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What to Watch This Week: May 18 to 24

From the season finale of SNL to musical documentaries about Stax Records and Lollapalooza, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Saturday Night Live – Saturday, May 18, Global & NBC | Season Finale

Saturday Night Live on NBC. Pictured: (left to right) Host Kristen Wiig as Tipi Tornade and Chloe Fineman as Camille during the "La Maison Du Bang!" sketch on Saturday, April 6, 2024.
Will Heath/NBC

Hot off the success of his Road House remake and just ahead of his lead role in David E. Kelley-penned legal drama Presumed Innocent, Jake Gyllenhaal returns to Studio 8H for a fourth time, hosting the season 49 finale along with musical guest Sabrina Carpenter.

2. Stax: Soulsville, U.S.A. – Monday, May 20, HBO Canada | Series Premiere

Stax: Soulsville, U.S.A. on HBO Canada. Pictured: Buiding with "Stax Soulsville USA" on marquee.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Memphis-based record label Stax churned out a head-spinning array of unforgettable hits, including such classics as Otis Redding’s “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” Linda Lyndell’s “What a Man,” and The Staples Singers’ “I’ll Take You There,” to highlight just a few. This four-part docuseries revisits the history of Stax Records, chronicling the label’s meteoric rise and stunning fall, telling the story of the audacious group of outsiders who dared to make their own music without compromise. The series features rare and archival material to explore how a confluence of forces — race, geography, musical traditions and the challenging world of the recording industry — helped shape a musical spirit that continues to resonate. “As a lifelong fan of Stax Records, what has most inspired me about the label is its defiance,” said the series’ director, Jamila Wignot. “The individuals who built Stax knew their worth and had a willingness to risk everything to make something on their own terms.” 

3. Lolla: The Lollapalooza Story – Tuesday, May 21, Paramount+ | Series Premiere 

Lolla: The Lollapalooza Story on Paramount+. Pictured: Perry Farrell frontman of Jane's Addiction/Porno for Pyros
Courtesy of Jane’s Addiction/Paramount+

Jane’s Addiction/Porno for Pyros frontman Perry Farrell reflects on the era-defining music festival he founded in 1991 as a farewell for Jane’s Addiction, which quickly became an annual rite for music fans in the 1990s that boasted such headliners as The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Sonic Youth, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, Metallica, Tool, Beck and many more. 

4. Rachel Feinstein: Big Guy – Tuesday, May 21, Netflix

Rachel Feinstein: Big Guy on Netflix. Pictured: Standup comic Rachel Feinstein performs.

Standup comic Rachel Feinstein hits the stage for her first-ever Netflix comedy special to riff on a variety of topics, ranging from her firefighter husband’s not-particularly-flattering pet name for her (hint: it’s in the title) to her mom’s knack for aggressive accessorizing.

5. Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars – Wednesday, May 22, CTV & Fox | Season Premiere

Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars on CTV and Fox. Pictured: Gordon Ramsay.

A celeb chef known as much for his fiery disposition as his culinary expertise, Gordon Ramsay has built a TV cooking empire that puts his peers to shame.

Most are kitchen game shows of one form or another. Some involve Ramsay rolling up his own sleeves to fix a failing restaurant. Food Stars certainly falls into the former category, but with a twist: unlike Hell’s Kitchen or MasterChef, it’s focused less on the food than the business plan. Season one featured Ramsay grilling an array of food and beverage entrepreneurs not on their ability to slice and dice, but to wheel and deal.

Season two changes the game, with the introduction of Real Housewives/Vanderpump Rules legend Lisa Vanderpump. Adding a dash of NBC’s The Voice into the recipe, Vanderpump and Ramsay will serve as team leaders for this year’s batch of contestants — each of whom will, at the outset, get a chance to pitch themselves, their products and their vision. Lisa and Gordon will listen up and build their respective teams accordingly.

From there, the two squads will undergo a “Business Bootcamp,” before they’re subjected to challenges built on “re-marketing a food product, innovating a new product, building brand loyalty, sales pitching and management.” To the victor goes a $250K investment.

6. Trying – Wednesday, May 22, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere

Trying on Apple TV+. Pictured: Mickey McAnulty as son Tyler, Esther Smith as Nikki, Rafe Spall as Jason, Eden Tagwell as daughter Princess.
Apple TV+

There are plenty of shows we come across here at TV Week that defy categorization. But we ultimately do need to place them on either the “Hot Dramas” or “Hot Comedies” spread.

With its dry British wit, upbeat spirit and, of course, its half-hour episode length, Trying is a natural fit for the latter. But in the last couple of years especially, the show has been making us cry just as much as it makes us chuckle.

