Oh boy - this has certainly been a memorable holiday for many of us this year. Across the world, everyone is dealing with the changing nature of the stupid virus as Omicron spreads.

For me, I got stuck for much of the day last Friday at the border for between NSW and QLD here in Australia as I waited for a negative test result to be sent through to my phone. Despite the setback, I got lucky - in the week since I've seen my social media filled with stories of people unable to visit family members due to COVID isolations, a huge number of plane flight cancellations late last week, and all sorts of plans that have fallen through thanks to the unique times we find ourselves in.

We all use TV to relax and escape our own worlds for while and thankfully TV has really been there for us this holidays with a bunch of beloved shows and big event programming. A bright spot in what has been a pretty miserable Christmas for many of us.

To kick off this week's Always Be Watching newsletters, here is a holiday guide to the shows that launched (and returned) last week and a look forward at the week ahead.

returning shows

Streaming now:

Claws (s04), Emily in Paris (s02), Not Going Out (s12), Call The Midwife (Xmas special), Letterkenny (s10), Death in Paradise (s11)

FYI Aussie Letterkenny fans - the show might be back in Canada and the US, but down under the show doesn't debut until Jan 20 via SBS On Demand.
But Aussie viewers do have Call The Midwife and Death in Paradise Christmas specials yesterday and today on BBC First, with new seasons of both in early Jan.


Cobra Kai s4- Dec 31 (Netflix)
Five Bedrooms s3 - Jan 1 (Paramount+)
The Hook Up Plan s3 - Jan 1 (Netflix)
Doctor Who: Eve of the Daleks - Jan 1 (BBC)

new shows

Yellowstone: 1883 - Paramount+

Stars: Sam Elliot, Faith Hill, Billy Bob Thornton, Tim McGraw
A prequel to Yellowstone, 1883 follows the Dutton family as they flee poverty in Texas and embark on a journey through the Great Plains to seek a better future in Montana.

Love Me - Binge

Stars: Hugo Weaving, Bojana Novakovic
LOVE ME is a story about love, loss and the complexity of family relationships experienced by three different family members at distinct times of life.

Dragons: The Nine Realms - Hulu | Peacock

Stars: Jeremy Shada, Julia Stiles
Set 1,300 years after the events of "How to Train Your Dragon," dragons are now just a legend to the modern world. When a geological anomaly opens an immense, miles-deep fissure in the Earth's surface, scientists from all over the world gather at a new research facility to study the mysterious phenomenon. Soon after, a group of misfit kids uncovers the truth about where dragons have been hiding -- a secret they must keep to protect what they've discovered

Around The World in 80 Days - BBC

Stars: David Tennant, Leonie Benesch
Gentleman adventurer Phileas Fogg sets out on a quest to travel around the world and back home in a period of 80 days.

upcoming shows

The Book of Boba Fett - Disney+

Stars: Temuera Morrison; Ming-Na Wen
On the sands of Tatooine, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy's underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt's old territory.

Anxious People - Netflix

Stars: Carla Sehn, Alfred Svensson
A bank robber holds open house attendees hostage, then vanishes, leaving police baffled.

Harry Potter: 20th Anniversary - Return To Hogwarts - HBO Max

Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Cast members from all "Harry Potter" films reunite in a retrospective special to celebrate the anniversary of the first film, including interviews and cast conversations.

new movies

Don't Look Up - Netflix

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill
Two low-level astronomers must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth.

Being The Ricardos - Amazon Prime Video

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem
In 1952, Hollywood power couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz face personal and professional obstacles that threaten their careers, their relationship, and their hit television show.

The Matrix Resurrections - HBO Max (and in cinemas now)

Stars: Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss
To find out if his reality is a physical or mental construct, Mr. Anderson, aka Neo, will have to choose to follow the white rabbit once more. If he's learned anything, it's that choice, while an illusion, is still the only way out of -- or into -- the Matrix. Neo already knows what he has to do, but what he doesn't yet know is that the Matrix is stronger, more secure and far more dangerous than ever before.

The Super Bob Einstein Movie - HBO Max (documentary) [Dec 28]

Stars: Bob Einstein
Actor, writer and producer Bob Einstein becomes famous for his iconic alter ego Super Dave Osborne, working with the Smothers Brothers, and playing Marty Funkhouser on the hit TV series "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

Always Be Watching will be back with a regular news-focused email tomorrow.