What to watch: the Spell hotlist

Grab the popcorn and settle in for those dark evenings - we've listed the best shows to stream from now until the end of the year.


If there’s one tiny thing we can say we’re grateful for in 2020, it’s the quantity and quality of shows and films that have graced our screens. Whilst we can’t wait to say a massive good riddance to this year and everything that’s happened, we have had the small luxury of seeing some brilliant blockbusters and game changing documentaries from the comfort of our homes (but we love you cinemas!) Luckily for us, as the weather takes a turn and the nights close in earlier, the hits keep on rolling in. So what can we expect to see before we say a happy so long to 2020? Here’s our handy guide.

Between the World and Me

What a treat. Anyone who’s a fan of Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ non-fiction title written as a letter to his son about the realities of being black in America, listen up! A special show featuring the stage adaptation as well as readings and documentary footage is going to hit our screens. And just look at the stellar cast: Mahershala Ali, Oprah Winfrey and Angela Davis amongst others will feature. We. Can’t. Wait.

Released 21 November on HBO

Rainey’s Black Bottom

Viola Davis and the sadly recently-departed Chadwick Boseman lead the cast in this period film set among a group of musicians in 1920s Chicago. Expect plenty of sequins and satin, and a stack of grandstand performances. It’s based on August Wilson’s award-winning play and produced by a certain Mr Denzel Washington.

Released 18 December

The Crown

We can’t have a roundup of the best shows to stream without mentioning the biggest one of them all. Yes, The Crown is back for season 4 and sees Olivia Colman return as our current monarch as we enter the period of Prime Minister Thatcher. The most anticipated part though? The introduction of Lady Diana Spencer. It’ll be dramatic, we can guarantee that.

Released 15 November

Operation Christmas Drop

It would be remiss of us not to include a fun-filled, Christmas romance - and Netflix has announced a festive film with all the trimmings. Operation Christmas Drop follows a political aide, played by Kat Graham, who falls in love with an Air Force pilot, played by Alexander Ludwig). Sparks will fly (excuse the pun)! A rom-com best served with a side of hot choc and warm slippers.

Released 5 November


Described by The Independent as “The most authentic film about British teens in years” Rocks is about a group of girls growing up in east London. It’s packed with amazing performances, many from youngsters making their screen debuts. It weaves in race, class, menstruation and tragedy. There’s plenty to love about this beautifully made film.

Available now

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Christmas has come early, because we’ve got not one but two festive films to binge on. This time we follow Jeronicus Jangle, played by Forest Whitaker, as he creates wondrous inventions. Jangle Jangle is heart-warming and magical - and the ultimate escapism. Just what the doctor ordered.

Released 13 November‍

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