What to Watch This Weekend: Our Top Binge Picks For December 12-13

Ryan Murphy's The Prom, Lifetime's first LGBTQ+ Christmas movie and The Challenge's new season are just a few of our streaming recommendations.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 10, 2020 7:00 PMTags
Watch: Nicole Kidman Is Doing a Musical With Meryl Streep & Ryan Murphy

You are formally invited to your couch this Saturday or Sunday. Black tie optional, but athleisure is strongly encouraged. 

That's right, you actually have plans this weekend. And by plans, we, of course, mean there are a bunch of exciting new movies and series coming to a streaming platform near you—including Netflix's highly anticipated The Prom. With a cast list that could rival the Oscars and musical numbers aplenty, it's sure to be a movie night to remember. 

Not every offering is quite so formal though, with more than a few holiday specials dropping and two long-awaited LGBTQ+ Christmas movies finally premiering to make you feel warmer and fuzzier than your favorite sweater. 

Plus, HBO Max is delivering another true crime documentary, Disney+'s new sports movie will probably make you cry happy tears and MTV's The Challenge is back in action with its most stacked cast yet. 

Here's what to watch this weekend:

Renewed and Canceled TV Shows 2020 Guide

If You Can't Even Deal With This Cast: Meryl Streep, James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Keegan-Michael Key, Andrew Rannells and Kerry Washington. Like, do we even need to say anymore to get you to press play on The Prom? Directed by Ryan Murphy and based on the Broadway musical of the same name, the comedy follows a group of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shaking up a small Indiana town as they rally behind a teen (newcomer Jo Ellen Pellman) who just wants to attend prom with her girlfriend. Chances are very high that this two-hour romp will be much more fun than when you took a limo to awkwardly dance to an Usher song in your high school gym. Not like we are speaking from personal experience or anything. (Where to Watch: Netflix)

Lifetime; Netflix; MTV/E! Illustration

If You've Been Waiting For More Representation in Cheesy Christmas Movies: It's the weekend we've been anxiously anticipating all season long as two LGBTQ+ holiday rom-coms are premiering. It's a merry gay Christmas, y'all!

Over on Lifetime, real-life married couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee play high school sweethearts who reunite when Hugo (Lewis) returns home for the holidays in The Christmas Setup. His mother, played by The Nanny's Fran Drescher—because DUH—decides to play matchmaker and sets him up with his secret crush, Patrick (Lee). Yes, we are already screaming "kiss already!" (Where to Watch: premieres on Lifetime on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET.)

Paramount Network

Dashing in December, meanwhile, finds former Hallmark Channel leading man Peter Porte playing a successful New York financier who returns home for the holidays to convince his mother, played by Andie MacDowell, to sell their family ranch. What a Grinch! But what he doesn't expect is to start falling for Heath (Fuller House's Pablo Di Pace), the new ranch hand. Consider the spirit of Christmas reawakened. (Where to Watch: premieres on Paramount Network on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. ET.)

Finally, Love, Lights, Hanukkah!, Hallmark Channel's sole Jewish movie in its Countdown to Christmas programming, is making its debut. The Vampire Diaries' Mia Kirshner stars as a chef and restaurateur who was adopted as a baby and discovers via an ancestry search that she's Jewish. After setting out to meet her biological family, including the mother (Marilu Henner) who gave her up for adoption, she discovers the meaning of Hanukkah, bonds with her half-siblings. Oh, and of course, she finds time to cook up a romance with a food critic, played by Boy Meets World's Ben Savage. (Where to Watch: premieres on Hallmark Channel on Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. ET) 


If You're in Need of Some New Festive Tunes: No disrespect to the classics, but you can only listen to "All I Want For Christmas Is You" so many times you know? (JK, the limit does not exist!) But High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special (say that five times fast) is here to provide some new offerings to add to your Spotify playlist. In the 45-minute special event, the cast will perform holiday classics, popular hits, and a medley of Hanukkah favorites, as well as share their own stories and memories of the holiday season. (Where to Watch: Disney+)

We Ranked All of Hallmark Channel's 2020 Christmas Movies—and You're Going to Have Some Feelings

If You Watch More Reality TV Than Anyone You Know: MTV's The Challenge has become the genre's Olympics in a way, assembling reality stars from various franchises—Survivor, Big Brother and a slew of U.K. shows to name a few—to have them compete in insanely tough physical competitions in the hopes of money/more screentime. Season 36's theme is Double Agents, so there's even more backstabbing, betrayal and booze-induced fights than usual. In a word, it's perfect. 

And for OG fans, you'll be happy to know seasons 10 (The Inferno II!) and 15 (The Gauntlet III!) will be hitting Netflix on Dec. 15, meaning you can finally stop checking MTV only to be disappointed when yet another episode of Ridiculousness is on. Seriously, do they play anything else now? (Where to Watch: On Demand and the MTV app.)

Binge These True Crime Shows and Documentaries

If You're Searching For Your Weekly True Crime Fix: Prepare for your shivers to have shivers when you watch Alabama Snake. The documentary explores the story of Glenn Summerford, a Pentecostal minister who was accused of attempting to murder his wife with a rattlesnake in 1991. Like we said: shivers on shivers! But there's more to the story, with a local historian detailing the folklore of religious snake handlers and the tale of Summerford's alleged demon possession that have haunted the investigation for years. (Where to Watch: HBO Max)

If You Can't Resist a Sports Movie Based on a True Story: We dare you not to tear up reading the logline for Safety: "An 18-year-old student puts his football scholarship on the line when he steps up to take custody of his 11-year-old little brother after their mother enters an extended stay at a drug rehab facility." The movie is based on the story of Ray McElrathbey, the former Clemson football player who brought his sibling, Fahmarr, to live with him on campus in 2006. Yeah, we think he officially redefined the position of safety with that move. (Where to Watch: Disney+)

Netflix's Black Lives Matter Programming

If You're Continuing to Learn About Police Brutality: Directed by Tommy Oliver, 40 Years a Prison chronicles the 1978 Philadelphia police raid on the radical back-to-nature group MOVE, one of the most controversial shootouts in American history. The timely documentary details the aftermath of the event, including Mike Africa Jr.'s lifelong fight to free his parents who were imprisoned for the death of a police officer. (Where to Watch: HBO Max)

If You're Looking For a Little Inspiration: Prepare to meet four ground-breaking doctors from around the world in The Surgeon's Cut. Each specialist—fetal medicine, neurosurgery, transplant surgery and cardiology—will be profiled as viewers watch them perform innovative operations and procedures and offer personal insight about their journey into medicine. So, basically it's Grey's Anatomy, but with a lot less kissing and, like, real surgeries that will blow your mind. OK, so not like Grey's at all. (Where to Watch: Netflix)

For everything you should be watching right now, don't miss BingE! Club hosted by Erin Lim on Snapchat!