On the Radar: Our April entertainment picks

'Rick and Morty' is the critically acclaimed, half-hour animated hit comedy series on Adult Swim. Image courtesy of Adult Swim

Welcome to On the Radar, your monthly reminder of what’s coming down the pike in the world of entertainment.

We’ve got the latest TV shows, movies, books and more — all coming out in April.

Take a look and see what’s up this month.


New Channel: Adult Swim 

Corus Entertainment is launching the world’s first-ever 24-hour Adult Swim channel in Canada on April 1, 2019. From original animated comedies to live-action programming, Adult Swim content is an unexpected blend of authenticity, originality and cleverness. Engaging audiences through a bold and irreverent voice, Adult Swim offers an immersive experience that places fans at the centre, bringing together comedy, gaming, music and live events. The new channel features iconic Adult Swim series, including original series Rick and MortyRobot Chicken, Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories and The Eric Andre Show, plus popular acquisitions Family GuyBob’s BurgersAmerican Dad and more.

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Absentia (Showcase)
Premiere date: Wednesday, April 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

After rescuing her family, clearing her name and returning to “normal” life, former FBI agent Emily Byrne (Stana Katic) is still riddled with guilt and self-doubt, struggling with the unknown of what truly happened to her during her years of captivity. Hungry for answers, Emily chases down leads with the help of Boston police Det. Tommy Gibbs (Angel Bonanni) but only finds more questions. When a homegrown terrorist attack rocks Boston, the city’s FBI field office springs into action to find the perpetrator. Special Agent Nick Durand (Patrick Heusinger) leads the search for the domestic terrorist, working alongside Special Agent-In-Charge Derek Crown (Christopher Colquhoun) and new profiler Special Agent Julianne Gunnarsen (Natasha Little). Meanwhile, Emily’s investigation into her past becomes a hunt for a serial killer whose crimes have been overlooked in the citywide chaos. Season 2 of Absentia premieres April 3.

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Our Planet (Netflix)
Release date: Friday, April 5

Experience our planet’s natural beauty and examine how climate change impacts all living creatures in this ambitious documentary of spectacular scope. Our Planet is from the makers of Planet Earth and is narrated by Emmy and BAFTA winner Sir David Attenborough. Utilizing the latest technology, Our Planet was filmed entirely in Ultra High Definition in over 50 countries. From exotic jungles to the deepest seas, open your eyes to the connections we all share.

Tijuana (Netflix)
Release date: Friday, April 5

When a prominent politician is murdered, the intrepid journalists of Frente Tijuana risk their lives to uncover the truth. Starring Damián Alcázar, Tamara Vallarta and Rolf Petersen, Tijuana Season 1 is set to be released on April 5.

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Special (Netflix)
Release date: Friday, April 12

Special is a distinctive and uplifting new series about Ryan, a gay man with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants. After years of dead-end internships, working in his pajamas as a blogger and communicating mostly via text, Ryan eventually figured out how to take his life from bleak to chic and began limping towards adulthood. The offbeat comedy is based on series creator and star Ryan O’Connell’s memoir, I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves. O’Connell also serves as an executive producer alongside Jim Parsons.


Pet Sematary
Release date: Friday, April 5

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Click to play video: '‘Pet Sematary’ remake trailer'
‘Pet Sematary’ remake trailer

The upcoming remake of Pet Sematary, the latest film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, will be released on April 5. Directed by Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer, the new movie focuses on a doctor (Jason Clarke) and his family as they move from Boston to Maine and discover a mysterious burial ground. The doctor turns to his neighbour, Judd Crandall (John Lithgow), after a sudden tragedy. King’s novel was published in 1983, and the first film adaptation was released in 1988.

Release date: Friday, April 12

Jordan (Regina Hall) is a take-no-prisoners mogul who torments her long-suffering assistant and employees on a daily basis. She soon faces an unexpected threat to her personal life and career when she magically transforms into a 13-year-old version of herself.

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The Perfect Date
Release date: Friday, April 12

Brooks Rattigan (Noah Centineo) has the academic chops to get into his dream Ivy League school, but what he’s missing is an outstanding extracurricular — and the money. When he seizes on an opportunity to make some extra cash by posing as the boyfriend of a self-assured, combat boot-loving girl named Celia Lieberman (Laura Marano), he finds he has a knack for being the perfect stand-in. Together with his programmer friend Murph (Odiseas Georgiadis), Brooks launches an app selling himself as a plus-one for all occasions. Along the way, he meets the girl of his dreams (Camila Mendes). But when business starts to boom, Brooks must reassess everything he was once sure of.

Release date: Friday, April 17

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Disneynature’s all-new feature film Penguins is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he’s targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind Bears and Chimpanzee, Disneynature’s Penguins opens in theatres nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.

Avengers: Endgame
Release date: Friday, April 26

Click to play video: 'Captain Marvel joins the Avengers in new ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer'
Captain Marvel joins the Avengers in new ‘Avengers: Endgame’ trailer

The surviving members of the Avengers ban together again to save the world from the destruction wreaked by Thanos. The cast of Avengers: Endgame features Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Brolin, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Chris Pratt, Evangeline Lilly and Jon Favreau.

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Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly
Available Tuesday, April 2

Claire Rawlings, mother of two and medical resident, will not let the troubling signs of an allergic reaction prevent her from making it in for rounds. But when Claire’s symptoms overpower her while she’s driving into work, her two children in tow, she must pull over. Moments later, she wakes up on the floor of a gas station bathroom — her car and her precious girls have vanished.

The police have no leads, and the weight of guilt presses down on Claire as each hour passes with no trace of her girls. All she has to hold on to are her strained marriage, a potentially unreliable witness who emerges days later and the desperate but unquenchable belief that her daughters are out there somewhere.

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Little Lovely Things is the story of a family shattered by an unthinkable tragedy. Played out in multiple narrative voices, the novel explores how the lives of those affected fatefully intersect and highlights the potential catastrophe of the small decisions we make every day.

Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic B*tch Handbook by Stassi Schroeder
Available Tuesday, April 16

Discover how to embrace your best basic self in this laugh-out-loud funny guidebook from the breakout star of Bravo’s hit reality show Vanderpump Rules. Millions of Vanderpump Rules viewers and podcast listeners know Stassi Schroeder as a major defender of basic b*tch rights. There’s nothing more boring than people who take themselves too seriously or think that you have to be pretentious to be cool. Stassi champions the things that many of us are afraid to love publicly for fear of being labeled basic: lattes, pugs, bubbly cocktails, millennial pink, #OOTD (outfit of the day, obvs), astrology, hot dogs, the perfect pair of Louboutins, romantic comedies…the list goes on and on.

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This book is for people tired of pretending they would rather see a Daniel Day-Lewis movie about sewing or read War and Peace than watch a Saw marathon or read…well, this book!

Global News, Global TV, Adult Swim and Showcase are properties of Corus Entertainment.

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