Top 10 TV Shows Worth Watching In January

Discover the Top 10 TV Shows Worth Watching In January.
1. True Detective: The series, which kicked off impressively in 2014 with Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, experienced two lackluster seasons with different plots and casts. However, this fourth installment, led by new creator and director Issa Lopez, breathes chilling life back into the show. Jodie Foster takes on the role of Liz Danvers, the police chief in a small Arctic Alaska town, where all eight scientists from a research station mysteriously vanish.
Reluctantly teaming up with state trooper Evangeline Navarro (portrayed by former boxer turned actor Kali Reis), despite a tumultuous history, Liz investigates the disappearances. Set against the backdrop of a period with no sunlight, the series is atmospheric and eerie, unraveling characters’ backstories as mysteries continue to accumulate. Lopez, comparing her creation to the original season, remarked to Vanity Fair, “Where True Detective is male and sweaty, Night Country is cold, dark, and female.”

True Detective – Night Country premieres on January 14 on HBO and Max in the US, and on January 15 on Sky Atlantic and        Now in the UK.

2. The Tourist: Jamie Dornan reprises his role in the second season of this comedic thriller, but this time, the setting shifts to a different part of the world. In the initial season, his character navigated the complexities of Australia, attempting to recover his identity and past following a memory-erasing car crash. Unveiling his Irish identity as Elliot Stanley brought forth unsettling revelations about himself.

In the upcoming episodes, he returns to his homeland in Ireland, now in a relationship with Helen Chambers (played by Danielle Macdonald), the police officer he encountered in Australia. Their quest to unearth more about his identity leads them into the midst of a perilous conflict between two families. Described by The Guardian as “wildly fun,” the new season promises “more 80s bangers and Dornan doing ballet,” making it “a hoot.”

The Tourist premiered on January 1 on BBC in the UK and is set to premiere on February 29 on Netflix in the US.

3. Expats: Following her impactful comic drama, The Farewell (2019), Lulu Wang directs her first major project, a series delving into the interconnected lives of Americans in Hong Kong. Inspired by Janice Y K Lee’s 2016 novel, The Expatriates, the show is produced and led by Nicole Kidman, who plays Margaret, a mother of young children. The narrative weaves through the lives of characters such as Mercy (Ji-Young Yoo), a single Korean-American, whose fate becomes intricately linked with Margaret’s through a tragedy laden with grief and guilt.

Wang’s casting choices introduce more diversity than seen in the original book, featuring Japanese-American actor Brian Tee as Margaret’s husband and Indian-American actress Sarayu Blue as her friend, Hilary. The narrative expands to include the working-class residents of Hong Kong, providing a broader perspective on the lives of expatriates. The production faced public backlash due to Kidman’s exemption from Covid quarantine rules in Hong Kong, where the series was filmed. Wang expressed the significance of capturing the city amid its changing dynamics.

Expats is set to premiere on January 26 on Amazon Prime Video internationally.

4. Feud- Capote vs the Swans: Following the success of “Feud: Bette and Joan,” which explored the Old Hollywood rivalry between Davis and Crawford, Ryan Murphy’s next addition to the Feud anthology is a captivating treat with a supremely talented cast. Tom Hollander takes on the role of Truman Capote in his later years, portraying him as a member of an intimate circle of extravagantly rich socialites, humorously referred to as his “swans.” The storyline unfolds in 1975 when Capote, played by Hollander, publishes the tell-all story “La Cote Basque,” exposing the darkest secrets of the ladies he once considered his confidantes.

Naomi Watts embodies the seemingly perfect Babe Paley, while Diane Lane portrays the sardonic and cynical Slim Keith, and Chloe Sevigny brings CZ Guest to life. Calista Flockhart appears as Lee Radziwill, and the late Treat Williams plays Babe’s husband, CBS television founder William Paley. However, the standout performance comes from Hollander, portraying Capote at the pinnacle of his fame as a figure marked by sadness, neediness, egotism, and alcoholism. Playwright Jon Robin Baitz penned the series, and Gus van Sant (known for “Milk”) directed the majority of the episodes.

“Feud: Capote vs. the Swans” is set to premiere on January 31 on FX in the US.

5. Monsieur Spade: In a delightful twist, the 1960s sees Sam Spade—yes, the iconic San Francisco detective immortalized by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon—embarking on an unexpected retirement to the serene French countryside. Clive Owen steps into the role of the pragmatic Spade, exuding a confident swagger and sardonic grin without attempting to mimic Bogart’s portrayal. This iteration presents a softer Spade, hired to escort a young girl to a quaint French village where he finds himself captivated by a glamorous woman, played by Chiara Mastroianni.

Succumbing to the charms of love, Spade, ever the gallant speaker, engages in French conversation with an unmistakable American accent. Unsurprisingly, his penchant for solving murder mysteries persists, casting a shadow of Nazism over the town, still grappling with the aftermath of World War Two. Crafted by Scott Frank (known for The Queen’s Gambit) and Tom Fontana (of Oz fame), the show maintains Frank’s trademark crisp direction, blending droll humor and heartfelt moments.

