What to Watch This Week: 'Nope,' 'Rap Sh!t.' 'grown-ish,' and More

Here are our choices for what you should be watching and streaming the week of July 22. From 'Nope,' to 'Rap Sh!t,' to 'grown-ish,' and more.

Nope Keke Palmer
Universal Pictures

Image via Universal Pictures

Nope Keke Palmer

Is there anything else worth hitting theaters for other than Nope? The answer is well, nope. 

Jordan Peele’s third feature film, starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer, is finally in theaters, meaning we have hit peak summertime. The horror film is everything movie fans have come to expect from the director and then some, and by the looks of it, other studios knew better than to release anything else in theaters this weekend. The first half of the summer belonged to Marvel, but the latter half definitely belongs to Peele.

There’s a lot happening that’s worth watching on the streaming and TV side this week, too. The Gray Man hit theaters last week, but if you skipped seeing Ryan Gosling’s return to the big screen, don’t fret. You can watch the movie on Netflix starting today. Season 1 of the Issa Rae-created Rap Sh!t arrived on HBO Max this week, grown-ish returns to Freeform with Season 5 and whole new castmembers, while Better Call Saul, For All Man Kind, and Westworlds current seasons are still in full swing. Check out our recommendations for what you should be streaming, binging, and watching in theaters this week. 


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When: Friday, July 22

Where: In theaters

It’s hard to talk about Nope, the latest film from Jordan Peele, without giving too much away. Not that we’d ever do that anyhow; half the fun of Peele’s prior movies is experiencing them on opening weekend alongside a locked-in crowd anyhow—and that’s certainly the case with Nope too. But there’s something about Nope that lends itself to the spectacle of sitting in a theater to watch a movie. 

Among the many things that impressed me about the film is how it actively addresses and explores that spectacle; Peele goes big here, filling the frame with a scale that honors Spielberg, especially in its third act. Nope is every bit as ambitious, tense, funny, and scary as his prior work while solidifying him as a bonafide talent who continues to level up his craft with each new project. The other star talent? Keke Palmer, whose magnetic performance will hopefully do for her what Get Out did for Daniel Kaluuya (he’s also excellent here). No matter what you’re drawn to, Nope is a can’t miss thrill ride you won’t soon forget. — William Goodman

'grown-ish' Season 5

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When: Wednesday, July 20

Where: Freeform, Hulu

Season 4 of grown-ish ended with the original crew graduating from college. There was no telling where the show would go from there, but then it was announced that Season 5 would return but without a lot of its familiar faces. Halle Bailey, Francia Raisa, Chloe Bailey, Emily Arlook, among others are not coming back as recurring castmembers but Yara Shahidi, Trevor Jackson (who delivers one of the most pleasant performances to watch on the show) , and Diggy Simmons would be sticking around for more as fans get to watch them embark on their lives as adults post-college. 

black-ish’s Marcus Scribner is reprising his role as Junior on the Freeform show, and this time around, viewers get to watch along as yet another Johnson kid experiences life in college away from their parents and hopefully find their own way. The show’s dynamic has definitely changed, especially with the addition of new characters played by Justine Skye, Tara Raani, Amelie Zilber, Ceyair Wright, Matthew Sato and Slick Woods. The OG squad is sorely missed but I have a feeling Scribner, with Shahidi’s help, will be able to carry the torch with ease. —Karla Rodriguez

'Rap Sh!t'

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When: Thursday, July 21

Where: HBO Max

Issa Rae may not appear on Rap Sh!t’s first two episodes, which hit HBO Max this week, but her influence is felt all throughout. The Insecure creator and star executive produced the new show, and wrote the first episode, about two women leaning on each other to make it. Rap Sh!t follows Shawna (Aida Osman) who is a struggling rapper who works at a Miami hotel as her day job. She went viral once with her music but nothing came from it. Shawna reconnects with her estranged high school friend Mia (KaMillion) who is a single mother and rapper working whatever job she can find to support herself and her 4-year-old daughter. The pair realize by the end of the first episode that they are better together than apart, and start to figure out a plan to become a female rap duo. 

The use of technology and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok to tell the story might be a bit distracting and overdone at times, judging from just the first two episodes, but at the end of the day, it’s realistic. Those tools do play a large role in our day-to-day lives, especially for those trying to make it in a creative space. So far the show seems promising, and if Rae knows one thing, it is to make a show that really highlights the importance of female friendships while creating a show that is hilarious, entertaining, relatable, and from the looks of it, Rap Sh!t is off to a great start. —Karla Rodriguez

'For All Mankind' Season 3

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When: Friday, July 22

Where: Apple TV+

The brilliance of Apple TV+’s For All Mankind is how the show manages to tear through plots at an astonishing pace—and never run out of interesting or compelling ideas. Instead of spending a whole season digging deep into the three-way race to Mars between the Soviets, NASA, and the Telsa-like company Helios, Mankind wrapped the storyline in about three episodes and immediately dove into exploring what it’s like for all three crews to settle on Mars. As a result, the show manages to toe the line between breathless, break-neck pacing and thoughtful, considerate character work. It’s a difficult balance that the show makes look exceedingly easy. If you’ve not taken the time to check in on this season, now’s the time to launch into one of the very best shows airing right now. — William Goodman

