As everyone prepares to shut down for the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the things we’ll all probably be doing after spending time with family and enjoying good food is streaming content from our favorite services — like Netflix, among others. On that score, there are, as always, plenty of new Netflix releases coming between now and the end of this week to give you something to do during your free time over the holiday — and we’ll take a closer look at five of the more interesting forthcoming titles below.
We’ll start with an inspirational tearjerker of a movie (coming to Netflix on November 23) based on the real-life story of two sisters and their harrowing journey as refugees from war-torn Syria to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
When we meet the Mardini sisters in Netflix’s The Swimmers, they’re living a somewhat normal life in Syria before the civil war broke out there. They’re swimming competitively under the instruction of their father, who’s a swim coach. Four years later, their house is obliterated and the girls have a near-miss with a bomb. So begins their plan to escape.
“The Swimmers is a film about female emancipation that shows how inner strength rises out of suffering,” director Sally El Hosaini explains in a statement provided by Netflix. “It explores the power of ambition and freedom.
“Female ambition is so often a dirty word, but I wanted to celebrate it. I saw an opportunity to make complex heroes out of the type of modern, liberal Arab women who exist, but rarely appear on our screens. The type of Arab women I know, who Yusra and Sara are, who I am. That’s why this story resonated so deeply with me.”
An Addams Family spinoff + more Netflix releases
On a lighter note, November 23 will also see Netflix release a highly anticipated Addams family spinoff about the family’s solemn, pale, and death-obsessed only daughter, Wednesday. The new series, appropriately named Wednesday, stars Jenna Ortega in the title role.
It’s focused on Wednesday’s time as a student at Nevermore Academy — and, fittingly, Netflix has chosen to release it on … you guessed it … a Wednesday.
“When we first heard Al Gough and Miles Millar’s pitch for Wednesday we were struck, like an arrow from a crossbow, right in our hearts,” Netflix executive Teddy Biaselli explains in press material for the new release.
“They nailed the tone, the spirit, and the characters, but gave us a fresh way into this story.”
The cast of the 8-episode series, in addition to Ortega, includes Gwendoline Christie (as Principal Larissa Weems), Jamie McShane (Sheriff Galpin), Percy Hynes White (Xavier Thorpe), Hunter Doohan (Tyler Galpin), Emma Myers (Enid Sinclair), and Joy Sunday. Christina Ricci, who popularized the character of Wednesday on the big screen, also appears in the series.
Meanwhile, let’s take a closer look at a few more titles still to come this week that are also worth checking out, including new docuseries as well as an all-new show about royalty.
Ghislaine Maxwell: Filthy Rich: Per the streamer, this docuseries about the disgraced socialite and Jeffrey Epstein accomplice “goes beyond the headlines of the Ghislaine Maxwell case to tell the definitive story of Epstein’s mysterious accomplice, illuminating how her class and privilege concealed her predatory nature.” Release date: November 25.
Blood, Sex & Royalty: This 3-episode series is basically everything The Crown is not. A bawdy, dishy, and modern take on British royal drama that offers a window into the steamy and intrigue-filled lives of some of history’s most memorable monarchs. From Netflix’s logline: “In the 16th century, Anne Boleyn navigates treacherous sexual politics and rises to become Queen of England. She forges history as she reshapes King Henry VIII’s worldview, but she’s expected to give birth to a male heir and makes powerful enemies along the way.” Release date: November 23.
One more new Netflix release to check out
Finally, for an antidote to some of the heavier Netflix releases mentioned above, another release worth streaming is all about everyone’s favorite Mexican street food.
Taco Chronicles first premiered on Netflix back in 2019, and this series takes people deep into the story of this deceptively simple food, thanks to interviews with food writers, taco stand owners, and more. From Netflix’s show synopsis about the show’s third season (coming on November 23):
“The taco may leave Mexico, but Mexico doesn’t leave the taco. Across the US border, Mexican cooks keep the tradition alive and experiment with new flavors.”
More Netflix news: Netflix Top 10: The most-watched shows in the world right now