Also: season finales for ‘Veep,’ ‘Silicon Valley,’ ‘iZombie,’ ‘Genius,’ and ‘Doctor Who.’
If Netflix is the new TV, or at least if it’s a new equivalent to what HBO and other premium cable outlets have been for the last 40 years, then Netflix Original Films are just a new kind of TV movie. Maybe. Either way, Bong Joon Ho’s new fantasy adventure, Okja, is worth highlighting in movie guides, TV guides, any kind of guide we can. It’s the top pick among this week’s TV recommendations followed by another new Netflix series and the returns of Preacher, Broadchurch, and a nostalgic blast from the past, as well as finales of a few of our favorite ongoing 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 June 25th-July 1st (all times Eastern):
Preacher (AMC, 10pm)
Out of all the comic book adaptations on TV, this is the one you should be watching even if you’re not a fan of the source material. For one thing, Ruth Negga follows up her recent Oscar nomination for Loving by returning to Season 2 as Tulip O’Hare, and she continues to be worth watching in everything she does. So does Dominic Cooper, for the most part, but Negga is why I’m especially excited this year. In her Season 2 preview, Liz Baessler promises more humor, more blood, more style, and tighter storytelling. She will be recapping the show weekly, so be sure to bookmark Preacher tag or just look out for them every Monday night after the show’s normal day and time. That’s right, Season 2 begins Sunday with the first episode, “On the Road,” then continues the next night with “Mumbai Sky Tower.”
Also on Sunday:
BET Awards (BET, 8pm)
Claws S1E3: “Quicksand” (TNT, 9pm)
Fear the Walking Dead S3E5: “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” (AMC, 9pm)
Power S4E1:Season 4 premiere (Starz, 9pm)
Twin Peaks: The Return: “Part 8” (Showtime, 9pm)
I’m Dying Up Here S1E4: “Sugar and Spice” (Showtime, 10pm)
Silicon Valley S4E10: “Server Error” — Season 4 finale (HBO, 10pm)
Veep S6E10: “Groundbreaking” — Season 5 finale (HBO, 10:30pm)
Kevin Hart Presents: The Next Level S1E2 (Comedy Central, 11pm)
Dalya’s Other Country (PBS)
4.1 Miles (PBS)
From Damascus to Chicago (PBS)
The 30th season of POV kicks off this week with a trio of films focused on the Syrian War and refugee crisis. Dalya’s Other Country is the main event, a feature documentary about a mother and daughter adjusting to their new life in Los Angeles. The film is directed by Julia Meltzer, whose previous doc, The Light in Her Eyes, was showcased by POV in 2012. It’s joined by two shorts. From Damascus to Chicago is similarly about a Syrian family in their new life in America, Chicago obviously. Daphne Matziaraki’s 4.1 Miles follows a Greek Coast Guard captain’s work regularly saving thousands of migrants as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean. It was nominated for an Oscar this year, a pretty nice honor for a student film (it also took a prize at the Student Academy Awards) that debuted as a New York Times Op-Doc. But it’s also that good, a striking piece of cinematic journalism covering chaos.
All three films are set to air at 9pm on Monday, though some local PBS stations’ schedules deviate. You can also find them streaming on PBS’s POV site for free beginning Monday.
Also on Monday:
The Bachelorette S13E5 (ABC, 9pm)
Preacher S2E2: “Mumbai Sky Tower” (AMC, 9pm)
Real Boy (Independent Lens): feature doc debut (PBS, 10pm)
Genius: Einstein (National Geographic, 9pm)
There hasn’t been enough talk about the first season of the biographical drama series Genius, which could result in its being snubbed by awards organizations (fortunately I have seen some hope for Geoffrey Rush). Now seems another good time to urge people to check it out, especially with Ron Howard, one of its producers and the director of the pilot, in the news lately for his Star Wars hire. Plus Howard and showrunner Ken Biller just announced that there will be a second season next year, and it will be about Pablo Picasso. This week brings the finale of the Einstein-focused first season (“Chapter Ten”), so now you can binge it all.
