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The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: Jared Padalecki in Walker, Apple's Erotic Thriller Losing Alice

Plus: The return of TV's best crime drama

Tim Surette

What a boring week! Normally that would be disappointing, but it's actually a huge sigh of relief. We won't look back on the week of Jan. 17 as the week when democracy burned down to the ground; we'll look back on this week as the first time we saw Jared Padalecki in a cowboy hat in The CW's Walker, plus the stateside debut of the excellent Italian crime drama Gomorrah's third season. This week has been so boring and uneventful -- compared to recent weeks -- that you have nothing else to do but watch some great television. Boredom never sounded so good.

Our list of editors' picks for the week of Jan. 17-Jan. 23 is below, but if this isn't enough and you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, or our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like

Miss Scarlet and the Duke

Series premiere Sunday at 8/7c on PBS
Peaky Blinders' Kate Phillips provides the necessary fire behind London's first female private investigator in PBS's Miss Scarlet and the Duke, the latest Masterpiece series to wash up on American shores. Following the death of her P.I. father, a penniless Eliza Scarlet (Phillips) opts to continue her father's services rather than go the traditional route of marrying for financial security, and as you can imagine, her headstrong move has Londoners dropping their monocles into their tea. Her new line of work also sees her frequently cross paths with a fellow inspector nicknamed The Duke (Stuart Martin), and, yep, you got it, their clashes bubble with romantic tension. Will she solve the case of... looooooove?

All American

Season 3 premiere Monday at 8/7c on The CW
After two seasons of telling the story of a Black teen from the South Central Los Angeles neighborhood of Crenshaw getting the opportunity to play high school football in privileged Beverly Hills, The CW series All American is flipping the script in Season 3. Spencer (Daniel Ezra) returns to Crenshaw to play for his home school, followed by his Beverly Hills coach Billy (Taye Diggs), who recruited him in the first place. With two seasons of cross-town rivalry established, the two bubbles can continue to exist on the show, and Spencer and Billy can reckon with their decisions to leave Crenshaw in the first place. And because Season 3 is the first season to air since the recent apex of the Black Lives Matter movement, expect to see plenty of varying stories of Black youth in America from its expansive cast. 

The Inauguration of Joe Biden

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Wednesday all day on major cable news outlets (check your local listings)
Coverage should start around 11 a.m. ET, with Biden getting sworn in around noon ET. Later that evening will be the special; here's everything you need to know about the inauguration special, including how to watch, what networks it will be on, and which special guests will stop by. 


Series premieres Thursday at 8/7c on The CW
I'll be honest with you, the real draw of watching The CW's new spin-off of Walker, Texas Ranger is to see if Supernatural star Jared Padalecki looks good in a Stetson (he does). Beyond that, you'll find a middling crime procedural set in Texas that doesn't seem much like Chuck Norris' original at all. The cast has been greatly expanded to include Walker's brothers, the titular hero is much more sensitive, and an overarching mystery about the murder of Walker's wife hangs over it all. Still, it's Jared Padalecki's first role since Supernatural. (Meanwhile, his Supernatural co-star Jensen Ackles will next be seen in the third season of Amazon's excellent The Boys, where he reunites with Supernatural creator Eric Kripke.) If this show is smart, Ackles will make a guest appearance as a crook who Walker hogties. 


Season 3 U.S. premiere Thursday on HBO Max
There are plenty of crime family dramas out there, but only two are accepted as being the best of the best: Obviously the most well-known is The Sopranos (duh), but just as appreciated by those who've seen it is the Italian series Gomorrah. Often called a darker, even more grown-up version of HBO's smash hit, Gomorrah follows an Italian crime family in Naples that becomes under siege after the head of the organization dies. It's been widely acclaimed for its well-written characters, intense storytelling, and frightening authenticity.

Derek Delgaudio's In & Of Itself

Friday on Hulu
Derek DelGaudio's incredible one-man show In & Of Itself comes to Hulu as a film directed by Frank Oz, who also directed the stage production. DelGaudio is an illusionist, among other things, but "magic show" doesn't come close to summing up this experience, which blends confessional storytelling and impressive tricks. By the end, it's a sophisticated exploration of identity. While the movie can't quite recreate the feeling of attending the live performance, the fact that it translates to the screen this well is still an impressive sleight of hand. -Kelly Connolly

Losing Alice

Friday on Apple TV+
Psycho-sexual thrillers are either really, really good, or really, really bad. The good ones focus on the desire and subtext of the situation, while the bad ones are excuses to get hot people undressed and between the sheets. The Israeli series Losing Alice is ready to burst with desire and subtext, following a film director (Ayelet Zurer) during a downslope in her career whose chance run-in with a young screenwriter (Lihi Kornowski) spins her life in an exciting, dangerous, and possibly erotic (!!!) new direction. Writer and director Sigal Avin shoots this Faustian tale gorgeously, taking cues from Brian de Palma and even David Lynch for a series that builds tension beneath the surface until it overflows. It's subtitled in English, and that won't be a problem since you won't be able to pry your eyes from the screen.

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