shoes of Leanne’s weird uncle (Boris McGiver), and the most unsettling food design since Hannibal. –Kelly Connolly
Series premiere Friday on Disney+
WandaVision will officially launch the Disney+ arm of the MCU on Friday with two episodes to give fans a good idea of what to expect from the limited series that will help set up Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. While comic book fans and MCU aficionados will have fun combing through the sitcom-length episodes for Easter eggs and clues about what’s really going on as Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) find themselves “trapped” in some alternate universe where they’re living in a TV show, even casual Marvel fans will have fun with WandaVision’s tongue-in-cheek take on classic sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Bewitched. It’s a step outside of the box from usual Marvel superhero fare, but that’s not a bad thing as Olsen and Bettany get to flex their underused comedic chops in this strange new adventure. –Megan Vick
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