What are the biggest TV shows and web series coming to streaming in December 2023? Berlin, a Money Heist spin-off show, leads a somewhat muted month, charting an origin story for the notorious jewel thief who leads a series of heists across Europe with an all-new crew. His death in the mainline cult show left fans with many unanswered questions, so this prequel should give some insight into his battle with his muscle-weakening ailment. Berlin is out December 29 on Netflix. A bit before that, prepare to embark on an espionage mission with Jack Reacher, as he sheds away his anonymous drifter lifestyle to investigate a murder conspiracy targeting his former US Army members. Reacher season 2 drops December 15 on Amazon Prime Video.
We’ve got a supernatural horror series in which a popular journalist’s life takes a turn for the worst when some newspaper clippings begin predicting some horrid events in his life. Marking Telugu actor Naga Chaitanya’s (Laal Singh Chaddha) debut in a web series, Dhootha is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video. That’s the only slightly compelling Indian original December’s got in store for us — a common occurrence around this time of the year. Anime fans on Netflix can gear up for the Yu Yu Hakusho live-action adaptation, where a delinquent is revived from death as a Spirit Detective to protect the living world from otherworldly demons. It premieres December 14. On the same day, The Crown season 6 — which was divided into two parts — will continue its remaining six-episode run.
You can learn more about the aforementioned TV shows and more below, and also feel free to discover the complete list of upcoming web series at our entertainment hub. With that, here’s our TV guide to December 2023, covering releases on Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, and Netflix.
When: December 1
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Sagar Varma (Naga Chaitanya) is a respected journalist, bold enough to openly call out faltering politician and member of law enforcement, and bearing an almost boastful, rational outlook on life. All that changes when he stumbles upon a weird newspaper crossword puzzle that predicts a car accident death, shaking him to his core. Thinking that it’s a cruel, elaborate prank from one of his industry rivals Charles (Srikant Murali), he heads over to be greeted with a chilling sight of the individual dying by suicide, with their body dropping onto a pile of similarly bizarre newspaper clippings. Varma is suspected of murder, putting him at a crossroads with a local police officer DCP Kranthi Shenoy (Parvathy Thiruvothu), culminating in a generations-spanning investigation with paranormal connections.
The eight-episode-long Dhootha also pins Varma as a potential cursed target, which he realises once his loved ones are impacted as collateral damage — either heavily injured or dead — upping the stakes of the supernatural thriller. Vikram Kumar, best known for his Telugu-language films such as Thank You (2022), serves as the lead writer and director of the series, which also stars Priya Bhavani Shankar (Victim) as Sagar’s wife, Prachi Desai (Forensic) as his assistant, and Pasupathy (Ponniyin Selvan: I).
All episodes of Dhootha are now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Yu Yu Hakusho
When: December 14
Based on the acclaimed manga by Yoshihiro Togashi — who also created Hunter x Hunter — Yu Yu Hakusho follows Yusuke Urameshi (Takumi Kitamura), who’s built himself a reputation as a spoiled delinquent, getting into fights and arguing with his teachers daily. That is until one fateful afternoon where, for once, he commits a selfless act, saving a little kid’s life and dying in the process. With no place for him in heaven or hell — thanks to his absurd disposition — Koenma, the ruler of the Spirit World offers Yusuke a chance at redemption in exchange for protecting the living world from psychic spirits.
You see, the gap between the human and demon realms has started to widen mysteriously, causing demonic Yokai to creep in and devour innocent lives. Despite the mystique, Koenma believes that human intrusion is at the heart of this effect and as such, hires Yusuke as an Underworld Detective to uncover an intertwining mystery with a small group of psychics. Having mastered firing bullet-like spirit blasts, he’s thrust into intense battles, including one against the Toguro brothers, siblings who decided to sacrifice humanity in exchange for demonic powers. The Younger Tohuro is a non-ageing muscly fighter, while the older, sadistic one rides on his shoulder, manipulating his organic structure to fit the right circumstances.
Shô Tsukikawa, who directed some Yu Yu Hakusho episodes claims that the series was filmed simultaneously using 170 cameras that would record the actors from 360 degrees, so he could pick the best angles, later in the editing room. That sounds quite overwhelming, though I’m mostly worried about how this five-episode series will be condensing both the world-building and the ‘Dark Tournament’ arc, which took nearly 70 episodes to capture in the 2002 anime.
All episodes of the Yu Yu Hakusho live-action series will be out December 14 on Netflix.
Reacher season 2
When: December 15
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Having succumbed back to his drifter lifestyle, former military investigator Jack Reacher (Alan Ritchson) receives a cryptic message via a deposit to his bank — $1,030, which translates to the police code 10-30, indicating that another officer is requesting urgent help. The sender is Frances Neagley (Maria Sten), the private investigator who’s been looking into the suspicious murders of the old ‘Special Investigations’ team which Reacher was once part of. Some of them were tortured for undisclosed intel, another was tossed off from a helicopter, and now clearly, the last remaining members are the next targets. Reunited with his ex-teammates, the family man David O’Donnell (Shaun Sipos) and an old fling Karla Dixon (Serinda Swan), Reacher must connect the dots and unravel the larger conspiracy surrounding their deaths.
