A new month brings a new list of things to be excited about. Heck, it’s a new year so I’ll address the long view of 2018 in a couple of days. But for now, let’s focus on the immediate future and take a look at the list of things that I’m enthusiastic about in January.
The X-Files (January 3, FOX) – The second (and almost definitely final) season of the revival premieres this week. For all the criticism that you can make against the previous season, I think the good definitely outweighed the bad. This promises closure to the story that ended the last season, a finale that wraps up the metastory, and eight standalone episodes in between. If there’s anything half as good as last year’s “werebeast” episode, it’ll all be worth it.
Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (January 9) – This direct to DVD movie is the first new Brave and the Bold material since the series ended in 2011. I’ve talked a lot about that series, but for now I’ll just say it was great and fun and I’m really excited to see more of it even though Scooby-Doo is kind of value neutral for me. It’s got a bunch of BatB guest-stars including Plastic Man, the Question, and fan favorite Aquaman. How they work the Question into a story involving Scooby-Doo, I can’t even imagine.
Somebody Feed Phil (January 12, Netflix) – The first season of this food travel show, which originally aired on PBS under the title I’ll Have What Phil’s Having was unexpectedly wonderful. Everybody Love Raymond co-creator Phil Rosenthal visits different locations to enjoy a good meal. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s funny and interesting and unexpectedly sweet.
The Post (January 12) – Steven Spielberg’s movie about the Pentagon Papers starts Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and a host of TV favorites. Alison Brie, Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Sarah Paulson, Zach Woods, Bradley Whitford… it’s beautiful. With everything else going for it, the fact is that I’ll see any move with Alison Brie in it and any movie about Nixon-era politics, so I’m double sold right off the bat.
Counterpart (January 21, Starz) – This series was not at all on my radar until I saw an ad at a movie theater. It’s an espionage thriller starring J.K. Simmons and it apparently takes place over two different parallel universes. And I only just now found out that it’s a series and not a TV movie. Guys, I am into this.
Baskets (January 23, FX) – Zach Galifianakis’ comedy returns for another year of hilarity and melancholy. And that means more of Louie Anderson’s wonderfully nuanced performance as Christine Baskets and more of Martha Kelly quietly stealing every scene. It’s a very good show and I don’t know why you’re not watching it.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture (January 26, Netflix) – David Wain’s new movie is a biopic about Doug Kenney, the co-founder of National Lampoon. That’s an interesting subject, but it’s mostly notable for being a new David Wain movie. Oh, also it stars Will Forte. Who’s going to pass that up?
Monster Hunter: World (January 26) – This new expansion of the Monster Hunter game series looks really amazing. I haven’t played any of the other games but the footage I’ve seen of this one looks so much fun and I might have to jump in. Also, video games are kind of taking the month off. I try to get a variety of things in here, but there are virtually no big releases this month in either games or comics for the month. There’s a lot of rad stuff already announced for 2018 (Red Dead Redemption 2!), just not this month.
It’s a short list, so if you’ve got something you’re excited about this month, let me know!