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7 New Netflix Shows to Binge in December, and the Best Reasons to Watch

Netflix is filling your stocking with holiday cheer this December, releasing cheery Christmas specials and a sleigh-full of new TV.

Watership Down Season 1 Netflix

“Watership Down”

Netflix

5. Netflix Original Series’ Christmas Specials (available in December)

"Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter's Tale" Netflix Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan Shipka in “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale”

Dean Buscher/Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Netflix is releasing a lot of content in December, but in case their many holiday-themed options don’t light up your tree (so to speak), there’s also a few new specials tied to pre-existing programming. Did you enjoy Netflix’s dark adaptation of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” aptly titled “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”? Then you’ll want to tune in for the holiday special, “A Midwinter’s Tale” (available December 14). Are you a “Vampire Weekend” superfan, Jaden Smith stan, or someone otherwise inclined to like Ezra Koenig’s peculiar anime series “Neo Yokio”? Then odds are you’ll enjoy “Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas” (available December 7).

Bonus Reason: Maybe you’re just caught the holiday spirit and want to sample a few programs without committing to full seasons. If so, then these are your best bets… even though you’re likely to better appreciate them with a little background info. But who are we to tell you how to celebrate the holidays? Go with your gut and enjoy the vacation.

6. “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” Season 11 (available December 25)

NAIROBI, KENYA - FEB 25: Anthony Bourdain with W. Kamau Bell in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya on February 25, 2018. (photo by David Scott Holloway)

Anthony Bourdain with W. Kamau Bell

David Scott Holloway

Why Should I Watch? When the world lost Anthony Bourdain earlier this year, it was difficult to process the chef’s sudden and tragic departure. But fans have come to appreciate the man all over again through the work he left behind, including the final seasons of his Emmy-winning docuseries, “Parts Unknown.” CNN debuted Season 12 this fall, but fans without a cable subscription can prepare for those last episodes by bingeing their way through Season 11, which includes remarkable trips to Hong Kong, Berlin, and… West Virginia. Yup, West Virginia. Bourdain knew how to find a good dish anywhere — and how to dish about it.

Bonus Reason: Bourdain’s Mardi Gras episode finds the host digging so deep into the local culture he even dresses up in a vibrant, multicolored costume for a traditional chicken run.

7. “You” Season 1 (available December 26)

You Lifetime Joe Beck

“You”

Lifetime

Why Should I Watch? An addictive black comedy with enough twists and turns to make the thrills feel legit, “You” follows an aspiring writer, Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), as he develops an attraction that quickly turns into an obsession over a brilliant bookstore owner named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Joe uses the modern day stalker’s tools of the trade — social media — to convince her they share interests and he knows her better than anyone else. “You” constantly toes the line between twisted affection and outright sociopathy, but the speed at which it launches through the story is enthralling. Plus, Badgley is pretty damn good.

Bonus Reason: “You” comes from superproducer Greg Berlanti (“Legends of Tomorrow,” “Riverdale”) and Sera Gamble. Gamble co-created another addictive hit, Syfy’s “The Magicians,” as well as the gone-before-its-time “Aquarius” and plenty of scripts for the long-running CW series “Supernatural.” She’s one of the good ones, and she just so happens to be on a creative hot streak, too.

Bonus: “Roma”

Alfonso Curaon directs Talitza Aparicio in "Roma"

Alfonso Curaon directs Talitza Aparicio in “Roma”

Netflix

As an IndieWire employee, I’m contractually obligated to mention “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón’s heartbreaking portrait of a ’70s era Mexican housekeeper. Not only did the Oscar-winning director’s film premiere at the Venice Film Festival, but it’s a foreign-language, black-and-white, emotionally devastating indie film — it needs all the help it can get. (It’s also produced by Participant Media, who just so happened to make the year’s best docuseries, “America to Me.”) But as one of the privileged few to see it in theaters, let me tell you earnestly and without reservation, “Roma” is one of the best Netflix experiences you’ll ever have. Turn off your phone, turn down the lights, and immerse yourself in an enriching personal journey with stunning atmosphere, precise direction, and one whopper of a bad dog. At the very least, you’ll know what all the presenters are talking about come Oscar time.

The Rest of Incoming TV

“Man vs. Wild with Sunny Leone” Season 1 (available December 1)
“Memories of the Alhambra” (available December 1, available every Saturday)
“The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass” Season 5 Masterclasses (available December 1)
“Hero Mask” Season 1 (available December 3)
“The Sound of Your Heart” Season 2 (available December 3)
“Bad Bloods” Season 1 (available December 7)
“Dogs of Berlin” Season 1 (available December 7)
“Nailed It! Holiday!” Season 1 (available December 7)
“Pine Gap” Season 1 (available December 7)
“The Hook Up Plan (Plan Coeur)” (available December 7)
“Sin senos si hay paraiso” Season 3 (available December 9)
“Back Street Girls: Gokudols” Season 1 (available December 12)
“Wanted” Season 3 (available December 13)
“Cuckoo” Season 4 (available December 14)
“Fuller House” Season 4 (available December 14)
“Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons” Season 3 (available December 14)
“Sunderland Til I Die” Season 1 (available December 14)
“The Fix” Season 1 (available December 14)
“The Innocent Man” (available December 14)
“Tidelands” Season 1 (available December 14)
“Travelers” Season 3 (available December 14)
“Voltron: Legendary Defender” Season 8 (available December 14)
“Baki” Season 1 (available December 18)
“Terrace House: Opening New Doors” Part 5 (available December 18)
“3Below: Tales of Arcadia” Part 1 (available December 21)
“7 Days Out” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Back With the Ex” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Derry Girls” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Diablero” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Greenleaf” Season 3 (available December 21)
“LAST HOPE” Part 2 (available December 21)
“Perfume” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Sirius the Jaeger” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Tales by Light” Season 3 (available December 21)
“The Casketeers” Season 1 (available December 21)
“Wolf” (“BÖRÜ”) Season 1 (available December 21)
“Hi Score Girl” Season 1 (available December 24)
“The Magicians” Season 3 (available December 24)
“Alexa & Katie” Season 2 (available December 26)

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