Five films and TV shows to get December off to a jolly good start

Screen Time: Christmas, crime and cracking tunes take centre stage this week. Get into it.

Baby, it’s cold outside… really can’t‑feel-your-fucking-toes cold. So rather than venturing out this weekend, only to find yourself in a situation where you have to decline sexual advances with a cheesy I’d better scurry”, we suggest you opt to stay in from the get-go.

Worried you’ll get bored? As long as you have a screen and decent WiFi, the streaming giants have got you covered. From festive flicks to stick on while you decorate the Christmas tree, to the new Pharell Williams-produced comedy-drama Harlem, these are the best watches to keep you entertained while you scarf down your first Chocolate Orange(s) of the season. We won’t tell Santa you bailed on your mates, promise.

For feeling festive…

Full-fat Crimbo content to get you in the mood
Single All The Way

The next release from Netflixs seemingly never-ending stream of Christmas romcoms, Single All The Way gives the classic pretend to be my partner in front of my family” plot another spin, just a month after Love Hard saw Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang fall in love under the same pretence. This time, Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) enlists Philemon Chambers (Of Hearts and Castles) to fool his fam over the holidays. The spanner in the works comes via his meddling mum, who decides to pull a Cilla Black and set Urie’s Peter up on a blind date. What a pickle, eh? Can’t possibly imagine how this one might pan out. It also stars Jennifer Coolidge, whose wit and wisdom is enough to keep you watching, even if you figure out the entire plot within the first ten minutes.

Available on Netflix now

For splurging…

The film worth leaving home to see
Pirates

If you must leave the house this weekend, make sure it’s to two-step your way to the cinema to catch Reggie Yates’ directorial debut Pirates. Transporting us back to New Year’s Eve 1999, the film follows three UKG-loving 18-year-olds as they attempt to bag tickets to the biggest Millennium blowout in London. But these aren’t your regular youngsters in pursuit of a good party. Cappo (Elliot Edusah), Two Tonne (Jordan Peters) and Kidda (Reda Elazouar) also run their own pirate radio station, and their broadcasts of bootleg finds have earned a rep good enough to play in clubs. And as impending adulthood threatens to pull the trio apart, it’s absolutely essential that they get into the club to have a night they’ll never forget. With a mega soundtrack featuring UKG greats Ms Dynamite, DJ Luck & MC Neat, Sunship and more, you’ll leave the cinema with a big ol’ grin on your face and a craving for a proper good rave.

Out in UK cinemas now

For thinking…

A documentary to feed the brain

Final Account

Director Luke Holland spent over a decade working on this documentary, interviewing over 300 people who lived in Nazi Germany and were complicit in the horrors that took place. But these now elderly subjects weren’t high-ranking army officials. They were ordinary people in administrative roles, low-ranking soldiers, eager kids in the Hitler Youth, people who turned a blind eye as prisoners performed dental work on them. Final Account forces them to look back on the role they played in the Holocaust, exposing how everyday evil and wilful ignorance stains history. And in our current social climate, it can’t help but feel like a stark warning.

Out in UK cinemas now

For laughs…

Riotous comedy to crack a smile

Harlem

As we gear up for Insecures final finale at the end of the month, it’s time to look for alternatives to fill that Issa Rae-shaped hole in your life. Luckily, the universe has just dropped this new comedy-drama series into our laps. Written by the mind behind Girls Trip, Tracy Oliver, and produced by none other than Pharell Williams, Harlem plunges us into the lives of four besties living in (you guessed it) Harlem, New York, where they’re struggling their way through relationships, careers, yada yada… Sure, it’s a familiar format, but with Oliver behind the pen, it’s sure to make you laugh regardless.

Available on Amazon Prime now

For chatting…

Talking points for when your next wave of social fatigue hits

Money Heist

Once the most-watched non-English-language series on Netflix – a title that has now surely been pinched by Squid Game (or Hellbound) – the Spanish crime drama returns for, er, series five, volume two. In short, it’s the latest and really final instalment of the show after volume one dropped earlier this year. In need of a catch-up? Basically, this criminal mastermind guy called The Professor rounds up a bunch of other people who are good at doing illegal shit and guides them to pull off two high-stakes heists. The first one went pretty well (bar a few casualties), but the second one is proving to be a bit of a pickle. Can The Professor and his team win (that is: steal) the jackpot once again? There’s only one way to find out.

Available on Netflix now

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