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TV preview: Four spring shows to spice up your quarter

(Sid Francis/Daily Bruin)

By Maya Vibhakar, Reid Sperisen, Sydney Gaw, and Gavin Meichelbock

April 4, 2024 3:41 p.m.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that Ncuti Gatwa is the 15th actor to play The Doctor on "Doctor Who." In fact, he is playing the character of the Fifteenth Doctor.

This post was updated April 4 at 10:07 p.m.

This spring’s long-awaited television slate is finally in bloom.

Alongside May flowers, this year’s April showers will bring a fresh lineup of engrossing shows to the small screen. From the return of beloved franchises to the introduction of brand new worlds, a wide range of options will leave TV viewers buzzing like bees.

Read on for the Daily Bruin’s picks to brighten the season.

[Related: Late-night podcast promotes ‘Reel Talk’ from film buffs, casual moviegoers alike]

(Courtesy of Max)
Jean Smart plays Deborah Vance in “Hacks.” The award-winning comedy will return to Max for its third season May 2. (Courtesy of Max)

“Hacks,” Season 3 (Max)

“Hacks” is back.

After a two-year hiatus, Max’s award-winning comedy-drama series “Hacks” will return for its third season May 2. The series stars Jean Smart as renowned Las Vegas stand-up comedian Deborah Vance, who recruits Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a previously unemployed comedy writer, to help modernize her act and appeal to a new generation. With Deborah and Ava’s headstrong personalities and countless clashes over the past two seasons, “Hacks” understands the generational divide, allowing the two characters to slowly overcome their differences as they bond over their love of comedy and their determination to succeed.

Though the last season ended with Deborah firing Ava and encouraging her to focus on her own career after the special they developed was a success, the season’s teaser trailer shows Ava reuniting with Deborah as they navigate the older comedian’s reignited stardom together. Set to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” the trailer promises audiences that Deborah and Ava’s story isn’t done yet, featuring clips of the outlandish antics in store for Deborah, Ava and the rest of the ensemble cast in this new chapter within the entertainment scene.

With another season of comedy and chaos, it looks like “Hacks” is still standing.

– Maya Vibhakar

(Courtesy of James Pardon / Bad Wolf / BBC Studios)
Ncuti Gatwa (left) and Millie Gibson (right) star as The Doctor and Ruby Sunday in “Doctor Who.” The 14th season of the sci-fi series’ revival will premiere on Disney+ on May 10. (Courtesy of James Pardon/ Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

“Doctor Who,” Season 14 (BBC, Disney+)

A new era has arrived for the longest-running sci-fi series in history.

The latest entry in the “Doctor Who” universe will hit BBC and Disney+ on May 11 and May 10, respectively. The new season is the 14th to be released since the program’s 2005 revival, and the 40th since the saga began back in 1963. Eight episodes will mark the first full series with Rwandan actor Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor and English actress Millie Gibson as his companion Ruby Sunday. Gatwa first made his debut as the Fifteenth Doctor on last year’s episode “The Giggle,” and was joined by Gibson in the Christmas special episode “The Church on Ruby Road.”

Joining an illustrious slate of guest stars, drag queen Jinkx Monsoon – who won both season five of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and season seven of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” – will appear as a villain on the second episode “The Devil’s Chord.” American actor Jonathan Groff, best known for his roles in the film “Frozen” and Broadway production “Hamilton,” is also set to be the antagonist for sixth episode “Rogue.” Over the course of the series, Gatwa and Gibson’s characters are expected to jump through outer space and visit decades ranging from the 1960s to Britain’s Regency era in the early 19th century.

If the six-decade legacy of “Doctor Who” is any indication, Gatwa’s turn as The Doctor is bound to entertain viewers while providing more content to a rabid multigenerational fan community.

– Reid Sperisen

(Courtesy of Liam Daniel/Netflix)
Luke Newton (left) and Nicola Coughlan (right) star as Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington in “Bridgerton.” On May 16, the romance will return to Netflix with part one of its third season. (Courtesy of Liam Daniel/Netflix)

“Bridgerton,” Season 3 (Netflix)

“Bridgerton” will stir much ado among members of the Ton and viewers alike as a new love story makes its long-awaited debut.

The Regency-era romance show will return to Netflix next month, with part one of the third season premiering May 16 and part two on June 13. Based on Julia Quinn’s book series of the same name, “Bridgerton” follows the noble Bridgerton family as they navigate England’s high-society social season. The show’s third installment will focus on returning stars Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan as Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington, respectively. Their love story will take center stage after the previous season’s whirlwind of chaos, connivance and miscommunication.

Set during the early-to mid-1800s, the show promises a world of whimsy, grandeur and endless possibilities as characters continue to redefine what love is. After season one’s scandal-filled fake dating scheme and season two’s enemies-turned-lovers discord, season three will boast an equally enticing friends-to-lovers romance between the third-eldest Bridgerton son and the wallflower finally venturing into the spotlight.

As Lady Whistledown’s readers would agree, the tea in London’s high society is piping hot, and this season of “Bridgerton” vows not to disappoint.

– Sydney Gaw

[Related: ‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ cast, producers discuss show’s themes ahead of final season]

(Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Amandla Stenberg plays the former Padawan Mae in “The Acolyte.” On June 4, the Star Wars series will debut on Disney+. (Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd.)

“The Acolyte” (Disney+)

Return to a galaxy far, far away, but this time, an even longer time ago.

“The Acolyte” – helmed by “Russian Doll” co-creator Leslye Headland – is the latest live-action series set in the “Star Wars” universe, launching June 4 on Disney+. Set 100 years before the events of “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace,” the series takes place at the end of a peaceful age called the High Republic Era. Described as a mystery-thriller, the show follows a group of Jedi as they investigate a series of murders potentially related to an emerging dark side presence.

The series’ first trailer showcases plenty for fans to be excited about. Not only does it contain approximately the most lightsabers seen on camera since “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,” but it also features samurai-style action sequences, an exciting step for the franchise. Furthermore, “The Acolyte” teases the potential return of iconic Jedi Masters such as Plo Koon, who is believed to have been spotted in the series’ official trailer.

With a darker story and loads of Jedi action, “The Acolyte” is worth a watch when it makes the jump out of lightspeed and onto Disney+ this spring.

Gavin Meichelbock


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Maya Vibhakar
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