This show has already set viewership records as Netflix’s most popular limited series, so just skip it if you’ve seen it before. But if you’ve resisted the siren call of high-stakes chess and the haunting eyes of Anya Taylor-Joy, we suggest you give it a go. Based on Walter Tevis’ novel, The Queen’s Gambit follows an orphan who discovers she is a chess prodigy and uses the game as her ticket to a better life. The period setting and the show’s globetrotter narrative are the perfect antidote to blues lockdown.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
If you’re looking for a new holiday movie, and something that has the potential to be a classic down the line, David E. Talbert’s Jingle Jangle is worth a look. It tells the story of Jeronicus Jangle, a successful genius inventor who is betrayed by his young apprentice, and whose life subsequently goes down rapidly. An older Jeronicus, played by Forest Whitaker, gets a second chance at a happy life thanks to his granddaughter, Journey. Of course, it can follow the pattern of so many other Christmas fables, but Jingle Jangle stands out with its stunning artistic design and catchy musical numbers (including new songs by John Legend).
Christmas is probably not the best time to dive into a TV show that explores the nature of evil and a group of psychopaths trying to push the world into chaos, so maybe call evil as our anti-holiday suggestion. Like The X-Files crossed with The Exorcist and The Silence of the Lambs, it’s a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers) who ends up working with a priest-in-training (Mike Colter from Luke Cage) and a skeptical investigator then. that they explore paranormal phenomena. It’s a show that’s not afraid of getting weird and scary, so horror fans will eat it, even though it’s originally a CBS drama. This is yet another series from Michelle and Robert King, the creators of the Good wife and Nice fight, two other must-watch shows.
Also on Netflix:
My octopus teacher : A filmmaker forms a moving bond with an octopus that changes his life forever.
Tiny creatures: Mini-adventures of small animals across America, ingeniously captured in a British backyard during the pandemic.
Avatar the last airbender and the legend of Korra: Two of the best animated shows ever.
The old guard: Charlize Theron leads a group of immortal warriors in this action-packed comedic adaptation.
I can destroy you
Michaela Cole’s follow-up to Chewing Gum is one of the best shows of the year, period. She plays the role of a successful young influencer who passes out on a party night and later learns that she may have been raped. The series explores this assault and its impact, but it also delves into many of the issues that women and LGBTQ people face. It might sound relentlessly serious, but it’s lightened up by Cole and his excellent cast, who bring the series to life with a truly close friendship.
How to deal with John Wilson
Each episode of How To With John Wilson begins with a fairly straightforward self-help goal: “How to Make Small Conversations” or “How to Cover Your Furniture”. But while it may seem straightforward at first, the series often veers into wild tangents, like host John Wilson finding himself in the middle of filming MTV Spring Break, or outside a Las Vegas hotel before make the national news to collapse. Nothing this year captures the beauty and weirdness of New York better than the endless footage on this show. Just be careful to watch the furniture covering the episode with your parents or kids, because it goes to places … extreme.
Also on HBO Max:
The stewardess: A murder mystery explosion with healthy travel porn, for those who miss stealing.
Bad Education: Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of a twisted high school principal makes it one of the best films of the year.
Patrol of Fate: It was easy to ignore this show on DC’s streaming service, but now that it’s easily accessible, I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a new twist on superheroes.
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you probably don’t need to be convinced to watch Disney’s flagship TV show. But now that it’s in its second season, I can’t help but give it more praise. With a simple setup – a lone bounty hunter must protect Baby Yoda – the series captures the essence of Star Wars’ western and samurai influences. It’s pretty much Lone Wolf and the Cub in space, except there are sometimes air combat and lightsaber battles. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni managed to create one of the best live action Star Wars tours yet – it’s so good, it’ll make you forget about The Rise of Skywalker.
Also on Disney +:
Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian: A behind-the-scenes look at the design of the series. It’s worth watching just to see how Favreau and his team use huge LED panels to shoot the show.
Gargoyles: The classic TV series is available in its entirety, and it still holds up with excellent writing and excellent voice acting. It’s worth having Disney + just for that, to be honest.
The happiest season
A typical vacation movie house with a twist: Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis play a lesbian couple who must hide their relationship from a strained family. Happiest Season sets itself apart from the typical Hallmark-level dreck with a fun storyline, one of the best castings in recent memory (Victor Garber! Mary Steenburgen! Allison Brie! Aubrey Plaza!) And genuinely realistic emotional beats.
Also on Hulu:
Animaniacs: A timely reboot of the classic series.
Wake up: A designer learns to use his art for more than just laughing.
Palm springs: Two people get stuck in a time loop, but it’s not just another Groundhog Day.
Other things to watch out for
Ted Lasso (Apple TV +): One of the funniest shows of the year. That’s the perfect dose of optimism in a pretty poor year.
Central Park (Apple TV +): From the creator of Bob’s Burgers, a musical takes place in the middle of Manhattan’s iconic park.
Sound of metal (Amazon prime): Riz Ahmed plays the role of a drummer who loses his hearing and is forced to face an entirely new way of life.
Small Ax (Amazon Prime): Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen’s series of films exploring the West Indian community in the UK. Don’t forget to watch Lover’s Rock, one of the most romantic movies released this year.
Counterpart (Amazon Prime): JK Simmons plays two roles in a sci-fi spy thriller, where two alternate realities wage an endless cold war.
London Gangs (AMC +): Director Gareth Evans (The Raid) brings his visceral action sensibility to an epic British gangster story.
Saved by the Bell (Peacock): No kidding, Peacock’s smart reboot is one of the funniest shows in recent memory, mainly because he acknowledges that the original show was pretty terrible.
Independent Theaters: Be sure to visit your local theater website, as these are likely streaming movies to watch on the internet. There’s no better way to support theaters right now.