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What to Watch This Week: January 13 to 19

From a documentary on country music legend June Carter Cash to hitting the road with Jason Momoa, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. 29th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards – Sunday, January 14, KTLA

The CW

With Chelsea Handler tapped as host, this year’s edition of the annual Critics’ Choice Awards returns to honour the best in film and television during 2023, as voted upon by members of the Critics Choice Association. Among this year’s highlights will be America Ferrera receiving the eighth annual SeeHer Award, presented to a woman “who advocates for gender equality, portrays characters with authenticity, defies stereotypes and pushes boundaries.” In the TV categories, look for a tight race between frontrunners The Morning Show, with six nominations, and Succession, with five.

2. Monsieur Spade – Sunday, January 14, AMC | Series Premiere


First introduced in Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon, hard-boiled private detective Sam Spade (famously portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the 1941 film version) is back in this new limited series from Scott Frank (The Queen’s Gambit) and Tom Fontana (Oz), with Clive Owen starring as the iconic PI. Set in 1963, Spade is enjoying a peaceful retirement in the South of France when he hears rumours that an old adversary has resurfaced. Meanwhile, he’s pulled out of retirement to investigate the brutal murders of six beloved nuns at the local convent. As the town grieves, secrets emerge and new leads are established, leading him to connect the crime scene to a mysterious boy who is believed to possess great supernatural powers. When the child becomes the subject of a manhunt involving the Vatican, French intelligence and the CIA, Spade is drawn back into the game. “People come to you with their problems,” Spade observes. “You’re good at fixing them. So the problems keep coming.”

3. True Detective: Night Country – Sunday, January 14, HBO Canada | Season Premiere

It’s been almost exactly four years since the premiere of this groundbreaking anthology’s third season. Let’s hope good things come to viewers who wait. As usual, it’s a brand-new case with a brand-new, top-notch cast. Following in the footsteps of True Detective alums like Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell and, most recently, Mahershala Ali, Oscar-winner Jodie Foster plays Liz Danvers, police chief of Ennis, Alaska. When an eight-man research team vanishes during the small town’s annual weeks-long period of constant darkness, Danvers reluctantly partners with fellow cop Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) — six years after they butted heads on another case. Now, they must unravel a bizarre, brutal crime that forces both women to “confront the darkness they carry in themselves, and dig into the haunted truths that lie buried under the eternal ice.” In addition to the new cast, for the first time ever, series creator Nic Pizzolatto, though he remains an executive producer, hands the reins to a new filmmaker: Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), who penned all six episodes.

4. June – Tuesday, January 16, Paramount+


Often overshadowed by husband Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash is the subject of this documentary from Emmy-winning filmmaker Kristen Vaurio (Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief). Featuring rare and never-before-seen archival material, the feature-length doc delves into the extraordinary work of Carter Cash and her iconic entertainment career. In addition to interviews with the woman herself, the film includes chats with family members, admirers and friends including Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and Reese Witherspoon, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the singer in biopic Walk the Line. June shines the spotlight on her importance in the history of country music, and the mark that the Carter and Cash families made on the genre, as well as offering insight into her complex life. “This film offers a great opportunity to realize that June was a star of television and music from an early age — decades before she became ‘Mrs. Johnny Cash.’ Steeped in the legacy of the Carter Family and as a solo artist, she always was — and, as seen through this film — always will remain a shining star in her own right,” said her oldest daughter, Carlene Carter, in a statement. “While some may not fully be aware of her many talents, influence and just how much she mattered as an entertainer, this lovely documentary offers clear insight for everyone to see the true character and the joy shared.”

5. Dusty Slay: Workin’ Man  – Tuesday, January 16, Netflix


Following his recent appearance on Netflix’s comedy showcase The Standups, Dusty Slay gets a special all his own. It finds the genial Nashville boy quipping about life as a blue-collar Southerner, with jokes on “shirt-tucking, hipster coffee shops and country music mysteries.”

6. Death and Other Details – Tuesday, January 16, Disney+ | Series Premiere


Over the past 20 years, Mandy Patinkin has been best known to TV audiences as haunted FBI profiler Jason Gideon on Criminal Minds and grizzled CIA agent Saul Berenson on Homeland — which makes it easy to forget just what a gifted comedic actor he is. But the Emmy winner is set to refresh our memories in this new series . . . albeit while still examining a corpse or two. 

 The loopy whodunit, which is already drawing comparisons to Only Murders in the Building, opens on Imogene (God Friended Me’s Violett Beane), a bright yet restless girl who stumbles into a locked-room mystery aboard a decadent ocean liner. As an outsider, Imogene becomes the prime suspect. To prove her innocence, she must team up with Rufus Cotesworth (Patinkin) — the world’s greatest sleuth, and a man Imogene happens to despise. 

