Is there a better way to spend a snow day than by streaming the hours away?
Winter is finally here and with it comes a slew of binge-worthy content that is perfect for cozy days indoors wrapped in a blanket or in the same pair of sweatpants you've worn for the last week. No judgments here, just respect.
For your viewing pleasure, Netflix is dropping three early Christmas gifts in the form of a delightfully cheesy rom-com and two seasonal series, while Kaley Cuoco's buzzy new dramedy's first season is coming in for its landing. Plus, The Mandalorian's second season finale is already here and we're not ready to say goodbye to Baby Yoda.
But the must-watch of the week is Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, the Netflix film that marks Chadwick Boseman's final film role after the Black Panther star died this summer at the age of 43 following a battle with colon cancer. The movie was just one of several projects Boseman filmed while secretly undergoing countless surgeries and chemotherapy and his performance is at once awe-inspiring and devastating.
Here's what to watch this weekend...
If You Want to Start Preparing for the 2021 Oscars: Based on the play of the same name by August Wilson and produced by Denzel Washington, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom pays tribute to a blues legend and, tragically, serves as a goodbye to one of modern cinema's most talented actors. Viola Davis delivers a powerhouse performance as the titular Mother of Blues, while Boseman's turn as her ambitious trumpet player Levee is filled with charisma and charm, heartbreak and humanity. Expect to see both stars earn nominations for this 1920s-set drama that might just have you singing and feeling the blues. (Where to Watch: Netflix)
If You Want to Be Ahead of the Curve: Pro-tip: Watch Kaley Cuoco's The Flight Attendant ASAP so when you're asked later, "Hey, have you heard of this show on HBO Max?" you can be, like, "Um, hello, you're so two-thousand and late?" Because that is what cool people say! But The Big Bang Theory star's dark comedy is fast-paced, funny and filled with twists you won't see coming. Prepare for take off. (Where to Watch: HBO Max)
If You Are Looking for Some Cheery Christmas Content: Netflix has you covered with three new seasonal offerings leading up to the big day.
First, A California Christmas is the new rom-com starring real-life married couple Josh Swickard and Lauren Swickard as a wealthy charmer and a down-to-earth farmer who fall in love on her ranch. It's already hit the the No. 1 slot on the streaming giant's Top 10 list so that deems it worthy of your limited attention.
How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding is a three-episode dramedy series created by South African siblings Rethabile Ramaphakela and Katleho Ramaphakela. It's supposed to be a bougie affair when rebel child Tumi returns home to spend the holidays with her family after several years away to attend her perfect sister's wedding. But then things take a turn for the no-good very-bad when she ends up being the reason the nuptials are canceled.
Finally, there's the second season of Home for Christmas, the dreamy Norwegian series that will continue to make you swoon. Ida Elise Broch returns as single-and-searching nurse Johanne, the action picking up the following December and answering that question that's been plaguing us for a year: Who was at the damn door on Christmas Eve and, more importantly, is Johanne with that suitor now?! (Where to Watch: Netflix)
If You Still Can't Believe His Name Isn't Baby Yoda: Sorry not sorry Jon Favreau, but we are still going to be calling him Baby Yoda. It is the way. Anyway, we highly recommend binging The Mandalorian's stellar season two, which has been filled with surprises and special appearances by some very special characters Star Wars fans have been waiting to see for years. So yes, we will be enjoying every crumb of the Dec. 18 finale more than Baby Yoda—OK fine, Grogu!—with that blue macaroon because we're not getting season three until next Christmas. (Where to Watch: Disney+)
If You're Searching For Your Weekly True Crime Fix: LOL, as if Netflix would let you down when it comes to a chilling documentary about a serial killer. New this week is Ripper, a four-part miniseries that details the murders of 13 women that took place in West Yorkshire and Manchester between 1975 and 1980. The killings were carried out by the Yorkshire Ripper and lead to one of the biggest manhunts in England's history after misogynistic beliefs about his victims—some were sex workers—and disarray in the police department slowed down the investigation. (Where to watch: Netflix)
If You Just Can't Resist a Well-Crafted Tune: Hrishikesh Hirway's podcast-turned-miniseries Song Exploder returns for four new episodes that take fans inside the songwriting process. In the latest release, Dua Lipa breaks down "Love Again" and The Killers' hit "When You Were Young" is explored. Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" and Natalia Lafourcade's "Hasta la Raíz" are also spotlighted. (Where to Watch: Netflix)
If You Are Looking for Some Inspiration: John Legend is set to host the Global Citizen Prize Awards, which honors influential leaders shaping the world. Viewers can expect performances by the night's emcee, as well as Alessia Cara, Carrie Underwood, Common, Gwen Stefani, JoJo and Tori Kelly. And making appearances during the telecast will be John Oliver, Nick Jonas, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. (Where to Watch: airs Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC)
If You Are Missing the Theater: Inspired by Broadway star Laura Benanti's #SunshineSongs social media campaign, Homeschool Musical Class of 2020 shines a spotlight on seven high school students whose spring musicals were canceled and lives were upended by COVID-19. And, like all artists do, they ended up turning that into art. The special will find the diverse group playing seniors from the same high school and while the pandemic may have shut down their school, the drama and romance must go on. (Where to Watch: HBO Max)