You could call it quality over quantity or easing into 2022 before the floodgates open; either way, the entertainment world is coming back cautiously. Art imitates life, as they say, and so we’ll slide into January with a small crop of new shows, but oh what a glorious group! With talent galore and everything from comedy to horror, I promise there’s a little something for everyone in these premiering series.
January 13, 2022 (HBO Max)
James Gunn brings his action-fueled take on DC’s comic series to the small screen with this first in the universe’s television outings, a spinoff of The Suicide Squad. John Cena returns as “the world’s biggest douchebag,” Christopher Smith aka you-know-who, a superherovillain who has no problem killing in the name of peace. This origin story costars Steve Agee, Danielle Brooks, Robert Patrick, Jennifer Holland, Freddie Stroma, and Chukwudi Iwuji, and Gunn wrote all episodes (as well as directing five) himself, so grab your eagle favorite sidekick and strap in, because it’s gonna be a wild ride.
January 14, 2022 (Netflix)
Start your year out right with this creeptastic horror series exploring a cult through the lens of a documentarian. Mamoudou Athie’s Dan Turner is an artist hired to restore a collection of videotapes that draw him into a mysterious building and the secrets uncovered by Melody Pendras (Dina Shihabi). Of course, he finds himself in the middle of a mess. Based on the podcast, this series is produced by James Wan (Insidious, Saw, The Conjuring) and with Rebecca Sonnenshine (The Boys, Outcast) showrunning, we couldn’t ask for a better midwinter’s moody scare.
January 16, 2022 (HBO )
If quirky comedy is your thing – and frankly, isn’t it everybody’s? – welcome in Bridget Everett’s (Inside Amy Schumer, Camping, At Home with Amy Sedaris) Sam and the community of outsiders and wonderful weirdos who help her find the way to self-acceptance. Here’s hoping this sweet and funny seven-parter produced by the Duplass brothers helps fill television’s Schitt’s Creek-sized hole. The trailer – and Joel (Jeff Hiller) and Sam’s friendship – looks adorable. Also starring Veep’s Mary Catherine Garrison, and Mike Haggerty and Danny McCarthy.
January 24, 2022 (HBO)
Julian Fellowes follows up Downton Abbey and Belgravia with another period drama, this one based in 1880s New York City, during the titular time of great growth and wealth. Featuring an insanely overfilled cast of big names – Christine Baranski, Carrie Coon, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Taissa Farmiga, Cynthia Nixon, Denée Benton, Nathan Lane, Simon Jones, Morgan Spector — and with a slew of brilliant guest stars, this opulent drama is set to be our newest not-so-guilty pleasure (just look at that costumery!).
January 28, 2022 (Apple TV+)
If you love your murder mysteries with a side of comedy, check out Tiffany Haddish’s detective Danner, who’s in charge of investigating a celebrity death that occurred during a high school reunion party. With each of the eight episodes focusing on the very different perspectives of the attendees – Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou – Danner’s got her hands full trying to get to the truth. Created and written by Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), this looks just the silly fun we need to break up the wintry weeks ahead.
January 28, 2022 (Netflix)
Dubbed the next Squid Game as it were (and even featuring one of that series’ stars, Lee Yoo-mi), this Korean drama takes on a zombie outbreak at a high school equaling (obviously) fun times! As students play get-out-or-get-infected, we’ll have to figure out who to root for and hey, isn’t that a lot more fun than the never-ending deathtrap that is The Walking Dead?
January 28, 2022 (Netflix)
The delightful Kristen Bell takes on a dark spoof of all those I-thought-I-saw-a-murder-but-I’m-not-a-reliable-narrator stories, this one created by Rachel Ramras (Nobodies) and adding in the much-needed humor missing from those titular references. With handsome fella Tom Riley moved in across the way, will Bell’s poor Anna be frozen (sorry, not sorry!) out or welcomed in despite her drinking issues, and will her new neighbor believe her terrible tale? Admit it; you wanna watch.
January 30, 2022 (Showtime)
In and among the many ongoing conversations about canceling comedians (and others) sits yet another television icon accused of many counts of sexual assault, rape, and other misconduct; convicted of aggravated indecent assault; his conviction overturned on appeal; and released from prison. Amid ongoing cases and Cosby’s admission of dispensing drugs to women, this four-part docuseries by Sorry to Bother You’s W. Kamau Bell sets out to discuss both Cosby’s actions and his influence on comedy.
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