"His Dark Materials," thriller "The Flight Attendant" and Maisie Williams hit HBO Max in November

Take a break from Steve Kornacki and escape by streaming these series and films on HBO Max

By Ashlie D. Stevens
November 8, 2020 4:00PM (UTC)
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Michiel Huisman and Kaley Cuoco in "The Flight Attendant" (Phil Caruso/HBO)

November has been . . . stressful, so far. And with the holidays looming in the near future (Zoom Thanksgiving, anyone?), many of us are looking for shows and films to take our minds off the news. 

If you haven't already, check out our culture team's recommendations for nine comedies that are essentially comfort food for your eyes, ranging from "The Hookup Plan" to "Harley Quinn" to "Ted Lasso." 

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In the realm of mindless comedies, "Billy Madison," "Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd," "Happy Gilmore," "National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1" and "The Mask" all come to HBO Max this month. 

If you're looking for reality television, I'm personally looking forward to "Full Bloom," a competition that pits florists against each other as they, per the network, "design and execute some of the most wondrous, Wonka-esq floral creations ever seen." And if you can't get enough of floral design competitions, "The Big Flower Fight" is a very gentle, very British choice over on Netflix. 

Oh, and if you want to go in a slightly different, but still-related, direction, "Little Shop of Horrors" leaves the streaming service this month. Watch it while you can.

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Here's some of the best of what's coming HBO Max this month: 

"Two Weeks to Live," Nov. 5

A girl has a gun. "Game of Thrones" star Maisie Williams plays a survivalist who thinks the world is going to end, and decides to live a little before then. But this is not how her equally tough mother ("Fleabag" breakout Sian Clifford) raised her. In her Salon review, Melanie McFarland called it "tons of fun and nimble to boot" and noted the stars "make the most of the opportunities they're given to show off their action chops, which gunplay fans should heartily enjoy." 

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"Industry," Nov. 9

This original drama series gives an insider's view of the high-stakes financial realm of Pierpoint & Co., a leading bank in London, through the eyes of Harper Stern (Myha'la Herrold), a young woman from upstate New York who finds herself and her fellow hungry, young graduates competing for a limited number of limited permanent positions. 

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As egos and ambitions collide — romance, addictions and rivalries develop, while issues of gender, race, class and privilege find their way onto the trading floor. 

"Dolittle," Nov. 14

Starring Robert Downey Jr. as Dr. John Dolittle, this film centers on the eccentric 19-century veterinarian and his furry friends as they attempt to find a mythical island that may hold the cure for young Queen Victoria's grave illness.

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"Murder on Middle Beach," Nov. 15

In 2010, Barbara Hamburg — a divorced mother living in the upper middle-class town of Madison, Connecticut — was found murdered from blunt force trauma in her yard. Investigators initially speculated that it was a crime of passion, but without enough evidence, the case grew cold.

Barbara's son, Madison, spent eight years interviewing his family members, friends and potential suspects, longing to learn more about his mother and gather evidence in hopes of solving her murder. What he found was a web of buried family secrets, including connections to criminal figures and decadeslong resentments. The result is this four-part documentary.

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 "His Dark Materials," Nov. 16

This HBO original series — which stars Dafne Keen, Ruth Wilson, James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Clarke Peters — is based on the novel series of the same name by Phillip Pullman. The second season starts pulling material from the book, "The Subtle Knife."

It begins after Lord Asriel has opened a bridge into the Multiverse, and Lyra opts to follow him into the unknown. Once she's crossed over, she meets Will, a boy from our world who is running from a troubled past and has found shelter in a mysterious abandoned city. The two soon realize their destinies are tied to reuniting Will with his father. 

"Linda and the Mockingbirds," Nov. 16

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This documentary, which is directed by James Keach, tells the story of how singer Linda Ronstadt became connected with Los Cenzontles ("mockingbirds" in the Nahuatl language), a band and a music academy for young people in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

In an October interview with Salon, Ronstadt said that she first met the group in San Francisco. 

