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9 Best New Shows to Watch This Week: From ‘The Boys’ to ‘The Orville: New Horizons’

Including: the ultimate dad documentary

This weekend we have a holiday and what better way than to fill that extra day with brand new television? Time to catch up, recharge, and maybe watch that new “Theodore Roosevelt” documentary. It’s what America would have wanted. After the break, the new shows keep coming, from a fictionalized account of the Sex Pistols to the return of “The Boys,” to a spinoff of “Nancy Drew” that seems very, very different. It’s almost TOO much good TV.

On with the television!

spring tv watch list premiere
Prime Video

“The Boys”
Friday, June 3, Prime Video

🎶  “The Boys” are back in town! 🎶 Prime Video’s outrageous superhero series, based on the beloved, adults-only comic book by Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson, returns for Season 3. If you’ve never seen the show before, it’s about a bunch of blokes, led by Karl Urban’s Billy Butcher, who unofficially police superhero activity and occasionally, you know, murder them. In “The Boys” world, superheroes are deeply complicated, morally compromised people who do very bad things. And it’s up to the Boys to keep them in line. This is the R-rated version of your normal superhero saga; think how “Game of Thrones” felt like a grown-up version of “Lord of the Rings.” It’s very risqué and inappropriate but also incredibly entertaining and hugely successful (there’s been a series of animated shorts already released this year and a spinoff in the works). This season promises to be the most scandalous yet, incorporating elements from the comic book series that we cannot believe they are bringing to the screen. If you aren’t on board “The Boys” yet, prepare to be. It’s a shocker! [INTERVIEW]

spring tv watch list finale

“Under the Banner of Heaven”
Thursday, June 2, Hulu

If you read “Under the Banner of Heaven,” Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction bestseller that hinges around a double-murder with deep ties to the Mormon Church, you probably had an inkling of what the show would be like. But the great surprise of the series adaptation is how strange and brooding it is. There are flashbacks to the Old West and a labyrinthine mythology that combines deeply held family secrets with a greater conspiracy within the church itself. It’s like the “True Detective” season we always wanted but never got. And as the Mormon detective tasked with unearthing all of this psychic trauma, Andrew Garfield knocks it out of the park, continuing his winning streak from last year (with “Tick… Tick … BOOM!” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home”) well int 2022. If somehow you’ve slept on this show, catch up before the finale drops. It’s sure to be devastating and utterly intriguing. [REVIEW]

spring tv watch list movie
Fire Island
Jeong Park/Searchlight

“Fire Island”
Friday, June 3, Hulu

Finally, the world seems to be embracing the idea of a gay rom-com! Later this summer, we’ll get Billy Eichner’s “Bros” (released theatrically by Universal) and this week we get “Fire Island,” from Searchlight Pictures, on Hulu! The official synopsis read: “Two best friends embark on a weeklong vacation to Fire Island – the famous gay escape destination off the southern shore of Long Island – accompanied by cheap rosé and a small group of eclectic friends.” What they’re not telling you is that this new film, written by Joel Kim Booster and directed by Andrew Ahn, is is a remake of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” But, you know, on Fire Island. How good does that sound? Especially with a cast that includes Booster, Margaret Cho and Bowen Yang. And just in time for Pride! [REVIEW]

spring tv watch list documentary
Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt”
Monday, May 30 at 8 p.m., History

Somewhere, right now, your dad is getting super jazzed. “Theodore Roosevelt,” the latest two-night History Channel documentary event (it concludes the following night), is just the kind of dad-approved Memorial Day programming we can all get behind. Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose biography of Abraham Lincoln led to Steven Spielberg’s beloved “Lincoln,” based on her book “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” the doc features reenactments alongside talking head interviews and other miscellanea. (Rufus Jones plays Roosevelt.) According to the official release, this new doc “provide a rich, panoramic portrait of the first modern President of the United States–Theodore Roosevelt, a champion of social justice, a passionate conservationist and the self-proclaimed ‘bull moose’ who once delivered an 84-minute speech bleeding from the chest after being shot in a failed assassination attempt.” We’re in. [OFFICIAL SITE]

