It's a good week for thieves, mobsters, and vigilantes on television, as several of the best shows and movies to watch this week involve people who skirt the law, all for our entertainment. Thank you, rule breakers! AMC has the brutally violent gang drama Gangs of London, The CW is giving us a Chinese-American vigilante in Kung Fu, and Netflix has its most intriguing true-crime docuseries in a while in This Is a Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist. Other picks feature a retired Yakuza boss, a tough-as-nails woman, and a notoriously hard-drinking legend. Put on your big boy pants, because this is not a week for the weak.
Our list of editors' picks for the week of April 4-10 is below, but if that's not enough and you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, check out our picks for last week or sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, as well as our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.
U.S. series premiere Sunday at 10/9c on AMC
One of the greatest martial arts action flicks of all time is Gareth Evans' The Raid (sadly not streaming anywhere), an Indonesian bruiser capitalizing on the lax OSHA laws and gutsy stuntmen of Southeast Asia. Evans brings that brutality to his new-ish British gang drama, a mostly standard, sprawling show about power and those contesting it in the criminal underworld, with the difference from others of its ilk being the excellent action sequences featuring limbs bending in awkward ways. Seriously, the fights are balletic. The series came out almost a year ago in the U.K. and more recently as an exclusive in the States on the premium streamer AMC+, but it makes its "free" debut this weekend. [TRAILER]
Minieries premieres Monday at 8/7c on PBS
Ken Burns could make a 20-hour documentary about a napkin and it would be one of the most compelling things you've ever watched. Thankfully the subject of his latest series is much more fascinating. The man behind Baseball, The Civil War, and The National Parks: America's Best Idea gives the slideshow treatment to legendary author Ernest Hemingway in this three-part, six-hour miniseries that looks beyond the myth and into the man. [TRAILER]
Miniseries premieres Wednesday at 9/8c on HBO, HBO Max
Sure, anyone can roll a camera, scream "cut," and call themselves a filmmaker, but Raoul Peck is a FILMMAKER. Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) re-edits the history books in this stunning four-episode series that dances between dramatized history and documentary, exploring colonialism, racism, and exploitation in ways that spotlight the truth that America and the world has largely chosen to ignore. It's going to make you uncomfortable, and it should; growth and progress isn't always easy, but it is necessary. [TRAILER]
Series premieres Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW
In The CW's Kung Fu — partially inspired by the early-'70s David Carradine series — Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang) takes the term "quarter-life crisis" to the next level when pressure from her mother to find a suitable husband and settle down pushes her to run away to a Shaolin monastery in China. She hides out for three years, learning Kung Fu and sorting herself out, but when Nicky's mentor is murdered by a mysterious assassin, she is forced to return to her family in San Francisco to put back together the pieces of the life she left behind. The show is the first broadcast hour-long drama with a majority Asian cast, which is extraordinary, but the most intriguing thing about Kung Fu is how the series blends a lot of genres together. It's part action-adventure, part family drama, and, of course, part romance. Nicky is a relatable protagonist who is a bit of a mess in her mid 20s (aren't we all?), and it's a good time to follow her on this adventure, where you never know what's going to happen next. -Megan Vick [TRAILER]
Series available Wednesday on Netflix
In 1990, two men posing as police officers robbed Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of $500 million in art. Over 30 years later, none of that work has been recovered, and the case remains unsolved. That infamous art theft is the subject of this gripping four-part true crime docuseries, which digs into the mystery of who took those paintings and where they are now. The series also promises some juicy mafia drama, because it's Boston. -Kelly Connolly [TRAILER]
Series premieres Thursday at 10/9c on ABC
If you're going to make a show about a tough woman, you'd better cast the right tough woman to play said tough woman. Give ABC's casting department a gold star for hiring Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy) to star in this hourlong drama that's loosely based on the life of Erin Brockovich (who also serves as executive producer). Sagal plays Annie "Rebel" Bello, a law advocate who champions causes she believes in with relentless pursuit instead of a law degree. Krista Vernoff, who took over running Grey's Anatomy, created the series, so expect some juicy drama in addition to all the ball-busting. Andy Garcia and John Corbett also star. [TRAILER]
Season 1 available Thursday on Netflix
Anime is a world without limits, and it's found a new nook and cranny with The Way of the Househusband, an adaptation of the comedy manga about a formerly feared Yakuza boss who leaves a life of crime to become a stay-at-home dad. He still brings the mafia intensity to everyday chores, though, whether he's making bento boxes for his daughter's school day or screaming at the Roomba to clean up the corner of the room. Wacky good times. [TRAILER]