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We may be living in a golden age of TV, but panning through all the dross to find that gold can be time-consuming and tedious. For every much-discussed hit like Severance, House of the Dragon, and The Bear, there are dozens of new original shows that barely tip the cultural needle. And with so many new streaming services competing with HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Disney Plus, it’s impossible to keep up with everything new to view. But The Verge’s TV section is ready to help. Our news, reviews, and interviews help you find the next Stranger Things or Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in time to keep up with the cultural conversation. And our essays and analysis invite you to consider the deeper context of what you’re watching.

A nice stay-at-home weekend in entertainment.

OK, yes, Wonka is in theaters, but most of this week’s releases are things you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch.

Barbie is now streaming on Max, and there’s a bunch on Netflix: Yu Yu Hakusho, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, Carol and the End of the World, and the final season of Hilda, which I highly recommend if you need something to watch with kids. And if you’re looking for something fun and holiday-themed, Merry Little Batman is on Prime Video.

When it comes to games, the GTA trilogy is now on mobile (it’s free if you’re a Netflix subscriber), God of War has a free roguelike expansion, and the classic cat-collecting game Neko Atsume gets some new life in mixed reality.


Timothée Chalamet in Wonka.

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Wonka.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures
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I really hope the second season of Platonic explores its relationship to Invasion.

Platonic has been renewed! Given the first season ended on a pretty definitive note it will be curious to see where season two goes. I hope it immediately addresses the whole “we saw aliens” subplot by pivoting the show into being a prequel to Invasion, also on Apple TV Plus.

Instead, it will probably just continue to be a really good show about Millennials reckoning with growing old.


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Marvel counts down to season two of What If...?

We’re just weeks away from a new year (no, really, I checked), but before the calendar flips over, the MCU will deliver a new season of its animated What If...? series on Disney Plus.

They reworked the 12 Days of Christmas carol as a reminder it’s on the way, just in case anyone forgot.


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Another split season coming to Netflix.

The streamer continues to ever-so-slowly move away from binge releases, at least when it comes to some of its biggest shows. The third season of Bridgerton will follow in the footsteps of Stranger Things and The Witcher by releasing in two parts: the first premieres on May 16th, followed by another batch of episodes on June 13th.


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The 2024 Golden Globes are Barbie’s to lose.

The nominations for the 2024 Golden Globes are finally here, and while there’s plenty of prestige fare like Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Succession up for statues, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie — which is up for 10 awards — is the one to beat.


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Amazon’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith are going to get through this rough patch together.

20th Century Fox’s original Mr. & Mrs. Smith only showed a bit of its titular operatives’ secretive backstories before the film’s plot sent them off running for their lives.

But the latest teaser for Amazon’s upcoming adaptation starring Donald Glover and Maya Erskine makes it seems like the series is going to dig way deeper into the couple’s interiority as they mow down fleets of fellow trained killers.


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George R.R. Martin is talking about third and fourth seasons of House of the Dragon.

In his latest post on his personal blog, Martin says that he worked with House of the Dragon writers on the two seasons during a recent trip to London. Neither of the seasons have been officially announced, but given the huge numbers for the show’s debut last year and the quick renewal for season 2, I’m not surprised that there’s work being done on the far future of the show.

Season 2 is set to premiere on Max in summer 2024.


With Dream Scenario, Nic Cage wants to let you in on a secret

Dream Scenario’s Nic Cage wants you to know that there’s a difference between maximalism and pushing the boundaries of filmmaking as an art.

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Hollywood’s actors vote to make their new deal official — the strikes are really over.

Members of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) voted in favor (78.33 percent to 21.67 percent) of the agreement negotiated last month with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that represents the studios.

The new deal runs through June 30th, 2026, following the first time in 63 years that the unions for actors and writers were on strike at the same time.

SAG-AFTRA:

The deal includes more than $1 billion in new compensation and benefit plan funding, along with outsized gains to the traditional residuals formulas. It offers a new compensation model for performers working in streaming, with a substantial bonus on top of existing residuals structures, plus compensation escalation for principal and background actors. Additionally, the deal establishes detailed informed consent and compensation guardrails for the use of AI, hair and makeup equity, meaningful protections for the casting process, sexual harassment prevention protections and more.


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The live-action Yu Yu Hakusho series looks like a classic Netflix joint.

Especially in a post One Piece world, there’s always some hope of Netflix’s live-action anime / manga adaptations exceeding everyone’s expectations.

But judging from the looks of the wigs and special effects featured in the new trailer for Robot Communications’ upcoming spin on Yu Yu Hakusho, we might be in for another clunker.


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Star Trek: Discovery gets dark in its final season.

I mean that literally, at least judging from the lighting-challenged clip from Discovery’s fifth and final season, which Paramount Plus shared today at Brazil’s CCXP 2023.

In what looks like almost the dead of night, Captain Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Book (David Ajala) try not to get killed by giant cloaking aliens with lava faces.


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“And no war so bloody as a war between dragons.”

Warner Bros Discovery debuted the season 2 trailer for House of the Dragon at CCXP in Brazil today. The season’s eight episodes will start streaming on Max in summer 2024.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that House of the Dragon is bringing in some new actors, as well:

The production also announced additional actors joining the show: Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, Tom Bennett as Ulf, Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.


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Get a load of The Boys.

Amazon Prime just released the season 4 teaser trailer for The Boys at CCXP in Brazil. There’s plenty of the show’s familiar satire of the US’ political and societal landscape in it, and Homelander looks like as much of a nightmare as ever.

