In the slow crawl towards Christmas you expect TV to turn its eyes to your winter warmers, rather easily-paced productions that comfort without being overly taxing, full of the kind of plenty and tinsel which you will hopefully soon be enjoying too. This December does have that – but it also has ludicrous ultraviolence. So, you know, something for everyone, and it is the thought that counts after all.
Here are the biggest new TV shows of December 2022.
What’s New On TV In December 2022
1. Three Pines | December 2nd, 2022
The regional detective drama is very well-trodden territory and has been for a long time, it’s the silk road of TV, and to be honest, the format ran out of novelty long before it ran out of places. Oh, this one’s in Quebec? So there’s subtitles and that? No, they just speak with an accent? To be honest the main reason I’m highlighting this one is that the lead is unexpected sex symbol Alfred ‘Dr. Octopus’ Molina.
While it doesn’t look as if Molina will be getting his tits out again, as a figure he’s a fairly natural fit for a detective, and indeed for the type of detective who investigates small-town murders that turn out to be more complex than they seem. For all that murder, Three Pines presents itself as a cosier type of detective drama, one to watch from under a blanket, with some pastries and mulled wine, quietly grateful you’re not also out there in the snow, being murdered.
2. Connect| December 7th, 2022
The press release describes this as being about “an immortal human who tracks down the serial killer who has stolen one of his eyes”. I’ll be honest, I’m already excited. Although – and not to indulge in stereotypes of the Far East – if you saw a synopsis like that written on the back of an anime, you wouldn’t even blink.
Connect did actually begin life as a ‘webtoon’, a kind of comic mainly popular in South Korea, and evidently did well enough in that form that it’s now being created in live action. The adaptation is directed by Takashi Miike, best known for the incredibly violent and over-the-top 13 Assassins and so a natural choice for a project like this one.
3. Kindred| December 13th, 2022
An adaptation of Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel of the same name, Kindred stars Mallori Johnson as an aspiring writer who finds herself jumping about through time, between the present day and a 19th century plantation where her family once – well, ‘lived’ perhaps doesn’t paint the full picture. ‘Were held’? ‘Were property’?
The trailer promises an interesting way of dealing with the time shifts – a lot of very nicely done dissolves between the present and the past, fading into all those lovely intricate Victorian interiors, the gilded facade over some real horrors that Kindred likely won’t be shy about showing in detail.
And this same contrast is present in other ways. Johnson’s character, with historical foreknowledge, will be all too aware of the horrible situation she’s ended up in – but will knowing that actually do her a blind bit of good? Meanwhile, back in the present her boyfriend’s having to deal with her vanishing off into the past now and again, which isn’t quite so bad but still far from ideal.
4. National Treasure: Edge of History| December 14th, 2022
A spin-off of the film franchise, which sadly hasn’t managed to bring Nicholas Cage with it – but somehow has managed to snare Harvey Keitel and Catherine Zeta-Jones? For a television project? Well, perhaps them using the Freemasonic Eye of Providence in the show’s titles isn’t just a fancy aesthetic touch.
So, anyway – Lisette Alexis is on a plucky search for answers about her dead father, she ends up on a brave adventure to save a lost treasure, it belongs in a museum, nefarious powers want it too, blah blah blah. It’s shamelessly, unapologetically, Disney’s attempt to steal a march on the upcoming fifth Indiana Jones film (which will only need to outdo the fourth to go down a storm).
The obvious weakness, based on the trailer, is Alexis’s young adult friend group, written with all the verve and panache that can be brought to the table by people more preoccupied with bringing Big Mouse another pound of flesh. This pathological need to involve youngsters was always Indy’s Achilles heel too. Short Round you could forgive, he was just a kid, but there was absolutely no excuse for getting Shia LaBeouf involved.
5. The Witcher: Blood Origin | December 25th, 2022
Just the thing for Christmas morning, eh? This is a four-part prequel set 1,200 years before the advent of Henry Cavill of Rivia, about the very first Witcher, that curious quasi-human sect cursed to roam the lands being brooding and sexy. It stars Sophia Brown, Michelle Yeoh, Laurence O’Fuarain, and Minnie Driver, most of whom are going around with special pointy-ear prosthetics.
Looking at the trailer, some of the CGI looks a little ropy, but honestly, who cares? This is a TV adaptation of a video game, and what’s more it’s one that didn’t stall on the runway, it’s the closest a multi-million dollar streaming service can get to creating a shlocky pulp novel. If anything, the ropier the special effects, the better – although most of the pointed ears do look pretty convincing.
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