What to Watch This Week: December 3 to 8

From Rush frontman Geddy Lee’s bass-heavy new series to Christmas specials featuring Demi Lovato, Wynonna Judd and Batman, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. Stavros Halkias: Fat Rascal – Tuesday, December 5, Netflix

Your weekly dose of Netflix standup arrives in the form of Baltimore funnyman Stavros Halkias, who here riffs on “identity and body image, the undeserved social status enjoyed by the tech industry, and dating while spiralling both physically and mentally.”

2. Archie – Tuesday, December 5, BritBox | Series Premiere

The icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age were, and continue to be, steeped in a certain mystique—defined by their most memorable big-screen performances in a way that actors plying their trade in the era of TMZ simply cannot be.

A new four-part miniseries gives us a more honest, intimate look at the life of one such icon: Cary Grant, born Archibald Leach. Harry Potter alum Jason Isaacs plays the man himself, who was born into dire poverty in Bristol, England, circa 1904—where a philandering father, the tragic death of his brother and a mother consumed by grief would propel “Archie” to a life of epic fame and quiet suffering.

Joining the Bob Pender Troupe of acrobats, clowns and comedians at age 14, he made his way to the United States, where a chance meeting with legendary comic George Burns landed him a contract with a big-time movie studio. From there, the dashing young Brit would come to define “suave” for a generation, proving himself one of the most bankable stars of the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. And yet, despite all that success, “deceit, cruelty and one overpowering lie shaped Archie’s life.”

Written by Stan & Ollie scribe Jeff Pope, the series hones in on its star’s 1960s romance with actress Dyan Cannon, who serves as an executive producer on the project, along with their daughter, Jennifer Grant.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Isaacs summed up his Archie experience as follows: “When I was offered the role, I thought I ought to run a million miles in the other direction. Cary Grant was dazzlingly suave, a lady-killer and beloved by the entire world. Then I read the script and realized this was about Archie Leach, not Cary Grant. It’s about a damaged man, who created an avatar so people couldn’t see how damaged he was… He got the whole world to love him, but he was riddled with anxiety and addiction.”

3. Geddy Lee Asks: Are Bass Players Human Too? – Tuesday, December 5, Paramount+ | Series Premiere

Join Geddy Lee, the legendary singer and bass player for Canadian rock trio Rush, as he embarks on a journey to get inside the lives of some of rock music’s most iconic bassists. In this new series, Lee visits the homes of four fellow bass players: Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, Melissa Auf der Maur of Hole, Robert Trujillo of Metallica, and Les Claypool of Primus. “I’m trying to show the world that a bass player can do many things, that covers all the bases,” Lee says in the show, in which he strives to take viewers on a deep dive into the lives of these musicians in order to explore their expansive lives beyond the music they play. “The idea for this show was born out of interviews I did for my first book The Big, Beautiful Book of Bass,” Lee said in a statement. “I was struck that these accomplished musicians also lived incredibly interesting, multifaceted lives offstage. Who knew bass players were so effin’ human?”

4. SmartLess: On the Road – Wednesday, December 6, Crave1 | Series Premiere

Kicking off with two back-to-back episodes, this new limited series follows Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes as they take their wildly popular SmartLess podcast on tour throughout the U.S. Along the way, they’ll be joined by an array of celebrity guests, including Will Ferrell, Conan O’Brien, David Letterman, Matt Damon, Jimmy Kimmel, Kevin Hart and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

5. The Archies – Thursday, December 7, Netflix

Imagine what life would have been like for Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the Archie comics gang if their wholesome adventures took place in the 1960s and Riverdale was located in India. That’s the gist of this wild new movie, bursting with bold Bollywood-style dance numbers.

6. Christmas at the Opry – Thursday, December 7, Global & NBC

Take a break from the rain, sleet and snow with a televisual trip to Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa in Hawaii and Walt Disney World in Florida, where Mickey, Minnie et al. are joined by an array of pop stars to sing in the holiday season.

7. My Life with the Walter Boys – Thursday, December 6, Netflix | Series Premiere

Eliciting tears, chuckles and swoons in pretty much equal measure, Netflix’s latest coming-of-age dramedy follows Jackie Howard (On My Block’s Nikki Rodriguez), a teenaged Manhattanite who has her sights firmly set on getting into Princeton… until a sudden tragedy leaves her orphaned. After that, she’s forced to move to small-town Colorado to stay with her mom’s best friend Dr. Katherine Walter (Suits’ Sarah Rafferty) and husband George (Buffy’s Marc Blucas), who are already raising 10 sons of their own. Grappling with sorrow and adjusting to a vastly different way of life, Jackie also finds herself in the middle of a love triangle with two of the Walter brothers: “the reliable and bookish Alex (Ashby Gentry), and the mysterious and troubled Cole (Noah LaLonde).”

8. Merry Little Batman – Friday, December 8, Prime Video

In this animated holiday special, Damian Wayne (son of Batman alter-ego Bruce Wayne) discovers a heinous plot to steal Christmas, and rises to the occasion to thwart the scheme while his dad fights Gotham City’s coterie of supervillains, including the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze and more.

9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Christmas: Cabin Fever – Friday, December 8, Disney+

Across the past 15 years or so, no pop-cultural creator has captured the painfully hilarious (or hilariously painful) experience of being an awkward middle-schooler quite so precisely as author Jeff Kinney.

His work has been adapted into both live-action and animated screen projects, the latter of which have ended up encapsulating the spirit of the source material most astutely.

The latest, debuting on streamer Disney+, finds Greg (voice of Wesley Kimmel) getting into a holiday debacle after his efforts to make a snowman end up destroying a snowplow. Fleeing the scene of the proverbial crime, right when a blizzard hits, Greg winds up trapped with his family, and his guilt. Worse yet, he might just have naughtied his way out of the video-game system he wanted from Santa.

10. A Very Demi Holiday Special – Friday, December 8, Roku Channel

Pop superstar Demi Lovato has been through the proverbial ringer these last few years. In fact, her struggles with addiction, including a near-fatal overdose in 2018, were the theme of her 2022 album Holy Fvck (yes, that’s a “v,” not a “u”) and its hit single “Skin of My Teeth.”

Yet for her latest project, the former Disney Channel moppet takes a break from plumbing the depths of her tortured soul to get into the holiday spirit via a good old-fashioned, holly-jolly Christmas special.

Joined by a few of her still-TBA celebrity pals, Lovato will perform such yuletide standards as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock,” as well as a few of her own hits. Mixed in along the way will be a very unexpected duet.

Steeped in nostalgia and tradition though it may be, don’t expect this to be your typical Christmas concert. As Lovato mused in a press release: “The holidays are such a special time of year, and I can’t wait to put my special twist on the celebrations!”

Producer Michael D. Ratner of OBB Pictures added: “We’ve had the honour of collaborating with Demi a number of times… we’ve seen first-hand how uniquely multi-talented Demi is. Yet again, in typical Demi fashion, A Very Demi Holiday Special delivers.”