If you’re looking for the best television shows and movies to watch this week on that new TV you bought last Wednesday because you forgot about Black Friday (and now you’re upset because you spent hundreds of dollars extra when you could have just waited a few days for a big fat discount) so you just want to chill out and calm down by watching some good stuff to forget about your boneheaded mistake, don’t worry. These are the best shows and movies to watch this week.
Our list of editors’ picks for the week is below, but if this isn’t enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox.
Disney Holiday Singalong
Monday at 8/7c on ABC
Something like 10 years ago in April 2020 (feels that way, don’t it?), ABC and Disney teamed up for the Disney Family Singalong, a wildly popular karaoke-style special in which celebrities sang some famous Disney songs while the lyrics appeared on screen for families at home to belt out some tunes alongside them. It ended up being a massive hit, especially as viewers were just feeling the strain of quarantine. Some seven-and-a-half months later, we’re still in our homes, and Disney is giving another sing along a go. This time the songs will be holiday themed and only a few will be Disney originals, like “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” from Frozen. Maybe I’m burying the lede here, but k-pop megastars BTS will participate, singing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.” Other performers include Katy Perry, Michael Bublé, and Andrea Bocelli.
Wednesday at 9/8c on HBO
HBO’s documentary Baby God is about Dr. Quincy Fortier, a fertility specialist who used his own sperm to impregnate his patients without their knowledge. It could have used some more time in the editing room even though it clocks in at a brisk 78 minutes, and some of the camerawork is… uhhh, questionable. Still, Hannah Olson’s doc covers an engrossing subject through interviews with several of Fortier’s children, many of whom learned of their lineage through take-at-home DNA tests and met for the first time on camera. The fascinating part of the film is that the picture painted of Fortier changes from subject to subject — all of whom share physical features of Fortier’s which is both fascinating and terrifying. Some rightfully hate him as a monster, while others defend his actions because of the mere notion that they exist because of him, and that he “gave a gift” to mothers who couldn’t have children naturally. It’s a real mindf— that looks at how Fortier’s children and victims were changed by the revelation of what he’d done, while also low-key being an eye-opening look into genetics.
Season 4 premiere Friday on Netflix
Netflix’s Big Mouth still makes me uncomfortable with the amount of synonyms for private parts that it screams at me, but its wily wit and full-court press into “going there” always bring me around to the point where I feel OK watching animated middle-schoolers neck-deep in the flood of puberty. This season introduces a trans character as the kids go to summer camp. The new setting brings up body issues and menstruation, leading to many bits that would make you blush if only you weren’t laughing so hard.
Earth at Night in Color
Friday on Apple TV+
Humans got ripped off. Yeah we got opposable thumbs and a solid brain-size-to-body-size ratio, but when darkness falls we’re useless because we don’t have the right rods and cones in our eyes. Apple TV+’s new nature series uses new technology to right what evolution wronged through cameras with incredible night vision that can see in the dark… with color. The result is nocturnal animal behavior like we’ve never seen it before. All you Baby Yoda fans should tune in to the second episode, which covers the incredibly cute Tarsiers.
Friday on Netflix
David Fincher’s latest film is already getting Oscar buzz (as all Fincher films should), but because the pandemic is sending movies straight to streamers, you don’t have to go to a packed theater to see it. The subject of Mank is Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, and his beef with Orson Welles throughout the production of the legendary film. The film is shot in stunning black-and-white, with Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lilly Collins starring. [REVIEW]
Sound of Metal
Friday on Amazon Prime
Riz Ahmed (The Night Of) gives one heck of a performance as Ruben Stone, a heavy metal drummer who starts to lose his hearing in Sound of Metal, another Oscar contender. Caught between his passion and his new physical limitations, Ruben embeds with the Deaf community to control his anger and give him perspective. I’d give Ahmed even odds to take home the Academy Award, and the wardrobe designer to win my personal Timmy Award for giving Ruben authentic metal band t-shirts.
The Hardy Boys
Series premieres Friday on Hulu
Somewhere between Stranger Things, Riverdale, and the Nancy Drew reboot is Hulu’s new take on The Hardy Boys, the famous teen detectives who have been around for almost 100 years. The 1980s-set detective drama definitely goes for Stranger Things vibes with its look and score, goes a little dark like Riverdale, and cracks cases with Nancy Drew levels of turning over rocks, but leaves the supernatural behind for simpler small-town sleuthing as the boys try to solve the murder of their mother and the conspiracy that led to it. It’s appropriate for the young teen set.
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