A New Year’s hangover buffet of choices
The scab of 2021 has finally fallen off to reveal the shiny pink skin of a new year, still taut and raw from $4.50 gas prices and Omicron panic. Whether 2022 bring smoother sailing or a real-life 12 Monkeys, streaming platforms are offering spanking new releases to ease us into a fresh sun cycle: HBO has DC catalog favorites in anticipation of the Robert Pattinson tentpole The Batman coming in March, Netflix is dropping new episodes of Ozark, and Apple TV has the streaming debut of Ethan Coen’s Macbeth. From splashy new shows to cult classics to buzzy spin-offs and franchise films, these are the biggest titles dropping on streaming in January.
Rebelde (Jan. 5) – Netflix is beefing up its Spanish-language offerings with a reboot of the popular 2004 Mexican telenovela (itself a takeoff of the Argentine series Rebelde Way) that inspired real life super group RBD. Six diverse music students at an exclusive boarding school will take on stage life, drama and bubbling hormones–think Glee crossed with Spanish teen drama Elite.
The Hype House Season 1 (Jan. 7)–The future is content-rich: a dynamic new reality series follows the lives and careers of ten 20-something influencers who make Tik Tok videos in a “social media collective” Mcmansion. The internet personalities tell their come-up stories, plot the next viral video, trade gossip and quiver under the terrifying specter of Being Canceled while lounging in hot tubs and riding in helicopters and Lamborghinis. It’s The Real World with a business plan– let’s hope they don’t lose their phone chargers.
The House (Jan. 14)–The eerie stop-motion anthology by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels offers a trio of tales about the inhabitants of a single house existing in three different realities. The surreal series digs into the idea of home as both a haunted, unknowable space and a symbol of comfort and security. Mia Goth, Helena Bonham Carter, Jarvis Cocker and Matthew Goode voice the human and animal residents with surprising emotional intimacy.
Ozark Season 4 part 1 (Jan. 21)–Released in two seven-episode parts, the final season of the moody crime thriller series finds the Byrds stretched to their limit and making a bid for freedom from the cartel after season three’s shocking ending. But Marty’s attempts to hold his family together may be undercut by unforseen betrayals, new adversaries and fresh moral dilemmas. Star, director and executive producer Jason Bateman dropped a hint about what to expect in a recent statement: “A super-sized season means super-sized problems for the Byrds. I’m excited to end with a bang(s).”
Munich: the Edge of War (Jan. 22)–A meek English civil servant teams up with a German government worker in an attempt to thwart Hitler’s plan to invade Europe in the World War II spy thriller based on the Robert Harris novel. Jeremy Irons is Neville Chamberlain, whose refusal to go to war allowed Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia and set the stage for the bloody global conflict anyway.
The Beast/The Wasteland (Jan. 26)–A nameless creature that feeds on fear stalks a family on an isolated Spanish moor, fraying their perceptions and allegiances in the psychological horror flick directed by David Cassademunt. He describes it as “a film about the demons we have inside [and] how those demons transform us into defective adults.”
What else is coming:
Hook (Jan. 1)
Stand By Me (Jan. 1)
Taxi Driver (Jan. 1)
Action Pack (Jan. 4) children’s animation
The Journalist Season 1 (Jan. 13) Korean investigative drama
Archive 81 Season 1 (Jan. 14)
In from the Cold Season 1 (Jan. 28)
Visit Netflix for a full list of releases.
Pharma Bro (Jan. 7)–The new documentary from Brent Hodge is more than a character study of Martin Shkreli, the smug pharmaceutical executive who inflated the price of AIDS drugs to inaffordability and went to prison for securities fraud. It tangles with Shkreli’s indelible legacy in pop culture, the role villains play in media discourse, and why demonizing Shkreli deflects focus from large-scale pharmaceutical abuses.
How I met Your Father (Jan. 18)–For fans who hated the series ending of How I Met Your Mother, redemption may be at hand. The original creators are working with a fresh writing team on the comedy spin-off How I Met Your Father. Hillary Duff is Sophie, who tells her son his 10-episode origin story (future Sophie is voiced by Kim Cattrall). Duff, also a producer on the project, revealed the new show ties in with HIMYF story lines and teased possible crossover cameos.
Promised Land (Jan. 25)–The epic drama follows generations of two Latino families growing their wine empires in California’s Sonoma Valley, battling for power and wealth while beset by scandals, secrets and vendettas. The ambitious series written by Matt Lopez (Gone) and directed by Michael Cuesta (Dexter, Six Feet Under) is expected to take on thorny issues like land rights and the politics of the luxury beverage industry. The cast is led by John Ortiz (Fast and Furious 6), Cecilia Suarez, Christina Ochoa and Bellamy Young (Scandal).
Mayday (Jan. 27)–Grace Van Patton is beleaguered restaurant worker Ana, who finds herself transported to a dreamlike coast where women soldiers lure men to their death via radio signal in a never-ending war. She joins the group but as the body count rises, the line between power and psychopathy blurs and she questions her place in this dangerous world. Also starring Mia Goth, Juliette lewis, Havana Rose Liu and Soko.
