The It List: 'The Crown' returns with a new cast, Disney+ debuts, Bale and Damon go into overdrive for 'Ford v Ferrari' and the best in pop culture the week of Nov. 11, 2019

Yahoo Entertainment Staff

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 Nov. 11-17, including the best deals we could find for each.

STREAM IT: The Crown reigns again as Season 3 premieres — with a new cast

Thanks to a time jump spanning 1964 to 1977, Emmy winner Claire Foy is turning in her tiara as Queen Elizabeth II. But fans of Netflix’s beloved royal drama should keep calm and carry on — expectations are high for incoming HRH Olivia Colman, whose brand-new Oscar for The Favourite proves she’s certainly no slouch in the British monarch department either. The show’s fresh faces also include Outlander and Game of Thrones star Tobias Menzies, who’ll be replacing Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and Helena Bonham-Carter, the newly anointed — and presumably, even more over the top — Princess Margaret. And while any potential Meghan Markle and Trump state visit storylines are alas quite a ways off, the period covered by Season 3 is chockablock with intrigue and scandal. There’s Princess Margaret’s torrid affair and subsequent divorce; the budding of Prince Charles’s (played by Josh O’Connor of The Durrells) romances with Camilla (Emerald Fennell) and Diana (Emma Corrin); the introduction of a new prime minister and the death of Churchill; and even a Soviet spy in Liz’s very own ranks. — Erin Donnelly

The Crown’s third season is available to stream beginning Nov. 17 on Netflix.

WATCH IT: Ford v Ferrari races into theaters

There's so much to like about Ford v Ferrari, the riveting new drama about Ford Motors's 1966 attempt to dethrone perennial auto-racing champs Ferrari at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France. One, it pairs two of the best actors in the biz in Matt Damon and Christian Bale, who play car designer Caroll Shelby and racer Ken Miles, respectively, whose poignant bond formed in a challenging environs lends the film deep and unexpected emotional weight. Two, it's directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line, Logan), one of our most underappreciated filmmakers, who — not unlike Ron Howard with the 2013 winner Rush — puts you right in the driver's seat with exceptional, rigorously filmed racecar scenes. And three, it's the best inspirational sports drama in years, a film any Rocky or Rudy fan will connect with — and probably even shed a few tears while watching. In other words, a perfect movie to watch with dad. — Kevin Polowy

Ford v Ferrari opens in theaters Nov. 15; visit Fandango or Atom Tickets for showtime and ticket information.

STREAM IT: Disney+ launches with a huge library of classic shows and movies, plus a roster of new series from High School Musical to Star Wars

Walt Disney fires a Mickey Mouse-shaped shot across the bow of the streaming wars with the official launch of the media giant’s official streaming service. Debuting Nov. 12, Disney+ first and foremost offers subscribers access to the company’s extensive library of family-friendly fare that date back to the company’s very beginnings, which in this case means the 1928 cartoon short “Steamboat Willie” and the 1937 feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Almost every major animated feature, and live-action favorite, will be available to stream on launch day, as well as some cult oddities that you maybe never expected to see again. The TV show archive is equally robust, with nostalgic favorites for kids who grew up in the 1990s (Darkwing Duck and Boy Meets World) or the 2000s (Lizzie McGuire and Kim Possible); and don’t forget that Disney+ is now the official (and only) streaming home for The Simpsons as all 30 seasons of Springfield’s first family are officially under the Mouse House roof.

