November's TV premieres look to the past, as Netflix revisits two bygone eras — the times of Blockbuster Video and the People's Princess — Hulu explores the gyrating rise and fall of Chippendales, and Warwick Davis returns as Willow in a fantasy series on Disney+. We suppose there are worse ways to mine nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s.
Viewers can also look forward to a sweeping Western with Prime Video's The English, more hilarious infighting among the crew of Mythic Quest, and a dramatic turn from a newly-welcome-to-Balthazar James Corden.
Here are the shows the Primetimer staff can’t wait to watch this November:
Premieres November 3
The 2020 Netflix documentary The Last Blockbuster told the story of the downfall of America's biggest DVD/video rental chain and stoked nostalgia for the very way of life that Netflix was instrumental in drubbing out of existence. Now the streaming giant is looking to dance on the grave of its vanquished predecessor again with Blockbuster, a narrative sitcom set in the world's last operating Blockbuster Video store. Randall Park (Veep; Fresh Off the Boat) and Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) star as the manager and employee of the store, respectively. It's a sitcom, so you already know there's going to be some kind of romantic tension there.
The series comes from creator Vanessa Ramos, who was a writer on Superstore and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, with Happy Endings creator David Caspe and writer Jackie Clarke onboard as writers and producers. In addition to Park and Fumero, the supporting cast includes Tyler Alvarez (American Vandal), Olga Merediz (In the Heights), and Madeleine Arthur (the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series). — Joe Reid
Premieres November 9
Netflix has hardly needed to promote The Crown Season 5, as Dame Judi Dench and sources close to the royal family have spent the past few weeks campaigning against its “crude sensationalism” (Netflix ultimately acquiesced to demands for a disclaimer clarifying that the series is a “fictionalized dramatization”). Critics are particularly concerned about how the fifth season will depict Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Diana’s tumultuous separation and its effect on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign throughout the 1990s.
For the third time, The Crown will refresh its cast entirely, with Imelda Staunton (the Harry Potter films) taking on the role of the queen in her later years. Dominic West (The Affair) is stepping into Charles’ shoes, while Elizabeth Debicki (Tenet) takes over for Emma Corrin as Diana. The ensemble also includes Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret, and Jonny Lee Miller as Prime Minister John Major. This cast will carry The Crown through its sixth and final season, which will dramatize Diana’s 1997 death and the early days of Prince William’s relationship with Kate Middleton. — Claire Spellberg Lustig
Premieres November 11
Call it the finale of this TV season’s unofficial neo-western trilogy. Earlier this year, Prime Video’s Outer Range and AMC’s Dark Winds both told frontier stories with a modern sensibility, using stylized visuals and subversive humor to highlight characters that are typically excluded from cowboy tales. Now Prime Video returns with The English, which follows a British woman and a Pawnee man on a blood-soaked journey to a small Wyoming town, where they learn they’re both connected to a series of unsolved murders.
Their outsider status promises to define the series, as does a visual style that finds eerie beauty in brutal acts. Emily Blunt stars as the Englishwoman, and Chaske Spencer plays the Pawnee man who spent time as a cavalry scout. Somewhat surprisingly, the limited series is written and directed by Hugo Blick, who previously created dense political dramas like Black Earth Rising and The Honourable Woman. This suggests there’s a rich vein of commentary running through the action and adventure. — Mark Blankenship
Premieres November 11
In this darkly comic drama about a marriage on the rocks, series creator Jez Butterworth extends the flair for dream logic that made his screenplays for Birthday Girl and The Edge of Tomorrow so beguiling. While we can certainly get invested in the story of a chef who learns his wife is having multiple affairs, it’s the surreal touches that give the show its heft. It may not make literal sense when a game of Scrabble predicts the future or a character visits the past to chat with Coco Chanel, but emotionally, it feels absolutely right.
In an unfortunate echo of his real-life restaurant drama, James Corden gives a raw performance as the chef in question, while Sally Hawkins is all suppressed emotion and dark desire as his sister. The first season is short — six episodes, under 30 minutes each — but it’s strange and distinct enough to linger in the mind for weeks. — Mark Blankenship
Premieres November 11
The latest season of Mythic Quest is one marked by change, as Ian (series co-creator Rob McElhenney) and Poppy (Charlotte Nicdao) launch GrimPop Studios, David (David Hornsby) takes over as leader of Mythic Quest (the game developing company, not the show), and Brad (a delightfully devious Danny Pudi) braces for a comeback after a stint in prison. There'll also be plenty of opportunity for professional rivalry and growth along with meta humor, as the in-story Mythic Quest gets the Hollywood treatment, complete with a guest appearance from Joe Manganiello (much to Ian's chagrin).
