Usually, the end of the year is a wasteland for TV filled with reruns, pointless holiday specials, and movies that don’t satisfy our need for new content.
But this year, things are different. Thanks to peak TV and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the final months of 2018 and early 2019 are filled with some exciting new shows, returning shows, and original movies. There’s even a holiday special coming in December from one of the best shows on TV right now, “Schitt’s Creek.”
We put together a list of all the notable new and returning shows (and original movies) coming this winter, and let you know whether you should watch them – or skip them. We also let you know when they premiere, and included times for broadcast shows and movies that have a confirmed slot.
The lineup for winter isn’t super daunting, but there are a few shows and movies we’re excited about, including season two of Amazon’s “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel,” the second season of Hulu’s “Marvel’s Runaways,” and Netflix’s original holiday movie, “A Christmas Prince 2: Royal Wedding.”
Here are all of the notable TV shows and TV movies coming this winter, and whether or not you should watch them:
Some of the notable new series include HBO’s limited series “My Brilliant Friend,” AMC’s spy thriller “The Little Drummer Girl,” and Netflix’s original film, “Roma.”
“The Holiday Calendar” — Netflix film
Premiere date: Friday, November 2
Should you watch it? It’s a little soon for a holiday movie, but this one looks so dumb that it might be the best thing ever. We think you should watch it.
“Outlaw King” — Netflix film
Series premiere date: Friday, November 9
Should you watch it? It’s not a great movie, but Chris Pine does go full-frontal in it.
“Dogs” — Netflix
Series premiere date: Friday, November 16
Should you watch it? Yes. It’s a six-episode documentary about sweet, adorable dogs that explores and celebrates the bond they share with humans.
“The Kominsky Method” — Netflix
Series premiere date: Friday, November 16
Should you watch it? Give it a shot. This irreverent comedy stars legends Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, whose chemistry on screen brings a lot of life to the show, which navigates the ups and downs of getting old.
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” — Netflix
Series premiere date: Friday, November 16
Should you watch it? If you’re a fan of the 1985 original. This reboot is empowering, body positive, and engaging for adults and kids.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” — Netflix film
Premiere date: Friday, November 16
Should you watch it? Only if you’re a Coen Brothers fan, which most people are. Or if you’re dying to know the identity of the horse that the film’s star Liam Neeson claims remembered him from another movie when he was on set for “Buster Scruggs.”
“My Brilliant Friend” — HBO
Series premiere date: Sunday, November 18 at 9 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Yes. Based on the 2010 best-selling novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante, this limited series about a lifelong friendship captures the spirit of the gripping novel and is so intense and well-acted that you’ll forget you’re reading subtitles.
“The Little Drummer Girl” — AMC
Premiere date: Monday, November 19 at 9 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Absolutely. It comes from the team that made the award-winning miniseries “The Night Manager,” and this stylish spy thriller has a stellar cast including Michael Shannon, Alexander Skarsgård, and Florence Pugh.
“The Christmas Chronicles” — Netflix film
Premiere date:Thursday, November 22
Should you watch it? Maybe. In this holiday movie starring Kevin Kline, Christmas is in trouble, and Santa has an attitude. It’s not the most original concept, so it could be terrible . . . or it could be terribly good. It’s up to you.
“Life-Size 2” — Freeform film
Premiere date:Sunday, December 2
Should you watch it? Skip if you’ve never heard of it. But if you grew up a fan of the ABC movie in which Tyra Banks plays a Barbie doll brought to life accidentally by Lindsay Lohan, you must tune in to the sequel, which doesn’t star Lohan, but she’ll make an appearance.
“Roma” — Netflix film
Premiere date:Friday, December 14
Should you watch it? Yes. This film, which tells the story of a middle-class family in Mexico, is directed by Alfonso Cuarón, one of the best directors working today (and possibly ever). It’s also slated to be Netflix’s best original film to date, and because of early Oscar buzz, is expected to have a theatrical release.
“Tidelands” — Netflix
Series premiere date: Friday, December 14
Should you watch it? You can skip. The Australian series looks stunning visually, but the story – an ex con returns to her hometown and discovers a magical secret – seems a bit drab and unoriginal.
“Springsteen on Broadway” — Netflix film
Premiere date:Saturday, December 15
Should you watch it? Only if you’re one of those people who’s obsessed with Bruce. And if you are, you probably already saw this live.
“Watership Down” — Netflix
Series premiere date: Tuesday, December 25
Should you watch it? Maybe, but definitely not on Christmas, when it comes out. This series is not for the faint of heart, and although it is about rabbits, it’s not exactly kid-friendly. The book is about doomed rabbits who must flee their home and establish their lives elsewhere.
“Bird Box” — Netflix film
Premiere date:Friday, December 28
Should you watch it? Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson star in this post-apocalyptic horror film, and they’re the only reason why the movie, which doesn’t appear to bring anything new to the genre, may be worth your time.
“The Passage” — FOX
Premiere date:Monday, January 14
Should you watch it? You can skip. It might be unwatchable, or need some time to pick up some steam. It’s certainly a different kind of role for the show’s star, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, whose career over the past few years has taken an interesting turn.
