The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: Yellowjackets Season Finale, John Cena’s


You know what’s fun? John Cena playing a superhero bro is fun. Get your empty-headed laughs today by checking out Peacemaker on HBO Max, a new spin-off of The Suicide Squad starring Cena as a guy who’s willing to get really violent to bring about peace. The potty-mouthed series — check out our full review — is perfect for fans of The Boys. If that’s not your thing, assemble your own squad of super TV shows and movies from the rest of our picks for this week, including the series finale of The Expanse, the season finale of Yellowjackets, the great new indie comedy Somebody Somewhere, and Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth.

Our list of editors’ picks for the week of Jan. 13-19 is below, but if that’s not enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.

THE BEST SHOW TO WATCH TONIGHT

John Cena, Peacemaker

John Cena, Peacemaker

HBO Max

Peacemaker

Series premiere Thursday, Jan. 13 on HBO Max
John Cena brings his The Suicide Squad DC Comics character Peacemaker — a buff guy who wants peace so badly he’s willing to be extremely violent about it — to the small screen, with James Gunn writing all the episodes (it was a COVID “fun” project for him) and directing five of them. If you saw the surprisingly great The Suicide Squad (not to be confused with but of course it’s going to be confused with the dud Suicide Squad), you know this has a chance to be really good, with Gunn riding the gross-out humor of The Suicide Squad into an origin tale of the best character from the film who wasn’t a walking weasel. Joining Cena are Steve Agee, Danielle Brooks, and Robert Patrick. Read our full review of Peacemaker here. –Tim Surette [TRAILER]

THE BEST SHOWS AND MOVIES TO WATCH THIS WEEK

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Apple TV+

The Tragedy of Macbeth 

Friday, Jan. 14 on Apple TV+
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand star in this much-anticipated adaptation of Shakespeare’s Scottish play. It’s the first solo film from a Coen brother — McDormand’s husband Joel directs, adapts, and produces along with her. If you love art movies, there’s not much else that needs to be said to get you to watch this. I mean, it’s Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand as Lord and Lady Macbeth. It feels historic. The Tragedy of Macbeth has been making the film festival rounds for months and been in select theaters since Christmas, but Jan. 14 will be when most people will be able to finally see it in all its black-and-white, Expressionist glory. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER]

Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Expanse

Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Expanse

Shane Mahood/Amazon Studios

The Expanse

Series finale premieres Friday, Jan. 14 on Amazon Prime Video
The show Jeff Bezos saved from cancellation is coming to an end for good this time, with a finale that concludes the complex sci-fi tale of the war between the different factions in the colonized solar system. It’s hard to imagine how the show is going to wrap everything up by the end of the show, considering how many storylines are still in play, but at least the finale is a supersized episode. The novels on which the series is based continue on past where the show is ending, so maybe if enough people watch the finale, Bezos will find some change between the seats on his rocket ship and give it a seventh season? Not likely, but he could make it happen if he wanted to. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER] 

Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Dina Shihabi, Archive 81

Quantrell D. Colbert/Netflix

Archive 81

Series premiere Friday, Jan. 14 on Netflix
Beware of the haunted videotape! This horror series — which is based on a fiction podcast of the same — follows a video archivist, Dan (Mamadou Athie), as he takes on a peculiar gig restoring tapes that were damaged in a fire 25 years earlier. The tapes were made by a documentary filmmaker named Melody (Dina Shihabi) who was investigating a bizarre cult that was based in a New York City apartment building. As Dan watches the tapes, he gets obsessed with finding out what happened to Melody — and becomes convinced he can save her. It’s a supernatural spine-tingler with a fantastic organ-driven score by Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow, who previously collaborated on the music for Alex Garland projects including Annihilation. They do great work. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER]  

