Arts·Watch This!

Best new TV shows in April: a parking lot dispute gets out of hand in Beef, and Barry reaches its end

In new streaming shows this month, Ali Wong and Steven Yuen go to war over a parking lot dispute, and Elizabeth Olsen once again gets driven mad by love.

Also, Elizabeth Olsen murders her lover's wife in Love & Death and Dead Ringers gets a surprise new adaptation

An unshaven man in a white T-shirt looks forlorn in front of a security fence.
Bill Hader stars in Barry. The fourth and final season airs on HBO from April 16 until May 28. (Courtesy Bell Media/HBO)

Find all the latest must-watch TV each month with Watch This!

Spring has sprung after an especially dark, depressing winter in this country, and even an absolutely TV-addled, brainworm-infested adult indoor child like me isn't going to tell you not to get outside and enjoy this weather. I am, however, going to remind you, that with a long enough extension cord and the right deck chair, you can absolutely watch TV on your lawn or balcony. 


Toronto filmmakers pay tribute to the essential and often difficult act of witnessing in this short-form digital series. The series begins with a conversation with the man who, while on a stroll with his partner, saw police activity at a stalled streetcar, decided to pull out his cellphone and record. The incident he caught on camera was the 2013 shooting death of Sammy Yatim, who was killed by police while suffering from appeared to be a mental health crisis and posing no danger to anyone but himself. 

The conversation with the man who shot the viral video that led to police officer James Forcillo's prosecution is a testament to the everyday citizens who perform this public service despite risks to their own safety and mental health. (Think about Darnella Frazier, the teen who kept her camera going as George Floyd was slowly killed by police.)

The series comes from Next Stop executive producer Amar Wala and is directed by Carol Nguyen and Yasmine Mathurin, the latter who made her feature debut with the contemplative and moving doc about Black and Indigenous relations One Of Ours. They take the conversation about witnessing further to consider the myriad function social media and smartphone cameras have in our lives while also sharing stories of hope, heroism and joy. Witness is streaming now on CBC Gem. The final episode will begin streaming at the end of the month. 

 - Radheyan Simonpillai, contributor, CBC Arts

All The Beauty and the Bloodshed

Only the second documentary to ever win the top prize at Venice Film Festival, All The Beauty and the Bloodshed is an astonishing collaboration between two equally astonishing women: filmmaker Laura Poitras and subject Nan Goldin. Poitras (who won an Oscar for her 2014 documentary Citizenfour and frankly should have won another last month for this film) and Goldin come together to create a film that works not only as a portrait of the latter's staggering work as a photographer and activist but also as an investigation into who bears responsibility for the opioid epidemic in America (namely, the Sackler family, whom recovering opioid addict Goldin is working to bring down). It's absolutely essential viewing for all of us, but especially anyone interested in the collective power of art and rage. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is streaming now on Crave.

- Peter Knegt, producer, CBC Arts

Streams Flow From A River 

Generational stories about Chinese immigrant families are having a moment. Just look at last year's double whammy of Turning Red and Everything Everywhere All At Once. Like the latter multiple-Oscar winner, Christopher Yip's Streams Flow From A River is about a Chinese family that owns a laundromat, where parents and their children butt heads over a widening generational divide. 

Yip's digital series — the first to premiere at the Canadian Film Fest before heading to the Cannes International Series Festival later this month — looks to be a frostier affair, and not just because it's set in Alberta. The series stars Danielle Ayow and Liam Ma star as grown children trapped during a visit to their aging parent's home by a snowstorm.  

Yip, an up-and-coming queer Chinese-Canadian filmmaker who grew up in Edmonton, has created a digital series that navigates pained memories of economic hardship, addiction, inherited trauma and sexual repression while also honouring the diaspora's strength, love and resolve to heal in a new home. Streams Flow From A River is streaming now on Super Channel. 

 - Radheyan Simonpillai, contributor, CBC Arts

Here & Queer

Here & Queer is smart and thought-provoking and funny and insightful, and everything else you want in an interview series — and I would be saying that even if I wasn't looking at the back of host Peter Knegt's head right now.

The show sits down with a wide array of LGBTQ+ luminaries and gets them to open up about identity, art, creative processes and more, with a lineup that includes Billy Eichner, Matt Rogers, Elegance Bratton, and both Tegan AND Sara. (Can you imagine if one of them agreed to do it and the other stiffed him? How awkward would that be?) I am advocating Peter to get his own late night show for the 2024/25 TV season, but this will hold us over until then. Here & Queer starts streaming April 5 on CBC Gem.

