Ready to hunker down for the holiday season? These are the shows you'll be doing it with.

What’s new to Netflix NZ, Neon and other streaming services in December

What are you going to be watching in December? The Spinoff rounds up everything that’s coming to streaming services this month, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, Neon and TVNZ OnDemand.

The biggies

Industry (season 1 on Neon from December 2)

Think of the finance industry on film and you probably think of masters of the universe types shouting about derivatives while snorting cocaine off a prostitute’s back. Industry has all of those elements – the sex, the drugs, the impenetrable finance talk – but without the rich old dudes. Instead, this HBO/BBC co-production set among the trading desks of the City of London focuses on the young go-getters, recent graduates hoping to make it big while living in crummy flats and putting in 15-hour days at work. This is a bleak world filled with mostly unlikeable people, but like its spiritual cousin Succession, Industry is a queasily compelling watch all the same. / Catherine McGregor

Your Honour (season 1 on Neon from December 15)

Bryan Cranston loved breaking the law in Breaking Bad, and now he’s back in this legal thriller that sees him bending the rules to protect the ones he loves the most. Cranston stars as a well respected New Orleans judge who’s forced to subvert the legal system for his own gain when his family is involved in a hit-and-run accident that kills the son of a local organised crime family.  Cranston never makes a bad move (see: every episode of Malcolm in the Middle), and Your Honour might just be the show everyone talks about over Christmas lunch. / Tara Ward

Bridgerton (season 1 on Netflix from December 25)

Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes makes her Netflix debut with a Gossip Girl-esque period drama. That’s the pitch. But honestly, if you need a reason to get away from your family on Christmas Day, my money’s on Bridgerton. The series, based on Julia Quinn’s novel series, is set in the brutal world of Regency London society, where the ups can be as dangerous as the downs. Julie Andrews provides the voiceover of the town busybody, Lady Whistledown. Trust me, this is what you’ll be watching between Christmas and New Year’s. / Sam Brooks

Euphoria (special on Neon from December 11)

For all of the (not entirely misplaced) criticism about how it erred a little too often towards glamorising the issues it claimed to be challenging, the first season of HBO’s post-Skins teen drama Euphoria was nevertheless refreshing for the not-always-flattering depth of its characters, the pure strength of its ensemble (Zendaya! Angus Cloud!) and its single-minded dedication to creating a universe that felt indebted to very little that had come before it. The arrival of Covid-19 forced the show’s creators to pump the brakes on production of its second season, but a pair of special “bridge” episodes – the first arriving in early December – should sate the appetites of those desperately awaiting new chapters in the life of Rue et al. / Matthew McAuley

The notables

Selena: The Series (limited series on Netflix from December 4)

J-Lo earned a Golden Globe film nomination for her 1997 portrayal of singer Selena Quintanilla, but this 10-episode drama will dig deeper into the Mexican-American singer’s rise to fame, her determined family, and her notorious death. It’s one hell of a true story, with a young Selena becoming one of the top-selling Latin artists of the 90s, before being murdered at age 23 by the president of her fan club. It’s the fairy tale with the unhappy ending, so bring your tissues. / TW

Ahikāroa (season 4 on TVNZ on Demand from December 11)

A third season of Māori TV’s answer to Shortland Street lands on TVNZ OnDemand this month, bringing us more drama about the messy lives of best friends Hemi (Neia Takuira-Mita), Geo (Turia Schmidt-Peke) and Smooch (Te Ahorangi Winitana). Ahikāroa is a slick, contemporary series that shifts seamlessly between te reo Māori and English, and tackles many of the issues faced by young urban Māori today. It’s also a reminder that we don’t have to look offshore to watch smart and compelling television. / TW

The Wilds (season 1 on Amazon Prime Video from December 11)

Watching The Wilds feels like playing a fun game of “name that Auckland location”, because Amazon Prime Video’s new thriller was filmed around the west coast beach of Te Henga (Bethells). The tense drama follows a group of teenage girls who find themselves stranded on a remote island after a plane crash, and if it sounds like a cross between Lost and Mean Girls, that’s because it is. There’s also plenty of familiar faces to spot, including Rachel Griffiths, Erana James and Tandi Wright. / TW

On Becoming a God in Central Florida (season 1 on TVNZ on Demand from December 1)

Long before Kirsten Dunst made the news for visiting New Zealand during a pandemic, she played Krystal Stubbs, a water-park employee with a kick ass attitude and a massive grudge. It’s 1992, and Krystal is about to con, lie and cheat her way to the top of the cultish multi-level marketing scheme that once ruined her family. All her dreams come true, until everything starts to fall apart.  Think The Vow, but funny and with bogans. / TW

The films

The Prom (on Netflix from December 11)

