What to Watch: The Best New TV Shows to Stream in December 2023

From The Crown to The Railway Men, here are Stuff India’s top picks that you can stream right now

You’ll spend the day out and about making money and the like, but when you get home in the evening, you probably just want to curl up on your sofa in front of the TV. That’s where a good streaming TV series comes in, and there are a fair few binge-worthy options that you can kick off right now, across various streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Apple TV+, to name a few. Fun fact - many of these new titles also stream in Ultra-HD and HDR, so expect an audio-visual treat if you have the right TV.

Among the biggest releases right now is season 6 of The Crown, bringing the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s decades-long reign into the 90s, and covering some rather touchy topics in the process. There’s also Monarch: Legacy of Monsters from the Legendary Pictures MonsterVerse franchise, and a new reality show based on the ominous Korean series Squid Game. You will, of course, need subscriptions to these services to be able to watch.

The Crown Season 6 (Netflix)

The Crown enters its sixth and final season, bringing the often underrated story of Queen Elizabeth II’s decades-long reign into the 1990s. This comes with its fair share of drama, particularly the acrimonious divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, eventually leading to the death of the latter in a car accident. The latest season of the series was released in two parts, but all episodes of S6 are now available to watch on Netflix.

The noteworthy series has followed the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II from before her ascension to close to current day. The latest two seasons of The Crown star Imelda Staunton in the lead role, along with Elizabeth Debicki and Dominic West in the roles of Princess Diana and Prince Charles respectively.

Reacher Season 2 (Prime Video)

Prime Video’s Reacher gives a spin to the Jack Reacher book series, and is said to be more loyal to the source material. A notable change is the casting choice of Alan Ritchson, who is a lot more ‘Reacher’ than Tom Cruise, at least physically. Anyway, the series returns after a successful first season, putting Jack Reacher in a new set of events centred around justice and retribution. 

The series released on December 14 with three episodes initially, and will follow a staggered release schedule running through the first three weeks of January 2024. You can also watch the 2012 movie starring Tom Cruise, but like I said, Alan Ritchson is more ‘Reacher’.

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+)

The MonsterVerse series by Legendary Pictures started with 2014’s Godzilla, which starred Bryan Cranston is one of first big roles after wrapping up the iconic Breaking Bad. The universe has since seen three more big film releases, with a fourth scheduled for 2024. Before that though, is the first live-action series in the MonsterVerse - Monarch: Legacy of Monsters - on Apple TV+.

The new series explores the beginnings of the mysterious monster-tracking organisation Monarch, and also looks at events that take place in the universe after Godzilla’s re-emergence in 2014, which led to the destruction of San Francisco. The ten-episode run of Monarch: Legacy of Monsters runs through till January with a staggered release schedule of one episode per week.

The Railway Men (Netflix)

Among the big Indian releases on Netflix right now, The Railway Men follows a very specific and heroic effort by railway workers that led to many lives being saved during the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy. With a top-notch cast including R. Madhavan, Kay Kay Menon, and Juhi Chawla, the four-episode series released in one go on Netflix to largely positive reviews.

The idea of telling a specific story based within a larger tragedy isn’t new (remember HBO’s Chernobyl?) but it’s a story that hits closer to home, especially for many Indians who watched the tragedy unfold themselves in the mid-1980s. 

Squid Game: The Challenge (Netflix)

You probably watched (and enjoyed) Squid Game when it released on Netflix back in 2021; the premise of a high-stakes competition based on children’s games in Korea is an intriguing one. The show quickly took a turn for the worse, adding some impressive shock value to the idea. You will therefore likely be a bit shaken by the idea of Squid Game being adapted into a reality competition series.

Fortunately, there’s nothing gruesome going on here, although the competition itself has been physically demanding for the competitors, and the prize money is an impressive $4.56 million (approximately Rs. 38 crore). The reality show followed a staggered release schedule, but all episodes of season 1 are now available to watch.