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Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire seems so delightful – especially when you have Netflix to hand to keep you company over the last days of 2016. So what can you expect this December?
The streaming giant’s seasonal line-up is the same as ever (hello to Home Alone), with the coming month heralding a few dubious additions, festive and non-festive alike (Naomi Watts’ Diana is not the present anyone wants on Christmas Eve). But Netflix’s sack is veritably bulging with streaming treats, with exclusive and original TV coming out both ends of its stockings. There’s the new Dirk Gently adaptation, Dustin Hoffman series Medici: Masters of Florence, Harlan Coben’s No Second Chance, Canadian sci-fi show Travelers and, of course, Guillermo del Toro’s animated series, Trollhunters.
Its film line-up is just as packed with goodies to unwrap, from Green Room and Werner Herzog’s Lo and Behold to indie flicks Barry and Blue Jar. Bone Tomahawk and Tale of Tales are both must-sees, not to mention A Most Violent Year, Iron Man Three and, at the end of the month, The French Prince of Bel-Air and Eddie the Eagle – the perfect feel-good treats for New Year’s Eve.
Here’s what is coming soon to Netflix UK in December 2016:
Schitt’s Creek: Season 1 – 1st December
CBC’s TV comedy, which stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, finds a UK home, thanks to Netflix’s acquisition. Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a ramshackle motel in a town they once bought as a joke, because of its name.
Pacific Heat: Season 1 – 2nd December
In this animated satire, a covert squad of operatives short on smarts but long on confidence tackles crime on the glitzy Gold Coast of Australia.
Fauda – 2nd December
This Israeli TV series, exclusively snapped up as an original by Netflix, follows a deep-cover unit of the Israeli Defense Forces.
Blue Jay – 6th December
The latest in Netflix’s deal with the Duplass brothers, this romantic comedy, written by Mark Duplass, stars him and Sarah Paulson as two former high-school sweethearts who return to their small California hometown.
Detectorists: Season 2 – 7th December
A sitcom about metal detectorists? You could be forgiven for skipping past this unassuming BBC Four series, but Mackenzie Crook delivers his script – about two show ground-gazing friends – with an endearingly downbeat charm, supported by the excellent Toby Jones, who manages to be both socially inept and amusingly sympathetic. Dig past the quiet surface and there’s treasure here.
The Cuba Libre Story: Season 1 – 8th December
This eight-episode series weaves together over 50 exclusive interviews with the most important experts and eyewitnesses of Cuban history – broth from within and outside the island.
Captive: Season 1 – 9th December
Netflix’s latest original documentary series delves into the terse, dangerous world of hostage negotiation. Victims, negotiators, and kidnappers give an unprecedented look at what it means to be captive.
Cirque du Soleil: Luna Petunia: Season 1 – 9th December
Talking volcanoes, flying pizzas, tumbling cats. In Luna’s twirling, swirling Amazia, the impossible becomes possible!
White Rabbit Project – 9th December
Mythbusters alumni Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara head down the rabbit hole to investigate weird and wonderful events from pop culture, science and history. Under their microscope are topics as diverse as jailbreaks, superpower technology, heists and crazy world war two weapons. In each episode, the hosts immerse themselves in experiments, builds and tests, as they sleuth the truth behind these and other well googled themes.
Fuller House: Season 2 – 9th December
The second season of that family sitcom reboot you all wanted.
Club de Cuervos: Season 2 – 9th December
Netflix’s first Spanish-language original series, about a family fighting for control of a football club, returns for a second round.
Spectral – 9th December
The supernatural thriller, directed by Nic Mathieu, sees a Special Ops team of Delta Force troops and a DARPA scientist enter a war-torn city, where ghostly enemies are causing the unexplained deaths of civilians. James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer and Bruce Greenwood star.
Medici: Masters of Florence – 9th December
Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman star in this Italian series from The Man in the High Castle’s Frank Spotnitz. The eight-part first season begisn to chronicle the rich and influential Medici family in early 15th century Florence, when Cosimo’s (Madden) father, Giovanni (Hoffman), dies suddenly. But was he murdered?
