Weekly Shots: Our Picks For This Weekend

Prepare for an exciting lineup of television programming this weekend, featuring historical figures, beloved actors, and unique storylines. From late-night laughs to intense dramas, here’s what you won’t want to miss from Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14, all times Eastern.

“Suzume” (Makoto Shinkai)

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Makoto Shinkai’s “Suzume” taps into the Japanese zeitgeist, blending teenage angst with the nation’s trauma from frequent natural disasters. The story follows Suzume on a quest to close mystical portals that could unleash calamities, symbolizing the heavy burdens often shouldered by the young. At age 50, Shinkai continues to resonate with youthful audiences, skillfully merging fantastical elements with deeply emotional themes. Despite some CGI missteps with the Worms, his signature detailed backgrounds and vibrant visuals enrich the narrative. Modern touches like social media integrate seamlessly, highlighting the tension between traditional heritage and contemporary life. “Suzume” not only entertains but also reflects on the resilience needed to face and heal from past traumas.


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On Apple TV+ starting this Friday at 12:01 a.m., “Franklin” stars Michael Douglas as Benjamin Franklin in a gripping series that chronicles his crucial diplomatic mission in France. Adapted from Stacy Schiff’s celebrated biography, this series is not merely about political maneuvers; it’s a profound exploration of Franklin’s personal and public life during a tumultuous period. As Franklin and his grandson William, played by Noah Jupe, navigate the intricacies of the French aristocracy and Enlightenment thinkers, viewers are treated to a masterful depiction of strategy and diplomacy. This series blends historical richness with compelling narrative, ensuring an engaging viewing experience across its nine-episode arc.

Streaming on Apple TV+

“The Sympathizer”

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Directed by Park Chan-Wook and co-created alongside Robert Downey Jr., who also takes on multiple roles, “The Sympathizer” is a gripping adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The series introduces viewers to the complex world of the Captain, portrayed by Hoa Xuande. As a North Vietnamese spy, he seamlessly integrates into a South Vietnamese refugee community in the United States, navigating the dualities of loyalty and identity amidst the cultural and political upheaval of post-war America. The narrative’s depth is enriched by the Captain’s challenging mission and the personal conflicts it provokes, set against the broader backdrop of his community’s struggle to find peace and identity in a new land. Premiering this Sunday on HBO and Max, with subsequent episodes released weekly, the series promises a deep exploration of espionage, betrayal, and the quest for belonging.

Streaming on HBO and Max on Sunday

“Saturday Night Live”

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Ryan Gosling takes the stage at “Saturday Night Live” this Saturday at 11:30 p.m. on NBC, bringing his charm and comic timing to the venerable sketch show. Gosling, promoting his latest film “The Fall Guy,” is known for his memorable sketches that often go viral. Alongside musical guest Chris Stapleton, expect an evening filled with sharp wit and possibly a musical skit that could become the talk of the town. Gosling’s presence on SNL has historically led to some of the show’s most entertaining moments, and his third hosting gig is poised to deliver more of the same high-energy comedy.

Saturday on NBC and on Peacock next day.

“Strange Way Of Life” (Pedro Almodóvar)

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Netflix brings the evocative world of Pedro Almodóvar to global audiences with the premiere of “Strange Way Of Life” this Friday at 3:01 a.m. This short film, starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke, explores the reuniting of two former lovers in a Western setting, providing a fresh narrative twist to Almodóvar’s thematic focus on passion and destiny. The film, initially showcased at Cannes, mixes traditional Western elements with a poignant romantic storyline, making it a must-see for fans of Almodóvar’s work and those looking for a deeply human story set against the stark backdrop of the desert.

Streaming on Netflix

“The Greatest Hits” (Ned Benson)

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“The Greatest Hits” offers a unique spin on romantic comedies with its intriguing time-travel premise. Lucy Boynton plays Harriet, who discovers she can travel back in time through music, reliving moments of her past relationships. This capability presents Harriet with the temptation to alter the past, particularly to prevent a tragedy involving her former boyfriend. The film delves into the implications of time travel on personal history and relationships, presenting a compelling narrative that explores the ethical dilemmas and emotional complexities involved in changing what has already happened.

Streaming on Hulu

Animated Reboot of “Good Times”

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Netflix’s reboot of the classic sitcom “Good Times,” debuting this Friday at 3:01 a.m., transforms the original into an animated series that aims to resonate with both new viewers and longtime fans. Produced by notable figures such as Seth MacFarlane and Stephen Curry, the series reimagines the Evans family’s life in a Chicago housing project with a modern twist. The animated format allows for a vibrant and exaggerated expression of the show’s themes, making it an engaging watch. The voice cast, including Jay Pharoah and Yvette Nicole Brown, brings a new dimension to these beloved characters, ensuring the show remains relevant while honoring its roots.

Streaming on Netflix

Wrapping Up

This weekend’s TV schedule is packed with shows that cater to a wide range of tastes—from historical dramas and comedic performances to innovative film narratives and nostalgic reboots. Whether you’re a fan of serious drama, comedy, or romantic escapades, these selections promise to keep you entertained and engaged.

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