Considering it’s officially December, we’re pleasantly surprised at the relative lack of holiday features hitting streaming services this weekend.
Save for Scrooge: A Christmas Carol on Netflix – There’s Always One! – the first wave of on-demand content this month is a real mix of genres. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to keep an eye on for the next few days, remember. In fact, it’s the other way around, with six different streamers represented in this week’s top recommendations chart.
Below, we’ve rounded up seven of the biggest new movies and TV shows available to watch on services like Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max over the next few days.
Willow (Disney Plus)
Here’s a series we didn’t expect to see in 2022 (that is, before it was announced to be in production). Willow, the Lucasfilm sequel to Ron Howard’s 1988 fantasy film of the same name, is now streaming on Disney Plus.
Once again starring Warwick Davis as the titular sorceress Willow Ufgood, this eight-part series – which is Lucasfilm’s first non-Star Wars project in five years – takes place two decades after Howard’s original film and follows six heroes on a cross country quest to save your homeland.
Aside from Davis, the cast of Willow characters is all new. We spoke to Ellie Bamber – who plays (at least initially) Dove, the kitchen maid on the show – about keeping her character’s true identity a secret. And in a separate interview with TechRadar, Davis himself told us how “everything came together perfectly” to bring Willow back to the screen.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus.
Slow Horses Season 2 (Apple TV Plus)
One of Apple TV’s best shows, Slow Horses, returns with its long-awaited second season this weekend.
New episodes of the spy drama starring Gary Oldman take inspiration from the second book in Mick Herron’s Slough House series – Dead Lions – starring Jackson Lamb (Oldman), River Cartwright (Jack Lowden) and Diana Taverner (Kristin Scott Thomas) is once again tasked with solving a tortuous a murder mystery.
The first two episodes of Slow Horses season 2 are now available to stream on Apple TV Plus, while the remaining four will appear in weekly episodes every Friday. The show has already been renewed for a third and fourth season, so we expect great things from the first sequel.
Now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix)
A word of warning: Lady Chatterley’s lover is hot. It’s a story that has always been, always will be – and Netflix’s adaptation of DH Lawrence’s novel of the same name is no exception to that rule.
This time, young British stars Emma Corrin (The Crown) and Jack O’Connell (Unbroken) portray the worn-out boots of Lady Constance Reid and gamekeeper Oliver Mellors respectively – two characters from very different worlds who engage in a risky extramarital affair.
Prior to its arrival on Netflix, Lady Chatterley’s Lover enjoyed a brief run in theaters and was almost unanimously praised by critics for its authentic and moving portrayal of forbidden love. So, according to the sounds of things, it may end up on our list of the best Netflix movies.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Netflix)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without another unnecessary but still oddly welcome adaptation of Charles Dickens’ perennial Christmas favourite, A Christmas Carol. Netflix is trying its hand at delivering just that this year, just weeks after Apple did the same with its own adaptation, Spirited.
The streamer’s animated (and musical) version tells the story of an elderly miser who comes to find out what Christmas is all about, with the voices of Luke Evans, Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley. It seems like the movie is a lot more family-friendly than we’re used to seeing from A Christmas Carol reruns.
Reviews haven’t been too kind to it yet, but if you’re looking for an easy Christmas viewing this weekend, we expect you’ll still find plenty to enjoy here.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Three Pines (Best Film)
Spider-Man: No Way Home star Alfred Molina returns to the screen this weekend to lead the cast of Prime Video’s newest crime drama series, Three Pines.
Actor Doc Ock stars as a seasoned detective searching for answers in this gruesome Quebec drama based on Louise Penny’s award-winning Inspector Gamache novel series. As such, you can expect more twists than helter skelter and enough tension to keep your blood pumping during those cold winter months.
The first episode of Three Pines is available to stream now, and the remaining seven entries will appear weekly every Friday until the season finale on December 23. Let’s hope it will be one of the best Prime Video shows of the year.
Now available to stream on Prime Video.
The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Celebration (Channel of the Year)
Streaming Stick Roku recently got 36 new live channels for free, the main one being an entire channel dedicated to the popular British reality import The Great British Baking Show.
As part of Roku’s new licensing deal, The Roku Channel is now also hosting the Christmas episode of The Great American Baking Show, which originally aired on ABC in the US.
The format is simple: six celebrities – including actor Nat Faxon and former NFL star Marshawn Lynch – compete against each other to create the best oven-based creations for judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood. Do we need to say more?
Now available to stream on the Roku channel.
Branson (HBO Max)
This week’s documentary pick is Branson, a four-part look at the life and legacy of (you guessed it!) British entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Known for founding the megacorporation Virgin Group – now valued at over $5 billion – Branson has lived an undeniably unique life chasing ventures and adventures, and this HBO-produced documentary series explores his successes, controversies and adventurous personality.
Now available to stream on HBO Max.