This week in watching: End of story for ‘Deadwood,’ ‘Killing Eve’ returns, the best of ‘Game of Thrones’
Your TV GPS, Globe critic Matthew Gilbert’s guide to what’s on television, appears at the beginning of each week at BostonGlobe.com. This column covers April 1-7.
‘DEADWOOD,’ ‘BROAD CITY,’ AND PROPER ENDINGS
One happy bit of TV news is that HBO has, after all these years, chosen to make a “Deadwood” movie, to finish the storyline that creator David Milch told across three seasons, from 2004-06.
“Deadwood: The Movie” is premiering on May 31, and it will feature the return of most of the original cast, including Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, Anna Gunn, Robin Weigert, Brad Dourif, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens, Dayton Callie, and Gerald McRaney.
That’s right, you haven’t heard the last of swearin’ Al Swearengen, TV’s beloved Archduke of the F-word.
It’s a grace note in an industry not known for making a priority of respect for long-form storytelling. A number of shows, many of them having run for a few seasons, have not been lucky enough to get a post-cancelation chance to deliver the final salvo. They were denied a proper ending.
Among the many unfortunates:
“Southland,” which ended with an officer down; “My Name Is Earl,” which ended with paternity confusion and a “To Be Continued . . .” promise; and “Bored to Death,” which ended with Jason Schwartzman’s character realizing he was with a woman who turned out to be his half-sister. “Pushing Daisies” and “Carnivale” never got to find resolution, along with a number of the sci-fi puzzle series that came after “Lost,” including “Flashforward,” “Revolution,” and “Invasion.”
I’m always pleased when writers know their show is leaving, so they have the opportunity to wrap it all up — the most notable series finale ever being the end of “Six Feet Under.” They give us the final chapter of a book we’re invested in, often emotionally.
Last week, “Broad City” had the opportunity to go out on its own terms, with a season that pulled best friends Abbi and Ilana apart and led to an emotionally potent finale. It was a moving, bittersweet, and thoroughly satisfying finish to years of extraordinary comedy.
And this week, on Wednesday at 10 p.m., FXX’s “You’re the Worst” is leaving the air after a well-paced fifth season leading to the endgame. The in-jokes, the character dramas, and the anti-romantic romance all come to a head, honoring our years of loyal viewership. Likewise the CW’s “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which reaches the end, as planned, on Friday at 8 p.m.
WHAT I’M WATCHING THIS WEEK
1. One of last year’s best treats was “Killing Eve.” It wasn’t great because it was such a clever thriller — although it did have its twisty and unexpected moments. It was great because of the intricate — and intimate — cat-and-mouse game between Sandra Oh as a British investigator and Jodie Comer as an assassin-for-hire. Were these two women, on opposite sides, engaging in some kind of high-stakes courtship as they tracked each other? The show returns for season two on Sunday at 8 p.m., and it will air on BBC America and AMC simultaneously. AMC reaches some 10 million more cable subscribers than BBC America, so plenty of new viewers will be in the mix.
2. Jordan Peele’s reboot of “The Twilight Zone” has arrived, and the world is still the same. I’ve seen four episodes, and found them to be a mixed bag (here’s my review). Never mind whether the series equals Rod Serling’s original in power and impact; that would be close to impossible. But it’s uneven and predictable in its own right. Two episodes are available today, and then one every Thursday. The catch: It’s on CBS All Access, which requires a subscription.
3a. Getcha “Game of Thrones” here, getcha “GoT.” First off, Kit Harington, who’ll be doing business as Jon Snow when the HBO epic returns on April 14, is hosting “Saturday Night Live” this week. It’s his first time on the show, unless you count this turn by Pete Davidson or this one by Alex Moffat. Sara Bareilles is the musical guest.
