Here are the best new titles to check out as we mentally prepare for that tumultuous return to work next week.
Ozark: Season 4, Part 1
It’s the beginning of the end for Marty and Wendy Byrde, and everyone else in the Missouri Ozarks connected in one way or another to the Byrdes’ desperate gamble to launder enough money to stay in the good graces of a Mexican drug cartel. While, at the same time, somehow managing to keep one step ahead of the FBI, rival criminals, and anyone else foolhardy enough to get between Marty – a brilliant accountant from Chicago now closing in on his endgame – and the criminality that he’s forced to embrace in order to keep his family alive. When we left the Byrdes at the end of Season 3, they had blood on their hands (and, in the final moments of the season, splattered all over their faces). Season 4 will split 14 episodes across two 7-episode halves, with Part 1 debuting on Netflix on Friday, Jan. 21. In this first batch of episodes, cartel boss Omar Navarro makes a deal with Marty and Wendy, the implications of which will unfold across the rest of this season – help Navarro fix things, so that he can walk away from the drug trade, and the Byrdes will be free of their obligations to him. A literal deal with the devil. Now streaming on Netflix
Munich – The Edge of War
Netflix adds another original to its feature film slate for 2022 this Friday, with the release of this adaptation of the bestselling Robert Harris novel of the same name. The year is 1938, and the setting is that year’s Munich conference. In this pre-WWII thriller, former friends now work for opposing governments ostensibly trying to keep war from breaking out across Europe. With a cast that includes George MacKay, Jeremy Irons, and Jannis Niewöhner, the two friends-turned-civil servants – Hugh Legat, for the British, and Paul von Hartmann, for the Germans – set out for Munich. The government of Neville Chamberlain wants to broker a deal with Adolph Hitler, who’s on the cusp of invading Czechoslovakia. We know, unfortunately, how this story ends – helped along by too many people who turned a blind eye to the inevitable. As Harris has one character lament in the Munich novel: “We all said, ‘Oh, he’s a terrible fellow, Hitler, but he’s not necessarily all bad. Look at his achievements. Put aside this awful medieval anti-Jew stuff. It will pass.’ But the point is, it won’t pass … And if the anti-Semitism is evil, it’s all evil. Because if they’re capable of that, they’re capable of anything.” Now streaming on Netflix
The Book of Boba Fett: Chapter 4
Disney+’s spinoff of its hit series The Mandalorian now has a few episodes of its inaugural season under its belt, with episode four of The Book of Boba Fett having debuted on the streamer on Wednesday. The weekend is a great time to catch up with this top Disney+ release, which explores the backstory of an iconic-looking but more or less side character in the Star Wars universe — the bounty hunter-turned-crime lord Boba Fett. He’s not the most swashbuckling of protagonists we’ve been introduced to across the franchise’s movies and TV series thus far, but this show makes up for Boba’s somewhat steely persona with fantastic visuals and set pieces. Not to mention all manner of space creatures, a couple of Hutts (not the famous Jabba), Tusken Raiders, fun action sequences, and much more. Now streaming on Disney+
The Gilded Age: Premiere
This new 9-episode HBO series (which premieres on Monday, Jan. 24, at 9 pm ET), mines the US of the late 19th century, a time when old ways were supplanted by new technology and prosperity, for narrative riches. Of course, this series – which stars an ensemble cast that includes Carrie Coon, Cynthia Nixon, and Christine Baranski, among others – will attract attention in some corners for one name alone. That of its creator, Julian Fellowes. This time around, the Downton Abbey creator brings his penchant for aristocracy and the Old World to the other side of the pond. Specifically, to pre-WWI New York City. Premieres on HBO Jan. 24, available to stream on HBO Max
Servant: Season 3
Nobody expected Apple TV+, when it launched back at the end of 2019, to have a horror-themed hit almost straight out of the gate. Nevertheless, here we are with the streamer set to debut a third season of M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant, which stars Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, and Rupert Grint. The story is right in Shyamalan’s supernatural-heavy storytelling wheelhouse, focused on a Philadelphia couple in mourning after a tragedy (we’ll try to be a little generic here so as not to spoil things) throws a wrench into their marriage. Which, as Apple spookily foreshadows, “opens the door for a mysterious force to enter their home.” Season 3 debuts on the streamer on January 21 — and, we should also add, Apple executives are apparently pleased enough with the show’s reception that they’ve already green-lit season four. Now streaming on Apple TV+
The Real Housewives of Miami: Season 4, Episode 7
If mindless reality shows are your thing, NBC’s Peacock steamer has you covered on that front. The seventh episode in this fourth installment of the Miami edition of the Real Housewives franchise dropped on January 20, and will see the ladies decamp for the Hamptons. Among this episode’s storylines, Nicole and Alexia have a confrontation, Marysol shares a surprise with everyone, and Lisa isn’t having the fact that they have to share rooms during their getaway. The Real Housewives of Miami, Peacock announced in unveiling this original, is the streamer’s “first-ever original Housewives ‘city’ series.” And it’s “putting the sizzle back in America’s hottest city.” Now streaming on Peacock
How I Met Your Father: First Two Episodes
In a title card at the end of the first episode of Hulu’s newly released show “How I Met Your Father,” the series pays its respects to comedian Bob Saget, the late narrator of the original show that it’s a spinoff of (How I Met Your Mother). That’s one reminder of this Hulu original’s provenance, which features Sophie (played by Kim Cattrall and then Hilary Duff, playing the younger version of the character) telling her son, wait for it, the story of how she met his dad. When we meet young Sophie, she and her friends are at that stage of their lives when they’re still figuring out who they are. And who they want to be. Hulu’s description of the pilot episode: “After a slew of let-down Tinder dates, Sophie meets the seemingly perfect guy. Meanwhile, her roommate, Valentina, returns home from London Fashion Week with a sexy souvenir. An Uber-related phone mishap leads them to an eclectic new group of friends.” Now streaming on Hulu
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