Holiday Time is TV Time
What to watch — on small screen and big — during the holiday break
When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to power up the TV. Christmas break is upon us, and free time is about to increase exponentially. So what’s the key to getting through the abundance of family time on the horizon? A fully stocked queue of Hulu and Netflix (and a couple of well-timed trips to the multiplex, of course).
But in case you’re not quite sure what to dial up, we’ve got some suggestions to keep you entertained this holiday season.
Watch it with: your beer-loving brother-in-law
Olivia Wilde stars with New Girl’s Jake Johnson in this tale of a pair of microbrewery employees who mix work and play more often than not. Consider the flick improved with a nice seasonal ale.
Watch it with: your high school BFF
The always spot-on Greta Gerwig is Frances, a sometimes out-of-work modern dancer, who’s both seriously un-dateable and entirely relatable. She’ll make you feel like your life isn’t such a mess after all.
Watch it with: your grandmother
She’ll eat this Margaret Thatcher biopic right up.
Watch it with: the non-squeamish
This documentary of orca whale Tilikum examines the deaths of several trainers while he was in captivity, questioning the safety and humaneness of the orca (also know as killer whale) community. Don’t expect Free Willy fare.
Watch it with: your dad
Pops will surely appreciate this docu-series which highlights sports, sex, drug use and warfare. Choose an episode at random; pretty much every story is sure to please his nonfiction-appreciating heart.
Watch it with: your tween nieces and nephews
Before Joss Whedon was the guy behind The Avengers, he was a sci-fi television master. This short-lived series (featuring Whedon fave Nathan Fillian) makes for easy watch that should take you and your pop culture-loving tweens no time at all to get though.
Watch it with: your Sopranos-loving uncle
Sopranos favorite Steven Van Zandt stars as Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano in this tale of a mafia boss who leaves the Big Apple for the Fjords of Norway after being put into witness protection. Season 2 was just released, so you have more than enough of this Netflix Original to keep you busy.
Watch it with: your siblings
Mia Wasikowska is a young girl changed by the death of her father and prompt arrival of her mysterious new Uncle Charlie who moves in with the family. The trio soon go down a dark, twisted path in this 2013 psychological drama.
Watch it with: your cousins
Season 3 of this critically acclaimed dramedy returns January 12, so catch up on last season’s action while you can.
Watch it with: the whole family
Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe star in this revenge tale of ex-cop Billy Taggart, who is seeking redemption after being double-crossed and framed by New York City Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.
Watch it with: tweens, teens and sisters-in-law
Five unruly teenagers forced to do community service face a whole new slew of problems after an electrical storm hits their town and turns them into superheroes. Each possesses a new power they didn’t want, one that explores their deepest, darkest insecurities.
Watch it with: yourself
Set in 1980s Ireland, this truly hilarious comedy follows 12-year-old Martin Moone as he navigates the intricacies of his eccentric childhood with the help of his bearded — and very sarcastic — imaginary friend Sean (played by Bridesmaids’ Chris O’Dowd).
Go see it with: your mom, aunt and grandmother
Tom Hanks stars in this tale inspired by the untold story of how Disney’s Mary Poppins made it to the screen. Emma Thompson stars as P.L. Travers, the curmudgeonly writer not eager to see her story bastardized.
Go see it with: the whole family
Director David O. Russell directs this fictional story of notorious con man Irving Rosenfeld (a barely recognizable Christian Bale) and his partner, portrayed by Amy Adams. The duo is forced to change things up after being discovered by the FBI, but the antics don’t die down a bit.
Go see it with: your significant other
Joaquin Phoenix stars as a withdrawn writer who falls in love with his computer’s highly advanced operating system in this comedy from director Spike Jonze.
Go see it with: anyone looking for a laugh
Ron Burgundy and his band of bros are back, and they’re taking the 24-hour news world by storm. Expect tons of cameos, a fair amount of scotch, and a lot of antics that make it difficult to stay classy.