'Tis the season for binge-watching: The TV series and movies worth gorging on

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — binge-watching season! Whether you have a few hours after the big holiday meal, or have a blissful day off from work, or just need a break from the end-of-year madness, catching up on movies and television shows is a gift you can bestow upon yourself.

This year provided an embarrassment of riches in acclaimed screen projects, especially with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu in the mix. Really, nobody has time to see everything; maybe you didn’t make it to the theatre for that blockbuster all your friends raved about, or perhaps you were just waiting for a free weekend to check out that TV drama that won all those awards.

Click through this slideshow to see our picks for what to binge before the new year.

One of the biggest debates going on in fandom right now involves which Star Trek is true Trek; the official prequel series, Discovery, or Seth MacFarlane’s Next Generation homage, The Orville. Set roughly a decade before Kirk and Spock boldly explored the final frontier, Discovery has taken the franchise in compelling, if controversial new directions in the first half of its freshman season, with darker storylines and its most morally complex captain (played by Jason Isaacs). The Orville, on the other hand, keeps things in a lighter vein while also developing its own distinct mythology over the course of its maiden voyage. Remember: It’s always best to sample both flavors before deciding which you prefer. — E.A.

Available to stream: CBS All Access, Hulu

(Photo: CBS/20th Century Fox)

<p>Margaret Atwood has had quite the year on television. Hulu’s adaptation of her novel <em>The Handmaid’s Tale</em> was a cultural sensation and won the Emmy for Best Drama. Over on Netflix came the quieter but equally gripping <em>Alias Grace</em>. Based on true events, the six-episode series follows the titular young maid (Sarah Gadon) who is convicted of murdering her employers. Years later, a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft) seeks to discover the truth of what really happened, and the present day mingles with past flashbacks for a nuanced exploration of a woman finding a way to tell her story in her own way. <i>— Kelly Woo</i><br><br><em>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-fofQ9VpPQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></em><br><br>(Photo: Jan Thijs/Netflix) </p>
‘Alias Grace’

Margaret Atwood has had quite the year on television. Hulu’s adaptation of her novel The Handmaid’s Tale was a cultural sensation and won the Emmy for Best Drama. Over on Netflix came the quieter but equally gripping Alias Grace. Based on true events, the six-episode series follows the titular young maid (Sarah Gadon) who is convicted of murdering her employers. Years later, a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft) seeks to discover the truth of what really happened, and the present day mingles with past flashbacks for a nuanced exploration of a woman finding a way to tell her story in her own way. — Kelly Woo

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Jan Thijs/Netflix)

<p>Come for the deliciously giggle-inducing, true crime-mocking mystery of which rebellious high-schooler spray-painted a bunch of penises on faculty autos. Stay for the stealth commentary on how teachers’ pigeonholing of their students can be far more impactful and soul-crushing than peer ribbing. P.S. Extra credit titters are to be found with a perusal of <i>Vandals</i>’s episode titles. <em>— Kimberly Potts</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: Netflix</em><br><br>(Photo: Netflix) </p>
‘American Vandal’

Come for the deliciously giggle-inducing, true crime-mocking mystery of which rebellious high-schooler spray-painted a bunch of penises on faculty autos. Stay for the stealth commentary on how teachers’ pigeonholing of their students can be far more impactful and soul-crushing than peer ribbing. P.S. Extra credit titters are to be found with a perusal of Vandals’s episode titles. — Kimberly Potts

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Netflix)

<p>If crime is what you’re after, you can’t do much better than this funny and freewheeling twofer. Start with Edgar Wright’s <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTvJJnoWIPk" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Baby Driver" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><i>Baby Driver</i></a>, about a getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who moves to the beat of his iPod’s tunes. And then segue right into Steven Soderbergh’s southern-friend <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPzvKH8AVf0" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Lucky Logan" class="link rapid-noclick-resp"><i>Lucky Logan</i></a>, in which Channing Tatum and Adam Driver recruit a team of ne’er-do-wells (including a wild Daniel Craig) to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. <em>— Nick Schager</em><br><br><i>Available to rent: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW</i><br><br>(Photo: TriStar Pictures/Fingerprint Releasing) </p>
‘Baby Driver’/’Logan Lucky’ double feature

