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Your Weekly Watch List

Ruth Wilson's TV Reign Continues in Showtime's The Woman in the Wall

Plus: Nicole Kidman leads Expats, Masters of the Air brings World War II drama to Apple, and more.
  • Ruth Wilson in The Woman in the Wall (Photo: Chris Barr/BBC/Paramount+ with Showtime)
    Ruth Wilson in The Woman in the Wall (Photo: Chris Barr/BBC/Paramount+ with Showtime)

    Looking for your next binge-watch, or just need to fill an hour? Welcome to Your Weekly Watch List, our curated collection of the best shows on television. Here's what to watch from Sunday, January 21 through Saturday, January 27.

    Everywhere you look, there's a big-name star taking over a TV drama this week. On Showtime, Ruth Wilson dazzles in The Woman in the Wall, while Nicole Kidman headlines Prime Video's Expats, and Austin Butler plays a World War II airman in Masters of the Air, a companion series to Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks' Band of Brothers. Plus, Sofía Vergara transforms into cartel leader Griselda Blanco in a new Netflix series — though you may not recognize her under layers of heavy makeup.

    The Woman in the Wall

    Sunday, 9:00 PM ET on Showtime (and streaming Friday, January 19 on Paramount+ with Showtime)
    *Our must-watch pick of the week

    Ruth Wilson proved her psychological drama bonafides long ago, but she's particularly captivating in The Woman in the Wall. The series, which originally aired on the BBC in August, stars Wilson as Lorna Brady, a quiet woman deeply affected by her experience in one of Ireland's Magdalene laundries, where she gave birth to a daughter, Agnes, at the age of 15. The baby was immediately taken away from Lorna; decades later, she still doesn't know what happened to Agnes, and she suffers from an extreme case of parasomnia as a result of the trauma.

    Lorna is already struggling to keep her sleepwalking in check, but when she awakes one morning to discover a body in her home — with no clue who the woman is, how she got there, or whether she's responsible for her death — she begins to unravel. Further complicating matters, Lorna soon finds herself at the center of another police probe, and as Detective Colman Akande (Daryl McCormack) investigates, he unearths secrets about Lorna's past (and his own), sending them on an unexpected collision course.

    Between Lorna's search for her daughter, the corpse in her home, and Colman's murder investigation, there's a lot going on in the six-episode drama, but creator Joe Murtagh brings these many storylines together in a way that's both emotionally resonant and narratively satisfying. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Wilson and McCormack are at the top of their game, with each turning out a powerful performance that reflects their characters' shared sense of loss. Their efforts cement Wilson's reputation as one of television's reigning dramatic actors — though McCormack, who also appeared in Apple's Bad Sisters, seems poised to carry on that title in the years ahead.


    Thursday, Netflix (Full Season)

    Yes, that's Sofía Vergara wearing Griselda's prosthetic nose and fake teeth. After a successful career as a comedy actress (turned America's Got Talent judge), Vergara pivots toward more dramatic material in a limited series inspired by the life of cartel leader Griselda Blanco. Known as "the Godmother," Griselda fled Colombia in the late 1970s and established a new business in Miami; in the years that followed, she developed a reputation as a ruthless operator willing to take down anyone who stood in her way. The series follows Griselda as she builds up her organization, which would become one of the most profitable cartels in history, but when she runs afoul of the powerful men who dominate the Miami drug trade, she must navigate a volatile landscape where allies become rivals at the drop of a hat.

    Vergara, who also executive produces, may be more familiar with comedic material, but she has veterans behind the scenes to guide her along this journey through the cartel world. Griselda is created by Narcos showrunner Eric Newman and directed by Andrés Baiz, and they lend their expertise to their latest project, blending high-stakes action (there's no shortage of shootouts and gruesome murders) with more grounded family drama. The combination of the two makes Griselda a supremely watchable crime drama, and at just six episodes, it's easy enough to speed through it over the weekend.


    Friday, Prime Video

    Expats' journey to the screen has been beset by controversy, but with so much talent on both sides of the camera, it remains one of the most anticipated releases of 2024. Adapted from Janice Y.K. Lee's novel The Expatriates by Lulu Wang (The Farewell), the Prime Video drama follows three American women living in 2014 Hong Kong. Each woman's experience is different — Margaret (Nicole Kidman) holds herself up as the perfect wife and mother; the wealthy Hilary (Sarayu Blue) struggles to keep her marriage afloat; and Mercy (Ji-young Yoo) hopes to find a fresh start after college — but when tragedy strikes, their lives become intertwined, and they're forced to confront their privilege and interrogate their place in this affluent community.

    Watching Kidman play a wealthy woman facing a personal crisis will never get old (and Big Little Lies Season 3 does seem to be in the works), but Wang's influence adds an interesting wrinkle to the star's usual "white lady with an unidentifiable accent and prior trauma" schtick. While Expats marks the filmmaker's first foray into television, her work has a distinct tone, and the series is poised to carry on that trend, particularly the standalone fifth episode, which runs more than 90 minutes and centers on two Filipina domestic workers. (The episode screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.) Two episodes of Expats premiere Friday, followed by one every week through February 23.

    Masters of the Air

    Friday, Apple TV+

    There's nothing small-scale about Apple's new series Masters of the Air, a collaboration between Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman — and a companion to HBO's Band of Brothers and The Pacific. The drama is just as expansive as those World War II epics, with creators John Shiban and John Orloff following the men of the Army's 100th Bomb Group (nicknamed the "Bloody Hundredth") as they conduct aerial raids on Nazi strongholds. While the Bloody Hundredth were instrumental in defeating Hitler, their work came at a steep cost: Those who weren't shot down, captured, or killed in action suffered severe physical injuries and psychological damage that followed them for the rest of their lives.

    As a result, Masters of the Air is as much about the bombing campaign as its impact on the airmen. To drive that point home, the creative team has recruited a host of top-tier actors, including Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, Callum Turner, and Ncuti Gatwa, who give depth to characters who may otherwise risk feeling like stereotypical American heroes. And with an estimated budget of $250 million, the drama doesn't skimp on the lush visuals for which Spielberg-produced projects have become known. Those cinematic visuals (the result of direction from Cary Joji Fukunaga and Dee Rees, among others) will carry the show through the winter as the nine-episode season builds toward a March 15 finale.

    If You Have...

    An Hour

    Celebrity Jeopardy! Season 2 Finale: Tuesday, 8:00 PM ET on ABC
    The Trust Season 1 Finale: Wednesday, Netflix
    Chrissy & Dave Dine Out Wednesday, 10:00 PM ET on Freeform
    Sexy Beast: Thursday, Paramount+
    Hightown Season 3 Premiere: Friday, 9:00 PM ET on Starz

    An Evening

    The Bachelor Season 28 Premiere: Monday, 8:00 PM ET on ABC
    The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 4 Reunion (Part 3): Tuesday, 8:00 PM ET on Bravo
    A Real Bug's Life: Wednesday, Disney+

    A Full Day

    Superhot: The Spicy World of Pepper People: Monday, Hulu
    Queer Eye Season 8: Wednesday, Netflix
    In the Know: Thursday, Peacock

    Up Next

    Vanderpump Rules Season 11: Tuesday, January 30 on Bravo
    Feud: Capote vs. The Swans: Wednesday, January 31 on FX
    Genius: MLK/X: Thursday, February 1 on National Geographic
    Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Friday, February 2 on Prime Video

    Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.

    TOPICS: The Woman in the Wall, Showtime, Expats, Griselda, Masters of the Air, Ruth Wilson