Death To 2020 (Netflix special) — Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has had it with 2020, too, which is saying a lot, given that he’s used to telling the most unsettling tales on the streaming waves. In this darkly comedic special, familiar faces (including Samuel L. Jackson, Leslie Jones, Hugh Grant, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracey Ullman, Lisa Kudrow, Cristin Milioti, and more) come together documentary-style while narrating real-life archival footage as renowned (yet fictitious) characters. It’s the year-end meltdown that you didn’t know that you needed.
I Used to Go Here (HBO Max) — Gillian Jacobs and Jemaine Clement star in this Andy Samberg-produced movie about a 30-something novelist (Kate Conklin) who may be a one-hit wonder. Following a traumatic breakup, she ends up heading back to her alma mater, where she finds herself entrenched in all kinds of college-age drama after an old professor invites her for a homecoming.
Bridgerton — (Netflix series) Shondaland brings us a series that I’m predicting will appeal to the Emily In Paris crowd but in a far less problematic way. Essentially, the show follows the debut of a daughter from a powerful family, who must navigate high society with the help of the rebellious Duke of Hastings, as they hatch a plan to reach their mutual goals. The romantic aspect of this series might be predictable, but the lessons learned and the lightly nibbling social commentary should strike a chord out there on Twitter.
Soul — (Pixar film on Disney+) Yep, this movie was scheduled for theaters, too, and you know the drill by now, but you’ve probably never seen anything like this Pixar installment. Jamie Foxx voices a jazz-obssesed music school music teacher in this existential and cosmic movie. His character dies, turns into a fuzzy blob, and then ends up in a place called The Great Before. There, he learns about the inception of souls and personalities before they head up to Earth. He ends up answering profound life questions for himself while exploring what makes life worth living.
Wonder Woman 1984 — (Warner Bros. film on HBO Max) Years ago, no one would have imagined the newest Wonder Woman movie heading straight to streaming (at the same time as some U.S. theaters), but here we are. And the end result ain’t dark and gritty but, instead, a lot like dessert. Gal Gadot’s Diana is done with World War I, and now she’s soaring through a mall food court and working in a museum. Watch out for that Cheetah (Kristen Wiig) and Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal), and yes, Chris Pine’s Steve Trevor is somehow back for more after presumably biting the dust.
The Midnight Sky (Netflix flm) — George Clooney’s got a good-enough Netflix movie, y’all. He’s also got a David Letterman beard while playing a cancer-afflicted, lonely scientist in the Arctic who’s also struggling to survive on post-apocalyptic Earth while attempting to help save some astronauts. The screenplay hails from The Revenant‘s Mark L. Smith, so The Revenant + Gravity? That sounds epic, Oscar-y, and like a different kind of late-December movie than we’re used to from Netflix (Bright, Bird Box, 6 Underground). Let’s hope we don’t see any angry (polar) bears entering the equation.