Binge Guide

11 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This December

The Witcher, The Expanse, Sex and the City, Cobra Kai, and Emily In Paris are just a few of the titles you should catch up on this December.

by | December 2, 2021 | Comments

Chestnuts are roasting by an open fire this December, and that means it’s time for you to cozy up with popcorn and a weighted blanket and get to binging these 11 must-watch, freshly reviewed returning series. Whether it’s a Christmas special from a beloved, dearly departed network show (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist), the final installment of an Emmy-nominated comedy (Pen15), or a highly-anticipated reboot of a timeless classic (And Just Like That), there’s plenty here for you to dig into.

What it is: The premise here is simple, but it works: Five friends (whose ineptitude goes beyond just social cues to pretty much every facet of day-to-day life) run an Irish bar in the titular city and have one misadventure after the next along the way.

Why you should watch it: You don’t become the longest-running live-action comedy of all time by sitting on your laurels and getting lazy about the laughs. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia lays them on thick and fearlessly week to week for 14 seasons strong. That’s a lot to binge — so get to it! Season 15 premieres Dec. 1 on FXX.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 56 hours (for the first 14 seasons)

What it is: A classic story of the sci-fi genre, 2018’s Lost in Space reboot finds new ways to tell the tale of the Robinson family, a clan of space colonists who must adapt to survive after their ship gets flung off course and crash lands on an alien planet.

Why you should watch it: The original Lost in Space is one of those series that every sci-fi lover should watch simply because of the influence it wielded over future series in the genre. But this new reboot — bolstered by state-of-the-art visuals and uncharted territories — is an upgraded entrant to the canon that deserves a binge all its own. Part Swiss Family Robinson, part Star Trek, Lost in Space has something for everyone. Season 3 premieres Dec. 1 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first two seasons)

What it is: A routine MRI goes awry for the titular Zoey Clarke (Jane Levy) when an earthquake shakes her mind beyond repair. She exits the clinic with the ability to hear people’s innermost thoughts, all communicated through music.

Why you should watch it: Actors don’t come packaged much more charming than Levy, and her triple-threat skills are put to fabulous use on creator Austin Winsberg’s Emmy-winning series. Flanked by musically gifted co-stars like Pitch Perfect vet Skylar Astin and Glee-turned-Broadway star Alex Newell — not to mention industry pros Mary Steenburgen, Lauren Graham, and Peter Gallagher — this showstopping series hits all the right notes. After being canceled by NBC earlier this year, it returns with a Christmas special Dec. 1 on the Roku Channel.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Peacock, Roku Channel, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for both seasons)

What it is: Based on Anthony Horowitz’s hit YA book series and adapted for the screen by creator Guy Burt, Alex Rider stars breakout Otto Farrant as the titular teen spy. Hired by M16, Rider is tasked with uncovering the nefarious underbelly of a lux corrective academy for ultra wealthy teens.

Why you should watch it: Suspense and action are served in spades in this well-reviewed adaptation. Better yet: It’s the kind of espionage fun that the whole family can enjoy together. Season 2 premieres Dec. 2 on IMDb TV.

Where to watch: Amazon

Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)

What it is: You’ve never seen a coming-of-age comedy like this. The premise is simple: Two best friends, Maya Ishii-Peters and Anna Kone, are new to middle school and learn a lot about their friendship, their bodies, their families, and the world they live in along the way — all to laugh-out-loud effect.

Why you should watch it: In talking about Pen15, everyone is always quick to mention how incredible the illusion of 30-something creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle playing tweens of the early aughts is, but it really is good enough to mention yet again! It’s not a physical illusion (these actors still very much look like grown women playing half their age), but their performances and the world-building around them make for one of the most transporting comedies on TV. We’re cringing in adolescent awkwardness right alongside them. The second half of its second and final season premieres Dec. 3 on Hulu.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft

Commitment: 9 hours (for season 1 and the first half of season 2)

What it is: We couldn’t help but wonder, do you actually need a plot summary of Sex and the City? Its foursome of leading ladies, its fashions, its storied love interests, its endless one-liners, and, yes, its sex appeal has made this series from creator Darren Star one of the most iconic of all time. Michael Patrick King now takes the reins for its years-in-the-making reboot, which checks in on Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristin Davis 10 years since we’ve last seen them.

Why you should watch it: Few series before or since has set the cultural zeitgeist ablaze quite like Sex and the City. Say what you will about its later seasons and two feature films, but Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda helped define a generation of 20- and 30-somethings looking for love in the Big Apple. And Just Like That, its highly anticipated reboot sans Kim Cattrall’s Samantha Jones, premieres Dec. 9 on HBO.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, HBO Max, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 52 hours (for all six seasons and both films)

What it is: Based on the series of novels by James S. A. Corey (the pen name of collaborators Daniel Abraham and T Franck), this space-hopping science-fiction series follows Earth-bound United Nations executive Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), asteroid belt-dwelling police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), and officer of an ice freighter Jim Holden (Steven Strait) as they uncover a conspiracy that risks disrupting the intergalactic peace within disparate colonies and the survival of humanity as they know it.

