What are the biggest web series and TV shows in January 2023? Kickstarting the New Year is the live-action adaptation of the acclaimed PlayStation video game, The Last of Us, and the fourth season of Fauda. The former is hands down the most anticipated series this year, where you experience an emotional zombie-killing adventure through the eyes of beloved characters, Joel and Ellie, as they navigate a post-apocalyptic America, flush with desperate survivors. HBO’s The Last of Us series premieres January 16 on Disney+ Hotstar. A bit later, check out Fauda season 4, which finally heads to Netflix, following its Israeli premiere in July, and throws brooding soldier Doron Kavillio (Lior Raz) into a new deadly operation in Lebanon. The series is out on January 20 on Netflix.
Social media influencer Bhuvan Bam turns up the heat on the local end with his debut in a streaming series, Taaza Khabar, a miraculous tale where he rises the ranks from a sanitation worker to an influential figure in his locality. The series releases on January 6 on Disney+ Hotstar. Follow that up with Trial by Fire, a Netflix limited series that showcases the heartbreaking account of parents/ authors Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy’s struggle for justice, who lost their kids in the 1997 Uphaar Cinema fire incident. All episodes are out on January 13.
You can read more about all these TV shows and more below — and you can discover the complete list of upcoming web series at our entertainment hub. January also brings Nicolas Winding Refn’s neon-drenched Scandi-noir thriller Copenhagen Cowboy, and the second season of Vikings: Valhalla. Also, feel free to check out the Giancarlo Esposito-led Kaleidoscope, which is already out on Netflix — not listed below — a heist series, which is fashioned in a way so it can be watched in any order you like.
With that, here’s our TV guide to January 2023 to Apple TV+, Disney+ Hotstar, and Netflix.
When: January 5 Where: Netflix
From the mind that brought you the acclaimed “literally me” movie Drive, comes Copenhagen Cowboy, a haunting noirish thriller wherein a young female renegade Miu (Angela Bundalovic) seeks vengeance against the organisation that wronged her — offered her body as a human good luck charm for a lifetime. Armed with some supernatural abilities, she embarks on a twisted odyssey through Copenhagen’s criminal underworld, encountering her nemesis Rakel (Lola Corfixen), with whom she revisits past aspects and relationships.
Being a Refn show, be prepared for how the events play out from a tonal aspect — especially with the electronic music and the usage of red lighting. The six-episode series also marks a homecoming moment for the creator, who last worked on a Copenhagen-set project with the Pusher trilogy (1996–2005), after which, he diverted to making films outside his home country. First premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September, this would also be his second TV series, following the Miles Teller-led Too Old To Die Young for Amazon Prime Video.
Copenhagen Cowboy also stars a handful of unfamiliar faces including Fleur Frilund, Zlatko Burić (Triangle of Sadness), Andreas Lykke Jørgensen, and Li Ii Zhang.
Content creator Bhuvan Bam leads this South Mumbai-set comedy-drama, which brings to light the struggles of class-based poverty, albeit in a punchy tone. Taaza Khabar follows Vasant Gawde, a poor sanitation worker, who lives the mundane life of handling his alcoholic father’s rage and inhaling every local’s defecation as he waits outside collecting pennies for toilet usage. All that changes one day, when a good deed blesses him with surreal powers — enough to turn his life into a complete 360.
The boon lets Gawde peek into the future, in a sense, notifying him of all kinds of news before it even happens. Hence the name, Taaza Khabar — the news couldn’t get any fresher. Along with his tight-knit squad of friends, he uses his newfound superpower to invest in the ever-fluctuating crypto market and indulge in expenses way past his limits. Accordingly, Gawde makes some enemies, causing him to question whether the powers are a curse or a blessing.
All six episodes of Taaza Khabar will be out on January 6.
Vikings: Valhalla Season 2
When: January 12 Where: Netflix
The sophomore run of Vikings: Valhalla is primarily aimed at getting our heroes out of their comfort zones — exploring a world that lies far beyond Scandinavia and Northern Europe. Shortly after the tragic fall of Kattegat, the brave trio of the Viking explorer Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), his strong-willed sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson), and Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter), the ambitious Norweigian prince, find themselves as fugitives in Scandinavia. This plot beat boots them beyond their familiar fjords.
