It’s Thanksgiving week, which means you have turkey to brine, potatoes to mash, and green beans to casserole. You focus on the feast, we’ll take care of what you should watch after you wash the cranberry sauce stains from your fingers. You’ll be thankful for the best shows and movies to watch this week, as the week is stuffed with all the fixings you could ask for. A classic gets revived, a woke holiday movie is a crowd-pleaser, a recent Netflix favorite gets a second season, and a new series shows a sitcom staple in a new light. Usually, Thanksgiving week is just for movie marathons and parades. Not this year!
Our list of editors’ picks for the week is below, but if this isn’t enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox, or check out the best shows and movies in November on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Miniseries premieres (and concludes) Monday at 8/7c on FX, Tuesday on Hulu
Nuns being tempted by horniness is nothing new, but it doesn’t get old, does it? FX and BBC co-produce this three-episode miniseries that’s an adaptation of the 1939 novel by Rumer Godden (which spawned the famous 1947 film), in which a superfluity of nuns (including Gemma Arterton) and try to establish a school at the old palace of an Indian raja on an isolated mountain in the Himalayas in the late 1930s. Maybe it’s the altitude, maybe it’s the handsome British adventurer who is helping them out, maybe it’s ghosts, but the nuns start to go nuts, possibly working their way to reliving a tragedy that struck the palace years before. It’s a full-on psychological drama, so if you enjoy getting into the heads of characters as they question their devotion and morals and their sanity slowly erodes, you’ll enjoy it. It also features Diana Rigg‘s final role before she passed away.
Series premiere Wednesday on Peacock
Did we need an update to Saved by the Bell, a show only liked by kids at the time it aired because they didn’t know any better? No, but nostalgia is a hell of a drug and Comcast and NBCUniversal’s content-desperate streaming service is all-in on the revival craze. Bayside High gets updated when California governor Zac Morris (returning cast member Mark-Paul Gosselaar), yes, he’s governor now, decides to bus in some students from low-income families — read between the lines — to Bayside. The new series follows the old gang (but only Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley are series regulars) and new students, and has a level of self-awareness that toggles between clever and unnecessary. But if you are a longtime fan of the original, it will jog some memories. [REVIEW]
Wednesday on Hulu
Ring in the holidays with Clea DuVall‘s Happiest Season, a cozy lesbian rom-com that takes its cues from the classics. Kristen Stewart stars as Abby, whose plan to propose to her girlfriend, Harper (Mackenzie Davis), over Christmas is derailed when she learns Harper still isn’t out to her family. It’s a sweet, vulnerable story brought to life by a dream cast. Mary Steenburgen and Dan Levy steal the show. –Kelly Connolly
Premieres Thursday on HBO Max, first episode now available as part of a special preview
Kaley Cuoco ditches the Penny of The Big Bang Theory and Priceline pitchman personas in favor of something a little more daring and fun. She stars in this miniseries about a hard-partying flight attendant who jumps into a one-night stand in Bangkok with a hunk (Michiel Huisman) and wakes up next to his freshly murdered corpse. Penny would never do that! Priceline lady might though. What follows is a dark comedy that doubles as a murder mystery as Cuoco’s character tries to piece together what happened, evade authorities, and find the murderer. The first episode is now available on HBO Max, but the series officially premieres Thursday with the first three episodes, with new episodes coming weekly. [REVIEW]
Thursday on Netflix
Matthew Michael Carnahan directs and the Russo Brothers produce this American-made Middle Eastern war film that is distinctly different from the rest. How? It isn’t about American soldiers going into another country to solve their problems, it’s about the Ninevah SWAT team, a renegade Iraqi police unit that fought ISIS for control of the city of Mosul. It’s also completely in Arabic, showing the battle against ISIS from the point of view of the locals who suffered the most from the terror. With attention to character and action, it’s a well-reviewed shoot-’em-up with a story.
Season 2 premieres Friday on Netflix
The book-you-buy-at-an-airport-come-to-life-as-a-TV-show returns for its second season, with cliffhangers to resolve and build anew. Mel returns to Virgin River after a quick retreat to Los Angeles, and of course when she gets there, Jack is waiting for her… with a whole new set of complications that serve as obstacles for their romance. But you didn’t come to Virgin River to watch things go easy for Mel, right?
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