Why you should watch it: If the last year and a half has taught us anything, it’s that we have enough social and political turmoil here on Earth to know that if and when we expand our humanly horizons to other planets in the solar system, tension is likely to continue. Fortunately for The Expanse, it makes for great, cult-favorite TV with timely allegorical themes to spare. Its sixth and final season premieres Dec. 16 on Amazon Prime Video.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 56 hours (for the first five seasons)

What it is: Based on the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski, Netflix’s hit Henry Cavill starrer, The Witcher, charts the violent adventures of Geralt of Rivia, a magically gifted monster slayer.

Why you should watch it: Subversively fantastical, darkly humorous, and ambitiously larger-than-life, The Witcher ranks as one of Netflix’s best fantasy series and makes for a fine answer to the likes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. With Cavill’s chiselled leading man physique and charisma on full display, it also boasts an ensemble of memorable, empathetic characters with excellent performances and production value to match. Season 2 premieres Dec. 17 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 8 hours (for the first season)

What it is: Niecy Nash stars as Desna Simms, the takes-no-prisoners owner of a nail salon in the swampy town of Manatee County, Florida. She’s flanked by a scene-stealing assortment of coworkers and patrons. The drama flares, however, when she and her employees turn to organized crime and start laundering money.

Why you should watch it: Full of camp, high-stakes crime drama, and firecracker scripts, Claws is loads of fun. Plus, we’ll take any excuse to see Nash execute her perfect blend of humor, brawn, and heart as its top-billed player. Season 4, its last, premieres Dec. 19.

Where to watch it: Amazon, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 22.5 hours (for the first three seasons)

What it is: This fashion-forward, fish-out-of-water romantic comedy follows Emily, a Midwest marketing executive who’s hired to work abroad by a French firm in hopes that she’ll provide them with an American perspective. They comically get more than they asked for.

Why you should watch it: As divisive as it was, there’s no denying that Emily and Paris was on the show on everyone’s tongue upon its debut last year. Though her Emily is often aloof to the consequences of her actions, Lily Collins is charming as all get out, and Ashley Park (previously of Broadway’s Mean Girls fame) is a scene-stealing sidekick. Season 2 premieres Dec. 22 on Netflix.

Where to watch it: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)

What it is: Cobra Kai charts the reopening of The Karate Kid’s infamous Cobra Kai dojo by none other than Johnny Lawrence himself. It makes for a modern-day twist on the classic 1980s film franchise, and now with its home on Netflix (after an original launch on YouTube Premium), it’s become a runaway, Emmy-nominated hit with fans new and old.

Why you should watch it: Nostalgia has been the name of the game through what has otherwise been an insurmountably difficult year. Luckily, Cobra Kai, from creator Robert Mark Kamen, has it in spades. Featuring committed performances from Karate Kid original players Ralph Macchio as Daniel and William Zabka as Johnny, this reboot feels as comfortable and entertaining as ever, and it’s further brought to life by a cast of young actors finding their footing in the discipline of karate. Season 4 premieres Dec. 31 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first two seasons)

