It’s November, otherwise known as “launch month for streaming services with plus signs in their names.” That’s right—Disney+ and Apple TV+ will open for business this month, which means there’s even more to stream than usual. From makeovers to Mandalorians, here’s everything new on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Apple TV+, as well as a few personal selections from the Ringer staff.
What’s New to Streaming in November
A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.
Queer Eye: We’re in Japan (coming to Netflix on November 1)
Alison Herman: This Fab Five wants to take on its projects’ inner lives as well as their outer presentation; in fact, Queer Eye now sees improvements to the latter as a means to improve the former, rather than as a goal in and of itself. And while a real-life personality overhaul takes years of therapy and halting progress, these transformations fit squarely in the one-and-done hour allotted to them. Like all makeovers, the results are mixed—but occasionally transcendent.
Zombieland (Netflix, November 1)
Miles Surrey: Following in the footsteps of the winking zombie humor from Shaun of the Dead, the charm of Zombieland came from its relative aimlessness. In lieu of sociopolitical commentary or an unsparing gorefest, Zombieland keyed in on the potential mundanity of day-to-day life in the zombie apocalypse, and the importance of finding a makeshift [Dominic Toretto voice] family to call your own.
The Great British Baking Show: Holidays, Season 2 (Netflix, November 8)
Brian Phillips: Look, it’s a nice show. You don’t need me to tell you that. Often, after a hard day at my job of sitting on a sofa skimming through apps, it’s the only thing I trust to help me unwind. The tent. The lawn. The unexplained glimpses of ducks. The promise—the guarantee—that at regular intervals, an elegant English lady will say, “Oh, I do think the cardamom works a treat.” I can’t precisely explain why these things have, upon my frazzled soul, the effect of a breath of clean mountain air, but if you’re reading this, the odds are that you feel it too. Somewhere within each of us is a quiet room where Norman, in his handsomest sweater vest, is toiling over a batch of absolutely flavorless farthing biscuits, and fortunate we are indeed, my bairns, to have such a refuge.
Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, Season 5 (Netflix, November 10)
Rob Harvilla: There is much to love here, and to work with; Patriot Act is a weekly affair with a 32-episode order, guaranteeing Minhaj the long runway Michelle Wolf deserved. You will root for him, hard, especially in those moments when he manages to be cool without trying to be cool. His perspective, shamefully unique in this context, is his not-so-secret weapon.
The Crown, Season 3 (Netflix, November 17)
Michael Baumann: By putting the viewer at the table with the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country, The Crown blinds us to the experiences of the kind of people we know and care about in real life. But part of the allure of caring about royal intrigue is that it allows you to ignore the real world, and the fantasy world of the dramatized monarchy is spectacular, from the first moment of the trailer for Season 1.
Veronica Mars, Season 4 (Hulu, November 14)
Herman: Five years later, Veronica Mars has learned from its mistakes—or rather, Veronica Mars’ mistakes have freed it to do something new. The fans have long since been serviced. [Rob] Thomas and his writers can now dedicate themselves to a case that exists as something more than a pretext. The result is, paradoxically, a truer reprise of the first series’ appeal than many revivals that strain much more visibly to channel their inspiration.
Booksmart (Hulu, November 18)
Manuela Lazic: The script—penned by a team of female writers who worked on various comedy projects such as the Netflix rom-com Set It Up, Black-ish, and The Spy Who Dumped Me—follows a classical teen movie structure of accidents and escapes that helps make Booksmart accessible to a young audience, but perhaps prevents it from better translating the frightening and exciting unpredictability of a young person’s night out. Every incident seems too unavoidable to be mistaken for a mistake.
Shameless, Season 10 (Amazon Prime, November 10)
Katie Baker: Shameless maintains a feeling of optimism. Maybe it’s because the unluckiest people are the ones who are most attuned to fortune’s extremely random ebbs and flows, whereas lucky folks just think they did something to earn it. Maybe it’s because the characters rarely seem helpless or without agency, even when they’re extremely down and out.
