Though reigning prestige champions like The Crown are all set to make a glorious return to our small screens this month, savvy streaming audiences shouldn’t necessarily let all that glitters distract them from the other quality originals dropping for the first time this month.
Netflix, as always, is king. The latest news to come from the streaming giant is their rollout of a new linear content channel feature in France, which hopes to alleviate decision fatigue for viewers by providing a continuous stream of TV shows and movies more akin to the style of traditional cable television. Until that feature goes worldwide, however, viewers will have to decide what they want to watch for themselves. Luckily, we here at Vogue have taken it upon ourselves to separate just some of the wheat from the chaff on your behalf.
Amazon Prime recently had a big win with its release of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, and will no doubt be looking to keep those numbers up as it heads into the holiday season. November can be a bit of a slump month for streaming services, and it’s a shame that the fun-looking Alex Rider series, which premieres 13 November on IMDb TV via Amazon Prime, is currently only available to viewers in the United States. Luckily, Amazon Prime is keeping its chin up for its international audiences with a road-trip dramedy and a Steve McQueen-produced anthology miniseries.
Apple TV+, after hitting its one-year anniversary, is finally looking poised for some serious growth. It has found success with gentle comedies like Ted Lasso and hard-hitting crime dramas like Defending Jacob, and this month, viewers can cosy up with a mug of cider as the rain pounds outside, diving into some new, in-depth celebrity interviews conducted by Oprah Winfrey and a poignant docuseries on the universal experience of early childhood development.
Across Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV+, there will be more than enough to satisfy those clamouring for fresh content this November.
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The Oprah Conversation
When the Queen of Talk Oprah gets involved, you know it’s going to get personal. Her new show, which launched boldly mid-pandemic with a two-part episode called Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, has gone on to capture intriguing and intimate discussions with familiar faces and revered thought leaders. Oprah has always had an uncanny knack for seeing into the souls of her subjects, and she levels that gaze at a range of new newsmakers and craftmasters this month. A recent episode includes a frank discussion with Oscar winner and humanitarian Matthew McConaughey on the topic of his new memoir, Greenlights. Another new episode centres around the great Stevie Wonder, who recounts never-before-heard stories from his unforgettable career.
Apple TV+; available from 4 November
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Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
A holiday musical for the whole family, Jingle Jangle will undoubtedly be full of surprises. Not only does it star Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker as mystical toymaker Jeronicus Jangle, Ricky Martin as a devious toy matador, and Keegan Michael-Key as the film’s mustachioed villain, but it had a surprisingly slow journey to audiences’ screens, as Netflix bought the rights to the original pitch back in 2017. All that time has rendered it all the more poignant a labour of love, however. The movie also stars Madalen Mills, a triple threat of a tween performer who comes to the small screen from Broadway, as Whitaker’s bright granddaughter. Jingle Jangle will feature original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, and Davy Nathan.
Netflix; available from 13 November
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Craving more Olivia Colman after catching up on The Crown? This docuseries, narrated by the Oscar winner herself, should be next up on your watchlist. A globetrotting look at how a child’s first 2,000 days shape the rest of their lives, the show follows more than 100 children from 10 countries. Whisking viewers from Nepal to Japan to Borneo, the filmmakers have taken pains to produce the show from a child’s-eye view. Covering topics like how kids learn to think, move, and speak in their native languages, they hope to impart a timely message of community and shared humanity, that we are more similar than different.
Apple TV+; available from 13 November
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Prolific Black artists like Letitia Wright and John Boyega are set to star in this six-part anthology film series created and directed by Steve McQueen. The filmmaker, best known for 12 Years a Slave, has intimately crafted five stories of Black love, joy, and solidarity. Spread over a setting of the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, each film will impart a narrative grounded in London’s West Indian community, who rise above and beyond despite institutional forces bent on keeping them down. Wright will star in the first episode, Mangrove, which will premiere on the 50th anniversary of the real-life Mangrove protest, where Black Londoners demonstrated against police brutality. The series, which, according to McQueen, has been in gestation for more than a decade, is titled after the Jamaican proverb: “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”
Amazon Prime; available from 20 November
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Shawn Mendes: In Wonder
Singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes’ fourth studio album, Wonder, drops on 4 December. Before that, get to know the man behind the music with the highly-anticipated Netflix documentary chronicling his rapid rise t0 and subsequent struggle with fame. Helmed by seasoned music video director Grant Singer (who has worked with everyone from Lorde and Taylor Swift to The Weeknd and Future), In Wonder follows the 22-year-old star as he headlines a global 104-show tour. Concert and backstage footage are coupled with home videos and behind-the-scenes shenanigans, as Mendes personally narrates the film. And, of course, there will be plenty of Camilla Cabello.
Netflix; available from 23 November
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A road movie set in the ‘70s is always going to be a wild ride and a good time, and Alan Ball’s take on the classic premise is no exception. Paul Bettany (of the Marvel’s Avengers stable, as robotic hero Vision) and Sophia Lillis (best known for playing Bev in the It film series) star as the titular Uncle Frank and his precocious niece Beth. When Frank, a literature professor, has to return to his family in the South for a funeral, he brings along Beth, a free-thinking freshman at NYU, and his boyfriend, Walid (Peter Macdissi). But the drive down isn’t easy, and plagued by the resurfacing of psychological scars long thought buried. A seriocomedy that tends towards occasional melodramatics, the movie is still a deftly-handled cry for tolerance in an age that all too often sorely lacks the value.
Amazon Prime; available from 25 November