Four Shows to Watch This Week

Four Shows to Watch This Week

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Every Monday, the Times TV critic Margaret Lyons picks the best of what’s ahead before the weekend. Check back each week for more recommendations.

‘Bodyguard’
When to watch: Starting Wednesday, on Netflix.

This six-part political thriller was a huge hit in England, so Google carefully if you want to avoid spoilers — and you definitely do want to avoid spoilers because “Bodyguard” is full of twists and tension. Richard Madden stars as David Budd, a war veteran with a knack for interrogations who winds up as a bodyguard for a high-ranking politician, Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes).

The show’s biggest asset is its pacing. It flips, effectively, from breakneck speed to slow, white-knuckle tension. Those shifts also create a pervasive, addicting sense of unease, that nothing is quite right and everyone should be treated with suspicion. Complete logical integrity is not always the show’s forte, but those missteps aren’t ruinous; bingeing diminishes the problems even further.

‘Native America’
When to watch: Tuesday at 9 p.m., on PBS. (Check local listings.)

On the more nutritious side of things, this four-part documentary goes into fascinating detail about the earliest societies in North, Central and South America. This week’s installment, “From Caves to Cosmos,” looks at ancient indigenous cultures’ understandings of astronomy and how their art, architecture and city planning often reflected these ideas. The show is beautifully done, and the narration is often quite poetic.

‘Deutschland 86’
When to watch: Thursday at midnight, on Sundance TV.

Deutschland 83,” about a young East German spy sent to West Germany, aired in 2015, which is over 44 lifetimes ago in TV years. You should definitely watch it before you watch this, but if you watched it years ago, a quick spin through a recap or Wikipedia refresher will suffice.

In “Deutschland 86,” we pick up in, well, 1986: Martin (Jonas Nay) has been more or less banished to Angola for the past few years, but now his powerful, glamorous and dangerous aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) needs his help yet again. The first episode is a big get-the-band-back-together piece, with lots of moving parts and political schemes afoot. There are 10 episodes this season, which feels like an outrageous bounty for a foreign drama. If you like spy stories that are more about human behavior and intimate violence than large-scale action pieces, watch this.

Making a Murderer: Part 2’
When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

The new season of this riveting, crushing true-crime documentary is here, with 10 more episodes to make you feel absolutely terrible about almost everything, but especially about the criminal justice system. It is still focused on the continuing sagas of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey, who were convicted of murdering Teresa Halbach, but the engine of the story has shifted to one of Avery’s lawyers, Kathleen Zellner.

I was torn between wanting to blaze through the series in a day and wanting to preserve whatever fragile hope I have for the universe. I opted for the latter and only made it through three episodes so far. (Read the Times review by Mike Hale, here.)

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