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What to Watch This Week: June 29 to July 5

From a new season of The Amazing Race Canada to Eddie Murphy’s 40-years-later sequel to Beverly Hills Cop, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines – Sunday, June 30, Magnolia Network | Season Premiere

Magnolia Table With Joanne Gaines on Magnolia Network. Pictured: Joanna Gaines.
Magnolia Network

Shiplap-loving Fixer Upper star Joanna Gaines is back with a new six-episode season of her homey cooking show, continuing to bring viewers some of her favourite recipes while also sharing the stories behind them and why they continue to find a place on her family’s table.”

2. The 2024 BET Awards – Sunday, June 30, BET  

The 2024 BET Awards on BET. Pictured: Taraji P. Henson.

Honouring Black achievement in the entertainment world, BET channel’s annual gala returns for a 24th year. 

Leading all nominees is Canadian hip-hop icon Drake, who scored seven nods on the strength of his latest album, For All the Dogs. Following right behind is fellow singer Nicki Minaj with six and Usher with four. The latter will also receive BET’s Lifetime Achievement trophy, coupled with a star-studded musical tribute to his career.

The performers in that particular tribute are still a mystery, but other acts taking the stage at L.A.’s Peacock Theater on Sunday include Victoria Monét, GloRilla, Shaboozey, and the legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill, who will croon alongside her son, YG Marley.

Meanwhile, after the show went hostless last year thanks to Hollywood’s writer strike, Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson (pictured above) resumes her emcee duties, having hosted previously in 2021 and 2022. Said BET exec Connie Orlando: “Taraji is a phenom, known for her vibrant personality and charisma, and we are excited to welcome her back to host Culture’s Biggest Night — BET Awards — the ultimate celebration of Black creativity. We are equally as thrilled to have so many incredibly talented performers join us, standing on culture’s biggest stage to deliver an unforgettable night.”

3. Sprint – Tuesday, July 3, Netflix | Series Premiere

Sprint on Netflix. Pictured: (left to right) Noah Lyles and Lance Brauman.

Following athletes from all over the world, this docuseries delves deep into the psyches of those elite competitors who train to be the fastest person on the planet. Viewers are given an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the high stakes — and mental toughness — of the sprinters who devote their entire lives to crossing the finish line in record time, where their professional futures are decided in just fractions of a second. The first season follows the top sprinters on the road and throughout the 2023 World Championships, featuring such world-class athletes as Sha’Carri Richardson, Noah Lyles, Shericka Jackson and many others.”

4. Grace – Tuesday, July 2, BritBox | Season Premiere  

Grace on BritBox. Pictured: (left to right) John Simm, Alisha Bailey.

John Simm, a standout in such U.K. hits as Life on Mars and Doctor Who, returns with season four of his latest TV thriller. For the uninitiated, Simm plays DSI Roy Grace, a cop forever haunted by the disappearance of his wife — the one case this dogged sleuth just can’t solve.

Across four episodes, Grace will unravel a slew of dark, complex debaucheries. As ever, each instalment is based on one of author Peter James’ 20-and-counting Grace novels. This year, they were adapted from Dead Man’s Time, about antiquities and ancient grudges; Want You Dead, a case that turns on an “obsessive psychopath” — but where nothing is as it appears; You Are Dead, in which unearthing some skeletal remains kicks off a truly bone-chilling investigation; and Love You Dead, about a butchered burglar, an escaped killer and a black widow.

5. The Amazing Race Canada – Tuesday, July 3, CTV | Season Premiere 

The Amazing Race Canada on CTV. Pictured: Jon Montgomery.

Olympic medal-winner turned winsome reality host Jon Montgomery is back for a 10th season of this country-spanning mad dash. 

Once again, Jon challenges 11 duos to test their mettle (and the strength of their relationships) with a sprint from one end of Canada to the other. Awaiting the winners at the finish line? A grand prize package of $250,000, a trip for two around the world courtesy of Expedia and two 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV RS vehicles. (Viewers are also in the running to land themselves a Chevy Equinox via the weekly #TheChevroletRace quiz on Instagram and Facebook.)

Official details on this season were still under wraps at time of press, but reports indicate that the Racers’ time in our fair province of British Columbia will feature legs in Penticton, Oliver, Richmond and the Sunshine Coast.

6. Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F – Wednesday, July 3, Netflix 

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F on Netflix. Pictured: Eddie Murphy, Harold Faltermeyer, Melinda Sue Gordon and Bria Murphy.

Eddie Murphy has experienced something of a comeback in recent years, admirably adding to his comedic legacy with such Netflix films as Dolemite Is My Name and You People. He’s also reached the stage in his career when his biggest paycheques are coming from revisiting past successes, something that paid limited dividends in the not-awful-but-just-OK sequel Coming 2 America.

He’s doing it again this week with Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, with the fourth film in the series (and his first since 1994’s forgettable Beverly Hills Cop III) arriving exactly 40 years after the 1984 original. 

Truth be told, Murphy hasn’t always made the best choices when choosing his projects (see: Norbit, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, The Haunted Mansion, Daddy Daycare, etc.), but hopes are high that stepping back into Axel Foley’s well-worn sneakers, four decades later, could result in the summer popcorn hit we’ve all been waiting for.

Director Mark Molloy (making his feature debut) has wisely gotten the old band back together, with Axel reuniting with his Beverly Hills PD pals Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and John Taggart (John Ashton), while also enlisting Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Bacon as new characters, Det. Bobby Abbott and Captain Grant, respectively.

7. Barbecue Showdown – Thursday, July 4, Netflix | Season Premiere

Barbecue Showdown on Netflix. Pictured: host Michelle Buteau prepares food for the barbecue.

Netflix serves up a second charbroiled helping of this culinary battle, as nine aspiring grill masters get to run wild in an “open fire playground.” To the victor goes $50,000. Once again, host Michelle Buteau seasons the chuck with plenty of chuckles.

8. Space Cadet  – Thursday, July 4, Prime Video

Space Cadet on Prime Video. Pictured: Emma Roberts dreams of becoming an astronaut.

Fresh off her latest turn in American Horror Story and a key supporting role in superhero thriller Madame Web, Emma Roberts returns to your screen with an out-of-this-world comedy pic.

She plays Rex, a Florida party girl who’s always dreamt of becoming an astronaut. The only thing standing in her way? A complete lack of qualifications! Still, she’s keepin’ that dream alive — and thanks to a little creative résumé writing by her best friend Nadine (played by Hacks scene-stealer Poppy Liu), Rex actually manages to con her way into NASA’s astronaut training program. Against the odds, she thoroughly impresses program directors Pam (Gabrielle Union) and Logan (Tom Hopper) with her “quick wits, moxie and determination.” Nonetheless, keeping this ruse under wraps till blast-off won’t be easy.

Speaking with Cosmopolitan about the film, Roberts explained: “This is one of my favourite scripts I’ve ever read! It reminded me of Legally Blonde and Private Benjamin. Writer-director Liz Garcia is someone I’ve wanted to work with for so long. She wrote the character Rex to inspire people to follow their dreams and I was excited to bring that to life. This is a feel-good movie with lots of laughs, which is what I want to see these days.”

9. The Real Bros of Simi Valley: High School Reunion – Friday, July 5, Roku TV

The Real Bros of Simi Valley: High School Reunion on Roku TV. Pictured: A group of vapid Millennials prepare for their high school reunion.
Roku Channel

Four years after this reality show parody streamed its third and final season, the Bros are back with a movie! Spoofing series like Jersey Shore, the acclaimed mockumentary followed a group of vapid Millennials living it up in California, fuelled by outsized egos and an amusing lack of self-awareness. When the antics resume, the guys are prepping for their high school reunion, and set out to “become the ‘dopest’ version of themselves in time to flex on all of their old classmates.” 

As star/creator Jimmy Tatro and his co-creator Christian Pierce teased in a press release: “One simply cannot make a show about a group of friends who peaked in high school without highlighting an event as monumental as their 10-year reunion.” 

10. Desperate Lies – Friday, July 5, Netflix | Season Premiere

Desperate Lies on Netflix. Pictured: Juliana Paes and Felipe Abib

This new Brazilian show puts a very novel spin on your average family drama with its tale of Liana (Juliana Paes) — who, due to an odd twist of biology, finds herself pregnant with twins, each of whom was fathered by a different man. As time passes, she struggles to keep this secret, and keep her peculiar little clan together.

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