This holiday season, streaming networks are the gifts that keeps on giving. Tune in at your leisure for the highly-anticipated film adaptation of Matilda on Netflix, a concert special of Beauty and the Beast starring H.E.R. and Josh Groban, and a new sci-fi series from playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins.
Read on for our December streaming recs, including those mentioned above and more.
Calling all Idina Menzel fans: Disney+ will present a documentary of the Tony winner’s life and career, featuring footage of her Broadway star turns in Rent and Wicked, as well as her 2018 Madison Square Garden concert. Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage? also follows her journey to motherhood through in vitro fertilization and includes interviews with family, friends, and collaborators. Stream it December 9.
R&B superstar H.E.R. and Tony nominee Josh Groban (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the upcoming Sweeney Todd revival) lead the company of ABC's animated-live action hybrid Beauty and the Beast special, pairing scenes from the 1991 Disney film with live stage performances from the Howard Ashman and Alan Menken score. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will also feature Broadway favorite Joshua Henry (Into the Woods) as Gaston, David Alan Grier (A Soldier's Play) as Cogsworth, EGOT winner Rita Moreno as the narrator, Martin Short (It's Only a Play) as Lumiere, Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon) as Maurice, Grammy winner Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, Rizwan Manji (Schitt's Creek) as LeFou, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip. Catch this tale as old as time on ABC December 15, or streaming on Disney+ beginning December 16.
Obie-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins is the pen behind the new series adaptation of Kindred. Based on the 1979 sci-fi novel by Hugo Award winner Octavia E. Butler, the story centers on a young Black writer as she is violently and mysteriously pulled back and forth between 2016 and a 19th-century plantation. Mallori Johnson stars, along with Tony nominee Micah Stock, Ryan Kwanten, Gayle Rankin, Austin Smith, David Alexander Kaplan, Sophina Brown, and Sheria Irving. Jacobs-Jenkins also serves as showrunner and executive producer for the FX series, which drops all eight episodes on Hulu December 13.
Emily in Paris is back with Season Trois, placing Lily Collins’ titular Emily at the center of a big life decision: Return to her marketing job in Chicago or stay in Paris and launch a new firm with Sylvie. She’s also waffling between suitors: chef Gabriel and new guy Alfie. Thank goodness bff Mindy (played by Broadway’s Ashley Park) is still around to help sort things out. Start the binge December 21.
Glass Onion finds Daniel Craig returning to the role of detective Benoit Blanc for the first of Netflix’s two planned Knives Out sequels. The murder mystery-comedy features an ensemble cast including Hamilton Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr., Jackie Hoffman, Kathryn Hahn, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Janelle Monáe, and more. Broadway legends Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury each make cameos as themselves—the final, posthumous film appearances for both. Stream it beginning December 23.
This season’s holiday “Miracle” is the Christmas Day streaming release of the film adaptation of Matilda the Musical, starring Alisha Weir as Matilda, a telekinetic little girl with a big imagination. Oscar winner Emma Thompson is unrecognizable as Miss Trunchbull, the heartless headmistress of Crunchem Hall. The film reunites the creative team from the Tony-nominated and Olivier-winning Best Musical with direction by Matthew Warchus, a screenplay by Dennis Kelly, and a score (with new songs) by Tim Minchin. A U.K. and U.S. theatrical release will precede the December 25 Netflix stream.