THE CROWN Stream on Netflix. After winning the Oscar for her role as Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” Olivia Colman plays another British monarch in this historical drama series. Colman brings Queen Elizabeth II into middle age, taking over from Claire Foy who played the ruler in her young adulthood, as the series follows the royal family through the 1960s and ’70s. Season 3 finds the Windsors grappling with the fact that Britain is no longer a far-reaching global empire, as well as dealing with the challenges of putting duty before their personal lives. The latter becomes an issue for Prince Charles (now a teenager, played by Josh O’Connor), whose family disapproves of his girlfriend, Camilla Shand (Emerald Fennell). Tobias Menzies takes over for Matt Smith as Prince Philip, while Helena Bonham Carter plays Princess Margaret, following Vanessa Kirby’s run in the role.
EARTHQUAKE BIRD (2019) Stream on Netflix. This mystery thriller centers on the unlikely friendship of two expats in 1980s Tokyo: an outgoing American named Lily Bridges (Riley Keough) and the reserved Swedish translator Lucy Fly (Alicia Vikander). After Lucy is called in for police questioning regarding Lily’s mysterious disappearance, the film revisits their bond in a series of flashbacks. Lucy’s romantic interest Teiji, a Japanese photographer, enters the fray by joining the women on a weekend trip to Sado Island, where simmering flirtations lead to disastrous consequences. The film, which is based on a novel by Susanna Jones, “is well shot and well acted, and with its attention to novelistic detail it does more than give lip service to themes of sexuality, jealousy and the way different cultures categorize and fetishize each other,” Glenn Kenny wrote in his New York Times review.
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE Stream on Amazon. Over three seasons, fans of this alternate history drama have watched Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) traverse all over what’s left of America after the Axis Powers win World War II, embedding with the American freedom fighters along the Rocky Mountains, getting close to a Nazi family in the east and befriending government officials in the Japanese-controlled west. But by the end of Season 3, she travels across the multiverse to a different world entirely. Armed with this new ability, Juliana continues her fight for a better world in the series’s final season.
LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER 11 p.m. on HBO. John Oliver has managed to make his satirical news series stand out from the pack of late-night comedy shows by offering witty and thoughtful takes on everything from the impeachment inquiry against President Trump to Japanese mascots. This season, he covered topics from home (the opioid crisis, World Wrestling Entertainment and the accuracy of voting machines) and abroad (the Hong Kong protests, Boris Johnson and the impact of commercial climbing of Mount Everest). The show usually ends its seasons with a bang, featuring guests like “Weird Al” Yankovic, Tom Hanks and Russell Crowe, so tune in for whatever Oliver has cooked up for the last show of Season 6.