What to Watch This Week: December 4 to 9

From Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro's take on Pinocchio to an irreverent TMZ Christmas special, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

From Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro’s take on Pinocchio to an irreverent TMZ Christmas special, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. TMZ’s Merry Elfin’ Christmas – Monday, December 5, Fox

TMZ's Merry Elfin' ChristmasFoxWe all know the transformative power of the holiday spirit. We’ve seen it turn incorrigible misanthropes like the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge into absolute teddy bears. Even so, we could never have imagined that spirit warming the cold, snarky hearts of the team at TMZ. And yet, here they are, in a giving mood, turning over their studio to the very celebs they spend their days stalking and lampooning.  

In this all-new special, an array of actors, musicians and reality TV personalities give their own hot takes on the biggest Hollywood stories of 2022. Your eclectic hosts include: Emmy-winner Henry Winkler, Grammy-winner Kenny G, hip-hop phenom Post Malone, culinary guru Giada De Laurentiis, The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kenya Moore, attorney-to-the-stars Camille Vasquez and Motown great Smokey Robinson.

2. People’s Choice Awards – Tuesday, December 6, NBC

People's Choice AwardsNBCWhile opinions were split on how Kenan Thompson did as host of the 2022 Emmys (as they always are when it comes to award show emcees), the self-proclaimed Mayor of Television certainly impressed someone, as he’s been tapped to grab the mic for the 48th annual People’s Choice Awards. Then again, this marks the SNL funnyman’s second time hosting this particular gala, so perhaps it’s fair to say that although people may be divided, the People have spoken.  

“I’m beyond excited to host the People’s Choice Awards again this year and celebrate the incredible talent and fans that this show unites,” Thompson, who’s also up for Best Comedy TV Star tonight, said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to be nominated—shoutout to the fans and congrats to all the nominees. Get ready for Round 2!”  

In total, fans voted across 40 categories, selecting their favourites in movies, TV and music. Series like This Is Us, Abbott Elementary, Grey’s Anatomy, Saturday Night Live and Stranger Things lead the TV pack, while Nope, Bullet Train, Top Gun: Maverick and The Adam Project head up movies. In the musical arena, Adele, Taylor Swift, BTS, Shakira and Ed Sheeran are making noise, but it’s Lizzo who may be the night’s biggest honouree. In a special presentation, the three-time Grammy winner will receive the “People’s Champion” trophy. “She leads with kindness, advocates for inclusivity and champions increased diversity and equity in the industry and beyond,” the ceremony’s top brass explained in a press release. “Her commitment to breaking barriers and empowering others to use their own voices to create change makes her a true ‘People’s Champion.’ ”  

Other celebs expected to drop by include Selena Gomez, Reese Witherspoon and Charli D’Amelio. 

3. A Spy Among Friends – Thursday, December 8, Prime Video | Series Premiere

A Spy Among FriendsPrime VideoThis six-episode miniseries looks back at one of the most shocking chapters in the history of espionage: the defection of notorious British intelligence officer and KGB double agent Kim Philby (played here by Guy Pearce). Based on the New York Times bestseller, A Spy Among Friends looks at Philby’s defection to the Soviet Union through the lens of his complex relationship with MI6 colleague and close friend Nicholas Elliott (Damian Lewis). The show examines the world of espionage through their lifelong bond, and how Philby’s actions had a devastating impact on British and American intelligence and far-reaching consequences for Russia’s dealings with the West. “These fabulous scripts by Alex Cary take an up-close look at friendship—a friendship that was blinded by love, class and membership to the right clubs, and ended in betrayal and the deaths of thousands,” said Lewis. Added Pearce: “I’ve always been fascinated by the intriguing MI6 history and getting to go on this journey with Damian makes it all the more brilliant.”

4. CMA Country Christmas – Thursday, December 8, ABC

CMA Country ChristmasABCDeck the halls and check the mics! Carly Pearce hosts a few of her fellow country stars for the latest edition of this Nashville-set special. The guest list: Steven Curtis Chapman, Dan + Shay, Scotty McCreery, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Pearce, Molly Tuttle, and The War and Treaty.

5. Doom Patrol – Thursday, December 8, CTV Sci-Fi | Season Premiere

Doom PatrolCTV Sci-FiThe fourth season of this quirky DC Comics adaptation continues the adventures of the misfit superhero team—Robotman a.k.a. Cliff Steele (Brendan Fraser), Negative Man a.k.a. Larry Trainor (Matt Bomer), Elasti-Woman a.k.a. Rita Farr (April Bowlby), Crazy Jane a.k.a. Kay Challis (Diane Guerrero), Cyborg a.k.a. Victor Stone (Joivan Wade) and former supervillain Madame Rouge a.k.a. Laura De Mille (Michelle Gomez)—as they travel to the future and face their own demise.

