5 Shows to Watch This Week
Thrillers, campy teen drama, and some quirky British charm
Show of the Week: Riverdale Season 2 Comes to Netflix
Everyone's favorite high school drama is back after a winter hiatus, and rumor has it the second half of season 2 (an unprecedented 22-episode season) will open with a school musical. Somehow between solving murders, unveiling a drug ring, and dodging gang violence, the Riverdale crew has found time to stage a production of the Broadway flop Carrie, based on the Stephen King novel. Though Carrie the musical was cancelled after just a few performances, it soon became a campy cult classic, which perfectly complements a pulp mystery like Riverdale. CW has been revealing teasers on Twitter, including a surprise cameo by Alice Cooper. As expected, redhead Cheryl Blossom will star as Carrie and a brooding Jughead will not sing, though creator Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa assures us he will be "doing something we think is quintessentially Jughead." You can catch up on all of Season 1 and, as of April 18th, Season 2, on Netflix.
Here's what else to tune into this week:
My So-Called Life if you want a 90s throwback
The 90s hit starring a young Clare Danes only lasted one season, but has since been inducted into the hall of 90s classics, many of which are now available to stream on Hulu. Unlike Riverdale, My So-Called Life is a teen drama that doesn't rely on hook-y twists; rather, the show shines in its attention to the minute details of sophomore Angela Chase's everyday life. Nothing shocking there—Chase narrates the typical minefields of romance, family, and friends—but the show is a master study of character and coming of age, and a perfect escape to simpler times.
The Terror if you want a supernatural period piece
Based on Dan Simmons' bestseller and produced by Ridley Scott, the new AMC show The Terror should have been received with more hype—though I expect Alien fans and British history buffs soon won't be the only ones to rave about this absorbing horror that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. A fictionalized account of the 1845 British navy expedition to explore the Northwest Passage that left all 129 members of the crew dead and lost forever, in The Terror an Arctic monster literally stalks the ice-locked ships, picking the men up one by one. The rest have no choice but to wait for their fate in a place that, as one captain puts it, "wants us dead."
The Great British Baking Show if you want some British charm
Television is saturated with cooking shows, but none quite as enjoyable and heartfelt as The Great British Baking Show (GBBS), in which a dozen home bakers from all over the UK come to compete for the title of Great British Baker. Unlike American baking shows, where yelling, crying, and over-produced emotions seem to take center stage, in GBBS, contestants help one another, hosts delight with quirky British humor, and best of all, there is discussion of actual baking techniques. Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry offer fair and knowledgeable judgment and will introduce you to some truly wacky British desserts, like an impossibly frou-frou Victorian cake in the shape of a tennis court. You can watch 4 seasons on Netflix and I suspect that'll be all, since the show lost Mary and its beloved hosts after making the unpopular decision to leave the BBC for greener pastures, which many fans saw as a sellout.
7 Seconds if you want a political thriller
The creator of The Killing is back with 7 Seconds, another understated crime thriller featuring a stellar female lead. Like The Killing, 7 Seconds is a deep-dive into a single crime, but the show is so far more overtly political than its predecessor. Season 1 deals with the aftermath of a hit-and-run that ends up killing a young black boy, and which a mostly white police force chooses to cover-up to avoid racial conflict. Clare Hope Ashity gives a heart-wrenching performance as the troubled prosecutor who takes on the case, and indeed, it's the acting and not necessarily the writing, which in its first season is still working out some kinks, that will get you hooked.
And a new true-crime podcast for your morning commute
For those of you who have already torn through S-Town, try Rabbits, a twisted and wholly absorbing true-crime podcast that centers around host Carly Parker's search to find her missing best friend--and the "secret, dangerous, and occasionally fatal underground game," known only as Rabbits, that she uncovers in the process. You can find the first episode, "Game On," here.