Netflix, clearly realizing that December is the month of giving, is busting down your chimney early to give you the gift of curing your boredom. The best shows and movies on Netflix in December are a lot better than they were last month, with the newest season of a naughty adult animation hit, the streaming debut of a guaranteed Oscar contender, and the latest from George Clooney and Shonda Rhimes. And thankfully, there’s less Christmas content in the whole month than there was in the last two weeks of November.
Our list of suggestions for the best shows and moves on Netflix in December is below, but here’s the full list of what’s new on Netflix in December. If you’d like even more hand-picked recommendations, click over to our Watch This Now! page.
The Best Shows and Movies on Netflix This Month
Season 4 available Dec. 4
Netflix’s Big Mouth still makes me uncomfortable with the amount of synonyms for private parts that it constantly yells 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, and as usual, Big Mouth tackles that topic with its mix of crassness and surprising sensitivity. The new season also brings up more body issues such as menstruation, leading to many bits that would make you blush if you weren’t laughing so hard.
Available Dec. 4
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, who had notorious 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 Lily Collins starring.
Available Dec. 4
The Walking Dead‘s Christian Serratos gets the role of a lifetime portraying the famous angel-voiced Tejano singer Selena, whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 25 in 1995. Though Selena is clearly the main attraction here, the Netflix biography, produced by Selena’s father and sister, focuses on Selena’s family and the ups and downs they experienced as they struggled to start a family band with Selena at the center of it all. It’s a heartfelt and humorous portrayal of a woman coming-of-age and the family that gathers around to support her. The first season will be split into two parts; the first nine episodes drop this month.
Season 2 available Dec. 14
The great thing about Netflix is that there are all sorts of gems hidden if you just know which rocks to flip over. The British-Canadian animated series Hilda is one of those, a darling kids show based on the graphic novel that’s full of imagination and wonder at every turn. The titular Hilda is a girl whose curiosity leads her to encounters with all sorts of creatures, from spirits to trolls to gnomes, and she’s accompanied by perhaps the cutest critter in all of television, her pet deerfox Twig. This isn’t one of those shows that gets four seasons a year to pump out content as quickly as possible; Season 1 came out in 2018.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Available Dec. 18
Chadwick Boseman‘s final film role was in this Netflix original that’s based on the Tony-nominated Broadway play written by the Pulitzer-winning playwright August Wilson. Viola Davis stars as Ma Rainey, a powerhouse blues singer in 1927 Chicago who holds up a recording session to butt heads with her white manager over the ownership rights to her music. Boseman plays a trumpeter in the recording session who’s angling to get a foothold in the music business and sees Rainey’s fight as an opportunity for his own gain. This is going to be an electric movie about race and music ownership, with powerful performances from both Davis and Boseman.
The Midnight Sky
Available Dec. 23
Well humans, you’ve done it again. The Earth is an uninhabitable mess in this science-fiction drama from a grizzly George Clooney, in which he plays a scientist in the Arctic who must warn a team of astronauts in space that the planet isn’t worth coming back to. Everyone’s just trying to survive, man, except the fate of the human race may depend on the astronauts finding another place to land, so they have even more pressure to make it to tomorrow. This looks like Gravity mixed with a post-apocalyptic film.
Available Dec. 25
Shonda Rhimes brings the juicy drama she cultivated at Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to the old days, baby! I’m talking pre-Victorian England. Bridgerton is set in the early 1800s during the Social Season of London’s high society, when hoity-toity debutantes and their families jockey for respect and social status while scandals bubble to the surface to knock competitors off their ladders. In other words, it’s a Shonda-cized period piece that’s going to beat the powder out of your wig.
Want to know what else is coming to Netflix? Here’s everything new on Netflix in December.