Given that we’re now officially into December, we’re pleasantly surprised by the relative lack of festive features forcing their way onto streaming services this weekend.
Save for Scrooge: A Christmas Carol on Netflix – there’s always one! – this month’s first flurry of on-demand content is a real mixed bag, genre-wise. That’s not to say there’s nothing to watch over the next few days, mind. In fact, the opposite is true, with six different streamers represented in this week’s crop of top-tier recommendations.
Below, then, we’ve rounded up seven of the biggest new movies and TV shows available to watch on the likes of Netflix, Prime Video, and HBO Max over the next few days.
Willow (Disney Plus)
Now here’s a series we didn’t expect to see in 2022 (before it was announced as being in production, that is). Willow, a Lucasfilm-produced sequel to Ron Howard's 1988 fantasy film of the same name, is now streaming on Disney Plus.
Once again starring Warwick Davis as titular sorcerer Willow Ufgood, this eight-part show – which marks the first first non-Star Wars project from Lucasfilm in five years – takes place two decades after Howard's original movie, and follows six heroes on a cross-country quest to save their homeland.
Other than Davis, Willow’s cast of characters is entirely new. We spoke to Ellie Bamber – who plays (initially, at least) Dove the kitchen maid in the show – about keeping her character's true identity a secret. And, in a separate interview with TechRadar, Davis himself told us how "everything aligned perfectly" to bring Willow back to the screen.
Now available to stream on Disney Plus.
Slow Horses season 2 (Apple TV Plus)
One of the very best Apple TV shows, Slow Horses, returns for its highly-anticipated second season this weekend.
New episodes of the Gary Oldman-starring espionage drama take their cues from the second book in Mick Herron’s Slough House series – Dead Lions – with Jackson Lamb (Oldman), River Cartwright (Jack Lowden), and Diana Taverner (Kristin Scott Thomas) once again tasked with solving a twisty murder mystery.
The first two episodes of Slow Horses season 2 are available to stream now on Apple TV Plus, with the remaining four set to arrive in weekly installments every Friday. The show has already been renewed for its third and fourth seasons, so we’re expecting big things from this first follow-up.
Now available to stream on Apple TV Plus.
Lady Chatterley's Lover (Netflix)
A word of warning: Lady Chatterley's Lover is steamy. It’s a story that always has been, that always will be – and Netflix’s adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s novel of the same name is no exception to that rule.
This time around, young British stars Emma Corrin (The Crown) and Jack O'Connell (Unbroken) step into the well-worn shoes of Lady Constance Reid and gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, respectively – two characters from very different worlds who engage in a risky extramarital affair.
Before arriving on Netflix, Lady Chatterley's Lover enjoyed a brief theatrical run and was near-unanimously praised by critics for its authentic and moving portrait of forbidden love. By the sounds of things, then, it could be making its way onto our list of the best Netflix movies.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol (Netflix)
It wouldn’t be Christmas without another needless-but-still-strangely-welcome adaptation of Charles Dickens’ age-old festive favorite, A Christmas Carol. This year, Netflix tries its hand at delivering just that, only weeks after Apple did the same with its own adaptation, Spirited.
The streamer’s animated (and musical) take on the story of an elderly miser who comes to learn the meaning of Christmas features the voices of Luke Evans, Olivia Colman, and Jessie Buckley. By the looks of things, the film is a much more family-friendly affair than we’ve become used to seeing from retellings of A Christmas Carol.
Reviews haven’t been too kind to this one as yet, but if you’re after an easy festive watch this weekend, we expect you’ll still find plenty to enjoy here.
Now available to stream on Netflix.
Three Pines (Prime Video)
The Doc Ock actor plays a seasoned detective on the hunt for answers in this grisly Québec-set drama, which is an adaptation of Louise Penny's award-winning Inspector Gamache novel series. As such, you can expect more twists than a helter skelter and enough tension to keep the blood pumping during these cold winter months.
The first episode of Three Pines is available to stream now, with the remaining seven entries set to arrive weekly every Friday until the season finale on December 23. Here’s hoping it’s one of the best Prime Video shows of the year.
Now available to stream on Prime Video.
The Great American Baking Show: Celebrity Holiday (The Roku Channel)
Roku streaming stick recently got 36 new live channels for free, and chief among that number was an entire channel dedicated to popular British reality import The Great British Baking Show.
As part of Roku’s new licensing deal, The Roku Channel is now also playing host to a holiday-themed celebrity episode of The Great American Baking Show, which originally aired on ABC in the US.
The format is simple: six celebrities – including actor Nat Faxon and former NFL star Marshawn Lynch – compete against each other to produce the best oven-based creations for judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood. Need we say more?
Now available to stream on The Roku Channel.
Branson (HBO Max)
This week’s documentary pick is Branson, a four-part look at the life and legacy of (you guessed it!) British entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Famous for founding the Virgin Group megacorporation – which is currently valued at more than $5 billion – Branson has lived an undeniably unique life chasing ventures and adventures, and this HBO-produced docuseries takes a microscope to his successes, controversies and risk-taking personality.
Episode 1 of Branson is available to watch now on HBO Max in the US, with new episodes set to follow on a weekly basis every Thursday. UK viewers will be able to find the series streaming on Sky Atlantic and NOW from Sunday.
Now available to stream on HBO Max.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.