The Best TV Shows & Movies To Watch In April

Melissah Yang and Patricia Karounos share their picks of can’t-miss TV shows and movies that have them texting up a storm. Trust, you will be, too.

With the 2024 Oscars airing a few weeks ago, awards season has officially wrapped. Now, we know what you’re thinking: Finally, a break from the endless stream of prestigious TV shows, movies, and glitzy ceremonies. But, that’s not quite the case. Last year’s WGA and SAG strikes delayed the Emmy Awards to this past January, and the event is vying to get back on its usual late summer/early fall schedule, which means we’re in for a new glut of TV hoping to earn nominations and golden statuettes.

That’s why we’re now seeing shows like the opulent period dramedy Palm Royale, which stars Kristen Wiig as a woman trying to fit into Palm Beach’s high society, and Under The Bridge, a true-crime drama starring awards season darling Lily Gladstone in her first major role since Killers of the Flower Moon. And while it may be too early for movies to officially enter the awards conversation, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any new solid releases. Just look at Challengers, the new Luca Guadagnino movie about a trio of tennis players that will only further cement Zendaya’s A-List movie star status — not that she needs it.


Palm Royale

The year is 1969. We’re in sunny, affluent Palm Beach. The fashion — think breezy caftans, micro mini dresses, supersized sunglasses, and nary a neutral hue in sight — is ultra glam, and the martinis are flowing. This is the world of Palm Royale, a colorful 10-episode dramedy about Palm Beach’s high society and the ambitious woman whose main goal is to scheme her way into the exclusive — and elusive — club. 

The story kicks off when Maxine (Kristen Wiig) arrives in town and is immediately rebuked by the rich women? at the must-visit luxe resort. But, unbeknownst to the crowd, Maxine is married to the estranged nephew of their fallen-ill leader Norma (the iconic Carol Burnett), and she won’t be going anywhere. As Maxine, Wiig delicately walks the line between wide-eyed idealism and sly cunning, and the all-star ensemble cast around her is more than ready to play with her. Leslie Bibb is hilariously cutting, Kaia Gerber proves that her comedic turn in Bottoms wasn’t a fluke, Allison Janney is delivering Miranda Priestly-worthy levels of cold and intimidating, and Burnett barely has to utter two words to steal a scene. 

The series does try to address the social and political issues of the era — Laura Dern and Amber Chardae Robinson lead a group of feminist anti-war activists who also seem to be speaking to 2024 concerns as well — to contrast the wealthy, out-of-touch, and hollow bubble the country club women occupy, though those scenes often feel surface-level and fall flat. But that’s the thing with Palm Royale: it’s frothy, lavish fun, and while the style may amount to more than the actual substance, boy, does the style delight.

Where to watch: Apple TV+ 
When: Wednesdays until May 8 
Watch if you like: Lessons in Chemistry, Desperate Housewives, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar



As a journalist, I’m always more skeptical when it comes to movies about journalism because 1) I live it and 2) Hollywood tends to glamorize and sensationalize rather than be accurate and factual with life in the newsroom. Which makes sense because getting the scoop often means you’re hitting the phones and working your sources for months — hardly the most entertaining thing to watch. 

But despite being more methodical in its approach, Netflix’s Scoop quietly grips you in showing how BBC producer Sam McAlister (Billie Piper) scored the widely viewed exclusive interview with Prince Andrew about his longtime friendship with Jeffrey Epstein that aired shortly after the convicted sex offender’s death — and the fallout after it. The BBC team is tactical, yet transparent and fair in engaging with the prince, one of the better representations of how journalism functions when dealing with high profile individuals involved in the biggest news stories. 

While the movie balances both sides by showing the motives of the Prince’s press team in putting him in front of cameras, it leans into the pressure and responsibility the BBC crew and Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis (Gillian Anderson) felt in meeting the expectations of public interest and doing justice for Epstein’s victims, who would never get their day in court. The extended scene of the shocking interview itself makes it must-watch TV all over again, and you’ll be scouring YouTube to rewatch the real deal.

Where to watch: Netflix
When: April 5 
Watch if you like: Bombshell, Spotlight, The Crown


Civil War

British filmmaker Alex Garland — best known for eerie sci-fi titles like Ex Machina and Annihilation — has built a career crafting movies that get under your skin; to watch an Alex Garland film is, often, to be fidgeting in your seat, unable to escape your discomfort. That’s exactly what his latest grand effort, Civil War, promises to do as well. 

The A24 movie is set in the not-too-distant future, during a time where the US is in the midst of a second civil war pitting the federal government against separatist forces led by what may seem like an unlikely duo: the states of Texas and California. That alone has us, and everyone in the YouTube comments, at peak interest. We follow a group of journalists — including Kirsten Dunst and Priscilla’s Cailee Spaeny — as they wade into the conflict, risking their lives as they document the war between dictator and extremist militias. 

