How Much Watching Time Do You Have This Weekend?

By Margaret Lyons

It’s a great weekend for new literary adaptations, one of Jane Austen, another of Stephen King. Also: a heartfelt new documentary series.

Ben Mendelsohn, left, and Yul Vazquez in “The Outsider.”
Ben Mendelsohn, left, and Yul Vazquez in “The Outsider.”Credit...Bob Mahoney/HBO
Margaret Lyons

No matter how much free time you have this weekend, we have TV recommendations for you. Come back every week for new suggestions on what to watch.

‘The Outsider’
When to watch: Sunday at 9 p.m., on HBO.

Ben Mendelsohn stars as a sad detective on this new entry into the Dead Kid Show genre, adapted from the Stephen King novel. The show combines three parts “True Detective,” one part “Stranger Things,” one part “The Missing” and a dash of “Ozark” thanks to Jason Bateman’s role as the primary suspect (and director of the first two episodes). “The Outsider” is dark — visually, emotionally — but absorbing, patient with both its misery and its misdirection. It’s a high viscosity show, oozy and murky, spreading itself along unexpected paths.

‘Sanditon’
When to watch: Sunday at 10 p.m., on PBS.

Jane Austen never finished her manuscript for “Sanditon,” so this is part adaptation, part patchwork quilt. Through a chance encounter, Charlotte (Rose Williams) has the opportunity to leave her home and move to a seaside resort town — well, an emerging resort town, anyway, where she encounters friendship, romance, swimming and some scandalous behaviors. The show is lush and fun; Austen purists might not go for every move here, but more flexible fans will appreciate their weekly allotment of furtive glances. (Check local listings for broadcast times.)

‘Cheer’
When to watch: Now, on Netflix.

This six-part documentary series about a community college cheerleading team comes from the same creative team as the one behind “Last Chance U,” and it shares that show’s intimacy and perceptiveness, as well as the heartbreaking back stories for many of the athletes. But unlike the football players, who are motivated by potential career opportunities, the cheerleaders here know that this squad is the final chapter in their cheering lives. Also the coach is not emotionally abusive, which is a welcome change. Be prepared to cry; it’s that kind of show in the best possible way.