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What to watch this weekend: ‘Alias Grace,’ ‘The Girlfriend Experience,’ ‘SMILF’

By Chelsea Tatham
Sarah Gadon in Alias Grace. Courtesy of Netflix

Murderess: Alias Grace

Fans of true crime and Margaret Atwood will find their next TV obsession with Alias Grace. The new series centers on young Irish immigrant Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon), and mixes a bit of history, murder and quiltmaking in Victorian Canada. Atwood's novel and the show tell the story of a poor domestic servant who was convicted of the murders of her employer and his housekeeper in 1843. Grace serves as the unreliable narrator to her own story, and through the miniseries' six episodes you're left wondering if she really committed those crimes. She tells her life's story — from her turbulent journey to Canada and the loss of her family to the murders of Thomas Kinnear (Paul Gross) and Nancy Montgomery (Anna Paquin) and her stints in an asylum — to an early doctor of psychiatry (Edward Holcroft) as she weaves an intricate quilt. Now available on Netflix.

Review: Alias Grace a spellbinding tale of true crime and quiltmaking
More than just sex: The Girlfriend Experience: The first season of critically acclaimed series The Girlfriend Experience is about sex and power focused on young 20-somethings navigating a new world of high-end escorts and starred Riley Keough. The second season of the anthology series focuses on two new parallel stories, each written, directed and executive produced by Lodge Kerrigan and Tampa native Amy Seimetz. One follows the complicated relationship between Erica and Anna (Anna Friel and Louisa Krause) during a corrupt political climate. The second explores a former "girlfriend experience" provider's new life out of the business. The reimagining of Steven Soderbergh's 2009 acclaimed movie of the same name moves beyond gratuitous sex and explores the complex relationships between these "GFEs," who own and wield their power, and their wealthy clients. 9 p.m. Sunday, Starz.
Collision course: SMILF: Frankie Shaw (Blue Mountain State, Good Girls Revolt) created, executive produced and now stars in SMILF, based on her Sundance Jury Award-winning short film of the same name. Shaw plays Bridgette, a 20-something single mom from South Boston whose desires for relationships and a career collide with her duties as a mom of a toddler. Rosie O'Donnell plays Bridgette's mom with Miguel Gomez, Samara Weaving and Alexandra and Anna Reimer rounding out the cast. Shaw plays a single, smart Southie, but who's really a hot mess in this eight-episode dark comedy. SMILF is a raw, comical look at doing it all on your own while still trying to grow up yourself. But in the end Bridgette is just trying to give her son Larry Bird (yes, like the basketball player) a better life. 10 p.m. Sunday, Showtime.
New to Hulu: Airplane!: The 1980 satirical disaster film parody is heralded as one of the funniest movies of all time. When passengers and flight crew are incapacitated by illness, a rogue pilot and his stewardess ex-girlfriend must work together to bring the plane safely to the ground. Airplane! was also the debut film for Otto, the inflatable autopilot who became one of the most iconic movie objects of all time.

The Aristocats: Everybody wants to be a cat. And if you don't, you're wrong. The now 47-year-old Disney animated film follows a princessly white cat Duchess (Eva Gabor) and her three kittens after they're defrauded of their inheritance left by their wealthy owner. An orange alley cat and his band of brothers help the Duchess get back to her home in Paris while introducing them to two kooky English geese and a cat jazz band.
Upcoming streaming releases

Friday: The Big Family Cooking Showdown (Netflix), Falling Water Season 1 (Amazon)

Nov. 10: Taboo Season 1 (Hulu), Lady Dynamite Season 2 (Netflix)

Nov. 14: Future Man (Hulu)

Nov. 17: The Punisher (Netflix)

Nov. 21: Marvel's Runaways (Hulu)

Nov. 22: Godless (Netflix)

Contact Chelsea Tatham at ctatham@tampabay.com. Follow @chelseatatham.

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