What else is coming:
Big Top Pee-Wee (Jan. 1)
Escape from Alcatraz (Jan. 1)
Jacob’s Ladder (Jan. 1)
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (Jan. 1)
Next Level Chef series premiere (Jan. 3)
Keenan: Season 2 (Jan. 4)
This is Us Season 6 (Jan. 5)
Blackish Season 8 (Jan. 6)
Visit Hulu for a full list of releases.
The Tender Bar (Jan. 7)–J.R. (Daniel Ranieri, Tye Sheridan) is a fatherless kid who grows up in his uncles quirky, colorful Long Island bar during the Vietnam War as his mother struggles to better their lives. George Clooney directs the true coming-of-age story of New York Times journalist J.R. Moehringer and his journey to becoming a writer. Also starring Ben Affleck, Christopher Lloyd, and Lily Rabe.
A Hero (Jan. 21)–Oscar-winning Asgar Farhadi’s Iranian thriller follows Rahim (Amir Jadidi) on a two-day leave from debtor’s prison, where he goes on a daring mission to erase his debt and write the wrongs in his life– but one bold decision leads to surprising consequences. Farhadi is admired for his skill in spinning profound psychological tales from ordinary circumstances; the Farsi-language pic, also starring Mohsen Tanabandeh, Fereshte Sadre Orafaiy and Sarina Farhadi, won the Grand Prix at Cannes last year.
As We See It (Jan. 21)–The uplifting eight-episode series from Jason Katims (Friday Night Lights) features three 20-something roommates on the autism spectrum as they navigate employment, romance and friendship in an unrelatable world. But don’t expect a breezy string of cloying, choreographed triumphs. One character’s aide tells him, “I think you’re such a beautiful person that you shouldn’t have to hide who you are.” “That makes me want to throw up,” he replies. Albert Ruteki, Sue Ann Pien and Rick Glassman, all of whom are autistic, are joined by Joe Mantegna, Sosie Bacon (Mare of Easttown) and Chris Pang (Crazy Rich Asians).
What else is coming:
127 Hours (Jan. 1)
Beasts of the Southern Wild (Jan. 1)
Predator (Jan. 1)
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (Jan. 14)
Needle in a Timestack (Jan. 28)
Visit Amazon Prime for a full list of releases.
Harry Potter 20th reunion: return to Hogwarts (Jan. 1)–The cast of Harry Potter reunite on opulent Hogwarts sets to dish about growing up with the smash franchise and spill all the backstage tea. Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are joined by other former Hogwarts students (Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Bonnie Wright and others) to rehash crushes, rumors and memories from filming together over ten years. Gary Oldman, Jason Isaacs and Helena Bonham Carter also lend their commentary and insight– but creator J.K. Rowling is noticeably absent besides a few minutes of archived interview footage due to her views on transsexuality. As a fan bonus, HBO is also adding the entire Hogwarts Tournament of Houses trivia series to the platform.
Peacemaker (Jan. 13)–Set after the events of the Suicide Squad film, John Cena reprises his role as Peacemaker in a new eight-episode spinoff series written by James Gunn. The show explores the origin story of the douchey government killer who believes in achieving peace at any cost – until his budding conscience gets in the way. Also starring Suicide Squad alums Jennifer Holland, Steve Agee and Freddie Stroma, with franchise newcomers Chukwudi Iwuji (John Wick 2), Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2).
Somebody Somewhere (Jan. 16)–The offbeat comedy series portrays Sam (comedian and singer Bridget Everett), a Kansan coping with grief who struggles to fit the small-town mold — until she finds friendship in a community of lovable weirdos who help her find her voice. Everett, who shined in Patti Cake$ and Camping, is also executive producing. Co-starring Mike Haggerty, Mary Catherine Garrison (Veep), Jeff Hiller (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Danny McCarthy (Prison Break).
Búnker (Jan. 27)–HBO’s first original Mexican production is a black action-comedy about Vladimiro (Bruno Bashir), a downtrodden man who finds refuge in an old bunker in his basement– until his son imprisons a kidnapped man there instead (Miguel Rodarte). Eight half-hour episodes shot in brash, kinetic swipes chronicle the darkly comic misadventures that follow. “The end of the world would be tragic,” goes the tagline, “if it weren’t so absurd.”
What else is coming:
Bullitt (Jan. 1)
2001: A Space Odyssey (Jan. 1)
The Dark Crystal (Jan. 1)
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Jan. 1)
Wonder Woman 2017 (Jan. 1)
Snowpiercer Season 2 (Jan. 4)
The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (Jan. 9)
Squidbillies Season 13 (Jan. 12)
Visit HBO Max for a full list of releases.
Eternals (Jan. 12)–Moving from theaters to streaming after 45 days, the latest MCU flick finds the world picking up the pieces after the devastation of Avengers: Endgame, as a superteam of aliens emerges from the shadows to save humanity from an ancient foe. Directed by Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) and starring Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Barry Keoghan and Kumail Nanjiani.
