What To Watch: 01/01/2021

After what seemed like a whole year, 2020 is finally over and 2021 is upon us. While we’d like to say 2020 at least gave us that one memorable exit we’d been longing for, even that has dragged on, and even though we know the Orange Menace will be gone soon, he’s certainly holding on with both talons. Thankfully, 2021 is chiming in from the start with a bevy of long-awaited returns, including three shows with obsessive followings: everyone’s favorite quirky karate spin-off, that being who has been travelling in different forms for well over a half a century, and the 13th contest between queens of drag (this time with more twists than ever).

NAVANI’S PICK:
Cobra Kai [Netflix]
The perfect way to ring in the new year is with all the ’80s nostalgia and teenage angst one can muster up. Enter the new season of this Karate Kid reboot. The second season left us on a huge cliff hanger after the longest high school street fight took place leaving Miguel’s life in question. Did they really kill off the Latino co-lead?? Thankfully, the trailer says no. But what happens next for him? I live for a good recovery montage. What new alliances will be made as Kreese has taken over the dojo? 36 years later and that guy is still SUPER scary! And lastly, has Johnny worked on his computer skills? All the questions we are looking forward to answering when the new season drops Jan 1.

BRAD’S PICK:
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks [BBC]
It wouldn’t be the holiday season without a new Doctor Who special. This year the focus is on those indefatigable robot-looking villains (and superior beings), the Daleks. And the Daleks have been redesigned a bit. Judging by that alone I’d say the less you know the better as you go on this journey. EXTERMINATE!

JASON’S PICK:
RuPaul’s Drag Race [VH1, 8p]
Somehow, RuPaul and his team have pulled it all together to host a 13th season of his signature program even though it’s one of the least COVID-friendly show out there (or more accurately a little too COVID-friendly). He has even been dragged into the 21st Century with two major changes reflecting inclusion–the first trans man contestant and the replacement of the word “women” with “drag queen.” It’s exciting to have a new cast of competing queens and amazing that it’s even happening.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S MORE:

  • The accumulation of stuff: comedian George Carlin centered one of his most beloved long routines around finding a place for all of it, filmmaker Annie Leonard made an oft-shared animated docu-short about our attachment to it, and lifestyle coach Marie Kondo tried to convince us to break our attachment to the portion of it that does not give us joy (whatever that means). The latest to the party is the Dayton, Ohio, podcasting duo of Joshua Fields Millburn and Kyle Nicodemus, who espouse an ascetic existence. Their story is told in the new Netflix documentary The Minimalists: Less Is Now.
  • On the same topic of our national hobby of judging how strangers fill up and arrange their living quarters, Netflix also offers the second season of Dream Home Makeover. On this show, the smug busybod… we mean interior designers and hosts are the husband-and-wife team of Shea and Syd McGee. Sigh, they actually seem like nice enough folk.
  • If you ever asked the question, what if Bojack Horseman were real, not a horse, a bit less alcoholic, and also Korean, then What Happened To Mr. Cha (also on Netflix) is the movie for you. The lighter dark comedy examines many of the same themes as its Netflix cous Bojack Horseman, but stars In-pyo Cha, a real life actor who back in the ’90s was on a very famous TV show in South Korea. The reviews are mixed, but the trailer looks promising.
  • And then there’s the second season of Mexican Succession (or Billions, pick your ref, they’re pretty much the same). Monarca follows the head of a tequila operation, his family, his enemies, and the lengths that they will go to retain power.
  • The hope that there’s gold in them thar hills is the eternal American desire at the center of Discover’s Mystery at Blind Frog Ranch. The twist in the Utah caves on the Blind Frog Ranch is that the locals think the place is cursed. Combine those two storylines and at the very least you have viewer gold.
  • It’s a Moscow Battle Royale as 20 people scattered around the globe are dropped in the Russian capital. A mysterious force demands that the “contestants” kill each other and the kicker is that they have been injected with a serum that will stop their heart should they fall asleep, giving the Crackle sci-fi mini-series the title Insomnia. Did you know that Crackle is a subsidiary of the Chicken Soup For The Soul folks? We did not until today.
  • It may no longer be the Christmas season but that does not mean that we cannot marvel at the movies whose production values are about as far from Marvel as can be: those fun formulaic stories of love and fear from our friends at Lifetime. Their New Year’s offering is The Wrong Real Estate Agent in which Viveca A. Fox, the modern day Meredith Baxter-Birney or Valerie Bertinelli, is single mother Julie who enlists the help of her friend Charles to find a nice home for herself and her teenage daughter Maddie. However, things go sideways fast because Charles is, you guessed it, the wrong real estate agent .
  • Thanks for sticking with us as we enter into our sixth year giving you our opinions of what you should watch, something we just naturally love doing as in the words of Chance The Gardner (not to be confused with Dionne Warwick’s favoritely named rapper):

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