Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY
Published 7:00 a.m. ET Dec. 7, 2019 | Updated 9:34 a.m. ET Dec. 7, 2019
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Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
The weather outside is verging on frightful, and your newly Black Friday-purchased TV is oh-so delightful.
As we rush into the Christmas season this December (you’ve got less than three weeks, guys), don’t forget to give yourself the gift of great TV and movies newly available on your favorite streaming services. And now with Disney+ and Apple TV+ in the mix, there are a lot more options to choose from each month.
We’ve rounded up the five best choices for December and the holiday season, whether you want true crime (or fake true crime), something exceedingly cute or something exceedingly sophisticated.
If everyone at Thanksgiving was showing you Baby Yoda memes: ‘The Mandalorian’
Baby Yoda is here whether you want him or not. The biggest effect of Disney’s launch into the streaming world has been the proliferation of the pint-sized, Force-sensitive creature across the Internet, Christmas lists and family gatherings. If you thought the memes were cute but have no idea what Baby Yoda actually is (he is not, in fact, the infant version of the character Yoda from the original “Star Wars” films), you might try “The Mandalorian.” The series has gotten better with each episode as it tests the waters of “Star Wars” as television.
Stream the first five episodes on Disney+ now, new episodes Fridays.
Even more to watch: The 25 best TV shows of 2019, from ‘Fleabag’ to ‘Chernobyl’
If you want real true crime: ‘The Confession Killer’
This five-part documentary series highlights one of the most embarrassing incidents in the history of policing, in which serial killer Henry Lee Lucas confessed to hundreds of murders across the country that he couldn’t possibly have committed. The documentary shines light on how law enforcement officers made a bevy of mistakes with Lucas, who did kill people but a vastly smaller number than he claimed.
Stream it on Netflix.
If you want fictional true crime: ‘Truth Be Told’
Apple TV+ nabbed Octavia Spencer and Aaron Paul for this series about the host of a “Serial”-like podcast (Spencer) who reexamines the case of a convicted killer (Paul) she wrote about as a young reporter. The series doesn’t do anything particularly groundbreaking in the genre, but it’s got a fantastic cast (also including Elizabeth Perkins and Lizzy Caplan playing identical twins) and is an easier, less complicated watch than some other crime shows.
Stream it on Apple TV+.
If you need something fantasy: ‘The Magicians’
The fourth season of Syfy’s beloved series is available on streaming at last, a month before the fifth season will premiere on cable. One of the weirdest but also most wonderful TV shows on the air these days, “Magicians” turned darker and smarter in its fourth season, in which a powerful and evil entity threatened the lives of the core characters on a near daily basis.
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Stream Season 4 on Netflix Dec. 16, first three seasons available now.
If you’ve already seen ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ but want more Leo: ‘The Aviator’
If you can’t get enough of Leonardo DiCaprio in period dramas, try this 2004 biopic of pilot and director Howard Hughes. In addition to winning a slew of Oscars (including best supporting actress for the always-amazing Cate Blanchett), “Aviator” is a slick, old-fashioned drama about Hughes in the 1920s through the 1940s. And bonus, it was directed by Martin Scorcese, which means you can get a hit from the legendary director without committing to the very long running time of “The Irishman.”