If crime is what you’re after, you can’t do much better than this funny and freewheeling twofer. Start with Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, about a getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) who moves to the beat of his iPod’s tunes. And then segue right into Steven Soderbergh’s southern-friend Lucky Logan, in which Channing Tatum and Adam Driver recruit a team of ne’er-do-wells (including a wild Daniel Craig) to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway. — Nick Schager

Available to rent: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW

(Photo: TriStar Pictures/Fingerprint Releasing)

<p>If you’re loving Freddie Highmore on <i>The Good Doctor</i>, continue your TV crushdom by checking out his layered performance as Norman Bates (the prequel, TV version of the famous <i>Psycho</i> character). Smart, heartbreaking, and funnier than you will expect such dark matter to be, the incredibly well-written and acted drama honored <i>Psycho</i> while putting a fresh spin on the story with its deep dive into the endearing, possibly doomed Bates family. <em>— K.P.</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video</em><br><br>(Photo: A&E) </p>
‘Bates Motel’

If you’re loving Freddie Highmore on The Good Doctor, continue your TV crushdom by checking out his layered performance as Norman Bates (the prequel, TV version of the famous Psycho character). Smart, heartbreaking, and funnier than you will expect such dark matter to be, the incredibly well-written and acted drama honored Psycho while putting a fresh spin on the story with its deep dive into the endearing, possibly doomed Bates family. — K.P.

Available to stream: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video

(Photo: A&E)

<p>At first glance, HBO’s Emmy-winning drama is a glamorous, movie star-filled look at the lives of the beautiful and wealthy on the breathtaking coast of Monterey. But after introducing the season-long mystery (who dies at the school fundraiser and who is the killer), <em>Big Little Lies</em> becomes much more than real estate porn. The suburban backdrop proved the point that even people who look like they have it all, often have the biggest problems. And with its exploration of domestic abuse, rape, and female friendship (and antagonism), it was the show most emblematic of 2017. <i>— K.W.</i><br><br><em>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF_1iPFr6Dw" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:HBO" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">HBO</a></em><br><br>(Photo: HBO) </p>
‘Big Little Lies’

At first glance, HBO’s Emmy-winning drama is a glamorous, movie star-filled look at the lives of the beautiful and wealthy on the breathtaking coast of Monterey. But after introducing the season-long mystery (who dies at the school fundraiser and who is the killer), Big Little Lies becomes much more than real estate porn. The suburban backdrop proved the point that even people who look like they have it all, often have the biggest problems. And with its exploration of domestic abuse, rape, and female friendship (and antagonism), it was the show most emblematic of 2017. — K.W.

Available to stream: HBO

(Photo: HBO)

<p><i>Silicon Valley</i>’s Kumail Nanjiani mines his own courtship of wife Emily V. Gordon for this crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, about a stand-up comedian whose up-and-down relationship with a new girlfriend is complicated by both his Pakistani parents’ disapproval, and by her sudden illness — thus leading to a friendship between the jokester and the woman’s parents, played by a hilarious Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJmpSMRQhhs" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon Prime" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon Prime</a> (and other services to rent)</i><br><br>(Photo: Lionsgate /Courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘The Big Sick’

Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani mines his own courtship of wife Emily V. Gordon for this crowd-pleasing romantic comedy, about a stand-up comedian whose up-and-down relationship with a new girlfriend is complicated by both his Pakistani parents’ disapproval, and by her sudden illness — thus leading to a friendship between the jokester and the woman’s parents, played by a hilarious Holly Hunter and Ray Romano. — N.S.

