This week marks the first day of summer in North America, aka the summer solstice, aka the longest day of the year (this year it's June 20, not June 21). While the day technically isn't longer than any of the others -- it's all about when the sun rises and sets, folks -- experts recommend trying to fit in as much TV watching as humanly possible on this day. And by experts, we mean us. Hey, we're TV experts, right?
Anyway, this week, the best shows to watch include the fifth seasons of both a British murder mystery and French spy thriller, a Hulu series that is a follow-up to a movie (which was adapted from a book), and a sketch variety series you really should be watching by now.
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Season 5 premieres Sunday at 9/8c on PBS
Sidney, who? After being introduced last season as a replacement for James Norton's departing vicar, Tom Brittney's Will Davenport is back for his first full season as the good-looking, inquisitive clergyman to Robson Green's veteran detective inspector in Season 5 of Masterpiece's fan-favorite murder mystery Grantchester. In the season premiere, Will and Geordie investigate the murder of a student at a women's college whose body is found the morning after attending a swanky ball. The episode also introduces Lauren Carse's Ellie Harding, a clever young journalist who greatly impresses Will -- it's just too bad he's declared himself celibate. If there is any lingering concern about the period drama being able to continue without Norton at its center, it seems pretty clear by now that Brittney's Will can more than hold his own in Grantchester.
Tuesday at 9:30/8:30c on Pop TV
When the coronavirus pandemic hit and production was shut down, shows were forced to adapt. One Day at a Timewas one of those shows, and the result is this week's highly anticipated animated special featuring guest appearances from Gloria Estefan, Melissa Fumero, and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Unlike The Blacklist, which featured a half-animated season finale last month -- and which looked about as good as you'd expect for being turned around in a short timeframe -- One Day at a Time took its, um, time, with its animation, and you can tell. As for the story itself, the episode centers around an upcoming visit from Penelope's (Justina Machado) conservative cousin Estrellita (Fumero), Tia Mirtha (Estefan), and Tio Juanito (Miranda), which quickly turns into disagreements over politics.
Series premieres Wednesday on Hulu
This Is Us executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger are diving back into the world of Love, Simon -- the 2018 film starring Nick Robinson that they also wrote together -- with a charming sequel series, Love, Victor. Michael Cimino leads the series as the eponymous teenager who moves with his family to Atlanta and finds himself at Simon's old high school, living in the shadow of what seems like the most romantic coming-out story of all time. As Victor struggles to figure out his own identity, he reaches out to Simon for advice about navigating his new school, the rules of dating girls and guys, managing his religious family, and figuring out exactly what Victor wants for himself. It's a more in-depth look at the emotional struggle of becoming yourself as a teenager, and relatable content for everyone no matter how they label their sexuality. –Megan Vick
Season 5 premieres Thursday on Sundance Now
If you haven't watched the French spy thriller The Bureauyet, what are you doing with your time?!? If you have, you'll be happy to know that the beloved series returns to North American TV for Season 5 this week. When the new season debuts, JJA (Mathieu Amalric) will have taken over managing the office since Marie-Jeanne (Florence Loiret Caille) decided to trade in the office for fieldwork in Egypt, but more important, the DGSE (the French equivalent of the CIA) will be shaken up by reports that Malotru (Mathieu Kassovitz) might have been murdered by the CIA with the permission of the DGSE, leading to issues for JJA, who becomes even more paranoid as a result.
Thursday at 9/8c on HBO
Many interview subjects in this documentary about infamous attorney Roy Cohn describe him as one of the most evil men in American history, and he was right in the middle of some very dark stuff, like helping send Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to the electric chair on trumped-up treason charges, advising Sen. Joe McCarthy during the Red Scare, serving as an operative for brutal anti-gay politicians while being gay himself, and helping build a young Donald Trump into the man he became. This documentary -- made by director Ivy Meeropol, who is Julius and Ethel Rosenberg's granddaughter -- reckons with Cohn's grim legacy, with special attention paid to his relationship with Trump as his attorney from the '70s through the '80s, when Trump abandoned him as he was dying of AIDS. This documentary shows how power works when wielded by someone who uses it exclusively for nefarious purposes. –Liam Mathews
Friday at 10/9c on AMC
The unapologetically silly sketch show modeled after '70s variety shows from creators Bashir Salahuddin and Diallo Riddle returns for this one-off special that comes with impeccable timing. Sherman's Showcase: Black History Month Spectacular (In June) was likely recorded many months ago, but some of the skits seem like they were written yesterday, like the "Add Some Kente" music video that all of a sudden is extra relevant after Nancy Pelosi and friends posed with their own Kente cloths draped around their necks last week. It's a fun, raucous, and jazzy time. –Tim Surette
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