November’s not only turkey time, but it also marks the start of the holiday shopping season — which means some exciting new titles will be heading to DVD and Blu-ray this month. Check out Rotten Tomatoes picks’ for what to binge-watch in November, whether you’re trying to catch up on a show in time for the next season, looking for a new series to stream over a long weekend, or giving something a try before you re-gift it as a stocking stuffer next month!
Why you should watch it: Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks. The complete first season hits DVD on Nov. 10, so you better binge Saul!
Commitment: About nine hours.
What it is: Based on a Philip K. Dick novel, this show of the same name tells an alternate history of the Axis Powers winning World War II and the resistance movement growing throughout America in the early 1960s.
Why you should watch it: By executive producer Ridley Scott, The Man in the High Castle is unlike anything else on TV, with an immediately engrossing plot driven by quickly developed characters. Part of Amazon’s fourth “pilot season,” this fully realized post-war dystopia was the best-reviewed show of the lot in 2014.
Where to watch: The complete first season will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday, Nov. 20.
Commitment: 10 hours.
What it is: Comedy Central’s half-hour sketch show features a series of vignettes — many of which feature the comic’s biting feminist commentary — strung together by Schumer’s hilarious woman-on-the-street interviews.
Why you should watch it: Three seasons in, Trainwreck star Schumer is finally a household name, thanks in large part to a handful of sketches that went viral this year, including her parody of 12 Angry Men starring Paul Giamatti and the show’s musical spoof of One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.”
Commitment: 15 hours.
What it is: Based on the award-winning novels by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall recounts the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn, as observed by Thomas Cromwell during his own ascension within the court of Henry VIII.
Why you should watch it: Mark Rylance‘s performance as Cromwell is enough reason to watch, but Damian Lewis and Claire Foy are also not to be missed. An exceptional supporting cast brings this cutthroat Tudor world to vivid life.
Commitment: Six hours.
What it is: Aziz Ansari is the creator of Master of None, a new show on Netflix that is loosely based on his life. We follow Dev as he makes his way in NYC as an actor who, along with his friends, discovers what 30-something means today.
Why you should watch it: For all those that fell in love with Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation, you will see a more nuanced, intimate kind of Ansari love here. Master of None’s cultural commentary is on-point, the weirdness of today’s romantic struggles are highlighted in all their awkward glory, and the cast is a talented bunch. Binge your hearts out; it’s a funny, sweet, neurotic ride.
Where to watch: Season one will be available on Nov. 6 exclusively on Netflix.
Commitment: Five hours.
What it is: Before Bob Odenkirk and David Cross broke through with Breaking Bad and Arrested Development, respectively, they were the oddball duo behind Mr. Show, an anarchic sketch comedy that blended goofiness and edginess in a way that resembles Chappelle’s Show for the indie rock set.
Why you should watch it: Since W/ Bob & David is premiering on Netflix on Nov. 13, now’s as good a time as any to dive into one of the weirdest programs of the mid to late 1990s. For inspired randomness, absurdist satire, and some of the best segues in television history, you can’t beat Mr. Show. In addition to its leading men, the show served as an incubator for a number of the brightest lights of alt-comedy, including Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Paul F. Tompkins, and Scott Aukerman.
Commitment: 15 hours.
What it is: Starz’s Black Sails is a period drama that follows the trials and triumphs of the most notorious men to sail the seven seas during piracy’s golden age.
Why you should watch it: This prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island offers a grittier take on the usual swashbuckling fare we’ve come to expect from our famous pirates. So you can count on the action to build as the intrigue deepens. With two seasons under its belt, there is already plenty of adventure to be had before Black Sails comes back for a third season in January 2016.
Where to watch: Both seasons are on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation Video, Starz Play (with cable subscription), Vudu, Xbox Video, and Xfinity (with cable subscription), and season two hits DVD and Blu-ray on Nov. 3.
Commitment: 18 hours.
What it is: The adaptation of the UK BBC comedy series of the same name showcases the careers and personal lives of doctors and nurses in a Long Beach hospital extended-care wing.
Why you should watch it: Folks who like their brilliant slapstick comedy to suddenly jolt you with empathy and smash your heart against the wall — and watch it slither to the floor where it gets rolled over by a squeaky, old wheelchair occupied by a vibrant but terminally-ill senior citizen who screams something naughty as she begins to dance naked in the hallways of the hospital wing, bringing you to tears of laughter once again — will love Getting On.
Where to watch: Season three premieres Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. on HBO. The first two seasons are streaming on Amazon, Google Play, HBO Go (with subscription), iTunes, Playstation Video, Vudu, and Xfinity (with cable subscription).
Commitment: Six hours.
What it is: In this animated series, Mike Tyson (voiced by Tyson himself) embarks on a series of hilarious investigations with his adopted Korean daughter, an irritable ghost, and a vulgar talking pigeon in tow. Their shenanigans take them everywhere from Cormac McCarthy’s ranch to outer space.
Why you should watch it: Mike Tyson appears to have embraced his newly reformed public persona as a big, unpredictable teddy bear with a knack for self-parody and just a touch of insanity. Mike Tyson Mysteries takes full advantage of this, and the result is an absurd comedy that alternates between high concept Scooby-Doo-esque hijinks and upended sitcom tropes. In other words, if you’re an Adult Swim fan, this will fit right into your schedule, and since the second season premieres on Sunday, it’s the perfect time to catch up.
Where to watch: The Adult Swim website has the first four episodes and the season finale of season one available to watch, and you can get the rest on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, or Vudu. You can also purchase the first season (uncensored) on DVD.
Commitment: Each episode is only 11 or 12 minutes long, so you should be able to finish the whole season in two hours.
