The Best Shows and Movies to Watch This Week: HBO’s The Undoing, Season 2 of The Mandalorian

A new week is upon us, which means we have a new list of the best shows and movies to watch on television. Now, we could just tell you to watch the latest show to drop on Netflix, but where is the fun in that? Plus, we have a separate story telling you all about the best shows and movies on Netflix this week. So instead of simply repeating ourselves, we’re focusing our attention elsewhere this week. To be precise, this is the time to tune into network television, which is slowly coming back, as well as public broadcasting and maybe even a little-seen network known as Sundance. 

Our full list of editors’ picks for the week are below, but if this isn’t 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, or check out the best shows and movies in October on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.

The Undoing

Series premiere Sunday at 9/8c on HBO
The two villains of the delightful Paddington films have teamed up for HBO’s latest limited series. The Undoing is a slow-burn mystery that follows a wealthy couple, Grace (Nicole Kidman) and Jonathan Fraser (Hugh Grant), whose lives are upended after a violent death leads to a chain of terrible revelations. As the episodes progress, the series, which was created and written by David E. Kelley and directed by Susanne Bier, peels away Grace’s layers as she struggles with her own grip on reality. Now, I can’t say for certain, but I don’t think any marmalade-loving bears make an appearance, which is rather unfortunate.


Season 2 premiere Tuesday on HBO Max
This charming BBC sitcom from the comedy team behind Yonderland and Horrible Histories snuck onto HBO Max unnoticed at launch, but despite the fact that it’s about the dead, it’s an escape from the world’s dreariness. It follows a group of ghosts — all from different eras across history, the standout being a pantsless MP who died during an affair in the early ’90s — who occupy a British countryside mansion and try to drive the new owners out, like Beetlejuice. But when one of the new owners starts to see them, everything changes. What makes the show really worth watching is its zany mix of dark humor and heart, peppering emotional stories about these ghosts’ pasts into outlandish supernatural situations. Each season is six episodes long, and they whiz on by.

This Is Us

Season 5 premiere Tuesday at 9/8c on NBC
This Is Us returns with a two-hour premiere this week, which means twice as many tears as we celebrate the Big Three’s 40th birthdays. We are dying to know how, in the present timeline, the Pearsons are coping after Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) explosive fight in the Season 4 finale, when Kevin said Randall’s adoption was the worst thing that ever happened to him. If the boys aren’t on speaking terms, it will make for an even more tense season, with Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Toby (Chris Sullivan) looking into adopting a second child and Rebecca’s (Mandy Moore) health continuing to deteriorate. –Megan Vick

Nature: Australian Bushfire Rescue

Wednesday at 8/7c on PBS
The Western United States continues to burn in what has been a record-breaking and disastrous wildfire season. But destructive wildfires aren’t unique to the U.S., and PBS’s newest Nature documentary digs into the recent Australian bushfires to focus on some of the heroic men and women who dedicated themselves to rescuing and caring for animals who were affected by the particularly intense fires that engulfed large areas of the beautiful island continent during the Black Summer. I can’t promise you won’t cry, but there is a sense of hope to the proceedings.


Season 6 premiere Thursday at 8/7c on NBC
America Ferrera is back for not just one but two episodes of Superstore‘s sixth season, which kicks off with an episode centered around COVID-19 delaying Amy’s (Ferrera) move to California to begin her new corporate job. The episode rightfully pokes fun at the hoarding of toilet paper that happened early in the pandemic, and then continues to jump through time, revealing how everyone at Cloud 9 has been coping with the chaotic year that has been 2020. In less capable hands, this could have been a clunky disaster, but Superstore continues to be on-point.

Deutschland 89

Season 3 premiere Thursday at 11/10c on Sundance
The third and final season of one of the best international series in recent memory (technically it’s a co-production between Germany and the U.S.), and one of our favorite spy series ever, picks up after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This time, the world is in a new place, and Martin (Jonas Nay) is forced to reinvent himself once more. He is pursued by Western spy agencies as well as the KGB, but he remains determined to finish his final job for his new and mysterious superiors after going undercover to infiltrate a terror cell. This makes it sounds like a cold, serious thriller, but the Deutschland series is stylish and humorous as well. 

The Mandalorian

Season 2 Premiere Friday on Disney+
The fan-favorite Star Wars series is finally back to offer a much-needed escape from 2020, but as Mando (Pedro Pascal) sets out to learn more about Baby Yoda, aka The Child, in an attempt to reunite it with the Jedi who might be able to keep it safe, he also has to face off against his fair share of dangerous enemies. Lest we forget, Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) is still out there, and he is in possession of the black-bladed lightsaber known as the Darksaber. Basically, this season looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun. (Here’s what else we know about what to expect from Season 2.)

Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide’s Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.

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