The It List: 'Days of Our Lives' turns 55, 'Mom' returns without Anna Faris, Stephen Colbert hosts 'Election Night 2020' special and the best in pop culture the week of Nov. 2, 2020

Yahoo Entertainment Staff
·13 min read

The It List is Yahoo’s weekly look at the best in pop culture, including movies, music, TV, streaming, games, books, podcasts and more. During the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us are staying at home, we’re going to spotlight things you can enjoy from your couch, whether solo or in small groups, and leave out the rest. With that in mind, here are our picks for Nov. 2-8, including the best deals we could find for each.(Yahoo Entertainment may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

WATCH IT: Days of Our Lives turns 55 as fan favorite couple Jack and Jennifer also celebrate their anniversary

It's a very special day in Salem on Nov. 6 as the long-running NBC soap opera marks its 55th anniversary, having debuted in 1965. The episode will be a celebratory one with the loved ones of Jack (Matthew Ashford) and Jennifer (temporarily played by Cady McClain for Melissa Reeves during the pandemic) coming together to help the long-time pair mark their anniversary. (It is the one-year anniversary of when Jennifer came out of a coma.) But the festivities are not without drama, of course, as the couple's daughter, Abigail, finds a letter Jack wrote that could blow up the happy time. And John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena (Deidre Hall), also long-time fan faves, reminisce about their own years of marriage — officially two years from their last wedding, though that was their sixth time saying "I do," having been married off and on since 1986. Tune in for familiar faces and many warm memories — exorcism and being possessed by the devil aside. — Suzy Byrne

The 55th anniversary of Days of Our Lives airs Friday, Nov. 6 on NBC.

WATCH IT: Mom overboard! The hit CBS sitcom returns without original star Anna Faris

Every mom deserves a break, and Anna Faris is apparently no exception. After seven seasons sharing the screen with onscreen mother, Allison Janney, the Scary Movie star opted not to return for the eighth year of the Chuck Lorre-produced CBS sitcom. “While my journey as Christy has come to an end, allowing me to pursue new opportunities, I’ll be watching next season and rooting for my TV family,” Faris said in a Sept. 4 statement. Despite her amicable comments, early reports from the Mom set suggested that Faris’s decision caught the cast and crew off-guard, sparking memories of the unpleasant way that Charlie Sheen left Lorre’s previous hit, Two and a Half Man. Speaking with TV Line, Mom co-creator, Gemma Baker, indicated that unlike Sheen’s violent farewell, Faris’s Christy isn’t being written off permanently. Instead, she’ll find her way towards a “new path,” that has a “ripple effect” on Janney’s Bonnie. The Oscar-winning actress — who has only one season left on her contract — recently shared footage of Mom’s COVID-era Faris-less set, writing, “It’s a whole new territory, but we’re excited for Season 8 to begin.” Hey, more Allison Janney is never a bad thing. — Ethan Alter

Mom Season 8 premieres Thursday, Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. on CBS.

WATCH IT: Cast your vote for Stephen Colbert’s election night coverage

The Late Show host takes his act to commercial-free Showtime to mark the end — or at least the beginning of the end — of a knock-down, drag-out presidential campaign. In the officially titled, Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020, the funny man won’t have a live audience (thanks, COVID-19) but he won’t be solo either. He’ll welcome Charlamagne tha God, host of radio’s The Breakfast Club, and the hosts of Showtime’s political docuseries The Circus: John Heilemann, Mark McKinnon and Alex Wagner. Colbert, who supports former Vice President Joe Biden this year, hosted a similar special in 2016, which was called the equally great, Stephen Colbert’s Live Election Night Democracy’s Series Finale: Who’s Going to Clean Up This Sh**? — Raechal Shewfelt

Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020 airs Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 11 p.m. on Showtime.

WATCH IT: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection swoops in on 4K UHD

Now that we’ve had a solid 17 months of reflection — yes, the series finale “The Iron Throne” was 17 MONTHS AGO — can we put the legacy of HBO’s decade-long phenomenon into proper perspective? No matter what you thought of that last season, Game of Thrones will go down as one of the greatest television shows of all time. If you’re in need of that reminder, it might be very well worth investing in the new 4K Ultra HD Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s consistently spellbinding take on George R.R. Martin’s literary baby comes with eight seasons and 33 discs, not to mention 15 hours of bonus features (albeit originally released on the 2019 less-K, less-D collector’s edition). — Kevin Polowy

Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection on 4K Ultra HD is available Tuesday, Nov. 3 in an exclusive limited-edition version at Best Buy.

WATCH IT: The Rock Hall is still open

This year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was initially postponed this past May due to coronavirus concerns, and it will now be a pre-taped HBO special instead of a live show in Cleveland. But the Class of 2020 — Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, the Doobie Brothers and posthumous inductees Whitney Houston, the Notorious B.I.G. and T. Rex — will finally get a proper, if slightly bittersweet, celebration on Nov. 7. All-star guests taking part in Saturday’s tribute will include Luke Bryan, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Miley Cyrus, Billy Gibbons, Dave Grohl, Don Henley, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Chris Martin, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Brad Paisley, Bruce Springsteen, St. Vincent, Ringo Starr, Gwen Stefani and Heart’s Nancy Wilson. — Lyndsey Parker

The 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airs Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. on HBO.

