My childhood Thanksgivings involved television in a really specific sense: After the large meal, all the boys within the family would retire to the lounge and promptly go to sleep in front of a football game.
The rankings for the National Football League being what they’re, there are clearly still plenty of people that will spend Thursday with the Lions and Vikings and Bills, oh my, whether conscious or not. But in case your taste in entertainment runs toward something less concussive, you might use those free hours to make amends for shows you missed throughout the frantic fall months. Here is a vacation menu of recent series value discovering or returning to.
The only season of the Icelandic crime drama “Entrapped” that you simply’ll find on Netflix is definitely the third season of a series higher generally known as “Trapped,” created by the filmmaker Baltasar Kormakur; the primary two installments, from 2016 and 2019, can be found from Amazon Prime Video. But “Entrapped,” whose story begins in a clash between a biker gang and an Icelandic religious sect, might be enjoyed by itself. The mystery is free-standing, and in any case the series has at all times been less concerning the particulars of murder than concerning the cranky, dour nobility of Andri, the cop played with exquisite stolidity by Olafur Darri Olafsson. (Streaming on Netflix.)
The creators of this animated coming-of-age comedy on FXX — Darcy Fowler, Seth Kirschner and Kieran Valla — are all actors in addition to writers, and that shows within the believability of the characters who populate its casually raunchy, hex-positive universe. Chrissy (Lucy DeVito) is the indignant, alienated teenage daughter of a single mom, Laura (Aubrey Plaza); the twist is that her family is broken because her dad (Lucy DeVito’s real-life father, Danny) is literally Devil. The show was a bit unfocused and bizarre at first, but across the middle of its 10-episode season, it morphed into a tricky and genuinely touching family saga that just happened to involve numerous interdimensional sex and liquefying of souls. (Streaming on Hulu.)
Based on short stories by the rising science fiction star Ken Liu, “Pantheon” is a story about the implications of uploading human consciousness to the cloud that has a family resemblance to “The Matrix.” But its effectiveness comes from its modesty and seriousness of purpose — the best way it stays near the earth while imagining limitless digital worlds. (It’s also a corporate-conspiracy thriller by which the corporation isn’t at all times the worst actor on the stage.) The investigations and battles on this animated drama on AMC+ happen mostly in virtual-reality landscapes while the non-virtual characters — including a feisty, heroic teenager (Katie Chang) and her sometime ally, a preternaturally gifted hacker (Paul Dano) — pace around their living rooms wearing headsets. There’s still time to binge the eight episodes of the primary season before the second and final season arrives in January. (Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.)
‘The Serpent Queen’
Starz has at all times made room for costume dramas which can be as much about shedding costumes as they’re about fidelity to any recorded history. (See “Spartacus,” “The White Princess,” “The Spanish Princess,” “Black Sails,” “Outlander,” et al.) “The Serpent Queen,” starring Samantha Morton as Catherine de Medici, is on this tradition; it’s a rock ’n’ roll historical drama that puts period dress on characters who move and talk with thoroughly modern sensibilities (sometimes straight into the camera), and matches a Sixteenth-century look with a recent pop sound. And it manages to not only avoid being outright irritating, but to be surprisingly entertaining, largely due to Morton’s shrewd, steely performance because the overachieving Catherine. Already the queen of France within the show’s present, she schemes and politicks while recounting her colourful history to a servant girl she takes on as her personal maid (Sennia Nanua). (Streaming on Starz.)
In his first TV series since his seven-season run on “Sons of Anarchy,” Charlie Hunnam plays an escaped Australian convict who lands in Nineteen Eighties Bombay — a number of steps ahead of the police, embroiled with local criminals and bewitched by a mysterious Swiss beauty (Antonia Desplat). Based on an autobiographical novel by Gregory David Roberts, this Apple TV+ series presents the familiar elements of bohemian adventure and peril in warm climates with style and a few real tension. (Streaming on Apple TV+.)
Is there life after 30? There may be for “The Simpsons,” which has felt rejuvenated in its thirty fourth yr on Fox. The episode that has received all the eye is “Lisa the Boy Scout” from Oct. 9, a hugely enjoyable exercise in metafoolery. However the season has been sharp week in and week out. “The King of Nice,” by which Krusty the Clown reinvents himself as a cuddly, dancing daytime talk show host — and Marge discovers her true calling as his producer — is a tightly assembled, perfectly pitched satire; “From Beer to Paternity,” by which Homer and Lisa go on a road trip with Duffman to assist repair his relationship together with his daughter, is unexpectedly moving. High hopes for Sunday’s episode, the season’s ninth, which bears the promising title “When Nelson Met Lisa.” (Streaming on Hulu.)
When Netflix and the “Stranger Things” executive producer Shawn Levy rebooted this venerable true-crime series in 2020, they classed it up, giving it an overhaul that moved it in a more documentary direction — a deliberate pace, a relaxed demeanor, no reliance on narration. (Robert Stack, the show’s longtime host, is a shadowy presence within the opening credits.) You observed that somebody involved is a giant fan of Errol Morris; the investigations might not be any more thorough or balanced than those in lower-rent cable shows, but there’s an elegance to the presentation that sucks you in. The third season, which has grown to nine episodes, continues the practice of blending within the occasional U.F.O. sighting among the many regular weight-reduction plan of unsolved deaths. (Streaming on Netflix.)