“The Umbrella Academy” — Netflix
Premiere date: Friday, February 15
Should you watch it? If you love superhero content. This show about a dysfunctional family of superheroes is based on the Dark House Comics series of the same name. It has an incredibly exciting cast including Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, Mary J. Blige, and Kate Walsh.
Amazon’s “The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel” drops its second season in early December. Later in the month, Hulu drops the second season of its teen superhero series “Marvel’s Runaways.” In January, “True Detective” returns for a third season after almost three years,
“Narcos: Mexico” — Netflix
Premiere date:Friday, November 16
Should you watch it? Definitely. Noted hottie Diego Luna plays Mexican drug lord Félix Gallardo, and the new season – which is essentially a reboot telling a completely new story than the first three seasons – also stars Michael Peña as a DEA agent trying to stop Gellardo.
“A Christmas Prince 2: Royal Wedding” — Netflix film
Premiere date:Friday, November 30
Should you watch it? Yes. Everyone will be talking about this sequel to Netflix’s first hit holiday movie, so you might as well cancel all plans you made for this weekend so you can watch it over and over and over.
“Top Chef” season 16 — Bravo
Premiere date:Thursday, December 6 at 9 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? If you like food, yes, Over a decade into its run, “Top Chef” remains the best reality competition program on television. Plus, it may inspire you to actually cook something. Season 16 was shot in Kentucky, and will celebrate the bluegrass state’s cuisine.
“The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel” season 2 — Amazon
Premiere date:Friday, December 7
Should you watch it? Yes! It was one of the most loved shows of 2017 by critics and normal people, and swept the 2018 Emmys. Hopefully, the second season won’t be a downgrade from the excellent first season.
“Neo Yokio Pink Christmas” — Netflix
Premiere date:Friday, December 7
Should you watch it? Pass. The first season of this anime series was strange, and not in a good way.
“Counterpart” season 2 — Starz
Premiere date:Sunday, December 9 at 9 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? A lot of people aren’t even aware of this J.K. Simmons-starring sci-fi thriller, but it’s severely under-appreciated. If you have Starz, you should give it a shot. But you don’t need to go out of your way to see it.
“Versailles: The Final Act” — Ovation
Premiere date:Saturday, December 15 at 10 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? You can pass. This show is apparently ending because audiences felt like there are “too many” sex scenes and lost interest.
“Schitt’s Creek” Holiday Special — Pop
Premiere date:Wednesday, December 19 at 10 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Yes. This Canadian comedy is one of the most delightful shows on television. And if you’re not watching, please catch up on Netflix right now. The holiday special will also serve as a finale for the fourth season, so expect exciting (and very funny) things to happen.
“Marvel’s Runaways” season 2 — Hulu
Premiere date:Friday, December 21
Should you watch it? Yes! Season one was one of the biggest surprises of 2017. And with a bigger budget and a more accelerated storyline, season two gets even better, and way more complicated.
“The Orville” season 2 — Fox
Premiere date:Sunday, December 30 after football (no confirmed time)
Should you watch it? No. A lot of people like this show, but we think it’s a bit sloppy and don’t recommend it.
76th Golden Globes — NBC
Premiere date:Sunday, January 6 at 8 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Only if you really, really, really care about awards shows. Or if Tina and Amy are hosting again.
“Future Man” season 2 — Hulu
Premiere date:Friday, January 11
Should you watch it? Watch it if you watched the first season. It’s fun and has a great cast, but its nasty but cute humour is not for everyone.
“True Detective” season 3 — HBO
Premiere date: Sunday, January 13 at 9 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? The new season, which stars Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, already looks much, much better than the sloppy second season that aired in 2015.
“Schitt’s Creek” season 5 — Pop
Premiere date:Wednesday, January 16 at 10 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Yes. We cannot stress this enough: You need to watch “Schitt’s Creek.”
“Star Trek: Discovery” season 2 — CBS All Access
Premiere date:Thursday, January 17
Should you watch it? Continue watching if you liked the first season. But if you’re not already caught up (or an All-Access subscriber), you can miss it. It’s good, but not a priority.
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” season 4 — Netflix
Premiere date:Friday, January 25
Should you watch it? The first part of season four was not memorable or as sharp as earlier seasons. But if you’ve already made it this far into the series, you might as well stick around for the final episodes.
“Rent Live!” — FOX
Premiere date:Sunday, January 27 at 7 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? If you like musicals (or, specifically, this musical). These things are either total misfires or really solid, but fun to watch either way, especially if you engage on social media while you watch it. Fox’s first live musical, “Grease,” was well done, but its live version of “A Christmas Story” was completely unnecessary and we’re sorry for bringing it up.
“The 91st Oscars” — ABC
Premiere date: Sunday, February 24 at 8 p.m. EST
Should you watch it? Yes, especially because the live performances -which will hopefully include more than one performance from songs on the “A Star Is Born” soundtrack – will kill this year.
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