What to Watch This Week | December 19–January 1
CableTV.com’s holly-jolly viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
This is the final Watch to Watch entry of the year, which means I’ve delivered over 500 TV and movie recommendations in 2022. If you want to know my favorites, check out my Best TV Shows of 2022 review, and feel free to argue about it—that’s what “Best of” lists are for.
This week’s (and next week’s—happy holidays) What to Watch recs include a new season of Letterkenny, NBA on Christmas Day basketball action, the returns of Emily in Paris and Jack Ryan, the premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and the wild true-but-not-true life of Paul T. Goldman. Merry Christmas, TV box!
Jump to your preferred streaming service
What’s premiering this week
Letterkenny | Hulu | Comedy
Season 11 premiere, Monday, December 26: Canadian import Letterkenny is a love-it-or-hate-it comedy with a unique style of humor, dense banter, and a subtle sense of rebellion against the standard sitcom. It’s not for everyone, but those who are into it are all the way into it—how many other comedies can support live cast tours? This season in the small town of Letterkenny, the gang deals with lost dogs, trouble in the beer league, and (yuck) influencers. Pitter patter!
NBA on Christmas Day | ABC, ESPN | Sports, basketball
Coverage begins Sunday, December 25, 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT: The 75th annual NBA on Christmas Day will feature five games: New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks, Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors, and Denver Nuggets vs. Phoenix Suns. That’s over 12 hours of ABC and ESPN basketball action to help drown out the fam—thanks, NBA.
What to watch on Netflix this week
Emily in Paris | Netflix | Comedy
Season 3 premiere, Wednesday, December 21: Critics have likened Emily in Paris to “scrolling Instagram” and a “brain vacation,” but fans can’t get enough of star Lily Collins (she is delightful) and that Darren Star (Sex and the City) rom-com magic. American Emily’s mid-level marketing gig at a French firm could never realistically cover her extravagant wardrobe, but what’s realism got to do with it? Emily in Paris is fizzy, fluffy fun, and a “brain vacation” sounds great right now.
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery | Netflix | Drama, thriller
Movie premiere, Friday, December 23: Daniel Craig is back as detective Benoit Blanc in the Greece-set sequel to 2019’s Knives Out, joined by a new cast of murder suspects that includes Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, and Leslie Odom Jr. (there are also several celebrity guest appearances that won’t be spoiled here). Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is already being called the best film of 2022 not featuring blue characters.
What to watch on HBO Max this week
I Hate Suzie | HBO Max | Comedy, drama
Season 2 premiere, Thursday, December 22: In the first season of dark British comedy I Hate Suzie, former child star and actress Suzie Pickles’ (Billie Piper) life was sent into a tailspin when her adulterous phone photos were exposed by hackers. Season 2 (or Too) finds Suzie still working to rehab her public image, this time on a reality TV dancing show (ouch). Come for the mascara-smeared trauma, stay for Piper’s brilliantly unhinged performance as Suzie.
Movie premiere, Friday, December 30: Andrew Callaghan, co-founder of digital media site Channel 5, toured the US in an RV years before the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, interviewing disgruntled conservatives and conspiracy theorists. This Place Rules, Callaghan’s directorial debut, captures the madness and mayhem while adding deadpan humor to the deadly seriousness of J6. The film also features InfoWars host Alex Jones, because comedy.
What to watch on Prime Video this week
Jack Ryan | Prime Video | Drama, thriller
Season 3 premiere, Wednesday, December 21: It’s been three years since the last season of Jack Ryan, the series that helped rebrand The Office’s Jim (John Krasinski) as an action star. This time around, CIA analyst Jack (Krasinski) is on the hunt across Europe and the Middle East for a terrorist group planning an attack on the US of A. Is he in too deep? Of course! Is this mission a one-way ticket? Probably! Do all eight episodes of Season 3 drop on December 21? Yep!
Surviving Christmas | Prime Video | Comedy, drama
Movie, now streaming: In my December outside-CableTV.com streaming TV column, I highlighted six of the worst Christmas movies ever made, 2004’s Surviving Christmas being among the ho-ho-horrible holiday flicks. Still, it’s almost fun to watch A-list actors (including Ben Affleck, James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, and Christina Applegate) trying their damndest to make this wretched tale of Christmas ennui work. Best served with eggnog (light on the nog).
W2W wildcards of the week
Call the Midwife | PBS | Drama
Special premiere, Sunday, December 25: Is it not really Christmas until a new Call the Midwife holiday special appears? You bet your PBS tote bag. This year, the midwives move into a new maternity clinic, and the town of Poplar ups the yuletide ante with a festive talent show fundraiser. Lucille (Leonie Elliott), Nancy (Megan Cusack), and Trixie (Helen George) are back, as are real-life babies on the set (a practice wisely suspended during the pandemic).
Paul T. Goldman | Peacock | Comedy
Series premiere, Sunday, January 1: Director Jason Woliner has been filming the life of everyman Paul T. Goldman (Paul T. Goldman) for over a decade—or so the story goes. Since Woliner directed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and is an occasional collaborator with The Rehearsal’s Nathan Fielder, “reality” is in question here. A docuseries about Goldman turns into a wild true-crime satire, as Goldman plays himself in a biopic. Follow? It’s a lot—and hilarious.
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