Top Gun: Maverick
Up up and away with cocky cockpit ace Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, one of Tom Cruise’s most iconic roles, reprised 36 years after the original and confirming that Top Gun has lost none of its mass appeal over the years. In the long-awaited sequel, Maverick trains an elite crew of young guns—including Miles Teller as Rooster, the embittered son of his late best friend Goose—for a deadly mission to destroy a secret uranium enrichment plant. Perfect for watching, and re-watching, over the holidays. The movie is also available on Epix (8/7c).
The Best Man: The Final Chapters
The long road of friendship from 1999’s The Best Man and 2013’s The Best Man Holiday has led to an eight-episode limited series that catches up with the charismatic cast amid midlife crises and new relationship drama. The catalyst: turning Unfinished Business, the roman a clef novel by Harper (Taye Diggs), into a movie, which is bound to stir up a hornet’s nest of conflict. Also returning for these final chapters: a who’s-who roster including Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Harold Perrineau and Melissa De Sousa.
Fleishman Is in Trouble
After so much of the series has shown a broken marriage from the perspective of newly single Dr. Toby Fleishman (Jesse Eisenberg), we finally get his spouse’s side of the story. When Toby’s bestie Libby (Lizzy Caplan) encounters a zoned-out Rachel (Claire Danes) sitting on a park bench, her query “What happened?” opens up a torrent of heartbreaking revelations that reveal Rachel to be much more than the ”ambition monster” her disillusioned husband turned on. It’s a great, and overdue, showcase for Danes, whose patented skill at the “ugly cry” really gets a workout.
The biographical docuseries’ finale looks to the stars, as British tycoon Richard Branson launches Virgin Galactic, defending private-pay space travel while trying to get government support for his venture during the pandemic. His goal: to beat fellow mogul Jeff Bezos into the stratosphere.
The Yule Log:
- Pining for A Charlie Brown Christmas? The Peanuts classic is now available to stream for free on Apple TV+ through Christmas Day. Bop along to Vince Guaraldi’s infectious jazz score and learn the true meaning of Christmas from Linus. It never gets old.
- A Christmas Gift (streaming on BET+): Noree Victoria and Blue Kimble are a divorced couple giving their relationship a second chance, with a baby on the way, when their meddling family descends for the holiday.
- Replays include A Saturday Night Live Christmas Special on NBC (8/7c) and the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2022 on The CW (8/7c).
Inside Thursday TV:
- Ghosts (starts at 8:30/7:30c, CBS): A mini-marathon of fan-favorite episodes gives latecomers to the delightful supernatural comedy a sampling of key moments, including scoutmaster Pete (Richie Moriarty) learning a shocking secret when his wife visits the mansion, Hetty (Rebecca Wisocky) possessing Jay’s (Utkarsh Ambudkar) body (9:30/8:30c) and encountering the spirit of her despised husband (10/9c), and the backstory of Trevor’s (Asher Grodman) missing pants (10:30/9:30c).
- I Hate Suzie Too (streaming on HBO Max): A three-episode sequel to the acclaimed British dramedy finds the former child star-turned-disgraced actress Suzie Pickles (Billie Piper) dancing for public redemption on the reality-TV competition series Dance Crazee while trying to keep her messy life from spiraling further.
- Snap (streaming on ALLBLK): An anthology series in the vein of Black Mirror and The Twilight Zone features an omniscient being named “A.O.” who serves as a moral compass for troubled souls needing guidance to snap out of their current crisis.