The first two-thirds of November cruelly dangles the carrot of the impending holiday season but laughs as we grind our way through the first few weeks of harsher temps and end-of-year workplace hustle. All one can do to abstain from openly wailing about their desperate yen for turkey, stuffing, Black Friday sales and multi-colored street lights that usher in a month of veritable inactivity is find some comforting TV to help them pass those interminable hours. Worry you not, as there are plenty of serialized consumables being released between now and November 26 to help ease the chasm that stands between you and holiday road. So without further adieu, here is a shortlist of items that you can and should bookmark as your 2015 Pre-Thanksgiving November TV Survival Guide. That might sound like a mouthful, but tis the season.
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Kids still say the darndest things, but did you know they also cook them? And as we are soon to learn on Lifetime's Project Runway: Junior, kids also design the darnedest things for strutting supermodels to wear. Obsessive fashion-show followers and eye-rollers alike will take great joy in watching kids aged 13 to 17 adorablly attempt to impress the likes of judges Kelly Osbourne and Christian Siriano with duds of their own creation. It's still fierce, just with a lowercase f.
In the 20 years since Mr. Show with Bob and David debuted on HBO, stars Bob Odenkirk (currently of Better Call Saul fame) and David Cross (Arrested Development, et al) have seen their sketch series join Monty Python's Flying Circus, The Kids in the Hall, and a few others in the highest reaches of the genre's firmament. While the two comedians won't call their new Netflix sketch offering a reunion, W/ Bob & David represents the first ful-blown rekindling of their chemistry on the small screen since Mr. Show shuttered in 1998. All four episodes -- hey, take what you can get! -- roll out at once on November 13, so don’t act like you have no reason to TGIF.
Netflix continues its strong November, as every episode of Jessica Jones debuts just a week after the release of W/ Bob & David and two weeks after the launch of Aziz Ansari’s acclaimed Master of None. Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad and Don’t Trust the B----) steps into the brooding boots of the Marvel title character, a once-aspiring superhero who’s opted for a comparatively quieter life as a private investigator -- which her former nemesis Kilgrave (David Tennant) won't stand for. Thirteen episodes will unspool into your feasting eyes simultaneously, which any self-respecting Marvel fan will have binged and digested long before the turkey gets carved.
Not to be left out in the cold, Amazon fires up its most expansive original drama to date, entrusting longtime X-Files producer Frank Spotnitz to adapt Philip K. Dick’s “What if the Allies lost?” novel The Main in the High Castle. History buffs and fans of alternate reality will have plenty to gorge on, while the rest of us can watch and wonder, How the hell did DJ Qualls land a regular gig on this thing?
Saints & Strangers (National Geographic, Nov. 22 and 23)
No need to partake in a Hell on Wheels marathon to get the memo that newly Industrialized American life -- even for the relatively privileged -- was freaking hard. But just imagine how the Pilgrims felt after stepping off the Mayflower onto our unsettled (though not unspoken for) shores -- or don't, because Nat Geo has re-created New England circa 1620 for you, along with all the sex, violence, culture-clashing, and turmoil that came with it. A impressively credible cast, including Man Men's Vincent Kartheiser, Mad Men/Pitch Perfect/True Blood's Anna Camp, and Office Space's Ron Livingston (and hey, Revenge lovers, Aiden's back!), should help beckon Saints & Strangers to your DVR, where you'll no doubt watch it while consuming your weight in candied yams.
Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (PBS, Nov. 23)
When news hit that Eddie Murphy had performed a short stand-up set and whipped out his signature Bill Cosby impersonation at this ceremony on October 18, it was hard not to get excited. More than a month hence, you can finally watch all of the 54-year-old comedy legend's famous, funny friends (including Chris Rock and Arsenio Hall) introduce clips from his storied career, roast his misfires and eventually clap heartily for the man himself as he walks away with a bronze bust of an old, mustachioed white man. Try not to find the humor in that.
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Kenny Herzog is Thrillist’s Senior Entertainment Editor, and he cannot wait until Thanksgiving. Find out more about his weird preferences @kennyherzog.