"I saw this group dancing and playing music," she said. "I thought they were from Michocán, and they were from here. They understood the rhythms and the dancing and the singing. They said they were playing to earn money to go to Mexico — to Michocán and Oaxaca — to study the regional music and culture; their families were from Mexico, or they were born there. I had my Mexican show on the road at the time, so I added a concert to raise money for them."

In this film, we watch as Ronstadt, musician Jackson Browne, and a busload of Cenzontles drive from Arizona to the little town of Banámichi in Sonora, Mexico, where Ronstadt's grandfather was born. Along the way, we learn about Ronstadt's long friendship with Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American and musician who founded the Cenzontles 30 years ago.

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"Between the World and Me," Nov. 21

Based on Ta-Nehisi Coates' bestselling account — which was written as a letter to Coate's teenage son about the author's experiences growing up in inner-city Baltimore — this HBO special event is based on the 2018 staging of the book at the Apollo Theater. 

It will combine elements of the Apollo's production, including powerful readings from Coates' book, and incorporate documentary footage from the actors' home life, archival footage, and animation. Guests include  Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Angela Davis, Alicia Garza and Oprah Winfrey, among others. 

First published in 2015, "Between the World and Me" expresses Coates' growing fear of daily violence against the Black community and explores the notion that American society structurally supports white supremacy.

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"Underwater," Nov. 21

In this dramatic thriller starring Kristen Stewart, disaster strikes more than six miles below the ocean surface when water crashes through the walls of a drilling station. The only hope of survival? Walk across the sea floor to reach the main part of the facility. Little do they know the mysterious and deadly creatures that are waiting in the shadowy depths. 

"The Flight Attendant," Nov. 26 

Kaley Cuoco stars as a flight attendant in this dark comedic thriller about waking up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, next to a dead man — with absolutely no idea what happened. The cast also includes Michiel Huisman, Rosie Perez, Zosia Mamet, and T.R. Knight.

"Superintelligence," Nov. 26

"Superintelligence" stars McCarthy as an ordinary woman whose TV, phone, and microwave start giving her snarky backtalk. While she initially thinks she is losing her mind, it's actually all part of The Superintelligence's (voiced by James Corden) plan to gain control of humankind — making McCarthy's character humanity's last hope.

Here's the full list  coming to HBO Max this November:

