Premieres Wednesday, Dec. 22: Emily in Paris — Darren Star passed up the opportunity to work on the Sex and the City reboot to concentrate on Season 2 of his hit about a Midwestern naïf abroad. And it's already looking like the wisest move he's made since having Tiffani-Amber Thiessen whip out that joint in her first episode of 90210. The new episodes of EIP find Lily Collins' Emily enticed by the prospect of a fresh romance while she continues to learn the joys of Fronch bread, Fronch dressing and Peru. I wonder if there's time to squeeze in a shot of her walking past a Peloton machine, giving it the side-eye and muttering "I'm not going near that goddamn thing." (Netflix)
The Matrix Resurrections — Believe it or not, the first Matrix flick received a critical drubbing. But then our nation's college freshmen decided it wasn't worth attending class when you could just toss a tape in the VCR and let Keanu Reeves walk you through first-semester philosophy while you did bong swats with Tiffani-Amber Thiessen. That's how we got to the point where the Wachowski sibs could show Neo, Trinity and the gang kicking back with a good old-fashioned celebratory orgy in Episode II and nobody on Earth dared to interject "This is ... odd." Anyway, there's yet another installment dropping today, and it finds our heroes once again drawn into a violent battle to show the rest of us what really lies beneath our comfortable surface reality. A world of utter gobbledygook made by brain-dead degenerates? No, that's the green pill. (Available on the ad-free HBO Max plan)
Premieres Thursday, Dec. 23: 40 Means Nothing (aka 40 No Es Nada) — Remember Age of Love, the 2007 reality competition that had a bunch of cougars vying for the attention of a 30-year-old hunk? Remember what a dirty trick it was when the show marched out a phalanx of 20-something "kittens" as competition without alerting the cougars in advance? I'm hoping there's a similar twist to this Spanish-language series that has middle-aged mamacitas trying to make a love connection with guys half their age — and that the result this time is some good, cathartic hair-pulling and maybe even a shanking with a rat-tail comb. Which I say not to reinforce any sort of cultural stereotypes whatsoever, but simply because I've been living with that rank injustice for 14 years now and I'd like to be able to move the hell on. (HBO Max)
Babble Bop! — Preschoolers are the target audience for a series that uses original songs and computer animation to reframe classic nursery rhymes. So now you know: Your punishment for bringing a kid into this cold, cruel world is your brand-new earworm, "K-pop Goes the Weasel." (Peacock)
Dragons: The Nine Realms — In an all-new series based on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, a bunch of modern-day kids discover that the title creatures are real and not the made-up nonsense they've always been led to believe. As long as they don't find out from Laurence Fishburne, we're all going to be fine. (Hulu and Peacock)
Reno 911! The Hunt for QAnon — I try to be careful about how I use the term "genius." Too many people forget that it's supposed to denote work that upends and revolutionizes its genre, and instead treat it as a mere synonym for "highly astute." With that in mind, let me address the idea of reuniting the entire Reno 911! crew and having them hunt the elusive Q on a Nassau-bound cruise ship full of MAGA maniacs: That's, um, quite astute. Like, majorly astute. Significantly, extremely, even earth-shatteringly astute. The kind of astute that opens your eyes to just what's achievable within a chosen field and how little effort its alleged competitors are making to even try. There, now nobody can accuse me of giving them false expectations. (TL;DR: Madame Curie was a piker compared to this shit!) (Paramount+)
Vigil — Americans are getting their first look at this summer 2021 BBC hit about a Scottish policewoman who tries to solve a mystery aboard a nuclear submarine. And how did the critics back home in the U.K. find it? "The uniforms are wrong; the ceilings are too high and the sub generally far too spacious," snorted The Spectator. Well, you know what they say: Those who can't do, spectate. (Peacock)
Premieres Sunday, Dec. 26: Letterkenny — Season 10 takes the Hicks to a sausage party and pits Daryl against Squirelly Dan in an argument about Katy's big tarts. I wonder if these guys also had a guidance counselor who told them they were wasting their fine mind on juvenile smut. (Hulu)
Premieres Tuesday, Dec. 28: Azcárate: No Holds Barred — Colombian media personality Alejandra Azcárate hosts a freewheeling talk/stand-up series in which no topic is off-limits. Life, love, sex ... maybe even that time the authorities intercepted a plane full of blow that was headed for the United States and discovered it was registered to a company Azcárate's husband represents. Or, you know, there's always recipes! (Netflix)
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