New to AMC+ Etc in December

Shetland happens to Ashley Jensen.

If you subscribed to AMC+ on the promise of its outstanding drama pipeline, you’ll be underwhelmed by December’s premieres — two lifestyle show about travel and cooking — but sister service Acorn TV has a festive feast for whodunit fans.

In the Kitchen with Harry Hamlin: A Holiday Special (December 13) teams the LA Law/Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches star with his nice and classically trained chef Renee Guilbault in a half-hour of “cooking, dinner party and documentary” with a pinch of comedy.

The rest of Hamlin’s family joins them, along with Kenny G, while saddling up for season six of Ride with Norman Reedus (December 1) are Keanu Reeves, Adri Law, Josh Holloway and Johnny Knoxville.

New to Acorn TV (separately or on the AMC+ platform) is S8 of Shetland (December 18), the first not to star Douglas Henshall.

In his place is Met Police Detective Inspector Ruth Calder (Ashley Jensen), who returns to her native isles to retrieve the vulnerable witness to a gangland murder.

“Yet, this wasn’t a Death In Paradise or Doc Martin-style ‘fish out of water’ scenario,” Radio Times observed. “DI Calder was born and bred here, but escaped at the first opportunity …

“From Taggart to Unforgotten, from Silent Witness to Death in Paradise, plenty of crime favourites have managed to change lead actors without losing their magic. Ashley Jensen’s casting is a wee stroke of genius which might just give Shetland a whole new lease of life.”

Other whodunit premieres include a Christmas edition of The Madame Blanc Mysteries (December 25) and S8 of French crime drama Candace Renoir (December 11).

Coming to Shudder (separately or on AMC+) are:

  • It’s a Wonderful Knife (December 1), in which Yellowjackets’ Jane Widdop saves her town from a psychotic killer — only to have to have to face the maniac a year later when she finds herself in a nightmare parallel universe (“takes an enthusiastic stab at holiday-themed horror-comedy”; and,
  • The Sacrifice Game (December 8), about a gang of cult killers that turns up on a boarding school’s doorstep (“great horror and gore“).

New additions to Shudder’s library include Wendigo (December 11), and Something in the Dirt and The Endless (December 14).

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