The best new Netflix UK series, films, and documentaries to binge in December 2018, courtesy of Secret London.
Winter arrives, and the urge to stay in and watch TV gets ever stronger. Here’s the best of what to watch on Netflix UK this December, as well as some winners available now. Plus, a tantalising glimpse at what lies in store in 2019.
New to Netflix UK in December 2018:
Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (December 7)
An all-star cast lend their voices to Andy Serkis’ adaptation of The Jungle Book, with Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett, and Christian Bale starring.
The Holiday (December 7)
It just isn’t Christmas without this beloved seasonal romcom, is it? The heartwarming cross-Atlantic romance is enough to make you warm and cosy, even if some serious home envy is in the offing.
Dumplin’ (December 7)
Jennifer Aniston is the acerbic pageant queen, Danielle Macdonald is her determined daughter out to prove that pageants are stupid in this lovable Netflix original film.
Roma (December 14)
Alfonso Cuaron’s black and white tale of 1970s Mexico City is already generating serious Oscar buzz. See it this month, and you can be that smug person who caught it before everyone else did. And don’t we all just love being that person?
Springsteen on Broadway (December 16)
The Boss is back, with a massive Broadway run featuring acoustic performances and stories about Growin’ Up and breaking into the music industry. Should a trip to see him in person elude you, Netflix’s documentary will have you Dancing In The Dark.
You (December 26)
Love does crazy things to people. It’s certainly doing odd things to Gossip Girl alum Penn Badgley, whose determination to win the heart of a budding novelist leads him to obsession and murder.
The best of the rest – coming to Netflix UK in December 2018
Planning to spend most of December under some blankets on the sofa? Netflix has you sorted. Laughs come courtesy of Legally Blonde (December 21) and About A Boy (December 7), whilst The Dude abides in The Big Lebowski from the 7th. Life is a hardscrabble affair for the protagonists of stellar sequel T2: Trainspotting 2 (December 22) and the excellent August Wilson adaptation Fences (December 30). Netflix’s year ends on a pretty chilling note, with dystopian drama Bird Box dropping on the 21st, and Silence of the Lambs arriving on New Year’s Eve – who’s hungry?
TV Land is blessed with the fourth seasons of both Peaky Blinders (December 19) and the twisty How To Get Away With Murder (December 9). There’s similarly shady stuff happening in Netflix’s original Dogs of Berlin (December 7), as two German cops battle the seedy underworld and their own corruption to get to the bottom of a murder.
The serious stuff comes from Netflix’s slate of documentaries. Out of Many, One (December 12) talks to a series of immigrants preparing to become US citizens, and asks what brought them to America. Meanwhile, the unsolved murder of Run-DMC’s charismatic DJ is the focus of ReMastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay? (December 7). Finally, The Innocent Man will delve into the controversial story of Ron Williamson, who spent 11 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit – it drops on the 14th.
Now streaming – new to Netflix UK in November 2018:
They’re already here, so check ’em out!
House of Cards, Season 6
Kevin Spacey-less, but just as compelling, the final season of House of Cards is streaming now. Robin Wright takes centre stage as the first female president, but it won’t be an easy ride.
A muddy and bloody period drama, this Netflix Original film tells the tale of Robert the Bruce, hunted by English forces after he takes the Scottish crown. Chris Pine takes the titular role, burr and all.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Despite the cynicism surrounding Disney’s cashing in on the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One proved to be a rollicking ride, and a stellar addition to the canon. Now’s your chance to catch it on the small screen.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
A film in six parts, as Hollywood royalty the Coen brothers direct this anthology. Being a Western, it isn’t exactly breaking the mould for the duo, but a cast including Liam Neeson, Zoe Kazan, and James Franco makes it a promising affair.
The Final Table
London’s very own Clare Smyth takes her place at the Final Table, alongside the great and good of the culinary world. Bidding to join her are a series of international chefs, each aiming to cook their way to the top.
The Christmas Chronicles
To be honest, I’m giving Netflix props for waiting this long to drop some Christmas content on us. Kurt Russell is the splendidly beardy Santa in this family-friendly romp through all things Xmas.
The best of the rest for November 2018
Fancy a quest? You’ll get just that with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Or, if you’d prefer your adventures to be a little more out-of-this-world, you can get your kicks from Passengers and Arrival. On the romantic front, there’s wartime courtship in Allied and love after death in PS: I Love You.
Your TV addiction continues with The Kominsky Method, featuring Michael Douglas navigating Hollywood as a one-time actor turned acting coach. Season 2 of The Sinner follows the homecoming of Detective Harry Ambrose, drawn into a chilling murder investigation. Meanwhile, things are equally criminal in Narcos: Mexico, which dramatises the beginnings of the modern drug trade.
Entertaining documentary fare comes in the form of Tricky Dick & The Man in Black, which explores Johnny Cash’s trip to the Nixon White House in 1970. Similarly engaging is They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, an intriguing look into Orson Welles’ obsessive and ultimately fruitless attempt to complete The Other Side of the Wind, his final film.
Coming to Netflix UK in 2019
We’ve sifted through the rumours, hearsay, and snippets of information to take a look forward to 2019. They don’t have streaming dates yet, but keep your eyes peeled for this lot.
Further series of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, 13 Reasons Why, Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, Glow, Ozark, and A Series of Unfortunate Events will all arrive on Netflix next year. That’s a lot of TV to look forward to, but some new series will compete for attention. The Amy Poehler-produced Russian Doll will see a New Yorker trapped in a party that never ends, whilst Turn Up Charlie will have Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba working as a nanny/DJ (sign us up for that one). Meanwhile, Sex Education is an offbeat tale of high schooler/sex therapist Asa Butterfield, with Gillian Anderson as his scene-stealing mother.
The big news on the film front is that Martin Scorsese will release a Netflix original film. He’s not straying too far from what he knows; The Irishman is billed as a mob epic, with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel set to tell the tale of murdered union leader Jimmy Hoffa. Six Underground, meanwhile, has upsides and downsides. On the upside, it’ll star Ryan Reynolds, and the writers of Deadpool are on board. On the downside, it’s got Michael Bay directing. Honestly, it could go either way. Meanwhile, Mads Mikkelsen plays a hitman coming out of retirement in Polar, based on a cult graphic novel, and Beats will see Anthony Anderson unwillingly mentoring an upcoming hip-hop star.
Finally, 2019 is already set to get a couple of barnstorming documentaries. Central Park Five, directed by the incomparable Ava DuVernay, will explore the false conviction in 1990 of five young men for a sexual assault in New York. On the nature front, Our Planet is the next offering from the Planet Earth team – expect incredible footage and breathtaking stories, though there’s no word yet on whether David Attenborough will narrate.