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The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: The Oscars, The Handmaid's Tale, The NFL Draft

It's a big week for talented people hoping to hear their name called

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Kelly Connolly

Say goodbye to this long, strange awards season. Which of the movies you watched from your couch this year will take home the Oscar? Find out Sunday night when you tune in from that same couch. And if the Academy Awards aren't enough to scratch your itch for surreal ceremonies in which talented people wait for their names to be called, the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday. In between, you can take a break from your Zoom dystopia to join The Handmaid's Tale's resistance.

Our list of editors' picks for the week of April 25-May 1 is below, but if that's not enough and you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, check out our picks for last week or 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, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.


93rd Annual Academy Awards

210412-oscars.jpg

Oscars statue

Getty Images

Sunday at 9/8c on ABC
Somehow, despite everything, the Oscars are happening! This awards season has been plagued by delays, troubles, and a lot of VOD streaming, for reasons that we don't need to get into here. The broadcast is taking place months later than usual this year, and while COVID-era awards shows are no longer novel concepts, there's still some morbid fascination in seeing how the head-scratching rules this one is employing will play out. Still, the strong, exciting group of nominees — from Chadwick Boseman's posthumous Best Actor nomination to Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell both being nominated for Best Director — almost makes up for how supremely weird this telecast is sure to feel. -Allison Picurro


The Virus That Shook the World

The Virus That Shook the World

The Virus That Shook the World

Alessandro Leonardi / Keo Films / FRONTLINE (PBS)

Monday at 9/8c, Tuesday at 10/9c on PBS
If you only have it in you to watch one early-pandemic retrospective right now, make it this one. Frontline's two-part documentary The Virus That Shook the World looks at the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic with an incredible scope that sets it apart from similar docs, using personal video and local footage from around the globe to explore how the disease affected people across cultures. A New York City hot dog vendor, a Wuhan food blogger, a filmmaker in an Indigenous village in Brazil, and a Moscow ballet dancer are among those featured. [TRAILER]


The Handmaid's Tale

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Season 4 premieres Wednesday on Hulu
Who needs escapism when you can have the least escapist show on TV? The Handmaid's Tale has been out of commission for nearly two years, but it returns with a spirit of revolution that feels as timely as ever. Season 4 picks up with June (Elisabeth Moss) fanning the flames of rebellion in Gilead — and potentially getting a little too caught up in her quest for revenge. Here's hoping this season widens its scope to spend more time with the women whose lives she keeps putting in danger. Blessed be the hashtag resistance. [TRAILER]


Lucy the Human Chimp

Janis Carter, Lucy Temerlin, Lucy the Human Chimp

Janis Carter, Lucy Temerlin, Lucy the Human Chimp

HBO Max

Thursday on HBO Max
In 1976, grad student Janis Carter took a job caring for Lucy, the so-called "human chimp" who made headlines for being raised like a human child by a psychologist and his wife in the 1960s. Lucy, by then too aggressive for domestic life, formed a powerful bond with Carter, whose firsthand account of Lucy's story powers this documentary. It also changed Carter's life; she went on to spend six years acclimating Lucy to a nature reserve in The Gambia. Lucy the Human Chimp is both a nature documentary and a portrait of human devotion — and, in the case of the couple who tried to raise her, tragic human folly. [TRAILER]


Things Heard & Seen

Amanda Seyfried, Things Heard and Seen

Amanda Seyfried, Things Heard and Seen

Anna Kooris/NETFLIX

Thursday on Netflix
Who doesn't want to watch Amanda Seyfried buy a haunted house? Seyfried and James Norton play a Manhattan couple who move to an old Hudson Valley home with a sinister history — and uncover something equally sinister in their marriage, obviously. Based on the novel by Elizabeth Brundage, the supernatural thriller also stars Natalia DyerAlex NeustaedterRhea Seehorn, and F. Murray Abraham, so we know the cast is going to bring it. [TRAILER]


The NFL Draft

NFL Draft

NFL Draft

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Friday at 7 p.m. ET, Saturday at Noon ET on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network
Ahhhh yes, the best day of the football year for New York Jets fans. One of TV's biggest sporting events doesn't even feature actual sports, but there will be winners, losers, and very upset fans as NFL teams select their future stars. The Good Place's Jason is excited for the Jacksonville Jaguars to select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, but questions remain after that. This year's pickings will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, with select prospects live in person after last year's totally virtual draft. -Tim Surette

 

The Disciple

Aditya Modak, The Disciple

Aditya Modak, The Disciple

Netflix

Friday on Netflix
Don't let yourself be intimidated by this one. Executive produced by Alfonso Cuarón and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the acclaimed Indian film The Disciple focuses on an aspiring singer devoted to studying the art of Khayal, a form of Hindustani classical music, who starts to question whether he has what it takes to achieve excellence. The movie is steeped in the particulars of the Khayal tradition, but you don't need to have a firm grip on North Indian classical music to resonate with Sharad's (Aditya Modak) reckoning with the cost of his dedication and the limits of his own talent. [TRAILER]


The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Netflix

Friday on Netflix
Get your family time in this weekend by scrolling to a streaming platform and cuing up a movie about how too much screentime is killing us all. Don't think too hard about it; just have fun. The Mitchells vs. The Machines follows an ordinary family whose road trip takes an unexpected turn when they suddenly become the planet's last defense against a robot apocalypse. The film comes from the producers behind The LEGO Movie and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, so plenty of joyful pop culture-infused chaos is to be expected. [TRAILER]


The Mosquito Coast

Justin Theroux, Melissa George, The Mosquito Coast

Justin Theroux, Melissa George, The Mosquito Coast

Apple TV+

Series premiere Friday on Apple TV+
Apple TV+ and Neil Cross (Luther) take Paul Theroux's 1981 book and (sort of) Harrison Ford's 1986 film about an anti-consumerist inventor who drags his family out of the commercially bloated United States and 2021-ify it for modern times. Justin Theroux, Paul's nephew, stars as a new take on Allie Fox, who still hates the waste of capitalism but this time around is also wanted by authorities for, uhhhh, something. What follows is a family-on-the-lam series as the Foxes try to outfox cops and crooks on both sides of the border, making The Mosquito Coast very much in the vein of Ozark, but probably not as good. Still, that Justin Theroux is a handsome man! -Tim Surette [TRAILER]  


Without Remorse

Michael B. Jordan, Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

Michael B. Jordan, Tom Clancy's Without Remorse

Amazon Studios

Friday on Amazon Prime Video
Hey dads, put that Tom Clancy book back on your bedside table and pick up a remote, because we're watching our T to the C this week! Following Amazon Prime Video's success with its Jack Ryan TV series, Without Remorse is a movie set in the Clancyverse centered on another of his characters, Navy SEAL John Clark, played here by Michael B. Jordan. After Clark's wife is assassinated by Russian soldiers in retaliation for Clark's involvement in a secret op, Clark decides to make sure these guys get dead by any means necessary, and especially, with no remorse. Obviously he uncovers a conspiracy along the way. It's an action movie featuring an action star, no need to make this too complicated. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]