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The Best TV Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: The Olympics, Outer Banks Season 2

Plus, a one-way ticket to FBoy Island

tim.jpg
Tim Surette

With all eyes on the Tokyo Summer Olympics, it's no surprise that this week's television releases are a bit... underwhelming. You'd have to be crazy to counter program against Simone Biles and the power of a sappy athlete profile and lifeling dreams unfolding in real time (or tape delay). But the world's biggest spectacle doesn't mean anything to the wily teens of Netflix's Outer Banks, which returns for Season 2 on Friday, or the vapid meat market of HBO Max's reality show FBoy Island, which gets a gold medal for destroying our brains starting Thursday. 

Our list of editors' picks for the week of July 25-31 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.

The Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

Getty Images

All week on NBC, NBC.com, Peacock
If it feels like it's been a little longer since the last Olympic Games, it's because it has. 2020 was a washout for obvious reasons, and even though COVID cases are once again on the rise, the games are going on. Let's do what we do best and ignore that scientific fact because those table tennis gold medals aren't getting any shinier. Most events will be taking place at night or in the early morning due to time differences, but to see exactly when and how to watch, check out our Olympics viewing guide[TRAILER]


Good Witch

The Good Witch

The Good Witch

Hallmark

Series finale Sunday at 9/8c on Hallmark
Hallmark's Good Witch has been one of TV's most quietly prolific franchises, airing seven seasons of TV and eight made-for-TV movies over its 13-year run. But that all comes to an end with Sunday's series finale, which sees the Merriwick women trying to harness their powers after nearly losing them. And because the episode is also called "The Wedding," expect some romance, obvs. [TRAILER]


Mayor

Mayor Musa Hadid, Mayor

Mayor Musa Hadid, Mayor

Courtesy of David Osit

Monday at 10/9c on PBS

Though set in an area besieged with political tension, this documentary film is a lighthearted look at Musa Hadid, the jovial mayor of the Palestinian city Ramallah. By examining the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on a city level, Mayor offers a new look at the conflict as the passionate Hadid tries to manage a city down to the minuscule details while it's under threat by Israeli settlements. But it's a surprisingly funny film with a delightful soundtrack that offers a unique look at the conflict. [TRAILER]


FBoy Island

FBoy Island

FBoy Island

Julie Corsetti/HBO Max

Series premiere Thursday on HBO Max

This really seems like one of those shows that came up with its title before anything else, or maybe we're living in a universe where fake shows from 30 Rock become real programs. The reality show FBoy Island -- I repeat, FBoy Island -- follows three women who are wooed by an onslaught of hunks at a tropical resort, with the uninspired twist that half of the men aren't actually there for love and are only trying to win the women's hearts to take home a cash prize. Hey, it's a slow week.


The Pursuit of Love

Lily James, The Pursuit of Love

Lily James, The Pursuit of Love

Robert Viglasky/Amazon Studios

Available Friday on Amazon Prime Video

We don't typically do a "Pick of the Week" in this column, but if we did, the gold star would go to Amazon's The Pursuit of Love, a British import that's already been met with great reviews in its native land. The three-episode miniseries stars Lily James and Emily Beecham as cousins in the early half of the 20th century in England as they, ahem, pursue love and grow up, and how their friendship perseveres despite each wanting different things. Dominic West and Andrew Scott also star. [TRAILER]


Outer Banks

Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, and Marshall Bell, Outer Banks

Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, and Marshall Bell, Outer Banks

Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Season 2 available Friday on Netflix
Outer Banks was something of a surprise hit last summer when it arrived during the pandemic. No one could go outside, so everyone lived vicariously through the sun-kissed teens of Netflix's soapy drama. And yeah, we can mostly go outside at our leisure now, but Outer Banks Season 2 is still worth checking out in all of its fun ridiculousness. The show picks up where it left off, with John B (Chase Stokes) and Sarah (Madelyn Cline) now fugitives on the run, trying to track down the Royal Merchant's treasure. Things are also rapidly escalating back in North Carolina, with the members group still on the island uncovering a map that seems like it could lead to a whole new treasure hunt. Buckle up, Pogues! -Allison Picurro [TRAILER]