3b. Secondly, Khaleesi — and we’ve been mispronouncing it all along — really can walk through fire. Last week, Emilia Clarke wrote a revealing piece for The New Yorker in which she described having dealt with two aneurysms during her years on “Game of Thrones,” on which she play Daeneyrs. I’m sure she’ll have more to say about it when she appears on CBS’s “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday night.
4. This one caught me by surprise. Ruth Wilson, so creepily great in “Luther” and so miscast in “The Affair,” stars in this compelling story of her grandmother, who found out after the death of her husband that he was leading a double — or was that a triple? — life. Called “Mrs. Wilson,” it’s fascinating, and well-acted by Wilson and costar Iain Glen (on “Game of Thrones,” he plays Jorah). The first two hours aired on Sunday; the last hour airs this Sunday at 9 p.m. on WGBH-2.
5. I like to make fun of this show, for its intense sincerity and its oft-annoying characters (I’m looking at you, Kate and Toby). But I never miss an episode of “This Is Us,” and I have extreme admiration for the way the narrative is constructed, the way the past informs the present. That’s how humans operate, I think; our history is always present in us. Anyhow, the NBC show leaves for the season on Tuesday at 9 p.m.
6. I’m not sure why TBS’s “The Last O.G.” didn’t get more attention when it premiered last year. In the sweet comedy, co-created by Jordan Peele, Tracy Morgan’s ex-con returns to his old Brooklyn neighborhood after 15 years. His ex-girlfriend, played by Tiffany Haddish, is raising his twins and married to a white man, and he inserts himself in their lives. It’s back for season two on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.
7. Richard Wright’s 1940 classic “Native Son,” about a young black man in Chicago named Bigger Thomas whose life spirals down into murder and rape, has been made into a contemporary-set HBO movie that premieres on the network Saturday at 10 p.m. Artist Rashid Johnson makes his directorial debut, with a script by Suzan-Lori Parks. Ashton Sanders stars as Bigger, with Bill Camp, Sanaa Lathan, Margaret Qualley, and David Alan Grier also in the cast. The film received decent reviews — it currently has a score of 64 at Metacritic — when it debuted at Sundance earlier this year.
8. It has been available on Sundance Now and Shudder since January, but “A Discovery of Witches” finally shows up on AMC and BBC America on Sunday at 9 p.m. The supernatural series (adapted from Deborah Harkness’s book) was previously renewed for two additional streaming seasons.
Hank Azaria and Amanda Peet are back with the third season. IFC, Wednesday, 10 p.m.
“In the Dark”
A new hourlong series about a hard-living blind woman trying to solve the murder of her drug-dealer friend. The CW, Thursday, 9 p.m.
A six-parter about animals that have adapted to extreme environments. National Geographic, Monday, 9 p.m.
“Independent Lens: Tre Maison Dasan”
Winner of the Grand Prize at the Rhode Island International Film Festival, the documentary follows three Rhode Island kids who have a parent in prison. WGBH-2, Monday, 10 p.m.
“The 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards”
Yup, there are more statues to give to country singers. CBS, Sunday, 8 p.m.
REWATCHING ‘GAME OF THRONES’
If you’re trying to prepare for the final season of “Game of Thrones,” and you have the time, you might rewatch the entire series so far. But if you’re hoping to just brush up, “Game of Thrones” executive producer and writer Bryan Cogman has come out with a list of his 21 favorite episodes. They form a nice survey and reminder of the best moments in the series. You can find the full list here, at Entertainment Weekly. It includes:
“Baelor” (Season 1, Episode 9)
“Blackwater” (Season 2, Episode 9)
Written by George R.R. Martin, it was the show’s first big battle.
“And Now His Watch Is Ended” (Season 3, Episode 4)
We see the emergence of Ramsay Bolton as a major villain.
“The Laws of Gods and Men” (Season 4, Episode 6)
The one with Tyrion’s trial.
“The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5)
“Hold the door.”
“The Queen’s Justice” (Season 7, Episode 3)
Lady Olenna tells Jaime who murdered Joffrey.