You may walk into the theater thinking you know what to expect from Civil War, perhaps guided by the divisive state of US politics today, but throw all of that away, because the movie is entirely something different.

Where to watch: Theaters
When: April 12
Watch if you like: Annihilation, Ex Machina 



Hollywood’s trek through video game IP for inspo continues with Prime Video’s Fallout, an adaptation of the popular franchise set in a fictionalized US after global nuclear war forces some humans to live underground in Vaults and the rest who survive scraping by on the surface. A century later, Lucy (Ella Purnell) is one of the Vault Dwellers thriving in a literal sheltered life, but after an attack on her vault, she’s forced to go to the surface where she sees for herself the landscape of waste and lawlessness it’s become. The series rounds out with two other leading characters: religious military group neophyte Maximus (Aaron Clifton Moten) and the Ghoul (Walton Goggins), believed to be one of the oldest survivors of the original nuclear blasts. Lucy, Maximus, and the Ghoul’s paths weave and intersect as we go along for the ride unlocking the mysteries of the post-apocalyptic Wasteland.

I personally haven’t played the Fallout games, but I still found myself invested and able to follow along so rest assured, like with The Last Of Us, you don’t need to know the game to enjoy the show. But for those Fallout faithfuls, you should be happy with this adaptation and the easter eggs scattered throughout, as attested by the fans who screened with me.

Where to watch: Prime Video
When: April 12
Watch if you like: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Last Of Us


The Sympathizer

When early details about The Sympathizer were revealed, the spy drama/black comedy made headlines because Robert Downey Jr. plays multiple supporting roles in the HBO miniseries. And, sure, the newly minted Oscar winner flexing his range is reason enough to check out the show, but it’s far from the only one. 

Here are a few more: The series — following a North Vietnamese spy (Hoa Xuande) who builds a double life in the US — also stars Sandra Oh; it’s adapted from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2015 novel of the same name; and it’s co-created by Canadian industry veteran Don McKellar and acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden, Decision to Leave). Park has also directed and co-written a handful of the series’ seven episodes, which is the especially thrilling part here. If you’re familiar with his movies or previous TV series, like The Little Drummer Girl, you know that there’s no one better at building tension and crafting gorgeous, atmospheric visuals on screen. He’s the perfect match for an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a man trying to balance old allegiances with new relationships far away from the life he once knew. 

Where to watch: HBO & Max 
When: April 14 
Watch if you like: Shōgun, The Little Drummer Girl, The Americans


Under The Bridge

Neither of us have, admittedly, had the chance to screen Hulu’s newest true-crime drama, Under the Bridge, or read the 2005 Rebecca Godfrey book from which it is adapted, so it’s a tricky place to be when discussing stories in this genre. With murder mysteries of any kind — whether they’re based in fact or completely imagined — so much of their success comes down to really nailing the ending. 

But here’s the thing about Under the Bridge, which is inspired by the 1997 murder of a 14-year-old named Reena Virk, and follows the local police officer and journalist who are attempting to solve the case: it’s Lily Gladstone’s first major role since her transcendent turn as Mollie Kyle, the Osage woman who survived a string of murders targeting her Indigenous community, in Killers of the Flower Moon and the up-and-down awards season that came with it. And despite losing out to Poor Things’ Emma Stone for the Best Actress Oscar, Gladstone has become an actor whose presence will make anything worth watching. Combine that with the fact that her co-star is Riley Keough — in her first major role since last year’s hit, Daisy Jones & the Six — you have appointment viewing.

Where to watch: Hulu
When: April 17 
Watch if you like: Killers Of The Flower Moon, Under The Banner Of Heaven



Truly anything Zendaya touches is pure gold, whether she’s a high school drug addict in Euphoria or a Fremen riding a sandworm in the world of Dune. Challengers is a quieter outing, but nonetheless still captivating.

Tashi (Zendaya) is a top tennis prospect who’s already scored sponsors and brand deals coming out of high school. Art (Mike Faist) and Patrick (Josh O’Connor) are best buds both on and off the tennis court. When the three meet at a tournament, a 13-year love triangle ensues that’s complicated by athletic ambitions and resent at potential futures lost. 

Director Luca Guadagnino deftly mixes the pressures of the cutthroat tennis world with the nuances of conditional love, a tense intersection that, for some, will probably be overshadowed by a threesome scene teased in the trailer. But look past the low hanging fruit, and you’ll walk away questioning what it means to have a singular purpose — and what it means when you lose it. 

Where to watch: Theaters 
When: April 26 
Watch if you like: Break Point, Wimbledon

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