Streaming movies
Saeed Adyani—Netflix, Netflix, Buena Vista Pictures

What to Stream Over the Holidays—No Matter Who You’re With

Dec 13, 2016

Nothing screams 'hibernate!' more than dark, cold and snowy weather. So, over the holiday break, grab your laptop or remote and cozy up with Netflix, Amazon, HBO and Hulu. Here are our recommendations of the best shows and movies to stream depending on who you're with or what you're in the mood for.

What to watch...

...for exciting twists and turns

The Night Of

You may well forget to take a breath during the first hour of this eight-part HBO crime series—it's that gripping. The story begins with a young man (Riz Ahmed) making a journey to a house party at which he (spoiler alert) never actually arrives. In fact, it all gets pretty messy when sex, drugs and incarceration are thrown into the mix. Beautifully shot and genuinely thrilling, The Night Of is a powerful commentary on the flaws of the U.S. legal system. Fair warning, watching will do everything but put you to sleep.

Where to watch: Amazon

Or try: Amanda Knox (Netflix), Honorable Woman (Netflix), Mr Robot (Amazon)

....for winding down

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

Grab a pop tart, a Yale sweater and any friend who passably resembles Kirk to re-watch Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. (None of the above required, but still...) If you're one of the few people who hasn't seen this revival yet, it picks up nearly a decade after the original series finale and follows Lorelai, Rory and Emily Gilmore through four seasons of change. It's recommended that you use at least 80% of your holiday to re-watch all seven seasons too, preferably pre-A Year in the Life, to ensure your GG knowledge is up to scratch.

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: Freaks and Geeks (Netflix), High Maintenance (HBO) make you laugh

Everybody Wants Some!!

Richard Linklater's raucous campus comedy set at a fictitious Texas college in 1980 is the “spiritual sequel” to his 1993 blockbuster hit, Dazed and Confused. Everybody Wants Some!! centers on promising pitcher Jake (played by Blake Jenner of Glee fame) as he gears up to start his freshman year. A lighthearted flick is guaranteed to warm on even the coldest night.

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: Catastrophe (Amazon), Jane the Virgin (Netflix)

...when you've got a long night to kill

Black Mirror

Nothing says Christmas quite like disturbing dystopian satire that makes you take a long hard look at where this whole humanity thing is headed. Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror, a Twilight Zone for the digital era, does just that. Netflix added six new installments of the popular British series last October, with each episode lasting the length of a short movie. (You'll still want to binge.) Subjects explored in the always thought-provoking, sometimes frightening series include the obsessive rating and photographing of real-life interactions and a virtual reality game gone very, very wrong. Better not to watch alone.

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: Fargo (Hulu), Barry (Netflix), The Hateful Eight (Hulu)

...when you just need a quick fix


If you, like many people, have seen every Friends episode at least 137 times then this is the perfect show to turn on in the background while you're basting a turkey or wrapping presents—just make sure you don't confuse the two. To particularly embrace the Christmas cheer, 'The One Where Rachel Quits' (season three), 'The One With The Holiday Armadillo' (season seven) and 'The One with Christmas in Tulsa' (season nine) are classics. Could this be any more of a multitasking opportunity?

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: 30 Rock (NBC app), The Voice (Hulu), Say Yes to the Dress (Hulu)

...if you're with your family

The Crown

Reportedly Netflix's most expensive program ever, The Crown is the big-budget period drama everyone's talking about. With a perfect alchemy of history, adventure and romance it's sure to be a hit for the whole family. The drama follows the life of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy), beginning with her marriage to Philip Mountbatten (former Doctor Who Matt Smith) in November 1947 and ending with the death of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1965.

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: Mascots (Netflix), Sherlock (Netflix), The Truman Show (Hulu)

...if you're on your own


Too sad to be classified as a comedy, but too funny to be a drama. Fleabag, like its protagonist, does not fit inside any easy box. Written by and starring rising British actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this six-part, 30-minute-per-episode series follows the life of a troubled 20-something Londoner struggling to cope with the death of her best friend. Their guinea-pig-themed cafe is also on the verge of failure. (NB: Since an early scene involves someone really enjoying footage of President Obama, this may be one to skip if you're watching with the family.)

Where to watch: Amazon

Or try: 13th (Netflix), Easy (Netflix), The Inbetweeners (Hulu)

...with a significant other

BoJack Horseman

This irreverent cartoon comedy for adults follows the life of the anthropomorphic BoJack, a self-pitying horse voiced by Will Arnett of Arrested Development renown. Once the star of 1990s sitcom Horsin' Around, washed up former celebrity BoJack now wanders Los Angeles with dreams of one day making it back into the limelight. One episode, 'Fish Out of Water,' was described by TIME's television critic Daniel D'Addario as "dazzlingly beautiful and among the most creative single episodes of TV in memory."

Where to watch: Netflix

Or try: Friday Night Lights (Netflix), Amelie (Netflix, Amazon), Wet Hot American Summer (Netflix)

...on Christmas Day

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a re-watch of Tim Burton's iconic stop-motion masterpiece, now available on Hulu. The Nightmare Before Christmas, which follows Jack Skellington's miserably comical journey from Halloween Town to Christmas Town, is packed with witty references and amusingly dark song lyrics: "There's children throwing snowballs instead of throwing heads, they're busy building toys and absolutely no one's dead!"

Where to watch: Hulu

Or try: Miracle on 34th Street (Netflix, Amazon), Doctor Who (Amazon)

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