Two new streaming services, Disney+ and Apple TV+, both premiere this November. Here’s what you should check out from each.
The Best of Apple TV+
The Morning Show (November 1)
Herman: It’s easy to see why Tim Cook and company would view this project as an ideal beachhead in the ever-escalating war for eyeballs. Reese Witherspoon is building on the star-producer streak she perfected with Big Little Lies, Jennifer Aniston is making a splash in her first regular-series role since Friends, and Steve Carell provides both comic bona fides and just the right level of celebrity. Part of the reason figures like Aniston and Witherspoon have migrated to the small screen is that the parts they once specialized in have been all but squeezed out of the movies. Why not recreate the magic of charming people refracting each other’s charisma on TV?
For All Mankind (November 1)
Surrey: For All Mankind, coming from Battlestar Galactica showrunner Ronald D. Moore, envisions an alternate history where the USSR won the space race.
Dickinson (November 1)
Herman: Dickinson is best when it’s as audaciously weird as its subject, though it struggles to balance opium-hallucinated bees and carriage rides with the Grim Reaper alongside a cookie-cutter feminist empowerment narrative.
All the Rest
The Elephant Queen (November 1)
What is it? A documentary about a herd of elephants.
Who’s in it? Elephants, and also Chiwetel Ejiofor, who narrates.
Ghostwriter (November 1)
What is it? A reboot of a ’90s series about paranormal child detectives. This version centers on a group of kids, a ghost, and a bookstore.
Who’s in it? Amadi Chapata, Justin Sanchez, Isaac Arellanes, and Hannah Levinson.
Helpsters (November 1)
What is it? A children’s show about problem-solving monsters.
Who’s in it? Grand dames of children’s television and Sesame Street alums Jennifer Barnhart and Stephanie D’Abruzzo.
Oprah’s Book Club (November 1)
What is it? A bimonthly interview show that will pair Oprah with authors like Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Who’s in it? Oprah!
See (November 1)
What is it? An epic set in a dystopian future where humans can no longer ... see.
Who’s in it? Jason Momoa, Sylvia Hoeks, and Alfre Woodard.
Snoopy in Space (November 1)
What is it? The title really says it all; Snoopy becomes an astronaut and goes to space.
Who’s in it? Terry McGurrin voices Snoopy. He’s joined by Nicole Byer, who worked on Tuca and Bertie.
The Best of Disney+
The Mandalorian (November 12)
Surrey: Star Wars is, and will continue to be, a family-friendly enterprise—as befitting an upcoming streaming service that’s clearly marketed toward families. Rogue One, which leaned heavy on the “war” elements of the saga, is probably the best predictor of whatever edginess The Mandalorian hopes to accomplish.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (November 12)
Surrey: These colons: They’re so bad: You can’t convince me this thing is going to be watchable. It will, however, be available on Disney+ the day of the service’s release.
All the Rest
Noelle (November 12)
What is it? Santa’s daughter leaves the North Pole for the first time to bring back her brother, who’s shirking his Christmas duties.
Who’s in it? Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader, and Billy Eichner.
Lady and the Tramp (November 12)
What is it? A live-action adaptation of the 1955 animated classic.
Who’s in it? Many dogs. Also, Tessa Thompson voices Lady, and Justin Theroux voices Tramp.
Encore! (November 12)
What is it? A reality show that reunites the casts of high school musicals to recreate their past performances.
Who’s in it? Kristen Bell leads the revivals.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum (November 12)
What is it? A National Geographic travel show wherein Jeff Goldblum explores objects and activities like ice cream and square dancing.
Who’s in it? Jeff Goldblum!
Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed
Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.
Castle Rock (on Netflix)
Surrey: The Hulu anthology series is hard to describe; I’ve found “Stephen King’s MCU” to be a reliable, if not quite accurate, shorthand. Castle Rock, in essence, takes inspiration from various characters and settings from the expansive King Shared Universe to craft an entirely new story that’s fully appreciated by viewers who are, themselves, King fanatics.
