Where: CBC Gem (Canada), Netflix worldwide What: Series, 10 episodes, 25 mins. When: Now Genre: Comedy Why you should watch: Based loosely on real events, Fakes is uproariously funny as it follows two Vancouver-based teenaged best friends becoming the best fake ID purveyors in North America. The show delights in shirking an authoritatively reliable narrative in favour of two unreliable narrators endlessly outbidding each other for the right to truth. The two leads have stunning chemistry, pitch-perfect comedic timing and hilarious physical comedy.
Where: Crave What: Series, 10 episodes When: Now; new episodes every Sunday Genre: Fantasy Why you should watch: Much of the team that produced Game of Thrones turned to another George R. R. Martin novel. This one’s a prequel to GoT and the dragon-drenched result should please any fan of the original. Set 200 years earlier than the original, House Targaryen rules all with only succession issues capable of felling its rein. Sex, blood, sensational scenarios and oh-so-many dragons. Should be a hit.
Where: Prime Video What: Series, 9 episodes, 60 mins. When: Now; new episodes Thursdays Genre: Fantasy Why you should watch: Like a gentle cousin to the blood and lust-drenched House of the Dragon, Lord of the Rings also drops a hungrily awaited prequel, and it too delivers classic elements of its brand. Lots of wonder, romantic notions, romance (but no sex), weird and wonderful creatures, medieval-gone-mad warfare, fantastical lands — and thank gawd for the jolly li’l hobbits to leaven the scary stuff. A satisfying reboot.
Where: Disney+ What: Series, 9 episodes, 35 mins. When: Now; new episodes every Thursday Genre: Comic book, comedy-drama Why you should watch: Canadian Tatiana Maslany has perfect tone in this campy series about an attorney whose cousin, Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk), accidentally turns her into a Hulk. She has no interest in superhero-ing, but you know how that goes. Funny and smart like the show, Mark Ruffalo is a great regular guest trying to teach cuz the ways of Hulking. She maintains women are expert at controlling anger, so not a problem. Tons of clever fun.
Where: Prime Video What: Series, 8 episodes, 45 mins. When: Now Genre: Drama, sci-fi Why you should watch: Strong lead performances propel this Freaky Friday-meets-Stranger Things series as four 12-year-old paper girls get time-travel launched from 1988 to present day Cleveland, with a ricochet into the ’90s — all while pursued by mysterious bad guys. Lots of complexity as they meet their older selves, wrestle with new technologies and the whole ethics of manipulating the future. Refreshing fun.
Where: Netflix What: Miniseries, 3 episodes, 50 mins. When: Now Genre: Documentary Why you should watch: This series takes a deeper, more satisfying look at the infamous festival fiasco than 2021’s, Woodstock 99: Peace, Love and Rage. The doc makers don’t just point aghast at the unhinged proceedings but try to understand why and how it happened — hint, ’90s bro culture doesn’t come out looking too good. While it’s suggested the lineup itself was the cause, it becomes clear that bad planning — and greed — helped fuel the fires at Woodstock ’99.
Where: Apple TV+ What: Series, 10 episodes, 60 mins. When: Now; new episodes every Friday Genre: Drama, mystery Why you should watch: Four Irish sisters agonize as their fifth sister is married to a cruel, controlling and belittling man so loathsome he makes insurance claim investigators almost sympathetic. A very strong cast propels this drama that has insightfully comic moments. Opening in present day as said “prick” has died, it uses flashbacks to examine how he died and if someone, possibly one of the sisters, killed him. Classic, high-quality Apple TV+ production.
Where: Prime Video What: Movie, 101 mins. When: Now Genre: Superhero, action Why you should watch: Unremarkable but entertaining update on the classic reluctant-hero trope. Sylvester Stallone stars as a man running from his past and forced to confront it by a well-meaning kid who believes in him as he eventually is made to be a hero again. Stallone satisfyingly plays the troubled, mumbling ex-superhero who’s convinced, despite his resistance, to fight bad guys one more time. While the story’s familiar, a superhero flick not part of a franchise is unique.
Where: Netflix What: Movie, 82 mins. When: Now Genre: Documentary Why you should watch: Beloved Canadian superstar Shania Twain gets an inspiring doc that will leave fans loving her even more. With no easy path to superstardom, Twain comes across as incredibly hard-working, driven and determined in her clear vision for herself. Lionel Richie, Avril Lavigne, Diplo and Orville Peck (among others) join in justly celebrating the star and her influence. There’s also some great vintage footage of Twain, including as a teen performer.
Where: Apple TV+ What: Miniseries, 8 episodes, 48 mins. When: Now; new episodes Fridays Genre: Fact-based drama Why you should watch: With the same revelatory intensity as Dopesmart and Chernobyl, Five Days is powered by “what happens next” adrenaline even though we know what happens. Action and aftermath shots make the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating impact on New Orleans and a Big Easy hospital horrifically real while frontline workers are faced with impossible moral dilemmas.
Where: Netflix What: Series, 8 episodes, 30 mins. When: Now Genre: Dramady Why you should watch: Raw and real story of aspiring Miami-based rap artist who recruits friend to join her duo largely to leverage pal’s OnlyFans following to boost her own music’s profile as she struggles to make conscious rap. The show inventively uses Instagram Live stories — with running comments — FaceTime plus phone and web cam footage for much of the action adding to Rap Shit’s authenticity. The first season of this funny and smart series has just landed.
Where: CBC TV, CBC GEM What: Series, 8 episodes, 20 mins. When: Fri., Sept. 23, then weekly on CBC TV, 8:30 pm; stream all on CBC GEM enre: Variety, interview Why you should watch: Colombian-Canadian musician Lido Pimiento’s edgy hybrid variety-interview show that’s part Pee Wee’s Playhouse, part sketch comedy and part progressive 60 Minutes — with performances and special guests thrown in. Each week, Pimiento and her pseudo-Playhouse puppet pals look at themes like colonialism, feminism and beauty.
What: Series, 8 episodes, 60 mins. Where: Prime Video When: Now Genre: Drama Why should watch: A successful remake of a beloved 30-year-old movie that manages to update a film set in the ’40s. While successfully embracing the underdog energy of the original, this remake addresses issues of race and has lots more lesbians. A Black player is introduced and denied a spot on the Peaches while Latinx players battle racism. There’s plenty of interplayer romance and complexity in a series that gently refurbishes the original League.