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What to Watch This Week: May 11 to 17

From the return of Bridgerton to the series conclusion of Young Sheldon, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Nikki Glaser: Someday You’ll Die – Saturday, May 11, HBO Canada

Nikki Glaser: Someday You'll Die on HBO Canada. Pictured: Nikki Glaser.

She’s now best known as the host of FBoy Island, but Nikki Glaser remains one of the standup world’s most indelible acts. Her latest special finds the Ohio native quipping on the terrors of aging, why she doesn’t want kids and how she plans to shuffle off this mortal coil. 

2. Mark Twain Prize: Kevin Hart – Saturday, May 11, Netflix

Mark Twain Prize: Kevin Hart on Netflix. Pictured: Kevin Hart, the latest recipient of America's most prestigious comedy award.

A wildly popular star of screen and standup, Kevin Hart is the latest recipient of America’s most prestigious comedy award. Helping fête him at this gala are Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock and more.

3. Expedition From Hell: The Lost Tapes – Monday, May 13, Discovery | Series Premiere 

Expedition From Hell: The Lost Tapes on Discovery. Pictured: An amateur adventurer in the wilds of South America.
© 2024 Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.

Discovery Channel invites you along on a journey to the heart of both darkness and absurdity this Monday — via a truly stranger-than-fiction docuseries.

Expedition From Hell: The Lost Tapes follows a group of “amateur adventurers” who were roped into a 5,000-mile trek across the wilds of South America, all in the name of supporting cancer awareness. 

Their leader: a former Special Forces demolition expert named Mickey Grosman — whose motives and credentials became less credible the further into the Amazon jungle these ill-fated do-gooders went. Amidst “kidnapping, prison escapes and a missing person,” only one member of the troupe would stick with this gruelling journey till the end: the brutish, ignominious Mickey himself.

“Pulled from hundreds of hours of footage, every episode of this compelling docuseries includes terrifying obstacles endured by those who chose to join the expedition,” teased Howard Lee, president of Discovery Networks, in a press release. “As we dug deeper to understand the motives behind those who took part in this doomed adventure, even we were surprised by what we saw.”

The source of most of that “surprise” seems to be the fearless leader himself. Indeed, a trailer for the program features interviews with members of the team who were less traumatized by the jungle than by the man fumbling to guide them through it.

As one of those adventurers says in the preview: “Not just the Amazon, but can you survive Mickey?” 

With that in mind, buckle up for not only a rip-roaring docu-adventure, but a fascinating character study.

4. In the Kitchen with Harry Hamlin – Wednesday, May 15, AMC+ | Series Premiere

In the Kitchen with Harry Hamlin on AMC+. Pictured: Harry Hamlin.

After a holiday special this past winter, actor Harry Hamlin returns for the proper series premiere of his at-home cooking show.

An icon of such blockbuster films as Clash of the Titans and series like L.A. Law and Mad Men, here Hamlin shows off his culinary prowess, whipping up some  personal-favourite dishes in his own kitchen alongside his niece, professional chef Renee Guilbault. Also in the mix are his wife — fellow actor/Real Housewife Lisa Rinna — and various celebrity guests like Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Dean Norris, Ed Begley, Jr. and Hamlin’s Mayfair Witches co-star Tongayi Chirisa, who all pop by for a little dinner party.

Said Hamlin in a release: “I’m passionate about a lot of things . . . acting, non-radioactive fusion energy, Lisa Rinna’s lips and of course, my Bolognese sauce! But the golden thread woven through them all is family, which is why I’m so excited to partner with my immensely talented chef, author, entrepreneur niece, Renee Guilbault. Each episode will invite viewers into our culinary happy place . . . the kitchen . . . where we’ll host a bunch of guests from across the pop-culture spectrum . . .”

The first of five episodes debuts this week, with Harry and Renee welcoming Saturday Night Live great Bobby Moynihan to sample Renee’s fresh twist on her uncle’s vaunted Bolognese.

5. Pompei: The New Dig – Wednesday, May 15, WVTS & KCTS | Series Premiere

Pompeii: The New Dig on PBS. Pictured: Archaeologist uncovers a fresco that looks surprisingly like a pizza.
© Lion TV & All3Media International/PBS

Nearly two years in the making, this three-part documentary series follows the most extensive archaeological excavation in Pompeii for a generation. Boasting exclusive access to the dig and the all-Italian team of archaeologists, viewers are taken inside the excavation of an entire city block, unearthing what life was like in Pompeii before the eruption and the horror faced by the victims — and those who survived — when Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.

“Told through cinematically filmed stories of discovery, with a compelling cast of archaeologists and experts, Pompeii: The New Dig is set to reveal a wealth of buried secrets and unsolved mysteries that are waiting to be discovered beneath the volcanic ash,” reads a statement. “With exclusive access to the present-day archaeological and forensic investigation, it also reveals new discoveries of what happened to named survivors, tracing their modern-day descendants living in Italy through an unprecedented genetic portrait of Pompeii.”