Available to stream: Amazon Prime (and other services to rent)

(Photo: Lionsgate /Courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>There are few pop stars bigger than Lady Gaga, and moviegoers are granted intimate access to her creative process via this Netflix-exclusive documentary, which details a year in the artist’s life <em>—</em> during which time she worked on her latest album, <i>Joanne</i>, as well as prepared to take the stage during Super Bowl LI’s halftime show. Candid and revealing, it’s a must-see for die-hard fans. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to Stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxI1iOi0t-c" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></i><br><br>(Photo: Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘Gaga: Five Foot Two’

There are few pop stars bigger than Lady Gaga, and moviegoers are granted intimate access to her creative process via this Netflix-exclusive documentary, which details a year in the artist’s life during which time she worked on her latest album, Joanne, as well as prepared to take the stage during Super Bowl LI’s halftime show. Candid and revealing, it’s a must-see for die-hard fans. — N.S.

Available to Stream: Netflix

(Photo: Netflix /Courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>Mike Flanagan is one of American horror cinema’s finest directors, as once again evidenced by this chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 novel about a woman (a fantastic Carla Gugino) who, while at a remote cabin, finds herself in perilous circumstances after her husband (Bruce Greenwood) dies during some kinky sex, leaving her handcuffed to the bed. A psychologically incisive thriller, it also features a late-act bit of gruesomeness you’ll never forget. <em>— NS</em><br><br><i>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twbGU2CqqQU" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></i><br><br>(Photo: Glen Wilson/Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘Gerald’s Game’

Mike Flanagan is one of American horror cinema’s finest directors, as once again evidenced by this chilling adaptation of Stephen King’s 1992 novel about a woman (a fantastic Carla Gugino) who, while at a remote cabin, finds herself in perilous circumstances after her husband (Bruce Greenwood) dies during some kinky sex, leaving her handcuffed to the bed. A psychologically incisive thriller, it also features a late-act bit of gruesomeness you’ll never forget. — NS

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Glen Wilson/Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>The year’s most critically hailed (horror) film is a slice of sinister social commentary concerning a young African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) who takes a trip with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to visit her suburban parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). At that left-leaning enclave, however, something malevolent is afoot — and it involves the minority members of the community. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRfnevzM9kQ" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:HBO Now and HBO Go" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">HBO Now and HBO Go</a> (and other services to rent)</i><br><br>(Photo: Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘Get Out’

The year’s most critically hailed (horror) film is a slice of sinister social commentary concerning a young African-American man (Daniel Kaluuya) who takes a trip with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to visit her suburban parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener). At that left-leaning enclave, however, something malevolent is afoot — and it involves the minority members of the community. — N.S.

Available to stream: HBO Now and HBO Go (and other services to rent)

(Photo: Justin Lubin/Universal Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to get a kick out of Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s gorgeously fun tribute to the ’80s-era all-female league, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Boasting one of the best ensembles around, the series empowers each member of its diverse cast with rich storylines and memorable moments both in and out of the ring. It all culminates in a superbly satisfying finale… though thankfully, a Season 2 renewal means there’s more to come. For an extra course when you’ve finished your <i>GLOW </i><span>binge</span>, make sure to catch up with the <a href="http://glowthemovie.com/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:2012 documentary that inspired the series" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">2012 documentary that inspired the series</a>, also streaming on Netflix. <em>— Ethan Alter</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZqDO6cTYVY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></em><br><br>(Photo: Netflix) </p>
‘GLOW’

You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to get a kick out of Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s gorgeously fun tribute to the ’80s-era all-female league, the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Boasting one of the best ensembles around, the series empowers each member of its diverse cast with rich storylines and memorable moments both in and out of the ring. It all culminates in a superbly satisfying finale… though thankfully, a Season 2 renewal means there’s more to come. For an extra course when you’ve finished your GLOW binge, make sure to catch up with the 2012 documentary that inspired the series, also streaming on Netflix. — Ethan Alter

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Netflix)