spring tv watch list re-watch


Later this week, Danny Boyle is unleashing his latest based-on-a-true-story miniseries, “Pistols” (see below). But if you haven’t seen his earlier crack at the genre, now is the time to correct that. “Trust,” about the abduction of John Paul Getty III (played by Harris Dickinson), was also the subject of Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.” The two projects were competing against each other; “Trust” came out first and didn’t have to digitally erase any of its main performers (remember when Christopher Plummer had to do an 11th-hour substitution for Kevin Spacey?) This time, old man Getty is played by Donald Sutherland and his daughter, the mother of the abducted (or “abducted”), is played by Hilary Swank. And best of all, Brendan Fraser jubilantly plays the man Getty hired to retrieve his grandson (this is the role Mark Wahlberg was wildly miscast for). The series is so much richer and more fun, with razor-sharp scripts that came mostly from Boyle’s “Slumdog Millionaire” collaborator Simon Beaufoy and terrific performances. Boyle only directed the first three but his fingerprints are all over the visual and sonic language of the series. [WATCH]

spring tv watch list best of rest

“Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special”
Monday, May 30, Netflix

Shortly before his death, Norm Macdonald recorded a comedy special in his home. This is that special. In addition to the stand-up special, this presentation also includes tributes from David Letterman, Adam Sandler and Conan O’Brien that were recently taped during Netflix’s Los Angeles-based comedy festival. Expect to cry. And laugh until you cry. And then just cry some more. [NEWS]

Tuesday, May 31, Hulu

Danny Boyle’s aforementioned new series, based on the British punk band the Sex Pistols. Unlike with “Truth,” Boyle directed every episode of “Pistol,” which drop all at once on Hulu. While some members of the band aren’t too happy with the project (which is based largely on founding guitarist Steve Jones’ 2017 memoir “Lonely Boy”), attempts to shut down or stop the project have failed. And “Pistol” lives. [TRAILER]

“Tom Swift”
Tuesday, May 31, The CW

Did you know that The CW’s older, spookier “Nancy Drew” is so successful that it warrants a spin-off? Because apparently it is! Tian Richards stars as Tom Swift, a young, eccentric billionaire inventor who “thrust into a world of sci-fi conspiracy and unexplained phenomena” while investigating the disappearance of his father under mysterious circumstances. Also, LeVar Burton is the voice of Barclay, his personal A.I. (Getting a lot of Tony Stark vibes, no?) Sounds very, very fun. [TRAILER]

“South Park: The Streaming Wars”
Wednesday, June 1, Paramount+

Here comes the latest “South Park” special for Paramount+, which some have described as mini-movies (since their length can vary). (December’s “South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid” ran 62 minutes, so longer than a show and not quite a movie.) It’s unclear how long “South Park: The Streaming Wars” is, or anything else about it really. There has only been a very mysterious teaser released and a synopsis that leaves a lot of room for interpretation: “Cartman locks horns with his mom in a battle of wills, while an epic conflict unfolds and threatens South Park’s very existence.” The only guarantee is that you’ll probably laugh so hard milk will shoot out of your nose (whether you’re drinking milk or not). [TRAILER]

“The Orville: New Horizons”
Thursday, June 2, Hulu

Season 2 of “The Orville,” Seth McFarlane’s surprisingly earnest “Star Trek” riff, ended on April 25, 2019. Since then, Disney bought Fox, the world shutdown thanks to a global pandemic and the show was moved from linear broadcast to premiere on Disney’s streaming channel Hulu. Oh, and it got a new subtitle! Based on the trailer, this looks like “The Orville” you know and love, with an even healthier budget. And as a bonus, this season features one of Norm Macdonald’s last performances, as the voice of Lt. Yaphit. In space, no one can hear you hold back sniffles. [TRAILER]

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