As the end of 2018 looms, it’s time to look back and reflect upon the best things you saw this year, and what you’ve still got to catch up on. But it’s also time to count down until a whole flood of titles leave your favourite subscription services, as licences expire on New Year’s Eve and aren’t renewed for the immediate future.
Sky’s box set collection – and NOW TV’s Entertainment Pass – is bidding farewell to HBO’s The Night Of, the most recent season of The Walking Dead, a double helping of Atlanta, an entire dose of Dexter, new gems Sally4Ever and Get Shorty, plus Italy’s My Brilliant Friend.
Sky Cinema, meanwhile, is waving goodbye to Logan (and Logan Noir), The Sound of Music, Split, Loving and two festive favourites.
Whichever you subscribe to, this coming month is your last chance to stream the following:
The Night Of – 24th December
Based on BBC drama Criminal Justice, this gripping eight-part HBO adaptation stars Riz Ahmed as a man accused of a brutal murder and follows the police investigation and legal proceedings in New York City.
The Walking Dead: Season 9 Part 1 – 25th December
Before AMC’s zombie smash hit returns for Part 2 near year, don’t miss the chance to catch the first half.
Atlanta: Season 1 to 2 – 30th December
Donald Glover’s Golden Globe winning series is an exciting show that offers something refreshingly evolutionary in the modern TV landscape.
Broadchurch: Season 1 – 31st December
“I can’t be outside. I don’t want to be.” That’s DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) to DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) in Broadchurch Season 1. The ITV drama follows their investigation into the death of a local boy – 11-year-old Danny Latimer – who is found lying on a beach. When forensics suggest strangulation rather than suicide, the familiar procedural plot begins to unravel. But Broadchurch is more than a compellingly plotted and densely layered crime thriller: it’s a study in grief that reverberates with humanity, even as it pulls it apart. A tragedy, the saying goes, can bring people together. This is a distressingly brilliant piece of television.
Dexter: Season 1 to 8 – 31st December
By day, mild-mannered forensics expert Dexter Morgan (Michael C Hall) spends his days solving crimes for the Miami police. By night, he is a serial killer. But Dexter lives by a strict code of honour in that he only targets other murderers.
Nathan for You: Season 1 and 2 – 31st December
One of the best TV shows you haven’t heard of, this US docu-reality comedy sees comedian Nathan Fielder use his business degree and life experiences to help actual small businesses turn a profit. A sharp-edged satire of commercialism, stuffed with amusingly over-the-top marketing ideas.
Nashville: Season 1 to 3 – 31st December
Take a toe-tapping trip to America’s Deep South with this compelling country music drama starring Friday Night Lights’ Connie Britton and Heroes’ Hayden Panettiere.
Alias: Season 1 to 5 – 1st January
J.J. Abrams’ TV series stars Jennifer Garner as Sydney, a student who is recruited to secret organisation SD-6. When she discovers it is a global criminal group, rather than the CIA as her recruiter claimed, she turns into a double-agent for the good guys – a triple-identity cover-up that causes havoc with her personal life, as everyone around her is drawn into the world of espionage. Cameos across the five seasons include everyone from Christian Slater and Rutger Hauer to Faye Dunaway and David Cronenberg.
Sally4Ever: Season 1 – 5th January
Any TV show from Julia Davis is always worth putting on your watchlist. Catherine Shepherd stars as Sally who has lived a comfortable and dull-suburban life with David for 10 years. But on the day he asks her to marry him, she embarks on a wild affair with a young, charismatic actress, Emma (Julia Davis). The cast also includes Julian Barratt, Mark Gatiss, Sean Bean, Steve Oram and Joanna Scanlan. Need we say more?
Boardwalk Empire: Season 1 to 5 – 5th January
Don’t miss the chance to catch all five seasons of HBO’s dazzling gangster epic.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1 – 10th January
Based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling book of the same name, HBO’s lushly produced first foreign language miniseries hits Sky Atlantic. Set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, the story follows the lives of two girls over six decades of their friendship. After receiving a phone call, Elena Greco discovers the most important and significant figure in her life, Raffaella “Lila” Cerullo, has gone missing. Knowing this disappearance has been a long time coming, Elena, now a writer, finally sits down to put the story of their intertwining lives on paper, starting from the 1950s where the two first met at school, in an attempt to describe the mystery of Lila – her brilliant friend, and in a way, worst enemy.