<p>With only 20 episodes airing to date, you need less than eight hours to be all caught up when the NBC comedy resumes its second season <span><span>Jan. 4</span></span>. Start at the beginning — when Eleanor (Kristen Bell) thinks she’s been falsely admitted to “the good place” by afterlife architect Michael (Ted Danson) — even if the brilliant Season 1 finale twist has been spoiled for you. The payoffs in Season 2 are many, the ensemble cast is delightful, and the show’s heart is as big as you’d expect coming from Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur. <em>— Mandi Bierly</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: Netflix (all episodes are available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, etc.)</em><br><br>(Photo: Justin Lubin/NBC) </p>
‘The Good Place’

With only 20 episodes airing to date, you need less than eight hours to be all caught up when the NBC comedy resumes its second season Jan. 4. Start at the beginning — when Eleanor (Kristen Bell) thinks she’s been falsely admitted to “the good place” by afterlife architect Michael (Ted Danson) — even if the brilliant Season 1 finale twist has been spoiled for you. The payoffs in Season 2 are many, the ensemble cast is delightful, and the show’s heart is as big as you’d expect coming from Parks and Recreation creator Mike Schur. — Mandi Bierly

Available to stream: Netflix (all episodes are available for purchase on Amazon, iTunes, etc.)

(Photo: Justin Lubin/NBC)

<p>Jim Carrey’s committed performance as Andy Kaufman was the best aspect of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic about the late avant-garde comedian. This fascinating documentary from director Chris Smith uses both archival footage and new interviews with Carrey to investigate his intense method-actor work getting into (and then staying in) character. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to Stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB15UFO5ebA" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></i><br><br>(Credit Photo: Francois Duhamel/Netflix) </p>
‘Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond’

Jim Carrey’s committed performance as Andy Kaufman was the best aspect of Miloš Forman’s 1999 biopic about the late avant-garde comedian. This fascinating documentary from director Chris Smith uses both archival footage and new interviews with Carrey to investigate his intense method-actor work getting into (and then staying in) character. — N.S.

Available to Stream: Netflix

(Credit Photo: Francois Duhamel/Netflix)

<p>Because if you skipped it back when it was called <i>Scrotal Recall</i> — an admittedly unappealing, though also apt, title — you’ve been missing out on one of the most charming romantic comedies on TV. Will friends Dylan (singer and <i>Genius</i> Critics’ Choice Awards nominee Johnny Flynn) and Evie (<i>The Good Doctor</i> co-star) ever get the timing right and become the couple you will immediately want them to be? Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long to find out what’s next; devour Season 1 and 2’s 14 episodes, and you’ll be all set to begin the new year with a marathon of Season 3. <em>— K.P.</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: Netflix</em><br><br>(Photo: Netflix) </p>
‘Lovesick’

Because if you skipped it back when it was called Scrotal Recall — an admittedly unappealing, though also apt, title — you’ve been missing out on one of the most charming romantic comedies on TV. Will friends Dylan (singer and Genius Critics’ Choice Awards nominee Johnny Flynn) and Evie (The Good Doctor co-star) ever get the timing right and become the couple you will immediately want them to be? Fortunately, you won’t have to wait long to find out what’s next; devour Season 1 and 2’s 14 episodes, and you’ll be all set to begin the new year with a marathon of Season 3. — K.P.

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Netflix)

<p>Director Dee Rees’s adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel concerns the tumultuous dynamics of two families in 1940s Mississippi: Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke’s white family, who move to a mud-drenched farm; and Rob Morgan and Mary J. Blige’s African-American tenant farmers, who work Mulligan and Clarke’s land. Also focused on the two members of those clans (Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell) who return from WWII with serious cases of post-traumatic stress, it’s a sprawling opus about race, class, and inescapable horrors. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to Stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xucHiOAa8Rs" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></i><br><br>(Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘Mudbound’

Director Dee Rees’s adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s novel concerns the tumultuous dynamics of two families in 1940s Mississippi: Carey Mulligan and Jason Clarke’s white family, who move to a mud-drenched farm; and Rob Morgan and Mary J. Blige’s African-American tenant farmers, who work Mulligan and Clarke’s land. Also focused on the two members of those clans (Garrett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell) who return from WWII with serious cases of post-traumatic stress, it’s a sprawling opus about race, class, and inescapable horrors. — N.S.