“Monsieur Spade” is set to premiere on January 14 on AMC and AMC+ in the US, as well as on Acorn TV in the UK.

6. Echo: The newest Marvel series, stemming from Hawkeye but distinct in its own right, introduces Echo, a deaf Native American superhero whose true identity is Maya Lopez. Gifted with the unique ability to replicate anyone else’s actions, Echo, portrayed by Alaqua Cox, returns to her Oklahoma roots. Having severed ties with the crime lord Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) and embraced the path of righteousness, she grapples with familial challenges and navigates the complex dynamics of good and evil.

The series has garnered attention for its groundbreaking elements within the Marvel universe, including its Native American hero and a TV-MA rating tailored for mature audiences. Diverging from the norm in the franchise, the show embraces a grittier and more violent tone, where characters “bleed, they die, they get killed,” as highlighted by executive producer Sydney Freeman. American Sign Language plays a significant role, and the predominantly Native supporting cast features esteemed actors such as Zahn McClarnon (Dark Skies), Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon), and Graham Greene (Wind River).

“Echo” is set to premiere on January 10 on Disney+ and Hulu in the US, and on Disney+ internationally.

7. The Brothers Sun: Michelle Yeoh, always a delight to watch, takes the lead in this comedic action series as Eileen Sun, the unwilling matriarch of a criminal family. Her elder son, Charlie (Justin Chien), was raised in Taipei under the guidance of his crime-boss father, becoming a part of the family business. Meanwhile, Eileen brought up their younger son, Bruce (Sam Song Li), in the safety of Los Angeles. When the father meets an untimely demise, Charlie seeks refuge in Los Angeles, prompting Eileen to reveal the family’s criminal ties to Bruce, who was blissfully unaware of their illicit activities.

In response, the all-American Bruce questions, “So, we’re like criminals?” and protests, “I don’t want to be a gangster!” akin to a child resisting bedtime. However, it appears he has little say in the matter within this lively series, co-crafted by Brad Falchuk (known for American Horror Story and Pose) and Byron Wu.

“The Brothers Sun” is scheduled to premiere on January 4 on Netflix internationally.

8. Griselda: Sofia Vergara, renowned for her comedic roles, particularly in the sitcom Modern Family and her lively presence as a judge on America’s Got Talent, takes a dramatic turn in a role that will leave heads spinning. In a compelling departure from her usual repertoire, she portrays the real-life, indomitable Griselda Blanco, also known as La Jefa (The Boss), the formidable leader of a Miami drug cartel during the tumultuous 1970s and 80s. Vergara, who also serves as a producer for the show, guides viewers through Griselda’s gripping ascent and downfall as the infamous “Godmother of Cocaine,” tracing her journey from Medellin to Miami alongside her three young sons.

The singer Karol G adds depth to the narrative as Griselda’s confidante, one of the many sex workers recruited from Colombia to aid in her schemes. The creators behind the successful Netflix series Narcos, including producer Eric Newman and director Andres Baiz, bring their expertise to Griselda, promising a textured portrayal of the drug-trafficking world, set against the vibrant neon backdrop of Miami with a ruthless femme fatale at its core.

“Griselda” is set to premiere on January 25 on Netflix internationally.

9. Masters of the Air: Elvis, Doctor Who, and the enigmatic figure from Saltburn converge on an airfield in this expansive, action-packed drama. Austin Butler, Ncuti Gatwa, and Barry Keoghan are just a few names in the extensive ensemble cast of this compelling narrative centered around Americans undertaking bombing missions over Nazi Germany. Produced by the acclaimed duo Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, the show serves as a companion piece to their well-received World War Two series, Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Austin Butler takes on the lead role, portraying the real-life Major Buck Cleven in a tale rooted in the actual exploits of the US Army’s 100th Bomb Group, famously known as the Bloody Hundred.

The series promises riveting aerial battles intertwined with personal drama, shedding light on the harrowing reality that only one in four men was expected to return. Renowned directors, including Cary Joji Fukunaga (known for the first True Detective), Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (of Captain Marvel), and Dee Rees (Mudbound), helm this highly anticipated series.

“Masters of the Air” is set to premiere on January 26 on Apple TV+ internationally.

10. Criminal Record: Peter Capaldi takes on the role of the world-weary London Detective Chief Inspector Daniel Hegarty, while Cush Jumbo embodies the optimistic Detective Sergeant June Lenker in this riveting, high-paced thriller featuring two compelling lead performances. Lenker receives an anonymous tip suggesting that one of Hegarty’s prior cases resulted in a wrongful conviction and imprisonment, sparking her desire to investigate. Hegarty’s reluctance unveils a web of secrets, indicating he has much to conceal.

Capaldi delivers a sinister and cunning portrayal of the condescending Hegarty, contrasting with Jumbo’s resilient and tenacious Lenker. The tension intensifies as Hegarty declares, “We got our man,” regarding the old case, to which Lenker retorts with a glare, stating, “No, you got a confession.” As their cat-and-mouse game unfolds, additional murders occur, and the series delves into a dynamic of old-school versus new-school policing, exploring themes of racism, sexism, and police corruption.

“Criminal Record” is set to premiere on January 10 on AppleTV+ internationally.

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