Here we go with a brand-new year! Happy New Year to all. We hope for exciting content from HBO. We also await the new reality when WarnerMedia/Discovery redesigns our viewing landscape sometime in 2022. But, for January we still have HBO (for those accessing through cable/satellite) and HBO Max (streaming), and even Cinemax (the movie-based sister channel). The new year rings in with plenty of content including new series and specials. Here is our look at some of what awaits us in January 2022; here is What’s On, starting with this first-to-site trailer.
A few quick points:
We Show A Baker’s Dozen of First-to-Site Trailers
We Return to East Highland for some EUPHORIA
DC’s PEACEMAKER Arrives
Bob Odenkirk is NOBODY
and We Celebrate Harry Potter!
HBO Original Series:We begin with the new series heading our way from HBO. First, is the big drama to begin the new year, so get out your best attire. It is Julian Fellowes’ (Downton Abbey) THE GILDED AGE. The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of huge fortunes made and lost, and the rise of disparity between old money and new. Against this backdrop of change, the story begins in 1882 – introducing young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Union general, who moves into the New York City home of her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an accomplished African-American woman, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell. In this exciting new world that is on the brink of the modern age, will Marian follow the established rules of society, or forge her own path? It debuts MONDAY, JANUARY 24 (9:00-10:00pm ET/PT) and runs for ten episodes on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
There is also a new comedy. It is SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE, which debuts on HBO on SUNDAY, JANUARY 16 (10:30-11:00pm ET/PT). Sam (Bridget Everett) is a true Kansan on the surface, but, beneath it all, struggles to fit the hometown mold. As she grapples with loss and acceptance, singing is Sam’s saving grace and leads her on a journey to discover herself and a community of outsiders who don’t fit in but don’t give up, showing that finding your people, and finding your voice, is possible. Anywhere. Somewhere. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
We also get an episode breakdown for the first three episodes of this seven-episode limited series.
When the devastation of her sister Holly’s death trickles into her workplace, Sam finds an unexpected connection with her coworker Joel. Later, just as a fight with her other sister Tricia leaves Sam feeling further unmoored, Joel offers her a lifeline. Written by Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen; Directed by Jay Duplass
–Season 1, Episode 2: “Knick-Knacks and Doodads” Debuts: SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 (10:30 -11:00 PM ET/PT)
Sam begins to bond with fellow members of Choir Practice, but her burgeoning friendship with Joel is threatened over competing outlooks on their future in Kansas. After a disappointing job review and a concerning visit to her parents’ house, an increasingly distraught Sam seeks help from someone close to Holly. Written by Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen; Directed by Robert Cohen
Sam and Joel embark on a covert mission to uncover the source of her brother-in-law Rick’s sudden windfall. Then, choir practice provides Sam with the courage and clarity to share mounting concerns about her mother Mary Jo with her father Ed. Written by Patricia Breen; Directed by Robert Cohen
Hopefully, those two shows will become new favorites. But we also have old favorites to revisit as we gladly welcome the return of Zendaya and McBride’s respective series. They both return back-to-back on Sundays. Amidst the intertwining lives in the town of East Highland, 17-year-old Rue (Zendaya) must find hope while balancing the pressures of love, loss, and addiction when EUPHORIA returns. It does so with its eight-episode second season SUNDAY, JANUARY 09 (9:00-10pm ET/PT). Here is our first look at the official trailer.
