As the shoppers go trample for their presents, it’s beginning to look a lot like xmas as so much of the new content has a certain theme about it, but there is one major exception.
Cusp [Showtime, 9p]
This new docu drama from Showtime explores American adolescence as we follow three teenage girls from a military town in Texas through snapshots of carefree summer and witness the places where desire for independence clashes with the realities of girlhood.
School of Chocolate [Netflix]
A chocolate competition is perfect for this time of year: Netflix’s School brings eight “chocolate professionals” to learn from world-renowned chocolatier Amaury Guichon. The student that proves themself best in class after eight episodes wins a prize and a career-changing opportunity.
Twas the Fight Before Christmas [Apple TV]
When real life imitates the poorly reviewed 2006 holiday flick Deck The Halls, you get this documentary. A Christmas light aficionado moves into a new community and the local HOA is not overjoyed about his holiday cheer. In fact, they are downright litigious.
BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:
- It’s part-Joe Pera, part-Nathan Fiedler as a gonzo filmmaker goes around NYC helping people with random tasks in How To with John Wilson. The Fiedler connection is pretty 1-to-1 as the comedian is an exec producer on the HBO reality series.
- When a Hallmark Xmas film gets 1980s A-listers instead of B-listers, you’ve got the Netflix rom-com A Castle For Christmas starring Brooke Shields and Cary Elwes. OK, calling Elwes an A-lister is a stretch, but since his performance as the Dread Pirate Roberts is such an important part of any 30-something or 40-something’s childhood, we’ll give it a pass.
- Netflix also has its usual share of Friday foreign debuts including: Angele, a music documentary from Belgium, Dig Deeper: The Disappearance of Birgit Meier, a German true crime documentary, Green Snake, a Chinese animated adventure about a girl saving her sister, and Spoiled Brats, a French farce about a rich family.
- Amazon Prime is also in on the importing game with the Italian rom-com Dog Years, about misfit teens in love–one of the young ones has an actual dog.
- Jimmy Fallon foists the adaptation of his children’s book on his late night home, NBC, and the new Christmas special 5 More Sleeps ‘Til Christmas is born. Given it’s November 26, hopefully everyone gets much more than five sleeps before the big holiday.
- A Demon in the White House… could you even imagine if that happened? The Discovery+ special is actually about a reported real-life haunting at 1600 Penn. Although we wouldn’t wish the sight of a naked Trump on the worst ghoul.
- A pair of affable second-tier animated franchises forge new chapters on NBC platforms. Madagascar: A Little Wild Holiday Goose Chase drops on Peacock (and Hulu), while Trolls Holiday in Harmony gets a slot on the good ol’ main network of NBC.
- Won’t the real Hallmark movie please stand up? Tonight’s smarmy fun holiday rom-com is An Unexpected Christmas, about an unexpected Christmas. Lifetime brings us a country special by one of the better in the genre, Reba McEntire’s Christmas in Tune, along with their more bread-and-butter sleazy thriller, Sinister Switch.