A beloved serial killer, an MCU series, hormone monsters, warring drug lords, and many magical moments. November is filled with with must-see TV shows, both of the brand new and returning varieties. On a more hybrid note, a highly anticipated revival comes to mind with Dexter: New Blood, in which Michael C. Hall slides right back into his Dark Passenger-taunted ways to erase sins of the lumberjack past. Elsewhere, there’s the newest MCU Phase Four show arriving with a holiday theme while Big Mouth brings back one of the best adult-animated sets of characters known to the streaming realm. In other words, Showtime, Disney+, and Netflix are all representing well here, and Hulu has some (offbeat) Marvel magic coming your way, too.
Speaking of magic, Amazon Prime will bring you Rosamund Pike in fantasy-adaptation land, and wait, Netflix isn’t done yet: they’re adapting cult-favorite anime series in live-action form with John Cho and an adorable corgi, and Scoot McNairy’s mustache takes on all the bad guys for the final Narcos: Mexico season. There’s a lot more, and it’s more than enough to distract you from bickering relatives through Thanksgiving weekend.
Here are the biggest shows worth noticing in November:
Narcos: Mexico: Season 3 (Netflix series streaming 11/5)
Drug lord extraordinaire Félix Gallardo warned Agent Walt Breslin that he’d freed a circus of animals within the drug war, and he wasn’t joking. The cartels are poppin’ in what will be the final season of the spinoff to the Pablo Escobar-centered beginnings of Narcos. Fortunately, the spirit of Pablo is still around, sort-of, given that actor Wagner Moura has returned to direct, and Breslin and the fledgling DEA sure have their work cut out for them with hydra heads springing up everywhere. That includes El Chapo, who’s all up in the Sinaloa business, and the tagline for this season is absolutely magnificent: “THE FINAL BLOW.” No subtlety there.
Big Mouth: Season 5 (Netflix series streaming 11/5)
The hormone monsters are back for another round with an all-star voice cast that includes Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Maya Rudolph, Ayo Edebiri, Andrew Rannells, Jordan Peele, and Richard Kind. Oh, and Kumail Nanjiani will be starring as himself, somehow, while shirtless. Settle in as hate spirals and a hate worm and all kinds of other amorphous creatures take over eighth grade. Man, middle school was the worst, right? One might as well vent some angst by seeing how these bizarro creatures (including a love bug) navigate the hurdles.
Dickinson: Season 3 (Apple TV+ series streaming 11/5)
Hailee Stanfield’s playing the rebellious poet for a final batch of episodes (right as she makes picks up the arrow in Hawkeye, too) while the Civil War lurks on the horizon. This actually turns out to be the most prolific period of Emily Dickinson’s writing career, all while chaos swirls in a historical sense as well as a familial one. Can art make a real difference, not only for the future but for the present as well? It’s a question that this show still hopes to answer, all while making love-of-literature a badass affair.
Dexter: New Blood: Season 1 (Showtime series premiering 11/7)
Dexter Morgan, who’s arguably TV’s most beloved serial killer of all time (sorry, Hannibal fans), is back, baby. The new season is a bloody good time for all and works hard to erase the sins of the lumberjack past. As Showtime already revealed, not only is Harrison back but Debra as well. So, there’s a lot of outside forces at work, and it’s going to be a trip to see how Dexter can survive having to tend to something else beyond his inner war. That’s the real hurricane, and it’s a much more compelling storm this time around. Dexter’s out of his element, and it’s so much fun to watch.
Gentefied: Season 2 (Netflix series streaming 11/10)
If you haven’t had the pleasure of binging this heartwarming dramedy yet, it’s time to get caught up. Glorious character actor Joaquín Cosío (Narcos: Mexico) is up for deportation, and the siblings must work to save his ass while continuing to explore their own Mexican-American identity, save their taco shop, and generally be the coolest while wrapping their arms around the American Dream. That dream, of course, might be a double-edged sword because success also threatens the communities and values that the family’s hoping to help preserve. It’s a charming series full of authentic characters, and they must rescue Pops.
Ragdoll: Season 1 (AMC+ series streaming 11/11)
The Killing Eve producers are on the case in this psychological thriller series that follows a disgraced London Police detective, who’s making a sort-of comeback in a particularly grim case. That would be the discovery of a literal “ragdoll” of body parts (from six murder victims), and it’s the work of a serial killer who’s already got a hit list for six more people, including Mr. Detective Himself. He joins the team to race against time, and the series also captures the fractured personal lives of several people on and connected with the case. It’s a killer premise and waiting to be discovered by you.
The Shrink Next Door: Season 1 (Apple TV+ series streaming 11/12)
Paul Rudd stars as the therapist from hell, who simply does not believe in boundaries, as the title of this show suggests. Will Ferrell plays his unfortunate patient, and the dark comedy series builds an unnerving tension while also charting decades of a relationship between these two men. Both Rudd and Ferrell can’t help but be funny, but their dramatic sides will shine through here, too. Fortunately, they’ve also got Kathryn Hahn and her serious wig game on board for extra clout, but the big question is this: when and where will Paul Rudd end up dancing in this story? You gotta watch to find out.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum: Season 2 (Disney+ series streaming 11/12)
Jazzy Jeff Goldblum (no really, he’s a best-selling jazz artist these days, although not a DJ) catapulted to fame while unbuttoning his shirt during the first Jurassic Park film. These days, however, Jeff’s pursuing more intellectually curious endeavors, and that’s going down on his delightfully quirky National Geographic show that streams on Disney+. There’s really good news, too. After exploring the origins of ice cream (you must watch that episode), denim, recreational vehicles and more, he’s about to leap into your heart for another round of episodes, this time while exploring magic, fireworks, monsters, dogs, and dance.
