6 things you have to watch on TV this weekend

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Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent
Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent

Welcome to the weekend edition of What’s On. Here are the big things happening on TV from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15. All times are Eastern. [Note: The weekly What’s On will publish on Sundays.]

1. Sparks fly between Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes

Friday, Apple TV+, 12:01 a.m.: In The Essex Serpent, Claire Danes leads her first post-Homeland TV show alongside the MCU’s erstwhile Loki, Tom Hiddleston. The Victorian-era drama follows Danes’ wealthy widow, Cora Seaborne, who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical serpent and forms a bond with a local married pastor, Hiddleston’s Will Ransome. When tragedies begin to strike, the locals accuse Cora of attracting this mystical monster to their town. In his review, David Cote writes:

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If you haven’t read Perry’s bestselling 2016 novel, on which the series is based, you will stew in amiable suspense for its well-paced six episodes. Is there a supernatural beast—or living dinosaur—out there in the water? Will Cora and Will give in to their obvious attraction? And if not, will she default to the flirty and swaggering Dr. Garrett? And what of her attachment to her brusque socialist maid, Martha (Hayley Squires): Is it platonic or something more?

2. Prime Video revives the iconic sketch comedy series The Kids In The Hall

Friday, Prime Video, 12:01 a.m.: After nearly three decades, Canadian comedy series The Kids In The Hall returns for eight episodes worth of fresh sketches from the beloved comedy troupe, which consists of Mark McKinney, Dave Foley, Kevin McDonald, Bruce McCulloch, and Scott Thompson. Keep an eye out for The A.V. Club’s interview with Foley and McDonald this week.

3. Showtime’s oddly soothing reality docuseries returns

Friday, Showtime, 8 p.m.: Couples Therapy offers an intimate look into the lives of those sitting on Dr. Orna Guralnik’s couch as they open up about their personal and romantic lives. It sounds depressing and intense, but it’s actually quite relaxing and realistic, mostly due to Guralnik’s sincere approach with her patients. Season three will follow four new couples and air two episodes each week until the finale on June 10.

4. Selena Gomez takes over SNL

Saturday, NBC, 11:29 p.m.: Well, technically it’s Selena Gomez and Post Malone taking the reins at SNL this week. Only Murders In The Building star Gomez will pop over from the fictional Arconia to the real Studio 8H to host, while Post Malone will serve as the musical guest. Fingers crossed for cameos from Gomez’s hilarious Murders co-stars Steve Martin and Martin Short, right? In the meantime, enjoy an earlier SNL sketch in which Gomez spoofs The Bachelor franchise.

5. Another Sally Rooney adaptation drops to emotionally ruin you

Sunday, Hulu, 12:01 a.m.: Still feeling the hangover from Normal People, one of our recommended shows to stream on Hulu? In that case, the next Sally Rooney adaptation will tide you over. Conversations With Friends follows best pals and occasional lovers Frances (Alison Oliver) and Bobbi (Sasha Lane), who become entangled with a married couple, played by Joe Alwyn and Jemima Kirke. Season one consists of 12 episodes dropping in their entirety on May 15. In his review, Manuel Betancourt writes:

It’s no surprise the series feels most electric when it forgoes dialogue altogether. Sequences where Frances anxiously checks her phone for a lone text from Nick, or when she fidgets with her hair when she knows she’s being watched truly become ordinary moments weighted with outsized emotions.

6. The Lincoln Lawyer brings on the background noise

Friday, Netflix, 3:01 a.m.: It’s not as entertaining at the Matthew McConaughey film, but David E. Kelley’s adaptation of the Michael Connelly novel works just fine as cleaning-your-pad accompaniment. As stated in The A.V. Club’s review, if you’re looking for a tedious legal drama that reminds you of early 2000s network TV, this is it.

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