Sex and the ‘Harlem’ City, ‘Money Heist’ Finale, Higgins’ Secret on ‘Magnum,’ New Seasons of ‘Pen15’ and ‘Alex Rider’

Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver delivers an uptown twist on Sex and the City about four Black girl friends in Harlem. The addictive Spanish-language thriller Money Heist comes to an explosive finish. Magnum P.I.’s partner Higgins is on a secret mission, which doesn’t escape Magnum’s notice. Hulu’s whimsical Pen15 returns to finish its second season, and IMDb TV’s teen spy thriller Alex Rider is back for a second round of espionage mayhem.

Harlem Amazon cast key art
Adrienne Raquel/Amazon Prime Video

Harlem

While many Sex and the City fans are eagerly awaiting next week’s launch of the series’ And Just Like That sequel, Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver delivers her own raucous ode to female friendship in New York—uptown style—with four Black BFFs. Harlem’s 10-episode first season introduces Meagan Good as Camille, an eager anthropology professor with a rocky love life and a devotion to her college pals: Angie (Shoniqua Shandai), an outspoken singer-actress who lives rent free with trust-fund fashion designer Quinn (Grace Byers); and Tye (Jerrie Johnson), a queer dating-app creator who’s seemingly ambivalent about love. The impressive guest cast includes Whoopi Goldberg, Jasmine Guy and Andrea Martin.

NETFLIX

Money Heist

The pulse-pounding Spanish-language thriller that has taken the world by storm returns with its final five episodes. The action picks up from the September cliffhanger as the band of robbers reels from Tokyo (Ursula Corberó) seemingly blowing herself up along with the commandos who stormed their way into the Bank of Spain. Who will make it out alive?

Jay Hernandez in Magnum PI
CBS

Magnum P.I.

Higgins (Perdita Weeks) should know better than to try to hide things from her partner Thomas Magnum (Jay Hernandez), but he may get more than he bargained for when he shadows her while she’s on a secret mission to infiltrate a group looking to take down MI-6. Their buddy Rick (Zachary Knighton) has his own problems, struggling emotionally after an explosion claims the life of someone close to him.

Anna Konkle as Anna and Maya Erskine as Maya in Pen15
Alex Lombardi / Hulu

PEN15

Season Premiere

The acclaimed “traumedy” resumes its second season, starring adult co-creators Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle as versions of their adolescent selves, who continue to endure the most excruciating non-growing pains in seventh grade. (We’ve all been there, but many of us have repressed those memories.) Events including a bat mitzvah and a local “Walk for Cancer” set the stage for more painfully amusing existential crises.

Alex Rider Season 2
IMDBtv

Alex Rider

Season Premiere

Based on Eagle Strike, the fourth book in Anthony Horowitz’ young adult spy-thriller franchise, the second season plunges young Alex (Otto Farrant) back into the murky milieu of international espionage, when a friend’s journalist father is attacked by the man Alex thinks may have killed his uncle. It all leads to a plot to attack the Pentagon, involving a globally popular video game created by tech billionaire Damian Cray (Toby Stephens).

The Yule Spool:

  • The Great British Baking Show: Holidays Season 4 (streaming on Netflix): Just the delectable morsel we need, as Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith welcome contestants from past seasons for two special episodes, one geared to Christmas and the other to New Year’s celebrations.
  • Eight Gifts of Hanukkah (8/7c, Hallmark Channel): As the Jewish holiday heads into its final weekend, Hallmark spins the yarn of a woman (Lucifer’s Inbar Lavi) who has eight nights to discover the identity of her secret admirer. If the love interest (Jake Epstein) looks familiar, it may be because he starred in Thursday night’s Lifetime movie, A Christmas Village Romance. The guy gets around.
  • Christmas Again (8/7c, Disney Channel): Bunk’d star Scarlett Estevez is Ro, a teen caught in a Groundhog Day-like loop when she wishes her family, fractured by divorce, could go back to the way it was.
  • A Christmas Dance Reunion (8/7c, Lifetime): It’s also a reunion for High School Musical stars Monique Coleman and Corbin Bleu, who as Lucy and Barrett meet again at the Winterleigh Resort where as kids they partnered for the Christmas Dance. It’s the struggling hotel’s final Christmas season—or could there be a holiday miracle?
  • Silent Night (streaming on AMC+): A much darker yuletide awaits a cast of British stars in a bitter doomsday comedy, when parents Keira Knightley and Matthew Goode invite family and friends to their English countryside estate for Christmas dinner. The cheer may seem a bit forced, because outside their walls the world as they know it is about to come to an end.

True Crime Watch:

  • Chasing Ghislaine (8/7c, Investigation Discovery): Ripped from the headlines, a three-part special delves into the sordid history of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialist currently standing trial for sex trafficking and procuring victims for wealthy sexual predator, the late Jeffrey Epstein. The series follows the reporting of journalist Vicky Ward, who interviewed Epstein and two of his survivors of sexual abuse.
  • Dateline NBC (9/8c): Taking its cue from House of Gucci, the newsmagazine debriefs insiders about the 1995 murder of fashion scion Maurizio Gucci, including his American ex-girlfriend.
  • The New York Times Presents: To Live and Die in Alabama (10/9c, FX and Hulu): The latest installment investigates the aftermath of the fatal shooting of three police officers during a shootout at an Alabama drug house and how one suspect, Nathanial Woods, was convicted and sentenced to death, despite never having touched the murder weapon.
  • The Hunt for the Chicago Strangler (streaming on discovery+): A three-part docuseries looks into the unsolved murders since 1999 of more than 50 women, mostly Black, found strangled and dumped across Chicago.

Inside Friday TV:

  • The Rescue (streaming on Disney+): After a successful run in theaters and acclaim on the film-festival circuit, the streaming debut of the documentary from Oscar-winning director-producers Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelyi (Free Solo) revisits the nail-biting rescue in 2018 of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in northern Thailand.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (streaming on Disney+): A new animated feature adapts the first book in Jeff Kinney’s beloved series about hapless middle-schooler Greg Heffley (voiced by Brady Noon).
  • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (streaming on Netflix): A fourth season of the animated Jurassic spinoff finds the campers having escaped the peril of Isla Nublar only to be shipwrecked on a mysterious island with its own secrets and dangers.
  • S.W.A.T. (8/7c, CBS): Hondo (Shemar Moore) is back as the team’s leader, just in time for a dangerous case involving the Russian mob.
  • Blue Bloods (10/9c, CBS): Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) gets a temporary new partner when he teams with investigator Anthony (Steven Schirripa) to look into a double homicide, because Anthony’s sketchy cousin (Anthony DeSando) has gang ties to the crime.