may december
Image: Sky

The best TV shows and films to stream in December 2023

29 Nov 2023|By Kari Colmans

Get cosy: the most wonderful time of the year is here and it’s come brimming with boxsets

The tinsel is out, the tree is sparkling, and the log fire is just waiting to be lit. Yes, it’s the time of year where everything on our screens is subject to a full-blown festive makeover. But there’s a lot more to watch this month than just cheesy soap specials and Elf on repeat. Settle down to some great TV this December with everything from laugh-out-loud comedy and serious cinema to must-watch rom-coms and fascinating nature shows – as well as two seriously good biopics.

DC Movie Collection, Netflix

Capes at the ready, Netflix will be dropping a swathe of DC movies on the first of this month – sure to keep superhero-heads happy during the ultimate month of TV binge-watching. Films include Man of Steel (2013), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016),
Suicide Squad (2016 & 2021), Wonder Woman (2017) and Wonder Woman: 1984 (2020), DC League of Super-Pets (2022) and The Batman (2022). Don’t miss newest release Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023), directed by David F Sandberg and starring Helen Mirren.

Release date: 1 December 2023

Whale with Steve Backshall, Sky Nature/Now TV  

Following the success of Shark with Steve Backshall, get set to delve deep into the incredible world of our oceans with a brand-new, four-part series following Backshall free diving with whales and dolphins. Getting up close and personal with the magnificent creatures, audiences will be gripped by the immersive, stunning natural history sequences as they home in on the mighty sperm and humpback whales, as well as the intelligent orcas and bottlenose dolphins. The series explores their complex social relationships, surprising hunting techniques and close-knit family units, as well as the critical climate questions facing humankind.

Release date: 3 December 2023

Smothered, Sky Comedy/Now TV

Created by Workin’ Moms and Schitt’s Creek’s Monica Heisey, and produced by the multi-award-winning Roughcut TV, Smothered is a messy, real, unfiltered rom-com for the swipe-right generation. Starring Danielle Vitalis and Jon Pointing, the show follows two strangers as they agree to a no-strings-attached arrangement. You’ll laugh and cringe as you commit to their ‘will they? won’t they?’ journey, and watch as their lives become increasingly entangled and their affair ever more complicated.

Release date: 7 December 2023

May December, Sky Cinema/Now TV

Starring Hollywood darlings Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore, and directed by Todd Haynes, it is the spring of 2015 in Savannah, Georgia, and actor Elizabeth Berry (played by Portman) is visiting a couple 20 years after they were at the centre of a huge international scandal. The controversial storyline focuses on Gracie Atherton (played by Moore), a married woman with kids, nearly two decades after she’d had an affair, and fell pregnant, with a 13-year-old boy. Ambiguous and thought-provoking, the movie explores a gender and power dynamic that’s scarcely been explored on screen.

Release date: 8 December 2023

The Lady and The Legend, Paramount+

tony bennett and lady gaga
Image: Shutterstock/Liam Goodner

Celebrating lyrical legend Tony Bennett’s illustrious career, as well as his decade-long musical journey and relationship with pop superstar Lady Gaga, this commemorative documentary gives an intimate insight into the duo’s unique bond. Having collaborated on his album Duets II for a rendition of The Lady Is a Tramp, their working relationship continued to bloom into an unusual friendship. This documentary also provides an honest and realistic glimpse into Bennett’s last days battling with Alzheimer’s disease as he continued to work.

Release date: 13 December 2023

The Crown Season 6, Part 2, Netflix

The final segment of the final (we promise) two-part season of The Crown will see us finally say goodbye for good to this royally epic show. The period between 1997 and 2000 was established in part one, and left viewers (and the Royal family) reeling from the tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales. All episodes of part two will be dropping at once and will likely include the passings of Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the introduction of Kate Middleton, and the developing relationship and eventual marriage of then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Release date: 14 December 2023

Dynamo is Dead, Sky Max/Now TX 

Famed for walking on water and levitating above skyscrapers, this feature-length show will see illusionist Dynamo defy the odds by burying himself alive, live on air. The famous magician will go as far as digging his own grave six feet under and will culminate in him ‘laying Dynamo to rest’. Having hit rock bottom after battling with his mental health and identity, he will (hopefully) find the strength to pull himself out of the darkness, and into the light – giving birth to the next stage of his career. The stunt will be peppered with powerful conversations with the likes of Tyson Fury, Demi Lovato, Coldplay, Cara Delevingne and Steven Bartlett.

Release date: 14 December 2023

Timeless Heroes, Disney+

Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Laurent Bouzereau, this gripping biopic explores actor Harrison Ford’s upbringing and career, as well as his enduring appeal and drive at the age of 81. The film shines a light on Ford’s first foray into the industry, his casting in the iconic Indiana Jones franchise, and the impact and inspiration generated by his work.
Get set for never-before-seen footage and interviews with Ford, Spielberg, Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, James Mangold, and many others. They’re digging in the right place…

Release date: 15 December 2023

Ricky Gervais: Armageddon, Netflix

Set to be a Christmas Day must-see, the third Netflix special from renowned stand-up comedian Ricky Gervais was recorded at the London Palladium earlier this year as part of his latest tour. Selling out 85 international arenas, Gervais entered the Guinness World Record Book for the highest-grossing single stand-up show when he took over £1.4m for a date at the Hollywood Bowl. Known for his dry, close-to-the-mark humour, The Office and Extras star will have you cringing in your armchair as he covers the end of humanity, political correctness, family weddings, funerals, and artificial intelligence.

Release date: 25 December 2023

Candy Cane Lane, Prime Video

We couldn’t not include at least one Christmas film this month… so crack open the Milk Tray and get your jolly knitwear at the ready: ‘tis the season to indulge in Christmas movies galore, whether you like it or not. This hilarious new film from comic star Eddie Murphy follows a man on a mission to win his local home decoration contest. After making a deal with a cheeky elf named Pepper to enhance his chances of winning, she casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life – and causes chaos in the neighbourhood. Cue a race against the clock to save Christmas for everyone.

Release date: 1 December 2023

Read more: The best Christmas films and TV shows to stream in 2023