But enough about the old stuff: What’s the new content like? The marquee attraction on launch day is The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars TV show in the franchise’s history. The series — which follows the adventures of the titular bounty hunter (played by former Game of Thrones star, Pedro Pascal) — wasn’t screened for press ahead of time, but with Jon Favreau at the helm, we have a feeling that the Force will be strong with this one. The other IP-based series is High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, an aggressively self-aware mockumentary that’s equal parts Glee and Waiting for Guffman as it pays homage to and pokes fun at the franchise that launched Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Speaking of dusting off old material, Disney’s latest live-action remake, Lady and the Tramp, bypasses theaters for an exclusive Disney+ launch and the small screen actually winds up benefitting this small-scale recounting of the love story between well-off Lady (voiced by Tessa Thompson) and the roguish Tramp (Justin Theroux). And unlike the recent Lion King update, Lady and the Tramp uses a cast of (mostly) real dogs, which will be catnip for canine lovers of all ages.

Other things you can watch on Nov. 12 include the serviceable Christmas movie Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as Santa Claus’s children, who find themselves in a Succession-like scenario of having to assume control of their father’s present-giving operation. Frozen 2 star, Kristen Bell, hosts the well-meaning, but mostly bland reality series, Encore, which reunites former casts of real-life high school musicals for a “one night only” repeat performance. Elsewhere, Jeff Goldblum educates himself on a variety of topics courtesy of The World According to Jeff Goldblum; Marvel’s Hero Project embarks on a quest for young Avengers making a difference in their own communities; and Toy Story 4’s breakout character, Forky, takes your questions in Forky Asks a Question. As of now, Netflix is still comfortably ahead in terms of the diversity and quality of its original offerings, but with more Marvel, Star Wars and revivals planned — plus that incredible back catalogue — Disney+ is likely going to be dominating your home television set-up the same way it dominates multiplexes. — Ethan Alter

Subscribe to Disney+ on the service’s official site.

WATCH IT: YouTube hit Cobra Kai kicks it on DVD (plus watch an exclusive deleted scene here)

For all the reboots, remakes and "reimaginings" that disappoint us on a regular basis, Cobra Kai feels almost like an anomaly. The Karate Kid YouTube Premium spinoff, which returned original stars Ralph Macchio, William Zabka and Martin Kove to dojo mats 34 years after the beloved 1984 original film, had almost no business being good. But it's been exactly that — really good, you could even say — a diamond in the rough in the world of re-this and re-that. Through two seasons, it's been especially effective in its reverse-perspective conceit: This time it's Johnny "Finish Him Off!" Lawrence (Zabka) who's our relatable down-and-out hero, the much more successful auto dealer Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) playing the foil. The series may have lost a little steam as the novelty of its reinvention wore thin through Season 2, but those folks who never ponied up the cash for YouTube's original content subscription can now binge it all on DVD where both seasons land on a bonus feature-filled limited edition this week. And there's something that feels so fitting about this throwback series full of scrappy characters only being on DVD, not Blu-ray or 4K. — K.P.

Buy Cobra Kai Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition DVD on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Waves will engulf you in emotions

Indie film fans are surely familiar with the work of writer-director Trey Edward Shults, whose startling feature debut, the intense family drama Krisha, won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards. Shults followed up that horrors-of-family story by crafting an actual horror film with the slow burning post-apocalyptic thriller, It Comes At Night. Now with the fall festival favorite Waves, Shults delivers his most fully realized, fully felt stunner yet, a gut-wrenching drama about a seemingly idyllic upper-crest Florida family (Sterling K. Brown, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Taylor Russell) whose lives become untangled after a shocking tragedy. While Shults's distinctive, pulsating style surely adds to the tension — it's the sharply written, deeply effective non-traditional story arc and powerhouse performances (which are all-around, but most notably by This Is Us Emmy winner Brown, playing against-type as a far-from-perfect father) that ultimately make this one a must-see gem. — K.P.

Get tickets for Waves opens in limited release on Nov. 15; visit Fandango or Atom Tickets for showtime and ticket information.

