Two critical favorites that have had looong hiatuses return to screens this week as Netflix’s Russian Doll (which has been away for more than three years) and HBO’s Barry (just under three years) begin new seasons. The next seven days also feature the finale of one of the season’s breakout shows, CBS’ Ghosts, the second season debut of The Flight Attendant on HBO Max and an Apple TV+ docuseries about Magic Johnson.
Below is The Young Gazzate‘s rundown of premieres, returns and specials from April 20-26. It would be next to impossible to watch everything, but let THR point the way to worthy options for the coming week. All times are ET/PT unless noted.
The Big Show
Russian Doll sent its lead character, Nadia (Natasha Lyonne, who also co-created the series) on a mind-bending time-loop journey in its first season. Season two, which comes three years and two months later, still plays with time — but more in the time travel sense as Nadia slips in and out of the past. Nothing in this season is quite as compulsively entertaining as the first season’s recurring fatalities,” writes THR critic Daniel Fienberg. “But coming as close as this season does to recapturing, without shamelessly reproducing, the satisfying difficulty of the first season is achievement enough.” Season two premieres Wednesday on Netflix.
Also on streaming …
Season two of The Flight Attendant (Thursday, HBO Max) features Sharon Stone in a recurring role and Kaley Cuoco playing multiple versions of her title character. Netflix’s second Conversations With a Killer installment (Wednesday) focuses on John Wayne Gacy. The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Thursday, Paramount+) reunites the cast from the 2001 season. True crime docuseries Captive Audience (Thursday, Hulu) tracks the abduction of Steven Stayner and the fallout for his family. Magic Johnson retraces his basketball career and life in They Call Me Magic (Friday, Apple TV+). Unscripted favorite Selling Sunset opens a new season Friday on Netflix. A Very British Scandal (Friday, Prime Video) — not to be confused with Netflix’s Anatomy of a Scandal — stars Claire Foy and Paul Bettany and dramatizes a well-known divorce case from the 1960s.
On cable …
Returning: It’s been a long time since Barry last ran on HBO, which means viewers may not have full recall of the varied characters who move through the hitman/aspiring actor’s (recent THR cover subject Bill Hader) life. Or, as THR critic Daniel Fienberg notes, maybe it won’t matter that much: “I’m not sure that various potential assassinations and discoveries matter all that much to me,” he writes. “But every performance is a treasure, nearly every piece of comic business is a delight and every undercurrent of sadness and remorse is earned.” Season three premieres at 10 p.m. Sunday on HBO.
Also: Gaslit (9 p.m. Sunday, Starz) boasts a star-studded cast — led by Julia Roberts and Sean Penn — telling a Watergate tale centered on Roberts’ Martha Mitchell, wife of Attorney General John Mitchell (Penn). Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in The Man Who Fell to Earth (10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime), an update of the cult 1976 film. Horror comedy The Baby follows Barry at 10:30 p.m. Sunday on HBO. On Monday, HBO debuts limited series We Own This City (9 p.m.), from The Wire’s David Simon and George Pelecanos, and season two of Gentleman Jack (10 p.m.).
On broadcast …
Finale: Ghosts has been one of the few breakout network shows this season, with a mix of fast-paced jokes and a big, warm heart to become an easy call for CBS to renew the series. The comedy ends its first season at 9 p.m. Thursday as Sam (Rose McIver) and Jay (Utkarsh Ambudkar) ready the house for their first official bed and breakfast guests — a situation complicated by having an ancient Norse curse placed on them.
Also: PBS shines an Earth Day spotlight on the Changing Planet (8 p.m. Wednesday). Also on PBS, Sanditon and Before We Die end their seasons at 9 and 10 p.m. Sunday. Tuesday brings the finales of Judge Steve Harvey (two episodes starting at 8 p.m.) and To Tell the Truth (10 p.m.) on ABC.