STREAM IT: Guys and Dolls celebrates 65 years of rocking the boat

Marlon Brando in a musical? Yes, Broadway babies, that really happened. Five years after Guys and Dolls made its Big Apple stage debut, Hollywood legend Joseph L. Mankiewicz brought it to the big screen and Brando was the unlikely choice to play singing-and-dancing gambler, Sky Masterson. There was only one problem: The Method acting icon couldn’t really sing or dance. His musical theater limitations are only exacerbated by the fact that Frank Sinatra — who really could sing and dance — has a supporting role as Sky’s partner-in-crime, Nathan Detroit. Luckily for everyone involved, the tunes carry the day. From “Fugue for Tinhorns” to “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” the movie is filled with one Broadway banger after another. Call it dumb, call it clever, but you can bet odds that Guys and Dolls will be playing forever. — E.A.

Guys and Dolls is currently streaming on YouTube, and can be rented or purchased on Amazon and FandangoNOW.

WATCH IT: Revisit The Crown ahead of its to-Di-for Season 4

There’s just a couple of weeks to go until The Crown digs deep into Princess Diana territory with the Nov. 15 premiere of its fourth season, which means now is the perfect time to play catch-up and get some crucial Charles-and-Camilla context ahead of the main event. On the off-chance accessing your Netflix archives just doesn’t cut it, Season 3 — Olivia Colman’s first outing as Queen Elizabeth II — is now available to buy on DVD and Blu-ray for your screening pleasure. Whip up a batch of G&Ts, throw on a tiara and settle in for a marathon session of stiff upper lips, royal love triangles and the razor-sharp Princess Anne. — Erin Donnelly

The Crown Season 3 is available on DVD and Blu-ray beginning Nov. 3. on Amazon.

READ IT: The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook invites you to channel your inner Mrs. Patmore

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Big news!! I wrote ‘The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook! This book is a celebration of Christmas, showing you where those traditional old customs come from and how some of them aren’t very old at all. Popularised by Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ todays Christmas is what he made of it. Reviving long lost customs and placing family at the centre of it all. There’s patriotic pudding and emblematic beef, stunning pies and unexpected treats seasoned with many stories which makes this book not only very Downton, but also very Regula. This is also a celebration of strong women, from the extraordinary position of Mrs Patmore as a female chef in a period when men were still lord and master in the kitchens of the aristocratic households to Lady Edith’s story of breaking loose from the limitations that come with her social position as a woman from a great family pursuing a career as a columnist and later as the editor. Many of the recipes I chose to develop for todays cooks came from cookbooks written by women; England’s first freelance food journalist; Florence White, and Lady Agnes Jekyll were very much like Lady Edith. Others were cookbooks written by aristocratic ladies like Lady Crawley with recipes gifted to them by other ladies of her circle. I have dedicated this book to food historian @dranniegray my friend and mentor and one of the best people I know. She also contributed to this book with a foreword. I was invited to write 'The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook' in November but when I started my research I had no idea I would be creating this book during a pandemic. After a lot of hurdles along the way, with the photoshoot in NYC cancelled trice and the challenge in getting ingredients, we are excited we managed to bring out this book in time for Christmas 2020. This feels like a triumph. Thank you @weldonowen and @downtonabbey_official for making this happen. 'The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook' publishes this thursday, 29 oktober. Signed copies can be snatched up at @cookbookbake1 in the UK (ships worldwide) and @ludditesantwerp in Belgium (Ships to Holland too). I can’t wait for Christmas, what about you?

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Upgrade your holiday game with recipes fit for a king… or at the very least, an Earl. The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook features a smorgasbord of food options, from Christmas cakes to Coq au Vin. The lavishly-illustrated book also offers tips on how to host a Downton dinner party, and explores the Christmas traditions that the Crawley clan would have practiced. — E.A.

The Official Downton Abbey Christmas Cookbook is available Tuesday, Nov. 3 on Amazon.

STREAM IT: A very special episode of Archie Bunker’s Place marks its 40th anniversary

It’s rare that characters on sitcoms die, but it does happen. Remember Valerie Harper’s character on Valerie? Mr. Heckles on Friends? The beloved character of Edith Bunker, the wife of All in the Family’s often pig-headed patriarch Archie Bunker, met the same fate, as audiences learned in the Nov. 2, 1980 episode of sequel-series Archie Bunker's Place. The first of a two-parter, titled “Archie Alone,” features Archie (played by Carroll O’Connor) still grieving from the loss of his longtime partner a month after she suffered a fatal stroke while sleeping. Not to worry, the decision did not put the actress who played her, Jean Stapleton, out of a job. She was the one who wanted to go. “You know, I really don’t feel anything at all,” Stapleton told the Washington Post in April 1980, after the news of her impending demise broke. “It’s like talking about something that really doesn’t die. Edith still exists in the imagination. And in reruns.” Producer Norman Lear commemorated the character’s memory by establishing a $500,000 memorial fund dedicated to women’s rights and the ERA. — R.S.

