With the holidays underway, once the stockings are emptied, presents opened, and bellies fully of turkey and pumpkin pie, it’s time to sit back and relax with a cup of hot cocoa and a great TV series.
Thankfully, lots of new shows, and new seasons, are being added to every major streaming service this week, offering plenty of choice when it comes to top-notch content. But what should you watch?
Whether you’re looking for something you can watch with the entire family or want a thrilling drama to watch once the kids are in bed, there’s no shortage of options. Here are the best new shows or new seasons you can watch this week.
Go! Go! Cory Carson
The third season of this popular animated children’s series based on the line of VTech toy cars was just released in January 2020 and already, a third season is coming. Starting December 26, you can follow the new adventures of the anthropomorphic vehicles, led by Cory, a friendly orange car with yellow stripes. Kids relate to Cory as he deals with starting school, trying to make new friends, and learning to be responsible. Every episode is only seven or eight minutes long, but it’s great entertainment for little ones.
Big Mouth (2017)
This coming-of-age animated sitcom isn’t for kids: created by Family Guy writer Andrew Goldberg, actor-comedian Nick Kroll, and writer-producer husband and wife team, Marin Levin and Jennifer Flackett, it’s based on Kroll and Goldberg’s lives growing up as teenagers in suburban New York City. Kroll provides the voice for the younger version of himself as he explores the pivotal changes that come with reaching puberty. Stream all four seasons to date.
The Holiday Movies That Made Us (2019)
The series, a spin-off of The Toys That Made Us, debuted last year as The Movies That Made Us, highlighting four influential films: Dirty Dancing, Home Alone, Ghostbusters, and Die Hard. Season two shifts focus just to Christmas movies. There will only be two episodes, but they’ll look at a pair of the most memorable holiday films: Elf, Jon Favreau’s hilarious 2003 comedy starring Will Ferrell as an oversized child-like man who believes he’s an elf, and the 1993 stop-motion Tim Burton classic, The Nightmare Before Christmas. In both cases, there are some truly intriguing facts about how the movies were made, and this series will delve deep into the behind-the-scenes details. It’s a perfect watch for movie buffs and those in need of some Christmas cheer.
Stargate SG-1 (1997)
Sci-fi fans will revel in the news that this cult classic Canadian-American military sci-fi adventure series is finally coming to Netflix. Based on the 1994 film Stargate, the series picks up where the movie left off. When it’s discovered that an alien device called the Stargate can access various devices in space, the United States Air Force creates a special ops team, known as SG-1, to try and fend off attacks. Combining elements of both sci-fi and mythology, the series flew under the radar for so long, despite many pundits, including Rolling Stone magazine, calling it one of the best sci-fi series of all time. Stream all 10 seasons.
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays (2010)
Marking the fifth special holiday edition of this popular baking competition show, competitors take to the tent to bake the most scrumptious holiday-themed dishes they can put together, both savory and sweet. In the past, the shorter-length holiday show featured just four returning bakers from previous seasons showing off their holiday baking talents to judges Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith in hopes of impressing them with their flavor, technical, and presentation skills. Also known as The Great British Bake Off, the British series has been airing since 2010 and the holiday shows since 2016.
Selena: The Series (2020)
The 1997 movie adaptation of Tejano singer Selena and her life and brutal killing helped put Jennifer Lopez on the map as both a serious actor and a talented singer. And now, the story of this Spanish singer whose life was cut short at just 23 will be returning to the screen in this biographical drama. Rather than focusing on her death, it tells the story of Selena’s life, her rise to fame, and the sacrifices her family made to help her make it in Hollywood. Christian Serratos (The Walking Dead) stars as Selena in the musical series that will be a must-watch for fans of the late singer and Tejano music in general. All nine episodes of season one are available to stream.
While this series has been canceled, you might still want to check out the 20 episodes of the two seasons, all of which are streaming now. A supernatural horror drama based on the 2013 Joe Hill novel of the same name, Victoria, an artist, possesses supernatural abilities that she uses to track an immortal being that feeds off the souls of young children. When the psychopath Charlie Manx, played by Zachary Quinto, is done with the kids, he leaves their remains in a twisted village called Christmasland where they are forced to act happy, despite being held captive. The second season received much better reviews than the first.
