The 2016 holidays are almost upon us, and though the new series offerings have thinned, November still offers a few notable premieres worth a catch-up binge.


 

Red Oaks 93%

What it is: Assistant tennis pro David Meyers (Craig Roberts) tries to figure out his future while working at a suburban New Jersey country club in the mid-1980s.

Why you should watch it: “Bittersweet Red Oaks has more Fast Times than Caddyshack in its DNA,” reads the headline of Erik Adams’ A.V. Club review. And with just one season under its vintage canvas belt, this Amazon Originals comedy should be a breeze to binge if you need to catch up before season 2 begins streaming on Amazon November 11.

Where to watch: Amazon

Commitment: About 8.5 hours once season 2 becomes available


 

The Affair 86%

Ruth Wilson as Alison and Dominic West as Noah in The Affair (season 2, episode 1). (Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME)

What it is: When Alison (Ruth Wilson) and Noah (Dominic West) meet in Montauk at the end of Long Island, the titular affair ensues, destroying their respective marriages to Cole (Joshua Jackson) and Helen (Maura Tierney). Told from four perspectives, season 2 explores the next phase in their lives.

Why you should watch it: The Showtime drama won a best television drama Golden Globe award for its first season. Wilson won lead actress in a television drama Golden Globe that same year, while Tierney took a supporting performance Golden Globe the following year. The Affair‘s third season premieres November 20.

Where to watch: AmazonGoogle PlayiTunes, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 20 hours


 

Gilmore Girls 85%

What it is: The quirky residents of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, color the lives of single mom Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her teen daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) in this heartfelt drama that aired from 2000 to 2007.

Why you should watch it: On November 25, Netflix delivers event series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life that picks up nine years later with Rory a professional journalist, while Lorelai still runs the Dragonfly Inn. The four 90-minute movies will feature many of the same faces from the original seven-season series, including Kelly Bishop, Scott Patterson, Melissa McCarthy, Jared Padalecki, and more.

Where to watch: Amazon (DVD only), Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, Netflix, Vudu

Commitment: About 111 hours. That’s over four and a half days of uninterrupted binging — good luck! Try not to clot. (For the record, we do not actually recommend that you watch TV for four days straight.)


 

Vikings 93%

What it is: Nearly four full seasons of medieval Nordic muscle slashing and burning across the region and into England and France. Vikings provides an adventurous fictional account of the political and theological development and influence of the northern European pirates.

Why you should watch it:  In the season 4 midseason finale in April, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) growls a challenge: “Who wants to be king!?” Finding out how he got there is a binge worthy of Valhalla! (If Valhalla has a widescreen and considers TV-marathoning an acceptable pastime.) Season 4 returns with three final episodes, starting November 30 on History.

Where to watch: AmazonFandangoNOWGoogle Play, HuluiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: About 28.75 hours


 

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

What it is: In this bonus binge-watching option, the Peanuts gang learns about Thanksgiving in the Holiday favorite A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and, separately, about the first English settlers of the New World in the Mayflower episode of eight-part TV miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.

Why you should watch it: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET November 23 on ABC, but you can also find it online. The 1973 Charles M. Schulz special won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming. “The Mayflower Voyagers” tells the story of the first pilgrims to America and how the natives saved their hides.

Where to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google PlayiTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Where to watch “The Mayflower Voyagers”: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, iTunes, Microsoft, PlayStation Video, Vudu

Commitment: Under 2 hours if you watch only A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and “The Mayflower Voyagers” episode. About 4.5 hours if you decide to watch the Thanksgiving special and all eight episodes of This Is America, Charlie Brown, which also includes “The Birth of the Constitution,” “The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk,” “The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” and more.

When Netflix announced that they would stream all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls, fans nearly broke the internet with excitement. But the news also means that the uninitiated will have the chance to catch up on the pop culture phenomenon — and find out what phrases like “oy with the poodles already!” really mean.

Here’s everything you need to know before you binge Gilmore Girls, which aired on The WB and eventually The CW from 2000 to 2007.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls

What’s the premise? A single mother, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham), and her precocious teenage daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel), live in the fictional small town of Stars Hollow, CT. Lorelai, who manages the Independence Inn, is estranged from her parents (Kelly Bishop and Edward Herrmann), but must seek their help to pay for Rory’s tuition at the elite prep school Chilton.

What’s it like? Gilmore Girls is a dramedy that takes the rapid-fire dialogue of a 1930s screwball comedy, and plants it in a small-town universe like Twin Peaks. Think Newhart, except the leads are best friends who also happen to be mother and daughter, then pack in as much pop culture and coffee as you can into 45 minutes.

Where can I see it? All seven seasons are available on DVD and streaming on Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Select seasons are also available on Vudu.

How long will it take? There are 153 episodes over the course of the seven seasons, each episode averaging 45 minutes — which equals nearly 115 hours of caffeine-fused, pop-culturing spewing goodness. Even if you drank as much coffee as Lorelai and Rory, and watched a few episodes a day, it would still take you a few weeks to drink in the entire series.