But at its core, the winning workplace dramedy remains a series about creative endeavors — what it takes to put something new into the world, and how quickly we can lapse back into the status quo. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more talented or cohesive cast elsewhere on TV, or writing as trenchant yet compassionate. As Ted Lasso starts to wind down, Mythic Quest deserves to come to the fore of Apple TV+’s comedy slate. — Danette Chavez
Premieres November 17
Alternately visceral and contemplative, Gangs of London kicked, punched, and suplexed its way to the top of TV’s crime dramas when it debuted in 2020. What started as an homage to Martin Scorsese’s contributions to the genre quickly became something uniquely engrossing — a meaningful exploration of how empires, not just cities, are built, punctuated with familial strife and bursts of hyperviolence.
Series creators Gareth Evans and Matt Flannery appear to have upped the ante for Season 2, which sees household-name-in-the-making Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù return as Elliot, an undercover cop who learned much more about London’s power structure than he bargained for last season. The red band trailer (which is not the preview we’ve linked to below, out of consideration for the squeamish) is full of jaw-dropping, even stomach-churning feats, as Elliot once again finds himself back on the streets and at the center of all-out war. — Danette Chavez
Premieres November 22
Part crime drama, part 1980s fever dream, Welcome to Chippendales charts the rise and fall of Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani), an Indian immigrant who became the unlikely founder of Chippendales. The eight-episode series follows Banerjee as he develops an idea for a male strip show, the first of its kind in the United States, and recruits Emmy-winning producer Nick De Noia (Murray Bartlett) to turn it into a theatrical success. As Chippendales takes off and becomes a global sensation, Banerjee grows increasingly protective of his company, and over the course of the next decade, his paranoid mindset leads him to orchestrate the murder of De Noia, various arson plots, and a poisoning scheme, among other criminal acts.
For viewers only familiar with the cheesy cultural impact of Chippendales, Hulu’s limited series offers a window into the backstage drama and double-dealing that marred its legacy. And if cuffs and collars aren’t your thing, Welcome to Chippendales also features performances from Juliette Lewis, Annaleigh Ashford, Andrew Rannells, and Dan Stevens. — Claire Spellberg Lustig
Premieres November 30
The 1988 fantasy adventure film Willow, produced by George Lucas and directed by Ron Howard, was seen as something of a disappointment in the wake of the Star Wars movies, despite being a $135 million worldwide earner. Now, more than 30 years later, the nostalgia for the original property is strong enough to warrant a continuation sequel at Disney+, with Warwick Davis reprising his role as Willow, a dwarf in a fantasy realm who has attained the level of sorcerer that he was striving for in the original film.
Also reprising her role from the original film for this new fantasy adventure is Joanne Whalley as the heroic Sorsha. New cast members include Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman (Karli Morgenthau in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson in the new Spider-Man movies). Christian Slater and Ralph Ineson are also said to show up later in the season, though neither one is in the trailer. One original cast member who won't be back this season is Val Kilmer, whose recovery from throat cancer kept him from reprising his role as Madmartigan, the brash swordsman of the original — though executive producer Jonathan Kasdan has said that Kilmer would be "a huge part of this," whatever that turns out to mean. — Joe Reid
God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty (Hulu, 11/1)
Manifest Season 4, Part 1 (Netflix, 11/4)
Lopez vs. Lopez (NBC, 11/4)
Young Rock Season 3 (NBC, 11/4)
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me (Apple TV+, 11/4)
The Mosquito Coast Season 2 (Apple TV+, 11/4)
Dangerous Liaisons (Starz, 11/6)
Spector (Showtime, 11/6)
Save Our Squad with David Beckham (Disney+, 11/9)
The Big Brunch (HBO Max, 11/10)
Tulsa King (Paramount+, 11/13)
Yellowstone Season 5 (Paramount+, 11/13)
Leverage: Redemption Season 2 (Amazon Freevee, 11/16)
The Santa Clauses (Disney+, 11/16)
Fleishman Is in Trouble (FX on Hulu, 11/17)
Pepsi, Where's My Jet? (Netflix, 11/17)
1899 (Netflix, 11/17)
Dead to Me Season 3 (Netflix, 11/17)
Sex Lives of College Girls Season 2 (HBO Max, 11/17)
Planet Sex with Cara Delevingne (Hulu, 11/18)
The L Word: Generation Q Season 3 (Showtime, 11/20)
Wednesday (Netflix, 11/23)
Echo 3 (Apple TV+, 11/23)
Pitch Perfect: Bumper in Berlin (Peacock, 11/23)
Criminal Minds: Evolution (Paramount+, 11/24)
Love Lizzo (HBO Max, 11/24)
TOPICS: Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, AMC+, Apple TV+, Hulu, Netflix, Blockbuster, The Crown, The English, Gangs of London, Mammals, Mythic Quest, Welcome to Chippendales, Willow