As we close in on the holidays, streaming services start clearing the decks for a change in content. Space is cleared for awards contenders – both larger films from well-known directors and mid-budget films that had late summer theatrical releases (such as Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”). Every platform wants eyes on awards contenders because these legitimize the quality of a streaming service and convince users to stay on.
Smaller, independent, and international features are replaced increasingly with holiday (read: nearly all Christmas) content. You won’t see that evidenced as much in this feature since the Christmas movie field is still so overwhelmingly directed by men.
Obviously, it’s the only time of year when eyes are going to gravitate to these films, but the other part of it is that streaming platforms get to stock up on indie and international content. Saving these up gives platforms a bit more to work with in the drier months before next summer.
Series don’t quite follow the same rules as films. Yes, holiday content will cram into these two months and high-profile work is often saved for the winter break when they know audiences will have extra time to watch, but the ratio of other work stays closer to the usual.
This week, we have new series by women from the France and the U.S., and new films by women from Nunavut and the U.S.
Fleishman is in Trouble (Hulu)
showrunner Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Jesse Eisenberg stars as a man newly separated from his wife of 15 years (Claire Danes), juggling his own life badly. Lizzy Caplan and Adam Brody also star.
Showrunner Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a journalist of 20 years. She wrote the novel on which the series is based, published in 2019.
You can watch “Fleishman is in Trouble” on Hulu. Two episodes are out now, with a new one every Thursday for a total of 8.
Reign Supreme (Netflix)
co-directed by Katell Quillevere
(There’s no English trailer, but options are available on Netflix.)
This French series follows the band NTM as hip hop arrived in France in the 1980s.
Co-creator Katelle Quillevere directs with Helier Cisterne.
You can watch “Reign Supreme” on Netflix. All 6 episodes are out.
Don’t Worry Darling (HBO Max)
directed by Olivia Wilde
Alice takes care of her 50s home while her husband’s at work for a glamorous company. Not all is as it seems, as life and reality itself start to come apart around her. Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, and Harry Styles star.
Olivia Wilde started as an actress, with her breakthrough coming in “House, M.D.” Her first feature as director was the critically hailed “Booksmart” in 2019.
You can watch “Don’t Worry Darling” on HBO Max.
directed by Nyla Innuksuk
Maika and her friends use improvised weapons and their extensive horror movie knowledge to fight back against an alien invasion in their Arctic town. Most of the cast is Inuit or First Nations.
Nyla Innuksuk directs and co-writes the Nunavut film. She’s also helped create VR experiences for Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red.
I featured “Slash/Back” just a few weeks ago when it came out to rent on VOD, but now you can also see it on Shudder.
The People We Hate at the Wedding (Amazon)
directed by Claire Scanlon
Unfriendly siblings tolerate each other in the week leading up to their half-sister’s wedding. Kristen Bell, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Ben Platt, and Allison Janney star.
Director Claire Scanlon has been involved in some of the best series comedies of the last several years, directing on “GLOW”, “Never Have I Ever”, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”, and “Rutherford Falls”. She started off two decades ago as an editor in reality TV.
You can watch “The People We Hate at the Wedding” on Amazon.
Where the Crawdads Sing (Netflix)
directed by Olivia Newman
Abandoned by her family, Kya raises herself in the marsh outside of a 1950s southern town. After a prominent murder, she becomes the main suspect. Daisy Edgar-Jones stars.
Director Olivia Newman previously helmed episodes of “FBI” and “Chicago Fire”.
You can watch “Where the Crawdads Sing” on Netflix.
Christmas with You (Netflix)
directed by Gabriela Tagliavini
Aimee Garcia features as a pop star whose popularity is declining, and who must write a Christmas song or be dropped from her label. She escapes to a small town – where she finds Freddie Prinze Jr. as a single dad who just so happens to write music.
Argentinian director Gabriela Tagliavani has directed 3 films that reached #1 in Mexico and Spain.
You can watch “Christmas with You” on Netflix.
Take a look at new shows + movies by women from past weeks.
If you enjoy what you’re reading, subscribe to my Patreon. It helps with the time and resources to continue writing articles like this one.