Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers July 25-31.
It has been heartening to see “The Bear” become a buzz show, by which I mean it has generated a lot of social media, regular old media, and comments to me from readers. These days, a lot of series arrive and quickly disappear from our collective memory, since there are so very many of them arriving each week. Also, shows released on a binge model, like “The Bear,” whose entire season came out on June 23, tend to fade into the distance because there are no weekly episode premieres.
The Hulu series, consisting of eight half-hour episodes, has already been renewed for a second season. It stars Jeremy Allen White (Lip from “Shameless”) as a gifted chef who has returned to Chicago to take over and improve his brother’s restaurant, The Original Beef of Chicagoland, after his brother kills himself. (The preview is here.) It takes most of the staff a while to come round to his high standards, as well as his new hire, played marvelously by Boston native Ayo Edebiri.
Interestingly, the life-after-a-significant-death theme has been part of a number of excellent series, in addition to “The Bear.” HBO’s “Somebody Somewhere” took the death of Bridget Everett’s character’s sister as its starting point. Before the opening of Netflix’s “Never Have I Ever,” our struggling teen, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), lost her father. Tig Notaro’s “One Mississippi” on Amazon started off with the death of Tig’s mother. “Life & Beth,” “Shtisel,” “Dead to Me,” “Six Feet Under,” the list is long.
These shows give us characters working through their grief, or fighting against working through their grief, each in his, her, or their own distinctive way. For White’s Carmy on “The Bear,” the process involves transforming his late brother’s restaurant into a success.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. Peacock is premiering a darkly comic mystery that sounds a bit like — but lighter than — last summer’s excellent “The White Lotus.” (Here’s the preview.) Called “The Resort,” it’s about an unhappy couple, played by William Jackson Harper and Cristin Milioti, who get caught up in an unsolved mystery from 15 years earlier while vacationing in Mexico. The eight half-hour episodes, which premiere on Thursday (also starring Nick Offerman and Ben Sinclair from “High Maintenance”), are from “Lodge 49″ and “Palm Springs” writer Andy Siara.
2. Apple TV+ has been on a roll lately, with “Black Bird,” “Slow Horses,” and “Severance,” and so I’ve got my fingers crossed for the streamer’s “Surface.” Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as a woman who lost her memory in what she is being told by her husband was a suicide attempt. Hmmm. Like the amnesiac protagonist in HBO Max’s “The Tourist,” she’ll need to secretly investigate her past to learn what really happened. The eight-episode thriller premieres on Friday.
3. Neil Patrick Harris stars as a New Yorker whose boyfriend suddenly drops him after 17 years in “Uncoupled,” premiering Friday on Netflix (trailer here). The eight-episode half-hour comedy is from Darren Star (“Sex and the City”) and Jeffrey Richman (“Modern Family”), and looks into what it’s like to be a gay man looking for love in his 40s. I like the cast, which also includes Tisha Campbell and Marcia Gay Harden as a wealthy snob who falls into Michael’s orbit.
4. On Friday, Amazon is premiering “Paper Girls,” a sci-fi adventure series based on the comics written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Cliff Chiang. On Halloween in 1988, four girls — Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ — are out delivering newspapers when they are caught in the crossfire between warring time-travelers. They are transported into the future and struggle to get back home. Why? Because there’s no place like home. Camryn Jones, Nate Corddry, Riley Lai Nelet, Sofia Rosinsky, Ali Wong, and Fina Strazza star.
5. Starting this week, CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” which airs nightly at 11:35 p.m., is going to feature residencies with musicians who’ll sit in with Jon Batiste’s house band. First up: St. Vincent, a.k.a. Annie Clark. Next week, one Mr. James Taylor. And the week of Aug. 1: Joe Walsh from the Eagles.
“City on a Hill” The third season arrives. Showtime, Sunday, 10 p.m.
“Santa Evita” The 22-year journey of — not kidding — Eva Peron’s corpse. Hulu, Tuesday
“The Most Hated Man on the Internet” A docuseries about trying to remove photos from a revenge porn site. Netflix, Wednesday
“Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” A visit to the “Liars”-verse with a new generation of characters. HBO Max, Thursday
“Black Bird” Dennis Lehane’s chilling prison drama stars Taron Egerton. Apple TV+
“Maggie” A pleasant but cutesy sitcom in the manner of “How I Met Your Mother.” Hulu
“The Bear” A drama set in a Chicago restaurant starring Jeremy Allen White as the chef. Hulu
“Chloe” Social media plays a role in this compelling six-part British thriller. Amazon
“Loot” Maya Rudolph is a billionaire trying to do good in this workplace comedy. Apple TV+
“The Old Man” Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow shine in this thriller. FX, Hulu
“Queer as Folk” A reboot of the LGBTQ soap opera. Peacock
“Dark Winds” An atmospheric six-part mystery set in 1970s Navajo Nation. AMC, AMC+
“Girls5eva” In season two, the sweet spot between silliness and satire. Peacock