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 March 27-April 2
As all TV viewers know, the programming landscape is crowded. There are a bunch of streaming services, a bunch of cable channels, and, of course, a bunch of broadcast networks, all of which are releasing new shows almost weekly. Rather than get overwhelmed, you should try dipping into each pay service for a month or two or three, watching its best shows, then move on to another outlet for a few months. Yes, that sounds familiar because I say it a lot in this column!
Right now, a few people I know have started up their annual three-month subscription to Apple TV+ in order to watch the new season of “Ted Lasso” as it is released weekly. They’ll pay $6.99 a month, and that is, to my mind, a very cheap price for what they’ll have access to — it’s less than what you pay for half a month of ad-free Netflix. No, Apple TV+ doesn’t have an extensive library of old stuff like Netflix and some of the others, but, of all the TV outlets (except, perhaps, HBO Max), it features the strongest lineup of originals.
Here are some of the shows a temporary subscriber to Apple TV+ can catch up with:
- “For All Mankind” A slow-starting but compelling alternative history in which the Soviets beat the United States to the moon.
- “The Shrink Next Door” In this miniseries, Paul Rudd shines — creepily — as an exploitive therapist, with Will Ferrell as his mark.
- “Severance” One of the best series of 2022 has workers splitting their consciousnesses into work and home selves.
- “Slow Horses” Gary Oldman is at his best in this semi-comic MI5 drama involving misfit agents.
- “Black Bird” Dennis Lehane’s chilling miniseries about a serial killer and the prisoner tasked with getting a confession from him.
- “Bad Sisters” Who killed the toxic John Paul? The Garvey sisters all have reasons to have done it in this excellent comic drama.
- “Schmigadoon!” If you like Broadway musicals, this clever spoof starring Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key will give you a kick.
- “The Afterparty” A formally inventive comedy about a murder at a class reunion, with one suspect giving his or her version of the night of the murder in each episode.
- “Loot” Paging all Maya Rudolph fans. She’s the spark at the center of this ensemble comedy about wealth and good works.
- “Shrinking” From some of the “Ted Lasso” folks, this therapy comedy features a sharp ensemble that includes a classic Harrison Ford performance.
- Also of note: “Defending Jacob,” “Pachinko,” “Dear Edward,” “Hello Tomorrow!,” “Tehran,” “Dickinson,” “Little America,” and “Mythic Quest”
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. Watching Irish actor Chris O’Dowd is always a pleasure. He was outstanding in “Moone Boy,” “The Crimson Petal and the White,” “Bridesmaids,” and “The Sapphires,” and now he has a new series called “The Big Door Prize.” Based on the M.O. Walsh novel, it’s set in a small Southern town where a machine mysteriously appears in a grocery store. Put in some money, and the machine prints out the customer’s true destiny — leading to a lot of drastic changes around town. (The trailer lays it out clearly.) The 10-episode show premieres Wednesday on Apple TV+.
2. Rob Lowe stars opposite his real-life son, John Owen Lowe, in the eight-episode comedy “Unstable.” The title refers to Lowe’s character, a biotech guru (i.e. gazillionaire) recovering from the death of his wife. And the title refers to his relationship with his estranged flutist son, who is tired of his father’s judgments. The show, which also features Sian Clifford from “Fleabag,” premieres Thursday on Netflix. Here’s the trailer.
3. “The Power” — not to be confused with Starz’s 2014-20 series “Power” — is a sci-fi series based on the 2016 novel by Naomi Alderman. Suddenly, all teenage girls have the power in their fingers to electrocute people at will. That leads to a shift in the balance of power in every society around the world. The story lines feature Toni Collette, Auli’i Cravalho, Josh Charles, Eddie Marsan, John Leguizamo, and Rob Delaney. The nine-episode season — trailer here — premieres Friday on Amazon.
4. She may not have been properly recognized during her most prolific years, but that has changed since we almost lost her to an aneurysm in 2015. Now Joni Mitchell, 79, is being celebrated left and right, most recently with “Joni Mitchell: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.” The honor was presented to Mitchell in a March 1 ceremony that will air on GBH 2 on Friday at 9 p.m. The performers include Graham Nash, James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Cyndi Lauper, Annie Lennox, Diana Krall, Angélique Kidjo, Ledisi, Brandi Carlile, Marcus Mumford, and Mitchell herself, who sings “Summertime” (see here!) and leads everyone in “The Circle Game.”
“The Young and the Restless 50th Anniversary Celebration” The long-running soap gets some love. CBS, Monday, 8 p.m.
“Mae Martin: Sap” A stand-up special from the creator and star of “Feel Good.” Netflix, Tuesday
“Succession” The final season is fierce and fascinating. HBO
“Accused” A different defendant’s story every week in this courtroom drama. Fox
“Great Expectations” A strained effort to turn a Dickens classic into an anti-hero drama. Hulu
“Up Here” An ambitious musical rom-com with an overfamiliar story line. Hulu
“Lucky Hank” Bob Odenkirk’s English professor has a mid-life crisis. AMC
“Ted Lasso” The third season continues to charm. Apple TV+
“Rain Dogs” A dark comedy about a mother and daughter fighting homelessness. HBO
“Perry Mason” More courtroom drama in the second season. HBO
“Daisy Jones & the Six” A look at the career of a fictional rock band from the 1970s. Amazon
“Liaison” An international thriller starring Vincent Cassel and Eva Green. Apple TV+
“Hello Tomorrow!” Billy Crudup is a salesman in this stylish retro-futurist tale. Apple TV+