Available to Stream: Netflix

(Photo: Steve Dietl/Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>Bong Joon-Ho’s idiosyncratic artistry takes flight in this fantastical South Korean-American co-production, about a young girl (Ahn Seo-hyun) who sets out on a quest to save her beloved pet Okja, a genetically engineered super-pig that’s been reclaimed by the evil food corporation (led by Tilda Swinton’s CEO) that first created her. Replete with the most out-there performance of the year (from Jake Gyllenhaal), it’s at once exciting, euphoric, and quietly heartbreaking. <em>— NS</em><br><br><i>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjCebKn4iic" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a></i><br><br>(Photo: Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection) </p>
‘Okja’

Bong Joon-Ho’s idiosyncratic artistry takes flight in this fantastical South Korean-American co-production, about a young girl (Ahn Seo-hyun) who sets out on a quest to save her beloved pet Okja, a genetically engineered super-pig that’s been reclaimed by the evil food corporation (led by Tilda Swinton’s CEO) that first created her. Replete with the most out-there performance of the year (from Jake Gyllenhaal), it’s at once exciting, euphoric, and quietly heartbreaking. — NS

Available to stream: Netflix

(Photo: Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection)

<p>Patty Jenkins’s DC Comics blockbuster <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q8fG0TtVAY" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Wonder Woman" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Wonder Woman</a></em> is the second biggest box-office hit of the year, and with good reason — boasting a star-making turn from Gal Gadot as the Amazonian princess warrior, this superhero extravaganza is a thrilling origin story that does justice to its larger-than-life female icon. For an encore, watch Angela Robinson’s delightful dive into the Wonder Woman’s origins in this biopic about her creator, his wife and their relationship with another woman. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to rent: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW</i><br><br>(Photo: Annapurna Pictures/Warner Bros.) </p>
‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’/’Wonder Woman’ double feature

Patty Jenkins’s DC Comics blockbuster Wonder Woman is the second biggest box-office hit of the year, and with good reason — boasting a star-making turn from Gal Gadot as the Amazonian princess warrior, this superhero extravaganza is a thrilling origin story that does justice to its larger-than-life female icon. For an encore, watch Angela Robinson’s delightful dive into the Wonder Woman’s origins in this biopic about her creator, his wife and their relationship with another woman. — N.S.

Available to rent: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW

(Photo: Annapurna Pictures/Warner Bros.)

<p>It’s TV’s best-kept comedy secret, if only because many people may still not know they get Pop. That’s the channel where the Canadian co-production — about an uber wealthy family that suddenly loses everything but the titular podunk town dad (Eugene Levy) once purchased as a joke — premieres its fourth season <span><span>Jan. 24</span></span>. Catch the entire series and behold Catherine O’Hara’s Emmy-worthy performance as Moira, a former actress whose greatest role will be learning to play mother to her two spoiled adult children (Dan Levy and Annie Murphy). <em>— M.B.</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0uWS6CnC2o" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Netflix" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Netflix</a> (or purchase episodes on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, etc.)</em><br><br>(Photo: Pop) </p>
‘Schitt’s Creek’

It’s TV’s best-kept comedy secret, if only because many people may still not know they get Pop. That’s the channel where the Canadian co-production — about an uber wealthy family that suddenly loses everything but the titular podunk town dad (Eugene Levy) once purchased as a joke — premieres its fourth season Jan. 24. Catch the entire series and behold Catherine O’Hara’s Emmy-worthy performance as Moira, a former actress whose greatest role will be learning to play mother to her two spoiled adult children (Dan Levy and Annie Murphy). — M.B.

Available to stream: Netflix (or purchase episodes on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, etc.)