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (on Netflix)
Herman: Stage Fright accurately channels the paradoxes of Slate’s persona: a voice that alternates between raspy and squeaky, lending itself to animated roles like the dorky fanfic enthusiast she plays on Big Mouth; material that’s by turns writerly (barre classes “sculpt your clit into an ancient arrowhead”) and nonverbal, using screams as effectively as words; a sensibility that’s both childlike and frankly sexual, culminating in a story about masturbating to the moon.
Rhythm + Flow (on Netflix)
Micah Peters: Rhythm + Flow is great, zero-calorie reality television. You’ll be enveloped in the drama as it unfolds—there are close-up, fidgety dressing room shots where the contestants speak freely about their dedication to music and the sheer size of the opportunity. Not every performer gets a backstory, but the right ones do. You’re given just enough info to feel each success or failure, and when it’s over, you probably won’t think about Rhythm + Flow until the next Rhythm + Flow.
El Camino (on Netflix)
Surrey: If there is a reason El Camino exists—other than because people are, like, really into Breaking Bad—it isn’t just to provide closure to Jesse’s arc with a definitive epilogue, it’s to serve as a litmus test for Jesse himself, and whether he’s capable of mending his soul and moving on with his life after everything he’s done and endured. Walt’s chapter might be closed—and don’t worry, the movie assures everyone that Walt is actually dead—but Jesse’s story at the start of El Camino is still being written.
A random collection of movies and TV shows that are a little more off the beaten path.
What to watch if you’re still in a spooky mood: Do you ever pause your brooding British mystery series and think, “This is fine, I just wish there were more ghosts”? If so, check out the BBC’s Requiem on Netflix. Cellist Matilda Gray (Lydia Wilson) goes on a trip with her musical partner Hal (Joel Fry) to uncover what was behind her mother’s violent, sudden death—leading them to a possibly haunted manor in Wales, a decades-old missing child case, and a small town of potential friends and foes.
It’s not perfect (Matilda might be kind of the worst?), but it’s got amateur sleuthing, dreary but beautiful landscapes, recognizable faces from both Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones, and my favorite mystery trope—a trip to the local library to pore over microfiche. Plus: ghosts! —Kjerstin Johnson
What to watch if you’re looking for the black version of Friends: Check, check, check it out: Living Single has the best theme song in all of television—yes, I said it. Peak ’90s Queen Latifah sings and raps behind the catchy opening credits. Plus, there’s an iconic dance sequence that you’ll try to mirror halfway through your five-season binge. Even if Hulu did install the “skip intro” button, I’d never press it.
Follow the comedic escapades of six single 20-somethings navigating their careers and relationships in New York City. Sound familiar? Now, before you Kanye this blurb and say, “I’m gonna let you finish, but Friends had the best theme song of all time,” the shows aren’t that different. Latifah’s magazine publisher, Khadijah, harnesses the same competitiveness as Monica, Kim Fields’s Regine is the group’s high-maintenance fashionista like Rachel, Max (Erika Alexander) always comes to the apartment to eat all the food like Joey, free spirit Synclaire (Kim Coles) would be BFFs with Phoebe, Overton (John Henton) brings the punch lines like Chandler, and Ross wishes he was as smooth as the Kyle Barker (Terrence Carson). Take my advice and add six more friends to your fictional character crew. I know just the posse, and they’re tight like glue. —Jordan Ligons
What to watch if you require a holiday movie the day after Thanksgiving: Kick off cheesy Christmas Movie SZN with the dynamic duo of Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez in Holiday in Handcuffs on Hulu. A tale as old as time: A single woman is going home for the holidays and, to dodge those inevitable “Why aren’t you dating someone special?” questions from her family, she handcuffs herself to a strange man she met at a diner. Ah, there’s nothing like a sweet holiday kidnapping. Lopez begrudgingly plays house with Hart, and of course they end up falling for each other. Or as the 2007 ABC Family trailer voice-over puts it, “She’s holding him hostage, but he’s stealing her heart.” Honestly, it’s iconic, and will have you counting down until the actual 25 Days of Christmas countdown. —Ligons