Earlier this week, Netflix returned to the very Vanessa Hudgens-y tale of baker Stacey De Novo and royal Lady Margaret with The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again. Hudgens plays both characters in the madcap festive rom-com, along with the new, villainous Fiona. For viewers who are looking for a little more music in their festive programming, there is Christmas on the Square from Dolly Parton (and Dolly Parton’s vocal cords). Then, for the reality TV fans out there, Netflix debuts Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas, a new interior design that gorges itself on Christmas-y aesthetics.
On Friday, November 20, you will also find Voices of Fire, an emotional singing docuseries with musical magician Pharrell at the helm. The streamer is also offering a celebrity stand-up special, a quirky docuseries, and more.
These are all the new Netflix offerings broken down by plot, genre, and whether you should watch something immediately or skip for now. Keep reading for the lowdown on all of these Netflix treats, including their trailers.1 of 7
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The Princess Switch 2: Switched AgainWhat is it?:
The reason you’re going to Google “Nick Sagar, Instagram
” this weekend. What is it about?:
the Vanessa Hudgenses
. In the original Princess Switch
, Hudgens plays Stacy De Novo, a regular, dregular Chicago baker, and Lady Margaret, a painfully private royal of Montenaro, a fictional European nation. In Switched Again
, we check in on both women two years after the festive hijinks of the first film. Stacy is now the queen of Belgravia — yet another snow globe of a fictional European state — and Margaret is days away from becoming queen of Montenaro.
Despite their princess-y lives, both women are dealing with serious romantic troubles with their respective men: King Edward (Sam Palladio) and common baker Kevin (Sagar, the hunkiest man in the Netflix Christmas Universe
by a mile). This already delicate situation is thrown into true chaos when Margaret’s gleefully villainous cousin Fiona (Hudgens, again) blows into town. See or skip?:
See, for a charming and predictably silly start to the festive season. Hudgens, who is also an executive producer, throws herself into pulling off all three of her parts. It’s a feat to witness, particularly since she has to maintain two very different British accents as the posh Margaret and confusingly Cockney-esque Fiona. At least you can tell Hudgens is having a blast as preening con artist Fi.
If only Sam Palladio, who plays King Edward, had the intensity to meet Hudgens’ level.
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Dolly Parton's Christmas on the SquareWhat is it?:
More religion than you may be expecting. What is it about?:
Regina Fuller (Christine Baranski), a Midwestern woman who is somewhere between the Grinch and the villain from It’s A Wonderful Life
. Regina returns to her small town of Fullerville following the death of her father, who lovingly owned the tiny burg. Intent to permanently cut ties with Fullerville — which is steeped in her most painful memories — Regina announces she is selling the town to a shopping centre conglomerate just before Christmas.
It is the job of an impeccably dressed angel (executive producer Dolly Parton) and the most determined people of Fullertown to stop Regina from ruining lives — including her own — just before Christmas. See or skip?:
See, if you like when there is a little more “Christ” in Christ
mas. Christmas on the Square
is unabashedly centred in the power of faith in life’s most challenging moments. If you enjoy that kind of sensibility, you’ll find some very earnest musical numbers in Square
, along with delightful performances from Christine “The Best Chris” Baranski, Dolly Parton, and Roswell, New Mexico
’s Jeanine Mason.
If you choose to skip this movie, you’ll miss many exposition-heavy songs and a conversation that veers a little too close “I Love My Curvy Wife”-
Guy territory. So, you’ll be fine.
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Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas (Season 1)
What is it?: Another dose of HGTV-ready content for Netflix. This time with the Christmas spirit.
What is it about?: Bringing the heights of festive cheer to homes across the tri-state area. Holiday Home Makeover, led by Benjamin “Mr. Christmas” Bradley, follows an extremely straightforward model. A well-meaning individual with festive interior design woes writes Bradley a letter requesting his help. He and his team — known as “elves” — arrive at their charge’s home with a Santa’s bag-worth of tips and tricks for Christmas decorating. And, in three days, everyone’s yuletide dreams come true.
See or skip?: See, if you need inspiration for your own home this festive season, or if the Bobby Berk portions of Queer Eye are your favourites. Mr. Christmas is a heartwarming design show through and through. If you don’t care about the subject, there’s no reason to watch.
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Kevin Hart: Zero F**ks Given
What is it?: A socially distant stand-up special.
What is it about?: The feeling of hanging out with Hart in his living room. Because Hart filmed Zero F**ks Given in his own living room. It is unclear how a movie star like Hart hosted dozens of show-goers in his home without revealing his private address. Here, the comedian spends the hour unburdening his greatest anxieties, from the COVID-19 pandemic (he already had the virus) to the possibility of his teenage daughter becoming “a hoe.” This is an assertion that is as upsetting as it sounds.
Zero F**ks Given also reveals the mid-life banality of Hart hiding underneath the bravado of a multi-millionaire celebrity prone to sex scandals and “comedy” controversy.
See or skip?: You can skip Zero F**ks Given, unless you are a diehard Hart fan. This is the comedian at his most raw — which means he often veers into offensive territory. There are patches of F**ks that are so ableist Hart predicts his own “cancellation,” and other sections that are simply boring in their stereotyping of women.
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We Are the Champions (Season 1)
What is it?: A docuseries for the obsessive in all of us.
What is it about?: The very niche competitions that dominate lives around the globe. We Are the Champions introduces us to these stories through easy-to-digest half-hour chapters on everything from cheese rolling in the rural hills of England to the “Super Bowl” of fantasy hairstyling. The Office star Rainn Wilson — who is also an executive producer — narrates every embattled moment.
See or skip?: See, but start with “Dog Dancing.” Please. It is the perfect 30-minute episode of television to watch before bed. Few things will warm your heart more than a person who loves their dog so much, they want to dance with them at the highest level of international competition (Lasha, forever, y’all).
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Voices of Fire (Season 1)
What is it?: Faith-based Making the Band.
What is it about?: Pharrell Williams’ uncle, bishop Ezekiel Williams, who has worked in ministry for almost 30 years, and always dreamed of starting an “untraditional” and “inspirational” choir. Voices of Fire is his chance, as the series tracks Bishop Ezekiel’s progress in putting together that musical supergroup. Pharrell joins his uncle in his quest, which introduces us to talented unknown musicians. Since this is a Netflix docuseries, we get to know the trauma of Voices’ cast members as much as their successes.
See or skip?: See, if you miss the teary warm fuzzies that you would traditionally get from a Queer Eye season. Also, see if you loved Christmas on the Square and would enjoy some more religious musical content.
Ainu MosirWhat is it?:
A Japanese-language coming-of-age film. What is it about?:
Kanto (Kanto Shimokura), a 14-year-old boy from the Akanko Ainu Kotan village in Hokkaido. Kanto is part of the Ainu people, who are an indigenous group in Japan. As the Japan Times points out
, Japanese pop culture usually erases Ainu characters completely from narratives. When they are included, they are often played by non-Ainu Japanese actors. Ainu Mosir
does not make this mistake. The film’s lead is Kanto Shimokura, an Ainu performer and newcomer to acting. Ainu Mosir
follows Kanto, whose father is dead, as he comes to understand manhood and his culture from the precipice of high school. See or skip?: Ainu Mosir
is another boundary-breaking film from Ava DuVernay’s Array collective. See, to understand another culture that is usually marginalized on-screen. But, you are also free to skip if a late-in-the-film animal sacrifice is too much for you to endure. While the sacrifice — which is a delicate part of the Ainu culture — is bloodless, it could still be a distressing tragedy to witness.