Anomalisa – 11th December
Charlie Kaufman’s remarkable stop-motion oddity follows a motivational speaker who has a strange condition: everyone he hears sounds the same. So when he crosses paths with a woman at his hotel during a business trip whose voice is all her own, his existence is immediately shaken up. Eerie, intimate and awkwardly moving, this is sumptuous, profound stuff.
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency – 11th December
This adaptation of Douglas Adams’ novels is co-produced by the streaming giant and BBC America. Bringing to life the unexpected world of the hyper, absurd, eponymous detective (played by Samuel Barnett), the series is written and executive produced by Max Landis and executive produced by Robert Cooper (Stargate), with Elijah Wood playing Dirk’s reluctant sidekick, Todd.
Bone Tomahawk – 12th December
Not released online in the UK before now, S. Craig Zaher’s violent treat follows a sheriff (Kurt Russell), his deputy (Richard Jenkins), a gunslinger (Matthew Fox), and a cowboy (Patrick Wilson) embark on a mission in the Old West to rescue three people from a savage group of cave dwellers.
Tale of Tales – 12th December
Matteo Garrone’s collection of interlinking fairytales is wonderfully dark and fascinatingly unique, with a cast that includes Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, and John C Reilly.
Nobel: Season 1 – 13th December
The excellent Aksel Hennie stars in this Norwegian series, acquired exclusively by Netflix, which follows a Special Forces officer, who finds a series of incidents in Afghanistan set in motion a complicated chain of political and personal events.
Sand Storm – 15th December
When a Bedouin patriarch takes a second bride, his first wife chafes against her changing status while his daughter chases her own dreams of autonomy. Israel’s submission for this year’s Foreign Language Oscar.
Barry – 16th December
A young Barack Obama, known to his friends as Barry, arrives in New York City in the fall of 1981 to begin his junior year at Columbia University in this timely drama about fitting in to American society.
No Second Chance: Season 1 – 16th December
How far will you go to save your child? Based on Harlan Coben’s bestseller, this French series (acquired exclusively by Netflix in the UK) is the first time the author has acted as a showrunner on a TV project. It stars Alexandra Lamy as Dr. Alice Lambert, who wakes one day to find her husband killed and her baby missing. Suspected by the police and hunted by hitmen, Alice refuses to give up until she finds her daughter.
Van Helsing – 17th December
Acquired from Syfy, this reimagining of the classic Dracula character stars True Blood’s Kelly Overton as Vanessa, a descendant of the legendary line of vampire hunters, who awakes from a three-year coma just in time to stop an undead uprising.
Call My Agent!: Season 1 – 18th December
Every day is like walking a tightrope for talent agents Mathias, Gabriel, Andrea and Arlette in this French series, striving to get contracts for prestigious clients like Cécile de France, Nathalie Baye and other top actors. With a tight-knit team like a dysfunctional family, there’s just as much drama and laughter off-screen as on…
Oscar Isaac stars in this period drama about a fuel businessmen, who is trying to fight the corruption of 1980s New York, which threatens to undermine both his marriage and his business empire.
On the Waterfront – 21st December
“You don’t understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.” Marlon Brando is sensational in this drama about an ex-boxer working in the docks of New Jersey.
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World – 22nd December
Werner Herzog takes on the Internet in this documentary series profiling the strange, bizarre, dark and exciting corners of the world wide web. Unsurprisingly, they’re a match made in cyber heaven.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – 22nd December
On a Victory Tour of the districts, Katniss and Peeta discover their Hunger Games triumph has sparked a rebellion – while President Snow plots the 75th Hunger Games that could change Panem forever. Or, to put it another way, Jennifer Lawrence. Philip Seymour Hoffman. The Hunger Games. Enough said.
Sense8 Christmas Special – 23rd December
Nothing says Christmas like a bunch of strangers becoming telepathically connected through a shared violent vision. Netflix clearly thinks so, as it’s commissioned a festival special from The Wachowskis’ Sense8.
The two-hour episode, announced last month, continues the journey of these eight singular hearts and minds weaving in and out of each other’s lives.
