The streaming services continue to be king as the holiday season continues with returns from beloved franchises. This means that even though you may have Thanksgiving leftovers (TV shows, obviously) and lingering episodes from The White Lotus and Fleishman Is In Trouble will come, there’s another mountain of content coming your way.
Emily In Paris will continue to both charm and rile up the masses while Doom Patrol makes a triumphant (misfit) return from the wreckage. As well, two high profile prequels — from the Yellowstone and The Witcher universes — will soon arrive to put different spins on the worlds that viewers thought they already knew. We will somehow see The Bard this year, and we will receive Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren holding down the cowboy fort, so saddle up, and get ready for the shows worth watching in December.
Gossip Girl: Season 2 (HBO Max series streaming 12/1)
Surprisingly enough, reboot fatigue didn’t happen here. This series sparked enough interest to generate another season of a show that doesn’t have Penn Badgly, Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, or Sebastian Stan, but it’s still got scandal. Gossip Girl’s pulling plenty of strings while soaring through Manhattan’s most elite circles. As well, the show manages to stand apart from the original with plenty of rightful drama revolving around the new gang. Even if this series doesn’t seem like your type of show, you might not be able to resist getting caught up if you begin binging now.
Branson: Season (HBO docuseries streaming on HBO Max 12/1)
The greatest Shark Tank guest shark and Virgin Atlantic billionaire Richard Branson’s entire life unfolds in this limited series that traces his 70-year path. His effusive personality and love for adventure are second only to his zest for philanthropy, as behind-the-scenes and archival footage show, along with interviews from those who know him best. From his early entrepreneurial success to his quest to take civilians into space, you’ll be riveted by this complex, somewhat enigmatic figure who walks the walk.
Slow Horses: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series streaming 12/2)
Gary Oldman made a heck of an entrance last season, and he’s back in this espionage series that moves into unburying Cold War secrets that are wreaking havoc in London. There will be Russian villains because of course, and although there are only six episodes in this season, there’s carnage and catastrophe and (fingers crossed) hopefully some more flatulence for the ages. Seriously though, it’s a thrilling spy drama that allows the heroes some dysfunction for some extra flavor.
Doom Patrol: Season 4 (HBO Max series streaming 12/8)
Hold onto your dancing butts, y’all. Brendan Fraser’s back as the eternally frustrated disembodied brain inside of a robotic body. He’s terrific as Cliff Steele in this show that you really should be watching, and he’s backed up by Diane Guerrero as many iterations of Crazy Jane, along with Matt Bomer as Negative Man, April Bowlby as Elasi-Girl, and Jovian Wade as Cyborg, oh and Michelle Gomez as Madame Rouge. DC’s misfit superheroes are facing what might be certain doom, but at least some of them other than Cliff got to have a collective orgasm along the way.
Little America: Season 2 (Apple TV+ series streaming 12/9)
This acclaimed anthology series (from creators Lee Eisenberg and Siân Heder) returns with eight more inspired-by-real-life stories about the immigrant experience in America. Expect to feel a wide range of emotions while witnessing these heartfelt and sometimes surprising stories as executive produced by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. Ultimately, the show can perhaps make us feel better despite the dumpster fire of a nation that we cannot help but acknowledge that we live in today.
Kindred: Season 1 (FX series streaming on Hulu 12/13)
It’s adaptation time for Octavia E. Butler’s sci-fi, time-traveling novel about a writer who revisits the world of nineteenth-century plantations. Naturally, one can expect a lot of genre-bending in this story, which encompasses wide-spanning themes including racial prejudice and human rights. There’s also the specter of generational trauma and an infusion of romance in this ambitious project brought to life, in part, by Zola director Janicza Bravo and Watchmen consulting producer Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
1923: Season 1 (Paramount+ series streaming 12/19)
Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone universe won’t stop, and here comes another prequel/origin story for the Dutton family. As the show’s title suggests, this show picks up four decades following the events of 1883, and two land-defending Duttons shall be portrayed by Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren. There are forces of nature to contend with, sure, but more than that, there’s the Great Depression and Prohibition. As well, a ton of antagonists would like to get their hands on that ranch property, but Helen ain’t having it. Surely, you’ve seen her work, right? She means business.
Emily In Paris: Season 3 (Netflix series streaming 12/21)
Primetime soap-opera king Darren Star’s latest success returns with a character who’s somehow less sophisticated in France than Carrie Bradshaw was in the final Sex and the City season. Emily Cooper’s having a lot more fun than her predecessor, though, even though she cannot speak French. This season, she’ll continue to nurse the mutual attraction with Hot Chef Gabriel although he and she are dating other people (Camille and Alfie, respectively). Sylvie’s Savoir fallout should continue as well, but I’d really like to see more dirty-skillet controversy, please.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season 3 (Amazon Prime series streaming 12/21)
John Krasinski returns in this spy thriller after a three-year break due to you-know-what. This season, the CIA’s finest returns to follow up on his harrowing Venezuela happenings to dodge the Russians. Hey, it happens! The show might not always make perfect sense, and that’s alright because storytelling can be a lot more fun while taking wild leaps. Furthermore, the series has also been announced to wrap loose ends up with a fourth season, so it must be doing something right. A growing audience of millions must be onto something.
The Witcher: Blood Origin (Netflix limited series streaming 12/25)
Henry Cavill will depart the franchise’s building after the flagship series’ Season 3, but this limited prequel series takes things back to where it all began. We’ll likely see the inception of the first Witcher prototype, over 1200 years before Geralt of Rivia grunted his way across the continent. Michelle Yeoh portrays Scian, an elven swordmaster whose ferocious reputation may precede her, and expect plenty of swordplay and axe swinging. And Jaskier, too? I’m not sure how that’s possible, but alright.