Also on Tuesday:
Casual S3E8: “Venus” (Hulu)
The Bachelorette S13E6 (ABC, 9pm)
Animal Kingdom S2E5: “Forgive Us Our Trespasses” (TNT, 9pm)
iZombie S3E13: “Looking for Mr. Goodbrain, Part 2” — Season 3 finale (CW, 9pm)
One of the most talked-about movies of the year, in part because of the Cannes controversy over cinema purists’ issue with Netflix but mostly because almost everyone loves it. The movie is about a young girl and her giant animal friend, “Okja,” who looks like a pig crossed with a rabbit but much larger. Tilda Swinton stars as the head of a corporation who steals Okja away to New York for nefarious purposes, and the girl embarks on an adventure to save the creature.
It’s a very different sort of “monster movie” than filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s The Host and also quite different from his previous collaboration with Swinton, the cult classic Snowpiercer. In his review of the film, Matt Hoffman acknowledges that “once again, Bong proves that he is a master of dark comedy, a true environmentalist, and a man with a big heart.”
Also on Wednesday:
Catfish: The TV Show (MTV, 9pm)
Broadchurch S3E1: Season 3 US premiere (BBC America, 10pm)
Queen Sugar S2E3: “What Do I Care for Morning” (OWN, 10pm)
Battle of the Network Stars (ABC, 9pm)
This is probably not going to live up to our nostalgic anticipation, but it’s hard not to be intrigued about this return of the popular reality competition specials of the ’70s and ’80s. That was a time when TV was still fairly limited in options for a lot of Americans, network-based teams meant something, and the program was indeed an all-star showcase pitting celebrities against each other in an athletic contest.
The revival groups the stars in teams representing primetime soaps, family sitcoms, sci-fi/fantasy series, former child stars, cop shows, medical dramas, legal dramas, and more. The problem is that they’re comprised of TV stars of yesteryear (Danny Bonaduce, Bronson Pinchot, Gabrielle Carteris, Mackenzie Phillips, Kevin Sorbo, Erik Estrada, Todd Bridges, Kim Fields, Nicole Eggert, among them) and not the icons of today’s hits.
Also on Thursday
Queen of the South S2E4: “El Beso de Judas” (USA, 10pm)
If you’re loving Naomi Watts on your television lately thanks to Twin Peaks, now you can have more of her return to the small screen with this Netflix series where she plays a therapist who becomes way too involved with her patients’ lives, even going so far as to cheat on her husband (Billy Crudup) with someone linked to one of her regulars. Sam Taylor-Johnson, who helmed Fifty Shades of Grey, is the director of the first two episodes, and the cast also includes Sophie Cookson, Lucy Boynton, and Poorna Jagannathan. While there were early comparisons to the tone of the show to David Lynch, it’s unlikely this will be a total companion piece to the Twin Peaks revival, but it should satisfy Watts fans at least.
Also on Friday:
The Great British Baking Show S4E4: “Batter Week” (PBS, 9pm)
Doctor Who (BBC America, 9pm)
Another show that hasn’t been talked about enough, at least lately, is Doctor Who. The 10th season of the modern era run (36th overall) concludes this week with the second part of the finale, titled “The Doctor Falls.” And with it we say goodbye to the Peter Moffat era as this is his last episode as showrunner, as well as Brian Minchin’s last as executive producer. Also a big deal, this is nearly the end of Peter Capaldi’s stint as the Doctor (aka the Twelfth Doctor) — he’ll be back one more time for this year’s annual Christmas special. Those of us who weren’t into the Capaldi incarnation were still able to enjoy some of this season thanks to his new companion, Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie). We’re not sure where the show is headed next, or even what will happen in this finale, but hopefully she’ll be back despite the new regime’s desire to start with a relatively fresh slate.
Also on Saturday:
Orphan Black S5E4: “Let the Children and Childbearers Toll” (BBC America, 10pm)