6. Little America – Friday, December 9, Apple TV+ | Season Premiere

Little AmericaApple TV+Celebrating the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring and surprising true stories of immigrants from around the world who are pursuing the American Dream, the eight-episode second season of this critically acclaimed, award-winning drama features performances from Phylicia Rashad, Alan S. Kim, Ki Hong Lee and more. 

7. Something from Tiffany’s – Friday, December 9, Prime Video

Something From Tiffany'sPrime VideoWhen an engagement ring enclosed in a blue Tiffany & Co. box is accidentally switched with another gift, the paths of two couples (Zoey Deutch and Ray Nicholson, and Kendrick Smith Sampson and Shay Mitchell) unexpectedly cross, with some unanticipated outcomes.  

8. Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again – Friday, December 9, Disney+

Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises AgainDisney+Has it really been eight whole years since the last Night at the Museum movie? Time sure does fly… and yet, does it fly so fast that Larry Daley—Ben Stiller’s character in the three big-screen films—can possibly have a son old enough to take over his dad’s security job at the American Museum of Natural History? Well, even if it’s chronologically unlikely, that’s the premise the creators of a new cartoon spinoff flick are asking you to accept.  

This time around, young Nick Daley (voice of Joshua Barrett) is working at the museum, and his dad (now voiced by Shazam!’s Zachary Levi) has apparently filled him in on what happens after the lights go out, because he’s not exactly blindsided when Egyptian tyrant Kahmunrah—who fans will remember from film No. 2, Battle of the Smithsonian—escapes once more and prepares to go on a rampage.  

Regrettably, most of the actors from the live-action movies aren’t heading into the voice booth for this one, but you’ll doubtless enjoy hearing Steve Zahn do his best Owen Wilson impression (which seems like a perfect fit) as Jedediah the cowboy, plus Reno 911!’s Thomas Lennon tagging in for the late Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt. 

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio – Friday, December 9, Netflix

Guillermo del Toro’s PinocchioNetflixThis past September, Disney+’s live-action reboot of Pinocchio, starring Tom Hanks as Gepetto, was met with less-than-magical reviews. Now Netflix is coming at the classic yarn from a much darker angle—and who better to helm it than master of the whimsically macabre, Guillermo del Toro? To pen the script for this stop-motion animated flick, the Pan’s Labyrinth filmmaker went straight to the source material: Carlo Collodi’s 1883 fairy tale. Indeed, it’s something of a passion project for Del Toro, who first announced plans for the movie in 2008, before hitting some development snags. But by most accounts, it was worth the wait, as a limited run in theatres this past month had critics positively enchanted. 

While the narrative will be more or less familiar to fans, this version is set against the backdrop of 1930s fascist Italy—and this Pinocchio is not quite the lovable puppet of previous tellings.  

The film boasts an impeccable voice cast, including David Bradley as Gepetto and Christoph Waltz as the villainous Count Volpe, a former aristocrat who is now destitute (the character is a combination of The Fox and Mangiafuoco from the original tale). Tilda Swinton, meanwhile, plays the Wood Sprite and Ewan McGregor is Sebastian J. Cricket. As if that weren’t enough star power, Cate Blanchett, John Turturro, B.C.’s own Stranger Things breakout Finn Wolfhard and frequent Del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman round out the ensemble.  

All told, it was quite the sandbox for the director to let loose his boundless imagination. “One of the things that is very almost compulsively beautiful about this, is that these are real miniature sets, real miniature props, real miniature clothing aged to look like real fabric,” Del Toro told Collider. “It’s like a dream set you would have as a kid.”

10. Emancipation – Friday, December 9, Apple TV+

EmancipationApple TV+It’s been nine months since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars… then came back up onstage to accept his Best Actor trophy… then resigned from his position as a member of the Academy in disgrace. An awkward time for all involved—and there may be more cringes to come. You see, while Smith can no longer vote on the awards and can’t even attend the ceremony for 10 years, he’s still eligible as a nominee. And his latest film, coming to Apple TV+, could well make him a contender in absentia.  

Emancipation dramatizes the true story of a slave named Gordon, “a.k.a. Whipped Peter.” Photographs of the man’s bare back, riddled with lashes, were published in 1863, spurring on the abolitionist cause. Now, Training Day director Antoine Fuqua turns that story into a pulse-pounding chase flick, casting Smith as a man who escapes from his Louisiana plantation after being beaten within an inch of his life. Hearing that Lincoln has freed the slaves, he braves the swamps in a bid to find the northern army, facing untold perils along the way—not the least of which is a relentless slave hunter (Ben Foster).