I hope you’re ready for a Netflix overdose (courtesy of Thanksgiving) because they are not f*cking around this month!
Let’s bitch it out…
Top Pick: New
Marvel may be debuting two new series this month, but I’m only excited for one of them: Marvel’s Runaways (Nov 21). The adaptation of master graphic novelist (that’s totally a thing, right?) Brian K. Vaughan’s seminal “don’t trust your parents” text revolves around a group of teens who must go on the run after they discover that their parents are supervillains. It looks like the transition from page to screen has worked the charm because the series looks fun and fresh (despite the inclusion of sparkly vampire wannabe Gregg Sulkin) and the casting, especially the villainous ‘rents, is on point. It could all go pear shaped, but for now it looks like Hulu has nabbed itself a pop-culture win.
- Alias Grace (Nov 3) finally makes its American debut this month and the Sarah Polley written/Mary Harron (American Psycho) directed series is definitely worth checking out
- Ill Behaviour (Nov 13)’s “forced chemo” premise could be too dark or too comedic, but it’s British, so it’s worth the benefit of a doubt
- She’s Gotta Have It (Nov 23) is Spike Lee’s first TV show, so that’s worth a look
- Of the 2(!) series to pick from: Godless (Nov 22), the more prestigious Soderbergh produced limited series, is the better bet
- Single mom series are all the rage: SMILF (Nov 5) and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (Nov 29) both look great (in completely different ways)
Top Pick: Returning
The Girlfriend Experience (Nov 5) was my top pick for best new show of 2016. The series about sex work may bear the same name as the Steven Soderbergh film, but the serialized nature of TV allowed for a deeper, more complicated investigation of the subject matter. Not one to rest on its laurels, in its second season The Girlfriend Experience opts to tell two very different stories about two complicated women, in two different locations, with each storyline directed by one of the series’ showrunners. I managed to catch the first four episodes at TIFF and the series remains a fascinatingly artistic investigation of sex work; its also still masterfully acted, directed and edited. It’s definitely not a series for everyone (the subject matter is probably off-putting to some and the approach is decidedly chilly and clinical), but I love it.
- One of these days I’ll get around to watching Shameless (Nov 5), which everyone assures me is awesome
- I’m still mid-S1, but what I saw of Lady Dynamite (Nov 10) I quite enjoyed
- Search Party (Nov 19) – a combination murder mystery and millennial satire – was a complete unexpected surprise. Who would have expected that it was a) any good? and b) coming back for S2? The trailer suggests there’s life left in the premise, so I’m in.
Top Pick: Wildcard
Future Man (Nov 14) is another Evan Goldberg/Seth Rogen series and, like Preacher, it has an high profile cast, an unusual premise and a lot of juvenile humour. The premise is completely absurd: a slacker gamer is visited by agents from the future who proclaim him the saviour of the world. It looks exceedingly silly and potentially hit or miss, but at least it has that solid cast.
- No Activity (Nov 12) doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, but surely it will appeal to some people.
- I’m unconvinced that there’s enough story to fill 13 episodes of Marvel’s The Punisher (Nov 17), but presumably there are enough people interested in Jon Bernthal’s performance to check it out
Complete list of November premieres (I will be watching shows marked with an asterix *):
Wednesday, Nov 1
- Stan vs Evil S2 (IFC – 10pm EST): The season of the witch is here.
Thursday, Nov 2
- The Big Bang Theory (CBS – 8pm EST): Timeslot debut
- Young Sheldon (CBS – 8:30pm EST): Timeslot debut
- Mom S5 (CBS – 9pm EST)
- Life in Pieces S3 (CBS – 9:30pm EST)
- S.W.A.T S1 (CBS – 10pm EST): This reboot of Aaron Spelling’s mid-1970s L.A. cop drama comes from The Shield creator Shawn Ryan. Shemar Moore, Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Stephanie Sigman, and Kenny Johnson star.
Friday, Nov 3
- Alias Grace (Netflix – 3am EST): Inspired by the true story of a shocking double murder in a remote Canadian town in 1843, the series stars Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin, Kerr Logan, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg. All six episodes were written by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron. Entire miniseries available today in the US
Sunday, Nov 5
- The Girlfriend Experience S2* (STARZ – 9pm EST): Last year’s best new series varies its formula to offer two new, completely separate stories. (The hour-long weekly episodes will devote half an hour to each.) One is set in the world of campaign finance in Washington, D.C. and stars Anna Friel and Louisa Krause; the other takes place in New Mexico and stars Carmen Ejogo.
- Shameless S8 (Showtime – 9pm EST)
- SMILF S1 (Showtime – 10pm EST): Frankie Shaw (Hello Ladies, Mr. Robot) adapts her own Sundance-winning short about a young, single mother. Shaw writes, produces, directs, and stars in this semi-autobiographical comedy series set in Boston
Tuesday, Nov 7
- Damnation S1* (USA – 10pm EST): Set in Depression-era Iowa, this period drama follows a conflict between a man pretending to be a preacher (Killian Scott) who leads an uprising against a wealthy industrialist and his hired strikebreaker (Logan Marshall-Green).
- Teachers S2 (TVLand – 10pm EST)
Friday, Nov 10
- The Killer (Netflix original film – 3am EST): In a lawless land, Shaggy (Diogo Morgado), investigates the whereabouts of the bandit, Seven Ears (Deto Montegro). His search leads him back to civilization and ensures that in death, he finally learns how to live. His journey will bring him to discover that his violent past is a legacy that refuses to die alongside him.
