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Best New Shows and Movies on Netflix This Week: The Witcher, YOU, and Multiple Popes

Plus: John Mulaney hangs out with some kids

Tim Surette

Looking for something new to watch on Netflix? Here is a list of all the best new shows and movies released on Netflix the week of Dec. 20-26.

Ole Saint Netlixolas is crawlin' up your fire escape to deliver a bounty of things to watch this Christmas week, so skip buying your friends gifts and instead give them the gift of Lost in Space Season 2. But you'll have to wait longer than usual for most of the shows. Netflix knows that most of your holiday break will be spent eyes glazed over in front of the television, so instead of hammering Friday with the bulk of its new releases, there will only be two out Friday, and most will come out on Christmas Eve or the day after Christmas. That should keep you busy until Saturday morning.

All titles are out Friday, Dec. 20 unless otherwise noted.

If you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, click over to our Watch This Now! page.

The Biggest Releases

The Witcher, Season 1
If you're looking for the next Game of Thrones... keep looking! Many are asking, "Is The Witcher the next Game of Thrones?" No, it isn't. Nothing is, and nothing will be. You may as well ask if Grey's Anatomy Season 18 is the next Game of Thrones. The answer will always be the same: NO. But The Witcher, based on the Polish books that also spawned a popular video game series, is a fantasy epic with a complex world, rich history, boobs, and swearing. But unlike Game of Thrones, The Witcher has a tighter focus with three main characters, including its titular monster hunter Geralt of Rivia, played wonderfully by actual nerd Henry Cavill. I already watched the whole season and I liked it, but I had to prepare myself mentally and physically to learn a whole new universe full of people and places with weird-ass names. The barrier for entry is pretty high in that sense. And the series itself is put together rather strangely; parts are standalone procedural quests, parts are pieces of a bigger overall story, and most of it is told out of order. It takes a while to get used to the format, but by the excellent third episode, you will know if you're in or out.

The Two Popes
Netflix will stop at nothing to get an Academy Award, going so far as to make a movie that features not one, but two popes. Anthony Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce plays Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, known now as Pope Francis, and the film follows them as they become friends despite their different views on Catholicism, the world, and where to hang their pope hats. It's already been nominated for several Golden Globe Awards, including Best Drama and Best Actor for both its leads. Watch this and you are legally allowed to skip HBO's The New Pope, which comes out next month. (Trailer)

YOU, Season 2
Dreamy Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) returns to seduce viewers with his good looks, well-read intellect, and creative homicidal tendencies in the second season of the series that became a surprise hit in 2018. This time around, New York City's best creepy stalker moves to L.A. and finds a new apple of his eye, a fetching young woman literally named Love (Victoria Pedretti). Ahh, the joys of courtship and figuring out how to mentally wear down a hot single until you make them yours. (Trailer / Thursday, Dec. 26)

Everything Else

John Mulaney and the Sack Lunch Bunch
If you only watch one hour of television this week, make it this ridiculously silly comedy special from Big Mouth's John Mulaney. John, who has no kids of his own but seems to have a general understanding of how they work, made this variety kids program featuring musical numbers, skits, and scenes of John just hanging out with young'uns. There were at least three parts that were so funny that I was left gasping for air and nearly died. It was worth it, and I will risk my life again. (Tuesday, Dec. 24)

Carole and Tuesday, Part 2
In this incredibly Japanese anime -- the normal friendship kind, not the giant tentacled kind -- two young women continue to try to make it in the music industry as a duo... and maybe as more than friends. (Trailer / Tuesday, Dec. 24)

Como caída del cielo
A legendary, talented, womanizing, and -- this part is important -- dead Mexican singer is sent back to the world of living into the body of one of his impersonators for a second chance at mending his bad ways. (Trailer / Tuesday, Dec. 24)

Lost in Space, Season 2
When shows are described as "family friendly," it's a backhanded compliment that translates roughly to "there is no sex, no good violence, and the story isn't that great." Lost in Space is very family friendly, but at least it looks very expensive. (Trailer / Tuesday, Dec. 24)

Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020, Part 2
Japan's meditative version of The Real World features young, attractive people living in the same house and not getting into trouble at all. (Trailer / Tuesday, Dec. 24)

The App
This Italian movie is about an actor who gets caught up using a dating app, except if you watch the trailer, it looks like a movie about a guy who stares at his phone, holds a snake, gets crucified, and goes swimming. ( Trailer / Thursday, Dec. 26)

Fast & Furious: Spy Racers, Season 1
This animated series teaches children the joy of hopping into a souped-up car, slamming on the gas, and driving like a total maniac without any consequences. (Trailer / Thursday, Dec. 26)

Le Bazar de la Charité, Season 1
After a devastating fire in 1897 Paris, some high-society ladies get DRAMATIC. (Trailer / Thursday, Dec. 26)

Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide's Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.

The 52 Netflix Originals You Should Be Watching

​Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Ali Goldstein/Netflix