TV

Weekend Preview: ‘The Great,’ ‘The Wheel Of Time,’ And ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Will Satisfy Your Genre Streaming Needs

The Great: Season 2 (Hulu series) — There ain’t no royal drama like this show does royal drama. Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult return to hate the hell out of each other again. Hoult’s depraved Peter III is a pain-in-the-ass as always, and kind of how you’d imagine Kim Jong-un as a sexy, hard-partying Russian. The comedy stays bitingly dark, too, with Fanning’s Catherine the Great wondering about her likelihood of staying alive, and of course, there’s the reality that this character overthrew her husband six months into their marriage. The great (get it?) Gillian Anderson joins this season, and the beheading joke in the trailer fits right in with the show’s usual vibe.

Cowboy Bebop (Netflix series) — Bounty hunting never looked so stylish, and from the looks of this teaser, Netflix is not messing around with their adaptation of a cult-classic anime property. John Cho stars as Spike Spiegel, who’s in stunt mode alongside Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) while dodging death and making money. The spirit of the source material appears to be honored with an action-focused, aesthetic punch, and even non-anime fans who adore ultra-stylization (as with Scott Pilgrim and Sin City) should be intrigued.

The Wheel of Time: Season 1 (Amazon Prime series) — Rosamund Pike finally goes not play a sociopath while starring in this sprawling adaptation of one of the most popular fantasy book series (by Robert Jordan) ever. Here, she portrays Moiraine, who’s a member of an exclusive, magical, all-ladies organization known as Aes Sedai. The story follows Moiraine’s dangerous quest with a group that contains the prophesied Dragon Reborn, who shall be the key to humanity’s fate. Whether that fate is to be destroyed or saved, who really knows? Sit back and surrender to the epic journey.

Here’s some regularly scheduled programming:

2021 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Saturday, HBO 8:00pm) — This year’s inductees include Tina Turner, JAY-Z, Foo Fighters, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, and Todd Rundgren, and expect performances from Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, Paul McCartney, and more.

SNL (Saturday, NBC 10:29pm) — Host Simu Liu and musical guest Saweetie.

Succession (Sunday, HBO 9:00pm) — Following that shareholder’s meeting, Shiv’s feeling super confident, but you know what that means: a reality check, probably from Logan.

Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday, CBS 9:00pm) — An important figure from the past arrives to rattle Grace, who’s still in lockstep with Morgan.

Dexter (Sunday, Showtime 9:00pm) — The new season is a bloody good time, and this week, Dexter’s already exhausted by trying to cover up his crime scene.

BMF (Starz 9:00pm) — Meech uncovers a threat in the from of a disturbing alliance that must be vanquished. Meanwhile, Terry makes a life-altering choice.

Mayor of Kingstown (Paramount 9:00pm) — Jeremy Renner alongside Kyle Chandler and Dianne Wiest as a member of the power-brokering McLusky family, who are running their Michigan town. This week, a local gang leader’s upset while Mike is brokering an agreement before receiving an FBI visit.

Insecure (Sunday, HBO 10:00pm) — This Issa Rae-starring series is all about surviving, which probably refers to all the effed-up relationships in this world.

The Walking Dead: The World Beyond (Sunday, AMC 10:00pm) — The group launches a new plan while a relationship serves as leverage, and it’s action time for several characters.

Yellowjackets (Sunday, Showtime 10:00) — The plane crash survivors are starting to gain their bearings, while the present tense sees trouble with sex, revenge, and a cop.

Curb Your Enthusiasm (Sunday, HBO 10:30pm) — The Larry David drops an episode titled “IRASSHAIMASE!” or “Welcome to the store!” in Japanese. Hmm.

Here’s some more streaming goodness for your weekend.

King Richard (HBO Max film) — Will Smith portrays Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena and who ended up being instrumental in pushing these gifted and legendary athletes to success. The story moves from Compton to the worldwide stage, and it aims to inspire all.

tick, tick…BOOM! (Netflix film) — Lin-Manuel Miranda’s latest project happens to be his feature film directorial debut, all while adapting Rent creator Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical musical. This tells Jon’s story of being an up-and-coming composer who’s waiting tables while also working toward his artistic dreams, as his community struggles with the AIDs epidemic. The title, of course, refers to the ticking clock that we’ve all got going on about achieving our life’s dreams.

Tiger King: Season 2 (Netflix series) — This Joe Exotic stuff is still happening, somehow, even though he’s sitting in prison. The big-cat-owner saga keeps unfurling to show fallout from fame while more revelations surface, and that includes motivations and secrets of frenemies that include Jeff Lowe, Tim Stark, Allen Glover, and James Garretson, all while Carole Baskins maneuvers in the background.

The Princess Switch 3 (Netflix film) — How on earth does Vanessa Hudgens have so much stamina to keep on bringing us the holiday spirit, year after year? This threequel sees Queen Margaret and Princess Stacy team up with another look-alike, and that would be cousin Fiona. She’s got ties to a dashing enigma of a man, and all of that leads to more identity-fudging fun and (of course) some Christmas romance.

The Shrink Next Door: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series) — Paul Rudd stars as the therapist from hell, who simply does not believe in boundaries, as the title of this show suggests. Will Ferrell plays his unfortunate patient, and the dark comedy series builds an unnerving tension while also charting decades of a relationship between these two men. Both Rudd and Ferrell can’t help but be funny, but their dramatic sides will shine through here, too. Fortunately, they’ve also got Kathryn Hahn and her serious wig game on board for extra clout, but when and where will Paul Rudd end up dancing in this story?

Home Sweet Home Alone (Disney+ film) — There’s no Macaulay Culkin, no Joe Pesci, and No Daniel Stern here, but this still looks like a marvelous reboot to the franchise. Archie Yates stars as Max Mercer, who’s as resourceful as Kevin McCallister when his family inadvertently leaves him behind while on vacation. Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney star as two married thieves who wanna steal a priceless heirloom, and expect Kenan Thompson to make an appearance amid all the holiday hijinks.

Kamikaze: Season 1 (HBO Max series) — This Polish show might not be on your radar yet, but it arrives with a riveting premise: what happens to one’s identity when everything that matters in your life disappears in one panicked heartbeat? Marie Reuther portrays a young woman who gets a terrible text message — her entire family is about to go down in a plane crash — that changes everything.

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