December Previews: Netflix and Amazon

The Witcher Season 1 (Netflix)

Inspired more by the book series by Polish author Andrjez Sapkowksi than the popular video games that resulted, The Witcher is evidently aiming to fill the Game of Thrones-shaped hole in your life. Leading the cast is Superman himself, Henry Cavill, who plays Geralt of Rivia, a beast hunter in a world of monsters blessed with mutated magical powers. Co-starring Anya Chalotra (Wanderlust) and newcomer Freya Allen, and with The West Wing writer Lauren Hissrich as showrunner, this looks like prime fantasy fare.

The Two Popes (Netflix)

Already in cinemas, Fernando Meirelles’ delicate comic-drama now comes to your Netflix account. The story of the delicate, testy relationship between Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the future Pope Francis, this adaptation of Anthony McCarten’s play has already seen both its stars, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, nominated for Golden Globes for their performances. Oscar nods seem a certainty for what is Meirelles’ best film since The Constant Gardener, somehow shining a positive light on the beleaguered Catholic Church.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel Season 3 (Amazon Prime)

The third season of creator-director-writer Amy Sherman-Palladino’s tale of a Jewish housewife who turns stand-up comic sees the return of the luminous Rachel Brosnahan in the title role. With the series moving into the 1960s, Miriam ‘Midge’ Maisel is now seeing her career going up a notch, as she takes her act across America and Europe.  There’s plenty of plot to chew on, with money (or the loss of it) being a big theme in this season’s eight-episode arc.

The Expanse Season 4 (Amazon Prime)

When Syfy cancelled this science fiction drama after the third season, there were mass online protests, a petition and even celebrity endorsements from the likes of Wil Wheaton and Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin. Fortunately for them, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos was also a fan, and bankrolled a fourth season inspired by the book series by James S. A. Corey (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck). This ten-episode arc concentrates on Cibola Burn, the fourth novel, as portals open to thousands of new worlds.

All shows available from December 2019 onwards.

James Mottram

1. Still from
The Witcher. Courtesy of Netflix. Teaser Trailer for Season One.