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What to Watch This Week: April 27 to May 3

From the return of acclaimed comedy series Hacks to Netflix’s adapation of Tom Wolfe’s A Man in Full, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Velma – Saturday, April 27, HBO Canada | Season Premiere

Velma on HBO Canada. Pictured: Velma scolling on her phone.

Returning for a second season, this animated series continues to tell the origin story of beloved Scooby Doo detective Velma Dinkley (voiced by Mindy Kaling) prior to the formation of Mystery Inc. In the new season, an even spookier mystery grips Crystal Cove, leading Velma struggling to find a way to balance her detective work with the demands of her newfound popularity before it’s too late. Meanwhile, her faithful friends Daphne (Constance Wu), Shaggy (Sam Richardson) and Fred (Glenn Howerton) are powerless to help — especially when they’re forced to stay after school for detention. 

2. MILF Manor – Sunday, April 28, TLC | Season Premiere

MILF Manor on TLC: Pictured: Crystal, one of the six single women competitors.

Back for a second season, this reality show introduces six new single women, all between the ages of 45 and 59, who engage in a series of competitions in order to win dates with sexy younger men, with challenges ranging from “relay races to mud wrestling,” according to TLC’s synopsis.

3. Race Against the Tide – Sunday, April 28, CBC | Season Premiere 

Race Against the Tide on CBC. Pictured: Maestro Fresh Wes.

Having just been fêted for his groundbreaking hip-hop-complishments with an induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Maestro Fresh Wes gets back to his day job, welcoming 10 more pairs of sand sculptors to build fleeting masterpieces on the tumultuous shores of New Brunswick. 

4. Acapulco – Wednesday, May 1, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere

Acupulco on Apple TV+. pictured: Euginio Derbez as Máximo.
Apple TV+

For the last few years, Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso has been held up as the paragon of a wacky comedy series that actually manages to balance its chuckles with some genuine heart.

Sadly, Coach Lasso and his lovable soccer hooligans have ended their run. But there’s another, far more under-the-radar comedy that strikes the same rare balance . . . and it also happens to stream on Apple.

Acapulco stars Eugenio Derbez (How to Be a Latin Lover) as billionaire Máximo Gallardo — who has spent the show’s first two seasons recounting a quirky rags-to-riches story to his precocious nephew, reflecting on his days working as a pool boy at the Las Colinas Resort in the ’80s. During this bittersweet coming-of-age, young Máximo (played in the past by Enrique Arrizon) and his pals have grappled with first love, self-doubt and the complexities of finding your place in a world where the odds seem perpetually stacked against you.

Per an Apple press release, here’s what we can expect from season three: “In the present story, older Máximo finds himself returning to a Las Colinas he no longer recognizes, while in 1985, younger Maximo continues his climb up the ladder of success while potentially jeopardizing all the relationships he’s worked so hard to build.” And, fittingly enough, Ted Lasso co-star Cristo Fernández will join the cast this year as a local artist/activist.

5. Hacks – Thursday, May 2, Crave | Season Premiere

Hacks on Crave: Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder.

Arguably TV’s biggest sleeper hit of the past decade, Hacks unexpectedly captured the zeitgeist with its darkly amusing — yet thoroughly poignant — tale of an aging comedy icon (Emmy-magnet Jean Smart) who finds a new lease on standup after she’s paired up with a struggling young comedy writer (Hannah Einbinder) recently “cancelled” thanks to her misadventures on social media. 

Over the past couple seasons, we’ve seen Deborah and Ava struggle to keep a lid on their volatile bond, as the similarities that draw them together also, perpetually, drive them apart. Season two ended with the feuding duo reaching something of a détente, as Deborah both dropped the season-long NDA lawsuit and fired Ava for her own good, freeing the girl up to pursue her own, solo career path.

Naturally, despite that parting of ways, you can expect a reunion between these two damaged, kindred spirits. During a preview screening of season three at the SXSW festival, co-creator Lucia Aniello teased (via Collider): “I actually think that this season we kind of force Deborah and Ava to confront each other and themselves in a way that we didn’t quite do in season one or two. I think that towards the end of season three, we really push them to ask themselves, ‘What is important in life?’ It puts them in really difficult positions, and choices are made and it goes really hard and it goes really deep. But I think, and I hope, that people are onboard for that at this point . . . because I love them both so much, but I also can see how that love can be so twisted; and so, I think that [the season] goes there, and I hope that people can get onboard. I know they will. I can’t wait for them to, I guess, is really what I mean.”

Meanwhile, Hacks continues to attract top-notch guest stars. This year, that includes Christina Hendricks, Helen Hunt and Christopher Lloyd.

6. A Man in Full – Thursday, May 2, Netflix | Series Premiere

A Man in Full on Netflix. Pictured: Jeff Daniels as Charlie Croker.

Clear some time on your weekend bingeing schedule for a miniseries sporting the highest all-around pedigree of any TV project in recent memory.

