Everything to watch on Netflix this December if you’ve got festive fatigue

Posted by
Megan Murray

The streaming service has released details of the TV and film gems dropping over December – essential reading for anyone not giving in to Christmas films.      

With the end of the year approaching, we’re busy planning all our cosy nights in on the sofa – which of course usually means lining up a Netflix must-watch list. 

For the next four weeks you’ll find us on our chosen comfy furniture, warm beverage in hand, enjoying the plethora of new releases to grace the platform. And although we appreciate that this is the merriest time of the year (having already duly named our top Christmassy Netflix picks), for those who are feeling a little fatigued by the festivities already, we’ve picked the best of the non-Christmas films and TV landing this month.

From some serious throwbacks (Maid in Manhattan) to the first serious of the hotly anticipated Dynasty, there’s enough here to keep you busy all the way through to New Year’s Day.

Ideal for a binge session

The Crown: Season 2

Oh Claire, how we love you

The second season of the much-loved series is expected to pick up where the first left off, spanning another eight years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign into the mid 1960s. After setting the scene in the first series, watching the Queen (Claire Foy) get to grips with her position and status, the aftermath of the death of her father and life inside the palace, round two looks to show more of the outside world and the Swingin’ Sixties.

Judging by the trailer, we’ll be privy to the strains on the marriage of Elizabeth and Phillip (Matt Smith), with one scene seeming to reference the Prince’s rumored infidelities. This will also be the final series starring the magnificent Foy, who is set to be replaced by the equally glorious Olivia Colman for the third season which will follow the Queen into her 40s, 50s and 60s. 

Launch date: 8 December

To fill the Stranger Things void

Dark: Season 1

We’ve got shivers already

As the name suggests, Netflix series Dark is no picnic. Three seconds into the trailer and we’re confronted with a disturbing scene. A teenage boy is tied and gagged in a Saw-esque contraption by a hooded kidnapper, and his fate doesn’t look hopeful. 

The crime drama has been likened to Stranger Things (which caught our attention immediately) and follows four families on a frantic hunt who, along the way, discover a disturbing mystery that spans three generations. The supernatural activity looks suitably spooky and we’ve got to admit, we’re already hooked.

Release date: 1 December

When only a gripping watch will do

Riverdale Season 2

The plot is about to thicken 

Riverdale is a dark twist on the original story of Archie Andrews, a comic book character who explores the truth behind the seemingly perfect town he lives in. After a successful first series, the American TV show is back and looks to be starring many of the same faces, such as KJ Apa as Archie and Camila Mendes as Veronica.

This time around a new crime has robbed Riverdale of its remaining innocence, forcing the town’s citizens to arm themselves and seek the truth in an all-out war. 

Release date: 7 December

For serious sartorial inspiration

Dynasty: Season 1

Shoulder pads haven’t made it through to the revamp 

After a 30 year break, the iconic Eighties TV series has been modernised with a slick new look.

The present-day reboot will be told primarily through the perspectives of two women at odds: Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies), the daughter of billionaire Blake Carrington poised to take over her father’s empire, and her soon-to-be stepmother, Cristal (Nathalie Kelley) – a Hispanic woman marrying into the WASP family and America’s most powerful class.

Release date: 7 December

Perfect for sci-fi fans


Consider this the anti-Miracle on 34th Street 

Will Smith stars this original Netflix film which is set an alternative present day, where humans and mythical creatures co-exist.

Smith plays a cop battling his own demons, who on patrol one night becomes involved in protecting a thought-to-be-forgotten relic – which in the wrong hands could destroy everything. Watch out for what looks to be a stand-out performance from Noomi Rapace.

Release date: 22 December

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For throwback romcom vibes

 Maid in Manhattan

This one will have you beaming ear to ear

Do we even need to explain this one? This early Noughties gem of a film follows hardworking single mum and hotel maid Marisa (played by Jennifer Lopez) as she fights to keep her and her adorable son afloat in New York. When a case of mistaken identity sees her attracting the attention of a very eligible bachelor (Ralph Fiennes) she is faced with picking between her reality and the fairy tale, and questioning if it’s possible to have it all. 

Don’t be fooled by the shiny, romcom packaging, this feel-good film champions a strong female character, highlights the importance of  encouraging female friendships and asks challenging questions about race and class.

Release date: 13 December

The ultimate retro fix 

Back to the Future

Marty McFly, the actual inspiration behind the name of the UK boy band McFly 

When it comes to retro classics, does it get better than Back to the Future? The outfits, the music, the cars – we’re here for all of it. Tune in to rewatch surely one of the best-named characters in film, Marty McFly (Micheal J. Fox), skateboard his way back to the Fifties with Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and meet the younger versions of his parents. It goes without saying (but we will say it anyway) that hilarity and calamity ensue. 

Release date: 14 December

When one film just isn’t enough

Back to the Future Part II

This zany sequel is not to be missed

Here’s a quick film-based quiz for you: what should anyone do after spending their Sunday enjoying the delights of Back to the Future? Answer: Move straight on to Back to the Future Part II, obviously. 

Marty McFly is back, and this time he’s fresh from saving his future son from disaster, only to discover that his own time has been horrifically transformed. Once again, it’s down to him and Doc Brown to fix it.

Release date: 14 December

If you’ve got a crush on Eminem (there’s no shame)

8 Mile

Eminem stars in this semi-biographical motion picture  

There are so many reasons to watch this film, which is based heavily on Eminem’s actual upbringing. The soundtrack (anyone who doesn’t know at least part of Lose Yourself is lying), the fascinating depiction of a white rapper attempting success in the Nineties hip-hop scene and of course, the beautiful acting from Brittany Murphy.  

Watch as impoverished Jimmy ‘B-Rabbit’ Smith (Eminem) fights his way out of the trailer park he grew up in and sets his sights on stardom.

Release date: 12 December

Ideal Saturday night viewing

Now You See Me 2

But will they pull it off?

This heist film boasts an incredibly well-rounded cast with performances from Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Daniel Radcliffe, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Micheal Caine and many more. Following on from the 2013 original, the Four Horseman are back and this time their task is even more impossible. An entertaining watch for sure.

Release date: 31 December

When you want to feel like a complete badass

MAD MAX: Fury Road

This post-apocalyptic dystopian action thriller is set in a future desert wasteland where pretty much everything is scarce and life is looking pretty grim.

It may not be the most feel-good of films but we love Charlize Theron as fierce female lead Imperator Furiosa, who flees the clutches of evil cult leader Immortan Joe. She doesn’t just save herself though, oh no – Theron’s character also liberates the dictator’s five wives and exhibits a hell of a lot of badass fighting moves while doing it. 

Release date: 14 December

Images: Rex / Netflix