Netflix still looks a little like it’s celebrating Halloween, with the macabre Jenna Ortega-led comedy Wednesday turning the Addamses into streaming’s most popular family, dance sequences and all. But we’re already heading into the month of December, which is traditionally a time for merriment, hot chocolate and Christmas movies out the wazoo. This year is obviously no different, but here and now, we’re looking ahead to a slew of exciting new streaming shows and specials that don’t actually tie into the holidays. (Well, okay, one of them does, as hinted at in the picture above.)
So pull out your branded notebooks, or at least the ones with “Netflix” hastily scrawled across the cover in crayon, and take note of these 11 new and upcoming titles for those with Netflix subscriptions. (And check out our rundown from November to see what you might have missed.)
Hot Skull (December 2)
Potentially your next post-apocalyptic nightmare, Hot Skull is a dystopian tale set in a world where a verbally communicated epidemic is wiping out the population, with a powerful institution and others seeing a possible antidote in the form of a linguist who appears to be immune. The Turkish thriller was created by Mert Baykal, and is based on the novel Sıcak Kafa (Hot Head) by Afşin Kum. Think Stephen King's Cell, just without thinking about the movie adaptation.
Sebastian Maniscalco: Is It Me? (December 6)
Soon set to appear in the The Super Mario Bros. Movie, as well as head up his first scripted series (as crafted by The Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre), stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco will soon debut his fifth full-length special, Is It Me? It marks his second collaboration with Netflix. His latest performance was recorded live in Las Vegas, and fans can look forward to seeing the Irishman actor dressing the part as he jokes about the kinds of human behavior that makes him wonder if he's the only one noticing.
Lookism (December 8)
Having been delayed from its previous release date due to the Halloween tragedy in Seoul, the anime series Lookism is now set to arrive in the second week of December. Based on the extremely popular Korean Webtoon of the same name, the darkly comedic series centers on a high school outcast who gains access to another body that's the exact opposite of his own, and uses it to lead a double life. Satire at its most physical desirable.
Don't Pick Up The Phone (December 14)
Netflix has developed its own sub-niche of atypical true crime docuseries, from Tiger King to Don't Fuck with Cats, and that trend continues with the highly curious and just as highly troubling project Don't Pick Up the Phone. As dramatized through Craig Zobel's 2012 feature Compliance, this new docuseries shines a new light on the hoax caller who convinced fast food managers across the country into suspecting and strip-searching their employees.
Sonic Prime (December 15)
Video game fans have at last been able to breathe easier in recent years when it comes to films and TV shows based on beloved icons, and the upcoming third Sonic the Hedgehog film, as well as its spinoff TV show, brought a lot of much-deserved focus back on the Sega speedster. While waiting on those projects, Netflix's Sonic Prime looks to be more in line with the character's past animated series, only scaled up in the stakes, as the spiky hero's latest quest to defeat Dr. Eggman literally splits the universe. Which hopefully doesn't mean there's a parallel dimension out there populated only by Charmy Bee and Silver the Hedgehog.
Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery (December 15)
The main exception to this list comprising only brand new Netflix releases, Who Killed Santa? A Murderville Murder Mystery is a one-off special set within the half-improvised comedy universe of Will Arnett's star-studded Murderville, in which guest stars take part in fictional murder investigations without the help of a script. The holiday treat will feature the latest on-screen reunion from former Arrested Development co-stars and current Smartless co-hosts Arnett and Jason Bateman, with additional celebs such as Maya Rudolph, Eliza Coupe, Kurt Braunohler and more. I already wanted to make Marshawn Lynch's episode a yearly tradition, so this makes for a logistical pairing.
Dance Monsters (December 16)
Honestly, Dance Monsters seems like it will either be a uniquely heartwarming surprise, or the dumbest unscripted output from Netflix yet, without much room for middle ground to breakdance upon. It's basically the dance-centric iteration of Fox's short-lived and much-maligned Alter Ego, with contestants showing off their dance skills to judges by way of CGI avatars. Hosted by Pussycat Dolls' Ashley Roberts — with a judges' table featuring R&B fave Ne-Yo, YouTuber and podcaster Lele Pons, and past Brittain's Got Talent winner Ashley Banjo — Dance Monsters will no doubt have Twitter erupting with opinions however it goes.
The Recruit (December 16)
With The Fosters solidifying his TV stardom, Noah Centineo blew up in wholly new ways thanks to Netflix's To All the Boys films, and fans can soon see him heading up his own new series, which already seems like it'll stand apart from what we're used to seeing him in. (Obviously he did that already with Black Adam's Atom Smasher, but still.) The Recruit stars Centineo as a rookie CIA lawyer who quickly gets ensared in a dangerous situation after a former asset threatens to go public with the agency's secrets. To give fans an idea of what to expect, the thriller was created by Alexi Hawley, who also gave the world both The Rookie series, and served as co-showrunner for The Following and Castle.
Summer Job (December 16)
Another unscripted series that will no doubt turn social media upside down with reactions, the Italian series Summer Job features a bafflingly similar premise: 10 Gen Z-aged contestants are granted the vacation of their dreams, but in order to earn both their way into the luxurious villa, as well as the mega-money grand prize, they have to — are you sitting down? — get actual jobs and work for it. Expect for this to be the easiest streaming format possible to port to other countries.
Time Hustler (December 25)
Time Hustler sounds like Brazil's take on Austin Powers, or something in that same evolved-from-SNL ballpark (baby, yeah), as the Christmas Day release centers on a man who gets hit on the head and wakes up in the year 1927, sharing the exact appearance of a notorious and uncaptured bandit of the time. Naturally, he's inspired to take advantage of his bizarre and unpredictable situation, which is probably a lot easier to do without phones and cameras everywhere.
Chelsea Handler: Revolution (December 27)
With post-Christmas hangovers still weighing heavily in everyone's memories, Chelsea Handler will be there to draw laughter out through the pain via her latest stand-up special Revolution (which is seemingly a play on the title of her 2020 HBO Max special Evolution). The outspoken comedian will tackle topics such as her romantic relationships (or lack thereof), her choice to stay childless, and dealing with family during the pandemic. This marks her latest project for the streaming giant, for which she'd previously produced and headed up the talk show Chelsea, three docuseries and the 2014 stand-up special Uganda Be Kidding Me: Live.
Netflix definitely has a slew of other big TV and movie premieres in December that aren't listed above, such as returning seasons from Emily in Paris, Alice in Borderland, The Circle and Too Hot to Handle. And head to our 2023 TV guide to keep track of all the shows that are already slotted for timeslots in the new year.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.