Hulu picked up exclusive streaming distribution rights for this hilarious Canadian sitcom about the residents of the fictional rural community of Letterkenny, loosely based on creator Jared Keeso’s own hometown of Listowel, Ontario. It’s rife with Canadian themes, from ice hockey to farmers known as “hicks,” drug addicts called “skids,” and local Mennonites and French-speaking Quebecois people. And the series aims to squash stereotypes of small-town folk possessing a lower level of intelligence, with quick-witted residents making use of sharp wordplay and puns, and educated world views. Originally starting as a YouTube web series, the sitcom has acquired a legion of fans across North America, and the upcoming ninth season, which will be available to stream starting December 26, is highly anticipated.
This Canadian medical drama centers around a group of nurses at a hospital in downtown Toronto dealing with the everyday trauma, intense situations, and medical emergencies, but with stories told from their perspective. Created by the same team behind the popular series Rookie Blue, the show premiered north of the border in January and was picked up by Hulu for distribution in the U.S. It has gotten lackluster reviews thus far but if you’re looking for something to satiate your desire for a new medical drama, this series might just fit the bill.
The Hardy Boys (2020)
While the teen drama is designed for kids, parents who grew up with these memorable characters and the novels will appreciate the show as well. Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy move to the small town of Bridgeport for the summer to stay with their aunt. But when they find out their father, a detective, is part of a secret investigation, their penchants for sleuthing means they can’t help but get caught up in trying to help him solve the case. These boys might be from a big city, but they quickly realize that even in a small town, anyone could be the culprit.
While the story sounds pretty despondent, this really is a hilarious British sitcom that will have you laughing the whole way through. At the heart is Vinnie, a man with a troubled past and suffering from bipolar disorder who struggles with making changes in his life. His four close friends feel the same, each wondering if it’s time to leave their small northern English town of Hawley and start a new life on the straight and narrow. While it might be time to move on and grow up, when that means leaving your lifelong buds behind, not to mention the only way of life you’ve known, it’s a lot easier said than done. You can stream seasons 1 and 2.
The West Wing
Following its departure on Netflix, this long-running Aaron Sorkin serial political drama that originally aired from 1999 through to 2006 will find a new home on HBO Max. All seven seasons will be available to stream starting Christmas Day, where viewers can relive Martin Sheen’s portrayal of the fictional President Josiah Bartlet. The series features lots of additional A-list talent as supporting characters, many as members of Bartlet’s administration, including Rob Lowe, Dule Hill, Allison Janney, Bradley Whitford, and Moira Kelly. Widely considered to be one of the best TV series of all time, it’s worth binging for the first time over the holidays or watching again.
Hailing from Germany, this gangster drama follows a Lebanese crime family and drug cartel and its leader, Ali “Toni” Hamady, who yearns to leave his life of crime behind and start anew. But when his brother-in-law is arrested, he must try and make things right before he exits the business for good. Naturally, that plan is easier said than done. Having received critical acclaim in its home country, the German-language series is poised to fill the genre hole left by the ending of series like The Sopranos and Sons of Anarchy.
Starring The Walking Dead‘s Michael Cudlitz, Kevin Alejandro (Parenthood, True Blood), Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Gotham), and multi-Emmy winner Regina King, all five seasons of this crime drama are available to stream. Focused on LAPD officers and their interactions with detectives, criminals, and other parties, it has been lauded for being raw, authentic, and character-driven versus your standard police procedural. It draws comparisons to other shows like The Wire and The Shield, so it’s safe to say if you like shows that fall into that genre, this one is worth checking out.
The Flight Attendant (2020)
Marking Kaley Cuoco’s return to the small screen, this miniseries features the former Big Bang Theory star as a flight attendant who wakes up hungover in a Bangkok hotel with a dead body beside her. In shock and terrified, she decides to go about her day as if nothing happened instead of calling the police. But when she arrives in New York, FBI agents are there to question her about her layover. The series continues as she tries to piece together the events that led up to the night to prove her innocence while also dealing with the possibility that someone might be after her. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, praising Cuoco’s performance as a “hot mess” and calling the series “addictively intriguing.” Binge all seven episodes now.