READ IT: Whitney Houston’s best friend Robyn Crawford breaks her silence in A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston memoir

Robyn Crawford was Whitney Houston's best friend, assistant, roommate and gatekeeper when it came to access to the superstar. But from the "Greatest Love of All" singer's early days, people wondered if there was more to their relationship. Now, seven years after Houston's death, amid addiction issues and voice woes, Crawford finally speaks, confirming for the first time that they had a sexual relationship, starting after they met as teens. And while, yes, the book details how they shared a bed for the first time, it really chronicles the love between them that lasted much longer than the sexual part. It also made clear Nippy's early taste for cocaine, which she started dabbling with at 14 and used a lot with Crawford. While Crawford said they stopped having a sexual relationship at Houston's urging in 1983 (Houston had just signed with Arista and felt it would hurt her career), she was fully along for the ride, climbing up the ladder at Nippy Inc. — first as an assistant and later overseeing merchandise and tours. Though things were decidedly complicated, especially as the women explored romances with others. For instance, Houston became enraged when Crawford was interested in one of her backup dancers, firing the woman. Crawford didn't give a thumbs-up to any of Houston's loves — Jermaine Jackson, Eddie Murphy and Bobby Brown — either, saying the star always picked subpar partners. It was drugs and Brown which ultimately blew up the women's deep friendship. While Crawford did her best to accept Houston's marriage to Brown — throwing her bridal shower and standing as her maid of honor — she recalled Houston coming back from her Italian honeymoon with a cut across her face after a fight with Brown. And despite Houston telling Crawford over and over that "cocaine can't go where we're going" — meaning she would stop using when she became famous — we know how that ended. Crawford's pleas with Houston to get sober fell on deaf ears.

Crawford's book is a must-read for Houston fans because we really do wonder if anyone knew her better. She was by Houston’s side for so much of her career — recording hits, accepting awards — but was also the one with Houston when she went to Brown's dirty Atlanta home for the first time or had lunch at Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch with Bubbles. Crawford was also the one answering calls from a persistent Robert De Niro and blowing him off on her boss’s behalf. She also knew Houston’s family, warts and all — and it seemed very warty. Crawford’s story outside of Houston was compelling too, saving her mother from her abusive dad and losing both her mother and brother to HIV — while simultaneously helping to build the career of one of the music industry's biggest performers seemed like no small feat. — Suzy Byrne

A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston is available on Amazon.

WATCH IT: Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 beams onto Blu-ray and DVD with all 14 episodes, plus plenty of featurettes (including an exclusive clip you can watch here)

In its sophomore season, Star Trek: Discovery brought back some classic Trek characters, before boldly taking the franchise into parts unknown. First, Anson Mount boarded the titular Crossfield-class spacecraft as Enterprise icon, Christopher Pike, who aided Michael Burnham (the always stellar Sonequa Martin-Green) to locate her half-brother — everyone’s favorite logic-minded Vulcan, Spock (played by Ethan Peck). Once reunited, the Discovery crew’s next thoughts turn to time travel: specifically by capturing a mysterious “Red Angel” that’s demonstrated the ability to pop up in different eras. That character subsequently sets up the show’s game-changing season finale, which is poised to put the “Discover” back in Discovery. “We make huge moves in the finale, to both synchronize with canon and then free ourselves from it,” showrunner Alex Kurtzman remarks in an exclusive clip from one of the many featurettes included on the Season 2 Blu-ray edition. (Watch the clip above.) His co-showrunner, Michelle Paradise, remembers assembling a super-sized 28-page outline for the last episode. “When I e-mailed it to Alex, I think the first thing I said was, ‘It’s not an episode of television,’” she says, laughing. She was right: that last episode became a two-parter that’s on par with some of the big-screen Star Trek features in its blend of action and breathless storytelling. — E.A.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 2 is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon, Target and Walmart.

HEAR IT: Celine Dion returns with new album Courage

The diva returns with her first English-language album in six years. The LP features songs co-written by pop heavy-hitters like Sia, Sam Smith, Skylar Grey and David Guetta. But Dion is in charge: Not only are her mighty vocals front-and-center, but Courage is her first project on which she is the executive producer. — Lyndsey Parker

Download on iTunes; buy on CD at Amazon.

