Recently I cut the cable cord. And the universe rewarded me for it. Well, that's my interpretation for the coincidence that every genre show I intend to watch in December is available on a streaming service, as opposed to network or cable. I won't miss a beat for at least a month, and save money, too. Here's the lineup (with some spoilers):

The Expanse

Season 5 premieres Dec. 17 on Amazon Prime.

Sadly, this is the penultimate season. Sad, because "The Expanse" is one of the best shows on television. You don't have to take my word for it. Watch a few episodes, and you'll be hooked.

His Dark Materials

Season 2 ends Dec. 20 on HBO/HBO Max.

After the disappointing attempt to adapt Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy to the big screen ("The Golden Compass," 2007), I didn't expect much from the TV adaptation. I was wrong. Two big points in its favor: 1) While adapted from young adult material, "Dark Materials" is a production for adults; and 2) Dafne Keen. Keen startled audiences with her scene-stealing appearances in "Logan," where the young actress could snap from innocent to feral and back again in heartbeats, like flipping a light switch. She was pre-adolescent then, and is all of 15 now, but remains the most arresting figure in any scene she's in.

The Mandalorian

Season 2 ends Dec. 18 on Disney+.

What can I say about this show that hasn't already been covered in rave reviews? From the cool Western vibe to terrific casting (Timothy Olyphant, Rosario Dawson), this show never makes a misstep — and even makes sense of some of the sillier aspects of the central character's creed. Then there's Baby Yoda. Er, I mean Groggu. (Which sounds like a Stan Lee/Jack Kirby monster from the '50s. They never actually used "Groggu," but a quick search brings up Gog, Googam, Goom, both Gorgilla and Gorgolla, Grogg, Groot and Gruto.) He's very cute, but isn't he old enough by now to know better than to eat that nice lizard lady's eggs? Disturbing.


Season 2 begins Dec. 13 on Epix.

I've always wanted to watch this show, which stars Batman's butler in his 20s during London's swingin' '60s. But I didn't pop for Epix when the show debuted in 2019. I finally did when Roku gave me an offer I couldn't refuse: $1.99/month. So now I'm bingeing Season 1. And I am hooked! As all Bat-fans know, Alfred began as comedy relief in 1943, a bumbling butler who was both fat and dim. But over the decades he has been upgraded time and again, eventually becoming an irreplaceable aide-de-camp and surrogate father for Bruce Wayne. His past has been revealed in bits and pieces, with careers both on stage and in the UK's Special Air Service, explaining the many skills he brings to bear in the comics. "Pennyworth" makes use of the military angle, with Alfred being ex-SAS and highly trained in espionage, weaponry, hand-to-hand combat and counterintelligence.