Last month Netflix brought us some of its best originals in years, with Master of None, With Bob and David, and Jessica Jones making a huge splash one week after the next. Now, with the holidays upon us, Netflix’s December slate of releases – including originals and outside content – looks no different, giving us reasons to stay inside and binge rather than go out with our loved ones and, you know, do stuff.
This December, rather than spending all your time scrolling through Netflix, Screen Rant is here to make it easier for you to curl up in front of the TV for a month and watch the best that Netflix has to offer until your mind turns into a delightful mush.
As is our new monthly tradition, we’ve sorted through Netflix’s new releases this month and present you with the 10 New Additions to Netflix You Should Watch This December.
A Very Murray Christmas (2015) – December 4
The last time Netflix got into the Christmas special game was with last year’s surprise release of the Bojack Horseman Christmas Special. Not only was the episode among the series’ funniest episodes, but it provided a fantastic BoJack spin on Christmas, and is sure to become a yearly Christmas classic.
Now, Netflix is trying to re-capture that holiday spirit by giving fans of good taste something they never knew they wanted; A Very Murray Christmas. The musical special features – you guessed it – Bill Murray, along with funny and spectacular guest stars such as George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Chris Rock, Rashida Jones and the guy who will hopefully push this special into unforgettable territory: Michael Cera!
Directed by Sofia Coppola, look for this to be a throwback to classic Christmas specials and variety shows that will leave you filled with joy as well as some absurdist, auteur-driven confusion as to what it all means and whether the whole thing was meant to be sincere or not. Also, what’s the meaning of life and what’s going on with Michael Cera’s mustache? Looking forward to it!
Black Mirror “White Christmas” Episode – December 25
What better way to spend Christmas Day than by staring too long at your laptop screen and watching one of the most beautifully bleak and depressing TV episodes in modern history; a concept that the White Christmas episode of Black Mirror would actually applaud, as the entire series points to a near-future where humanity is more engaged with technology than actual human interaction. Featuring Jon Hamm and Rafe Spall, last year’s Black Mirror Christmas special was actually the best episode of the entire series, providing chilling parables, hauntingly realistic future-technology, and a Christmas spirit that coats the whole ordeal in a sort of charming dread.
Since Black Mirror has emerged as one of the most original and captivating TV series of the new Golden Age of Television, Netflix has ordered a new, 12 episode season of the series set to debut exclusively to members. And while no release date has been set for the new episodes, White Christmas is absolutely good enough to tide you over until new episodes debut – or until we get consumed by robotic iPhone overlords; whatever comes first.
Broadchurch: Season 2 – December 1
Poorly adapted into an American broadcast series last year in the form of Gracepoint, Broadchurch is the much better original British version of the murder-mystery, also featuring David Tennant doing what British people do best; playing prickly geniuses with fantastic deduction skills and awful people skills. Following two detectives dealing with a murder in the small English town of Broadchurch, the show of the same name is a stunningly well-paced, acted, and directed mystery, unraveling just enough information each episode to make viewers need to binge the next one.
With season two, fans of the series can expect more of the same, including some beautiful shots of the English coastline that will look gorgeous in glossy Netflix HD. Not unlike The Killing in its appeal of presenting stunningly beautiful and simultaneously disturbing imagery, Broadchurch may not be the best way to engage in the holiday spirit, but for the days when ‘merry and bright’ are getting to be a bit much, throw on this series and escape to a land of gray-skied depression!
Comedy Bang! Bang!: Season 4 (New Episodes) – December 4
Comedy Bang! Bang! is the best thing ever, and if you haven’t watched it yet there’s no better time than now; here’s why: Scott Aukerman’s faux-weekly talk show regularly has A-list guests that are better than anyone you’d find on late night. Each episode features a wildly different “very special episode” concept, and each one is more absurd and ambitious than the next. Time travel episodes, holiday episodes, shot in one take episodes, Comedy Bang! Bang! has – and continues to – do it all. In addition to all of this, the simple joys of watching Scott Aukerman and Kid Cudi (and Reggie Watts before him) shrug or raise an eyebrow will never be anything but entertaining, and even the stupidest jokes of all time are presented as fresh and laugh out loud funny on CBB.
The tip top of anti-comedy, Comedy Bang! Bang! is equivalent to the cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace that everyone needs in their life. It’s warm and familiar, it’ll wrap you up in a warm embrace of loving tenderness, and with 20 – and recently 40 episodes – a season, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s a delight and we all need it in our lives, so watch it already, will you?! Jeez.
The Da Vinci Code (2006) – December 14
Is The Da Vinci Code unnecessarily disliked? Maybe. Was it just clever enough to squeak by and warrant a sequel? Perhaps. Was the sequel, Angels and Demons, better than the movie that preceded it? Most likely. But one thing’s for sure, Ron Howard and Tom Hanks are teaming up for a third film in The Da Vinci Code franchise – Inferno – and it’s coming out next year; so you better brush up on your code-breaking and the history of ancient secret societies now.
