Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin
Wilkommen to Germany, Bumper Allen! The emotionally tone-deaf scene stealer from the Pitch Perfect movie franchise, played with endearingly delusional fervor by Adam Devine, takes a leap into what he hopes is stardom by moving to Germany when one of Bumper’s songs hits big overseas. He reunites with his one-time Modern Family gal pal Sarah Hyland in a six-part comedy series, available for a holiday weekend binge.
She’s creepy and she’s kooky, and more than a little droll, as we encounter Wednesday Addams of the notoriously macabre family at the center of her own series. (What, you thought they’d wait until Thursday to launch it?) With a helping hand from the disembodied Thing, snark princess Wednesday (Scream’s Jenny Ortega) deadpans her way into Nevermore Academy, the alma mater of her parents Gomez (Luis Guzmán) and Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Amid a student body of ghouls and freaks, Wednesday gets her Nancy Drew on to solve a rash of grisly slayings while probing a mystery involving her parents and the school’s weird headmistress (Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie). Visionary Tim Burton is director and producer, so you know this will also be fun to look at.
Hunky he-men Luke Evans and Michiel Huisman are the heroes in a gripping 10-part rescue thriller from Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker screenwriter Mark Boal. They’re Bambi and Prince (nicknames), respectively, members of an elite special ops military unit who go rogue when Bambi’s sister and Prince’s new bride, scientific researcher Amber (Jessica Ann Collins), is kidnapped in the Colombian jungle by South American rebel guerillas. Things get especially dicey when the captors begin to believe their hostage is connected to the CIA. They’re not entirely wrong, but she’s tougher than she looks, and so are the anguished soldiers on their trail. Premieres with three episodes, the remainder airing weekly on Fridays through Jan. 13.
Tutankhamun: Allies & Enemies
This month marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the “Boy King” Tut’s tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings. Beyond the treasures buried with him lies the mystery of who Tutankhamun truly was and why he died so young (at 18 or 19). A two-hour documentary consults historians, archeologists and scientists to explore his short but iconic history and also to examine his burial.
A four-part docuseries gets up close and personal with the NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, who participates in a series of frank interviews about his life and championship career (with the Magic, Lakers, Heat, Suns and Cavaliers and Celtics). Teammates including Penny Hardaway, Dwyane Wade and Rick Fox, coaches Phil Jackson and Pat Riley and former Lakers manager Jerry West weigh in on Shaq’s towering presence. In the first episode, we follow Shaq from his roots in a military household to his arrival as an NBA star.
Want to see what all the fuss is about over Andor, one of the best-reviewed series in the Star Wars universe? Disney-owned ABC screens the first two episodes of the gritty action series starring Diego Luna as dashing thief-turned-rebel spy Cassian Andor in a prequel set five years before the events of Rogue One. The timing coincides with the season finale, available today on Disney+, with a second season already in production. (These episodes can also be seen on FX Thursday at 9/8c, Freeform on Friday at 9/8c, and streaming on Hulu through Dec. 7.)
Inside Wednesday TV:
- The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS, check local schedules): Dallas icon Patrick Duffy reprises his daytime soap role as Logan family patriarch Stephen Logan (last seen in 2011), reuniting with his daughters to introduce his new girlfriend, Lucy (played by Duffy’s real-life romantic partner, Linda Purl).
- Chucky (9/8c, Syfy and USA): There’s an unpleasant holiday surprise awaiting 3 Amigos Jake (Zackary Arthur), Devon (Björgvin Arnarson) and Lexy (Alyivia Alyn Lynd) when they receive a “special delivery” upon their return to Hackensack for Christmas.
- Sherman’s Showcase (10:30/9:30c, IFC): Inspired by the Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch,” the Soul Train parody presents its first interactive episode, with plenty of options and guest stars for the lucky viewer.
- Good Night Oppy (streaming on Prime Video): An uplifting documentary charts the incredible journey of Opportunity, the rover sent to Mars on what was to be a 90-day mission of exploration that lasted 15 years. If you choked up at WALL-E, wait till you see this.
- The Swimmers (streaming on Netflix): More inspiration in a fact-based film about two sisters who flee war-torn Syria with the goal to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics.