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“Shadow Lines” (Sundance Now streaming anytime) Surely, somebody out there is seriously jonesing for a period spy series from Finland. Set in 1950s Helsinki, this Finnish, English and Russian language thriller delivers plenty of post-war intrigue and has already been greenlit for a second season.
“New Mexico Bowl” (ESPN 1:30pm) Expect lots and lots and lots of college football for the next couple of weeks. Might as well start here, with the traditional New Mexico Bowl—which, thanks to COVID, will be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas and will feature no New Mexico teams. Hawaii’s Rainbow Warriors square off against the Houston Cougars.
“Bridgerton” (Netflix streaming anytime) Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder”) gets all anglophile on us with this Regency era drama about eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempting to find love amid the upper crust. I’m guessing Rhimes has been reading a lot of Jane Austen lately.
Wonder Woman 1984 (HBO Max streaming anytime) Warner Bros. puts a very large nail in the coffin of theatrical movie releases by sending its would-be summer 2020 blockbuster to premiere on its streaming service for Christmas. Gal Godot returns as the super-powered Amazonian princess, now fighting evil in the neon-colored 1980s.
Soul (Disney+ streaming anytime) Not to be outdone by HBO, Disney drops its newest Pixar animated feature to streaming. Jamie Foxx stars as a middle-aged music teacher who dreams of becoming a jazz musician. When an accident cuts his existence short, our protagonist finds himself trapped in an afterlife where inexperienced souls try to figure out their passions before being born into the earthly realm.
We Can Be Heroes (Netflix streaming anytime) Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Sin City, Machete) writes and directs this effects-filled action flick about the young offspring of some superheroes who unite to save their kidnapped parents and fight off an alien invasion. Don’t get too excited: This is actually a sequel to 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D—easily Rodriquez’ worst film (yes … including his segment from Four Rooms).
“Surprising Santa Claus” (HGTV 7pm) Lara Spencer (host of “Flea Market Flip”) works with a team of designers, decorators and construction workers to give the town of Santa Claus, Ind. “the biggest Christmas present it has ever received.”
“Call the Midwife Holiday Special” (KNME-5 9pm) This quietly quaint British medical drama enters its 10th season with, as is tradition now, a Christmas special. Evidently the circus arrives this year. So there’s that.
DNA (Netflix streaming anytime) Netflix snatches up the sixth feature of hot French director/actor Maïwenn (just Maïwenn). She stars as a woman exploring her historical roots after the death of her beloved Algerian grandfather.
Death to 2020 (Netflix streaming anytime) “Black Mirror” creators Charlie Booker and Annabel Jones offer up this timely bit of cynicism, a comic mockumentary about “the dreadful year that was.” Among the no-longer-secret collaborators: Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, Kumail Nanjiani, Lisa Kudrow, Leslie Jones.
“The Masked Dancer” (KRQE-DT2 6pm) Given the runaway success of “The Masked Singer,” we all pretty much knew this was inevitable.
“A Love So Beautiful” (Netflix streaming anytime) Netflix, which is on board for all things South Korean these days, snatches up this Korean remake of a Chinese coming-of-age romance. Two classmates since kindergarten (popular girl, studious boy) grow up together and manage to fall in love.
“Popstar’s Best of 2020” (KWBQ-19 7pm) If you concentrate entirely on the stuff POPSTAR! magazine likes (teenage fashion, beauty tips and boy bands), then 2020 probably didn’t seem all that bad. We still had BTS.
“The Year: 2020” (KOAT-7 8pm) ABC News’ look back at the last 12 months is, undoubtedly, going to be a lot grimmer than POPSTAR! magazine’s. Heck, they probably won’t even mention BTS.
“Vikings” (Amazon Prime streaming anytime) For the second half of its sixth and final season, History Channel’s historical drama heads to Amazon for a (no doubt bloody) wrap-up.
“Equinox” (Netflix streaming anytime) Netflix roots around and comes up with some more Nordic noir for you addicts. In this Danish-language series (based on a popular podcast), a radio host searches for her missing sister, who vanished along with 20 other young students back in 1999. Trailers hint at a solution that is sinister and vaguely supernatural.
“Heroes on the Front Line” (KWBQ-19 7pm) The CW salutes the “on-the-ground heroes who dared to make a difference during this unprecedented pandemic.” Dean Cain hosts. Aww, why’d you have to go and ruin it, CW? In future please keep Mr. Cain confined to “The Top 10 Greatest Animal Movies of All Time” duties.