Weekend Preview: ‘Mare Of Easttown’ And ‘Couples Therapy’ Make Complicated Lives Compelling

Mare Of Easttown (Sunday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — Kate Winslet returns not only to TV but to HBO (a decade after her award-winning Mildred Pierce turn) to star as a hard-vaping detective in a small town where she both portrays and elevates the “complicated” cop trope. She’s captivating while digging into a murder mystery that rocks her small town and causes the community to feel claustrophobic. Evan Peters portrays her young, whippersnapper partner on the case, and he’s electric, as is the wonderfully sarcastic Jean Smart (as Mare’s mom). This show will suck you in, so be ready.

Couples Therapy (Sunday, Showtime 10:00 & 10:30 p.m.) — Season 2 of this series begins, and I’d encourage you to get caught up on the first round, too, because this series is pretty darn addictive. This new batch of episodes sees Dr. Orna Guralnik guiding a new trio of couples through all of their conflict and resentments and otherwise unhealthy behavior, all with the hope of keeping them together. One woman is furious that her husband isn’t delivering on her desired life circumstances, and one man can’t seem to get inside of his wife’s head. Surprisingly, this is a rare show where the pandemic details don’t fatigue the show’s flow at all.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Disney+ series) — Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes are still doing their buddy action-comedy thing, but things accelerated quickly last week with John Walker basically turning Captain America into a villain. So, there’s a damn fine mess to be cleaned up, and this week, there’s a hell of a surprise cameo. Soon, there needs to be some sort of are-they-good-or-bad conclusion with the Flag Smashers, and Bucky should go to Aruba at the end of all this.

Mythic Quest: Everlight (Apple TV+ series) — Ahead of official Season 2 launch, this second pandemic special drops on Rob McElhenney and crew upon their return to the office. Yep, it is Everlight party time, and it’s sure to be plenty awkward as they navigate amid you-know-what that’s still happening. There’s a LARP (Live Action Role-Play) tournament happening, and Sir Anthony Hopkins is sort-of on hand for voice work.

Frank of Ireland (Amazon Prime series) — Two of the world-famous Gleeson brothers (Domhnall and Brian) join forces about a man who’s fruitlessly hoping to get some respect after he finally decides to grow up. Brian portrays Frank, and Domhnall portrays a character that’s named, uh, Doofus. Their brand of comedy is rather absurd and juvenile at times, but there’s a heart to this show if you can hang through sophomoric jokes. This is certain: this show will make you forget about the serious things in life.

Spy City (AMC+ original series) — Preacher‘s Dominic Cooper stars as an English spy in 1960s Berlin, right before the Berlin Wall goes up. He’s tasked with locating a traitor among the Allies or in the UK embassy, and he’s possibly surrounded by spies and double agents. He’s also dancing around the threat of nuclear war while American, British, and French troops are barely separated from their East German and Soviet counterparts. Good luck?

Chadwick Boseman: Portrait Of An Artist (Netflix documentary) — Following the Black Panther and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star’s too-soon death last August, the streamer fathered an all-star team for this documentary that aims to explore “Boseman’s extraordinary commitment to his craft [and] an intimate look at the Oscar-nominated actor’s artistry and the acting process which informed his transformative performances.” Settle in for a long list of participants, including Viola Davis, Danai Gurira, Spike Lee, Phylicia Rashad, and Glynn Turman. This one will be available for a limited 30-day window, so don’t let it languish in your queue for too long.

Fear the Walking Dead (Sunday, AMC 9:00 p.m.) — After one of most devastating episodes in the show’s history, Virginia and her rangers go into stand-off mode with Morgan’s group, and Ginny’s enemy-making habit is coming back to her.

The Nevers (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — This Joss Whedon-created show (with a steampunk elephant in the corner) sees the city reeling from Maladie’s, uh, opera performance while Amalia’s in investigation mode.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (Sunday, NBC 9:00 p.m.) — Zoey attempts to help Emily with a problem, which turns out to be more trouble than it’s worth. Meanwhile, Maggie touches base with an old friend while Max, Simon, and Mo bond.

Confronting A Serial Killer (Sunday, Starz 9:00 p.m.) — Author Jillian Lauren is digging into a serial killer while researching a true crime novel and finds that there might be a hidden connection that no one realized existed.

City On A Hill (Sunday, Showtime 9:00 p.m.) — Jackie’s attempting to deal with the fallout from his actions with Holly in the ICU and Rickey Townsend gearing up to testify against Decourcy.

Gangs Of London (Sunday, AMC 10:15 p.m.) — Fans of the beloved Peaky Blinders should pay attention because this new series makes Peaky seem like a pleasant walk in London’s Hyde Park. These warring gangs will prove to be entertaining for anyone who loves The Sopranos or any of Marty Scorsese’s mob pictures. This week, Alexander bumps into a familiar face while Elliot struggles to be loyal, and Sean’s throwing a dinner party, which should be plenty chaotic.

Last Week Tonight (Sunday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — Everyone’s favorite sarcastic and satiric late-night host is here to throw down, and not a moment too soon. Can’t wait to see who he skewers this week.

Here are some more fresh streaming picks:

Big Shot (Disney+ series) — David E. Kelley co-created and executive produces this series starring John Stamos as a down-on-his luck, ousted NCAA coach who’s attempting to get back on his (angry) feet with a ritzy private high-school gig. While reluctantly seeking redemption, Coach learns that his new team benefits from him showing some actual emotion beyond rage and stoicism, so he must — gasp — learn how to be vulnerable and empathetic. He might actually become a better person, too. The show co-stars Yvette Nicole Brown, who I hope gives Coach a really hard time (dude seems like he deserves it).

Younger: Season 7 (Paramount+/Hulu series) — Final season time has arrived for this Darren Star show as it follows up on Liza mulling over whether to marry Charles while Kelsey made strides professionally. Things will be wrapped up soon with Liza struggling in her personal life while struggling not to lose herself, all while Maggie gets canceled, and Kelsey looking for a new creative outlet.

Earth Moods (Nat Geo series on Disney+) — This five-part series launches this weekend to show us various “moods” from the corners of the globe to soothe us with the natural world. Each one (from glaciers to deserts to rain forests to cities) will take us on voyage to help our minds reset. Sounds fantastic.

Wahl Street (HBO Max series) — Take a peek behind the Wahlcurtain of Mark Wahlberg’s empire — and settle in for some business and life lessons — including a rigorous film schedule, of course, and several successful businesses (a clothing line, a gym studio, Wahlburgers, and his production company). The season was filmed amid the global pandemic and includes appearances of his real-life entourage.

The Year Earth Changed (Apple TV+ film) — This is undoubtedly a timely documentary special that covers the year of lockdown in a way that you’ve never seen before. Nature has its way in deserted cities and suburbs, and before all is said and done, viewers will be able to observe how changes in human behavior (beach closings, less cruise ship traffic, etc.) can make planet Earth unbelievably happy. The project’s narrated by Sir David Attenborough as a love letter of sorts, all to show how nature can bounce back, and hopefully, so can humanity.