(Photo: Pop)

<p>Achieving a cult status previously enjoyed by <i>Arrested Development </i>— which, coincidentally enough, also starred Alia Shawkat — TBS’s dark comedy is the series that your cooler neighbor is always telling you to watch. So take the extra time afforded by the holidays to get onboard the <i>Search Party </i>train, which began as a missing persons story in its first season and morphed into a murder tale over the course of the just-wrapped Season 2. But don’t get too hung up on the genre labels: just enjoy the show’s devilish wit, as well as the New York City locations. <em>— E.A.</em><br><br><em>Available to stream: <a href="http://www.tbs.com/shows/search-party/season-1/episode-1/explicit-the-mysterious-disappearance-of-the-girl-no-one-knew" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:TBS.com" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">TBS.com</a> (also available for rent or purchase on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and YouTube)</em><br><br>(Photo: TBS) </p>
‘Search Party’

Achieving a cult status previously enjoyed by Arrested Development — which, coincidentally enough, also starred Alia Shawkat — TBS’s dark comedy is the series that your cooler neighbor is always telling you to watch. So take the extra time afforded by the holidays to get onboard the Search Party train, which began as a missing persons story in its first season and morphed into a murder tale over the course of the just-wrapped Season 2. But don’t get too hung up on the genre labels: just enjoy the show’s devilish wit, as well as the New York City locations. — E.A.

Available to stream: TBS.com (also available for rent or purchase on Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and YouTube)

(Photo: TBS)

<p>One of the biggest debates going on in fandom right now involves which <i>Star Trek </i>is true<i> Trek</i>; the official prequel series, <i>Discovery</i>, or Seth MacFarlane’s <i>Next Generation </i>homage, <i>The Orville</i>. Set roughly a decade before Kirk and Spock boldly explored the final frontier, <i>Discovery </i>has taken the franchise in compelling, if controversial new directions in the first half of its freshman season, with darker storylines and its most morally complex captain (played by Jason Isaacs). <i>The Orville</i>, on the other hand, keeps things in a lighter vein while also developing its own distinct mythology over the course of its maiden voyage. Remember: It’s always best to sample both flavors before deciding which you prefer. <em>— E.A.</em><br><br><i>Available to stream: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC7IMj7WFyE" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:CBS All Access" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">CBS All Access</a>, <a href="https://view.yahoo.com/search?query=orville" data-ylk="slk:Hulu" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Hulu</a></i><br><br>(Photo: CBS/20th Century Fox) </p>
‘Star Trek: Discovery’/’The Orville’

One of the biggest debates going on in fandom right now involves which Star Trek is true Trek; the official prequel series, Discovery, or Seth MacFarlane’s Next Generation homage, The Orville. Set roughly a decade before Kirk and Spock boldly explored the final frontier, Discovery has taken the franchise in compelling, if controversial new directions in the first half of its freshman season, with darker storylines and its most morally complex captain (played by Jason Isaacs). The Orville, on the other hand, keeps things in a lighter vein while also developing its own distinct mythology over the course of its maiden voyage. Remember: It’s always best to sample both flavors before deciding which you prefer. — E.A.

Available to stream: CBS All Access, Hulu

(Photo: CBS/20th Century Fox)

<p>Matt Reeves’s final installment of the rebooted <i>Planet of the Apes</i> trilogy is a superior piece of genre filmmaking, presenting a grim — and politically incisive — take on the battle between humanity and its upstart simian counterparts. And if you haven’t seen the series’ first two chapters? Now’s the time to catch up on the stirring saga of would-be ape king Caesar, who’s brought to life by Andy Serkis via stellar motion-capture performances. <em>— N.S.</em><br><br><i>Available to rent: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEP1Mk6Un98" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW</a></i><br><br>(Photo: 20th Century Fox) </p>
‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

Matt Reeves’s final installment of the rebooted Planet of the Apes trilogy is a superior piece of genre filmmaking, presenting a grim — and politically incisive — take on the battle between humanity and its upstart simian counterparts. And if you haven’t seen the series’ first two chapters? Now’s the time to catch up on the stirring saga of would-be ape king Caesar, who’s brought to life by Andy Serkis via stellar motion-capture performances. — N.S.

Available to rent: Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, FandangoNOW

(Photo: 20th Century Fox)

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