Nov. 1
"10,000 BC"
"13 Going On 30"
"2 Fast 2 Furious"
"Above The Rim"
"All Is Bright"
"America, America,"
"Anchors Aweigh"
"Another Cinderella Story"
"The Arrangement"
"Austin Powers In Goldmember"
"Autumn In New York"
"Baby Doll"
"Battleship"
"Beasts Of The Southern Wild"
"Billy Madison"
"Blast From The Past"
"Blood Work"
"The Bridge Of San Luis Rey"
"Broadway Danny Rose"
"The Bucket List"
"The Children"
"A Christmas Carol"
"Chronicle"
"City Island"
"City Slickers"
"Clash Of The Titans"
"Critical Care"
"Cruel Intentions"
"The Dancer Upstairs"
"The Dark Knight"
"David Copperfield"
"Dead Man Walking"
"Desperately Seeking Susan"
"The Devil's Advocate"
"Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star"
"Dolphin Tale"
"Dumb And Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd"
"The Eagle"
"East Of Eden"
"Eight Legged Freaks"
"Elf Pets: Santa's Saint Bernard's Save Christmas"
"The Enforcer"
"A Face In The Crowd"
"The Fast And The Furious"
"Femme Fatale"
"The Five-Year Engagement"
"A Flintstone Christmas"
"A Flintstone Family Christmas"
"Free Willy"
"Friday The 13th"
"G.I. Joe: The Rise Of Cobra"
"The Gauntlet"
"Genius"
"Get Santa"
"Girl In Progress"
"Grumpier Old Men"
"Grumpy Old Men"
"Guys And Dolls"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Happy Gilmore"
"Heidi"
"High Fidelity"
"High Society"
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
"The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies"
"The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug"
"Hollidaysburg"
"House On Haunted Hill"
"Ice Age: Continental Drift"
"Impractical Jokers: Inside Jokes"
"The Iron Giant"
"J. Edgar"
"Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday"
"Jason X"
"King Kong"
"The Last King Of Scotland"
"The Lego Batman Movie"
"The Lego Movie"
"The Lego Ninjago Movie"
"License To Wed"
"Life Stinks"
"Little Man Tate, 1991 (HBO)
"Looney Tunes: Back In Action"
"The Losers"
"Lowriders"
"Made"
"The Madness Of King George"
"Magic Mike"
"The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special"
"Magnum Force"
"Malibu's Most Wanted"
"The Man With The Golden Arm"
"The Mask"
"Menace II Society"
"Miss Julie"
"Money Talks"
"Mr. Nanny"
"Music And Lyrics"
"Must Love Dogs"
"Mystic River"
"National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1"
"Needful Things"
"The Neverending Story"
"The Neverending Story II: The Next Chapter"
"New York Minute"
"Nights In Rodanthe"
"Nothing Like The Holidays"
"Now And Then"
"Ocean's 11"
"Old School"
"On The Town"
"Once Upon A Sesame Street Christmas"
"A Perfect World"
"Pleasantville"
"The Pledge"
"Popstar"
"Practical Magic"
"The Prophecy"
"The Prophecy 2"
"The Prophecy 3: The Ascent"
"Prophecy 4: The Uprising"
"Prophecy 5: The Forsaken"
"Radio Days"
"Red Tails, 2012"
"Rick And Morty" Season 4
"Rock Star"
"Rosewood,"
"Rumor Has It"
"Salvador"
"Scoop"
"The Sea Of Grass"
"The Secret Garden"
"Sesame Street"
"Sesame Street: Elmo's Playdate"
"Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration"
"Sinbad Of The Seven Seas"
"The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants"
"The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2"
"Smurfs Christmas Special"
"Some Came Running"
"Space Cowboys"
"Splendor In The Grass"
"Sudden Impact"
"Summer Catch"
"Swingers"
"Swordfish"
"A Tale Of Two Cities"
"Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines"
"Terminator Salvation"
"Terms Of Endearment"
"Thief"
"Thirteen Ghosts"
"Tightrope"
"The Time Traveler's Wife"
"Tis The Season To Be Smurfy"
"Titans"
"Torque"
"Tower Heist"
"The Town That Santa Forgot"
"Troll"
"Troll 2"
"True Crime"
"Tweety's High-Flying Adventures"
"Twilight Zone: The Movie"
"Una Semana"
"Unaccompanied Minors"
"Untamed Heart"
"Veronica Mars"
"A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas"
"We Bought A Zoo"
"When You Wish Upon A Pickle: A Sesame Street Special"
"Wild Wild West"
"Win A Date With Tad Hamilton!"
"Wyatt Earp"
"Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper"
"Zoo Animals"

 Nov. 2
"Quadrophenia"
"A Woman Under The Influence"

 Nov. 4
"Looney Tunes: 1930 - 1969"

 Nov. 6
"Pecado Original"

 Nov. 7
"The Dead Don't Die"
"The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame 2020 Inductions"

 Nov. 9
"Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma," Season 5
"Industry"

 Nov. 12
"My Sesame Street Friends"

 Nov. 13
"De Lo Mio"
"Entre Nos: LA Meets NY"

 Nov. 14
"Dolittle"

 Nov. 15
"Murder On Middle Beach"

 Nov. 16
"His Dark Materials," Season 2
"Linda and the Mockingbirds"

 Nov. 20
"Porno Para Principiantes (Aka Porno For Newbies)"

 Nov. 21
"Between The World And Me," 
"Underwater"

 Nov. 24
"Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel"
"Smurfs," Season 4

 Nov. 26
"Craftopia: Craft the Halls"
"Craftopia: Merry Craftmas!"
"The Flight Attendant"
"Superintelligence"

Nov. 27
"Chateau Vato"

Nov. 28
"The Call Of The Wild"

 


Ashlie D. Stevens

Ashlie D. Stevens is a staff writer at Salon, specializing in culture.

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