“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham’s Christmas special and this week’s edition of “Dancing With the Stars” promising celebrities swaying to the music of Taylor Swift are some of the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you.
Also among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists is a collection of 55 Tina Turner singles from 1975-2023, Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” is finally available to watch in your living room and Adam Sandler voices a 74-year-old lizard in Netflix’s animated “Leo.”
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Are you and your home entertainment system prepared? After making nearly $950 million at the box office, Christopher Nolan’s three-hour “Oppenheimer” is finally available to watch in your living room. There’s a streaming version available to purchase for $19.99 on Amazon and Apple platforms, as well as 4K Ultra HD and Blu-Ray options with over 3 hours of extras, with everything overseen by Nolan. AP Film Writer Jake Coyle wrote in his review that, “There are times in Nolan’s latest opus that flames fill the frame and visions of subatomic particles flitter across the screen — montages of Oppenheimer’s own churning visions. But for all the immensity of ‘Oppenheimer,’ this is Nolan’s most human-scaled film — and one of his greatest achievements.”
— Adam Sandler plays a 74-year-old class lizard named “Leo” in the latest Netflix animation offering. Worried he’s wasted his life in a cage, Leo tries to plot his escape when a kid in the school is assigned to take him home. But some mishaps ensue and he ends up befriending some of the elementary school kids when they learn he can talk. Sandler is joined by a strong comedic voice cast including Bill Burr, Cecily Strong, Jason Alexander, Jo Koy and, of course, Rob Schneider.
— Good golly, Miss Molly, is Little Richard the uncrowned king of rock ‘n’ roll? The documentary “Little Richard: I Am Everything,” directed by Lisa Cortés and streaming on Max, makes a solid case. His flamboyant and boundary pushing lyrics, style and music had a direct influence on famous acts to follow, including the Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Mick Jagger and even filmmaker John Waters, who calls his own mustache a “twisted tribute” to Little Richard. In his review, AP critic Mark Kennedy wrote “Cortés’ film is also the story of American rock itself, the way transistor radios allowed teens in the ‘50s to rebel against their parents’ staid music and how Black music was appropriated by white bands.”
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— The music world lost a giant when Tina Turner, the undisputed “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” died in May 2023. She left behind an incredible body of work, songs that only become more deeply felt with the passage of time. To celebrate the prolific artist, Rhino Records releases “Turner, Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll (A Collection of All Her Singles From 1975-2023)” on Black Friday – a massive collection of 55 tracks across five vinyl records and three CDs. But if physical media isn’t your thing – and this series is called “What to Stream,” after all — the set will be available on streaming platforms, too.
— Take That, the gargantuan British boy band turned man-pop group that gave the world Robbie Williams, are releasing their ninth studio album. Titled “This Life,” it is their first full-length album in seven years, a rare reunion for a band not on a break. It’s also an exciting listen: there’s a plucky warmth to these songs, like on the acoustic single “Windows” — no doubt the influence of Savannah, Georgia, where the band made most of the record. It’s a lovely album from one of the most successful bands in British chart history – the result of getting the guys back together and finding a new sound with some old friends.
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Since “Fargo” began airing on FX as an anthology series, each season has featured an impressive roster of talent including Billy Bob Thornton, Chris Rock and Kirsten Dunst stepping into its quirky world of folksy Midwesterners mixed up in the law. “Fargo: Year 5,″ is no different. Juno Temple stars as a woman whose strange behavior catches the attention of local authorities. Jon Hamm, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Richa Moorjani, Joe Keery, Lamorne Morris and Dave Foley also appear.
— Celebrities competing on season 32 of “Dancing with the Stars” have had to jive, waltz and foxtrot their way through a number of themed episodes including Disney music, music video night and a Whitney Houston tribute, but we’ll find out whether they’re “… Ready for It” on the Tuesday episode, dedicated to Taylor Swift. The show aired a video message from the superstar where she said she couldn’t wait to watch the celebration of her “Eras.” Who will be the “Fearless” performer of the night and swift-ly rise to the top of the leaderboard? Famed choreographer Mandy Moore helps decide when she sits in as a guest judge.
— When “Squid Game” premiered on Netflix in 2021, viewers were both captivated and terrified by the deadly child-like games featured in the story. On Wednesday, the streamer debuted a new 10-episode competition called “Squid Game: The Challenge.” In this version, real people get the chance to take part in challenges inspired by the show — without the life-threatening consequences. Over 450 contestants from across the globe kick off the competition where the winner leaves with $4.56 million.
— Margery Williams’ classic children’s book ”The Velveteen Rabbit” comes to Apple TV+ in a new special featuring the voices of Helena Bonham Carter and Nicola Coughlan of “Bridgerton.” With a mix of live-action and animation, it tells the tale of a young boy who receives a new toy for Christmas that introduces him to a magical world with lessons of friendship.
— Besides her Emmy-winning role on “Ted Lasso,” Hannah Waddingham has an extensive musical theater background. She showcases those talents in a Christmas special for Apple TV+ called “Hannah Waddingham: Home for Christmas.” Available now, the concert was taped in front of a live audience at the London Coliseum and features special guests.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— The big game publishers are taking the holiday week off, but there are some intriguing indie adventures worth checking out while you’re recovering from your turkey coma. Worldless, a collaboration among three European studios, is a blend of turn-based fighting and running-and-jumping exploration in a striking-looking “newborn universe.” It’s out now on Xbox X/S/One, PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
In Stars and Time, from California’s Armor Games, is more earthbound, with black-and-white graphics that evoke both anime and 1980s Mac games. But once the protagonists discover they’re trapped in a time loop, it zips off into a metaphysical mystery. The journey unfolds on PlayStation 5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.