His Dark Materials (2019)
Based on the Philip Pullman novel series of the same name, this BBC fantasy drama premiered in 2019, and the second season of seven episodes is now available for streaming. Set in an alternate world, humans walk with daemons, animal companions that are manifestations of the human soul. The story centers around a young orphan named Lyra who, in searching for her missing friend, discovers sinister goings-on and embarks on a journey full of adventure and danger. Season two begins when Lyra enters an entirely new world through a portal, and the adventure continues with even more special effects and stunning visuals to captivate viewers.
Looney Tunes (1930)
If you cringe when someone under 30 doesn’t know who Bugs Bunny, Speedy Gonzales, or Wile E. Coyote is, you’ll be elated to know that all episodes of this long-running series of cartoons, from 1930 through to 1969, are now streaming. Introduce your children and grandchildren to iconic characters (and nostalgia-filled musical compositions) like Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety, Porky Pig, Road Runner, and Elmer Fudd. They’ll be “hunting wabbits,” Googling ACME Corporation, and declaring that they “ain’t no chicken” in no time.
Catch up with the fifth season of this Amazon original sci-fi series as you prepare for the already-renewed sixth and final season to come. Humanity now exists in the Solar System, and a group of antiheroes finds themselves in the midst of a conspiracy. The show actually originally aired on Syfy, but after its cancellation in 2018, Amazon Prime Video swept in and released season 4, much to the joy of fans. Season 5 includes 10 episodes.
The Wilds (2020)
Several young girls become stranded on a deserted island following a plane crash. It was seemingly an accident, but the girls eventually realize that it might not have been one at all. The series is about survival at its core, but it has also been described as an “angsty teen drama.” There are 10 episodes in the first season, all available to binge at once.
City on a Hill (2019)
Based on an idea brought forth by Ben Affleck and Charlie MacLean, the latter of whom created the series, this crime drama stars Kevin Bacon as a corrupt FBI agent who joins forces with a district attorney named Decourcy (Aldis Hodge) in hopes of ending violence and corruption in 1990s Boston. A fictional story, it is based on the real “Boston Miracle,” a police initiative implemented in 1996 that aimed to put an end to youth gun violence. With pretty decent reviews, the series has been renewed by its home network, Showtime, for a second season. For now, stream all 10 episodes in season 1.
Ray Donovan (2013)
The incredible cast makes this crime drama a must-watch. Liev Schreiber is the title character, a “fixer” for the wealthy, elite, and powerful who discreetly turned to him when they need problems to, well, disappear. Ray uses whatever means necessary, from blackmail to threats, intimidation, and manipulation, to get what he needs. He learned from the best, his lowlife criminal absentee father, played by the incomparable Jon Voight. While the series is full of the gritty violence you’d expect from such a show, it’s the fractured family relationship between Ray, his father, his equally troubled brothers, his wife, and kids that serves as the heartbeat behind the intense fights and gruesome crime scenes. Check out all of season 1; the show aired for seven seasons but won’t return for an eighth.
The Affair (2014)
What ripple effects do extramarital affairs have? This intriguing drama explores the answer to that question with a star-studded cast that includes Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, and Joshua Jackson. In a unique format, every episode is divided in two, with each half being told from the perspective of one party involved in the infidelity. Naturally, memory bias comes into play as events are recalled far differently by one person than they are by the other. Airing on Showtime for five seasons, the first season, which is now available for streaming, focuses on the perspectives of Noah (West), a married father of four, and Alison (Wilson), a married waitress with whom he begins a torrid affair. Viewers get to see things from each person’s lens, with subsequent seasons focusing on other characters and how they view the situation.
Tom & Jerry Tales (2006)
One of many incarnations of these popular animated cartoon characters, this one brings the cat-and-mouse duo back together for more antics as Tom the cat relentlessly chases Jerry the mouse to devour him for dinner while Jerry continues to set clever traps to stop him. Of course, deep down, they’re actually friends and Tom would never think of eating Jerry. Check out season 1 from the two-season run, which includes a total of 13 short episodes. For those who grew up with the originals, they’ll revel in the nostalgia and the simplicity of cartoons that required nothing more than some silly props and engaging sound effects to make kids laugh.