THE RIGHTEOUS GEMSTONES, starring Danny McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson, and Adam Devine, debuts its nine-episode second season with two new episodes SUNDAY, JANUARY 9 (10:00-11:25pm ET/PT), followed by additional half-hour episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. The series debuts on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. Created, written, and executive produced by Danny McBride and marking his third HBO comedy series from Rough House Pictures, this series tells the story of the world-famous televangelist family known as the Gemstones. Season Two finds them threatened by outsiders from both the past and present who wish to destroy their empire. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
–Season 2, Episode 1: “I Speak in the Tongues of Men and Angels”
Debuts: SUNDAY, JANUARY 09 (10:00-10:55 PM ET/PT)
As Jesse (Danny McBride) eyes a business opportunity with an Evangelical couple (Eric Andre and Jessica Lowe) on the rise, the media cracks down on a fellow preacher. Meanwhile, Eli (John Goodman) reconnects with a figure (Eric Roberts) from his mysterious past. Written by Danny McBride; Directed by David Gordon Green
–Season 2, Episode 2: “After I Leave, Savage Wolves Will Come”
Debuts: SUNDAY, JANUARY 09 (10:55-11:25 PM ET/PT)
After doubling-down on their efforts to invest in Zion’s Landing, Jesse (Danny McBride) and Amber (Cassidy Freeman) scramble for the cash. Meanwhile, Eli’s (John Goodman) attempts to dodge a big-city reporter (Jason Schwartzman) spell doom for the Gemstones. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Jeff Fradley; Directed by Jody Hill
–Season 2, Episode 3: “For He Is a Liar and the Father of Lies”
Debuts: SUNDAY, JANUARY 16 (10:00-10:30 PM ET/PT)
The Gemstone siblings seek to pull back the curtain on their father’s past. Eli (John Goodman) shares a hard truth, and Kelvin (Adam Devine) grapples with an unruly God Squad. Written by Danny McBride & Kevin Barnett & Chris Pappas; Directed by David Gordon Green
–Season 2, Episode 4: “As to How They Might Destroy Him”
Debuts: SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 (10:00-10:30 PM ET/PT)
Still reeling from their father’s revelation, Kelvin (Adam Devine) and Jesse (Danny McBride) conspire to put Eli (John Goodman) in his place. As BJ’s (Tim Baltz) baptism approaches, Judy (Edi Patterson) clashes with her in-laws, while Baby Billy (Walton Goggins) struggles with his own growing family. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Edi Patterson; Directed by Danny McBride
Christmas, 1993. While Eli (John Goodman) considers a tempting offer from an old friend, Baby Billy (Walton Goggins) crashes the Gemstones’ celebrations. Written by Danny McBride & John Carcieri & Jeff Fradley; Directed by David Gordon Green
Also,FRIDAY, JANUARY 21 (10:00-11:00pm)is the start date for the noteworthy 20th season of REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER. It didn’t take him long to want to return to his gig; unlike John Oliver, who is nowhere in sight.
Original Series Exclusive to HBO Max:HBO Max is always dropping new series some, as you will see here, totally out of the blue. There are titles here that are not getting heavy promotional attention from the streamer yet we are supposed to be interested. One show they are pushing is PEACEMAKER. The DC series debutsTHURSDAY, JANUARY 13. It will explore the origins of the character that John Cena first portrayed in James Gunn’s 2021 film, The Suicide Squad – a compellingly vainglorious man who believes in peace at any cost, no matter how many people he has to kill to get it. The series also stars Danielle Brooks as Adebayo, Freddie Stroma as Vigilante, Jennifer Holland as Harcourt, Steve Agee as Economos, Chukwudi Iwuji as Murn, and Robert Patrick as Auggie Smith. Gunn wrote all eight episodes of and directed five, including the premiere.Here is our first look at the trailer.
There are two HBO International titles I had to dig for also debuting on HBO Max. ON THE JOB (uploading JANUARY 20) is listed as a miniseries from HBO Asia and BUNKER (uploading JANUARY 27) is listed as a series from HBO Latin America. It hails from Mexico. The former title is a crime thriller from the Philippines. Inspired by true events, the series centers around crime syndicates that temporarily release contracted prison inmates to carry out political assassinations for those in power, except that the crime syndicates are run by politicians. Hitmen prisoners Tatang (Joel Torre), Daniel (Gerald Anderson), and Roman (Dennis Trillo) are occasionally released from jail to perform assassinations ordered by powerful mysterious clients. Meanwhile, law enforcers Joaquin (Joey Marquez) and Francis (Piolo Pascual), and corrupt newspaper reporter Sisoy (Arcilla) and journalist Arnel (Christopher De Leon) try to uncover the truth behind the killings and disappearances. The Mexican series, a half-hour comedy, offers Bruno Bichir playing a father who has lost the respect of his wife and children and only finds peace of mind retreating to an old fallout shelter in his home’s basement.
In non-scripted fare we have ASTRAL JOURNEY (Jornada Astral), which uploads JANUARY 20, is an astrology show and MY MOM YOUR DAD (JANUARY 13) is a dating program. It follows a group of single parents who have been nominated by their college-age kids for a second chance at love. The parents move into a house together, unaware that their adult children are right down the street living in a second house, watching their every move through hidden cameras and manipulating their encounters. It is hosted by Yvonne Orji (INSECURE).
