What to Watch This Weekend | December 1–December 3
CableTV.com’s festive viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this weekend.
It’s almost that time of year when media outlets begin compiling their best new TV shows of 2023 lists—but we’ve already been doing it since January. CableTV.com’s Best New TV Shows of 2023 collection doesn’t yet include anything that’s premiered from October to right now, so you have a couple of weeks to guess which shows might make the cut. Hint: One will make you Curse at your screen.
This week’s (two weeks’ worth, that is) What to Watch picks included the long-awaited return of Fargo, competition series Squid Game: The Challenge, dark Irish comedy Obituary, Keenan and Kel reunited in Good Burger 2, and Football on Thanksgiving NFL action. Pass the turkey and the remote!
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What’s premiering this week
Season 5 premiere, Tuesday, November 21: Noah Hawley’s up-north crime anthology series is back with its first new tall tale in three years. This time around, it’s 2019, and lawman Roy Tillman (Jon Hamm) is searching for a criminal on the lam and possibly hiding in plain sight. Make that definitely. Dot Lyon (Juno Temple) isn’t the happy homemaker she appears to be, and her rich mother-in-law (Jennifer Jason Leigh) knows it. Two of 10 new Fargo episodes air November 21 on FX, the next day on Hulu.
Coverage begins Thursday, November 23: Hurry up and chow down—there’s football to watch on Turkey Day. First, the Green Bay Packers take on the Detroit Lions (12:30 p.m./9:30 a.m. PT on FOX). Then, it’s the Washington Commanders vs. the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 p.m. ET/1:30 p.m. PT on CBS), followed by the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Seattle Seahawks (8:20 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT on NBC). Need more NFL action? Prime Video has the Miami Dolphins vs. the New York Jets on Friday at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT.
What to watch on Netflix this week
Squid Game: The Challenge | Netflix | Reality, competition
Series premiere, Wednesday, November 22: Is it really a Squid Game if there are no casualties? Just asking questions here. Squid Game: The Challenge, based on the hit Korean drama, is a real-life competition with 456 contestants vying for a $4.56 million prize—gotta appreciate that numerology. There will be new challenges to supplement those from the show, but don’t expect any heads to roll. “The stakes are high,” says Netflix PR, “but in this game, the worst fate is going home empty-handed.”
May December | Netflix | Drama
Movie premiere, Friday, December 1: Two decades after a highly publicized scandal upended her world, Gracie (Julianne Moore) now leads a quiet life in the suburbs. But there’s a biopic movie in the works about her affair with a 13-year-old boy, and actress Elizabeth (Natalie Portman) has arrived to study Gracie for the lead role. May December premiered at Cannes to rave reviews, where Netflix acquired the Todd Haynes film for $11 million (if you’re wondering where all your subscription bucks went).
What to watch on Max this week
Season 12 premiere, Sunday, November 26: Now that the world is weirder than ever, why not bring back Aqua Teen Hunger Force? The series helped establish the surrealistic overnight anarchy of Adult Swim 23(!) years ago, and aside from last year’s Aqua Teen Forever: Plantasm movie, Master Shake, Frylock, and Meatwad have been absent from our screens since 2015. The bad news: Season 12 is only five installments long, but the producers promise maximum “laugh-per-episode density,” so relax.
Bookie | Max | Comedy
Series premiere, Thursday, November 30: The headline should be that comedy vet Sebastian Maniscalco is finally a top-billed star in his own series. But there’s intrigue behind the scenes: Chuck Lorre, Bookie’s co-creator, has finally settled his public beef with Charlie Sheen, who clashed with, and was fired by, Lorre from Two and a Half Men in 2011. Sheen will recur on the new show, chronicling an L.A. bookie’s (Maniscalco) struggles to keep up with legalized gambling. Two episodes stream on November 30.
What to watch on Hulu this week
Obituary | Hulu | Comedy, drama
Series premiere, Tuesday, November 21: Here’s a novel approach to career sustainment: Writer Elvira (Siobhán Cullen) is paid by the volume of obituaries she crafts for the ominously named Killraven Chronicle newspaper, so she begins “accidentally” murdering unpleasant locals to eulogize. But when the paper’s new crime reporter (Ronan Raferty) becomes suspicious of her, Elvira’s livelihood (and life) is in jeopardy. Obituary is a smart Irish import full of dark laughs and creative kills but also genuine suspense.
Faraway Downs | Hulu | Drama
Series premiere, Sunday, November 26: Remember director Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 box-office bomb Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman? Luhrmann obviously thought the problem was that the nearly three-hour movie wasn’t long enough, so he’s recut it into the six-hour miniseries Faraway Downs. Kidman and Jackman still star as beleaguered cattle ranchers in pre-WWII Australia, with even more sweeping cinematography. If this doesn’t work, maybe Luhrmann will plot it as a 10-season series.
W2W wildcards of the week
Good Burger 2 | Paramount+ | Comedy
Movie premiere, Wednesday, November 22: The Paramount wayback machine strikes again with Good Burger 2, the belated sequel to the 1997 original, starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. Ed (Mitchell) welcomes Dexter (Thompson) back to his old job after his latest invention failure, just in time to do battle with corporate chain Mega Burger (led by Jillian Bell and Lil Rel Howrey). The retro Nickelodeon wackiness is welcome, but what’s with the Arby’s sponsorship tie-in? Blasphemy.
Genie | Peacock | Comedy
Movie premiere, Wednesday, November 22: Estranged from his family and fired from his job just before Christmas, Bernard (Paapa Essiendu) accidentally stumbles across an antique jewelry box containing genie Flora (Melissa McCarthy), who’s been trapped in it for 2,000 years. Can Flora help Bernard get his life back on track? Will Christmas be saved? What’s this new trend of genies coming from boxes instead of lamps? Let’s all find out together. Genie also stars Alan Cumming, Marc Maron, and Luis Guzmán.
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