The It List: Mel Gibson plays a gritty Santa in 'Fatman,' 'The Crown' returns with Princess Di, Greta Thunberg doc premieres, Chris Stapleton drops 'Starting Over' album and the best in pop culture the week of Nov. 9, 2020

Yahoo Entertainment Staff
·15 min read

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Nov. 9-15, including the best deals we could find for each.(Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

WATCH IT: Mel Gibson is a nice (and naughty) Santa Claus in the dark action comedy Fatman

Mel Gibson isn’t the first actor who comes to mind when you think “Santa Claus.” And that’s exactly why he’s not playing your ordinary Kris Kringle in Fatman, a dark holiday comedy from filmmaker siblings, Eshom and Ian Nelms. Instead, Gibson’s Chris Cringle is a working class entrepreneur — complete with rugged beard, beat-up truck and red winter hat — whose toy factory is seriously in need of an economic bailout. Enter the U.S. military, which makes a deal with Chris and his steadfast wife Ruth (Marianne Jean-Baptiste) to mass product government merchandise. Money isn’t the only obstacle standing between Mr. and Mrs. Claus: They’ve also been targeted by a 12-year-old psychopath-in-training, Billy (Chance Hurstfield), who still nurses a grudge about that lump of coal he got in his stocking. Rather than get his own hands bloody, he hires an ace assassin (Walton Goggins) who has his own history with Chris and the stage is set for some Lethal Weapon like fireworks in the Far North.

This exclusive clip from Fatman establishes the kind of threat that Gibson is up against, as well as the movie’s offbeat comic tone. After losing the school science fair, Billy takes revenge on the winner — the act that leads to his "naughty list" designation. "We wanted to show the audience just how far Billy is willing to go to get what he desires,” Ian Nelms tells Yahoo Entertainment via e-mail. “That one betrays or punishes this young man at their own risk. And by doing so, Chris has just put himself in the boy’s sights." Adds Eshom Nelms: “We had a wonderful time working with Chance Hurstfield as he channeled this hellion. He and Walton Goggins got along great, which beget some really fun chemistry in the movie.” — Ethan Alter

Fatman opens in select theaters on Friday, Nov. 13 (check Fandango for ticket and showtime information) and will be available on demand and digital on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

STREAM IT: Philadelphia fans live out their Super Bowl dreams in the rousing football documentary Maybe Next Year

As recent headlines have shown, Philadelphia has emerged as the center of the political world. Three years ago, the Pennsylvania metropolis was at the center of the sports world when the beloved hometown football team, the Philadelphia Eagles, finally won its first-ever Super Bowl after years of fumbles. The documentary, Maybe Next Year, chronicles that 2017 season from the street-level perspectives of the Philadelphians who lived it. Populated by an eclectic cast of the city’s citizens, the film bounces in and out of neighborhood watering holes and tailgate parties as game after game plays out on television. This exclusive clip from the documentary depicts one key match-up: the NFC Championships that pitted the Eagles against the Minnesota Vikings with Super Bowl LII on the line. History has already been written, obviously, but watching the crowd’s reactions allows you to experience the sweet joy of victory all over again. — E.A.

Maybe Next Year premieres Tuesday, Nov. 10 on most VOD services including Amazon Prime.

STREAM IT: The Crown returns with Princess Diana

When we last saw Prince Charles in Netflix’s lavish royal drama, he was smitten with Camilla Shand. In its long-awaited return, viewers will meet Diana Spencer, as played by Emma Corin, and watch her become Charles’s bride in spite of inner conflicts. We see the future Princess Di increasingly becoming a target of the paparazzi and preparing to walk down the aisle with Charles in a televised event that was watched by 750 million people worldwide. Corin isn’t the only new addition to the cast. The X-Files alum Gillian Anderson also joins as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. However, the top of the cast list hasn’t changed... yet. This is Olivia Colman’s final run as Queen Elizabeth II, before she hands the part off to Imelda Staunton for the drama’s final two seasons. — Raechal Shewfelt

The fourth season of The Crown premieres Sunday, Nov. 15 on Netflix.

