What to watch this weekend May 17, 2024: TV awards contenders

The slow-moving first season of Amazon’s sci-fi Western “Outer Range,” ostensibly about a void in the middle of a pasture owned by Royal Abbott (Oscar nominee Josh Brolin), didn’t answer many (or really any) of the questions it put forth. By the end of Season 1 we knew for certain that the gaping hole in the ground allowed people to travel through time, but little else was revealed or explained. The show was comfortable to let viewers quietly ponder the meaning of life, the universe, and everything as its many interconnected subplots unfolded. It was also a stunning advertisement for New Mexico (standing in for Wyoming) thanks to the wide sweeping vistas that acted as the show’s backdrop. But new showrunner Charles Murray knows we can’t subsist on beautiful scenery and vague discussions about time forever, so Season 2 — the seven episodes of which are now streaming on Prime Video — digs deeper into Royal, the enigmatic Autumn (Imogen Poots) and the many mysteries of the Abbott ranch. It might not be for everyone, but “Outer Range” is the awards contender to watch this weekend.

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However, if you’re looking for something a little more grounded, other contenders include:

  • “Bridgerton”: For reasons I do not know or understand, Netflix is splitting the long-awaited third season, so it is not eligible Emmy consideration this year. The second half of the eight-episode romance is debuting in mid-June, making it is eligible next year, so here we are. This time around, Nicola Coughlan’s Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton’s Colin Bridgerton are at the forefront of a friends-to-lovers story that has literally been years in the making, and will leave fans of the show swoony in all the right ways. All four episodes of Part 1 are now streaming on Netflix.

  • “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars”: The spin-off of the Emmy-winning competition series is entering its ninth season, which seems wild until you consider the original series has 16 seasons under its belt. And yet, despite its longevity, there is still something novel about this year’s competition: The eight queens participating are competing for the chance to win a $200,000 donation from The Palette Fund to a charity of their choosing. Guest judges include Stephanie Hsu, Colton Haynes, Connie Britton and Keke Palmer, among others. The first two episodes are now streaming on Paramount+. 

  • “Franklin”: Apple TV+’s eight-episode period drama about Benjamin Franklin’s (Emmy winner Michael Douglas) history-making mission to France has reached its conclusion, as the future of the United States is decided by a handful of dudes in a room. So, basically, how everything is still decided today. Yay, progress! The series finale is now streaming on Apple TV+. 

PREDICTthe 2024 Emmy nominees by July 17

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