What do the critics think? Regarding the first season, John Carman of the San Francisco Chronicle said the show “seduces viewers with its own fantasy world — well-scrubbed New England town, elegant and happily hip young mom, a general sense of equilibrium — but the cast’s chemistry bubbles and the script is exceptional.” Hal Boedeker of the Orlando Sentinel praised the show’s characters saying, “the Gilmore family is one television clan worth knowing,” and Diane Werts of Newsday said the show “is a witty whirlwind that can suck you in before you know what hit you.”

Why should I watch this? The relationship between Lorelai and Rory is exactly the kind of child-parent relationship we all wish we had, but it’s not so perfect that it feels false. Also, for fans of strange small towns like Twin Peaks, the inhabitants of Stars Hollow are a real hoot (actors from the early-90s David Lynch show appear throughout the series). The colorful characters include Luke (Scott Patterson) the curmudgeonly diner owner (and sometimes-love interest for Lorelai), Rory’s Korean-American best friend Lane (Keiko Agena) who must balance her desire to be a rock-and-roll drummer with her mother’s religious beliefs, and Sookie (Melissa McCarthy) Lorelai’s accident-prone best friend and chef at the Independence Inn. For those who want a little romance, both Lorelai and Rory date just enough for fans to have to choose who they “ship” (Rory/Jess forever!). And pop culture addicts will delight in either being in the know, or having to look up new references with each viewing — entertaining and educational!

What’s my next step? For more from series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, check out Bunheads. Star Lauren Graham plays another kind of single mom on the long-running NBC drama Parenthood, Alexis Bledel fans should check out Tuck Everlasting and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films, and Melissa McCarthy can be seen on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly and films Tammy and Bridesmaids.

Are you excited to spend seven seasons in Stars Hollow with Gilmore Girls? Tell us why!


This week, we learn that Chris Pratt will host SNL, Terry Crews will give directions on Waze, Gilmore Girls will head to Netflix, George Clooney will visit Downton, and Nurse Jackie will retire.

Chris Pratt will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live.

As the box office numbers for Guardians of the Galaxy continue to rocket higher and higher, Chris Pratt‘s stock continues to rise as well. This week, NBC announced that Pratt will host the premiere of the 40th season of Saturday Night Live, airing Sept. 27. Pratt, who showed off his comedy chops on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, will be joined by musical guest Ariana Grande, a singer whose 2014 song “Problem” was the fourth largest single debut by a woman in history. NBC will celebrate the 40th anniversary of SNL with a three-hour special scheduled for Feb. 15 of next year.

All seven seasons of Gilmore Girls are coming to Netflix.

According to the entertainment website Decider.com, all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls will be available on Netflix, starting Oct. 1. For the uninitiated, that’s 153 episodes of Gilmore Girls. The series aired on The WB and eventually The CW from 2000 to 2007, and starred Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel — and also introduced us to Melissa McCarthy, who played Lorelai Gilmore’s best friend, Sookie St. James. All seasons of Gilmore Girls are also available on iTunes and DVD.

George Clooney will star in a Downton-themed short film.

Hold onto your exquisite hats. George Clooney is coming to Downton Abbey in a short film for charity, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The short Downton-related film will air during the holiday season on ITV, the British home for Downton Abbey. Clooney, whose character is still unknown, is doing the project as part of the “Text Santa” campaign, ITV’s annual fundraiser that raises money for six U.K. charities. ITV will premiere season five of Downton later this month. We’ll see it here across the pond on PBS Jan. 4, 2015.

Nurse Jackie is retiring.

Nurse Jackie‘s seventh season, which begins production this week, will be its last. Showtime made the announcement on Wednesday, tweeting: “#NurseJackie is working one last shift! Join us in celebrating and bidding farewell to the 7th & FINAL season in 2015.” While the Emmys have continued to acknowledge Jackie throughout its run (and especially star Edie Falco), the show has dropped off the radars of viewers and critics alike, many of whom say it got a little too “been there, snorted that” in its most recent season.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Terry Crews will voice the Waze app.

Sitting in traffic is awful, but thanks to the crowdsourced GPS app Waze, you can circumnavigate jams with funnyman Terry Crews as your guide. Crews is the second celebrity to give directions on Waze (the first was Kevin Hart for his film Ride Along), promoting the second season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. To cruise with Crews, Waze users can update the app, select “Settings,” “Sound,” and “English (US) – Terry Crews.” Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine premieres Sunday, Sept. 28, at 8:30 pm.

Moviefone has posted the trailer to "The Pink Panther." This remake stars Steve Martin in the role formerly played by the late Peter Sellers as the clumsy Inspector Clouseau. A shaven Jean Reno stars as his sidekick, Ponton. The movie will be in theaters Sept. 22, 2005.

See the trailer here.

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