7. Late Bloomer – Wednesday, January 17, Crave1 | Series Premiere


With the explosion of social media over this past decade, the path to stardom for aspiring actors, singers and comics has broadened considerably. No longer forced to wait till the fickle gatekeepers of the entertainment world give them a break, artists now have access to platforms to create and distribute their own work — no big studios or networks required. Of course, simply having your own YouTube or TikTok channel is no guarantee of success; you still need the talent and showbiz savvy to attract, engage and cultivate an audience. Guelph, Ontario’s own Jasmeet Singh Raina has done just that over the past 10 years. Best known online as Jus Reign, his viral videos mixing social commentary and pop-culture parody have scored the now-34-year-old a dedicated following, not to mention stints as a correspondent for the MuchMusic Video Awards, host of the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala and even an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

This latest gig is both his biggest and most personal project to date. Premiering with two back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Late Bloomer is a loosely autobiographical sitcom that engages with the comedian’s real experiences as a Punjabi Sikh millennial who’s chasing the Internet dream. Raina plays “burgeoning content creator Jasmeet Dutta as he tries to balance his ambitions for success with his commitment to his family, community and culture.”

Pitching the eight-part series in a press release, the creator/leading man enthused: “I’m looking forward to this next step in my storytelling and filmmaking endeavours, showcasing South Asian perspectives that mainstream audiences have yet to see.” 

Executive-producing Late Bloomer alongside Raina is Canadian standup great Russell Peters.

8. On the Roam with Jason Momoa – Thursday, January 17, Crave1 | Series Premiere


Jason Momoa has been on quite the showbiz journey — from Baywatch to B.C.-shot classic Stargate: Atlantis to taking the baton/broadsword from Arnold Schwarzenegger as the new Conan the Barbarian to Game of Thrones to one of the cornerstones of DC’s big-screen superhero universe, Aquaman. Suffice it to say, the Hawaiian stud is a compelling figure in modern Hollywood. And now, audiences get a chance to peel back the layers of the man, the myth, the Momoa with an intimate travelogue that hitches a ride with the actor as he hits the road-less-travelled, seeking remarkable folks who are “blazing their own path.” That includes everyone from musicians and athletes to craftsmen and motorcycle fabricators. It’s a cross-country tao that finds Momoa not just profiling his subjects’ particular trades — but also, per the press release, exploring “a deeper way of seeing the world through their eyes. It is a journey of intention . . .”

In Jason’s own words: “On the Roam is an endless quest for me to discover extraordinary people and places.” Meanwhile, U.S. network Discovery’s chief brand officer Nancy Daniels opines: “This is a series about finding your personal inspiration through exploration and immersing yourself in other people’s passions and processes.”

9. LOL: Last One Laughing Ireland – Friday, January 19, Prime Video | Series Premiere

Prime Video

Comedians make people laugh for a living. They also tend to be the first ones in the room to break out in chuckles. That’s the cruel genius behind this game show format, which has been made and remade in over 20 countries (including both a French and English version in Canada) since 2016. Well, add another one to the list as of Friday.

Other than the change in nationality, the rules remain the same: an array of 10 top comedians from the Emerald Isle are put in a room together and challenged to make their colleagues laugh, without cracking a smile themselves. One chuckle gets you a warning. A second gets you eliminated. Whomsoever maintains their straight face the longest earns £50,000 for their favourite charity. 

Season one’s cut-ups include: Aisling Bea, Amy Huberman, Catherine Bohart, David McSavage, Deirdre O’Kane, Emma Doran, Jason Byrne, Martin Angolo, Paul Tylak and Tony Cantwell. Meanwhile, the emcee is a man just as adept at eliciting chortles: Graham Norton, who takes a break from interviewing A-listers on his eponymous U.K. chat show to host Prime Video’s first-ever Irish original. Said Norton in a release: “I’m so proud of our comedy culture and it’s wonderful to have a platform to showcase Irish talent to a global audience. I can’t wait to see what our comedy masterminds do to get the laughter going.”

10. The Woman in the Wall – Friday, January 19, Paramount+ | Series Premiere


The Affair’s Ruth Wilson plays Lorna Brady, an Irish woman who wakes up to find a dead body in her home. Given her penchant for sleepwalking, Lorna may or may not be a killer — and the deed could be connected to her torturous past, and the baby she was forced to give up as a teenager. 

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