- Chris Dart, web writer, CBC Arts


A parking lot incident between two people who are secretly drowning in their own desperation — Amy (Ali Wong) and Danny (Steven Yuen) — gives them both new purpose in life: bringing each other down.

As someone who has been witness to some remarkably gnarly parking lot altercations, including a full-on parking space fistfight at Scarborough Town Centre, this honestly feels kind of plausible. Executive producer Lee Sung Jin (who previously worked on Silicon Valley and Dave) said that the show was inspired by a guy who yelled at him in traffic three years ago and he refused to let it drop, and I truly applaud turning both your rage and your pettiness into art. Beef starts streaming April 6 on Netflix.

- Chris Dart, web writer, CBC Arts

Florida Man

A cop-turned-P.I. tracks a Philadelphia mobster's girlfriend down to his home state of Florida. Chaos ensues. Look, I don't have a lot of wise, insightful critical insights on this show, but it looks fast and fun and snappy and bingeable, and this — along with true crime docs that make you say "Oh my God, what!?" over and over again, as well as increasingly weird dating shows — is what Netflix really does best (think Crazyhead or Teenage Bounty Hunters). Don't get too deep on us, Netflix; we're full of edibles and should have gone to bed an hour ago. Know your market. Florida Man starts streaming April 13 on Netflix.

- Chris Dart, web writer, CBC Arts


Barry is one of those shows that makes you go, "Man, television is great." It just makes you really love the medium as a whole. The alternately hilarious and gut-wrenching dramedy about a Marine-turned-contract killer-turned aspiring actor — played to perfection by SNL alum Bill Hader — is entering its fourth and final season. Which, in its own way, is kind of a great thing. I am a big fan of this current trend of shows winding down after four or five strong seasons — Succession, Barry, and Mrs. Maisel are all wrapping in the coming months — rather than limping on through a slow, unpleasant decline. Leave 'em wanting more and all that.

There are no bad performances on Barry. Everyone is amazing. The writing is excellent. It might be the best show on TV right now, and I'm trying to figure out how to go as NoHo Hank for Halloween next year. Season 4 of Barry starts streaming April 16 on Crave.

- Chris Dart, web writer, CBC Arts

Dead Ringers

David Cronenberg's 1988 psychological thriller Dead Ringers was surely not high on anyone's of films most likely to be reinvented into a streaming series — but we are sure are glad the folks at Amazon Prime decided to greenlight it anyway. Starring the glory that is Rachel Weisz in the dual roles of twin gynecologists Elliot and Beverly Mantle (who were played by Jeremy Irons in the film), the series boasts some really exceptional folks behind the scenes: the first two episodes were written by Alice Birch, who also wrote the Florence Pugh-starring film Lady MacBeth as well as episodes of Succession and Normal People, while Canadians Sean Durkin and Karena Evans are among the directors. We'll see if they collectively do Cronenberg proud when all six episodes drop on April 21. Dead Ringers starts streaming April 21 on Amazon Prime Video.

- Peter Knegt, producer, CBC Arts

Love & Death 

Could it be that Marvel fans who were ravaged by Elizabeth Olsen's performance as Scarlet Witch in WandaVision are about to get an even bigger taste of what the star is capable of? Love & Death, the new limited series from Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley, casts Olsen as exactly the kind of mysterious, troubling and emotionally galvanizing character she played when she first broke onto the scene. 

Olsen made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up in Martha Marcy May Marlene or MMMM, as the Sundance hit came to be known. Olsen played a disturbed young woman escaping from a cult. Her character's uneasy pleas for help and thirst for affection lingered with an overwhelming menace. 

That thirst and menace looks to be back in Love & Death, where Olsen plays Candy Montgomery, the Texas housewife charged with murdering her lover's wife. Game Night and I'm Thinking Of Ending Things star Jesse Plemons being cast as the lover is a whole other reason to watch this. But back to Olsen, who is once again playing a small-town American town homemaker in a period setting, hiding something sinister, as she did in WandaVision. This time, she'll likely ditch the CGI and go for the jugular. Love & Death begins streaming April 27 on Crave. 

 - Radheyan Simonpillai, contributor, CBC Arts


Chris Dart

Web Writer

Chris Dart is a writer, editor, jiu-jitsu enthusiast, transit nerd, comic book lover, and some other stuff from Scarborough, Ont. In addition to CBC, he's had bylines in The Globe and Mail, Vice, The AV Club, the National Post, Atlas Obscura, Toronto Life, Canadian Grocer, and more.

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