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Ryan Murphy is a cultural vandal who needs to be stopped. He plunders art, literature and real-life stories and peddles them to the lowest common denominator. Even when the work is successful, it still has an air of salaciousness that taints it. After his bland and star-crammed adaptations of stage classics The Normal Heart and The Boys in The Band, Murphy has turned his eyes to a more recent offering: the critically beloved musical The Prom, which follows two Broadway stars (Meryl Streep and James Corden) trying to resurrect their public images by performing on behalf of a young lesbian couple who can’t attend their prom. He reteams with his music producer from Glee, so expect this to be the worst pairing of gay men since Leopold and Loeb. If you think I’m being harsh, watch the trailer. / SB

Mank (on Netflix from December 4)

After six years away from the big screen, acclaimed director David Fincher is back with a film that – in the year of Covid-19 – you’ll probably only watch on the tele. Mank, Fincher’s first film since Gone Girl (I know!), is a biography about writer Herman Mankiewicz, the screenwriter behind Citizen Kane. Gary Oldman is getting Oscar buzz for his turn in the titular role; he’s joined by Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Charles Dance and Bill Nye (wait, what? The science guy? Yes). Typically, a black and white biopic about a long dead writer would do nothing for me, but with Fincher at the helm and a truly packed cast, I can’t wait to watch this. / Stewart Sowman-Lund

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (on Netflix from December 18)

This is one of my most anticipated films of the year for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s the final screen performance of Chadwick Boseman, one of the best actors of his generation who unfortunately passed too soon. Secondly, it’s the reunion of Viola Davis with genius playwright August Wilson (also departed far too soon). Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is not one of his most famous plays, but it’s one that heavily deserves the feature film treatment. In a slim year, this is already billed for a heap of Oscar attention, but honestly I think it’d be a contender even in a stacked year. Watch it as soon as it drops, I think. / SB

The rest

The unfortunate cast of The Prom.

Netflix

December 1

The Holiday Movies That Made Us

Angela’s Christmas Wish

Natalie Palamides: Nate – A One Man Show

The Dark Knight

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

Inception

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

Hitch

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Click

Fright Night

Jackass 2.5

Wedding Crashers

Vendetta

Ghostbusters

New York Minute

Final Destination 2

The Sapphires

Batman Returns

December 2

Fierce

Arl Eldjarn: Pardon my Icelandic

Hazel Brugger: Tropical

Alien Worlds

December 3

Just Another Christmas

Break

Chico Bon Bon and the Very Berry Holiday

December 4

Big Mouth: Season 4

Selena: The Series

Christmas Crossfire

Leyla Everlasting

Bombay Rose

Sweet River

Captain Underpants Mega Blissmas

December 5

Detention

Mighty Express: A Mighty Christmas

December 6

Mission: Impossible

Mission: Impossible II

Mission: Impossible III

December 8

Lovestruck in the City

Mr. Iglesias: Part 3

Elmicida: AmarElo – E Tudo Para Ontem

Super Monsters: Santa’s Super Monster Helpers

Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure

December 9

Rose Island

The Surgeon’s Cut

Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love: Christmas

The Big Show Show: Christmas

December 10

Alice in Borderland

December 11

The Mess You Leave Behind

Canvas

Giving Voice

A Trash Truck Christmas

December 14

Tiny Pretty Things

A California Christmas

Hilda: Season 2

December 15

Song Exploder: Volume 2

December 16

Vir Das: Outside In – The Lockdown Special

Run On

How to Ruin Christmas: The Wedding

Break It All: The History of Rock in Latin America

Anitta: Made in Honorio

The Ripper

December 18

Home for Christmas: Season 2

Sweet Home

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

December 22

London Hughes: To Catch a Dick

Rhyme Time Town Singalongs

Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas

December 23

The Midnight Sky

Your Name Engraved Within

Transformers Rescue Bots Academy: Season 2

December 25

Grandma’s Last Wishes

December 26

DNA

Fast & Furious Spy Racers: Season 3: Sahara

The Magic School Bus Rides Again In The Zone

December 27

I, Tonya

December 28

A Love So Beautiful

Cops and Robbers

Call Me By Your Name

December 30

Best Leftovers Ever!

Equinox

Transformers: War for Cybertron: Trilogy: Chapter 2: Earthrise

December 31

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 4

Best of Stand-Up 2020

The Flintstones

Bridget Jones’ Diary

Step Up

The family in Parasite.