Westworld Season 4, Episode 4 — “Generation Loss”

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When: Sunday, July 17

Where: HBO

When I initially wrote about Westworld ahead of its premiere, I mentioned how the series felt content and confident enough itself so as not to couch its plot in a series of mystery boxes. That was my way of tipping towards the reveal at the end of last Sunday’s episode, “Generation Loss,” wherein the focus of the fourth season comes into play. In a brutally dark turn, both Caleb (Aaron Paul) and the audience discover Halores (Tessa Thompson) won, and humanity is controlled by robots, 23 years after Caleb and Maeve’s (Thandiwe Newton) big return to Delos’ new park. However, not all hope is lost; out in the desert, Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) recovers a buried Maeve as the resistance begins a plan to strike back against Halores. 

The shoe-dropping end-of-episode reveal sets up the second half of the season with an absolutely killer hook, as Bernard/Maeve team up against Halores with Christina (Evan Rachel Wood) still lingering around to play a crucial role in all it. Westworld has always struggled with landing its big ideas, but these first four episodes give me confidence that the show is better equipped to tackle an ending than it’s been before. If nothing else, I look forward to Tessa Thompson continuing to turn heel. — William Goodman

'Better Call Saul,' Season 6, Episode 6 — "Fun and Games"

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When: Monday, July 18

Where: AMC

So much of what makes the Vince Gilligan/Peter Gould ABQ-verse effective comes from a deep exploration of cause and effect. Actions have consequences, and shows like Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are deeply committed to exploring every nook and cranny of those choices. So it’s no surprise—that after all the collateral damage of last week’s incredible (and incredibly tense) mid-season premiere—Better Call Saul would take a second to relish in the quiet. As such, “Fun and Games” (written by Ann Cherkis and directed by Michael Morris) spends a considerable amount of time exploring the fallout of the deaths of both Lalo and Howard across the series’ four critical characters—Mike, Gus, Kim, and Jimmy—each with their own devastatingly tragic results. 

For Mike and Gus, “Fun and Games” leverages the ghosts of Breaking Bad’s past for haunting hints at their futures. Upon finishing his clean-up, Mike stumbles upon the ID of Nacho’s father and, feeling a mixture of guilt and desire for justice, seeks him out for a conversation. Here are two men dealing with the loss of their sons, with two radically different ideas of how to move forward. For Mike, a path of revenge will eventually lead him to grizzly death upon a grassy knoll at the hands of a stubborn bastard who couldn’t leave well enough alone. Manuel Varga, on the other hand, realizes how this path will exact a heavy toll and finds the grace to let things go. It’s striking—even in a scene constructed to close off loose ends before a time-up—how the Saul writers manage to find something new to show about Mike while also providing a conclusion to his arc in this series; the image of Mike positioned behind a chain gate as if he were imprisoned is a reminder of the path he’ll continue to wander down—and the consequences that arrive as he does. Gus, on the other hand, gets to celebrate a moment of victory.

Upon concluding business with Don Eladio in another coda-like sequence that’s both a reminder of what’s to come and an echo of Breaking Bad past (albeit incredible flourishes like Gus having a near-literal fire in his eyes), we do get an astonishing bit of insight into the Chicken Man’s personal life—one which confirms any lingering doubts around his sexuality—but also allows audiences a rare moment to see Gus happy. However, it’s fleeting as Gus realizes the nature of his work can’t let him to get close to someone else in this way for fear of what may befall them. It’s both melancholy and touching in equal measure, a reminder of what Gus lost when Don Eladio killed Max poolside all those years ago. 

But unlike Gus and Mike, the fate of Kim Wexler has long lingered over the show. In the stillness and quiet of this episode, the series pulls yet another gut punch and sends off Kim. After years of wondering whether or not she’d end up a victim of the cartel or caught by her fellow lawyers, Kim chooses her fate—a decision befitting how strongly defined the Saul staff has depicted her—by quitting the bar and packing up to leave town. Despite having “the time of her life” scheming with Jimmy, she can no longer handle the burden of all those they’ve hurt in their wake. The consequences of their plot against Howard are just the final straw in a series of events that started way back when they got revenge against Chuck. It is a gutting scene, beautifully rendered by both Odenkirk and the newly Emmy-nominated Seehorn, who are both at the top of their games here. And so ends any life of the man known as Jimmy McGill. As Saul dramatically jumps forward, all that’s left is a parody, a cartoon of a human that Breaking Bad fans know as Saul Goodman. 

In watching “Fun and Games,” I couldn’t help but think of the promotional art for Season 4 of the show wherein Jimmy is positioned in a way that plays on those iconic comedy and tragedy masks. Now, all this time later, after the comedy comes the tragedy. And what a devastation it was. But what’s amazing is that we’re not even close to the end yet. With four more episodes to go, Better Call Saul somehow feels more open to possibility than before. In the death of not only Jimmy McGill but this part of the series, there’s rebirth too. How exciting is that? — William Goodman

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