While The Da Vinci Code wasn’t the high-octane blockbuster it could have been, it was still an entertaining movie that has rewatchability written all over it; especially considering some of its more complex aspects. If you’re looking to throw on a movie while your family is visiting over the holidays and can’t decide between all the little indies and critically acclaimed hits that your uncle may or may not have seen, choose The Da Vinci Code instead. It may not be the greatest film ever made, but at least everyone watching can agree on this; it will keep you occupied for almost three hours.
F Is for Family: Season 1 – December 18
There’s a lot to be excited about for F Is for Family, considering that it’s Netflix’s next venture into the animated comedy world after the spectacular BoJack Horseman. Not to mention that it’s created by Michael Price, a veteran Simpsons writer, and Bill Burr, one of the top talents in stand-up comedy today.
Though there will only be six episodes in the first season, F Is for Family looks to provide that rough-edged Bill Burr charm in a quirky animated package that will leave fans of Burr and newcomers alike wanting more. The series takes place in the 1970s – a unique concept in the animated sitcom world – and will most likely be as politically incorrect as shows come; potentially edging out Family Guy as the reigning king of raunchy yet sentimental cartoon entertainment.
Parenthood: Season 6 – December 30
When Parenthood ended its six season run earlier this year, fans everywhere cried. And not just because Parenthood is famous for being the saddest show on television (seriously, it’s basically TV’s Toy Story 3), but rather because it meant the end of an era. Focusing on the Braverman family of Berkeley, Parenthood followed characters from childhood into early-adulthood, from old-age into… Um, maybe you should just watch the show to find out.
The most emotionally taxing and richly characterized show since Six Feet Under, Parenthood was a once-in-a-lifetime dramedy that didn’t shy away from the tough issues that make up our daily lives. The Bravermans felt like a real family that viewers grew with over the course of six years, and letting go of them was no easy task. However, if this Jason Katims led show did have to come to an end, the sting of the ending was somewhat alleviated by a pitch perfect final season that allowed the writers time to wrap up ongoing storylines and say an appropriately emotional goodbye to a family that we all wished we were a part of. And with that family now on Netflix to bring a close to its phenomenal run, we can once more spend our time with the Bravermans and cherish every single moment.
Ray (2004) – December 1
This 2004 Oscar-winning film isn’t much talked about these days, but now that it’s on Netflix it’s as good a time as any to revisit – or watch for the first time – and see why it won all those awards in the first place. With an impeccable performance by Jamie Foxx, Ray is the perfect music biopic, combining fantastic musical pieces with a clear-cut story of redemption, success, and the trials and tribulations that come with fame.
Not interested in breaking the mold like recent music biopics Get On Up and Love & Mercy, Ray tells a traditionally thrilling story in a traditionally thrilling way. It’s good old fashioned storytelling, bolstered by zippy direction and the musical genius of Ray Charles permeating every frame and sound wave all the way through.
Real Rob: Season 1 (2015) – December 1
First we had Louie, and people thought it was great, so other comedians were given free rein to create their own semi-autobiographical shows. Marc Maron followed with Maron. Aziz Ansari followed with Master of None. And all these shows were great, varying works, each giving us a peak behind the curtain at the lives of our favorite stand-ups.
Now, Netflix is giving us Real Rob, which promises to show us what it’s like to be Rob Schneider… You know, for those who were wondering what it’s like to be Rob Schneider; which, according to Netflix’s algorithm, must’ve been at least some people?
The Ridiculous 6 (2015) – December 11
Speaking of Rob Schneider, let’s talk about Adam Sandler and the probable reason why Rob Schneider is a thing we’re talking about in 2015. Sure, Adam Sandler may be critically derided as of late after movies like Jack and Jill, Grown Ups, Pixels, Grown Ups 2, and most likely several other Grown Ups movies that we just don’t know about because we’ve never bothered to see them.
But at the same time, Adam Sandler is still Adam Sandler. He still brought us some of the funniest films of the early 90s and 2000s, and acted the hell out of several others, including Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love. He is still an endearing hero to many of us, even if it does look like he’s not so happy with the way things are going lately. And we still are hoping for him to turn everything around and be Adam Sandler again.
Having said that, his first movie in a four movie deal with Netflix – The Ridiculous 6 – is probably not the movie where he turns things around. Because, I mean, look at the trailer. But still… This is Adam Sandler, you guys. We have Netflix. This movie will be free for us. Let’s give it a watch. We can give Adam Sandler the benefit of the doubt, right? Let’s do it for him and give him a Happy Hanukkah, which coincidentally is during the release of this movie. Happy Hanukkah, Adam, we all still love you!
Did we miss any keepers? What do you want to see from Netflix? Let us know in the comments!