Only one problem though: Reacher is rather violent in his approach, leaving a trail of countless injured bodies, leading to his team’s whereabouts — it’s something he takes pride in, and the team has a hard time keeping him in control. The new joiner to the cast of Reacher season 2 is Peacemaker’s Robert Patrick as the antagonist Shane Langston, the head of a defence contractor, who seemingly heads into direct conflict with our 6’5” hulking protagonist. Just like the first chapter, the premise is drawn directly from author Lee Child’s thriller books, this time, ‘Bad Luck and Trouble,’ with showrunner Nick Santora (The Sopranos) directing the first episode.
The first three episodes of drop December 15 on Amazon Prime Video, with the remaining episodes dropping every Friday until January 19.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians
When: December 20
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
While Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books struck the right chords with its teenage audience, its screen adaptations opened to critical and commercial fanfare. So after Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, it decided to soft-reboot the god-faring fantastical tale, this time, casting actual child actors to match the depictions in the original novels. In it, we focus on the titular 12-year-old Percy (Walker Scobell), who’s always felt like an outsider due to his lanky and nerdy appearance, until he learns that he’s a demigod. Born to Poseidon, the god of the sea and a human mother Sally Jackson (Virginia Kull), he possesses some innate powers and is, therefore, sent to Camp Half-Blood to train and harness them. Sure, he’s a little green, but he’s got some friends to guide him — the satyr Grover (Aryan Simhadri) and Annabeth (Leah Jeffries), daughter of Goddess Athena.
But when Percy is suddenly accused by Zeus of stealing his lightning bolt, the trio must embark on a treacherous quest to find and return it to its rightful owner, in the process preventing a dimension-shattering war between the Olympians. Playing the king of gods is Lance Reddick (John Wick), making his final TV appearance after his death in March, earlier this year. It is also worth mentioning that author Riordan, who had openly dismissed the movies’ interpretation of his stories, has been fully supportive of the Disney+ take, which should offer some relief to core Percy Jackson fans. The eight-episode-long series also enlists Glynn Turman (The Wire) as Chiron the shapeshifting centaur, Jason Mantzoukas (The League) as the head of Camp Half-Blood, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Tick, Tick… Boom!) as Hermes the messenger of gods, and Adam “The Edge” Copeland as Ares the god of war.
The first two episodes of Percy Jackson and the Olympians debuts December 20 on Disney+ Hotstar, after which it will follow a weekly release schedule until January 31.
What If…? season 2
When: December 22
Where: Disney+ Hotstar
The Watcher (Jeffrey Wright) returns to narrate intriguing new tales from the Marvel multiverse, spinning beloved characters in outlandish ways and offering a unique perspective on events like Bucky Barnes becoming the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the return of Hela, goddess of death. In the second season of the ever-expanding What If…? arc, the Scarlet Witch is seen performing a bizarre ritual, Captain America breaks the Time Stone in a scuffle with Thanos, and all our heroes — both the Avengers and the Guardians — are seen partaking in a death race featuring armoured vehicles (though Iron Man seems comfortable in his Hulkbuster suit). So far, only Laurence Fishburne is confirmed to be reprising his role as Giant-Man, while a new Mohawk character named Kahhori is being introduced in season 2.
What If…? season 2 debuts December 22, with one new episode dropping every day until December 30 to keep with the Holiday spirit. There are nine episodes in total.
When: December 28
It’s about time the always-expressionless Psyduck got to bask in the limelight for once. This new stop-motion animated take on the beloved pocket monsters centres around Haru — voiced by Karen Fukuhara (The Boys) in the English version — a young concierge at the Pokémon Resort tasked with making sure every guest has an absolute blast of a time. As a new recruit, she must learn everything from scratch, starting with proper communication with the Pokémon, making sure they get dessert on time, making sure they don’t drown or hurt themselves during playtime, and most importantly, forming a bond with her companion Psyduck. This serves as the first partnership between The Pokémon Company and dwarf studios (Japan), and tries to show how similar these monsters are to human beings, who also deeply struggle with conveying their emotions.
All four episodes of Pokémon Concierge will be available to stream December 28 on Netflix.
When: December 29
Money Heist is going back in time to show the iconic jewel thief Berlin/ Andrés de Fonollosa’s (Pedro Alonso) past — during his prime when he showed no symptoms of Helmer’s myopathy. Having gathered an all-new crew, he’s now eyeing the Chez Vienot auction house in Paris, looking to snag $44 million worth of jewels from a high-security vault. However, getting inside requires some work such as navigating through the catacombs and keeping an eye on Monsieur Polignac (Julien Paschal), the director of the establishment. Interestingly, in the time that Berlin’s been following him, he’s set his eyes on another prize, further complicating things. As you might’ve guessed, it’s Polignac’s wife, with whom he fell in love on one fortunate (or unfortunate) night.
Struggling between prioritising his newfound love affair and the heist mission at hand, his rapport with the crew begins to crumble, posing major challenges when they finally manage to break into the enclosure. Unlike the mainline show, the heist crew in Berlin does not wear masks to conceal their identity — to be fair, you wouldn’t need one if you’re too good at your job. The savvy new faces include Michelle Jenner as the tech wiz Keila, Tristán Ulloa (Terminator: Dark Fate) as the academic Damián, Begoña Vargas as Cameron the loose cannon, Julio Peña Fernández as the determined Roi, and Joel Sánchez as Bruce, a relentless man of action adept in gadgets and weaponry alike. Money Heist creator Álex Pina returns to co-write the eight-episode-long series with David Oliva and David Barrocal (Sky Rojo).
All episodes of Berlin can be streamed December 29 on Netflix.