Other titles leaving Sky Box Sets and NOW TV in December 2018 / January 2019:
The Last Ship
Gary and his Demons: Season 1
Stan Against Evil: Season 1
Bobby & Harriet Get Married: Season 1
How Things Work: Season 1
Last Outpost: Season 1
Small Talk: Season 1
Monkey Life: Season 11
**** That’s Delicious
Nathan Barley: Season 1
Dimension 404: Season 1
Rob Delaney’s Stand Up Central: Season 1
Ultimate Ninja Challenge: Season 1
MTV Floribama Shore: Season 2
Occupied: Season 1
Relic Hunter: Season 1 to 3
South Of Hell: Season 1
The Seventies: Season 1
Yukon Vet: Season 3 to 5
Are You The One?: Season 1 to 4
Comedy Central At The Comedy Store: Season 3
Eureka Seven: Season 1
Ascension: Season 1
Brotherhood: Season 1
Californication: Season 3 to 7
Chicago Fire: Season 4
Lip Sync Battle: Season 2
Million Dollar Baby: Season 1
South Park: Season 19 to 21
Luciano Pavarotti: South Bank Show Originals: Season 1
Monty Python’s Personal Best: Season 1
Nurse Jackie: Season 4
Oz: Season 2
Stargate Universe: Season 1 to 3
The Borgias: Season 1
The South Bank Show: Season 3
Twin Peaks: Season 2
S.W.A.T.: Season 1
Just Tattoo Of Us: Season 4
The Reluctant Landlord: Season 1
Dual Survival: Season 5 and 6
Bad Universe: Season 1
Border Patrol: Season 1
How the Universe Works: Season 2 to 6
NASA’s Greatest Missions: Season 1
NASA’s Unexplained Files: Season 3
Secret Space Escapes: Season 1
Stephen Hawking’s Grand Design: Season 1
Strip the Cosmos: Season 2
Are You The One?: Season 7
The Orville: Season 1
Insane Pools: Off the Deep End: Season 3
Jersey Shore Family Vacation: Season 2
Discovering: Judi Dench
The Royal World: Season 1
The 2000s: Season 1
South Park: Season 22
Nathan For You: Season 3
The Heist: Season 1
Futurama: Season 5 and 6
The Deuce: Season 1
Geordie Shore: Season 18
Your Face or Mine: Season 4
Stargate Atlantis: Season 1 to 5
Wolf Creek: Season 1 and 2
Logan / Logan Noir – 23rd December
This dark, grizzled thriller is a violent punch to the face of superhero movie convention – and a moving end to Hugh Jackman’s run as Wolverine. Seen it before? Don’t miss the chance to see it again in black-and-white.
The Muppet Christmas Carol – 24th December
The Muppets give Dickens a hefty injection of fuzzy humour without losing the story’s dark edge. From Gonzo as Charles himself and Rizzo’s jelly bean-eating sidekick providing the post-modern narration to Michael Caine’s surprisingly moving turn as Ebenezer, this is not only a fantastic, family-friendly adaptation of A Christmas Carol; it’s arguably the definitive version.
Christine (2016) – 26th December
Rebecca Hall is remarkable in this drama about Christine Chubbuck, the Florida newsreader who, in 1974, shot herself live on air. This nuanced, sensitive character study is a provocative, powerful watch that will stay with you for days.
Fences – 29th December
Denzel Washington’s directorial debut, starring Viola Davis, crafts a moving drama fuelled by two powerhouse performances.
Home Alone 2: Lost In New York – 31st December
Bigger traps, bigger laughs and a big slice of ham from Tim Curry as a sycophantic Manhattan hotel employee, Home Alone 2 is a proper delight.
The Sound Of Music – 31st December
“The hilllllllls are aliiiive…”
Split – 4th December
M. Night Shyamalan is back in business with this creepy psychological horror. It begins with the abduction of three teenage girls – BFFs Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula), plus loner Casey (The Witch’s Anya Taylor-Joy). They wake up in the underground lair of one Kevin Crumb (James McAvoy), a man whose struggles with dissociative identity disorder are about to take a profoundly unsettling turn.
Loving – 11th December
After getting married in Washington DC, unassuming working man Richard Loving (Joel Edgerton), who’s white, and his bride Mildred (Oscar nominee Ruth Negga), who’s black, return to their home state of Virginia to be with their families. But with interracial marriage outlawed in the state, the couple find themselves jailed and then banished from everything they hold dear. But after years in exile, they decide to take their case to the Supreme Court. Two admirably understated performances and direction to match from Jeff Nichols (Mud, Midnight Special) make this a splendidly clear-eyed account of a civil rights case that changed American history.
Other titles leaving Sky Cinema and NOW TV in December 2018 / January 2019:
Come and Find Me
Thor: The Dark World
The Bounty Hunter
Dude, Where’s My Car?
Let Her Out
Out Of The Shadows
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Xxx: Return of Xander Cage
In Dubious Battle
Rules Don’t Apply
Broken Arrow (1996)
Cemetery Of Splendour
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Christmas With The Kranks
Damien: Omen II
Fun In Acapulco
In The Line Of Fire
Interlude In Prague
Kiss The Girls
Laws Of Attraction
Masters Of The Universe
Movie Musical Greats With Hugh Jackman
Muppets from Space
Neither Heaven Nor Earth
No Deposit, No Return
Once Upon A Time In Mexico
One Last Score
Paradise, Hawaiian Style
Superman IV – The Quest For Peace
Tales Of Halloween
The Delta Force
The Grass Is Greener
The Grinch: Special
The Hunt For Red October
The Lesson (2014)
The Little Mermaid
The Muppets Take Manhattan
The Phantom Of The Opera (2004)
The Running Man
The Secret Of Moonacre
Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween
My Father Die
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
The Hatton Garden Job
Louis & Luca: The Big Cheese Race
The Great Wall
Angels & Demons