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The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: Blood Quantum, Never Have I Ever

Plus, Showtime's horror series Penny Dreadful heads to the City of Angels

Liam Mathews

What's that, Lassie? Timmy's trapped in a well? But he's OK and he has his phone? He just wants some recommendations for TV shows to watch while he's down there? And he's gonna be down there from Sunday, April 26 to Saturday, May 2? All right, Lassie. You're sure he's OK? He doesn't want us to rescue him right away? He says he's chilling? If you say so, Lassie. You tell Timmy these are the recs we have for him. We hope he likes horror.

If this isn't enough and you're looking for even more recommendations, sign up for our free, daily, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox, or check out the best shows and movies this month on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

Homeland Series Finale

Series finale available via Showtime
After a few seasons as one of TV's most talked about dramas and many more low-key thriving in the "Showtime Zone" for shows that last far longer than people can believe, Homeland ended its eight-season run on Sunday. Like most of the post-Brody (Damian Lewis) seasons, the final run hasn't generated many heart-stopping or bizarre thrills. Instead, it leaned heavily on the deeply complicated relationship between mentor (Mandy Patinkin's Saul) and mentee (Claire Danes' Carrie) that is on the brink of destruction like never before in the finale. The episode is primed to interrogate Homeland's key questions yet again: Who can you trust? And when does loyalty to people trump loyalty to your country? -Cory Barker

Penny Dreadful: City of Angels

Series premiere available via Showtime
Penny Dreadful, Showtime's underrated horror drama, ended with a surprise finale in 2016. And now it's back with an equally surprising spin-off, subtitled City of Angels. It's set in 1938 Los Angeles, and follows a pair of detectives (Daniel Zovatto and the always 1938-voiced Nathan Lane) and a pair of demons (Lorenza Izzo and Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer) as the city battles for its soul. It has a lot of moving parts -- ethnic and political tension due to the construction of the freeways, Mexican folkloric traditions, covert Nazism, radio evangelism -- that add up to a bloody good time. [Read our review]

Never Have I Ever

Series premiered Monday on Netflix
There is a lot to love about Never Have I Ever, Netflix's latest coming-of-age series. Inspired by Mindy Kaling's own childhood and with Lang Fisher serving as executive producer, showrunner, and writer, the charming 10-episode series follows Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a first generation Indian American teen with a bit of a short fuse. Constantly butting heads with her mother after the shocking and sudden death of her father, Devi is an overachieving sophomore from Sherman Oaks, California, who is obsessed with besting her nemesis and finding herself (and her friends!) a boyfriend. The series is narrated by John McEnroe for reasons I will not explain because there aren't really any explanations that will suffice, but know that this might be Netflix's next great coming-of-age series. -Kaitlin Thomas [Read our review]

Prodigal Son Season Finale

Season 1 finale available on Hulu
We are braced for some major shockers ahead in Prodigal Son's first-season finale as Malcolm Bright-slash-Whitly (Tom Payne) finds himself on the other side of the interrogation table for a change. Our troubled profiler is no stranger to personal tragedy, of course, but recent events have brought the "Girl in the Box" mystery closer to home than ever -- or should we say closer to the slammer than ever? There's still more to learn about Nicholas Endicott, but we already know that this charming villain has enough power to take down all the Whitlys if he wants to, and, clearly, he wants to. -Amanda Bell

Blood Quantum

Now on Shudder
Blood Quantum is the zombie movie you didn't know you needed to watch tonight, mostly because you didn't know it would be available tonight. Shudder tried something fun with a surprise drop of the film, which was part of TIFF's Midnight Madness program and had its theatrical release canceled because of the pandemic, announcing its availability on-demand the moment it became available instead of hyping it up for weeks in advance. The moody zombie flick was directed by First Nations director Jeff Barnaby and is set during a zombie outbreak in Canada, where residents of the isolated Red Crow reservation are immune to the plague causing the dead to rise. In addition to being scarily relevant right now, it's a sly flip on the bleak history of colonials infecting Native Americans with disease, making it more important than your typical horror movie. It's socially aware, violent, and features zombie salmon. -Tim Surette

Normal People

Limited series premiere Wednesday on Hulu
Sally Rooney's best-selling novelNormal People, which chronicles a tender but increasingly complicated romance between two Irish teens from the end of high school through their college years, is faithfully and beautifully adapted for television in this Hulu limited series. Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal star as Marianne and Connell, two teens whose upbringings couldn't be more different but whose deep connection leads to an intense, all-consuming romance. Fluctuating power dynamics eventually put a strain on their relationship, however, as issues of class, privilege, submission, and emotional scarring compound an inability to communicate, leading to periods of friendship and intimate sex giving way to months of no contact. The show, which is directed by Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald and drops all 12 30-minute episodes at once, is a surprisingly honest look at young love and heartbreak. Also, there's full-frontal nudity. I just felt like I should say that up front. -Kaitlin Thomas


Limited series premiere Friday on Netflix
Ryan Murphy's latest throws it back to the post-WWII Golden Age of Hollywood, when movies were pictures and hustlers operated out of a gas station, giving bored housewives and closeted men a little something extra with their fill-up. The boys all moved to Tinseltown with dreams of stardom, and they're still pursuing it, they're just taking a bumpy path to get there. Murphyverse regulars like Darren Criss, Patti LuPone, and Dylan McDermott are in the cast, with the latter doing his charmingly skeevy thing as the operator of said gas station. It's a glitzy trifle of revisionist history.

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Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Lara Solanki/Netflix