Also: two star-studded movies that bypassed theatrical release.
Four years after rumors first began about its reprisal, the most anticipated TV series of 2017 — if not the decade or even the century — is finally here. Twin Peaks is a favorite show of ours here at FSR (in case you haven’t been able to tell) so we’re more excited than ever for its return. The rest of this week’s highlights seem so lackluster by comparison. But we are looking forward to two new movies starring such A-listers as Michelle Williams, Margot Robbie, and Brad Pitt eschewing theatrical release for premieres on the small screen, as well as a mini sequel to a beloved holiday movie, a remake of a beloved ’80s movie, the cable debut of an underrated animated film, and the latest season of an underrated series.
To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for May 21–27 (all times Eastern):
Twin Peaks (Showtime, 9pm)
Hey, did you hear Twin Peaks is back? More than a quarter century after the original series was cancelled by ABC, and concurrent with the 25th anniversary of the Cannes premiere of the prequel feature Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, David Lynch and Mark Frost’s strange murder mystery drama gets a reprise on cable. Most of the living cast members are back (Catherine E. Coulson, Miguel Ferrer, and Warren Frost all filmed their parts before their deaths), joined by Lynch movie vets Laura Dern and Naomi Watts, plus Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Cera, Jim Belushi, Eddie Vedder and other new additions. Little is known about the plot of the new series, which begins tonight with the first two of 18 episodes — none of which screened for critics in advance — except that it follows Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) as he returns to the titular Northwestern town. Even if you never saw the original Twin Peaks, you should tune in. We can help if you don’t want to feel lost.
Also on Sunday:
Bob’s Burgers S7E5: “Paraders of the Lost Float” (Fox, 7:30pm)
Billboard Music Awards (ABC, 8pm)
Twelve Monkeys S3E8 & S3E9 & S3E10: season finale (SyFy, 8pm)
The White Princess: episode 6 (Starz, 8pm)
American Gods S1E4: “Git Gone” (Starz, 9pm)
Family Guy S15E19: “Dearly Deported” — season finale (Fox, 9pm)
The Leftovers S3E6: “Certified” (HBO, 9pm)
Elementary S5E24: “Hurt Me, Hurt You” (CBS, 10pm)
Silicon Valley S4E5: “The Blood Boy” (HBO, 10pm)
Veep S6E6: “Qatar” (HBO, 10:30pm)
Suite Francaise (Lifetime, 9pm)
Challenging the idea of a “Lifetime movie,” this World War II drama directed by Saul Dibb (The Duchess) stars Michelle Williams, Matthias Schoenaerts, Margot Robbie, Kristen Scott Thomas, Sam Riley, and Ruth Wilson — quite the prestige ensemble. How did the network manage such classy original programming? The movie, a partial adaptation of Irène Némirovsky’s 2004 novel, was picked up by The Weinstein Co. back in 2013 during pre-production and opened in other countries in 2015 and 2016 but never wound up with a theatrical release in the US. The Weinsteins have a relationship with Lifetime, which airs their hit reality series Project Runway, so that explains the choice for it to broadcast the romantic period piece there. Don’t worry about Suite Francaise having been dumped (or delayed — it was previously set to debut on Lifetime last October) for lack of quality, as it currently has a 75% review score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also on Monday:
Gotham S3E19: “Heroes Rise: All Will Be Judged” (Fox, 8pm)
Supergirl S2E22: “Nevertheless, She Persisted” — season finale (CW, 8pm)
The Voice (NBC, 8pm)
The Bachelorette S13E1 (ABC, 9pm)
Jane the Virgin S3E20: “Chapter Sixty-Four” — season finale (CW, 9pm)
Better Call Saul S3E7: “Expenses” (AMC, 10pm)
The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017 (CBS, 10pm)
They Call Us Monsters: doc debut via Independent Lens (PBS, 10pm)
Angie Tribeca S3E5: “License to Drill” (TBS, 10:30pm)
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter S2E1 (Cartoon Network, 12am)
While you (should) have Hulu to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, your next essential show from the streaming service is Casual, now starting its third season. We included the first in our list of the best TV shows of 2015, and while it didn’t quite make the cut last year (2016 was an amazing year for television), many fans and critics agree it’s actually getting better. Michaela Watkins stars in the cynical comedy-drama as a recently divorced psychiatrist living with her brother (Tommy Dewey) and teen daughter (Tara Lynn Barr), and the show mostly focuses on their dating lives. Humpday helmer Lynn Shelton directed the first episode of Season 3, while further installments are almost all directed by women, including Carrie Brownstein, Lake Bell, and Gillian Robespierre. And then Jason Reitman.
