Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix film) — Everyone loves Dolly (who helped fund a promising COVID vaccine), so at least there’s one thing that you won’t be arguing about with your relatives (over Zoom) this holiday season. Featuring an album full of original Dolly music, this film (which co-stars Christine Baranski) revolves around how the coldest of hearts can melt in the face of family, love, and the enduring Christmas spirit of a small town.
Small Axe (Amazon film collection) — Five Steve McQueen-directed movies will drop each Friday over the course of five weeks. The stories, set in London’s West Indian community, will explore the endurance of the human spirit despite setbacks from discrimination and rampant racism, all set from the late 1960s to the 1980s.
Run (Hulu film) — Starring Sarah Paulson and directed by Aneesh Chaganty, this suspense film might be the perfect distraction. Paulson plays an obsessive mother who controls her daughter in total isolation, and her daughter’s now only beginning to grasp the secretive (and unnatural, possibly sinister) reasons for this behavior.
The Mandalorian: Chapter 11 (Disney+ series) — This week, Baby Yoda eats macaroons, and things get dark. For kicks, we ranked Cobb Vanth actor Timothy Olyphant in his lawman roles, including his turn as the galaxy’s coolest marshal.
The Pack (Amazon series) — This reality competition show, hosted by Lindsey Vonn, hopes to celebrate the unbreakable bonds between dogs and humans. In the process, 12 dog-human teams will complete challenges on the race for a $500,000 price in addition to $250,000 for charity.
The Right Stuff: Episode 8 (NatGeo series on Disney+) – It’s series finale time. An underwhelmed Shepard’s sorting out his space voyage while turning toward family gratitude because he’s somehow still married. Meanwhile, Gordo and Trudy aren’t faring so well, and JFK throws down the gauntlet with NASA.
Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming:
How To With John Wilson (Friday, HBO 11:00 p.m.) — This week, Wilson dives into the murky waters of how to split the check, with all the fairness and drama that comes along with the practice. Wilson also spoke with us about capturing the intimacy and absurdity of life in New York.
2020 American Music Awards (Sunday, ABC 8:00 p.m.) — This pandemic-set awards ceremony includes performances from Megan Thee Stallion, Machine Gun Kelly, Billie Eilish, Katy Perry, Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez, BTS, Jennifer Lopez and Maluma, Shawn Mendes, and Justin Bieber.
Belushi (Sunday, Showtime 8:00 p.m.) — This documentary explores the life of the late legendary comedian John Belushi by digging into his most iconic characters both of the movie and SNL front, interspersed with home movies and words from friends and family.
The Undoing (Sunday, HBO 9:00 p.m.) — Hugh Grant’s fascinating turn as a possibly shady dude (and it’s about time) returns with Jonathan Fraser’s case taking a turn at trial while Grace and Henry discuss a secret.
Fear The Walking Dead (Sunday, AMC 9:00 p.m.) — Somehow, this atypically good season has already reached its midpoint with Alicia and Charlie looking for Dakota at the behest of Strand.
Murder On Middle Beach (Sunday, HBO 10:00 p.m.) — First-time director Madison Hamburg (who we spoke with) reveals his nearly decade-long journey to investigate who murdered his mother, Barbara, in a still-unsolved case out of Connecticut. The four-part series takes many twists and turns, including an exploration of the “Gifting Tables” Ponzi scheme, as well as interviews with friends, family members, and the law enforcement figures who let the case go cold. It’s a heck of a watch that will keep you guessing.
Fargo (Sunday, FX 10:00 p.m.) — The Chris Rock-led season sees Loy joining an uneasy alliance while Oraetta’s spoked, Josto is settling a score, Ethelrida gets risky, and Odis gets peaceful.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond (Sunday, AMC 10:00 p.m.) — The newest spinoff in this universe has the teens revisiting the group’s past following a horrific discovery.
Moonbase 8 (Sunday, Showtime 11:00 p.m. EST and streaming) — Fred Armisen, Tim Heidecker, and John C. Reilly are here to make space funny as astronauts working toward a lunar mission. This week, Cap and Skip have very different quarantine experiences, which leaves Rook and a few female team member alone with each other.
Voices of Fire (Netflix Film) — Pharrell Williams’ hometown community gets the spotlight as his uncle joins forces with Bishop Ezekiel Williams and other gospel leaders to build an inspiring choir. Together, they strike out in search of undiscovered talent to amass a collective voice with a greater, and more diverse meaning.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again (Netflix film) — Once again, Vanessa Hudgens is dealing with a switcheroo as Duchess Margaret. She’s unexpectedly inherited the Montenaro throne while having relationship troubles, so it’s time for the lookalike(s) to help sort things out. Clearly, people love these movies, so one might as well roll with it.
Alien Xmas (Netflix Film) — Only Christmas can save the world from kleptomaniac aliens, who are attempting to steal Earth’s gravity. Also, a cute alien named X is involved, hopefully on the good side.