‘Castlevania,’ ‘Snowfall,’ and More TV You Must See This Week

By  · Published on July 2nd, 2017

Also: Andy Samberg’s latest sports mockumentary.

Due to the holiday, presumably, a lot of our favorite TV shows are taking the week off. There’s no new Twin Peaks or Animal Kingdom or The Bachelorette as far as I can tell, though there seems to be new episodes of Preacher and Orphan Black and others. But mainly this is a week for fireworks in America, as well as documentary feature and series premieres, a new mockumentary, and some new series we’re optimistic about, namely FX’s Snowfall and Netflix’s animated Castlevania.

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 July 2nd-8th (all times Eastern):

SUNDAYAmerica in Color (Smithsonian, 8pm)

Are you ready to see America from the 1920s through 1960s like you’ve never seen it before? This point of this documentary series is to show tons of archival footage from those five decades newly colorized. Sure, colorizing old black and white films was a big controversy a while back but this is different. It’s not about changing works of art. It’s about seeing historical images in a new light. Liev Schreiber narrates the five-part program, otherwise offering a simple chronicle of the times, as the US rose to the superpower we know it as today.

Part one, “1920s,” debuts this week, while the rest of the decades debut each Sunday in July.

Also on Sunday:
Claws S1E4: “Fallout” (TNT, 9pm)
Fear the Walking Dead
S3E6: “Red Dirt” (AMC, 9pm)
First Ladies Revealed E1: “The Power of Style” (Smithsonian, 9pm)
S4E2: “Things Are Going to Get Worse” (Starz, 9pm)
I’m Dying Up Here S1E5: “The Return” (Showtime, 10pm)
Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level S1E3 (Comedy Central, 11pm)

MONDAYThe War Show (PBS , 10pm)

POV‘s second installment of the new season continues to highlight the Syrian War, following last week’s trio of documentaries involving the refugee crisis. This time it’s one feature film, Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon’s The War Show. If you’re still needing a lesson in how Syria became the site of serious conflict and devastating tragedy, this chronicle of the nation from the Arab Spring in 2011 through the next four years might help. Zytoon is a radio host and the primary guide for the doc, which consists of intimate yet journalistic footage shot by her group of friends.

This is a premiere event for The War Show following its run through the festivals, including Toronto and Venice, where it received an award. Following its airing, the doc should be available to stream free online.

Also on Monday:
Preacher S2E3: “Damsels” (AMC, 9pm)

TUESDAYFireworks (sundown)

Instead of watching TV tonight, many Americans will take in the traditional US birthday spectacle. Even if it’s just the same old lights and sounds we get every year, we never tire of fireworks displays. There’s probably one scheduled locally wherever you are, but if you do prefer to sit in the comfort of your own living room for the show, there’s always Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular on NBC. Or find a supercut of fireworks in the movies online.

Also on Tuesday:
Casual S3E9: “Fresno” (Hulu)
The Standups: series debut, complete first season (Netflix)
The Words That Built America: documentary debut (HBO, 7pm)

WEDNESDAYSnowfall (FX, 10pm)

Bokeem Woodbine, who can also be seen in Spider-Man: Homecoming this week, makes his return to FX, where he stood out in the second season of Fargo. This time he’s a supporting character in the story of the crack epidemic. Created by John Singleton, Eric Amadio, and Dave Andron, Snowfall is initially set in 1983, right before crack cocaine is introduced in Los Angeles. This is an ensemble series, though Damson Idris is the main actor to watch, as a young drug dealer, alongside Carter Hudson as a CIA agent and Emily Rios as the daughter of a Mexican crime boss.

Also on Wednesday:
Catfish: The TV Show (MTV, 9pm)
Broadchurch S3E2 (BBC America, 10pm)
Queen Sugar S2E4 (OWN, 10pm)

THURSDAYMosquito (Discovery, 9pm)

Jeremy Renner narrates this nature documentary written by Mark Monroe (The CoveMission Blue), and as much as we hate mosquitos, especially this time of year, they’re probably fascinating and innocent creatures when you look up close. Nah, they’re deadly insects and a big problem. Mosquito is focused on the global threat posed by their disease-spreading habits, especially elevated due to climate change, and warns of the next pandemic around the corner. Talking heads in this doc, which was shot on four continents, include Bill Gates and CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

Also on Thursday
Battle of the Network Stars
S1E3 (ABC, 9pm)
The Mist S1E3: “Show and Tell” (Spike, 10pm)
Queen of the South
 S2E5: “El Nacimiento de Bolivia” (USA, 10pm)

FRIDAYCastlevania (Netflix)

Based on the popular Nintendo/Konami video game (specifically adapted from Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse), this new series has been described as an animated Game of Thrones. We’ll see about that, but there is some excitement to be had in the series being produced and scripted by comic book writer Warren Ellis. The story follows a “disgraced” surviving member of a wiped-out clan attempting to save all of Europe from the evil Vlad Dracula Tepe, aka Vlad the Impaler. Oh, and it’s not for kids. As usual with Netflix, the entire first season is available all at once.

Also on Friday:
The Great British Baking Show S4E5: “Pastry Week” (PBS, 9pm)

SATURDAYTour de Pharmacy (HBO, 10pm)

Andy Samberg and his 7 Days in Hell team are back for another sports mockumentary, this one lampooning the issue of doping in cycling. Apparently Lance Armstrong appears as himself. Written by Murray Miller (Girls) and directed by Jake Szymanski (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), the movie features a star-studded cast including Samberg, John Cena, Freddie Highmore, Jeff Goldblum, Julia Ormond, Orlando Bloom, Danny Glover, Daveed Diggs, Dolph Lundgren, Maya Rudolph, James Marsden, Kevin Bacon, Will Forte, Phylicia Rashad, J.J. Abrams, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and, also as themselves, Mike Tyson, Joe Buck, and Chris Webber.

Also on Saturday:
Orphan Black S5E5: “Ease for Idle Millionaires” (BBC America, 10pm)

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.