The Real Queens of Hip-Hop: The Women who Changed the Game (Jan. 14)–What have women given to hip Hop culture? Everything. The one-hour ABC television special documents the evolution and impact of lady emcees and rappers from the ’70s to the aughts, honoring the genre-busting women who revolutionized the industry and inspired new generations of female artists. A crossover promotion for Eve’s and Brandy’s new ABC show Queens, the special features MC Lyte, Lakeyah, Trina, Eve, Angie Martinez, Monie Love, Da Brat, Lil Kim, MC Sha-Rock and narrated by Cheryl “Salt” James. Critics are shading one glaring omission from the talented panel: Foxy Brown.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum Season 2 (Jan. 19)–Jeff Goldblum is a human Swiss Army knife: he does ASMR, teaches acting, voices animated characters, sings jazz– and in his charming how-it-works show, he explores the miraculous and mysterious behind everyday concepts like dogs and fireworks. The second half of season 2 finds the brainy actor marveling at the surprising secrets behind ordinary things like puzzles, birthdays and motorcycles.
Also coming to Disney Plus:
Bob’s Burgers Season 11 (Jan. 5)
The Sandlot (Jan. 7)
Talespin Season 1 (Jan. 19)
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Jan. 21)
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (Jan. 28)
Visit Disney Plus for a full list of releases.
Apple TV Plus
El Deafo (Jan. 7)–The uplifting three-part animated series follows Cece, a kid who loses her hearing and finds her inner superhero: an alter ego named El Deafo who helps her navigate school, friendships and family. The endearing toon is based on the best-selling New York Times graphic memoir by Cece Bell and stars Lexi Finigan, Chuck Nice and Jane Lynch.
Wild Things: Siegfried and Roy (Jan. 12)–It’s the splashy Vegas cousin to the Tiger King saga: Wild Things offers a look behind the curtain at the glitz, controversy and tragedy behind the empire built by leathery tiger magicians Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn. Emmy-winning filmmaker and journalist Steven Leckhart is our guide into the lives of the notoriously private duo, revealing truths about their enigmatic relationship and the real stories behind their biggest headlines.
The Tragedy of Macbeth (Jan. 14)– Joel Coen renders the Shakespeare classic in desolate black-and-white, playing his wife Frances McDormand against a brooding Denzel Washington in the historical thriller. Washington is Macbeth, convinced by witches of his future kingship and buttressed in his ambitions by his power-hungry wife. The harsh lighting, lean, structured landscapes and stark sets replicate a theater performance and strip a familiar classic down to its psychological bones.
The Afterparty (Jan. 29)–The whodunit comedy series plays out like a Gen-Z game of Clue, kicking off with the murder of an obnoxious pop star at a high school reunion. But what should be a straightforward investigation splinters into eight episodes in which each character recalls the events of the night differently– and everyone seems to be hiding something. Tiffany Haddish is the brassy detective drilling down to the truth, aided by the unreliable memories of the alumni played by Ben Schwartz, Alana Glazer and Sam Richardson.
What else is coming:
The Servant Season 3 (Jan. 21) M. Night Shyamalan series
Fragile Rock: Back to the Rock (Jan. 21)
Visit Apple TV Plus for a full list of releases.
The platform’s release schedule is a bit anemic after a big holiday push, but it’s offering diverse fare like the 64th Annual Grammy Awards and a deep bench of sports programming like the AFC Championship, NCAA play and *checks notes* professional bull riding.
The End of the Storm (Jan. 19)–The triumphant story of Liverpool Football Club’s Premier League victory after a 30-year drought as told by coach Jurgen Klopp and seen through the eyes of Liverpool fans around the world. The club seemed cursed to become the Detroit Lions of England until Klopp implemented his “heavy metal” coaching style: direct passes, high press and speed attacks. The rousing documentary is a love letter to Klopp’s talent, the team’s determination, and LFC’s loyal fans who kept the faith.
The Envoys/Los Enviados (Jan. 20)–Oscar-winning Argentine director Juan Jose Campanella is artfully challenging Latino traditions of faith while revisioning ways of seeing and seeking divinity. Paramount’s first Spanish-language original series, the show tracks two priests (Luis Gerardo Mendez and Miguel Angel Silvestre), one of whom is also a doctor. The pair are part of an elite miracle-hunting squad on a mission from the Vatican to authenticate supernatural phenomena. As the son of a devout mother and a doctor father, the intersection of faith and science is a familiar touchpoint for Mendez: “In Mexico and Latin America we grow up with a very strong faith and this show is about questioning that, and science.” The “Catholic X-Files,” filmed in Mexico City, also stars Irene Azuela and Miguel Rodarte.
What else is coming:
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Jan. 5)
What About Bob? (Jan. 5)
Star Trek: Prodigy (Jan. 6)
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 (Jan. 12)
AwesomenessTV’s Next Influencer Season 3 (Jan. 13)
The 64th Annual Grammy Awards (Jan. 31)
Visit Paramount Plus for a full list of releases.