Neon

December 1

Dora and Friends: Into The City Season 1-2

Jojo’s Dream Birthday

Motherhood

Take Home Pay

December 2

Industry

Parasite

December 3

Bob the Builder: Snowed Under

Box Yourself Christmas

The Little Toymaker

Timmy’s Christmas Surprise

Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan

December 4

Rusty Rivets S2

Zog

Stick Man

Spycies

Candy Cane Christmas

The Christmas Cabin

Homemade Christmas

Christmas Harmony

A Christmas Break

Spotlight on Christmas

Twinkle All The Way

Ride Like A Girl

December 7

Shameless: Season 11

Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always

Biggest Little Farm

Celia

Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks

Untouchable

December 8

Hot Air

December 9

The Walking Dead: Season 10A

Bombshell

December 10

Kung Panda: Legends of Awesomeness: Season 2-3

What Women Want

December 11

Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood Season 4-6

Crazy, Not Insane

Fred Claus

December 13

The Peanut Butter Falcon

December 14

Game Shakers: Season 3

Fool’s Gold

December 15

Your Honour

December 16

Murder on Middle Beach

Richard Jewell

December 17

My World Kitchen: Season 2

Swashbuckle: Season 4

Pompeii

December 18

100 Things to Do Before High School

Dwight in Shining Armour: Season 4

Hereafter

The Polar Express

December 19

The Island

December 20

I Still Believe

December 21

Most Expensivest: Season 3B

Chef

Going the Distance

Prisoners

December 22

Keeping Faith: Season2

December 23

Underwater

December 25

Playmobil: The Movie

December 26

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Yogi Bear

December 27

The Way Back

December 28

Moonbase 8

Ben 10: Alien Swarm

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens

Ben 10: Race Against Time

Bend It Like Beckham

December 29

Drunk History: Season 5

Drunk History: Season 6

One Star Review

Cop Out

December 30

The Invisible Man

December 31

Vikings: Season 6B

TVNZ on Demand

December 1

Little Birds

On Becoming a God in Central Florida

Desperate Housewives: Season 1-8

Junior Masterchef Australia

Lost in Paris

Double Lover

Riding in Portugal

Strange Rumblings in Shangri-La

The Christmas Pact

A Christmas Wish

Four Christmases and a Wedding

My Christmas Prince

Speargun Hunter: Season 1-2

The Reluctant Outdoorsman

Anndy & Ben Eat The World

Wild Boar Fever

Fat Guys in the Woods

For Love or Likes

OUTSpoken: Season 4

Drag Heals: Season 4: Part 2

The Amazing Gayl Pile: Season 2

Metro Sexual

Is the Man who is Tall Happy

Paraguay, Drugs and Banana

Such Great Heights

Dirty Pictures

Tunnel of Dreams

The Ranger: Season 4

December 5

Absolutely Fabulous: Season 1-5

The Office UK: Season 1-2

Gavin & Stacey: Season 1-3

The Vicar of Dibley: Season 1-3

Extras: Season 1-2

December 7

Islands of Mystery

December 8

The Voice Kids UK: Season 4

December 14

The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty

Islands of Mystery

Tamariki Takeover: Season 2

December 16

Full House

December 22

Reef Break

The cast of The Wilds.

Amazon Prime Video

December 1

Where’s Waldo

December 4

Sound of Metal

Sons of the Soil: Jaipur Pink Panthers

December 10

Bull: Season 1-3

December 11

The Wilds

I’m Your Woman

Durgavati

Mirreyes vs. Godinez, Home Office

Putham Pudhu Kalaai

December 16

The Expanse: Season 5

Hawaii Five-0: Season 1-6

Elementary: Season 1-6

December 17

Unpaused

December 18

A Massive Hunt

El Cid

The Grand Tour

December 20

MacGyver: Season 1-3

December 24

This is Us

December 25

Sylvie’s Love

Coolie No. 1

Halal Love Story

December 28

Amazon Funnies Line Up #1

Amazon Funnies Line Up #1

December 30

Yearly Departed

10

December 31

Luther

The zoobuyers in We Bought a Zoo.

Disney+

December 4

Godmothered

Mulan

Diana: In Her Own Words

Man Vs. Shark

We Bought A Zoo

The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration

The Disney Holiday Singalong

December 11

High School Musical: The Musical: Holiday Special

Safety

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Disney Channel’s Epic Holiday Showdown

Disney’s Fam Jam Season 1

Disney Holiday Magic Quest

December 18

On Pointe

Arendelle Castle Yule Log 2.0

Dory’s Reef Cam

Jingle All The Way

Jingle All The Way 2

Big Hero 6: Season 3

Disney Channel Holiday House Party

Disney parks Sunrise Series: Season 1

Miraculous World: New York, United Heroez

MARVEL’s Spider-Man: Maximum Venom

Thailand’s Wild Side: Season 1

The Owl House: Season 1

PJ Masks: Season 4

Disney Junior T.O.T.S: Season 2

December 25

Soul

Burrow

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Walking with Dinosaurs

Epic

Eragon

Ferdinand

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Marvel’s Runaways

Rio

Rio 2

The mystery solvers on Murdoch Mysteries.

Acorn TV

December 7

Kavanagh QC: Season 1-3

Murdoch Mysteries: Season 9

Inspector Morse: Season 4-5

Blue Murder: Season 1-2

December 14

Bucket

Undeniable

Lewis: Season 4-6

Vera: Season 5

December 21

Endeavour: Season 6-7

Heartbeat: Season 3-4

Prime Suspect: Season 4-5

December 24

A Music Lover’s Guide to Murdoch Mysteries

December 28

Elizabeth 1

Secret State

Shetland: Season 5

You know who this is.

Apple TV+

December 4

Mariah Carey Holiday Special

Earth at Night in Colour

Stilwater

December 11

Wolfwalkers




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