Archie Bunker’s Place, including “Archie Alone,” is available on Crackle.

WATCH IT: Rambo: The Complete Collection packs the steelbook

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970:  Photo of Rambo  Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Rambo (1970). (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“Sir, do we get to win this time?,” John Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) famously asks Col. Trautman (Richard Crenna) before the one-man army is sent back to war at the top of the 1985 sequel Rambo: First Blood Part II. We’ll say this: Rambo: The Complete Steelbook Collection is a clear win for the franchise’s fans. The 4K collector’s edition comes stuffed with bonus features, including deleted scenes, featurettes and commentaries, not to mention specially designed steelbook cases for each of the five installments. Now do Rocky? — K.P.

Rambo: The Complete Steelbook Collection is available on Best Buy.

HEAR IT: Kylie Minogue’s new days of Disco

Following her country-influenced Golden LP in 2018, the Australian icon returns to her dance-club-diva roots on her 15th studio album, the aptly titled Disco. You won’t be able to get ‘70s/’80s-style bangers like “Magic,” “Real Groove,” “Dance Floor Darling,” “Unstoppable,” “Celebrate You” and “Where Does the DJ Go?” out of your head. — L.P.

Download/stream Disco on Apple Music.

PLAY IT: Funko Games adds The Haunted Mansion and Elf to its board game shelf

(Image: Funko/Disney)
(Image: Funko/Disney)
(Image: Funko)
(Image: Funko)

The holidays — and holiday movies — never have to end with two new additions to Funko Games’s ever-expanding board game library. Based on the popular Disney attraction, The Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits allows players to roam the rooms of a spooky manor, finding happy spirits and dodging hitchhiking ghosts. Meanwhile, Elf: Journey From the North Pole will put you in the Christmas spirit, recreating Buddy’s trek from Santa’s factory to New York City, with obstacles and secret goals along the way. Both games boast Funko’s typical attention to detail, with beautifully designed plastic figures and colorful game boards. — E.A.

The Haunted Mansion: Call of the Spirits is available on Amazon, and Elf: Journey from the North Pole is available at Target.

WATCH IT: The women in the lives of Usher, Ne-Yo and more step into the spotlight in Behind Every Man

There’s a reason that “behind every man is a great woman” is a cliché. This new OWN series features Ne-Yo’s wife Crystal Renay, Usher’s mom Jonnetta Patton, Wyclef Jean’s wife Claudinette and others. The musicians make appearances, too, as the women in their lives share their own stories, including the sacrifices they’ve made for their famous husband or, in the case of Patton, son. In the first look at the series, gospel singer Kirk Franklin gets emotional when he talks about his wife of 24 years. “I am who I am because of Tammy Franklin,” he says. Did we mention it’s heartwarming? — R.S.

Behind Every Man premieres Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. on OWN.

WATCH IT: V for Vendetta gets futuristic HDR release on 4K UHD

“Remember, remember the 3rd of November.” We hope that was used somewhere in the marketing of this slick new upgrade for V for Vendetta, which lands on Ultra HD two days before Nov. 5, a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night. The re-release, which features the film in 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, also comes at a good time for genre fans. COVID-19 has us in a serious content dearth, about halfway between the end of HBO’s acclaimed take on Vendetta creator Alan Moore’s Watchmen and the release of Vendetta producer Lana Wachowski’s hotly anticipated Matrix 4. Bonus features include a never-seen-before look at star Natalie Portman’s audition for the role of unlikely heroine Evey. — K.P.

V for Vendetta is available on 4K UHD beginning Tuesday, Nov. 3 on Amazon.

HEAR IT: O yeah, Orianthi is back!

The world-class guitar virtuoso, known for her work with Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana, Carrie Underwood, Alice Cooper, Steve Vai, Richie Sambora and many others, is back with her first proper solo studio album in seven years. The record, simply titled O, was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios with famed producer Marti Frederiksen (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne) and features a co-write with Motley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx. — L.P.

Download/stream O on Apple Music.

WATCH IT: Timely social thriller Antebellum ties our present to past, lands on 4K, Blu-ray and more

We’ll try to keep things vague here, since Antebellum is one of those films that the less you know about going in, the better. What you should know: It’s a haunting social thriller in the same vein as Get Out (directed by Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz and produced by one of Get Out’s producers not named Jordan Peele, Sean McKittrick) with two disparate timelines: one following Eden (Janelle Monáe) enslaved in the Antebellum South, the other following successful author and speaker Veronica (also Monáe) in present day. How do these two worlds tie together? It’s not only what makes for the film’s big twist, it’s also exactly what the filmmakers want you to think about while watching it. — K.P.

Antebellum releases on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, digital and on-demand beginning Tuesday, Nov. 3 on Amazon.

— Video produced by Jon San and edited by John Santo