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What to Watch This Week | December 5–11

CableTV.com’s refined viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

We have a sleigh-load of content about good holiday movies to watch here at CableTV.com, but what about the faulty flipside? Easy. I’ve offered up six ho-ho-horrible Christmas flicks in my December streaming TV column Content Shifter at SLUGMag.com, Inlander, or Coachella Valley Independent. You’re . . . welcome, I guess?

This week’s What to Watch recs include the new holiday rom-com Must Love Christmas, the animated Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the returns of His Dark Materials and Doom Patrol, the new game show Barmageddon, and psychological thriller Bed Rest. Where’s that remote?

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What’s premiering this week

Must Love Christmas | CBS, Paramount+ | Comedy, drama

Movie premiere, Sunday, December 11: On a book tour, a famed holiday-romance novelist (Liza Lapira, The Equalizer) is unexpectedly snowbound in quaint Cranberry Falls—what a coincidence! Even more on the nose, she soon finds herself in a love triangle with her childhood crush and a magazine reporter working to score an exclusive interview. The self-aware Must Love Christmas is pure Hallmark-core, but it’s cool to see perpetual sidekick Lapira in a lead role.

Grand Prix of Figure Skating | NBC, E!, Peacock | Sports, skating

Coverage begins Saturday, December 10: After two years off, the Grand Prix of Figure Skating is back (2020 and 2021 were canceled due to some pandemic). As in 2019, the event will be held in Turin, Italy, and American skating fans will be eagerly watching Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier, the first US pair to qualify for the Grand Prix Final since 2015. Saturday coverage will air on E! and Peacock, with the Sunday Grand Prix Final on NBC and Peacock.

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What to watch on Netflix this week

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio | Netflix | Animation, musical

Movie premiere, Friday, December 9: Another Pinocchio? We just had a live-action version of the classic tale a few months ago, but Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio looks to be the best yet. This is director del Toro’s first foray into animation (specifically, stop-motion animation), and the voice talent turned out: Ewan McGregor, Gregory Mann, Christoph Waltz, David Bradley, Tilda Swinton, Finn Wolfhard, Ron Perlman, Tim Blake Nelson, and Cate Blanchett. Whoa.

Inside Job | Netflix | Animation, comedy

Season 2, now streaming: Time to catch up: Inside Job is an animated workplace comedy about the secret, subterranean governmental group Cognito Inc., which is tasked with keeping aliens, chemtrails, Bigfoots (Bigfeet?), and more in check. The voice cast of Inside Job includes Lizzy Caplan, Andy Daly, Christian Slater, Tisha Campbell, Bobby Lee, Clark Duke, Brett Gelman, and John DiMaggio, and all 18 half-hour episodes (Seasons 1 and 2) are available to stream now.

What to watch on HBO Max this week

His Dark Materials | HBO, HBO Max | Drama, fantasy

Season 3 premiere, Monday, December 5: Based on Phillip Pullman’s novel trilogy, the epic multi-reality fantasy series His Dark Materials will end with Season 3—fingers crossed, this will free up star Ruth Wilson for the long-rumored Luther movie. Anywho, His Dark Materials follows the world-hopping journey of young girl Lyra (Dafne Keen), accompanied by her shape-shifting daemon Pantalaimon (voiced by Kit Connor). Two of eight episodes premiere on December 5.

Doom Patrol | HBO Max | Drama, fantasy

Season 4 premiere, Thursday, December 8: When Doom Patrol debuted in 2019 on DC Universe, no one expected the traumatized misfit of a superhero series to last beyond a single season—it’s weird, like, really weird. But here we are in Season 4, with the Doom Patrol (Brendan Fraser, April Bowlby, Jovian Wade, Diane Guerrero, and Matt Bomer) time-traveling to the future, where they’ll have to choose between their own happiness (finally!) or saving the world (uh-oh).

What to watch on Hulu this week

Connect | Hulu | Drama, thriller

Series premiere, Wednesday, December 7: In future Korea, an immortal man (known as a “Connect”) is kidnapped by a gang of organ harvesters who get away with one of his eyes. Thing is, he can still see out of the stolen eye, which is now being used by a serial killer who’s terrorizing Seoul. The six-episode Connect is (obviously) based on a webtoon of the same name, brought to action-packed life by Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike (13 Assassins).

It’s a Wonderful Binge | Hulu | Comedy

Movie premiere, Friday, December 9: It’s highly likely you missed Hulu’s 2020 movie The Binge, a comic riff on The Purge wherein all drugs, alcohol, and general “fun” are legal for a day in an otherwise puritanical society, and three teen buds are out to take full advantage. In the sequel It’s a Wonderful Binge, national Binge Day has been moved to Christmas Eve, even though New Year’s Eve is the more obvious candidate (maybe next sequel). The holidays are dumb; embrace it.

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W2W wildcards of the week

Barmageddon | USA | Game show

Series premiere, Monday, December 5: Don’t feel like going to the bar tonight? Hosts Blake Shelton, Carson Daly, and Nikki Bella are bringing the bar to you with the new game show Barmageddon, which pits trash-talking celebrities against each other competing in slightly tweaked pub games: Air Cannon Cornhole, Keg Curling, Drunken Axe Hole, Sharts (a.k.a. Shelton Darts), and other ridiculousness at Shelton’s Ole Red bar in Nashville. Have a beer or 12 handy.

Bed Rest | Tubi | Drama, horror

Movie premiere, Wednesday, December 7: After years of trying, Julie (Melissa Barrera) is finally pregnant and ready to start a family with her husband in their new home. But, ordered to mandatory bed rest, a bored Julie starts to slowly lose it while alone in the house . . . if she’s really alone, that is. Bed Rest is a ghostly terrifier of a supernatural flick from the producers of Scream, Ready or Not, and Suspiria, and will premiere exclusively (and for free) on Tubi on December 7.

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