The It List is Yahoo's weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. Here are our picks for Dec. 12-18, including the best deals we could find for each. (Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.)
STREAM IT: Call Me Miss Cleo digs into the truth behind the '90s infomercial
Remember Miss Cleo? You definitely do if you were ever channel surfing late-night TV in the late 1990s and early 2000s. That's when a woman using that name was regularly pitching tarot card readings through the Psychic Readers Network. In truth, Cleo was Youree Dell Harris, who was born in Los Angeles, rather than Jamaica, as her accent indicated. "They wanted me to create a character," she says here. "I'm not a character. I'm a real person." The Psychic Readers Network was phony, too, and it faced serious legal repercussions. Through interviews with Harris, who died in 2016, actress Raven-Symoné and others, the doc examines the cultural phenomenon and what was really going on behind the scenes. — Raechal Shewfelt
Call Me Miss Cleo premieres Thursday, Dec. 15 on HBO Max.
WATCH IT: Follow The Way of Water back to Pandora
Thirteen years later, James Cameron has finally delivered his follow-up to the box-office behemoth Avatar — and it was worth the wait. The first of four planned sequels, Avatar: The Way of Water introduces new ecosystems, species and characters to the space saga, with even more dazzling graphics and set pieces than the groundbreaking original. Titanic alum Kate Winslet joins returning stars Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang in a story that finds Jake Sully (Worthington) trying to protect his Na'vi family from militant human colonizers hell-bent on terraforming the living moon of Pandora. Be warned: The movie clocks in at more than three hours and features plenty of underwater imagery (it is subtitled The Way of Water for a reason), so avoid the large soda at the concession stand. — Marcus Errico
Avatar: The Way of Water arrives in theaters on Friday, Dec. 16.
STREAM IT: Anna Gunn breaks bad in Shudder's Christmas thriller The Apology
Yeah, Mrs. White! Breaking Bad star Anna Gunn headlines Shudder's entry in the holiday movie season, The Apology — a Christmas movie with seriously scary overtones. Set in an isolated house on Christmas Eve, the film features Gunn as a recovering alcoholic still grieving the disappearance of her teenage daughter, who went missing twenty years ago. As she puts the finishing touches on her Xmas Day party, her former brother-in-law (Linus Roach) invites himself over with a long-held secret to reveal about what happened to her beloved child. Before you can say "Uh-oh," Gunn and Roach are locked in a Yuletide battle of wits and weapons that's a gift for fans of home invasion thriller. This exclusive clip from The Apology finds Gunn chatting with her best friend, Janeane Garofalo, on the night before Christmas when nothing is stirring... yet. — Ethan Alter
The Apology premieres Friday, Dec. 16 in theaters and on AMC+ and Shudder.
STREAM IT: Nancy Pelosi takes a victory lap in the HBO documentary Pelosi in the House
Talk about your great going-away presents. As she prepares to step down from her role as Speaker of the House, California representative, Nancy Pelosi, is the subject of a new HBO documentary by her filmmaker daughter, Alexandra Pelosi. Made from home movies that the younger Pelosi has shot over the years, the movie offers the opportunity to review her mother's accomplishments in office, and also see moments that weren't captured on news cameras. Those moments include her private reaction to Donald Trump's 2019 State of the Union address, where she was famously photographed trolling the former president's speech. The movie also features past footage of her husband, Paul Pelosi, who recently survived a frightening home invasion. — E.A.
Pelosi in the House premieres Tuesday, Dec. 13 on HBO and HBO Max.
WATCH IT: Blake Shelton goes for a nine-peat on The Voice
It’s down to The Voice Season 22’s final five — Morgan Myles, Omar José Cardona, Bryce Leatherwood, Bodie and Brayden Lape — and with the latter three all representing Team Blake, the ever-popular Blake Shelton has a 60% chance of winning his ninth fist-shaped trophy. That would be a fitting semi-sendoff for the original coach, who just announced he’ll be retiring from The Voice after one more season in spring 2023… but don’t rule out rookie coach Camila Cabello, who could win big with Morgan, her last woman standing. — Lyndsey Parker
The Voice Season 22 finale airs Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 9 p.m. on NBC.