One of the archaeologists’ most intriguing finds is a fresco that looks surprisingly like a pizza. This artwork, dating back 2,000 years, was discovered on a wall in the Regio IX section of Pompeii’s archaeological park, near Naples, where pizza is known to have originated.

6. Queen Rock Montreal – Wednesday, May 15, Disney+

Queen Rock Montreal on Disney+. Pictured: Freddie Mercury.

Following its record-breaking success as the biggest IMAX release event ever, this concert film features British rockers Queen at the height of the band’s creative power, delivering an electrifying 1981 performance at the Montreal Forum. “Montreal is one of our favourite cities, it’s a great audience there, very full of energy,” said guitarist Brian May of this show, filmed over the course of two nights. He and late frontman Freddie Mercury, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Deacon perform a killer setlist of their greatest hits, including “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Somebody to Love,” “Under Pressure,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and, of course, their classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Boasting crystal-clear images and 12-track surround sound, viewers watching on IMAX-enhanced devices can crank up the sound in order “to feel the full dynamic range of every heart-pounding moment of the digitally remastered concert film,” as the DIsney+ press release puts it.

7. Young Sheldon – Thursday, May 16, CTV & CBS | Series Finale

Young Sheldon on CTV & CBS. Pictured: Iain Armitage as Sheldon.

The Big Bang Theory prequel ends its seven-year foray into the early days of future physicist Sheldon Cooper with two back-to-back episodes.

How, exactly, will the small-town Texas adventures of this persnickety boy genius cap off? Well, the network has only divulged that original Sheldon Jim Parsons (who’s been narrating this spinoff since day one) will make an in-person appearance, alongside Mayim Bialik as Sheldon’s future soulmate, Amy Farrah Fowler. Beyond that, the two-parter is simply billed as “an unforgettable hour of television.”

The show’s departure is a tough pill to swallow not only for fans, but the show’s cast. As co-star Annie Potts (a.k.a. Meemaw) told Variety: “This one was especially hard because I was completely unprepared. I was shocked. I mean, the No. 1 show on network TV, No. 1 on Netflix. We’re, I think, all that people watch on TikTok besides a couple of recipes for pasta. It just seemed like such a stupid business move. Forgive me, but I don’t know. If a show is starting to drag or lag or have a lack of stories or whatever, then you kind of see it coming. We were totally ambushed by this. I was, anyway.”

Yet, this isn’t the last we’ll see of the Cooper clan. CBS has already ordered a spinoff about Sheldon’s big brother Georgie (Montana Jordan) and true love Mandy (Emily Osment) as they navigate young parenthood.

8. Bridgerton – Thursday, May 16, Netflix | Season Premiere

Bridgerton on Netflix. Pictured: Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton.

Shonda Rhimes’ zeitgeist-grabbing bodice-ripper returns for a hotly anticipated third season. As ever, we open in Regency-era England, where the romantic travails of yet another Bridgerton sibling take centre stage. In this case, it’s Colin, and his fan-fave will-they, won’t-they with Penelope Featherington (a.k.a. secret gossip-monger Lady Whistledown).

Season two ended with a crushing blow to Penelope’s hopes that Colin would ever see her as more than just a pal. And so, this year, our stalwart Ms. Featherington resolves to move on, setting her sights on landing a husband. Alas, courtship isn’t exactly her forte, and she requires the help of an unlikely mentor: Colin Bridgerton! Returning from his travels abroad, Colin has a new sense of swagger, but is hurt to find his former BFF icing him out. To mend their friendship, he offers to school her in the “ways of confidence.” But after wallflower Penelope truly starts to blossom, “Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just ‘friendly.’ ” The first four episodes debut Thursday, followed by the final four on Thursday, June 13.

9. The 59th Academy of Country Music Awards – Thursday, May 16, Prime Video

The 59th Academy of Country Music Awards, livestreamed on Prime Video. Pictured: Lainey Wilson.
Prime Video

Here comes livestreamed coverage of the annual country music award gala, held in Frisco, Texas. Nominees for entertainer of the year include Chris Stapleton, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Cody Johnson, Kane Brown and Luke Wilson

10. The Big Cigar – Friday, May 17, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere

The Big Cigar on Apple TV+. Pictured: André Holland and Alessandro Nivola.
Apple TV+

Based on actual events, this limited series tells the story of how Black Panthers leader Huey Newton (played by Moonlight’s André Holland) enlisted the help of Hollywood producer Bert Schneider (Alessandro Nivola) to smuggle him out of the country and into Cuba to evade a murder charge. Schneider — whose projects included Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show and TV hit The Monkees — hatched a plan to shoot a fake movie in Cuba, with Newton in hiding while a massive FBI manhunt searched for him.

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