For when you’ve had enough Hallmark movies
It’s not even Christmas yet, but there’s a chance that you’re already sick of all the holiday movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas classics, but there are only so many winter cliches and pop versions of carols you can take in before you start losing it.
So if you’re looking for something new to watch over the break, here are a few of the best movies and shows available to stream that don’t feature old Saint Nick.
The Curse (Paramount+)
It’s rare that two creatives with completely different styles can come together and create a truly cohesive piece of art, but that is exactly what Benny Safdie and Nathan Fielder have done with The Curse. It perfectly blends the self-deprecating pseudo reality of Fielder’s shows and the grainy, bleak look at humanity of Safdie’s movies. This series follows Fielder and Emma Stone, a couple creating an HGTV home-improvement show.
It’s shocking, uncomfortable, cringe-worthy, and unbelievably funny. While doing so, it even explores topical themes like gentrification and performative activism with ease and insight. If you like the stressfulness of Uncut Gems and the awkward comedy of Nathan for You, then you can’t miss out on this title.
Kitchen Nightmares (CTV)
The king of calling out disgusting kitchens, inept owners, and rude chefs is back. Gordon Ramsay returns with 10 new episodes of Kitchen Nightmares. If you like the original series, you’re bound to like this. The switch to HD cameras has made the scenes of Ramsay touching rotten food that much more disgusting.
When you’re tired, hungover, and want something that won’t start a family argument, this crowd-pleaser is an easy choice to throw on.
David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived (Crave)
If you’re looking for something that will make you shed a tear, then David Holmes: The Boy Who Lived should be next up on your watchlist. Practically everyone has seen the Harry Potter series about a dozen times by now, but few know the story of Daniel Radcliffe’s stunt double who became paralyzed during the filming of The Deathly Hallows.
David Holmes is an enigmatic character whose charisma shines through the screen, and his friendship with Radcliffe is wonderfully displayed in this well-crafted documentary. The focus is on the life and relationships of these people, so fans of behind-the-scenes action will love this. This movie casts Harry Potter in a whole new light, watching the originals will never be the same.
Bottoms (Amazon Prime Video)
Have you ever wondered what Fight Club would be like if it was about lesbian high schoolers? Well then Bottoms is definitely the movie for you. Rachel Sennott and Ayo Edebiri are proving themselves as some of the funniest actors of the new generation with their portrayal of high school losers who are prepared to do whatever it takes to get with the cheerleaders. This movie even makes Marshawn Lynch funny.
The humour in Bottoms feels somehow fresh and nostalgic at the same time, capturing the cliches and edgy humour of teen comedies from the early 2000s and updating it for the modern viewer. If you like over the top, ridiculous flicks, then this is for you.
Scavengers Reign (StackTV)
This hidden gem of a show might just be the most aesthetically pleasing animation release of 2023. Scavengers Reign is an animated mini-series that follows different people trying to survive on a strange alien planet after their spaceship becomes lost. But at the end of the day, the story truly doesn’t matter too much. You’re here for the visuals!
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is an obvious inspiration for Scavengers Reign, which explores the amazing flora and fauna of this planet in an utterly engaging way. Telepathic frog creatures, biomechanical fungus, goliath crab parasites — this show has it all. If you’re looking for a visual feast to gorge yourself on, then this is the show for you.
May December (Netflix)
Netflix churns out a lot of mediocre titles, but sometimes they manage to strike gold, and that is exactly what they did with May December. Twenty years after an illegal and sensational tabloid romance, an actress pays a visit to the woman who she’ll be portraying in a movie. Soon, the disturbing details of her relationship are brought to the forefront. With how gross and uncomfortable this movie is, it’s truly amazing just how funny it can be.
Every facet of May December feels like a masterclass in filmmaking, from the script, soundtrack, and cinematography to the performances of Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton. Watching this will have you rethinking the ethics of true-crime movies.