Said pedigree starts with Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, who in 1998 penned yet another novel that sent incisive shockwaves through the culture. A Man in Full centres on an Atlanta real estate mogul named Charlie Croker, who suddenly finds himself on the verge of bankruptcy — fending off rivals and former friends who seek to line their pockets off his fall from grace. 

It’s a dissection of late-stage capitalism, race relations and good old-fashioned human frailty — and it struck the fancy of no less a TV auteur than David E. Kelley, who looks to follow up Big Little Lies and The Lincoln Lawyer by penning yet another watercooler obsession. Here, Kelley teams with Oscar-winning-actress-turned-filmmaker Regina King (One Night in Miami . . .), who will both produce the show and helm three of its six episodes. 

Meanwhile, in front of the camera, Croker is played by Emmy-winner Jeff Daniels; the character is described by Netflix’s Tudum as “crude, rude and irrepressible. He’s ready to defend his empire against all takers — and at any cost.” Rounding out the ensemble are such A-listers as Diane Lane, playing Charlie’s former wife Martha, who looks to capitalize on her ex’s collapse — and knows all about the many skeletons in his closet. There’s also Lucy Liu as a beauty company CEO who finds herself with “a crisis of conscience that threatens to undo friendships and business ventures.” Lastly, For All Mankind’s Sarah Jones plays our antihero’s current wife, “a voice of reason and a steadying force as Charlie’s world tilts off its axis,” while The Good Place’s William Jackson Harper is Atlanta’s embattled mayor. 

7. Welcome to Wrexham – Thursday, May 2, FX Canada | Season Premiere

Welcome to Wrexham on FX Canada. Pictured: Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Vancouver’s favourite motor-mouthed son Ryan Reynolds and his fellow actor/business partner Rob McElhenney are back on the pitch for season three of this cultishly adored soccer docuseries.

In their efforts to purchase and revamp North Wales’ Wrexham AFC, the world’s third-oldest football club, McElhenney and Reynolds have managed to pluck the heartstrings of audiences far and wide — sports fans or not. Because, indeed, the story here extends far beyond the stadium, profiling a small Welsh town whose fortunes are inextricably linked to those of their team — and vice versa. 

Featuring intimate interviews with players, coaches, their families, the fans and the two Hollywood stars themselves, Welcome to Wrexham is, no doubt, a profoundly charming affair.

The end of season two saw the club score a key victory, as Wrexham was finally promoted from the basement of the English football system. This year, they’ll be battling to move another rung up that slippery ladder, as the show’s cameras are given “unprecedented access on the pitch, bringing viewers inside the locker room and alongside the players, while the action is unfolding in some of the biggest matches Wrexham AFC has ever played.”

8. Turtles All the Way Down – Thursday, May 2, Crave

Turtles All the Way Down on Crave. Pictured: Felix Mallard and Isabela Merced.

Author John Green has already supplied the source material for one of cinema’s most iconic young adult romances: 2014 tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars. Now, another of his novels makes its way to the screen.   

A fictional yet deeply personal story tapping into Green’s real-life struggles with mental illness, the film centres on a teen named Aza (played by erstwhile Dora the Explorer Isabela Merced), who suffers from severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

As we open, Aza is suddenly brought back into the orbit of an old crush named Davis (Felix Mallard), whose father, a shady billionaire, went on the lam to escape prosecution. 

What starts as a scheme cooked up by Aza’s eccentric best pal Daisy (Cree Cicchino) to break into the man’s estate to find evidence of his whereabouts and collect a $100,000 reward turns into an unexpected romance between Davis and Aza — who has also lost a parent. But will her inner demons allow her to embrace true love? 

It’s all helmed by Hannah Marks, director of another bittersweet dramedy with a dash of youthful adventure: 2022’s Don’t Make Me Go.

9. John Mulaney Presents Everybody’s in L.A. – Friday, May 3, Netflix | Series Premiere

John Mulaney Presents Everybody's in L.A. on Netflix. Pictured: John Mulaney.

Fans of standup comedy are in for a treat with this series of six livestreamed specials hosted by comedian John Mulaney, coinciding with the annual Netflix is a Joke Fest, a star-studded 11-day celebration of laughter featuring more than 300 live standup shows from some of the world’s top comedians. “The comically unconventional show will feature special guests and field pieces shot in Los Angeles,” notes the synopsis for the series, which will follow Mulaney as he explores the city of L.A. during a time when some of the planet’s funniest people have congregated there. Kicking off Friday, additional episodes will stream each night, from Monday, May 6 until Friday, May 10, at 7 p.m. According to Netflix’s trailer, Mulaney’s guests have yet to be confirmed, but names being bandied about include Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and David Letterman

10. Clarkson’s Farm – Friday, May 3, Prime Video | Season Premiere

Clarkson's Farm on Prime Video. Pictured: Jeremy Clarkson and family at the Diddly Squat farm.
Prime Video

Ever-controversial Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson returns for a third season trying to get the aptly named Diddly Squat farm up to snuff. This year, challenges include inflation, a crop-killing heat wave and his dreams of a restaurant turning nightmarish.

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