Zendaya in Euphoria. Picture: HBO
Zendaya in Euphoria. Picture: HBO

14 TV series worth binge-watching this January

By Entertainment Reporter Time of article published Jan 4, 2021

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If you prefer to spend your time indoors this January, then you probably have a list of movies and series to binge on.

Oh, you don’t? Well, allow us to do the guesswork for you because Showmax has a pretty decent line-up this month.

PEN15 S2 | Binge from 8 January 2021, first on Showmax

PEN15 is an R-rated traumedy set in middle school as it really happened in the year 2000. Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine play versions of themselves as 13-year-old outcasts, surrounded by actual 13-year-olds.

Season 2 is an even bigger hit than its Emmy-nominated first season, with a 93% rating on Metacritic, where it’s #1 on the top-scoring fictional TV shows of 2020. Season 2 also has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where it’s #2 on their list of the best TV shows of 2020.

TIGER | Stream part 1 from 11 January 2021 & part 2 from 18 January 2021, first on Showmax

HBO’s eagerly anticipated Tiger Woods documentary, Tiger, offers a revealing look at the rise, fall, and epic comeback of the global golfing icon. The series paints an intimate picture of the prodigy whose obsession with the game of golf brought him unimaginable fame and success, but also led him down a dark, spiralling path before his legendary comeback, culminating in his victory at the 2019 Masters.

The two-part documentary features never-before-seen-footage and interviews with those who know Tiger Woods best, including his former caddy and close friend, Steve Williams; golf legend Sir Nick Faldo; his father Earl Woods’s friend and biographer, Pete McDaniel; Tiger’s first true love, Dina Parr; and Rachel Uchitel, the woman at the centre of the sex scandal that forever altered Tiger’s world, breaking her silence for the first time.

FARGO S4 | Tuesdays from 12 January 2021 at 23:30, same day as M-Net

Created by Emmy winner Noah Hawley (Legion, the upcoming untitled Star Trek sequel) as a spin-off of the Coen brothers’ Oscar-winning classic movie, Fargo has won three Golden Globes, six Emmys and a Peabody Award. It’s #36 on IMDb’s Top Rated TV list, with an 8.9/10 score, and holds a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Season 4, which is Complex’s TV show of 2020, is set in Kansas City in 1950, with four-time Emmy-winning comedian Chris Rock starring as Loy Cannon, the head of the African American crime family who trades sons with the head of the Italian mafia as part of a tenuous truce. Golden Globe winner Ben Whishaw (A Very English Scandal, Mary Poppins Returns), BAFTA nominee Jessie Buckley (Chernobyl), and Teen Choice nominee Jason Schwartzman (The Grand Budapest Hotel) co-star.

THE GOOD LORD BIRD | Binge from 15 January 2021

Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, Boyhood) stars in The Good Lord Bird as militant abolitionist John Brown, who is credited with instigating the American Civil War. It’s told from the point of view of Henry "Onion" Shackleford, an enslaved boy who joins Brown’s family of abolitionist soldiers.

Onion is played by rising star Joshua Caleb Johnson, who co-stars along with Grammy winner Daveed Diggs (Blindspotting, Hamilton), Critics Choice winner Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), and Emmy winner Keith David (Community). The seven-part series is executive produced by Hawke, triple Oscar nominee Jason Blum (Blackkklansman, Get Out) and James McBride, who penned the National Book Award-winning novel it’s based on.

P-VALLEY S1 | Tuesdays at 22:30, same day as 1Magic. Binge from 19 January 2021

P-Valley is the 8thth highest rated new TV show of 2020 so far, according to Rotten Tomatoes, and set a new record on the Starz App for the most viewed series premiere ever.

As Rotten Tomatoes’ 100% critics consensus says, “A stunning, lyrical piece of neon noir, P-Valley explores the unseen lives of strippers in Mississippi through Katori Hall's singular gaze, celebrating the beauty of the craft without sugarcoating the challenges.”

Indiewire hailed it as “unlike anything ever seen on TV… the series knows exactly what it wants to be: a sexy, fast-paced drama that sets out to de-stigmatize the world of stripping and shatter misconceptions.”

EUPHORIA SPECIAL | Stream part 1 now and part 2 from 25 January 2021, first on Showmax

Zendaya’s triple-Emmy-winning HBO drama series Euphoria put a surprise in our Christmas stockings at the end of last year with Trouble Don't Last Always, the first episode of a two-part special bridging the COVID-19-enforced gap as we wait for Season 2.

The first episode picked up directly after the Season 1 finale, following Rue into Christmas in the aftermath of the train station and falling back into old habits. In Part 2, coming to Showmax express from the US this month, we’ll finally get Jules’s side of the story and catch up with her over the holidays as she reflects on the year behind her.

VIKINGS S6B | Binge now, first on Showmax

In the second half of the final season of HISTORY’s breakout TV series, all your questions will be answered. Is Bjorn still alive? What happened to Floki? Who will take the throne of Kattegat? And which of our favourite characters is going to die next? (Spoiler alert: No, we’re still not over Ragnar, let alone S6A’s big death).

After six seasons, Vikings still has a 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.5/10 rating on IMDb. Created by BAFTA nominee Michael Hirst (Elizabeth, The Tudors), Vikings won its first Emmy in 2020 – a case of lucky number 13 - for Outstanding Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role. Happily, it’s had more success at other shows, picking up 37 awards internationally, including the Satellite Award for Best TV Drama. Even more accolades seem likely, as the show already has 2021 Critics Choice Super Awards nominations for Best Action Series, Best Actor: Action for Alexander Ludwig as Bjorn, and Best Actress: Action for Katheryn Winnick as Lagertha.