Work in Progress (2019)
Written and executive produced in part by Lilly Wachowski, it stars the show’s creator, writer, comedian, and actor Abby McEnany, in a semiautobiographical role. Described as a series about a 45-year-old lesbian living with depression and OCD, the show also stars comedian Julia Sweeney as a fictionalized version of herself as well as actor Theo Germaine, known for their role in Netflix’s The Politician, as a trans man who begins dating Abby. Also, keep an eye out for “Weird Al” Yankovic in a special guest-starring role as a fictionalized version of himself and Julia’s husband. The single-camera comedy has been renewed for a second season and you can stream the entire first now.
The Bernie Mac Show (2001)
One of the great comedic talents of this generation, Bernie Mac managed to get his own show that aired for five seasons. The sitcom was loosely based on some of his own stand-up material as well as elements of his own life. Mac’s character and his wife are childless until they find themselves having to care for Bernie’s three nieces and nephews when his sister goes to rehab. Naturally, he knows nothing about parenting but does his best, often to hilarious ends. As many sitcoms did in that era, Mac breaks the fourth wall often, speaking to the audience, whom he refers to as “America,” to share his feelings, which are both funny and emotional.
Mad About You (1992)
This premise of this sitcom about a professional couple living in New York — the husband a documentary filmmaker and the wife a public relations specialist — sounds pretty mundane. But it became widely popular thanks to its starring cast, Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, and the clever writing that made them so relatable as a couple. The series has such staying power that it spawned a limited series revival in 2019. Even if you watched back in the ’90s, it’s worth watching all eight seasons a second time just for the revolving door of recurring characters. These include names like Hank Azaria, Mel Brooks, Jeff Garlin, and Lisa Kudrow (as Ursula Buffay, Phoebe’s twin sister from Friends); while the guest star list reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, with Kevin Bacon, Steve Buscemi, and Eugene Levy as just a few of those who appeared in episodes.
Earth at Night in Color (2020)
Narrated by Tom Hiddleston, this natural history series makes good use of next-generation cameras to capture captivating images and footage of nocturnal animals. For the first time, you can see in vivid color and detail what these creatures get up to at night. The series was filmed across six continents, starting from the Arctic Circle and moving to the African grasslands, investigating the behavior of all kinds of animals, from lions and tigers to bears, oh my.
This might just become your new latest obsession to watch with the kids. The animated series, which is suitable for kids 7 and up, is about three siblings, Karl, Addy, and Michael, who live next door to a wise panda named Stillwater. Despite their differences, the kids learn a lot from Stillwater, who is able to regale them with stories that teach them new perspectives on life, love, and each other. It’s heartwarming and sweet, with a lesson in every episode that will teach kids to have faith in themselves, work harder, and be confident that they can achieve anything to which they set their minds.
Doug Unplugs (2020)
Based on the book series Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino, a young robot named Doug decides that he wants to explore life beyond just facts. So instead of plugging in like the rest of the robots for his usual daily download, he unplugs and sets out on an adventure to experience the wonders of the world by joining human life with his best friend Emma. Each episode is a short 11 minutes long.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Set to debut on December 18, the first season of this travel series is a continuation of the voyage Carl Sagan began more than 40 years ago to explore humanity, including events and truths from the past, present, and future. It features VFX, stylized animations, and dramatic reenactments to provide an exciting as well as educational look into science and the world around us. The show, which originally aired on National Geographic in March 2020, is a follow-up to the 2014 series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, which itself was a follow-up to Sagan’s 1980 PBS original, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Along with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson serving as presenter, the series counts Seth MacFarlane among its executive producers.
The Mandalorian (2019)
The second season of this Star Wars franchise space Western commenced on October 30, 2020, and came to an end December 18. Not surprisingly, season 3 is also already in the works. The series, which took home an impressive seven Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards and was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, is set five years after the events of 1983’s Return of the Jedi and follows the story of a bounty hunter (Pedro Pascal) who is trying to locate someone known as “The Child,” now known as Grogu (and affectionately called “Baby Yoda”), followed by his adventures with the adorable creature. This will be one to savor since the third season won’t arrive until the end of 2021, though there are a few spin-offs in the works to whet your appetites while you anxiously await the next 12 months to come and go.