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TV Guide Magazine

TV Guide Magazine May 25, 2020

TV Guide Magazine tells you what’s worth watching. With its unparalleled access and authority, it's the only publication devoted exclusively to television. It includes celebrity interviews, in-depth previews, sneak peeks and authoritative reviews from critic Matt Roush.

United States
TV Guide Magazine, LLC
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26 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
america’s top tv critic matt roush answers your burning questions

I’m really enjoying Showtime’s Penny Dreadful: City of Angels—especially Natalie Dormer, whom I’ve been a fan of since Game of Thrones. However, I tried watching a few episodes of the original Penny Dreadful series, and this seems very different not just in terms of characters but also in tone and premise. I’m concerned the nature of the new show might be too different to draw in fans of the original, but potential new fans may be hesitant to watch due to the name association. Do you think this could affect opinions? —Marissa MATT ROUSH: These two Pennys could hardly be more different. While Dormer is terrific in her various guises as the evil shape-shifting demon stirring up mayhem in 1930s Los Angeles, I’m finding the supernatural elements of City of Angels…

2 min.
love life

SERIES PREMIERE Wednesday, May 27, HBO Max WHERE’S CARRIE BRADSHAW when a single girl in the big city could really use her help figuring out love, sex and a series of messy relationships? Instead of perky Sarah Jessica Parker posing the big questions, the romantic highs and lows of Darby Carter (a luminous Anna Kendrick)—the sympathetic subject of the first season of Love Life—are narrated in the plummy tones of Lesley Manville (PBS’s World on Fire). Her omniscient perspective is designed to comfort, even at Darby’s nadir: “It will all happen for her,” we’re assured, “just not the way she thinks it will.” If the course of made-for-TV love ran smoothly, there would be little incentive to watch. And there are plenty of reasons to fall for Love Life, a romantic-comedy anthology launching…

1 min.

SERIES PREMIERE Monday, May 25, 9/8c, National Geographic MADNESS AND MISERY await settlers braving the woods of late-17th-century Wobik, New France (in present-day Quebec) in this exceedingly grim historical drama, adapted from a sliver of the sprawling Annie Proulx novel. Emphasizing cultural conflict among the warring French, English and native Iroquois rather than the book’s ecological concerns, the handsomely produced Barkskins becomes a grueling but routine melodrama of corruption, savagery and betrayal. Only David Thewlis (Fargo) brings much life to the saga, as an eccentric landowner with visions of building a “sky table” atop the trees for his calculating young bride, imported from France. (If only he had factored in the wrath of the mixed-race companion who bore him a son.) Intrigue escalates when Hamish Goames (Aneurin Barnard), an intense agent of the…

1 min.

SEASON PREMIERE Friday, May 29, Hulu UPON WINNING a Golden Globe for best comedy actor, a surprised Ramy Youssef blurted in his January acceptance speech, “Look, I know you guys haven’t seen my show.” Hopefully, that will change for the boldly seriocomic second season of Ramy. A rare series that takes religion seriously without being self-righteous, Ramy travels the rocky road toward Muslim enlightenment for the fictionalized Ramy Hassan (Youssef). Though well-meaning, the scruffy slacker tries too hard, and often fails, to please his mentor, a serene New Jersey sheikh played with wry authority by Mahershala Ali. Ramy’s family (mom, dad, sister, uncle) each contend with their own identity crises in this rich portrait of an underexplored culture.…

1 min.

SEASON PREMIERE Friday, May 22, Prime Video THE LESS SAID the better about the myriad mysteries unfolding within the mesmerizing second season of Homecoming. Disorientation is the point, and also the device that propels us back into the sinister corporate world of the Geist Group. The Hitchcockian opening episode—most clock in around a brisk 30 minutes—introduces an understandably panicked Janelle Monáe (Hidden Figures) as a Jane Doe who awakens alone in a rowboat in the middle of a lake. There are echoes of the 2000 cult film Memento as she follows clues that suggest she isn’t who she appears to be. Her suspenseful search for answers leads to Geist, a wellness company that, in the first season, was discovered to be developing a memory-erasing drug for soldiers with PTSD. Is Monáe a victim…

3 min.
tag, you’re it!

REMEMBER PLAYING TAG as a kid—the rush of chasing your friends, reaching out and finally grabbing them? CrossFit trainer Brooke Ence, 30, is feeling that exhilaration again on Fox’s new series Ultimate Tag, where the game is played on a supersize field jammed with obstacles. NFL stars and brothers JJ, TJ and Derek Watt host, and she and 17 other pros act as the competition’s resident taggers. “We basically get in [the players’] way,” explains Ence, who earned her show nickname “The Boss” due to her entrepreneurial spirit (she created ENCEwear apparel and the workout app Naked Training). Every round features a team of taggers set to take the contenders down as they try to make it through the course without getting pinched. If caught, the players face a penalty, like having…