Whether we like it or not, the holiday season is upon us and with it, winter and snow. At the very least, December (and its colder weather) gives us our fair share of excuses to cozy up on the couch with some cocoa, nibble on some cookies, and veg out in front of the TV (or screen of your choosing).
If going fully festive is your thing, there’s plenty out there to make every day in December feel like Christmas. There’s the Holiday Hub on CTV.CA and the CTV App, which features more than 150 movies, full-season binges, and new holiday specials–no log-in required! Then there’s Crave’s list of curated Holiday films and specials Collection and CTV Life’s line-up of all-new festive fare, including 21 new Canadian films.
You can even kick off your month-long celebrations with this year’s magical Original Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, December 3 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV App. Hosted by Melissa Grelo, Kelsey McEwan, and Tyrone Edwards, and featuring performances from John Legend, Preston Pablo, and Jamie Fine, the 118th edition of the parade is the perfect way to get into the spirit of the season.
And for every Grinch or overloaded elf, there’s a ton to stream this December that has little if anything to do with the holidays. From Gossip Girl to Glass Onion to George and Tammy, there’s definitely a little something for everyone, no matter your taste or attention span. There are even a couple of ceremonies that will allow viewers to get the drop on the 2023 award season! The 2022 People’s Choice Awards, hosted once again by SNL’s Keenan Thompson, airs on December 6, while the annual Canadian Walk of Fame ceremony broadcasts on December 17. Both can be streamed on CTV.ca and the CTV App.
So if you’re looking for something new to watch, after you’ve had a chance to revisit a few festive classics, we’ve got you covered with a month-long list of streaming suggestions. So make that hot chocolate, stoke that cozy fire (or turn on the fake one you like to stream on your laptop), and pick a few titles to get you started:
GOSSIP GIRL (Season 2)
The re-boot of Gossip Girl proved so popular, it’s back for a sophomore season! The notorious but mysterious secret-spiller has learned a thing or two from their rookie semester among Manhattan’s most elite teens and is now twice as determined to give their eager audience every last juicy scandal they can get their hands on. And if it means they have to turn the heat up on a few simmering feuds themselves, well, that’s all in a Gossip Girl’s day’s work, right? XOXO.
Gossip Girl premieres Thursday, December 1 on Crave with two back-to-back episodes, and follows a weekly release schedule with new episodes landing every Thursday.
DARBY AND THE DEAD
Spooky season may be over for the year but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of otherworldly fare to stream in December. 20th Century Studios is throwing its hat into the ring with this tale of a young girl, Darby Harper, who gains the ability to see dead people after her own near-death experience. Her new-found gift (or is it a curse?) causes her to become more and more introverted, preferring to spend her time counselling lonely spirits rather than in the company of her high school peers. But after the head of the school’s most exclusive clique dies in a freak accident, Darby must emerge from her self-imposed exile to appease the wrath of the newly undead diva. Will it be enough to remind Darby that there’s just as much joy to be found with the living as there is with the dead?
Darby and the Dead lands on Disney+ (in Canada) Friday, December 2.
LADY CHATTERLEY’S LOVER
Fresh off their success in The Crown and My Policeman, Brit actor Emma Corrin takes on D.H. Lawrence’s famous (and historically controversial) heroine, Lady Chatterley. Born into the sheltered world of wealth and privilege, Connie (Corrin) finds herself married to a man she has no connection to and no longer loves. Enter estate gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors (Jack O’Connell). The two enter into an affair that awakens Connie’s repressed sexuality and shakes her world to its core. Will she shun society’s expectations and follow her heart or return to her husband and a life without love?
The steamy love story debuts Friday, December 2 only on Netflix.
Based on Louise Penny’s popular mystery novels, Three Pines will satisfy any viewers looking for an engrossing new detective series to sink their teeth into. The 8-episode limited series centres on a Quebecois Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, played by the always excellent Alfred Molina, and his investigation into a murder in the titular small provincial town. While on the case, Gamache discovers there’s more to the murder than initially meets the eye including deep, insidious local police corruption and a long list of unsolved missing persons involving young Indigenous girls.
The mystery premieres Friday, December 2 on Amazon Prime.
