The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Dec. 23-29, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
BINGE IT: The Netflix animated series Fast & Furious: Spy Racers joins Dom Toretto’s F&F family
Think the most recent entries in the Fast & Furious franchise — The Fate of the Furious and the spinoff Hobbs & Shaw — are too cartoony? Wait until you get a load of Spy Racers. An epic team-up between Universal Studios, DreamWorks Animation and Netflix, this new animated series follows Tony Toretto (voiced by Teen Wolf star Tyler Posey), cousin of F&F patriarch, Dom Toretto. Dom’s alter ego, Vin Diesel, is an executive producer on the show and you can bet the artist otherwise known as Groot (and the Iron Giant) won’t miss the chance to contribute a vocal cameo. When the world is threatened by the car-based crime syndicate SH1FT3R, Tony and his teenage friends — including tech head Frostee (Luke Youngblood), Bond-in-training Echo (Charlet Chung) and musclehead Cisco (Jorge Diaz) — hit the streets feeling the need... the need for speed. Thanks to the successful launch of Hobbs & Shaw, the door is open for all sorts of Fast & Furious side missions; an all-female live acton team-up is reportedly in the works, and if Spy Racers clicks, the possibilities for future animated series are endless. Fast & Furious: Deep Space Corona anyone? — Ethan Alter
Fast & Furious: Spy Racers premieres Thursday, Dec. 26 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: You missed him theaters, but catch up with the adventures of “young” Will Smith in Gemini Man, now on digital
Audiences chose to sit out this Will Smith vs. Will Smith romp in theaters, but Gemini Man might find a more receptive audience now that it can be beamed directly into your home. Premiering on digital services on Dec. 23, with a 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD release to follow on Jan. 14, Ang Lee’s thoughtful thriller is built around one of the most convincing cases of digital de-aging we’ve seen yet, creating a younger version of the Fresh Prince who could have walked right off the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. “No one has done it in this way,” the director remarked at a press event that Yahoo Entertainment attended earlier this year. “We did [Will’s] whole body, not just the face. We go into details probably nobody did... [and] we did it from scratch. That’s why I don’t like to call it de-aging; it’s not just a brush-up. Age does more mysterious things than just the wrinkles.” See the effect for yourself in this exclusive clip, which presents an alternate opening for the film that cuts back and forth between old Will and young Will as they carry out their respective missions before being set on a collision course with each other. — E.A.
WATCH IT: Literary classic Little Women gets a fresh take
Writer Louisa May Alcott’s story of four sisters growing up in Civil War-era New England returns to theaters once again, just in time for the holidays. This iteration of the sweet tale of sisterhood and self-discovery is directed by Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig and stars the always fabulous Saoirse Ronan as Jo and Harry Potter alum Emma Watson as Meg. Meryl Streep, Laura Dern and Timothée Chalamet co-star. — Raechal Shewfelt
Little Women opens in theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 25; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.
STREAM IT: Feeling like a sad sack this holiday season? Spend some quality time with John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch
You know, if this whole stand-up comedy thing doesn’t work out for John Mulaney, he’s got a potential future as the next Mr. Rogers. The new Netflix special, John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch is certainly in the same neighborhood as Fred Rogers’s immortal PBS children’s show, albeit with a more absurdist streak. Not absurdist in an adult sense, of course. The humor and musical stylings on display here are PG-rated all the way, with the young cast crooning such tunes as “Plain Plate of Noodles” and “Do Flowers Exist at Night” and playing along with Mulaney in games of “Restaurant” or watching Jake Gyllenhaal wreak havoc as Mr. Music, an off-brand version of Sesame Street’s Mr. Noodle. Equally enjoyable with kids or alone, Netflix should seriously consider convening annual meetings of the Sack Lunch Bunch. — E.A.
John Mulaney & the Sack Lunch Bunch premieres Tuesday, Dec. 24 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: Sam Mendes puts you in the trenches with the single-take World War I tale, 1917
Fans of elaborately choreographed single-take sequences — think the classic Copacabana scene in Goodfellas — will have a field day with Sam Mendes’s World War I-era war movie, which tells its story in one unbroken take. Well, OK, not really. The realties of a production this complex means that the final product has to be stitched together out of a lot of individual long takes. But Mendes and his wizard cinematographer Roger Deakins deserve all the credit (and will probably earn a few awards statues) for making the effect appear as seamless as possible. Unfolding in near-real time, the film follows a pair of British soldiers (played by newcomers Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay) as they’re dispatched on a beat-the-clock mission to prevent the massacre of an endangered battalion. Filming an entire war movie in a single take may be a stunt... but it’s a pretty impressive stunt. — E.A.
1917 opens in theaters on Wednesday, Dec. 25; visit Fandango for showtime and ticket information.
WATCH IT: The Call the Midwife Holiday Special is back, baby
Since 2012, the annual Call the Midwife Holiday Special has served as a hot water bottle for the soul, delivering Christmas cheer along with the usual batch of freshly born babes. This year the Nonnatus House crew is decamping for the Outer Hebrides — the desolate, craggy island chain off the western coast of Scotland — to help with a shortage of medical professionals. Expect breathtaking landscapes, fish-out-of-water scenarios, a nasty bout of flu for the ever-expanding Turner family, a new challenge for Reggie back home in Poplar and the festive feels we’ve come to expect year after year. — Erin Donnelly
The Call the Midwife Holiday Special airs Dec. 25 at 9 p.m. EST on PBS.
WATCH IT: See all the Oscar-contending documentaries in theaters starting Christmas Day
It can be really tough to track how to see all the excellent documentaries that hit theaters each year. The fact that five are ultimately nominated for Academy Awards helps narrow down the watch list, but there are actually first 15 that are "shortlisted" for Oscar contention, and more times than not, they're all well worth watching. But again, how do you see them? Well, for the second year in a row, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is offering moviegoers in 20 markets across the nation the opportunity to screen acclaimed non-fiction films like Apollo 11, One Child Nation, The Biggest Little Farm and American Factory through their Oscars Spotlight: Documentaries program starting Dec. 25. That's a nice Christmas present for doc lovers. — Kevin Polowy
Get more information on Oscars Spotlight: Documentaries at Oscars.org.
STREAM IT: You bad guy Joe finds his next victim
The first season of this series, which managed to be both juicy and dark, followed bookstore manager Joe (played, appropriately enough, by Gossip Girl’s Penn Badgley), as he obsessed over a woman named Becks in New York City. That relationship came to a dramatic end on last season’s finale, though, and this season focuses on Joe’s move to Los Angeles, where, of course, he feasts his eyes on another woman. It’s adapted from author Caroline Kepnes’s 2016 book, Hidden Bodies, and the title alone tells us that this romance won’t be hearts and butterflies, either. — R.S.
The second season of You is available Thursday, Dec. 26 on Netflix.
WATCH IT: Oscar frontrunner Renée Zellweger dazzles as Judy touches down on home entertainment
Renée Zellweger is truly sensational as Judy Garland in this Rupert Goold-directed biopic, and looks to be the early frontrunner in the Best Actress Oscar race, where a nomination would mark the past winner's first in 16 years. But the better news for Garland fans is that while too many biopics can't measure up to their lead performances as a whole, the film itself is illuminating and deeply poignant. It follows Garland's troubled residency in a London nightclub in the year that preceded her tragic death, flashing back to the Wizard of Oz's formative years in which she was carefully controlled by Louie B. Mayer and Hollywood's studio system. Her success was bittersweet, which is why her faithful will be laughing one minute, cringing the next and crying by the end. Blu-ray extras include the featurette "From the Heart: The Making of Judy." — K.P.
Buy Judy on Blu-ray, DVD or digital on Amazon.