The season comes next year.


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That vault probably works just fine.

Amazon Prime video is counting down to something to do with the new Fallout show that’s coming next year. A “live report from Galaxy News” on YouTube has a camera pointed at a Valut-Tec vault that almost certainly doesn’t have any dead people and giant roaches in it.

We’ve got a little over 30 minutes until whatever is going to happen happens.


A monster week for entertainment releases.

Leading the way is the biggest monster of all, as Godzilla Minus One hits theaters. Also in theaters: John Woo’s Christmas-themed revenge movie Silent Night.

Elsewhere, season 2 of Netflix’s survival horror series Sweet Home is now streaming, the latest Indiana Jones is on Disney Plus, Baldur’s Gate 3 just got a huge update, and Fortnite OG is about to end with The Big Bang event.


A still photo from the film Godzilla Minus One.

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Godzilla Minus One.
Image: Toho
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Production on The Last of Us’ second season starts in February.

Showrunner Craig Mazin said in a Variety panel that production begins on February 12th. The date’s not a total surprise, as HBO and Max content chief Casey Bloys recently said that production would start in early 2024, but now we know exactly when it starts.

Now we just need to know who is going to play Abby. Hopefully we’ll find out soon, given that the role has apparently already been cast.


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The first season of the Halo show is available to watch for free on YouTube.

You can watch all nine episodes from this playlist, as shared by Wario64. If you want to read more about the show before jumping in, check out Ash Parrish’s review of the season.

The Paramount Plus show has been renewed for a second season, but we still don’t know when it’s set to come out.


The best entertainment of 2023

A curated guide to the most interesting games, movies, and TV shows of the year.

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Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal are taking The Boys to Mexico.

Amazon’s adaptation of The Boys only just got to college with its Gen V spin-off, but the streamer has already greenlit yet another expansion of the franchise — this time set in Mexico — courtesy of Blue Beetle’s Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Diego Luna, and Gael García Bernal.


Get a first look at the big iron on his hip.

Vanity Fair has released some first-look photos for the Amazon-produced live action Fallout series due out in April of next year, and with The Game Awards next week, we just might get a trailer soon.

Fallout stars Ella Purnell (Yellowjackets) as Lucy, a vault dweller venturing out into the nuclear devastated world of ghouls, robots, and Roman empire cosplayers. It also stars Walton Goggins (Baby Billy’s Bible Bonkers) as The Ghoul, a hundred-year-old irradiated walking corpse who, according to Fallout’s prosthetics designer Vincent Van Dyke, needed to be both gruesome and hot.

Judging from the pictures...mission accomplished.


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Image: Vanity Fair
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The MCU’s Agatha Harkness seems to be back on her bullshit.

How Agatha Harkness: Darkhold Diaries will address the events of WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is anyone’s guess.

But in a new WandaVision behind-the-scenes feature reel which also includes some new Darkhold Diaries production footage), Kathryn Hahn’s Agatha Harkness appears to be back to her old seld, and messing with the kind of magic that tends to get people roped into big crossover events.


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Science Saru’s Dandadan adaptation might just make a believer out of you.

Yukinobu Tatsu’s sci-fi / action / romance manga Dandadan tells the story of two teens who are dead certain that ghosts and/or aliens are probably real.

The manga has only been publishing for a couple of years, but Science Saru’s upcoming adaptation looks like it’s going to be pretty damn slick when it drops in 2024.


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Doctor Who arrives oddly late to the companion podcast space.

The first of three new Doctor Who episodes is about to premiere at 6:30PM GMT (1:30PM ET, and if you’re not in the UK or Ireland, you’ll find the new episodes on Disney Plus now). And after fans watch “The Star Beast,” for the first time, there will be an official post-show podcast (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Pocket Casts) to extend the experience.

The only odd thing about this is that Doctor Who didn’t have one before, and if you’re still wondering why every new show has a podcast, Hot Pod has tried to answer that very question.


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You can finally read the details of SAG-AFTRA’s new contract for yourself.

When SAG-AFTRA finally reached a tentative agreement to bring the actors strike to an end earlier this month, the union’s insistence that its members might not be able to look over the deal before voting on it raised more than a few eyebrows.

It seemed odd that union leadership might try to get people on board with the contract without giving them a chance to read the whole thing. But now the union’s released the full document — on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving of all days.


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Meep meep.

While Star Wars continues to feature new aliens engineered in a lab for maximum cuteness, Doctor Who is moving in the opposite direction. Just look at this thing. I very much relate to Donna at the end of the clip below. The Meep, as it’s known, will make an appearance in “The Star Beast,” one of a trio of Doctor Who specials coming over the winter.


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*pounds table* Show me the creatures.

This is the second teaser for Netflix’s Gyeongseong Creature, following a release date announcement at Geeked Week earlier in the month. And while the show looks great, I am just itching to see what these creatures actually look like. I guess we’ll find out pretty soon: part one of the series starts streaming on December 22nd.


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Squid Game contestants want payback over alleged injuries.

Netflix denied complaints of injuries resulting from Squid Game: The Challenge's January filming conditions that reportedly resulted in some injuries.

As Deadline reported today — a day after the game show’s release — two of the contestants have hired British personal injury firm Express Solicitors to seek compensation for their claims of hypothermia and nerve damage resulting from the filming. A spokesperson for the show told Deadline “no lawsuit has been filed” yet.