GEORGE AND TAMMY
You had us at Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon. But for those who might need a little more information, Showtime’s latest series is a bio-drama of country music stars (and couple) George Jones (Shannon) and Tammy Wynette (Chastain). The six-episode run will explore their complicated and often tempestuous seven-year relationship, which saw them experience stratospheric success while battling alcohol and drug addictions. We predict at least an Emmy nom for leading lady Chastain, to add to her recent Oscar for her performance as Tammy Faye, and one for co-star Shannon too.
George and Tammy premieres Sunday, December 4 at 9 p.m. ET on Crave, with new episodes streaming every subsequent Friday at 9 p.m. ET.
HIS DARK MATERIALS (Season 3)
The HBO series returns for an eight-episode, final season, starting December 5. In this ultimate adventure, based on Phillip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass, young orphan Lyra (Dafne Keen) must join forces with Will (Amir Wilson) and journey to a dark place from which no one has ever returned. As the great war approaches, the prophesied child and the bearer of The Subtle Night will discover that saving the universe comes at a terrible price.
Tune in to the final chapter of His Dark Materials beginning with two back-to-back episodes Monday, December 5 on Crave. The series follows a release schedule of two episodes per week, all leading up to the finale on Boxing Day.
DOOM PATROL (Season 4, Part 1)
Our favourite support group of DC oddballs is back for another round of preventing the apocalypse. Despite being shunned by society for the disfigurements that left each of them with superhuman abilities, the pseudo-family of superheroes (Brendan Fraser, Matt Bomer, April Bowlby, Diane Guerrero, Joivan Wade, Michelle Gomez) continues to fight valiantly for a world that wants nothing to do with them. This new season finds the team caught up in a case of unexpected time travel, leaving them to decide once and for all if the fate of the world is more important than their own happiness.
The latest season drops with two back-to-back episodes on Thursday, December 8 at 9 p.m. ET. on Crave. New episodes drop weekly on Thursday, leading up to the mid-season finale on January 5.
RANDOM ACTS OF FLYNESS (Season 2)
The acclaimed late-night series from artist, musician, and filmmaker Terence Nance returns for its long-awaited second series. This time ‘round, Random Acts follows Terence (Nance) and Najja (Alicia Pilgrim), a couple attempting to reintroduce themselves to their ancestral past while working toward healing their generational wounds. Each of the series’ six episodes uses avant-garde storytelling, rich audio and visuals, and ensemble vignettes to explore different dimensions of the spiritual practice of Black liberation.
The new series premieres Friday, December 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Crave with two back-to-back episodes, with two new episodes dropping weekly on Fridays.
SOMETHING FROM TIFFANY’S
Looking for a romance to cozy up to as the days grow colder? Amazon Prime has just the movie for you, jam-packed with meet-cutes and a snowy NYC at its Christmas-y best. Zoey Deutch stars as Rachel Meyer, a woman who receives an engagement ring meant for someone else. Will this mix-up lead her to the man she’s supposed to be with (Kendrick Smith Sampson)? Something tells us it will, but it’s the journey, not the destination with a good holiday romance, right?
Fun fact: The film is the first to be produced by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine.
The movie premieres on Amazon Prime Friday, December 9.
Featuring Will Smith in his first starring role since the slap heard (and seen) around the world, Emancipation follows Peter (Smith), a man fleeing slavery in Louisiana after he has been whipped to within an inch of his life. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film chronicles Peter’s tortuous and terrifying journey north, as he fights fiercely to be reunited with his family and to join the Union Army. Peter’s story is based on the life of Gordon, a former slave whose heavily-scourged back was photographed and published worldwide in 1863. It went on to become one of the most infamous photos of the Civil War era and gave the abolitionist movement recorded proof of the true cruelty of American slavery.
The historical drama premieres on Friday, December 9 on Apple TV+.
Darby and the Dead isn’t the only supernatural story coming your way over the holidays. The Rising, an adaptation of the Belgian thriller Hotel Beau Séjour, stars actress Cara Rugaard as Neve Kelly, a recently deceased young woman who finds herself trapped in a kind of purgatory. Unnerved by the unexpected turn of events, Neve’s confusion soon turns to fury when she realizes she’s been murdered and likely by someone she knew. After discovering that she has the ability to interfere with the world around her, she sets out to find her killer and bring them to justice.
