November means falling leaves and temperatures, and the annual tradition of eating too much turkey with all of your extended family members. Thankfully, streaming television is an antidote to both of those things. Stay inside! Don’t hang out with your slightly problematic uncle! Instead, fire up the TV and check out everything that’s coming to Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more ...
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.
Moneyball (November 1, Hulu)
Big Mouth, Season 5 (November 5, Netflix)
Alison Herman: The first and most obvious upside to Big Mouth’s animated format is how it sidesteps the awkwardness of having actual children act out the indignities and embarrassments of their tween years. The presence of grown-ups frees Big Mouth to get very grown-up with its humor. There is uncensored cursing, but also gleefully explicit discussions of masturbation (male and female; Kristen Wiig makes a cameo as Jessi’s friendly vagina), menstruation, and sexual intercourse with a pillow enhanced by two room-temperature bags of lentil soup. Big Mouth doesn’t shy away from talk of bodily fluids, irrepressible urges, and horniness so acute a particularly ripe tomato is all it takes to set it off. Instead, the show embraces the entire process zits and all, taking a time of life practically defined by crippling shame and approaching it in precisely the opposite spirit—one of openness, candor, and even celebration.
Narcos: Mexico, Season 3 (November 5, Netflix)
Dickinson, Season 3 (November 5, Apple TV+)
Herman: Whatever its faults, Dickinson mostly overpowers them through a palpable love for its subject. Snippets of Emily Dickinson’s writing often flash across the screen in loopy, brightly colored text, letting her language—and distinctive punctuation—speak for itself even as Dickinson attempts to illustrate it. Part spoof, part teen drama, part biopic, Dickinson is an audacious effort, synthesizing many genres in pursuit of a singular figure. Even when it misses the mark, it’s aiming for something great.
The Challenge: All Stars, Season 2 (November 11, Paramount+)
Randall Colburn: The Challenge: All Stars is a spinoff of MTV’s resilient competition series. It reunites the show’s bygone stars for a game that reflects the franchise’s latter-day evolution from oceanside romp to honest-to-goodness athletic contest. (Seriously, the grueling cardio and gut-dropping psych-outs of today’s Challenges barely resemble those bygone beach games.) But it also has larger significance: The series is an indicator of MTV’s strategy on the nascent streamer, which earlier this year rose from the ashes of CBS All Access after CBS merged with Viacom, MTV’s parent company.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (November 12, Disney+)
Daniel Chin: Under the direction of Destin Daniel Cretton (Just Mercy, Short Term 12), the first Asian American filmmaker to helm a movie in the MCU, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings reclaims a character who was born in the shadows of one of the most pervasive and harmful Asian stereotypes. “We were all on the same page right off the bat,” says Simu Liu, who portrays the film’s titular Chinese American superhero. “We were going to introduce an all-new origin story for this character, and the only things we were going to take from the comics were his name, his martial arts skills, and the fact that he had a complicated relationship with his father.”
Tiger King 2 (November 17, Netflix)
Megan Schuster: Sure, the show’s viewership numbers were probably inflated by the fact that COVID-19 is keeping people around the world in their homes, but any time 34 million people tune in for anything, it’s a pretty big deal.
The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (November 18, Netflix)
Jodi Walker: We come for Vanessa Hudgens, but we stay for the multiple Hudgenses, and Netflix knows it. That’s why this holiday movie season, they said: “You can take your pathological need for a coherent plot and notable chemistry over to Hulu, folks, because we’re creating a mythology here. It’s as unintelligible as it is palatable, and you—yes, you on the couch with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and a burning desire to clear your mind out completely, only to fill it back up with dancing images of more flattering peacoats than any one suitcase could ever possibly hold—you are gonna watch every second of it.”
Cowboy Bebop (November 19, Netflix)
The Great, Season 2 (November 19, Hulu)
Herman: All its analogs have the odd effect of making The Great something of a comfort watch, even as it uses the omnipresent violence of its time and place as a punch line. No, [creator] Tony McNamara didn’t invent the idea of turning the past into a projection room for modern-day anxieties like women in charge, nor making light of customs we now see as atrocities. (“How was your evening?” “Avoided rape. You?” “Same.”) But he puts these tropes to capable use, yielding a coming-of-age story whose expected pleasures are somewhat at odds with its intended shock value. Even The Great’s weak points are more forgivable.
