Weekend Preview: HBO Launches ‘The Outsider’ With ‘The New Pope’ Coming Soon

The Outsider (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — Since the public can’t get enough of Stephen King adaptations these days, HBO steps up with a hell of a slow burn. This drama series is an unsettling mixture of chilling horror and murder mystery that isn’t actually true crime, but it feels real enough to add to the scary factor. Starring Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, and Jason Bateman, this one’s worth catching.

The New Pope (Monday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — Granted, this gem doesn’t premiere until Monday, but you can still get excited about it over the weekend, so I’m including it here for that reason. This series picks up after The Young Pope left off with John Malkovich wearing the pope hat after Jude Law’s ruler falls into a coma, and the season will also include Marilyn Manson and Sharon Stone. Here’s an explainer to get you caught up before Brian Grubb’s Popedowns recommence.

Medical Police (Netflix series, Friday) — The same team that brought us twisted comedy series Children’s Hospital throws down another darkly comedic incarnation of the well-treaded medical drama. Two “cop-doctors,” portrayed by Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel, live out their occupational days at a Brazilian pediatric hospital. Unfortunately, a civilization-threatening virus surfaces, and they must dig into a possible global conspiracy while attempting to uncover a cure. This sounds gleefully funny.

AJ And The Queen (Netflix series, Friday) — RuPaul portrays Ruby Red, a down-on-her-luck drag queen whose trying to make back the money stolen from her by taking a club tour of America. Along the way, she unwittingly picks up a stowaway in the form of a 10-year-old girl who learns love and acceptance from Rudy, and the two learn the true meaning of family and friendship together. Oh, and they’re searching for the best breakfast waffle in the U.S. Good luck with that one.

Cheer (Netflix series, Wednesday 1/8) — This new Netflix documentary series follows the cutthroat nature of cheerleading competitions. In particular, a small junior college in Texas takes central stage while attempting to add to their 14-time consecutive National Championship streak. There’s adversity and triumph and excruciating workouts with injuries flying everywhere. Sounds brutal.

Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming, including some fresh(ish) streaming leftovers:

Ray Donovan (Sunday, Showtime 8:00 p.m.) — Ray seeks help from Judge Scholl for help in clearing his name while Daryll get confronted by the Sullivan family Terry finds a new friend in an unlikely place, and Smitty attempts to defend his actions against Bridget.

Doctor Who (Sunday, BBC 8:00 p.m.) — The Doctor believes that the group needs a holiday, and she’s probably correct. However the luxury resort that should be relaxing actually harbors some deadly secrets. There are ferocious monsters attacking the place, apparently.

Shameless (Sunday, Showtime 9:00 p.m.) — Lip and Tami find a new money-making opportunity, Frank’s in more trouble as a result of Faye, and Ian decides to nurse his broken heart with online dating apps. Oh boy.