STREAM IT: The Toys That Made Us will have you digging in the attic

While this Netflix documentary series is about toys — and it is a lot of fun to watch — it’s also packed with interesting stories. We learn about how the featured items came to be, why they were marketed the way they were and how they ascended to icon status, as told by the people who created them, as well as collectors and authors. (Don’t miss Forever Barbie author M.G. Lord’s take on the doll. She shows off a miniature book, which came as part of a 1965 set of doll accessories, and reads, ‘How to Lose Weight’ on the front and ‘Don’t Eat’ on the back.)

While the show’s previous two seasons focused on toys that have been popular for decades, such as Barbie and G.I. Joe, four new episodes examine the history of more modern favorites: My Little Pony, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Power Rangers and toys based on professional wrestling. Kids can watch, sure, but adults will be much more fascinated in the backstories of favorites from their childhood. — Raechal Shewfelt

The new season of The Toys That Made Us arrives Nov. 15 on Netflix.

HEAR IT: Lady Antebellum returns with a new record label and familiar sound with Ocean

The country superstars return with their first full-length LP since 2017’s Heart Break and first since leaving longtime label Capitol Nashville for Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine. The standout track “The Thing That Wrecks You” is a collaboration with another massive country band, Little Big Town. — L.P.

Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl at Amazon.

WATCH IT: A new season of America in Color sheds new light on old stories

The Smithsonian Channel’s acclaimed series, which tells the story of the country using black-and-white photos that have been colorized using digital technology, returns for a third round. The premiere episode recounts the tales of immigrants, many of whom arrived at the Statue of Liberty, and the divisiveness over the issue of immigration even then. Watching President Franklin D. Roosevelt giving a speech to a crowd, and the earliest known video footage taken of immigrants arriving stateside — shot by Thomas Edison’s film crew, no less — is truly fascinating. The second episode examines American disasters, such as the devastating San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the hurricane that struck Galveston, Tex., in 1900, which remains the deadliest natural disaster in our country’s history. — R.S.

A new season of America in Color premieres Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. on the Smithsonian Channel. It can also be streamed on YouTube (for free!) or on Hulu.

HEAR IT: Juliana Hatfield takes on 12 classics and deep cuts by The Police in Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police

Following 2018’s excellent and quirky Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John, the indie icon and former Blake Babies member pays loving homage to another artist that shaped her musical youth. While she reimagines a couple expected hits (“Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take”), she mostly veers leftfield with fan favorites like “Murder by Numbers, “Canary in a Coalmine,” “Rehumanize Yourself” and “Landlord,” focusing on the ‘80s post-punk trio’s protest-music roots. — L.P.

Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl at Amazon.

PLAY IT: Minecraft goes tabletop with the new Builders & Biomes board game

 Minecraft: Builders & Biomes Strategy Board Game (Image: Ravensburger)
Minecraft: Builders & Biomes Strategy Board Game (Image: Ravensburger)

Want to experience the world of Minecraft, but your kids won’t let you have a turn on the tablet? Builders & Biomes allows the whole family to fight mobs and construct structures out of basic elements like wood, obsidian and stone. Strategy is also key, as players have to choose between mounting a more action-heavy campaign or using exploration as the path to victory. The set-up alone is an adventure, as players lay out a Minecraft Overworld that’s constantly changing, and piece together a 64-block cube that’s then taken apart Jenga-style over the course of the game. Just remember: It ain’t over until the Enderman screams.

Minecraft: Builders & Biomes is available to purchase starting Nov. 15. on Amazon.

HEAR IT: Frozen 2 soundtrack features 7 new songs

The soundtrack for one of most anticipated films of the year features seven original tunes, including three end-credit renditions from Kacey Musgraves, Panic! At the Disco and Weezer. It’s fun for the entire family! — L.P.

Download on iTunes; buy on CD/vinyl at Amazon.

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