The story of 30-something U.K. couple Nikki (Esther Smith) and Jason (Rafe Spall) and their quest to adopt a child has been a slow build, no doubt. Seasons one and two found the duo fighting their way through the bureaucracy of the adoption process, while also grappling with various other personal, professional and familial hurdles. It wasn’t until season three that they found themselves as proud parents of not one, but two kids: Princess and Tyler.

Yet it was here that all of creator Andy Wolton’s meticulous character-building paid off in alternately hilarious and heartbreaking fashion, as Jason, Esther and their quirky array of loved ones were finally immersed in the joys and conundrums of parenthood.

This week, season four kicks off with two new episodes and a six-year time jump. As the entire extended family gathers for a funeral, everyone is forced to reflect on their lives, their relationships and their place in the world. For Jason, that involves some awkward stabs at bonding with his old man, Vic (Phil Davis). For the now-teenaged Princess (now played by Scarlett Rayner), it leads to a burning desire to reconnect with her long-lost birth mother — which puts Nikki and Jason’s parenting skills to “the ultimate test.”

7. Pauline – Wednesday, May 22, Disney+ | Series Premiere

Pauline on Disney+. Pictured: Sira-Anna Faal as Pauline.

A German coming-of-age story with a devilish twist, Pauline follows a college student who, amidst worrying about her studies, the climate crisis and the general global downfall of society, gets pregnant from a one-night stand. Worse yet, it turns out the boy she slept with was the devil himself!

8. Evil – Thursday, May 23, Paramount+ | Season Premiere

Evil on Paramount+. Pictured: Katja Herbers as Kristen, Aasif Mandvi as Ben Shakir, and Mike Colter as David Acosta.

Always a critical darling but never a hit, this thriller about a priest David (Mike Colter), forensic psychologist Kristen (Katja Herbers) and tech expert Ben (Aasif Mandvi) teaming up to investigate claims of demonic activity reaches the end of its tumultuous run. 

Having jumped from CBS to streamer Paramount+ after season one, Good Wife creators Robert and Michelle King’s exploration of religion, science and messy humanity returns for a super-sized fourth and final season.

Season three capped with the team’s nemesis Leland (Michael Emerson) stealing Kristen’s frozen eggs, presumably to fertilize the antichrist. It sets the stage for a fourth season that’s both horrifying and a tad relatable to any parent. As Robert King told Entertainment Weekly: “One of the things that excites us is going the more normal route with things that are usually very dramatic in horror or supernatural shows. The Omen and The Antichrist have thunderclouds and earthquakes and the horsemen of the apocalypse. But it’s a baby — and babies are nightmare enough . . . They don’t need to have the devil inside them to be vomiting pea soup!”

9. Tires – Thursday, May 23, Netflix | Series Premiere

Tires on Netflix. Pictured: Chris O'Connor as Cal, Shane Gillis as Shane.

It’s been an eventful half-decade for standup comic Shane Gillis, who seemingly scored his big break in 2019 when he was cast on Saturday Night Live, only for certain inflammatory comments he’d made during a podcast to start making the rounds online, leading to his dismissal before he’d even appeared on-camera. 

But since then, the Pennsylvania native’s career has taken off, with multiple hit specials and, ironically, a guest-hosting gig on SNL a few months ago. Now, he co-creates and co-stars in his very own Netflix sitcom.

Per Tudum, Tires casts Gillis as Shane, who works at a family-owned car repair chain and clashes mightily with his neurotic cousin Will (Steven Gerben, also a co-creator) after the latter takes over the business and tries to turn it around — despite his lack of automotive know-how.

10. Shoresy – Friday, May 24, Crave | Season Premiere

Shoresy on Crave. Pictured: (centre) Jared Keeso as Shoresy.

Canadian treasure Letterkenny may be all over and done with, but its spinoff still has plenty of “Get at ’er” left in the tank — keeping the spirit of Slap Shot alive, kickin’ and hip-checkin’.

Season three of Shoresy opens to find the titular “foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving” hockey player (creator/star Jared Keeso) and his fellow misfits taking their quest for on-ice supremacy (or, at least, basic competency) to the next level. To be more specific, they’re lacing ’em up to “compete in the National Senior Tournament, facing off against teams from across Canada, like the Charlottetown Reds, Brooks Barrelmen, Vaughan Canadesi and SOO Hunt.”

Guest stars this year will include TSN sportscasters Jay Onrait and Tessa Bonhomme, and Transplant star Laurence Leboeuf.

As for whether characters from Letterkenny might drop by, Keeso told The Produce Stand podcast not long after Letterkenny ended: “I’m not too sure yet . . . You know, it has been a year since we wrapped on Letterkenny, and I just started looking at the road ahead immediately. Shoresy is a very different world than Letterkenny, I think. My gut tells me it’s very hard to picture anybody from Letterkenny in there, but crazier things have happened.”

This six-episode season of Shoresy debuts with two episodes this Friday.

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