STREAM IT: School’s out forever in the provocative FX on Hulu series A Teacher

Netflix landed in hot water with parents’ groups earlier this year when it premiered the controversial French film, Cuties. Those same groups might be having words with Hulu after the launch of the streaming service’s latest collaboration with the FX Network, A Teacher. Hanna Fidell’s 10-episode adaptation of her 2013 film depicts the intensely passionate and profoundly uncomfortable sexual affair between young high-school English teacher Claire (Kate Mara), and her 17-year-old student, Eric (Nick Robinson). The first three half-hour episodes arrive on the streaming service on Nov. 10 and depicts how their relationship evolves from innocent classroom interactions to extracurricular bedroom studies. Subsequent installments will be released weekly and continue to navigate the story’s complexities, balancing the characters’ provocative romance without ignoring the spoken and unspoken emotional damage that it’s causing. No doubt to mitigate inevitable viewer complaints, each episode is preceded by a content warning, and Mara recorded a PSA for the National Sexual Assault Hotline. — E.A.

A Teacher premieres on Tuesday, Nov. 10 on FX on Hulu.

WATCH IT: After completely dominating the Emmys, Schitt’s Creek releases Complete Collection

At first it was a cult classic on little-known Pop TV, then hit Netflix and became nothing short of a phenomenon. THEN came its historical sweep at the Emmys this year, picking up all seven major comedy awards for its final season. So what happens next? A complete collection, of course. And while yes, some people may be strictly digital these days, others can’t truly love something until it sits on their DVD shelf (guilty). Others may just not be into Netflix and need this boxed set to finally discover the charming and hilarious sitcom about an eccentric family of ex-millionaires forced to live in two tiny motel rooms after schitt hits the fan. The collection comes with deleted scenes, bloopers, outtakes, featurettes and a “farewell” documentary — pretty much everything but room service. — Kevin Polowy

Schitt’s Creek: The Complete Collection is available on DVD on Amazon.

READ IT: Bring home the magic of one of the year’s best animated movies with The Art of WolfWalkers

After dazzling critics and audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival, the new Irish animated film WolfWalkers howls in theaters this Friday, with a streaming release on Apple TV+ set for December. The latest film from Tomm Moore — who previously co-directed the Oscar-nominated cartoons Song of the Sea and The Secret of KellsWolfWalkers follows the unlikely friendship between Robyn (Honor Kneafsey), the daughter of a wolf hunter, and Mebh (Eva Whittaker), whose human body houses a rambunctious wolf spirit. With the fearful local villagers seeking to exterminate Mebh’s pack, Robyn defies her father (Sean Bean) to help her new pal, and experiences life as a wolfwalker herself. While the story may have some familiar flourishes, the beautifully-crafted 2D animation is immersive in the best possible ways, transporting viewers young and old into the movie’s magical world. Get a peek behind the curtain with Abrams’s The Art of WolfWalkers, a lavishly-illustrated book that features early character sketches, storyboards and concept art with detailed explanations provided by animation historian Charles Solomon. — E.A.

The Art of WolfWalkers is available Tuesday, Nov. 10 on Amazon; WolfWalkers opens in theaters on Friday, Nov. 13 (check out Fandango for ticket and showtime information).

BUY IT: Come out and play with new Billie Eilish collectible figures from Playmates

Who says that only superheroes can be action figures? Superstar musician, Billie Eilish, is launching her own toy line with Playmates Toys that recreate looks and moments borrowed from her blockbuster music videos. Choose between a winged 6” Billie based on “All Good Girls Go To Hell” or a 10.5” hoodie-wearing Billie from “Bad Guy.” Each figure features multiple points of articulation for maximum pose-ability, as well as sustainable packaging that doubles as dioramic displays. It’s no time to sleep on these sure-to-sell out collectibles. — E.A.

