January is the start of a new year, which is extra exciting not only because it marks the end of a long and tumultuous 2021, but also because a fresh year of exciting Netflix originals is never a bad thing. As always, the streaming service has a little something for everybody this month, including the return of one particular Netflix hit that audiences will be thrilled to get back into. Of course, there’s also a healthy amount of brand new series on the way, with one or more of them potentially being the next must-binge series for fans to get obsessed with.
Here’s a riddle for readers. What do a drug lord, a reality television star, and an electric mouse have in common? The answer is they’ll each have a show airing on Netflix in January, which I'll admit was probably super-apparent given the point of this article. But it's always good to be right about something, and now let’s jump right into tackling the spectacular originals worth checking out in the inaugural month of 2022.
Hype House - 1/7
TikTok started off as a spiritual successor to Vine, but its popularity has spawned enough social-celebrities, viral trends and knockoff apps that it’s time it got the respect it’s owed in the form of an unscripted streaming series. (How else?) Hype House feels like the next step in acknowledging TikTok’s prominence, as it’s a reality show filmed in a home loaded with influencers from the platform. Larri Merrit, Nikita Dragun, LILHUDDY, and Connor Yates are just a few of the names teased for the series, which could very well become the Real World for Gen Z. It sounds like something Netflix could definitely use within its library of reality TV offerings, which is already pretty strong.
Chosen - 1/13
The description for Chosen is a bit vague, but the mystery-driven Danish series is automatically promising, as it hails from the same creators of The Rain (pictured above, since there haven't yet been any images or trailers released). Those who watched that dark and exciting series know it delivered some highly engaging teen-based drama, and it’s looking like Chosen will follow suit. A teenage girl discovers an “earth-shattering” truth about her past that’s tied to a mystery about her quiet Danish town, relating to a meteor strike nearly two decades earlier. As I said, the initial synopsis is somewhat vague, but considering how entertaining The Rain was, I’m willing to give this one a shot with the hope that it’s just as good.
Archive 81 - 1/14
The holidays are a time for merriment, but winter has always had a unique connection to horror, and Netflix is giving its post-Christmas schedule quite a freaky boost with Archive 81. For those jonesing for something spooky, this James Wan-produced series (created by The Boys and Vampire Diaries writer/producer Rebecca Sonnenshine) provides an updated take on the found-footage subgenre that focuses on a film archivist (Mamoudou Athie) tasked with the restoration of a set of damaged video tapes. The footage was recorded by a since-missing female filmmaker in the early '90s, with connections to dangerous cult, and somehow inspires the archivist to think he spare the missing woman her doomed fate. I’ve seen enough found-footage projects to know his chances of saving this woman aren’t great, but I’ll be rooting for him all the same.
After Life (Season 3) - 1/14
Ricky Gervais’ Netflix series is back, and the good news is that Tony isn’t quite so bitter now in Season 3. With that said, he’s still struggling to find a way to move on following the death of his wife, and filling that void has become a challenge. For those unaware, this six-episode arc will be the swan song of Tony’s journey, and I'm hoping he’ll find some sort of cathartic resolution, and his niche, before the story closes. For those that haven’t watched yet, there’s still plenty of time to binge Seasons 1 and 2 in order to prepare for the rest of this emotional series.
The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman - 1/19
True crime fans will be thrilled to learn there’s an intriguing new series arriving in January that details the crimes of a conman who masqueraded as a British spy and defrauded many victims throughout his run. The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman hails from the same team that made the BAFTA-winning documentary The Imposter, so there’s certainly reason to be excited this group has another hit on the way. As a fan of true crime shows that don’t explicitly cover vicious serial killers, I feel like this will be a series I’ll get through quite quickly.
Too Hot To Handle (Season 3) - 1/19
Too Hot To Handle became a fast hit at Netflix, which is hilarious because it’s admittedly hard to explain the appeal to anyone who hasn't yet watched. I mean, I’ll concede that on paper, it really doesn’t seem all that hard for a group of eligible singles to keep their hands off each other for the sake of winning $100,000, but in execution, it’s not that simpleat all. Plus, I have no shot at winning any money by watching, so who am I to judge the young cast for sacrificing a bigger payout all to get their freak on with a fellow cast member? It’s great fun to watch at the end of the day, which is perhaps the most necessary element of good reality television.
Ozark (Season 4) Part 1 - 1/21
Marty and Wendy Byrde really got the family in a bad situation when Ozark last left off, and while they tried to make a break for it, it appears that’s no longer an option. That said, all good things must come to an end, and as we enter Part 1 of the final season of the acclaimed Netflix series, I have to wonder if a happy ending is actually possible for the Byrde family. Will Marty find a way to save his family, or did his bold ploy of laundering money in the Ozarks only prolong his inevitable death by the Cartel? I can’t wait to find out!
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness - 1/28
Another member of the Queer Eye crew is getting their own standalone show outside the franchise, and truthfully, I’m surprised this one didn’t come sooner. Jonathan Van Ness certainly brings the most charisma of the crew, and his podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness has always been a quality project showcasing educated guests and cool topics. Hearing Netflix made it a television show about it definitely has me thrilled to see what this version will be like and if it’ll be just as entertaining as his podcast. I could be biased given my line of work, but I’d argue most television adaptations of podcasts do indeed fall on the highly entertaining side, though we’ll have to settle for being curious until January 28.
Catch all of these shows in the month of January with a subscription to Netflix. 2022 should be a great year for Netflix on the whole, especially with the release of a new season of Stranger Things and many other great original series on the horizon.
Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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