Trollhunters: Season 1 – 23rd December
This animated epic from none other than Guillermo del Toro follows a group of friends who discover a fantastical new world wrapped beneath their home town and find themselves facing a battle between good and bad trolls. Anton Yelchin, Ron Perlman and Kelsey Grammer are on vocal duties.
Travelers – 23rd December
A co-production between Showcase and Netflix, this Canadian time-travelling series stars Eric McCormack as FBI agent Grant MacLaren, who leads a team performing missions across time to save humanity from a terrible future.
Iron Man Three – 25th December
One of Marvel’s best films to date proves that superhero blockbusters can still be character-driven dramas – and funny to boot. A witty script, Robert Downey Jr. in full motormouth mode and events taking place at Christmas? It’s no surprise that this is a Shane Black movie.
AJIN: Demi-Human: Season 2 – 27th December
Netflix’s anime returns for a second season. It follows a young high–school student, who is hit by a truck and dies – only to discover that he is, in fact, demi–human, an Ajin. What he finds are dozens of others who are also Ajins, all of whom are being hunted and trying to survive.
Green Room – 27th December
Anton Yelchin stars in this gripping, brutal horror from director Jeremy Saulnier about a band who end up on the wrong side of a green room door in a club run by neo-Nazis.
The Clan – 30th December
Pablo Trapero’s true-crime thriller tells the story of the Puccios, Argentina’s most notorious family. In an affluent suburb of Buenos Aires in the early-80s, the seemingly normal clan make their living off kidnapping and murder – and Trapero captures it all with a choking, claustrophobic sense of horror.
Little Men – 31st December
Ira Sachs’ latest is as affective and intimate as ever, as the director follows two young boys, whose parents are locked in a fierce feud over a a Brooklyn shop.
Eddie the Eagle – 31st December
Dexter Fletcher’s film about the real life British skier who became an unlikely sporting legend is irresistibly feel-good stuff – the perfect way to see in a New Year.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – 31st December
Now this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down…
Foxcatcher – 31st December
Channing Tatum delivers a knock-out performance as real life wrestler Mark Schultz, who is taken under the wing of Steve Carrell’s eccentric millionaire, John du Pont. Supported by Mark Ruffalo as Mark’s generous older brather, director Bennett Miller captures the shifting power balance of the trio with a chilling detachment.
Son of Saul – 31st December
The directorial debut of filmmaker László Nemes, Son of Saul is an unflinching depiction of the Holocaust that is like nothing you’ve ever seen. The film follows Saul Ausländer, a member of the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners forced to assist in the day-to-day operations of the Nazi concentration camps. While at work, he recognises a body as that of his son and begins a quest to give the boy a proper burial, away from the flames. Unfolding in a string of audacious tracking shots, the result is a harrowing, gripping and powerful experience.
Sing Street – 31st December
Every now and then, a film comes along that is so uplifting, so inspiring, so sincerely, unabashedly positive that it makes you smile with every inch of your being. Sing Street, from Once director John Carney, follows a group of teenagers forming their own band. It is one of those films.
Jane Got a Gun – 31st December
Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor star in this undemanding, but entertaining slice of old-school western fun. Portman, Edgerton and McGregor in hats? What’s not to like?
The Hunt for the Wilderpeople – 5th January 2017
Taika Waititi’s comedy is a charmingly offbeat affair, as Sam Neill plays a weary, grumpy bloke in the New Zealand bush, who finds himself lumbered with a young city kid Ricky. Stranded in the wilderness, they become the subjects of a nationwide manhunt.
