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Five shows to binge in December 2019

Phil on Film
Posted: 2:01 PM, Nov 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-02 10:05:13-05
The Mandalorian.jpg

Looking to camp out on the couch and take down a show that will keep you up way too late and help you procrastinate from doing more important tasks? Here are five shows to stream.

THE MANDALORIAN

Premise: Set in the "Star Wars" universe, the saga follows an armor and helmet-clad bounty hunter who strolls the cosmos looking for targets. The rough-hewn loner finds a soft spot when he encounters an unexpected piece of cargo.

Stars: Pedro Pascal, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, Giancarlo Esposito.

Service: Disney+.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: As lavishly produced as any "Star Wars" film, the storytelling rivals anything else to come from the storied franchise. Dizzying effects, magnificent set pieces and top-notch writing have turned "The Mandalorian" into the water cooler replacement for "Game of Thrones." Also key is "Baby Yoda," star of so many memes on your social media feeds. The first season wraps up Dec. 27.

WATCHMEN

Premise: Based on the acclaimed Alan Moore graphic novel, the dark and gritty series tells decidedly grown-up stories about costume-clad vigilantes that take deep dives into concepts including race relations, class warfare and law enforcement ethics.

Stars: Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson.

Service: HBO.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Fans of "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld" will be right at home with the brutal and unforgiving tone of the series, as well as the rich, layered writing, painterly visuals and penetrating performances. This is a mature comic book adaptation with more in common than "Joker" than "The Avengers." The debut season finale airs Dec. 15.

DOLLFACE

Premise: Newly single after her longtime boyfriend dumps her, a woman seeks to find herself by rekindling the friendships she sacriced in favor of her relationship.

Stars: Kat Dennings, Shay Mitchell, Brenda Strong, Esther Povitsky.

Service: Hulu.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: The comedy is anchored by Dennings' vulnerable, charismatic performance, and the writing takes on a tone of magical realism reminiscent of "Jane the Virgin," "Glee" and "Scrubs."

PEYTON'S PLACES

Premise: The Super Bowl-winning quarterback and star of so, so many commercials takes on a quirky road show, visiting NFL players past and present to muse about the current and past states of the game, as well as whatever other topics pop up.

Stars: Peyton Manning.

Service: ESPN+.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: A natural entertainer, Manning is just as successful at orchestrating the show as he was NFL offenses. With laughs, thought-provoking musings and killer insight, this is a perfect show to use as a whimsical break from the high-stress emotional rollercoaster of cheering on your favorite team.

FULLER HOUSE

Premise: Catching up with the characters in the beloved "Full House," a single mom gets help from her goofy friends and extended family.

Stars: Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber.

Service: Netflix.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Recapturing the innocence of 1990s sit-coms, the show is a welcome throwback that benefits from excellent cast chemistry and writing filled with so-corny-they're great gags. The chemistry among Cameron-Bure, Sweetin and Barber is particularly disarming. The fifth and final season debuts Dec. 6.

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