STREAM IT: Octavia E. Butler's classic time travel novel Kindred comes to the small screen
It's taken over forty years, but the groundbreaking 1979 novel, Kindred — written by pioneering Black sci-fi author, Octavia E. Butler — has finally been brought to life onscreen. As in the book, the story follows aspiring Black writer Dana (Mallori Johnson), as she suddenly finds herself transported back in time to the pre-Civil War Deep South and is put to work on a plantation owned by the prominent Weylin family. As she bounces back and forth between the present and the past, Dana's mind and body are transformed by her firsthand experience with slavery. Though it was written decades ago, Butler's prescient novel is even more timely now, and Hulu's adaptation of Kindred will hopefully restore more of her work to prominence. — E.A.
Kindred premieres Tuesday, Dec. 13 on Hulu.
WATCH IT: An early Ben Affleck movie gets an all-new director's cut
The same year that he broke into the big time as Will Hunting's best buddy, Ben Affleck was part of the ensemble of the Sundance-approved coming of age yarn, Going All the Way. But the version that (briefly) played in theaters in September 1997 wasn't the one that director Mark Pellington intended audiences to see. 25 years later, Pellington's preferred cut hits the screen in an all-new "Director's Edit" that restores the more dramatic tone he was going for in adapting Dan Wakefield's novel. Besides a startlingly young Affleck, Going All the Way also provides before-they-were-stars glimpses at Jeremy Davies, Rachel Weisz and Nick Offerman. — E.A.
Going All the Way: The Director's Edit premieres Dec. 16 in theaters; visit Fandango for showtimes and ticket information
WATCH IT: Smile will make you smile when not cowering in fear
Sometimes the best horror movies come from the very simplest concepts. A shark stalks teens swimming in the ocean. A kid sees dead people. A videotape curses you to death if you watch it. In Smile, Parker Finn’s gloriously terrifying feature-length adaptation of his 2020 short film, it’s witnessing one spectacularly creepy smile that damns victims in a Ring-esque death chain. Come for the multitude of spine-tingling jump scares, stay for Sosie Bacon’s gutsy performance as the psychologist desperate to break the cycle. The film, which scared up $105 million at the U.S. box office, hits Blu-ray this week, with bonus features including the original short, filmmaker commentary and deleted scenes. — Kevin Polowy
Smile releases on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, Dec. 13 on Amazon.
WATCH IT: Metallica and friends lend a hand
The metal gods’ third All Within My Hands “Helping Hands Concert & Auction,” featuring secret special guests and host Jimmy Kimmel, is coming to Los Angeles’s Microsoft Theatre to benefit the band’s foundation and help tackle important community issues like hunger and workforce education. But if you can’t be there in person Friday, you can still experience the epic all-star event — and help this worthy cause — by watching the AWMH live-stream on Paramount+. — L.P.
Metallica Presents: The Helping Hands Concert streams Friday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. PT/8:30 p.m. ET on Paramount+.
STREAM IT: Adult Swim Yule Log isn't your ordinary televised fireplace
Yule Logs are supposed to be relaxing, both in real life and on TV. But leave it to Adult Swim to take this seasonal tradition and make it... weird. The latest stunt by Too Many Cooks mastermind Casper Kelly begins with the usual crackling fire, but then veers off in wild directions that we wouldn't dream of spoiling. Let's just say you'd better take the content warnings promising "violence" and "brief nudity" seriously. But where's Snarf? — E.A.
Adult Swim Yule Log premieres Dec. 12 on HBO Max.
BOOK IT: Spend the holidays where Buddy the Elf and Kevin McCallister did on the Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Bus Tour
The festive sights of New York City — and the backdrop for the many holiday movies that were filmed there — are the subject of On Location Tours's latest excursion. Board the bus for a two-and-a-half hour ride that swoops you off to locations such as the swanky apartment where Will Ferrell's loveable Buddy the Elf stayed with his dad Walter, played by the late James Caan; Rockefeller Plaza, where Zooey Deschanel's Jovie took Buddy to see the biggest Christmas tree in Manhattan; and the Empire State Building, where Walter works (and Buddy memorably busts a move in the mail room). Fans of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Scrooged, Miracle on 34th Street, Serendipity and other festive films will recognize something, too. And the experience is a good overview of the city, just packed with behind-the-scenes trivia, courtesy of the actor tour guides. A sample: a costumed Ferrell caused a traffic jam when the crew filmed that scene of him walking the Lincoln Tunnel. Everyone wanted a photo! — R.S.
