From festive decor battles to joyous musical romps, we round up the top 10 shows to watch this week
1. 90 Day Fiancé – Sunday, December 6, 5 p.m. & 9 p.m., TLC | Season Premiere
TLCHow long is 90 days, really? It could be a workout program. Or a countdown to Christmas, perhaps? In the case of this series, which continues to floor us with its eclectic, continent-crossed lovebirds, it’s the difference between getting hitched or calling quits on a deeply fraught relationship.
Yes, season eight of the watercooler-worthy fave has arrived, featuring four new and three returning pairs of hapless romantics. Based on the trailer, many of them actually start this year off in fairly promising fashion, with champagne glasses and even bigger champagne dreams. But as we all know, that kind of love is oh-so-seldom everlasting.
Sure, things seem OK for returning couple Tarik and Hazel, but when Hazel reveals she’s bisexual, Tarik’s loved ones begin to seriously question the relationship. Then there’s Mike and Natalie, another pair of returnees who seem happy at the outset, but pressure quickly mounts when they learn that she must move to the United States within 20 days of receiving her visa.
And of course, there are the newbies to look forward to, like Brandon and his Russian bride Julia. He’s a farmhand and expects his would-be Mrs. to take up the family business upon arrival, but perhaps he underestimates her fun-loving ways. Or how about Jovi and Yara, who clearly imbibed a little too much on their vacay before declaring themselves meant to be? Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly: Andrew and Amira, a couple facing far less frivolous challenges, when she winds up stuck in a detention centre—reminding us all that, while it’s entertaining to gawk as these quirky duos fumble for everlasting love, a sobering dose of reality is never too far away.
2. A Holly Dolly Christmas – Sunday, December 6, 8 p.m., CBS
CBSIf ever there was a year for a bright and light yuletide season with a touch of extravagance, it’s this one. Enter Dolly Parton, who always seems to make life a little sunnier wherever she pops up. The iconic singer hosts an hour-long special this week, bringing what a press release promises to be “much-needed joy and holiday cheer at the end of this challenging year.”
So, what exactly does that mean? Apparently, an intimate, candlelit performance from the Queen of Country herself, who just a couple of months back released her first Christmas album in 30 years (while also starring as a silky-voiced angel in a Netflix musical).
Tonight, she’ll croon classic tunes and a few new ditties, in addition to sharing personal holiday stories and faith-based recollections of the season.
3. Euphoria – Sunday, December 6, 8 p.m. & 1:25 a.m., HBO Canada
HBO CanadaIt’s been well over a year since we caught up with recovering teen addict Rue and her array of beautiful, broken friends—though the show is certainly still fresh in our minds thanks to star Zendaya’s surprise win at the Emmys. It’ll still be a little while before we see a second season, but this week, the first of two holiday specials arrives to help bridge the gap.
A refresher: in season one’s finale, Rue was abandoned by Jules at the train station, triggering a relapse. It’s not clear if this special picks up in the immediate aftermath; all we know is that Rue will be celebrating Christmas. That said, the episode, titled “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” also features an appearance by Rue’s Narcotics Anonymous bud Ali (Colman Domingo), which we choose to take as a good sign.
Details on the second special are still TBA.
4. Shameless – Sunday, December 6, 8 p.m., Crave1 | Season Premiere
ShowtimeOriginally set for a summertime run, the long-delayed 11th and final season of Shameless kicks off this week, giving fans a chance to drop in to the South Side of Chicago and say an extended farewell to the Gallaghers. “There’s never an end to the things we can satirize in the American projects, so I think [viewers] should expect more of the same,” said showrunner John Wells of the final storylines, promising big changes for all members of this felonious family.
5. The Great Christmas Light Fight – Wednesday, December 9, 8 p.m., ABC | Season Premiere
ABCCarter Oosterhouse and Taniya Nayak return to emcee this outdoor décor battle, spotlighting some of America’s most elaborate holiday displays. Follow along with families who are hoping to “sleigh” the competition and earn themselves a frosty $50,000 Christmas bonus.
6. I Can See Your Voice – Wednesday, December 9, 9:01 p.m., Global & Fox | Season Finale
GlobalArguably the most bizarre music battle on TV wraps season one as Ken Jeong welcomes one last batch of contestants to hazard their best guess on whether the performers they’re watching are really good singers or really good syncers.
7. Let Them All Talk – Friday, December 11, 8 p.m., Crave1
CraveThe latest from director Steven Soderbergh stars three-time Oscar-winner Meryl Streep as acclaimed author Alice Hughes, who’s hobbled by a crippling case of writer’s block. In order to get the creativity flowing, she decides to reconnect with two old friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) on a cruise, where the trio attempt to heal old wounds as Alice is forced to confront the pain she’s inflicted on those around her over the years. The author and her friends are accompanied by her young nephew (Lucas Hedges) and her literary agent (Gemma Chan), who wind up hooking up, despite a bit of an age difference.
What makes the film particularly interesting is how quickly it came together; filming took just two weeks, with minimal crew and Soderbergh manning the camera himself. Even more intriguing: there was no script, with the actors improvising their dialogue based on a rough outline. “Guerilla filmmaking!” Bergen described the experience to Entertainment Weekly.
8. I'm Your Woman – Friday, December 11, Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Prime VideoRachel Brosnahan has already won us over with her star turn on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. But fans are about to see a whole new, equally enthralling side of the Golden Globe winner in this ’70s-set thriller from director Julia Hart (Disney+’s Stargirl).
She plays Jean, a suburban housewife living the American Dream—albeit one financed by a husband (Bill Heck) who’s a professional thief. But when said husband double-crosses his partners, he’s forced on the run, leaving Jean and their new baby under the watchful eye of his mysterious friend Cal (Arinzé Kene). Then, Cal also vanishes.
With no clue who she can really trust, or who might be gunning for her family (including law enforcement), Jean will need to reinvent herself as a stone-cold criminal, in a saga of “love, betrayal, motherhood—and what it takes to claim your life as your own.”
9. The Wilds – Friday, December 11, Amazon Prime Video | Series Premiere
Amazon Prime VideoA little bit Lord of the Flies, a little bit Hunger Games and a whole lotta Lost: that’s the recipe for this new thriller, centring on a disparate array of teen girls pulled together for an empowerment retreat, which hits a bit of a snag when their plane crashes and they wash up on a deserted island.
10. The Prom – Friday, December 11, Netflix
NetflixSay what you will about Ryan Murphy—and people do tend to have strong opinions about the prolific producer who’s given us Nip/Tuck, Glee and American Horror Story—but he knows what he wants and has the power to make those things happen. Case in point: The Prom. After seeing the Broadway show in January 2019, Murphy decided it demanded a film adaptation, and within a month, not only had he secured the rights and gotten a greenlight from Netflix, he’d lined up his dream cast (James Corden, Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep and Kerry Washington), and had the start of filming all set for December, with Murphy himself directing. Unfortunately, COVID kicked in before they’d finished. But even then, Murphy, Netflix and a team of epidemiologists managed to put together an industry protocol to get back into production and finish the flick.
If you aren’t familiar with the original play, it revolves around a pair of NYC stage stars (Streep and Corden) who, reeling from the flop of their latest show, try to salvage their careers by helping a girl in Indiana (Jo Ellen Pellman) who’s been banned from attending prom with her girlfriend by the local PTA.
“This is a love letter to Hollywood musicals that we all grew up on,” Murphy told Variety. “I’ve never done something so old-fashioned. My work tends to be a little bit edgier. I really set out to make something that was for everyone, something that parents can watch with their kids.”