Hawkeye (November 24, Disney+)
Selling Sunset, Season 4 (November 24, Netflix)
Herman: Even by the standards of such an artificial genre, the Netflix show Selling Sunset is a proudly artificial show. A workplace drama set at a West Hollywood real estate group, Selling Sunset trades in all the most surface-level stereotypes about the city of Los Angeles. The homes for sale are glittering glass palaces set high in the Hollywood Hills; the agents who sell them are pencil-thin bottle blonds who talk freely about boob jobs and Botox, with a couple of brunettes thrown in for diversity’s sake. Spearheaded by Adam DiVello of Laguna Beach and The Hills, Selling Sunset is the kind of slickly aspirational lifestyle content that’s designed as pure escapism—perhaps for no one so much as Angelenos themselves, who can see the distance between the city they live in and the multimillion-dollar compounds the show puts on display.
How to With John Wilson, Season 2 (November 26, HBO Max)
Justin Sayles: How to is billed as a comedy, but that misses the mark of what it truly is. Mostly, it’s a stunning act of documentary filmmaking. Wilson, who began the series as a collection of Vimeo shorts before linking up with [Nathan] Fielder, says that he spent two years collecting the footage that would make it into the show. Those thousands of hours of video are trimmed into small vignettes—a style he says he became obsessed with during his first job out of college when he worked for a private investigator distilling recordings to their “most incriminating moments.” At times, the clips on the show are played for laughs, like when a man strolls down the street with a Pomeranian draped on his head. At others, they’re morbid, like the police picking up a cardigan from a puddle of blood or paramedics dropping a corpse as they carry it out of a brownstone. But there’s a lyrical nature to the way Wilson deploys the footage as he narrates each episode. When he mentions how people often camouflage their true feelings, he shows a man hiding behind a shrub. As he talks about “things beginning to accumulate,” the camera sticks on a woman covered in at least a half-dozen pigeons. These are real people behaving naturally in the shadows. It’s the American Beauty plastic bag scene for 30 minutes, except the bag is dog shit, skunks trapped in ATM booths, and Kyle MacLachlan futilely swiping his MetroCard for 14 full seconds.
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.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 11 (HBO Max)
Katie Baker: Susie Essman, the longtime high-octane housewife Susie Greene in the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, is a real piece of work, as they say. And it requires only the slightest nudge to rev Susie up instantly from zero to 60 million miles per hour. Like that time, in Season 3 of Curb, when it takes her all of 10 seconds to accelerate from gracefully offering a tour of her new home to her best frenemy—played by the show’s misanthropic creator Larry David—to gracing Larry with a now familiar refrain: “Get the fuck out of my house!!!!”
After 20 years and 10 seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which debuted at the turn of the millennium and premiered its 11th season in October, there’s a whole lot more where that came from, a veritable L.A. freeway’s worth of “You four-eyed fuck!!!”s and “You car wash cunt!!!”s all cutting each other off.
The Velvet Underground (Apple TV+)
Dune (HBO Max)
You, Season 3 (Netflix)
Herman: You’s high-wire act may have been successful, but it wasn’t sustainable. At a certain point, the show risked becoming the story of a guy who literally, and repeatedly, gets away with murder—a shrewd exaggeration of sexism that still underscored a sexist status quo. (Enough fans weren’t getting the message that Penn Badgley had to personally shoot down a few thirst tweets.) But in the final moments of Season 2, You made a pivot. All season, Joe pursued chef and faux-Erewhon heiress Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), convinced she was his soulmate. He was more right than he knew. Love, it turned out, was every bit the deceptive schemer Joe was, and just as capable of committing manslaughter on a whim. Plus she was pregnant, taking Joe’s preferred quick fix (the fatal kind) off the table. Off to Madre Linda they went! Even killers’ kids need good schools and a spacious backyard.
Insecure, Season 5 (HBO Max)
Halloween Kills (Peacock)
Miles Surrey: In Halloween Kills, the citizens of Haddonfield are fed up with the bogeyman. No matter how much time has passed by, the Illinois town can’t seem to break free from the traumatic events of 40 years ago when Michael Myers went on his infamous killing spree. (In the needlessly confusing timeline of the Halloween franchise, the 2018 Halloween and Halloween Kills are direct sequels to the original movie, effectively decanonizing the rest of the series.) But now that Myers is once again on the loose—albeit for, technically, only the second time—the townsfolk are ready to fight back. Led by Tommy Doyle, the little boy Laurie Strode babysat in the original Halloween who now looks like the heavy in a gangster movie, the people of Haddonfield let out their rallying cry: “Evil dies tonight!” Except that—[narrator voice]—evil does not die tonight.
Succession, Season 3 (HBO Max)
Herman: You don’t get to be the best show on TV without containing multitudes. From the start, HBO’s Succession has operated on several levels: the intimate scale of family, and the global one of corporate warfare; the savage comedy of satire, and the deep sadness of Shakespearean tragedy. But starting in October, the show shifts into yet another mode. In its long-awaited third season, Succession is essentially an extended horror movie—the story of a man haunted by familial ghosts, trapped in an emotional Trump Tower of terror he can’t escape. Happy Halloween!