Other new releases coming soon to Netflix UK in December 2016:
Clean Break: Season 1
The Irish Mob: Season 1
The Violin Player
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
10 Year Plan
1000 Rupee Note
A Moody Christmas: Season 1
A Very Pink Christmas
Across Grace Alley
Art Basel: A Portrait
Back to 1989: Season 1
Born to Dance
Bromance: Season 1
Chill with Bob Ross: Collection
David Blaine: Street Magic
Designated Survivor: Season 1, Episode 8
Emergency: Season 1
Exotic Invaders: Pythons of the Everglades
Fannie’s Last Supper
Inspector Gadget: Season 1
jPod: Season 1
Loreena McKennitt: Nights from the Alhambra
Most Valuable Players
My Little Lover: Season 1
My Super Ex-Girlfriend
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property
Nazi Gold in Argentina
Norm of the North
One Night in Istanbul
Return to the USS Atlanta: Defender of Guadalcanal
Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne
Sports on Fire: Season 1
Tales of Masked Men: A Journey through Lucha Libre
The Deep: Season 1
The Syndicate: Season 3
The Vampire Diaries: Season 7
The Way Back
Touched With Fire
West Coast Customs: Season 1
World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements
Worst Thing I Ever Did: Season 1
Hip Hop Evolution
The Hard Stop
For the Love of Spock
Refresh Man: Season 1
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Season 2, Episode 7
Fifty Shades of Black
Into the Woods
The Good Neighbour (The Waiting)
Reggie Watts: Spatial
Shooter: Season 1, Episode 4
Designated Survivor: Season 1, Episode 9
Asperger’s Are Us
Ricardo O’Farrill: Christmas Special
Shooter: Season 1, Episode 5
At All Costs
Amdavad Ma Famous (Famous in Ahmedabad)
Designated Survivor: Season 1, Episode 10
Joe and Caspar Hit the Road
Learning to Drive
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things
This is the Life
Death Wish 5: The Face of Death
Episodes: Season 4
The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Season 4 (Netflix original)
Just Shoot Me: Season 1
K-POP Extreme Survival
Cannabis: Season 1
Theo Who Lived
Happy And: Season 1
Color of Woman: Season 1
Zindagi Gulzar Hai
3 Turken & ein Baby
Miss Panda & Mr. Hedgehog
The Last Days of Chez Nous
Goodbye My Wife: Season 1
Winter of Our Dreams
An Immortal Classic: Season 1
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
A Wish for Christmas
The Great Train Robbery
Santa Pac’s Merry Berry Day
Santa Pac’s Merry Berry Day
Gabriel lglesias: I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry
10 Percent: Season 1 (Netflix original)
The Break: Season 1 (Netflix original)
About Last Night
Deck the Halls
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Fools Rush In
Shooter: Season 1, Episode 6
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking
Deck the Halls
In a World…
The End of the Tour
Think Like a Man Too
The Final Girls
Cold Comes the Night
The To Do List
Battle of the Year
The Art of the Steal
Garfunkel and Oates: Trying to be Special
No Good Deed
War Room (2015)
The Zero Theorem
Boys Over Flowers
When Hari Got Married
Chasing Cameron (Netflix original)
Kurt Seyit & Sura
Big Top Pee-wee
Friday the 13th: Part 5: A New Beginning
Nick of Time
Shooter: Season 1, Episode 7
The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
Ezel: Season 1
The Jihadis Next Door
Canada’s Worst Driver: Season 1 and 2
Alpha & Omega: Family Vacation
Big in Bollywood
London Has Fallen
The Water Diviner
The Keeping Room
Howard Lovecraft & the Frozen Kingdom
My Sex Robot
Frontline Fighting: The Brits Battling Isis
Britain’s Weirdest Phobias
Septembers of Shiraz
Hunting Britain’s Most Wanted
The Curse of Sleeping Beauty
Mail Order Murder
Hacking the Planet
Real Life Wife Swap: Season 1
Deadliest Space Weather: Season 1
Joe Rogan Questions Everything: Season 1
The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Ratchet and Clank
Anthony Bourdain: A Cook’s Tour: Season 1 and 2
Compete to Eat: Season 1
Drug Wars: Season 1: Season 4
Hitler – A Career
Mega Builders: Season 5 and 6
Perfect Storm: Season 1
See No Evil: Season 2
The Devil You Know: Season 3 and 4
Tornado Hunters: Season 1
Very Bad Men: Season 3
Wanda and the Alien: Season 1
Break Up Club
May We Chat
Monkey King: Hero Is Back
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