BLACK MONDAY S1-2 | Binge now

Set in 1987, Black Monday is a comedy about a motley crew of ambitious underdogs who cause the worst stock market crash in Wall Street history.

As the high-rolling Mo, Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (Avengers’ War Machine, Hotel Rwanda) was nominated for 2019 and 2020 Emmys and won two Black Reel Awards, with Regina Hall (Girls Trip, The Hate You Give) nominated for a further two. Emmy nominees Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (The Boys) executive produce (alongside Cheadle) and also directed the pilot.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE S7 | Binge now

Police station comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine returns for its seventh season, which sees Holt going back to the beat, while Jake and Amy consider starting a family.

The beloved ensemble cast is led by Golden Globe and Emmy winner Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) and Golden Globe nominee and Emmy winner Andre Braugher (Homicide: Life on the Street).

Created by Emmy winning writers Daniel J Goor (Parks and Recreation and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah) and The Good Place creator Michael Schur, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a 95% critics' score on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 8.4/10 on IMDb. It’s won two Golden Globes, two Emmys, and two Critics’ Choice Awards.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM S10 | Binge now

After a dry spell of just one precious season in the past nine years, Seinfeld co-creator Larry David is back to rain on everyone’s parade with Season 10 of the grand-daddy of cringe comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Curb is turning 100 (episodes that is), which might explain why Larry’s crankier than ever. The new season promises to take on Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump, Make America Great Again and #MeToo, but they still have less to worry about than Larry’s ex, Cheryl (Emmy nominee Cheryl Hines), as Larry sets his sights on reuniting with her.

As always, look out for a host of guest stars, including Oscar winner Sean Penn; Oscar nominees Christine Lahti, Clive Owen, and Jonah Hill; Golden Globe winners Jon Hamm and Ted Danson; Golden Globe nominees Jane Krakowski, Mila Kunis and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin; Emmy winner Phil Rosenthal; Emmy nominees Alan Tudyk, Laverne Cox, and Nick Kroll; and People’s Choice winner Vince Vaughn.

WHY WOMEN KILL S1 | Binge now

This ten-episode anthology series follows the stories of three women, one house, and multiple infidelities. Though separated by decades, picture perfect 60s couple Beth and Rob, 80s socialite Simone and her third husband Karl, and modern day attorney Taylor and her open-marriage husband Eli share a Pasadena mansion - and a propensity for keeping secrets.

Created by Emmy nominee Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids), Why Women Kill has an 8.3/10 score on IMDb. Globe and Mail calls it “bonkers”, “brilliant” and “recommended”, TV Guide says it’s “sinfully fun”, and TV Insider says, “No one knows that hell hath no fury better than Marc Cherry, whose latest campy concoction of suburban dysfunction is to die for.”

The cast includes Emmy nominee Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Charlie’s Angels), People’s Choice nominee Ginnifer Goodwin (Walk the Line, Once Upon a Time), Teen Choice nominees Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Talented Mr. Ripley) and Alexandra Daddario (American Horror Story, True Detective) and Emmy nominee Reid Scott (Veep’s Dan Egan).

ROOM 104 S4 | First on Showmax, binge now

Room 104 is a cult HBO anthology series from the DuPlass brothers (Animals., Togetherness), which tells tales of the characters who pass through a single room of a typical American chain motel. The genre, the characters and even the era change each half-hour episode – perfect for anyone burnt-out on bingeing.

In the fourth and final season, look out for Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Melissa Fumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Harvey Guillén (What We Do In The Shadows), Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy, Trainspotting), Gary Cole (The Good Fight), and Mark Duplass (The Morning Show) – among many others.

CHARMED S2 |Binge now

In this teen favourite reboot, three sisters - Macy (Madeleine Mantock from Into the Badlands), Mel (Black Reel nominee Melonie Diaz from Fruitvale Station) and Maggie (Sarah Jeffery from Descendants) - discover they are a powerful trio of good witches, known as The Charmed Ones. With the help of their guide, Harry Greenwood (Rupert Evans from The Man in the High Castle), the three must embrace their destiny to protect the innocent from the forces of evil.

Charmed was nominated for two 2019 Teen Choice Awards, for Choice TV Actress: Fantasy/Sci-Fi (Melonie Diaz) and Choice TV Show: Fantasy/Sci-Fi, as well as a 2019 Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Television Series. Charmed won a 2020 Leo Award for Best Production Design, and child actor Isla Sunar scooped a 2020 Joey Award for Best Featured Actress in a TV Series (5-7 Years).

THE THIRD DAY S1 | Mondays from 23:30, same day as M-Net. Binge from 11 January 2021

Co-created by Dennis Kelly (Utopia), this tense mix of mystery, thriller and drama is divided into two parts: Summer and Winter. In the first half, one man (Oscar nominee Jude Law from The New Pope) visits a mysterious island off the British coast and discovers a group of locals intent on preserving their home at any cost. In the second half, a strong-willed outsider (Oscar nominee Naomie Harris from Moonlight) comes to the island seeking answers — but instead triggers a battle to decide its fate.

The cast also includes Oscar nominee Emily Watson (Chernobyl), Teen Choice nominee Katherine Waterston (the Fantastic Beasts films), and BAFTA winner Paddy Considine (The Outsider).

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