The first three episodes of the eight-part mystery drop on Sunday, December 11 on Crave, followed by new episodes every Sunday.
CROSS COUNTRY CAKE OFF
It wouldn’t be the holidays without some baked and frosted deliciousness, would it? CTV is satisfying our seasonal sweet tooths with a new competition series featuring cake makers from across Canada. Hosted by Canadian Screen Award-winner Mary Berg and celebrated pastry chef Andrew Han, the series follows 24 bakers as they face off for a $50,000 prize and the title of Cross Country Cake Off champ!
The series kicks off with a special two-night event on Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app.
In the mood for a little danger and intrigue? Look no further than Netflix’s The Recruit. The new series follows a fledgling CIA lawyer, Owen Hendricks (Noah Centineo), whose first week on the job proves to be far more explosive than he expected. Hendricks finds himself enmeshed in the sometimes absurd world of espionage when he discovers a threatening letter from a former asset (Laura Haddock), who plans to expose her relationship with the agency unless they exonerate her of a serious crime. Hendricks jumps into the fray, hoping to make an impression with his superiors, but does he really know what he’s gotten himself into?
Tune in to find out when all episodes of the series start streaming on Friday, December 16 on Netflix.
EMILY IN PARIS (Season 3)
Oh là là! Lily Collins is back for a third season as the titular Emily Cooper in Netflix’s campy and quirky half-hour dramedy. It’s been one year since she moved from Chicago to Paris for her dream job and Emily finds herself at a major life crossroads. The choices she’s faced with will force her to determine where her true loyalties lie–both at work and in love. Just as long as Paris ends up being a part of the winning equation, we’re 100% on board.
Season 3 of Emily in Paris premieres on Netflix Wednesday, December 21.
ACTING GOOD (Season 1)
The 10-episode comedy series is loosely based on the life of Anishinaabe stand-up comedian Paul Rabliauskas. Shot on location in Manitoba, it follows Paul as he returns to live with his eccentric family in the fly-in community of Grouse Lake First Nation, after an unsuccessful attempt to relocate to Winnipeg. Retreating is hard enough but when the community catches wind of his return, they have a lot to say about his many social media posts about living large in the big city. The premiere episode of the series is directed by award-winning actor, director and choreographer Michael Greyeyes.
Catch up on the entire first series when it hits CTV.ca on Friday, December 23.
GLASS ONION: A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY
One of the most highly anticipated movies of the year finally arrives on Netflix just in time for the holidays. Director Rian Johnson’s follow-up to 2019’s insanely enjoyable Knives Out also marks the return of the first film’s detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig). This time the mystery takes him to the lavish private island estate of tech billionaire Miles Bron (Edward Norton), but who issued the invitation to the Southern sleuth is just the first of many puzzles in front of him. When someone turns up dead, every guest is a suspect and naturally, they all have their own secrets and motives for Blanc to charmingly and hilariously sort through. Like its predecessor, Glass Onion boasts a stellar supporting cast of A-listers including Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr., Jessica Henwick, Kate Hudson, Madelyn Cline and Dave Bautista. If you’ve got one must-see movie on your list in December, this is the one.
Gather the entire family ‘round and watch Glass Onion when it hits Netflix starting Friday, December 23.
LETTERKENNEY (Season 11)
It’s hard to believe but the hit Crave comedy is set to turn 11 when it premieres on Christmas Day. This season the residents of the small town will contend with a battle of best chip flavours, lost dogs, social media influencers, a Church Bake Sale mystery, beer league crashers, and the Degens stirring up trouble. With another season full of trivial matters transforming into epic feuds, you just know that each of the core three groups (the Hicks, the Skids, and the Hockey Players) will see their share of winners and losers.
Tune in to the new season when it premieres December 25 on Crave.