Also on Tuesday:
Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King: comedy special debut (Netflix)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine S4E21 & S4E22: “The Bank Job”/“Crime & Punishment” — season finale (Fox, 8pm)
The Flash S3E23: “Finish Line” — season finale (CW, 8pm)
The Voice: season finale (NBC, 8pm)
Genius S1E3: “Chapter Five” (National Geographic, 9pm)
Great News S1E9 & S1E10: “Carol Has a Bully”/ “Carol’s Eleven” — season finale (NBC, 9pm)
iZombie S3E8: “Eat a Knievel” (CW, 9pm)
The Americans S5E12: “The World Council of Churches” (FX, 10pm)
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter S2E2 (Cartoon Network, 12am)
Dirty Dancing (ABC, 8pm)
Are you ready to have another time of your life? In this three-hour (with commercials) remake of the classic 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, Oscar-nominated actress Abigail Breslin stars as “Baby,” while dancer Colt Prattes takes on the Patrick Swayze role of Johnny. While reviews haven’t been too favorable, unsurprisingly especially given the favor for the original, this still could be ratings gold if only for the nostalgic curiosity. For our own interest, there’s the cast, which includes Tony Roberts as the Catskill resort owner Max Kellerman and Bruce Greenwood and Debra Messing as Baby’s parents, plus Katey Sagal, Billy Dee Williams, and Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland. The new version promises to be even more socially conscious and features a soundtrack full of new versions of the first movie’s mostly retro tunes.
Also on Wednesday:
The Handmaid’s Tale S1E7: “The Other Side” (Hulu)
Arrow S5E23: “Lian Yu” — season finale (CW, 8pm)
Catfish S6E13 (MTV, 8pm)
Empire S3E18: “Toil and Trouble, Part 2” — season finale (Fox, 8pm)
Archer: Dreamland S8E8: “Auflösung” — season finale (FXX, 10pm)
Fargo S3E6: “The Lord of No Mercy” (FX, 10pm)
Gomorrah S3E8 (Sundance, 10pm)
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter S2E3 (Cartoon Network, 12am)
The Red Nose Day Special (NBC, 10pm)
The UK observed Red Nose Day 2017 in March with the highly anticipated premiere of Red Nose Actually, the short sequel to Love Actually. Aside from the charitable part of the occasion and biennial special, which supports children in need in America and around the world, the reunion of much of the ensemble of the 2003 holiday classic (including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Keira Knightley, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rowan Atkinson, and Bill Nighy) is the main reason to watch as it now makes its US debut as part of the program. NBC has tied all its Thursday evening shows to Red Nose Day, so you can help by starting with American Ninja Warrior and Running Wild with Bear Grylls (guest starring Julia Roberts), then tune in to the special. Apparently, America gets an extended version of Red Nose Actually featuring Laura Linney reprising her role opposite Patrick Dempsey.
Also on Thursday
The Amazing Race S29E11 (CBS, 10pm)
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter S2E4 (Cartoon Network, 12am)
Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower (Netflix)
War Machine (Netflix)
It seems Netflix is going to keep on delivering a heavy-hitter package of original programming — usually a new season of a major series, a significant documentary, and a star-studded movie — every Friday so let’s just lump them all together. First is the series, Bloodline, which is back for its third season with one of the most phenomenal television casts out there right now. Then there’s the acclaimed doc feature Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower, winner of an audience award at Sundance. It’s about a teen who led a movement of protest in Hong Kong against the Chinese government. Finally, War Machine is the latest film by David Michod (Animal Kingdom) and stars Brad Pitt with a satirical portrayal of real-life Four-Star US Army General Stanley A. McChrystal and his effort to end the War in Afghanistan. The rest of the cast includes Topher Grace, Tilda Swinton, Ben Kinglsey, Will Poulter, and Anthony Michael Hall.
Also on Friday:
Neon Joe, Werewolf Hunter S2E5 (Cartoon Network, 12am)
Storks (HBO, 8pm)
No, the 2016 Warner Bros. animated feature hasn’t spun off a cartoon series. Tonight is the cable broadcast debut of the movie, which was written and co-directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Neighbors) with Pixar vet Doug Sweetland. Although it was somewhat well-received and did fine at the box office, it hardly made a mark culturally when released theatrically last fall. One thing we celebrated at the time is the performance by voice actress Katie Crown, who proves you don’t need celebrity names and their familiar speech to make a good animated film. Of course, it does have some of those, too, including Andy Samberg, Kelsey Grammar, and Jennifer Aniston.
Also on Saturday:
Doctor Who S10E7: “The Pyramid at the End of the World” (BBC America, 9pm)
Class S1E7: “The Metaphysical Engine, or What Quill Did” (BBC America, 10pm)