Worth Watching: Big Twists on 'Eve' and 'Veep,' 'Heart' Returns Minus a Player, an 'SNL' Player Returns
A selective critical checklist of notable weekend TV:
Killing Eve (Sunday, 8/7c, BBC America and AMC): It's understandable that in its waning hours, Game of Thrones sucks up most of the energy for weekend TV hype. But whatever happens in Sunday's post-battle episode of HBO's fantasy epic (9/8c), it will be hard pressed to outdo the jaw-dropping antics in a tremendously entertaining and pivotal episode of Killing Eve's sensational second season. Having captured The Ghost, but sort of disappointed in the assassin's all-business demeanor — "You'd think she works in Accounts" — Eve (Sandra Oh) concocts a diabolical plan to break their prisoner. And of course it involves an attempt to manipulate the elusive Villanelle (Jodie Comer), but who's pulling whose strings in this twisted tango of spy and killer? This is an episode no Eve fan will want to miss.
Veep (Sunday, 10:50/9:50c, HBO): In the penultimate episode of the brutally funny political satire, setting up next Sunday's series finale, Selina (Julia Louis-Dreyfus in top form) is in Oslo to pick up a not-quite-Peace Prize. Naturally, she sets off an international incident — which could either damage her campaign for the presidential nomination or, in Veep's delicious world of savage irony, put her back on top. The reversals come fast and often for these despicable and/or clueless political animals — including former press rep Mike (Matt Walsh) and flunkie Richard (Sam Richardson), both continuing to fail upward in their media and state government circles. In an uncannily timely subplot, rage ogre Jonah (Timothy C. Simons) goes on an anti-vaccination crusade, with many unintended consequences.
When Calls the Heart (Sunday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel): And now for something completely wholesome — if no longer entirely complete. The frontier drama's sixth season resumes, having been pulled off the air in March in the wake of the college admissions scandal, which cost Heart star Lori Loughlin her association with the squeaky-clean Hallmark brand. Producers have reworked the series to remove all traces of Loughlin's character of Hope Valley mayor Abigail Stanton, and the show will go on Monday with a second episode.
The Kentucky Derby (Saturday, coverage starts at 2:30 pm/1:30c, NBC): The 145th running of the iconic race gets a daylong celebration, with a five-hour TV blowout featuring live remotes from Derby parties all over the country — including from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a not very subtle plug for NBC's inaugural coverage of the Indianapolis 500 on May 26. Mike Tirico and Rebecca Lowe are co-hosts, with Larry Collmus calling the actual race, with a scheduled post time of 6:50/5:50c.
The Spanish Princess (Sunday, 8/7c, Starz): Philippa Gregory's historical best-sellers often look at royal intrigue from the female point of view — and so it is with this series adaptation of two of her novels (The Constant Princess and The King's Curse), which focus on Catherine of Aragon (Charlotte Hope) — best remembered as the first of Henry VIII's eight wives. This picks up considerably earlier, in 1501, when the proud and willful princess arrives in drizzly England to wed Henry's older brother, the mousy Arthur (Angus Imrie). Fate has other plans for Catherine and dashing young Harry (Ruairi O'Connor) — and while we all know their union isn't destined for a happily-ever-after ending, it is very much the stuff of juicy period romance.
Inside Weekend TV: Soledad O'Brien hosts Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact (Saturday, 10/9c), a two-hour special exploring the legal and cultural fallout of the network's highly rated docu-series about the musician's alleged sexual abuse… Adam Sandler makes his debut as guest host of NBC's Saturday Night Live (11:30/10:30c) since being fired from the ensemble in 1995. He's joined by musical guest Shawn Mendes, making his second appearance… The final five acts, including a wild card, dance for a $1 million grand prize in the third-season finale of NBC's World of Dance (Sunday, 8/7c). Judges Derek Hough and Ne-Yo will perform alongside current and past seasons' dancers, and last year's champions, The Lab, are back to deliver a tribute to Jennifer Lopez… After last week's harrowing episode of HBO's Barry, (Sunday, 10:20/9:20c), the scarred hit man (Bill Hader) turns back to acting — just in time to tap into his dark side to help Sarah (Sarah Goldberg) deliver her autobiographical scene.