Why you should watch it: It’s a series about maturation, relationships, mistakes, forgiveness, and the metamorphoses that accompany such change, for those directly involved and for their often dysfunctional families. Influenced by writer Sally Wainwright’s mother’s second marriage, the life-changing events play out fervidly with understated realism. In a time when sensationalism and special effects can dominate the airwaves, Halifax brings an invigorating genuineness to relationships with subtle profundity.
Commitment: 18 hours.
Better Call Saul ends its first season this month, so now you can watch every episode in one 10-hour binge (and then wait forever like the rest of us for season two). And there’s still time to catch up on comedies Louie and Silicon Valley, before they come back this month. For those of you curious about joining the Clone Club, now is the time to binge the first two seasons of Orphan Black in time for Apr. 18. These, and other recommendations are below to satisfy any binge-watching tastes this month!
What it is: Before he was Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad, Albuquerque’s shadiest (and funniest) lawyer was Jimmy McGill.
Why you should watch it: For people who like to watch everything at once, season one will be ready for you to view in its entirety after the finale on AMC, Tuesday, Apr. 7. Essential viewing for Breaking Bad fans, Better Call Saul is also a stand-alone drama, engrossing and darkly comic, with knock-out performances by Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.
Commitment: 10 hours.
What it is: After seeing “herself” jump in front of a train, a young woman discovers she is a clone and, with the help of the others like her, falls into a conspiratorial whirlwind of mystery and deception.
Why you should watch it: Tatiana Maslany has received attention her performances as each clone, but that’s not the only reason to watch. Suspense, drama, action, and a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor make this one a must-see for fans of varying genres.
Where to watch: Orphan Black returns with its season three premiere on Apr. 18. Seasons one and two are available on Xfinity, iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Sony Playstation, Google Play, Xbox Video, and DirecTV. Both seasons are also available on Blu-ray and DVD.
Commitment: 20 hours.
What it is: Kurt Sutter’s hit series from FX follows the exploits of the biker club SAMCRO, and its “president” Jax Teller (Charlie Hannum).
Why you should watch it: Sons of Anarchy rode off into the sunset earlier this year and left a legion of loyal fans and adoring critics in its wake. The Shakespearean themes of this gritty drama give poetic undertones to the violent lives (and deaths) of these characters.
Where to watch: Seasons one through six are streaming on Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. Season seven will debut on Netflix on Apr. 25. Every episode is also available on Amazon Instant Video, iTunes, Vudu, Xbox Video, and Google Play.
Commitment: 85 hours.
What it is: In Mike Judge’s comedy set in Bay Area’s tech universe, Richard (Thomas Middleditch) and his team of socially awkward developers make an app, catching the attention of the area’s billionaire investor.
Why you should watch it: Short and sweet, season one of Silicon Valley is an easy catch-up before season two premieres on Sunday, Apr. 12. The cast, featuring Middleditch, T.J. Miller, and Kumail Nanjiani, perfectly capture the oddball characters who rule the Internet.
Commitment: 4 hours.
What it is: Penny Dreadful creates a frightening variant of Victorian London, where horrific figures from classic literature such as Dr. Frankenstein, the Creature, Dorian Grey co-exist and terrorize the city.
Why you should watch it: The gore is intensified by the element of high drama, earning season one a Certified Fresh Tomatometer score of 78 percent.
Commitment: Eight hours.
What it is: This prequel to Treasure Island chronicles the rise of John Silver (Luke Arnold) and the adventures of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens).
Why you should watch it: The series, which just finished airing season two, takes a deeper look at the politics during the Golden Age of Piracy than the usual swashbuckling and copious use of the phrase, “Arrrrrr!”
Commitment: 20 hours.
What it is: Three gay men ride the turbulent waves of the San Francisco dating scene while maintaining their friendships and careers.
Why you should watch it: Though recently canceled, season two of Looking begins streaming on iTunes on Apr. 20. Its honest depiction of sexual and emotional issues grabbed critics’ attention with season one, which is Certified Fresh at 89 percent, and continued to impress critics and fans (currently petitioning for its revival) throughout its short run.
Where to watch: Seasons one and two are available on HBO Go and iTunes (season two iTunes as of Apr. 20). Season one is also available on Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, X Box Video, and Amazon Instant Video. Season one is available on Blu-ray and DVD (season two is available for pre-order).
Commitment: Nine hours.
What it is: A family drama set in Los Alamos, NM, portrays the development of the Manhattan Project and the invention of the atomic bomb.
Why you should watch it: Manhattan uses the government’s top secrecy to explore drama and intrigue on a family level. It also drives you to root for this band of scientists struggling with the dilemma of creating such a fearsome weapon, and not being able to tell their loved ones about it.
Commitment: 13 hours.
What it is: In this quasi-autobiographical FX series, Louis CK plays himself, a stand-up comedian and single dad living in New York City.
Why you should watch it: Louis CK’s encapsulation of the human experience is at once hilarious and sad and his hometown of The Big Apple is the perfect setting for examining everything wonderful, awful, and downright weird about people.
Where to watch: Seasons one through four are available with a subscription to Amazon Prime and Netflix. All four seasons are also available on Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, XBox Video, and DVD.
Commitment: 27 hours, and with season five coming to FX on Apr. 9, you better start now!
What it is: FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate unexplained paranormal phenomena. Mulder wants to believe, but Scully is a skeptic.
Why you should watch it: With the announcement of an X-Files reboot, there’s no time like to present to familiarize yourself with the show — especially if you’re a fan of aliens, conspiracies, unexplained phenomena, or just really good mysteries.
Commitment: 154 hours.
Which of these shows would you recommend to a friend? Let us know in the comments section below!