Playmates’ Billie Eilish collectible figures are available at Target.

WATCH IT: Law & Order: SVU’s Season 22 premiere has us crying (Dick) Wolf

You thought the pandemic was going to keep Olivia Benson from solving especially heinous sexually-based offenses? Nice try. After pulling off a COVID-safe production this fall, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is back with a remarkable 22nd season as the NBC drama continues its streak as the longest-running scripted U.S. primetime live-action series in TV history. Expect more twisty “ripped from the headlines” storylines, including ones inspired by real-life police brutality, calls for racial justice and, yes, the pandemic. Another development worthy of a “dun dun”: Mariska Hargitay will at last be reunited with former on-screen partner Chris Meloni (the Elliot Stabler to her Benson) as the actor sets to reprise his detective role in a new spinoff series slated for 2021, Law & Order: Organized Crime. And if you really want to commit to the L&O fandom, follow up Thursday’s season premiere with NBC’s TV special showcasing stars (including Abigail Breslin, Ariel Winter and Leslie Odom, Jr.) who appeared as guest stars in the franchise before breaking it big in Hollywood. — Erin Donnelly

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit kicks off Season 22 on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m. on NBC, followed by The Paley Center Presents Law & Order: Before They Were Stars at 10 p.m.

STREAM IT: I Am Greta shows the rise of a force of nature

Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is only 17, but she’s already made an incredible impact on the world with her environmental activism. Most famously, she chastised world leaders for having failed to do enough to protect the planet from climate change in a 2019 speech to the United Nations. (Notably, the Swedish teen reached New York by boat to avoid the carbon emissions of air travel.) This new documentary examines her backstory — “When I get interested in a subject, I become laser focused,” she says — and the attention that she’s bringing to climate change, a critical issue affecting every human being on the planet. No matter their age. — R.S.

I Am Greta premieres Friday, Nov. 13 on Hulu.

READ IT: Great Scott! Back to the Future: Ultimate Visual History will keep you coming back for more

(Harper Design)
(Harper Design)

Delivering on the promise of its title and then some, Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Revised and Expanded Edition is the one-stop reference for fans of the classic time-hopping franchise updated for this year’s 35th anniversary. Featuring behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the cast and filmmakers along with rare photos (including several of Eric Stoltz in action as Marty McFly before being replaced by Michael J. Fox), storyboards, concept art from the movies, as well as looks at the spinoff animated series, the theme-park ride, comic books, merchandise and the Back to the Future: The Musical. Super fans will love to nerd out over the reproductions of key movie props, including the “Save the Clocktower” leaflet, the Jaws 19 poster, a lenticular version of the McFly family photo (watch family members vanish!), Doc’s flux capacitor sketch, George McFly’s book and a Biff one-dollar bill from Part II. — Marcus Errico

Back to the Future: The Ultimate Visual History Revised and Expanded Edition is available at Amazon.

Watch: Lea Thompson and writer-producer Bob Gale share never-before-told tales from the Back to the Future set:

HEAR IT: AC/DC returns at full Power

After a six-year recording break — during which frontman Brian Johnson struggled with hearing loss and had to temporarily retire, drummer Phil Rudd dealt with serious legal issues and founding member Malcolm Young died following a battle with dementia — the Aussie rock survivors, who are no strangers to tragedy or adversity, come roaring back again with the aptly titled Power Up. The massive, classic-sounding record, which was produced by Brendan O’Brien, features co-writing credit by Malcolm on all 12 tracks and Malcolm’s nephew Stevie Young on bass. — Lyndsey Parker

Download/stream Power Up on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Indie comedy The Climb brings a brand new twist to the bromance

On the surface, The Climb doesn't sound all that different from the sort of Duplass Brothers-produced indie comedy that typically premieres at a Sundance or SXSW Film Festival. There are two pseudo-hipster best friends, aging, presumably near 40, not all that gracefully. There are mustaches, of course. There's a love triangle... maybe two. A lot of drinking. A Greek chorus of gravediggers. OK, that last one is decidedly unique to The Climb, as are a long list of other stylistic choices and subtle little nuggets of gold that make this film — starring real-life buds Kyle Marvin and Michael Angelo Covino (and directed by the latter) as two dudes entangled in a toxic, inescapable life-long friendship — one of the most original comedies of discomfort we've watched in ages. — K.P.

