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What’s Worth Watching: ‘This Way Up,’ ‘Wellington Paranormal,’ ‘The White Lotus’ and ‘Black Widow’

UPDATED: Sat., July 10, 2021

“The White Lotus” on HBO Max.  (Mario Perez/HBO)
“The White Lotus” on HBO Max. (Mario Perez/HBO)

Looking for satire, comedy or dramedy? This weekend’s TV premieres have something for every taste. Here are a handful of shows to add to your watchlist right now, paying some attention to options alongside the latest MCU offering.

“This Way Up” (2019): Written by and starring Aisling Bea, “This Way Up” follows English-as-a-foreign-language teacher Aine (Bea) as she begins putting her life back together following a “teeny little nervous breakdown.” Aine fights her way out, keeping up a brave face for Shona (Sharon Horgan), her protective older sister. “This Way Up” is available on Hulu.

“Wellington Paranormal” (2018): A spinoff from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s “What We Do in the Shadows” (2014), “Wellington Paranormal” follows the comically clueless police unit charged with assessing paranormal happenings in New Zealand’s capital. Finally making its American debut after airing in New Zealand three years ago, this mockumentary-style TV series is characteristically laugh-out-loud funny. Two new episodes will air back-to-back Friday on the CW; all episodes will be available to stream on HBO Max the next day.

“The White Lotus (2021)”: Written and directed by Mike White, “The White Lotus” catalogs the exploits of a group of resort guests and staff over the course of a week of misadventures. As events unfold, cracks begin to show in the resort’s facade as their perfect week melts away. This six-episode social satire features Spokane-raised actress Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) alongside Connie Britton, Steve Zahn, Murray Bartlett, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Lacy, Natasha Rothwell and Molly Shannon. “The White Lotus” is available on HBO Max.

Black Widow (2021): Set between the events of “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018), this latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows avenger and former spy-assassin Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), aka “Black Widow,” as she comes face to face with a conspiracy tied to her dark past. Along the way, Romanoff is forced to revisit old scars and relationships that might just be beyond repair. “Black Widow” is available to stream on Disney+ Premier Access and in theaters.

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