- Blazing Transfer Students S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): This live-action adaptation of the Hono no Tenkosei manga finds the boys of Johnny’s West playing seven boys all named Kakeru who transfer into an elite school where they must battle it out to see who’s number one. All 8 episodes available today.
- Lady Dyanmite S2* (Netflix – 3am EST): Features guest appearances from Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, Judy Greer, Jason Mantzoukas, and “Weird Al” Yankovic. All episodes available today.
Sunday, Nov 12
- No Activity S1 (CBS All Access): CBS’s first streaming original comedy series comes from the Funny or Die team and follows various low-level players (who mostly have nothing to do) on both sides of the law during a major drug cartel bust.
Monday, Nov 13
- Ill Behaviour S1* (Showtime – 10:30pm EST): This six-episode British comedic thriller centers on a man (Tom Riley) who refuses to undergo chemotherapy for his newly diagnosed cancer—opting instead for homeopathy and other alternative treatments—only to have his best friends (Chris Geere and Jessica Regan) kidnap him and force chemo upon him with the help of an alcoholic oncologist.
Tuesday, Nov 14
- Future Man S1* (Hulu): Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, Hulu’s new comedy series follows a janitor (Josh Hutcherson) who suddenly finds himself charged with the task of traveling through time to save the human race. Eliza Coupe, Derek Wilson, Haley Joel Osment, Keith David, Glenne Headly, and Ed Begley Jr. also star.
Thursday, Nov 16
- Back S1 (Sundance Now): Stephen (David Mitchell) tries to follow in his recently deceased father’s footsteps and take over the family business, but his plans are soon foiled by the unexpected return of his estranged foster brother, Andrew (Robert Webb)
- There’s…Johnny S1 (Hulu): After Seeso went belly up, this series had to find a new home on Hulu. So let’s try this again: Created by Paul Reiser, this period comedy series follows a 19-year-old (Ian Nelson) who stumbles into a job on The Tonight Show in the 1970s, where Joy (Jane Levy) works as a talent coordinator.
Friday, Nov 17
- Longmire S6 (Netflix – 3am EST): Final season. All episodes available today.
- The Punisher S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): Jon Bernthal reprises his Punisher vigilante character in this new series from Hannibal writer/producer Steve Lightfoot. Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ben Barnes, and Deborah Ann Woll also star.
- Mudbound (Netflix original film – 3am EST): Dee Rees (Pariah) directs a Netflix original film that adapts Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel, a sprawling story about the impact of World War II and racism on a black family (Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell) and a white family (Jason Clarke, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund) in 1940s Mississippi.
Sunday, Nov 19
- Search Party S2* (TBS – 10pm EST): The second season of the acclaimed comedy mystery series features guest appearances from Jay Duplass, Judy Reyes, Phoebe Robinson, Tymberlee Hill, and Jessica Chaffin. Two episodes air weekly.
Tuesday, Nov 21
- Marvel’s Runaways S1* (Hulu): Adapted from Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona beloved comic series, Hulu’s first Marvel series comes from Gossip Girl creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage and centers on six diverse teenagers who unite around a common foe: their parents.
Chicago Med S3 (NBC – 10pm EST): The fate of one of their own hangs in the balance on the Season 3 premiere
Wednesday, Nov 22
- Godless* (Netflix miniseries – 3am EST): Steven Soderbergh produces this western, set in a remote New Mexico mining town that is governed by women. There, a man played by Jack O’Connell seeks refuge with a widower (Michelle Dockery) after he is targeted for revenge by a gang of outlaws led by Jeff Daniels. Merritt Wever, Scoot McNairy, and Sam Waterston also star. All 7 episodes available today.
Thursday, Nov 23
- She’s Gotta Have It S1* (Netflix – 3am EST): Spike Lee’s first TV series is a present-day update of his first movie: 1986’s She’s Gotta Have It, which revolve around a Brooklyn-based artist (DeWanda Wise) and her three suitors. All 10 episodes available today.
Friday, Nov 24
- Frontier S2 (Netflix – 3am EST): The drama starring Jason Mamao that debuted in Canada on Discovery on Oct 18 arrives on Netflix. All episodes available today.
Tuesday, Nov 28
- Glitch S2 (Netflix – 3am EST): Aussie zombie series returns for S2.
- Good Morning Call S1 (Netflix – 3am EST): Based on a popular comic book by Yue Takasuka, Good Morning Call is a cute and refreshing romantic comedy drama about 2 high school students – Nao Yoshikawa (Haruka Fukuhara) and Hisashi Uehara (Shunya Shiraishi) who, due to different circumstances, wind up living together.
Wednesday, Nov 29
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S1* (Amazon – 12am EST): Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, Bunheads) takes her usual formula (female protagonist plus smart, rapid-fire dialogue) and transfers it to 1958 Manhattan, where a young Jewish housewife (Rachel Brosnahan) suddenly finds herself a single mother after her husband leaves her for another woman. To survive, she embarks on a revolutionary new career: stand-up comedy. Tony Shalhoub, Michael Zegen, and Alex Borstein also star. All episodes available today.
- Vikings S5 (History – 9pm EST)
That’s it for November! Coming in December:
- S5 of the nearly cancelled ABC series Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD
- A trio of bizarre looking debuts: Syfy’s crazy hitman action/comedy Happy!, History’s medieval Knightfall and Amazon’s parody Jean-Claude Van Johnson
- S2 of Jeffrey Donovan’s magic crime series Shut Eye; and
- Yet.More.Netflix, including: German import Dark, S4 of The Ranch, S2 of Easy and – just in time for holiday bingeing – S2 of The Crown, which will see an end to Claire Foy’s reign before the role is taken over by Olivia Colman.