The Climb opens in theaters Friday, Nov. 13; check Fandango for ticket and showtime information.

HEAR IT: Chris Stapleton gets a new start

After focusing on his work with other artists like Justin Timberlake, P!nk, John Mayer and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, the Grammy/ACM/CMT/CMA/Billboard Award-winning country star finally returns with his first solo studio album since 2017. Produced by Dave Cobb (Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell, John Prine, A Star Is Born), the singer-songwriter’s much-anticipated Starting Over features Campbell and Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, legendary pedal steel player Paul Franklin and, his wife and longtime collaborator, Morgane Stapleton. — L.P.

Download/stream on Starting Over Apple Music.

STREAM IT: Eater’s Guide to the World, featuring Maya Rudolph, calls for a binge

The former Saturday Night Live favorite narrates a tour through the United States and around the globe, highlighting good eats chosen by the foodies at Eater. Unlike more serious shows of the genre, Rudolph’s episodes are designed not only to tempt your tastebuds but to make you chuckle every now and then. The installments, which have unconventional titles, such as “The Ass Crack of Dawn in New York City” and “Eating on the Hood of Your Car in L.A.,” feature regular people — surfers, tourists, locals — digging into burgers, doughnuts, tacos and, yes, more sophisticated fare, too. All the while, Rudolph does her thing. Bring your appetite. — R.S.

Eater's Guide to the World premieres Wednesday, Nov. 11 on Hulu.

HEAR IT: Andrea Bocelli gives us something to Believe in

The classical crossover superstar celebrates “the power of music to soothe the soul” on a highly personal album that chronicles his own recent spiritual journey. The LP includes two collaborations with internationally acclaimed opera singer Cecilia Bartoli, as well as a duet with Alison Krauss on “Amazing Grace,” a previously unreleased composition by the late Ennio Morricone called “Inno sussurato” and new interpretations of “Hallelujah,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and “Ave Maria.” — L.P.

Download/stream Believe on Apple Music.

READ IT: Live long and prosper with The Wisdom of Picard

(Adams Media)
(Adams Media)

Confucius and Socrates may have defined the philosophy of the past, but when it comes to the future, there’s only one sage voice we’ll trust: Jean-Luc Picard. Throughout his many adventures along the final frontier, Sir Patrick Stewart’s spacefaring alter ego has dropped truth bombs that resonate from the 21st to the 24th centuries and beyond. His words of wisdom are now handily collected in The Wisdom of Picard, a handsome volume that packages some of the good captain’s most notable quotes alongside vintage images from Star Trek: The Next Generation up through Star Trek: Picard. Curl up with a cup of Earl Gray (hot) and prepare to have your mind… engaged. — E.A.

The Wisdom of Picard will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 10 on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Kick-Ass kicks ass in 4K

Is Kick-Ass one of the most underrated superhero movies of all time? Considering Collider ranks it ninth on its list of 10 best R-rated superhero movies (have there really been that many more than 10 R-rated superhero movies?) we’re gonna have to say 110 percent. The aptly titled 2010 Matthew Vaughn-directed thriller, which plays in the same sandbox of irreverence, self-awareness and over-the-top violence that Deadpool entered in 2016, celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall with an upgrade to 4K UHD. Special features include a making-of doc and commentary from Vaughn. We hope he mentions the Collider list. — K.P.

Kick-Ass is available on 4K UHD on Amazon.

— Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo