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What to Watch This Week: March 16 to 22

From a new comedy from the producers of Trailer Park Boys to an animated X-Men revival, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon – Sunday, March 17, Crave | Series Premiere

In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon streaming on Crave. Pictured: Paul Simon
Courtesy of Crave

From his iconic Simon & Garfunkel hits to a string of classic solo singles such as “Kodachrome” and “Graceland,” few singer-songwriters have impacted popular music as much as Paul Simon. In this two-part documentary (the second instalment arrives next Sunday), the 81-year-old music legend invites Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney inside the studio as he works on his 2023 album Seven Psalms, with viewers receiving a fly-on-the-wall look at the artist as he experiments with lyrics, explores new sounds and performs a rare duet with Edie Brickell, his wife of 30 years.

As the album comes together, Simon opens up about his six-decade career, visualized with never-before-seen archival footage. “I’m looking for the edge of what you can hear,” Simon says of the meditative album at the heart of the documentary. “I can just about hear it, but I can’t quite. That’s the thing I want.”

2. In the Know – Sunday, March 17, Adult Swim | Series Premiere

In the Know on Adult Swim. Pictured: Lauren Caspian, voiced by Zach Woods

Satire can be a tricky genre to pull off, given that it requires such a specific knowledge of the subject you’re poking fun at. In that way, paradoxical though this may sound, it actually helps to love the thing you’re skewering. Such was the case for Zach Woods and Brandon Gardner, co-creators of this new stop-motion comedy that takes aim at the world of National Public Radio. 

“We always aspire to show something that is beautiful and human, and also ridiculous and obnoxious and ludicrous, all at the same time,” Woods tells TV Week. “I’ve never met someone who doesn’t have some hypocrisy and some transcendently beautiful characteristics, and wounds. Even in the goofiest, you want to feel like the foundation is a kind of affectionate honesty.” 

Woods himself voices Lauren Caspian, NPR’s third-most popular host — a deep thinker, a tastemaker, an interviewer of celebrities . . . or, perhaps more accurately, a well-meaning yet hopelessly out-of-touch dolt who needs to be reined in by his producer Barb (Succession’s J. Smith-Cameron).

Another cast member? Mike Judge, who voices culture critic Sandy — and also lent his writing expertise, as the creator of such iconic satires as King of the Hill and, indeed, Silicon Valley, on which Woods starred. “Mike is one of the least pretentious people I’ve ever met, and the smartest,” Woods muses. “Lauren is maybe the inverse of that — where he is the most performative and eager to demonstrate his intelligence and cosmopolitanism, and at his core is not necessarily the smartest.”

As for stop-motion, it too is a tricky genre, but Woods et al. felt right at home: “As people who are very similar to Lauren Caspian in our own lives, [it] is a perfect medium to capture people like us: delicate, precious, twee puppet people who are being controlled by forces that we know not — and who uses phrases like ‘we know not.’ ”

3. The Valley – Tuesday, March 19, Slice | Series Premiere

The Valley on Slice. Pictured: Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright and Kristen Doute, among others.

This reality show follows a group of close pals — including Vanderpump Rules alums Jax Taylor, Brittany Cartwright and Kristen Doute — as they trade bottle service in West Hollywood for baby bottles in a San Fernando Valley suburb, all while navigating bustling businesses, rocky relationships and feisty friendships.

4. Dinner Party Diaries with José Andrés – Tuesday, March 19, Prime Video

Dinner Party Diaries With José Andrés on Prime Video. Pictured: Jamie Lee Curtis, José Andrés, Bryan Cranston, O'Shea Jackson, Jr.
Prime Video

Celebrity chef and humanitarian José Andrés welcomes Jamie Lee Curtis, Bryan Cranston and O’Shea Jackson, Jr. into his kitchen, where they get their hands dirty learning how to cook approachable Spanish-influenced dishes while sharing stories that inspire them, with the intent of encouraging home cooks to embrace spontaniety and imperfection in their own kitchens.

5. X-Men ’97 – Wednesday, March 20, Disney+ | Series Premiere

X-Men '97 on Disney+. Pictured: The classic heroes.

Years before the live-action X-Men films helped usher in the modern era of superhero blockbusters, an X-Men TV show set the stage for dark, sophisticated comic-book adaptations — made all the more impressive by the fact that it was a Saturday-morning cartoon.

Debuting in 1992, X-Men: The Animated Series followed Cyclops, Wolverine and their fellow “mutants” as they fought to defend a world that all too often rewarded their heroism with fear and hatred. The writers offered young audiences not just spectacular action, but thoughtful meditations on the pain of being different in a world that demands conformity. In 1997, after five seasons, it wrapped with a finale that saw the death of X-Men leader/father figure Professor Charles Xavier.

As they say, all good things must come to an end . . . yet as they say in Hollywood, all valuable I.P. must be rebooted! Employing not only many of the the original voice actors but the same ’90s-esque animation style, X-Men ’97 picks up right after the passing of Professor X, as his pupils fight to carry on his legacy. But the Professor throws them a curveball from beyond the grave, bequeathing all his assets and control of the team to nemesis Magneto — a twist that new showrunner Beau DeMayo unpacked in a chat with Entertainment Weekly. “It’s always interesting to take Xavier’s dream and turn it on its head,” he said. “When I first came to this, I was thinking about what the world of the ’90s was like, even issues of social acceptance and what does it mean to be different? It was so much more simplistic than it is today. [The X-Men] spent years telling humanity to embrace the future, walk into the future together. What happens when they get hit with a future they didn’t see coming? What does it feel like to be on the other end when you feel like that future is leaving you behind?” 

6. Road House – Thursday, March 21, Prime Video

Road House on Prime Video. Pictured: Jake Gyllenhaal as Dalton
Prime Video

One of the defining action movies of the 1980s is rebooted with a sleeker aesthetic but the same infectiously goofy spirit. Jake Gyllenhaal tags in for the late Patrick Swayze as Dalton — who in this version is a down-on-his-luck UFC fighter recruited by Frankie (Shrinking’s Jessica Williams) to become head of security at her Florida Keys bar. The place is under attack by local gangster Brandt (Billy Magnussen) and his thugs, but with a quick wit and quicker fists, Dalton rolls into town and sends the bad guys packing. Alas, that prompts Brandt to unleash psychopathic mercenary Knox (played by real-life UFC legend Conor McGregor) — a force of pure chaos and devastation.

The film was directed by Doug Liman, whose impressive action résumé also includes The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow.

7. 3 Body Problem – Thursday, March 21, Netflix | Series Premiere

3 Body Problem on Netflix. Pictured: Eiza González

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss follow up Game of Thrones by adapting another cultishly adored series of novels. This time, they move from fantasy to sci-fi with Chinese author Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. Weiss, Benioff and co-creator Alexander Woo (The Terror) weave a complex and pulse-pounding tale that begins in 1960s China, where an imprisoned astrophysicist is conscripted for a government project to make contact with alien life. Disillusioned after watching her father beaten to death during Mao’s “Cultural Revolution,” she makes a fateful choice that could seal our species’ fate. Jumping ahead to present-day, the laws of nature begin to unravel, and an eclectic group of scientists must team with a wily detective to reckon with a most unusual apocalypse. As Benioff cryptically teased via Tudum: “This is very much a story about humanity, and humanity’s struggle with a seemingly unsolvable mystery that snowballs into a full-on existential crisis.” 

The cast includes Doctor Strange’s Benedict Wong, Baby Driver’s Eiza González, plus Thrones alums John Bradley, Liam Cunningham and Jonathan Pryce

8. Shirley – Friday, March 22, Netflix

Shirley on Netflix. Pictured: Regina King as Shirley Chisholm

12 Years a Slave scribe John Ridley writes and directs this Netflix biopic, casting his fellow Oscar-winner Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) as Shirley Chisholm — who, not content with being America’s first Black congresswoman, broke new ground again by running for president in 1972.

9. Menus-Plaisirs: Les Troisgros – Friday, March 22, WTVS & KCTS

Menus-Plaisirs: Les Troisgros on KCTS and WTVS. Pictured: Restaurant staff with much cheese.
Zipporah Films/PBS

In this unique documentary, 93-year-old filmmaker Frederick Wiseman embedded himself for several weeks within acclaimed French restaurant La Maison Troisgros, as the longtime owners prepare to pass the eatery — which holds three Michelin stars — to their son.

10. The Trades – Friday, March 22, Crave | Series Premiere

The Trades on Crave. Pictured: Robb Wells as Todd

Produced by the studio behind Trailer Park Boys, this eight-part series bills itself as “a love letter to skilled-trade workers, written with grit, humour and heart.” Erstwhile Trailer Park Boy Robb Wells plays Todd, a pipefitter at a refinery in blue-collar Canada. Todd has his sights set on becoming plant manager — until the arrival of Chelsea (Jennifer Spence), a hotshot from corporate who not only takes the job, but starts making changes that leave Todd, his co-workers and the entire town uncertain about their future.

The ensemble also includes Moonshine’s Anastasia Phillips as Todd’s little sister/roommate, Audrey, an aspiring carpenter; The Red Green Show’s Patrick McKenna as their dad, union man Rod; and Veronica MarsEnrico Colantoni as the plant’s grumpy old salt, Jimi. Watch out for two new episodes every Friday.

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