Returning for its final round is SEARCH PARTY. The dark comedy’s fifth and final season debuts FRIDAY, JANUARY 07, with all ten episodes available to binge. In the new season, Dory (Alia Shawkat) enters a very public business partnership with charismatic tech billionaire Tunnel Quinn (Jeff Goldblum) on the other side of her near-death experience. Dory folds her old friends Portia (Meredith Hagner), Elliott (John Early) and Drew (John Reynolds) into the venture as they embark on an altruistic but terrifying journey. Joining the cast are recurring guest stars Kathy Griffin, John Waters, Aparna Nancherla, Angela Trimbur, Grace Kuhlenschmidt, Greta Titelman, Joe Castle Baker, Larry Owens and Michelle Badillo. Returning recurring guest stars include Jeffery Self and Clare McNulty. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
Also with new seasons are GOMORRAH with Season #5, JOE PERA TALKS WITH YOU Season 3 and SQUIDBILLIES Season 13. Rounding out their respective seasons are AND JUST LIKE THAT… and STATION ELEVEN. The former is, of course, the SEX AND THE CITY sequel that we have been watching and reviewing. It picks up where we left off with new episodes uploading weekly resuming THURSDAY, JANUARY 06. That makes for four new episodes this month. STATION ELEVEN is also still uploading new installments but it only has two episodes left. Its last episode surfaces on THURSDAY, JANUARY 13. We have been reviewing it all along as well. Also find FINDING MAGIC MIKE,PERFECT LIFE (Vida Perfecta) and BEFOREIGNERSdropping new episodes weekly.
HBO Saturday Night Movies: There are conflicting dates, depending on where you look, for the Saturday nights movies. We run with the following lineup, as it gives us a new movie every weekend in January. We haven’t seen that in a long time. Here is a look then at THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD, THE SUICIDE SQUAD, NOBODY, and REMINISCENCE.
On SATURDAY, JANUARY 01 (8:00-10:10pm), Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield star in an intimate look at the extraordinary rise, fall, and redemption of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker in THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE. In the 1970s and 80s, the pair would create the world’s largest religious broadcasting network only to see it all come crashing down in scandal. Directed by Michael Showalter; written by Abe Sylvia, based on the documentary by Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato. It started with THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD in 2017 but on SATURDAY, JANUARY 08 (8:00-9:40pm) get ready for the equally slammin’ sequel HITMAN’S WIFE’S BODYGUARD. Here, infamous hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) and his ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) return in this action-packed shoot-’em-up, joined by Darius’ con-artist wife (Salma Hayek) on a mission to thwart a European terrorist. Joining the ruckus is Antonio Banderas, and Morgan Freeman. Directed by Patrick Hughes; screenplay by Tom O’Connor and Phillip Murphy & Brandon Murphy, story by Tom O’Connor. The following week is a Same-Day premiere making its way to HBO. The most depraved, deranged supervillains in the country are plucked out of maximum security and enlisted by the government as a ragtag intelligence team in exchange for commuted sentences. They are, of course, THE SUICIDE SQUAD. Harley Quinn, Bloodsport, Peacemaker, and the rest of the now-former antiheroes face insurmountable odds as they fight to protect American interests. Find it SATURDAY, JANUARY 15 (8:00-10:15pm; it got bumped from its earlier debut date). There is another Same-Day premiere returning at the end of the month but sandwiched the week in between, SATURDAY JANUARY 22 (8:00-9:30pm) is NOBODY. Bob Odenkirk is nobody…until this unassuming family man’s daughter gets her kitty cat bracelet stolen in a robbery and he decides to unveil his long-hidden past for some payback. Christopher Lloyd and Connie Nielsen co-star in this action epic from the writer of the John Wick series. Directed by Ilya Naishuller; written by Derek Kolstad. Check out its trailer after we tell you that Hugh Jackman has his latest arrival on HBO SATURDAY, JANUARY 29 (8:00-10:00pm). It is REMINISCENCE (which we reviewed when it debuted on HBO Max in 2021). Note the two first to site trailers.
Movies Exclusive to HBO Max:SXSW multiple-award-winning feature THE FALLOUTdebuts on HBO Max in January (no date set yet) starring Jenna Ortega, Maddie Ziegler and Niles Fitch. The film follows high schooler Vada as she navigates the emotional fallout she experiences in the wake of a school tragedy. Her relationships with her family and friends, as well as her view of the world, are forever altered. The film will be released exclusively on HBO Max where available globally. Written and directed by Megan Park in her feature filmmaking debut, the movie won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards for Narrative Feature, and Park won the Brightcove Illumination Award honoring a filmmaker on the rise at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
HBO Documentary Films:For some inexplicable reason HBO always dumps a pile of documentaries in December because it doesn’t want to carry over titles into a new year. Then the division kind of resets and sits out January before launching a new lineup. That seems to be the case once again. But, that is okay because I, for one, have a lot to catch up on from 2021 still.
HBO MAX Original Documentary Films:There are, however, two original documentary films uploading onto HBO Max. The first one was bounced from December. It arrives THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 and is entitled DIEGO, THE LAST GOODBYE(Diego, el úllhimo adiós). It is the second look at the life of futbol master Diego Maradona. (HBO Sports ran one also). This one is out of Argentina the great player’s homeland. The last year of his life is told by friends, family and former companions that reveals his deep humanity. The other title isTHE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTONuploading on MONDAY, JANUARY 17. It is a 1971 American documentary film about the short life and death of Fred Hampton, a young African-American civil rights activist and Black Panther member.
