9 new movies and shows to watch this weekend on Netflix, Apple and more (Dec. 1-3)

Eddie Murphy in Candy Cane Land
(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

The year may be winding down, but streaming isn’t! There’s no shortage of new shows and movies to watch this weekend on Netflix, Apple TV Plus, Prime Video and other streaming services

This weekend, tune into the return of several fan-favorite shows, including Virgin River season 5 part 2 and Slow Horses season 3. A few new series make their premieres, as well: the gambling comedy Bookie, the action comedy Obliterated and the Charles Dickens spinoff Artful Dodger.

The movies side is sizzling, with two holiday-adjacent family films in Candy Cane Lane and The Family Switch, as well as the melodrama May December, based on a scandalous true story. Here’s our guide on the new shows and movies to watch this weekend.

TV Premieres

Virgin River season 5 part 2 (Netflix)

Virgin River season 5 gets the split-season treatment, as Netflix has begun doing with its biggest shows. Part two comprises two special holiday episodes following up on the installment that dropped in September. 

They will follow up on the astonishing info Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge) learned as she and fiancee Jack (Martin Henderson) were decorating for Christmas — her father might be a resident of Virgin River. Turns out that Mel’s mom had an affair with a man in the small town that she coincidentally moved to after leaving Los Angeles. Mel grapples with the implications of this revelation, while also considering whether to try to get pregnant again or explore surrogacy or adoption.

Premieres Thursday, Nov. 30 at 3:01 a.m. ET on Netflix

Slow Horses season 3 (Apple TV Plus)

Gary Oldman’s “Tinker Tailor Failed Spy” series returns for a very welcome third season. This is one of the best shows on television and if you’ve missed out so far — where have you been?! It’s a blend of thriller, action and mystery, with super-sharp dialogue and stellar performances. 

Oldman’s sardonic spymaster Jackson Lamb is back to shepherd his team of disgraced MI5 agents in another case. A romantic liaison in Istanbul threatens to expose a buried MI5 secret in London. Lamb and the other misfits are dragged into the fight and they find themselves caught in a conspiracy that threatens the future not just of Slough House but of MI5 itself. 

Streaming now on Apple TV Plus

Bookie (Max)

Sitcom uber-creator Chuck Lorre returns with his first new show since 2019’s Bob Hearts Abishola, this time teaming up with comedian Sebastian Maniscalco to aim for darker, edgier laughs. Veteran Los Angeles bookie Danny is facing the loss of business if the potential legalization of sports gambling in California goes through.

With the help of best friend and former NFL player Ray (Omar J. Dorsey), side-hustling sister Lorraine (Vanessa Ferlito), and reluctantly reformed drug dealer Hector (Jorge Garcia), Danny tries to get his increasingly unstable clients to settle their debts — even as he places some risky bets of his own.

Streaming now on Max

Obliterated (Netflix)

The creators of Cobra Kai are behind this action comedy set in Sin City. After an elite, highly-trained special forces team thwarts a deadly threat to Las Vegas, they celebrate with a lot of booze, drugs and sex. But then they discover the bomb they deactivated was fake. The real bomb is still out there, and unless the team can find it, the entire city will be obliterated. An already tough task is made even harder by all the alcohol and other substances still in their system. Think The Hangover movie, except instead of looking for a missing friend, they are racing against time to prevent a nuclear explosion.

Streaming now on Netflix

The Artful Dodger (Hulu)

The most fascinating character in Charles Dickens’ classic novel Oliver Twist gets his very own irreverent spinoff. Set in 1950s Australia in the colony of Port Victory, it follows Jack Dawkins (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), aka the Artful Dodger, who once deployed his fast fingers as a pickpocket and now uses them as a surgeon. 

But Jack’s past returns to haunt him with the arrival of Fagin (David Thewlis), who attempts to lure him back into criminal mischief. Then there’s Lady Belle Fox (Maia Mitchell), the governor’s daughter who’s determined to become the colony’s first female surgeon. Jack will have to be more nimble than ever in protecting his heart, body and soul. 

Streaming now on Hulu

Sweet Home season 2 (Netflix)

When the Korean horror series debuted in 2020, it made for apt, if very dark, pandemic viewing. Now, it’s back for a second season, and though real-world circumstances are very different, the story still hits hard. Whereas season 1 focused on Hyun-soo (Song Kang) and other survivors barricaded in their apartment building Green Home, season 2 will follow them into the outside world. There, they will have to contend with more monsters. But equally terrifying are the other humans they encounter.

Streaming now on Netflix

Movie Premieres

Candy Cane Lane (Prime Video)

It’s quite surprising that Eddie Murphy hasn’t made a holiday comedy until now. He plays Chris, a man on a mission to win his neighborhood’s annual Christmas home decoration contest. To better his chances of winning, he makes a deal with mischievous elf Pepper (Jillian Bell) — without knowing the zaniness that will follow. 

Pepper then casts a magic spell that brings the 12 Days of Christmas to life, wreaking havoc on the entire town. At risk of ruining the holidays for everyone, Chris, his wife Carol (Tracee Ellis Ross) and their three kids must race against the clock to break Pepper’s spell.

Streaming now on Prime Video

Family Switch (Netflix)

Think Freaky Friday, but double the trouble! This romp features Jennifer Garner and Ed Helms as Jess and Bill Walker, parents who are doing their best to try to stay connected to increasingly independent and distant teens CC (Emma Myers) and Wyatt (Brady Noon). If only the parents could really understand the kids’ issues … and vice versa. 

Then, a chance encounter with an astrological reader causes the family to wake up to a full body switch on a critically important day in each of their lives. They’ll have to work together to ace a promotion, college interview, record deal and soccer tryout.

Streaming now on Netflix

May December (Netflix)

Remember Mary Kay Letourneau, the sixth-grade teacher who had sex with her 12-year-old student, was convicted of rape and had his child in prison? Todd Haynes’ latest melodrama is loosely based on that true crime. Twenty years after their notorious romance, Gracie Atherton-Yoo (Julianne Moore) and 23-years-younger husband Joe (Charles Melton) are facing their twins’ high school graduation. Hollywood actress Elizabeth Berry (Natalie Portman) visits to better understand the controversial woman she is portraying in a film. As she gets to know them, the family’s dynamics begin to unravel under an outsider’s gaze. 

Streaming now on Netflix

More from Tom's Guide

Kelly Woo
Streaming Editor

Kelly is the streaming channel editor for Tom’s Guide, so basically, she watches TV for a living. Previously, she was a freelance entertainment writer for Yahoo, Vulture, TV Guide and other outlets. When she’s not watching TV and movies for work, she’s watching them for fun, seeing live music, writing songs, knitting and gardening.