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Photos Pacific Islander Legendary joker FX Rocky period drama new star wars movies biopic Heroines hist chucky canceled sag awards 1990s TV IFC Films political drama Alien biography zombie Avengers Infographic 2016 Apple Paramount Plus movie Spike TNT monster movies Hulu rom-coms pirates of the caribbean latino YouTube Premium Instagram Live Star Wars American Society of Cinematographers mockumentary book adaptation remakes diversity Set visit adaptation Premiere Dates Dark Horse Comics target scene in color travel Marvel TV renewals Action crime drama telelvision First Reviews Ovation comedies Red Carpet Exclusive Video Food Network Mindy Kaling doctor who Comedy christmas movies Tarantino Pixar DC Universe name the review crime royal family CMT Awards Tour nfl Binge Guide SXSW 2022 The Witch Hear Us Out vs. Thanksgiving Holiday Sony stoner Nickelodeon saw Fall TV TBS Britbox Holidays Super Bowl Amazon Prime Video international blaxploitation Spectrum Originals cars cancelled high school laika cops space 93rd Oscars foreign king kong Marathons Winter TV teaser Awards streaming posters binge Oscars SDCC LGBT cancelled television Fantasy adventure Disney streaming service Best Actor Classic Film cancelled TV series japan Trivia venice Lifetime Syfy Family blockbusters slashers Turner MCU Sony Pictures popular Paramount Network TLC Neflix BET Awards marvel cinematic universe football crossover Schedule Netflix Christmas movies spanish festivals Prime Video suspense Broadway Sundance Now canceled TV shows Western Rock A24 franchise game show emmy awards comic technology Opinion BAFTA Film Podcast Cannes Trophy Talk Focus Features Music trophy CW Seed twilight series History spider-verse social media Native CNN james bond Sundance TV black comedy live action Disney scary Amazon Studios LGBTQ free movies Emmy Nominations Black History Month Mudbound DC streaming service Esquire animated TIFF sitcom sopranos 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards fast and furious 2020 Funimation aliens dceu APB Shondaland Writers Guild of America screenings PlayStation BET dark new york 90s action-comedy lord of the rings 79th Golden Globes Awards Fox News broadcast YouTube Disney+ Disney Plus tv talk Adult Swim versus HFPA boxing RT21 Best Director green book golden globe awards adenture Cosplay NYCC Starz ABC Signature Horror black ratings trailers 94th Oscars Sci-Fi Pop TV directors VOD Black Mirror Cartoon Network Mary poppins anime National Geographic casting Pet Sematary sequel dexter HBO Go finale south america leaderboard Crunchyroll ITV Warner Bros. supernatural Watching Series politics australia serial killer Martial Arts BBC One 2021 RT History worst 71st Emmy Awards prank Fox Searchlight Drama scene in color series Grammys 72 Emmy Awards GIFs best Tubi cancelled TV shows 2018 Television Critics Association women Tokyo Olympics rt labs Ellie Kemper First Look Reality Competition young adult The Academy scene in color unscripted a nightmare on elm street SXSW scary movies President archives Biopics marvel comics South by Southwest Film Festival Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt book Star Wars Celebration 2017 E! disaster Musical Lifetime Christmas movies toy story crime thriller cooking PBS streaming movies Creative Arts Emmys Epix Best Picture Amazon documentaries hollywood comics Freeform SundanceTV ViacomCBS summer TV dc hidden camera Spring TV streamig Hallmark Comedy Central Winners Christmas ghosts YouTube Red police drama godzilla independent Crackle stop motion debate Comic Book jurassic park richard e. Grant Sneak Peek asian-american renewed TV shows news sports Star Trek psychological thriller Rocketman interviews mutant OWN universal monsters nbcuniversal target Animation El Rey ABC Family TV Land AMC PaleyFest films Vudu DirecTV Turner Classic Movies spanish language video mcc New York Comic Con justice league 20th Century Fox Disney Plus Valentine's Day 21st Century Fox Fargo Box Office gangster reviews die hard IMDb TV Comics on TV Pirates The Purge cinemax Character Guide hispanic E3 true crime satire DGA war Best Actress BBC America San Diego Comic-Con Kids & Family what to watch harry potter FX on Hulu Netflix kids festival scene in color film series BBC Walt Disney Pictures halloween Hollywood Foreign Press Association rotten movies we love Mary Poppins Returns Countdown Anna Paquin vampires natural history robots Apple TV+ The Walking Dead nature comic book movie genre CBS WarnerMedia zero dark thirty Film Festival dragons cults theme song Universal Pictures french classics comic books kong Sundance video on demand Ghostbusters slasher reboot YA rt labs critics edition See It Skip It blockbuster transformers Superheroes ESPN talk show stand-up comedy TCM historical drama legend mob Columbia Pictures japanese children's TV Universal HBO Max Marvel Television WGN Rom-Com Musicals science fiction Endgame TCA Showtime 99% Logo aapi Discovery Channel Wes Anderson CBS All Access AMC Plus basketball Interview 45 comic book movies concert Teen parents TCA Awards GoT Trailer italian jamie lee curtis Tumblr Indigenous indie 4/20 witnail The Arrangement dreamworks HBO batman medical drama Acorn TV A&E television thriller dogs comiccon hispanic heritage month 73rd Emmy Awards 24 frames Emmys composers TV movies olympics FOX mission: impossible NBC Summer singing competition Apple TV Plus criterion child's play halloween tv worst movies Amazon Prime 2015 Lucasfilm Academy Awards Best and Worst Extras fresh Bravo Peacock Stephen King superhero Image Comics IFC VH1 Tomatazos indiana jones award winner Toys elevated horror USA Network dramedy cats Shudder ID summer TV preview ABC Song of Ice and Fire romance zombies superman MGM razzies Superheroe GLAAD miniseries deadpool Country based on movie Television Academy strong female leads wonder woman Marvel Studios Reality Pop movies Nominations OneApp Masterpiece spy thriller golden globes Arrowverse Polls and Games VICE Chilling Adventures of Sabrina TCA Winter 2020 new zealand spain Paramount Pictures Lionsgate Certified Fresh USA Women's History Month Captain marvel game of thrones Mary Tyler Moore Disney Channel NBA anthology heist movie The Walt Disney Company know your critic TruTV Pride Month Brie Larson X-Men TV One all-time quibi MSNBC summer preview DC Comics FXX Travel Channel Nat Geo Mystery rt archives cartoon kaiju feel good facebook docuseries obi wan breaking bad scorecard documentary Paramount werewolf spider-man Year in Review docudrama critics toronto spinoff discovery 007 revenge Video Games king arthur screen actors guild boxoffice sequels Tags: Comedy rotten Baby Yoda critic resources romantic comedy Comic-Con@Home 2021 Geeked Week Hallmark Christmas movies Chernobyl MTV TCA 2017 psycho obituary Quiz Oscar Election live event 2019 Elton John art house Calendar The CW