HBO Max Original Special:I, for one, have never seen these movies, but I am sure fans are still ecstatic for all things Harry Potter. Thus, the specialHARRY POTTER 20th ANNIVERSARY: RETURN TO HOGWARTS. Here is our first look at the official trailer.
The retrospective special invites fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson will reunite, together with other esteemed cast members and filmmakers across all eight Harry Potter films. In celebration of the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, this unique television event includes brand new cast discussions, insights from the creative team behind the magic, and comments from creator J.K. Rowling. Additional alumni joining the memorable tribute include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Ian Hart, Toby Jones, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, producer David Heyman and filmmakers Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates. The special uploads SATURDAY, JANUARY, 01. As a companion piece the trivia challenge show HARRY POTTER: HOGWARTS TOURNAMENT OF HOUSES, which has already aired on TBS and Cartoon Network, arrives as well. This bracket-style competition, hosted by Helen Mirren, will feature fans competing for their Hogwarts house in teams of three. Houses go head-to-head in four epic battles answering hundreds of Wizarding World trivia questions with help from the live audience to unveil which house knows the intricately detailed universe like the back of their hand. Winning teams of each round will advance to the grand finale to determine who will take home the Tournament of Houses championship trophy. There is also a comedy special MOSES STORM: TRASH WHITEdebuting THURSDAY, JANUARY 20.
HBO Max Kids & Family: January seems to be the month to celebrate DC content. I won’t list all the titles here (I know, a lot of other sites do but we’re not like other sites) but here is an idea of what is uploading at the start of the new year. There are twenty-nine (29) Batman titles alone, including BATMAN: NINJA, BATMAN Vs DRACULA,BATMAN UNLIMITED: MONSTER MAYHEM, BATMAN: BAD BLOOD and BATMAN: HUSH. There are also fourteen (14) Justice League tiles, twelve (12) LEGO DC titles, twelve (12) Superman titles, both live-action and animated like SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE and SUPERMAN: UNBOUND. Teen Titans, Green Lateran and Wonder Woman titles are also included. All drop JANUARY 01.
Also for the younger set is SESAME STREETwhich includes a Martin Luther King Jr. episode with Anderson.Paak on JANUARY 13 and the Season Four premiere of LOONEY TUNES CARTOONS beginning JANUARY 20.
HBO Sports:HARD KNOCKS IN SEASON: THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTScontinues WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 05 (10:00-11:00pm) and continues the subsequent Wednesdays as long as the Colts are in play. Yeah, that means if the Indianapolis team makes it to the Super Bowl so does HBO Sports. Not missing a beat, BACK ON THE RECORD WITH BOB COSTAS returns for its Season Two Premiere on FRIDAY, JANUARY 21 (11:00pm-12:00am); his 1Q report for the year. Also not missing a beat and we wouldn’t have it any other way is REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL. Find itTUESDAY, JANUARY 25 (10:00-11:00pm).
HBO Latino: Let’s see if I can find some Latino titles coming to the channel. On FRIDAY, JANUARY 07 (8:00-9:30pm) is the romantic-comedy ALGO AZUL. In this tale, a hotel employee steals a wedding dress and goes on an all-day excursion to get married. While avoiding the authorities, and the owner of the dress, she reflects on her past loves in this rom-com romp. Starring Liz Grimaldo, Carlos Torres, and Andrea Perez Meana. Directed by Mariel Garcia Spooner; screenplay by Emmanuel Chavez, Ana Lucia Gurisatti, and Mariel Garcia Spooner. HBO Latino loves its short films and offers ACUITZERAMO throughout the month beginning. SATURDAY, JANUARY 01. In the 16-minute piece an aging gay Mexican man reaches out to the estranged son of his recently passed partner. Yeah, why not? Here is our first look at the official trailer of the movie.
Other Movies & Shows:Remember NBC’s ER and Fox’s FRINGE? Both were created/distributed out of Warner Bros. so, they both get to hit the WarnerMedia service. The medical drama with George Clooney and other noted stars ran for 331 episodes over fifteen (15) seasons and the Bad Robot production with James Noble reached 100 episodes over five seasons. They upload JANUARY 14 & 15, respectively. TNT’s SNOWPIERCER Season Two arrives JANUARY 04, ABC’s THE BACHELOR XXV arrives on JANUARY 05 and WIPEOUT arrives JANUARY 02.
Next Month’s Tease: Another simple name drop here – kepler 22b
Last month’s answer – We name-dropped Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. They are the characters played by Christine Baranski and Cynthia Nixon (who is also Miranda in AND JUST LIKE THAT…) in the forthcoming THE GILDED AGE.