Cocoa? Check. Favorite blanket? Wrap yourself in it and take a seat because the New Year is bringing fresh fare to help wile away the winter
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI
YOU PEOPLE NETFLIX (RATED R)
Start the New Year with a wry, witty take on modern interpersonal relationships, courtesy of writers Jonah Hill and Kenya Barris, who also directs. Part rom-com, part social commentary, it follows the travails of Ezra Cohen (Hill) and his intended Amira Mohammed, who find themselves in a swirling culture clash among their opinionated families. Eddie Murphy as Amira’s father is a study in agonized parenthood. Raising expectations is a cast that includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nia Long, David Duchovny, Elliot Gould, Rhea Perlman, and La La Anthony.
THE PALE BLUE EYE
Edgar Allen Poe wrote it, Christian Bale stars in it, and Pennsylvania’s new senator, John Fetterman and his wife Camille have cameos in it. Set in 1830s New York, Poe’s classic about a seasoned detective investigating murders at West Point takes some interesting turns, including enlisting the author himself. Poe, played by Harry Potter’s Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley), is a student who helps Bale’s Augustus Landor solve the crime. Bale reportedly said Fetterman’s physical appearance, augmented with mutton chops, was uniquely suited for the time period. Gillian Anderson, Robert Duvall, and Timothy Spall co-star.
PARTY DOWN STARZ (UNRATED)
Fans are jubilant over news the uproarious series about an eclectic group of actors making ends meet by catering is returning after 13 years with its original cast and their pink bowties. Flying largely under the radar before streaming took off, the cult favorite expects to draw a wider audience eager for the antics of stars Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, and Megan Mullaly through six episodes. Real Hollywood A-listers appeared at the group’s catered events, with past guest stars featuring Kristen Bell, Jennifer Coolidge, J.K. Simmons, and Ken Jeong.
MY DAD THE BOUNTY HUNTER
NETFLIX (RATED TV-Y7)
Siblings Lisa and Sean’s decision to secretly accompany their father to work leads to their discovery that Dad’s job is not the bore they imagined. Dad is a legendary super-suited intergalactic bounty hunter who undertakes perilous, eye-popping missions! The action-comedy animated series follows the family as they confront dangerous alien criminals in space, bonding along the way. Each episode runs 22 minutes. Voices are provided by Yvette Nicole Brown, Rob Riggle, and singing icon Leslie Uggams.
HAILEY’S ON IT DISNEY+ (RATED TV-Y7)
Slightly older audiences can follow the improbable adventures of a thoughtful, resourceful teenager (Auli’i Cravalho, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana) whose mission to save the world involves completing a long list of tasks large and small. As per Deadline, the animated comedy adventure includes Manny Jacinto (The Good Place) as Scott, Hailey’s best friend, and potential crush; and Gary Anthony Williams (The Boondocks) as Beta, an artificially intelligent operating system from the future.
THE WHITE HOUSE PLUMBERS
HBO MAX (UNRATED)
Coinciding with renewed interest in Watergate, this timely five-part series looks back on President Richard Nixon’s “masterminds” of the 1970s break-in at Democratic National Headquarters in Washington, D.C.’s Watergate building that led to “Tricky Dick’s” downfall. Woody Harrelson heads the cast as E. Howard Hunt while Justin Theroux portrays G. Gordon Liddy, a controversial figure for years afterward. Other infamous participants are played by David Krumholtz, Domhnall Gleeson, Judy Greer, Kathleen Turner, Kiernan Shipka, and Corbin Bersen. The trailer cleverly rolls to Santana’s “Evil Ways.”
Coming To HGTV
THE FLIPPING EL MOUSSA’S
Flip or Flop creator Tarek El Moussa (featured in INDUSTRY in January 2018) keeps reinventing himself and his real estate/media empire. With wife Heather Rae El Moussa, formerly of Netflix’s Selling Sunset, his flipping journey evolves into a new series that offers insights into the newlyweds’ personal lives and experiences with their own house-hunting and renovating. The initial eight episodes also features new dwellings in need of regeneration. An addition is also on the schedule. Heather Rae is due to deliver the pair’s first child early this year.
CHRISTINA IN THE COUNTRY
And what of El Moussa’s ex, now Christina Hall? Her new show, Christina in the Country, is a spin-o of her previous Christina on the Coast. Audiences are transported to the Tennessee farm she shares with her new husband Josh Hall to watch as the designer/real estate expert expands her business while helping families rejuvenate their homes. Joining Hall is fellow designer and project manager James Bender, with Josh making periodic appearances. His sister is the first homeowner in the six-episode season. The Halls, who are co-producing, also take viewers on excursions through the region.