This week’s greatest exhibits and flicks: HBO’s Tiger Woods documentary, Prodigal Son Season 2
I’ll be honest with you: I am writing the introduction to this story on the Friday before it is published. So when you reference current events, this paragraph already feels dated by the time you read it two days later, given the speed with which the story is event. So I’m just going to make a few guesses as to what happened between my now (Friday) and your now (the day you read this), using the trajectory of the past two years as a guide. Wow, I can’t believe a chasm of hell opened beneath Washington DC and sucked nearly half of our elected officials into the underworld! Strange! With the apocalypse approaching and Beelzebubs gripping jagged fingernails on your knuckles, now would be a good time to relax with a new TV.
Our list of editors’ selections for the week of January 10-10. 16 is listed below, but if that’s not enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, subscribe to our free, spam-free “Watch Now” newsletter, which delivers the best TV shows straight to your inbox. You can also check out our extensive collection of recommendations or our list of suggestions for what to see next based on shows you already like.
Series premiere Sunday at 9 / 8c on HBO
The story of Tiger Woods has always been ripe for documentary, but there has never been a better time to do it than now. HBO’s two-part, three-hour look at Wood’s phenomenal rise, incredible fall, uncertain future, and recent comeback is about more than just an athlete, it’s about the machine that makes heroes and sets traps to fall into. It’s all there: a black guy crashing a sport dominated by white, a company (Nike) building a brand around racing, a father pushing his child too far, and the inevitable scandal of extramarital affairs and substance abuse. With never-before-seen footage from Woods and interviews with those closest to him (but none with Tiger himself), Tiger – more generally public and unbiased than ESPN’s sporty and scratchy The Last Dance – is loved and cherished by golfers to anyone who dated Life of a groundbreaking icon is fascinated.
Series premiere Tuesday at 9 / 8c on The CW
As someone thirsting for something that takes on the familiar, the CW’s newest Canadian import, Trickster, is a warm welcome. The supernatural coming-of-age story, which was well-reviewed at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, is based on the time-tested formula so many YA shows use but filters it through the eyes of indigenous peoples following a teenager about a broken family who throws drugs part-time and works at the drive-through window of a fast food place. But things get more and more complicated when the young man experiences strange things like seeing his doppelganger at parties and bumping into talking crows. On the surface it seems like something that suits The CW, but it has the vibe of a supernatural indie film by an aspiring director – there are some awkwardnesses but the positives far outweigh the positive – like indigenous folklore does about a teen show explored.
Season two premiered Tuesday at 9 / 8c on Fox
Sure, it’s a mix of different ideas from other TV shows and movies, but Fox’s Prodigal Son was one of the best new shows of the last season. The Walking Dead’s Tom Payne plays Malcolm Bright, a criminal psychologist who works with police to better understand (and catch!) Serial killers. How does he know so much about her? They are literally in his blood as his father is the well-known mass murderer “The Surgeon” (a delightfully clumsy Michael Sheen) and Malcolm unfortunately learns that he could be more like his father than he would like to be. Nature vs. care is explored as procedural elements and twists carry the show week after week.
Season 4 premiered Thursday on HBO Max
Few shows show the intricate dance between good intentions and the transgressed boundaries of the millennial milieu as Search Party, a comedy that began at TBS during the network’s impressive makeover in 2016 (a makeover that has already been dismantled) but for the season moved to HBO Max 3. Arrested Development’s Alia Shawkat plays Dory Seif, a postgraduate professional nomad obsessed with a missing person case with a college classmate. Her quest for the truth leads her to include her selfish friends in the mix – well, I don’t mean to say too much in case you haven’t seen it before, but it’s a wild ride. Search Party is one of the darkest, funniest shows on the air with a great cast. It is not for everyone, but it will be difficult for those it is intended for.
One night in Miami
Friday on Amazon Prime Video
If Regina King is half as good a director as an actress, her directorial debut, One Night in Miami, should be fantastic. King sits behind the camera to tell the story of a night when four legends play on their fields – boxer Muhammad Ali (Eli Goree), great soccer player Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and activist Malcolm X. (Kingsley Ben-Adir) – hung around after Ali’s title fight against Sonny Liston, pondering the power and responsibility they have. The reviews have been high, with praise for King and her direction, as well as a fantastic adaptation of the play it is based on.
Season two premieres Friday on Apple TV +
Apple TV + ‘s TV horror show Servant is back in Season 2 and it’s creepier than ever. The claustrophobic thriller, produced by Tony Basgallop and executive of M. Night Shyamalan, began as a wild but mechanically precise story about a family that breaks up in the aftermath of tragedy. In season 1, Dorothy (Lauren Ambrose) and Sean Turner (Toby Kebbell) hired living nanny Leanne (Nell Tiger Free) to care for the lifelike “reborn doll” that a grieving Dorothy believed was her son – only somehow became a living baby for the doll. Now in its second season, the show is going completely supernatural as Leanne’s true nature is revealed. It’s the details that set this show apart, like the lavish wallpaper of the Gymnast’s Philadelphia Brownstone, the wet, wet shoes of Leanne’s weird uncle (Boris McGiver), and the most disturbing food design since Hannibal. -Kelly Connolly
Series premiere Friday on Disney +
WandaVision will officially launch the MCU’s Disney + arm with two episodes on Friday to give fans a good idea of what to expect from the limited series that will help set up Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness . While comic book fans and MCU fans will have fun scouring the sitcom episodes for Easter eggs and getting clues as to what is really going on when Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) are “trapped” in an alternate universe are where they are You live in a TV show. Even casual Marvel fans will enjoy WandaVision turning classic sitcoms like I Love Lucy and Bewitched on their heads. It’s a step outside the box from the usual Marvel superhero tariff, but that’s not a bad thing as Olsen and Bettany let their unused comedic chops play their unused comedic chops in this weird new adventure. -Megan Vick
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