Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.
Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch it. This week, three book adaptations will make their debut on the airwaves, while the TV version of the film “Dear White People” launches on Netflix.
“Genius,” National Geographic, Tuesday, 9 p.m.
In the 75-minute series premiere, viewers will be taken inside the life of one of the most iconic minds in human history: Albert Einstein. Based on Walter Isaacson’s book “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” the series stars Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn, who will play the world famous physicist at different points in his life. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard serve as executive producers on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season.
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” Hulu, Wednesday (CRITICS’ PICK)
Margaret Atwood is a master of prose, and in showrunner Bruce Miller’s adaptation, it comes out in the show in Offred’s narration — both sardonically funny and despairing. “I don’t need oranges, I need to scream,” she says in voiceover at one point, staring at the fruit in a grocery store. In her head, she can speak freely. They haven’t taken that yet. “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a sobering reminder to hold ourselves accountable for the state of the world, when and if we can. Gilead — which uses methods from oppressive, patriarchal regimes the world over — is everything we should fear. But the show also offers the hope that Offred, against all odds, will one day be able to take the red off. (Read the full review here)
“Dear White People,” Netflix, Friday
The series is an adaptation of writer and director Justin Simien’s 2014 feature film of the same name. Simien wrote all 10 half-hour episodes and directed the premiere. It tells the story of a diverse group of students of color experiencing campus life at a fictional Ivy League university dominated by white students. The series stars Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori, Ashley Blaine Featherson and Marque Richardson. Brandon P. Bell will reprise his role from the film as Troy Fairbanks,
“Full Frontal with Samantha Bee: Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” TBS, Saturday, 10 p.m.
Samantha Bee Bee and producers from her TBS satirical-comedy program, “Full Frontal,” will take over Washington’s Willard Hotel on April 29 at the same time as the actual White House Correspondents’ Dinner is slated to take place, in light of the fact that President Donald Trump has said he will not attend the annual media event. Celebrities and journalists have been invited to attend Bee’s event, which she said in a teaser clip is meant to be a chance to “toast the free press, while we still have one.”
“American Gods,” Starz, Sunday, 9 p.m.
An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s highly popular book of the same name, the series takes place in a world where the old gods brought to America by various groups of immigrants are fading, supplanted in the public consciousness by the new gods of tech and media and conspiracy theories. But the old gods, led by Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane) aren’t going to go quietly. In the middle of all this is Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-con widower, who gets enlisted to be Wednesday’s muscle. Bryan Fuller, creator of “Hannibal” and “Pushing Daisies,” serves as co-showrunner with Michael Green.