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.
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.
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.
Letterkenny: Season Nine (Hulu series) — This season, the Hockey Team digs into Judaism, Katy goes into the dating scene with guns blazing, and there are some strange sleepovers afoot. Oh, and we’re in post-fight territory with Hicks, Skids, and Hockey Players going to the “American Buck and Doe” event.
The Mandalorian: Making of Season Two (Disney+ special) — Get ready for a special Baby Yoda present under your holiday tree. Yep, it’s an hour-long special that dives into the process behind this season’s biggest moments, including the return of Boba Fett and the live-action introduction of Ahsoka Tano. Can we please get a little Olyphant up in here, too?
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.
The Stand (CBS All Access) — Constant Readers will appreciate this fresh take on Stephen King’s epic novel, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest post-apocalyptic works of fiction. Those who are afraid of checking into pandemic land can rest assured that the show feels like an unlikely antidote to the hellish things that humanity has seen this year. The show also goes non-linear in order to avoid wading through the superflu like the book did, since this isn’t really a “pandemic” story but one about the rebuilding of society and the archetypal battle between good and evil.
Here’s the rest of this weekend’s notable programming:
Supermarket Sweep (Sunday, ABC 8:00 p.m.) — Leslie Jones and every bit of her enthusiasm will host contestants in this revival of the grocery-shopping game show.
The Outpost (Sunday, CW 9:00 p.m.) — Tobin’s a hero, and relatives are bringing painful truths for both Talon and Zed. Meanwhile, Yavalla’s horde is growing while it’s almost battle time.
Shameless: Hall Of Shame (Sunday, CW 9:00 p.m.) — Enjoy the first “Hall of Shame” episode that’s on tap for this final season. This week, Mickey and Ian’s volatile relationship gets the spotlight and a retrospective glance all the way back to their teen days to chart their evolution, which has led them to a very complicated marriage.
Your Honor (Sunday, Showtime 10:00 p.m.) — This week, Bryan Cranston is Panic-Cranstoning all over the place while Adam is consumed by guilt and buried in lies. Elizabeth tries to help her grandson at an incredibly awkward dinner party, and the dog totally knows what’s going on here, right?
In case you missed these recent picks:
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix film) — Chadwick Boseman left this world far too soon, but before he departed, he left us a lasting performance alongside Oscar winner Viola Davis. She portrays the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” and he’s her ambitious trumpeteer, Levee. Together with his fellow musicians, they will conquer a blazing hot 1920s Chicago recording session, and Levee will help inspire his colleagues to unleash truth-revealing stories that will alter their lives and, possibly, history itself. It’s a testament to the blues’ transformative power and adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play of the same name with Denzel Washington onboard as producer.
The Flight Attendant (HBO Max series) — It’s Season 1 finale time, y’all, so who’s the murderer? Kaley Cuoco busts away from the The Big Bang Theory with a fun flight of (darkly comedic) fancy. She plays portrays an airline stewardess whose international jet-setting lifestyle includes falling into bed in various countries with various handsome men. During the course of one particularly fateful encounter, Cassie wakes up next to the dead body of a one-night stand. She spends the rest of the series attempting to clean sh*t up. It is such a blast, truly.