Well TV fans, we have made it to the end of this horrible year. Thankfully, despite a global pandemic that shut down production for months, TV has been there for us every step of the way delivering shiny new shows and glistening fresh episodes of our returning favorites. We’ve finally figured out how to get every streaming platform and availed ourselves of every trial offer. We didn’t care about making sourdough bread, but we did care about catching up on all the shows we never had time to watch before. We may want to forget this year but not the TV that premiered during it.
So as we say so long and farewell to 2020 and attempt to delete this year from our memory DVRs, we will be covering Hulu’s new take on The Hardy Boys (December 4), Bryan Cranston’s return to series television in Showtime’s Your Honor (December 6), and Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series Bridgerton (December 25). We will definitely have things to say about Matthew Morrison starring as the title character in NBC’s musical The Grinch (December 9) and you better believe we will be wrapping up the year with our annual Best of TV lists.
But as always, since we know you’ve been good all year long, we don’t want you to miss a thing. Here are the five new under-the-radar shows you can’t miss this month.
Executive Producers: Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, Hiromi Kamata, Suzette Quintanilla, Simran A. Singh and Moises Zamora
Stars: Christian Serratos, Gabriel Chavarria, Ricardo Chavira, Noemi? Gonzalez, and Seidy López.
Premiere Date: December 4 on Netflix
Many know how Selena Quintanilla’s life came to a tragic end, but few know her full story. The new Netflix drama, which boasts Selena’s sister Suzette Quintanilla as one of the executive producers, aims to tell the detail Queen of Tejano Music’s life. The series, which recently got a shout out from Jennifer Lopez who played Selena in the 1997 movie, follows Quintanilla from her early childhood in Texas through her nascent career to her global super stardom. It goes way back, kicking off with her birth and her parents picking a name for their new baby girl.
Executive Producer: Andrew Davies
Stars: Tabu, Ishaan Khatter, Tanya Maniktala
Premiere Date: December 7 on Acorn TV
The hit BBC One series comes stateside. Filmed entirely on location in India and directed by Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala, The Namesake), this six-episode adaptation of the novel by Vikram Seth follows Lata Mehra (Tanya Maniktala) as she tries to forge her own path and, against her parents’ wishes, decide her own romantic future. Lata’s journey in 1951 is set against the backdrop of a country going through tremendous changes as it holds its first democratic election.
Executive Producers: Sarah Streicher, Amy B. Harris, Jamie Tarses and Dylan Clark
Stars: Sophia Ali, Sarah Pidgeon, Jenna Clause, Erana James, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Reign Edwards, Shannon Berry, Rachel Griffiths, David Sullivan, and Troy Winbush
Premiere Date: December 11 on Amazon Prime
Lost meets Lord of the Flies in this 10-episode series from the creator of The Carrie Diaries. A group of adolescent girls set out on a private charter plane for the Dawn of Eve retreat in Hawaii. It’s billed as “a long weekend of female-centric learning and growth,” but things do not go as planned. After a plane crash, the teens must figure out how to survive on a remote island. The series goes back to the past, flashes forward to the future, and is set in the present to tell the girls’ story. Turns out some of them don’t mind being stranded on an island. As one of them says in the pilot, “What was so fucking great about the lives we left behind? … Being a teenage girl in normal-ass America, that was the real living hell.”
Executive Producer: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes
Premiere Date: December 18 on Disney+
Going to see The Nutcracker is one of the many holiday traditions that won’t be happening this year. Thankfully, we do get this new six-part docuseries that follows students ages 8 to 18 at the School of American Ballet (SAB) as they prepare for the performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. The trailer rightly calls these dancers athletes, as what these young performers put themselves through is truly unbelievable. Dancers come from all over the world for a chance to be a part of the famous SAB.
Executive Producers: James Breen, Craig Plestis, Dan Martin and Ellen DeGeneres
Stars: Craig Robinson, Ken Jeong, Paula Abdul, Brian Austin Green and Ashley Tisdale
Premiere Date: December 27 on Fox
What’s better than celebrities singing in disguise? Celebrities dancing in disguise, of course! Like its The Masked Singer predecessor, celebrities will don outrageous costumes to salsa, tap, and twirl their way through the competition. Always fun to have Paula Abdul back at the judges table, and this sounds like just the silly nonsense we need right now.
Amy Amatangelo, the TV Gal®, is a Boston-based freelance writer, a member of the Television Critics Association and the Assistant TV Editor for Paste. She wasn’t allowed to watch much TV as a child and now her parents have to live with this as her career. You can follow her on Twitter (@AmyTVGal).
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