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan: The Movie

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan: The Movie

Cara Howe/SHOWTIME

Ray Donovan: The Movie

Friday, Jan. 14 at 9/8c on Showtime
After being unceremoniously, honestly kinda disrespectfully canceled in early 2020 after the Season 7 finale, Ray Donovan is returning for the send-off the Boomer-beloved crime drama deserves. The movie, co-written by showrunner David Hollander and Ray Donovan himself (Liev Schreiber), picks up where Season 7 left off, with Ray trying to find his incorrigible criminal father Mickey (Jon Voight) and stop him once and for all. It also weaves in formative stories from Ray’s childhood, with younger Mickey played by Bill Heck. Depending on your age, you should either call your father or your son after you watch this and tell him you’re grateful you’re not Donovans. -Liam Mathews [TRAILER]

Sophie Nelisse and Ella Purnell, Yellowjackets

Sophie Nelisse and Ella Purnell, Yellowjackets

Kailey Schwerman/SHOWTIME

Yellowjackets

Season 1 finale Sunday, Jan. 16 at 10/9c on Showtime
When Yellowjackets premiered in November 2021 and seized our attention with its brutal premise (think Lost meets Lord of the Flies), some wondered if the Showtime thriller could end as explosively as it began. The answer is a resounding yes. This series about a high school girls’ soccer team stranded in the wilderness for 19 months after a horrific plane crash packs twisty punches at every turn, with one of the biggest shocks taking place at the start of its most recent Episode 9. The finale airs Jan. 16, and you can expect more of what has made the ominous drama a true gem this winter season: riveting performances by a dynamic cast playing teen and adult versions of the soccer players, and key developments to an intricate plot with two timelines each with their own set of dark mysteries. -Kat Moon [TRAILER]

Bridget Everett, Somebody Somewhere

Bridget Everett, Somebody Somewhere

HBO

Somebody Somewhere

Series premiere Sunday, Jan. 16 on HBO, HBO Max
Comedian Bridget Everett stars in this indie-com about a woman named Sam learning to find herself in Kansas after the untimely death of her sister. But it’s not a sad show! In fact, Somebody Somewhere is about relishing the joys of friendship, expressing yourself, and embracing what makes you unique, but in that weird way that the choir club at high school used to do. Everett’s chemistry with Sam’s new BFF Joel (Jeff Hiller) is going to be a highlight of 2022. Plus there’s fart jokes and party invitations written on ketchup packets. What’s not to like? -Tim Surette [TRAILER]

Chris Lowell and Hillary Duff, How I Met Your Father

Chris Lowell and Hillary Duff, How I Met Your Father

Patrick Wymore/Hulu

How I Met Your Father

Series premiere Tuesday, Jan. 18 on Hulu
We all have regrets. This is Hulu’s. The somewhat ballyhooed and even more feared spiritual successor of How I Met Your Mother is here, gender-swapped with Hillary Duff on the hunt for the father of her children, as told by future Hillary Duff (Kim Cattrall) via videophone conference with her off-screen son in 2050. Yep, you read that right. There’s no Barney Stinson, but there is a posh British guy with a six-pack. The original cast’s overbearing whiteness has been diversified with a multicultural kaleidoscope of friends. There are, in 2022, dated jokes about NYC subways and Tinder dates, which the guy pressing the laugh track buttons loves. And there’s the very hammy premise of figuring out which guy we meet in the pilot is el padre. Aside from those polishes on the outside, How I Met Your Father retains the spirit of the original, for better or worse, even throwing in some HIMYM easter eggs. If you’re still a fan of HIMYM, then you might dig this, or it’s just a check-in for the extremely curious. Everyone else, take a pass. -Tim Surette [TRAILER]

Too Hot to Handle

Too Hot to Handle

Tom Dymond/Netflix

Too Hot to Handle

Season 3 available Wednesday, Jan. 19 on Netflix
This might be hard to hear, but you need to know: Too Hot to Handle is on its third season. And it’s only released one season per calendar year. When I first read the words “Too Hot to Handle Season 3,” I thought for sure we were dealing with another Queer Eye situation, and Netflix was just churning out reality TV seasons at a pace that would make executives swan dive into a Scrooge McDuck money pit. But the first season of Too Hot to Handle dropped in April 2020, followed by Season 2 in June 2021, meaning we’ve actually just been in this pandemic long enough for three full seasons of the worst-best bad show to watch during a pandemic. A Netflix reality series about hot people…



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