Your Northern hemisphere favourites are back this month (Outlander and Vikings) but there be gold on these here Lightbox shores too, yarr. The Spinoff staff run through what’s new to Lightbox in the month of November.
Outlander (Season 4, weekly every Monday from November 5)
Guy Fawkes Night will go off with a bang when the much-loved historical drama Outlander returns to Lightbox. It feels like years since our intrepid heroes Claire and Jamie washed ashore after a shipwreck at the end of last season, but season four sees the Frasers together at last, building a new life in America. Alas, time-traveller Claire’s future won’t leave itself in the past, and the Frasers find themselves entangled with a new villain (Downton’s Ed Speleers), dealing with the pass-ag aunt from hell (played by the amazing Maria Doyle Kennedy) and staring down the barrel of the American Revolution.
There’s also a dog. Everyone’s excited about the dog.
It might be set in North Carolina, but this new season is as Outlander-y as ever. Come for the steaming hot lovefest between Claire and Jamie, stay for the emotional journeys, the gorgeous frocks, and a whole lot of Scottish shenanigans. / Tara Ward
Rebecka Martinsson (Season 1, binge from November 6)
Scandi-no(ir)? More like Scandi-yes! Lightbox is the home of your favourite Scandi-noirs, and Rebecka Martinsson, adapted from the popular series of novels, proves to be another Swedish winner. When her childhood friend dies, Rebecka Martinsson returns to her sleepy hometown only to find that, yes, nothing is what it seems. And because this is a Scandi-noir, not a Scandi-comedy, Rebecka also has to face her own trauma. Come for the intrigue, stay for Ida Engvoll’s committed, starmaking performance as Rebecka, a woman who has to pull out all the stops on her own history in order to get to the truth./ Sam Brooks
The Spy Who Dumped Me (film, November 7)
Let’s be real on two fronts here. One front: Kate McKinnon is one of the most talented comedic actresses of her generation, and should have a mantlepiece full of awards. Any chance for you to see her onscreen is a chance you should take, and I’ve no idea why you haven’t taken it already you cowards!
The other front: Mila Kunis is, by Olympian leaps and bounds, the most talented cast member of That 70’s Show. Remember how good she was in Black Swan? Also, she’s one of those inexplicably magnetic actresses – there’s a looseness to her charisma that resembles one of those fifties actresses that wandered onscreen, became famous, and wandered offscreen to let the next gorgeous actress have a go.
The Spy Who Dumped Me is a chance to see this unlikely pair in an even unlikelier genre: the action-comedy. An action-comedy is the perfect pick for your weekend watch – bust open the microwave popcorn, have a few laughs, have a few thrills and get to watch two stars have a fun time. What is there to lose? / SB
Friday Night Lights (seasons 1-5, binge from November 9)
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose, put it into my veins and fill me up with it.
To you, this might be a show about football and might not be interested. You would be wrong. Friday Night Lights is one of the most rewarding and beautiful dramas of the aughts, set against the backdrop of a high school football team. It got a lots of deserved praise for the performances (and hair) of Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton as Coach and Tami Taylor, an aspirational fictional couple for the ages. But there’s gold in the series beyond this, largely among the younger performers. Both Taylor Kitsch as bruised bad boy Tim Riggins and Adrianne Palicki as the immensely guarded Tyra Collette have stuck with me since the series finished years ago.
There’s no time like the present to jump into this one, and you won’t regret it. But grab the tissues and also your hair conditioner, because you will cry and you will want Connie Britton’s hair. / SB
The Meg (film, November 28)
When a 75 foot prehistoric shark turns out to not be as extinct as everyone thought it was, there’s only one man who can destroy it. His name is Jason Statham, and his wetsuit is extremely, extremely tight. Flanked by an all-star cast of Ruby Rose (Pitch Perfect 3), Rainn Wilson (The Office) and our own Cliff Curtis (you’ve probably seen him down the shops), The Meg is a pure popcorn-huffing B-movie thrill ride, complete with campy one-liners, monster madness and awe-inspiring watery deaths. They also filmed it here so, you know, stay out of the water / Alex Casey
Vikings (Season 5, weekly from November 29)
History isn’t boring, but sometimes it takes a show like Vikings to prove that. It’s much more than just blood and guts battle scenes (though they certainly feature) Vikings is a show that takes on the difficult task of conveying the ever shifting alliances and personal struggles of medieval politics, as well as deep questions about how events become legends, and then pass into history itself. Somehow it pulls that all off while still being wildly entertaining. / Alex Braae
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SAM’S CLASSIC PICK: Days of Our Lives (Seasons 33-40, new episodes dropping November 5)
Did you know Days of Our Lives was on Lightbox? Because I sure didn’t, and even though I haven’t watched the show since I stayed home from school as an incredibly cool teenager to watch it, what better time to dive into a fantastical soap opera than 2018, with episode thirteen thousand, two hundred and eighty two? There’s also new episodes dropping on November 5, so really this is the perfect opportunity to catch up with the romantic, bed-hopping and sometimes body-jumping antics of Salem – the city where the filters are more plentiful than Instagram and every scene ends with an actor meaningfully staring off into the distance. I love it. / SB
ALEX’S CLASSIC PICK: Community
Dan Harmon’s sitcom piece de resistance is one of the most enjoyable binge watches you’ll find on this here internet machine. Adding endlessly meta layers and a self-awareness that is somehow never annoying, the ragtag college comedy is so smarter and funnier than it has any right to be. With a stacked cast including Joel McHale (The Soup), Gillian Jacobs (Love), Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) and Alison Brie (Glow). If you’d rather not commit to two days and 13 hours on the couch, here’s a handy guide to the 10 weirdest episodes that we prepared earlier. Or just watch this. / AC
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