The Holiday Lights & Movie Sites Bus Tour is available nightly through Jan. 3. Book tickets at onlocationtours.com.
HANG IT: Make room for E.T. on the Christmas tree
’Tis the season to deck those halls — but skip the boughs of holly and enliven the old tannenbaum with some pop culture. While Hallmark's latest “Keepsake” line of holiday ornaments features iconic characters from Disney, Star Wars, Gremlins, Elf, Christmas Vacation, Dr. Who, Friends, Peanuts, Harry Potter and more, our (glowing) heart belongs to E.T. Celebrating the classic’s film 40th anniversary, this adorable ornament features a light-up chest and the beloved alien’s favorite catchphrases. — M.E.
Hallmark’s 2022 Keepsake ornaments are now available at Hallmark, Amazon and other retailers.
WATCH IT: You’ll like-a these Laika favorites on 4K Ultra HD, you’ll like-a them a lot
As Finn Wolfhard says in a new interview with us promoting Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the best movies are ageless. On the surface they might look like kids movies, and kids can certainly watch and enjoy them, but they’re not made exclusively for kids. That in a nutshell defines the animation masters of Laika, who this week release a pair of their beloved ageless films on 4K Ultra HD: their 2009 magnum opus Coraline (Are there many scenes in cinematic history better than the garden reveal? Nope.) and charming 2012 frightfest follow-up ParaNorman. Laika’s creative team used HDR and Dolby Vision plus Dolby Atmos to painstakingly remaster every minute, so expect these beauties to be even more beautiful. — K.P.
READ IT: The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969-73 is the ultimate paperback writing
In the most extensive and exhaustive account ever published about Paul McCartney’s post-Beatles personal and professional life, authors Allan Kozinn and Adrian Sinclair chronicle the creation of Paul’s biggest hits written for both Wings and outside artists; his marriage to first wife Linda; and his battles with cynics and critics. At nearly 700 pages, The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969-73 is the perfect holiday gift for the Fabs fan who has everything… with an equally hefty Volume 2 hopefully arriving in time for Christmas/Hannukah 2023. — Lyndsey Parker
The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969-73 is available Tuesday, Dec. 13 on Amazon.
WATCH IT: iHeartRadio’s got stars that jingle jangle jingle
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You’ll be seeing stars this not-so-silent night, as pop’s biggest A-listers give the gift of music. The CW’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2022 television special, shot Dec. 9 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, will feature Dua Lipa, Lizzo, Charlie Puth, the Kid LAROI, AJR, Demi Lovato, Lauv, Ava Max, Dove Cameron, and Jax, all bringing tidings of good cheer. — L.P.
The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball airs Saturday, Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. on the CW.
READ IT: In his new book Movie Dad, Paul Dooley plays leading man
While you might not know actor Paul Dooley by name, you probably recognize him as Molly Ringwald's dad in Sixteen Candles, Dave's dad in Breaking Away and Julia Roberts's dad in Runaway Bride. He's played a dad about 25 times in a career that has also included voicing one of the characters from Disney's Cars, playing Wimpy in the infamous 1980 flop Popeye and appearing in TV shows such as The Golden Girls and Desperate Housewives. Movie Dad: Finding Myself and My Family, On Screen and Off, which Dooley penned during the pandemic, tracks his five-plus decades in Hollywood, but also his life off-screen, in which his ex-wife once took their children and said they wouldn't return. Dooley turned to private detectives and the courts to try and get them back. Actors Alan Alda, Bryan Cranston and Joe Mantegna are some of the familiar names who've endorsed the read. — R.S.
Movie Dad is available Thursday, Dec. 15 at bookstores including Amazon.
COLLECT IT: Funko Pop has festive collection of Christmas collectibles
If you’re a pop culture addict who decorates their home with Christmas trinkets, knickknacks, doodads, playthings and whatnots over the holidays and doesn’t have any Funko Pops in the mix, you’re missing out. The popular big-domed toy brand always has a reliable collection of X-mas figures to shelf next to the elf, from the Santa and polar bear of ‘90s Coca-Cola commercial fame to a new lineup of yuletide superheroes celebrating The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. But the biggest scores are Funko’s full movie set pieces, including Kevin McAllister’s stairwell of torture from Home Alone and Buddy’s stop-motion detour to Narwhal in Elf. This is next-level Funko stuff. – K.P.
Check out Funko Pop’s full collection at Funko.com.