MATILDA: THE MUSICAL
You’ve read the original book, seen the movie, and maybe even seen the stage musical. But now it’s time for a new cinematic take on Roald Dahl’s classic, this time based on said Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical. The story follows an extraordinary girl, with a vivid imagination and a miraculous power, who decides to stand up for others and for what’s right–against all the odds. Starring Alicia Weir as Matilda, Lashana Lynch as her encouraging teacher Miss Honey, and Emma Thompson as the horrid headmistress Miss Trunchbull, this is one musical guaranteed to enchant each member of your family, both old and young.
Matilda: The Musical premieres Sunday, December 25 on Netflix.
THE WITCHER: BLOOD ORIGIN
What’s better than The Witcher? How about a prequel starring soon-to-be Oscar winner (if we have any say in it) Michelle Yeoh? That’s what fantasy fans are getting in their stockings this Christmas, thanks to Netflix. Set 1,200 years before the events of the original series, the series follows Scian (Yeoh), the last of the sword-elves, on her mission to find a sacred stolen sword. Promising sweeping vistas, amazing costumes, and a whole lot of action (and by that, we mean violence), this is one series you might want to watch after that turkey dinner is done and dusted.
The Witcher: Blood Origin debuts Sunday, December 25 on Netflix.
The Recruit isn’t the only secret service actioner set to stream this December. If you prefer your spy thrillers to feature more MI6 and less CIA, then Treason is the series for you. Charlie Cox (Daredevil) takes the lead here as agent Adam Lawrence, an MI6 agent whose complicated past with a Russian spy threatens everything he holds dear. What follows is a tangled web of political plots, secrets and lies and sorting it all out might cost Adam those he loves the most.
The five-part series debuts Monday, December 26 on Netflix.
KINGDOM OF DREAMS
This new docu-series delves into rare archival interviews and electrifying visuals to bring the glamourous Golden Age of fashion to life. Charting the meteoric rise of household name designers like John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford and tastemakers like Francois Pinault (Gucci Group), Bernard Arnault (LVMH) and Anna Wintour (US Vogue), the series runs down just what it took to conquer the four great corners of the fashion world–Paris, Milan, London and New York–from the early 1990s to the 2010s. Lovers of fashion docs The September Issue, Dior and I, and McQueen will be lining up to catch all four episodes of this one.
The full series drops on Friday, December 30 on Crave.
Noah Baumbach’s apocalyptic black comedy first premiered to raves at this year’s Venice Film Festival and now it’s headed to Netflix. Starring Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig, the film follows a contemporary American family whose mundane, everyday life is thrown into chaos when a train accident casts chemical waste over their town, in what becomes known as “the Airborne Toxic Event”. It may seem like there’s very little comedy to be mined from such a story, but if you’re a fan of Baumbach, you just know he’ll find a way amid his contemplations on love, life and everything in between. This might be just the right movie to watch after a week with your family.
White Noise premieres Friday, December 30 on Netflix.
LIZZO: LIVE IN CONCERT
Is there a better way to say goodbye to 2022 than by dancin’ it out with Lizzo? Short answer: No. The three-time Grammy winning singer, songwriter, rapper, floutist, and all-round superstar is set to close out the year with a spectacular show filled with love, positivity and a whole lot of incredible music. With her band The Lizzbians and The Little Bigs, The Big Grrls, and special guests Cardi B, SZA, and Missy Elliott, this is clearly the only New Year’s party worth attending. Filmed during Lizzo’s The Special Tour at a stop in Inglewood, CA, fans will finally get a look at the concert before the clock strikes midnight on December 31. And it’s about damn time.
Watch Lizzo: Live in Concert when it drops on Crave at 8 p.m. ET on December 31. And if you haven’t seen her deeply personal doc LOVE, LIZZO, catch it now on Crave.
HIDDEN GEM: Key & Peele
Getting together with family during the holidays isn’t always the easiest proposition. But what if you find a series you can binge to avoid all of those embarrassing conversations and awkward questions? It’s hard to do better than all five seasons of sketch show, Key & Peele. Writers and stars Jordan Peele and Keegan Michael Key examine life through a hilarious and often pointed lens, making us laugh and think all at the same time. It’s a fine balance to walk and they nail it every time.
Watch all episodes now on CTV Throwback: https://www.ctv.ca/shows/key-peele