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What to watch in December: The Beatles, New Year's Eve countdown and more

From Peter Jackson giving us a fly-on-the-wall look at The Beatles' final days to bringing art to life in CNA's A Frame In Time and the annual countdown show to a brand new 2022, CNA Lifestyle's got you covered.

What to watch in December: The Beatles, New Year's Eve countdown and more

The Beatles in Peter Jackson's three-part documentary Get Back. (Photo: Screenshot/Disney Plus)

Searching for your next telly obsession? Spending all your time scrolling through streaming platforms not knowing what to watch?

As we count down to the end of 2021 and usher in a brand new 2022, here are some of our recommended viewing options for the month of December.

A Frame In Time season two is back. (Photo: CNA)


Viewers may remember the first season of the docu-drama, which saw iconic paintings from the National Gallery Collection come alive on screen, capturing vernacular stories of Singapore’s history and growth since independence.

The second season picks up where the series left off, and continues to tell stories of Singapore’s past, pausing at poignant moments in the 1970s and 80s and how they have shaped our collective narrative today.

Singapore film auteur Kelvin Tong, best known for The Maid and The Faith Of Anna Waters, helms the series again, interweaving fiction and non-fiction for a unique approach to documentary storytelling.

In the episode featuring Ong Kim Seng’s Night Calligrapher, the docu explores the important role of letter writers and how they helped Singapore’s migrant forefathers write letters to their loved ones in their city of birth. The narrative spurs an exploration into the past world of letters and airmails. What have we traded contemplative old-fashioned letter-writing for? Progress, convenience, or instant gratification?

In another episode, the focus lands on Liu Kang’s painting Young Girl With Discus. Widely regarded as one of Singapore’s most important artists, his playful portraiture initiates the conversation about women in sports, featuring Patricia Chan, C Kunalan, Glory Barnabas, Brian Richmond, K Jayamani, among other sporting icons.

The last episode highlights Tumadi B Patri’s mixed media abstract collage Hunting Elephants In The Batik Forest. It traces the origins of wayang kulit puppetry in Singapore, and explores its eventual demise to the likes of radio, cinema, and television.

Look out for a special release of this three-parter on Dec 31, Jan 1 and Jan 2, 9pm.

The Beatles: Get Back( Photo: Disney Plus)


Directed by three-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (best known for his epic The Lord of the Rings trilogy), this highly-anticipated docuseries takes audiences back in time to a pivotal moment in music history – the iconic band’s January 1969 recording sessions where they attempt to write 14 new songs in preparation for their first live concert in over two years.

The docuseries is compiled from nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and from more than 150 hours of unheard audio, most of which has been locked in a vault for over half a century.

Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to this Beatles treasure trove, all of which has now been brilliantly restored. What emerges is an unbelievably intimate portrait of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, giving us a mesmerising look at their friendship, humour, creative genius and ultimately, the beginning of the end of one of the world's most brilliant bands.

The docuseries features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as a behind-the-scenes look some of the world’s most iconic songs being composed and performed.

The three-part docuseries may come across a little meandering at times, but getting the chance to watch this never-before-seen restored footage of musical geniuses at work is simply stunning.

The Beatles: Get Back is streaming on Disney+ now.

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson. (Photo: Netflix)


Did you know that before the late Jonathan Larson’s musical phenomenon Rent, there was Tick, Tick…Boom!?

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda (who gave the world Hamilton) makes his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Larson, who went on to revolutionise musical theatre as the creator of Rent.

The film follows Jon (played by Academy Award nominee, Tony Award winner and former Spider-Man Andrew Garfield), a young theatre composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical.

This stunning ode to Broadway is made extra special with an insightful performance by Garfield as Larson, paying the ultimate tribute to the talented composer, lyricist, and playwright who suddenly passed away on Jan 25, 1996, the day of Rent's first Off-Broadway preview performance.

Tick...Tick...Boom! is streaming on Netflix now.

Let's Celebrate 2022! (Photo: Mediacorp)


What better way to usher in 2022 than with Mediacorp’s signature Let’s Celebrate 2022 annual countdown special?

Hosted by 987 radio DJs Sonia Chew and Joakim Gomez from The Float @ Marina Bay, expect a star-studded showcase of the best and brightest in Singapore music.

Going “loud on local”, the show will bring together all-time fan favourites like SPOP WAVE! judge and beloved singer Kit Chan; Nathan Hartono, who will team up in a joint set with internationally acclaimed DJ-producer MYRNE (aka Manfred Lim); and the first Singapore Idol champ Taufik Batisah.

Audiences should also look out for EDM wunderkind Jasmine Sokko, one of Spotify’s most streamed local female singers; rapper Yung Raja, one of Singapore's hottest hip-hop exports; soulful Aisyah Aziz; and singer-songwriter Iman Fandi, daughter of local football hero Fandi Ahmad. 

The show will be a cross-island celebration with performances held at familiar and beloved landmarks in Singapore, such as Jewel Changi Airport, the Dragon Playground at Toa Payoh Lorong 6, Jalan Besar Stadium and the Bulim Bus Depot.

Interspersed throughout the programme will be surprise salutations from Mediacorp stars and popular personalities across the Singapore cultural landscape, as well as an illuminating interlude comprising “live” shots of selected fireworks from the heartlands, the spectacular Shine A Light installation from The Promontory @ Marina Bay, and a dramatic 60-second countdown projection on the facade of the ArtScience Museum at midnight. 

Catch Let’s Celebrate 2022 live on meWATCH, Channel 5 and Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube on Friday, Dec 31, 11pm to 12.05am. An encore will be shown on Channel 5 on Saturday, Jan 1 2022, 5.50pm to 7pm. The show is also available on demand for free on meWATCH and Mediacorp Entertainment on YouTube from Jan 1, 2022.

Source: CNA/gl