Mayor of Kingstown: Season 1 (Paramount+ series streaming 11/14)
Jeremy Renner wasn’t content to have one high-profile series come out this month (that’d be Hawkeye on Disney+), and he’s definitely not in the MCU here. He stars alongside Kyle Chandler and Dianne Wiest as a member of the power-brokering McLusky family, who are running their Michigan town with no hope for anyone else to prevail. In this show, the incarceration business is the name of the game, so expect explosive drama and a gritty outlook, all while exploring the themes of justice and corruption and inequality. Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone, Sons of Anarchy) co-created here, and he did not come to play.
Kamikaze: Season 1 (HBO Max series streaming 11/14)
This Polish show might not be on your radar yet, but it arrives with a riveting premise: what happens to one’s identity when everything that matters in your life disappears in one panicked heartbeat? Marie Reuther portrays a young woman who gets a terrible text message — her entire family is about to go down in a plane crash — that changes everything. She’s alone and picking up the pieces, and this feels very much like Morvern Callar but with a contemporary spin. Yes, expect a lot of tragedy here, but you also won’t be able to look away from where this protagonist goes.
Yellowjackets: Season 1 (Showtime series streaming 11/14)
This show looks as intense as one can expect. It’s a survival epic and a psychological horror story with plenty of coming-of-age touches, too, all revolving around plane crash survivors in the wilderness. They’re initially a thriving team that divides without conquering and the show also visits their future, decades later, while they’re reliving trauma and realizing that you can never leave a past like that one behind for good. As if you needed another reason not to hop on an airplane these days, right?
Marvel’s Hit Monkey: Season 1 (Hulu series streaming 11/17)
Hulu is crushing the game when it comes to adapting offbeat Marvel titles these days, as evidenced by the thoroughly enjoyable M.O.D.O.K., which gave us a better villain than we’ve ever seen in the MCU. Here, Jason Sudeikis, George Takei, and Olivia Munn voice the lead roles in a story about a Japanese snow monkey who somehow joins forces with an American assassin’s ghost, and they end up tearing up the Yakuza’s little underworld. This ain’t Ted Lasso, but since Sudeikis is onboard, it’ll be hard to escape that winning charm.
The Great: Season 2 (Hulu series streaming 11/17)
There ain’t no royal drama like this show does royal drama. Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult return to hate the hell out of each other again. Hoult’s depraved Peter III is a pain-in-the-ass as always, and kind-of how you’d imagine Kim Jong-un as a sexy, hard-partying Russian. The comedy stays bitingly dark, too, with Fanning’s Catherine the Great wondering about her likelihood of staying alive, and of course, there’s the reality that this character overthrew her husband six months into their marriage. The great (get it?) Gillian Anderson joins this season, and the beheading joke in the trailer fits right in with the show’s usual vibe.
Cowboy Bebop: Season 1 (Netflix series streaming 11/19)
Bounty hunting never looked so stylish, and from the looks of this teaser, Netflix is not messing around with their adaptation of a cult-classic anime property. John Cho stars as Spike Spiegel, who’s in stunt mode alongside Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) while dodging death and making money. The spirit of the source material appears to be honored with an action-focused, aesthetic punch, and even non-anime fans who adore ultra-stylization (as with Scott Pilgrim and Sin City) should be intrigued. Heck, even the most casual Quentin Tarantino fan should toss this selection into the queue.
The Wheel of Time: Season 1 (Amazon Prime series streaming 11/19)
Rosamund Pike finally goes not play a sociopath while starring in this sprawling adaptation of one of the most popular fantasy book series (by Robert Jordan) ever. Here, she portrays Moiraine, who’s a member of an exclusive, magical, all-ladies organization known as Aes Sedai. The story follows Moiraine’s dangerous quest with a group that contains the prophesied Dragon Reborn, who shall be the key to humanity’s fate. Whether that fate is to be destroyed or saved, who really knows? Sit back and surrender to the epic journey.
Hawkeye: Season 1 (Disney+ series streaming 11/24)
The MCU is in holiday mood for this series, which begins to pass the arrow from Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton to Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop, who’s learning the ropes as the two battle through some sort of Christmas hellscape that feels awfully surreal, including a Captain America-themed musical and the entry of Vera Farmiga into the MCU. And don’t forget, Black Widow ended with a relevant post-credits scene, in which Countess Valentina Allegra De Fontaine (Julia Louis Dreyfus) planted a hit on Hawkeye by telling Yelena (Florence Pugh) that Hawkeye was “the man responsible for your sister’s death.” Yep, Hawkeye is in some deep sh*t.
Saved By the Bell: Season 2 (Peacock series streaming 11/24)
Occasionally, a rebooted series really resonates with its audience, and as with Cobra Kai, this one worked out to harness a new generation of viewers, along with those who watched the O.G. effort during their own youth. The ultimate Zack Attack last season meant that Mark-Paul Gosselaar was on hand to portray a bad California governor, but fortunately, Tiffani Thiessen, Elizabeth Berkley, and Mario Lopez all arrived to help make things right. The revival was surprisingly socially relevant, too, and expect more of the same to come with a student leader who finds herself with more of a mess to clean up than she expected.
How To with John Wilson: Season 2 (HBO series premiering 11/26)
The “anxious New Yorker” (as he refers to himself) and documentary filmmaker returns for more slice-of-life and refreshingly funny accounts of existing in the Big Apple. Whether or not this season will be able to circumvent heavy pandemic coverage remains to be seen. Yet no matter what, one should expect a heartfelt exploration of all issues, no matter how simple they might seem. This season promises some unexpected moments with unyielding honesty at every turn. Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.