The new season wrapped up production back in November 2021 and introduces a handful of new characters in addition to the recurring themes of love, axes, and death, the series is known for. Harekr (Bradley James) is the ruler of Jómsborg, a legendary Viking place where the uber-pagan kind lived, while the astronomer Mariam (Hayat Kamille) can read Latin, Greek, Arabic, and Russian. Then there’s Yaroslav the Wise played by the Soviet chess player in The Queen’s Gambit — Marcin Dorociński, who is described as the warrior ruler of Kyivan Rus.
One fateful evening in June 1997, during a screening of the film Border, the Uphaar Cinema in South Delhi erupted in flames, trapping 59 people who died of asphyxiation. Families of the victims later formed The Association of Victims of Uphaar Fire Tragedy (AVUT) for civil compensation, whose 24-year-long trials and tribulations were documented in the bestseller book, “Trial by Fire: The Tragic Tale of the Uphaar Fire Tragedy” by Neelam and Shekhar Krishnamoorthy.
Director Prashant Nair (Umrika) is now dramatising the said trial in a non-linear style for Netflix, attempting to capture the resilient journey of the heartbroken parents, in a limited series. Rajshri Deshpande (The Sky Is Pink) and Abhay Deol (Dev.D) play the aforementioned authors, who navigate through their grief while exploring the other lives touched and destroyed by the blazing incident.
All episodes of Trial by Fire will be up for streaming on January 13.
A haunting limited series by Prashant Nair and the real events that inspired it. Read all about Trial By Fire, coming soon only on Netflix👇https://t.co/XZFtH3RxEt
Co-conceived by the eponymous video game’s original writer Neil Druckmann, and Craig Mazin (Chernobyl), The Last of Us shows immense promise in trying to combine interpersonal drama with epic zombie-killing thrills. In this video game adaptation, hardened survivor Joel Miller (Pedro Pascal) is hired to escort a teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across a post-apocalyptic America, swarming with infected mutants, desperate survivors, and some insolent jerks. Throughout this journey, the pair develop a father-daughter bond, dealing with grief and coming to terms with the value of life.
As seen in the original 2013 game, Ellie is immune to the virus, making her a prime target and the key to reverse-engineering a vaccine. Joining them on the crusade is Joel’s smuggling partner Tess, played by Anna Torv (Mindhunter). Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation) plays their uneasy, greasy-haired ally Bill, while Merle Dandridge is Marlene, the leader of the rebel group Fireflies.
The original voice actors Ashley Johnson and Troy Baker also appear in the show as Ellie’s mother and a member of David’s cannibalistic survivor group, respectively. The first of nine episodes in the HBO series is reportedly 85 minutes long and scales back on the violence, save for the “very essential.” Let’s see how that pans out.
Merle Dandridge and Natasha Mumba in a still from The Last of Us series Photo Credit: HBO
That ‘90s Show
When: January 19 Where: Netflix
This spin-off follow-up to the hit American sitcom That ‘70s Show sees Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp reprising their roles as Red and Kitty Forman, respectively. This time — summer of 1995 — they play grandparents to the new visitor in the Wisconsin-based town, Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), who is desperate for some adventure in her life or at least, a best friend. Enter, the rebellious Gwen (Ashley Aufderheide) and her band of misfits, who help Leia realise that adventure could happen there just like it did for her parents all those years ago.
Excited to reinvent herself, she convinces her parents to let her stay for the summer, occupying the same basement as the previous generation, as they smoke pot, sing and dance to rock ‘n roll, and forge new memories. Topher Grace and Laura Prepon, who played the young — Eric Forman and his girlfriend Donna Pinciotti in the original show, return as a married couple and parents to Leia.
That ‘90s Show also stars Maxwell Donovan as Gwen’s brother Nate, Sam Morelos as his laser-focused girlfriend Nikki, Mace Coronel as the charming Jay and Reyn Doi as the sarcastic and insightful Ozzie.
Still reeling from the death of his teammate, brooding soldier Doron (Lior Raz) is summoned back to the force, for a basic security mission in Brussels, Belgium. When asked by his Captain Ayub (Itzik Cohen) to accompany him to a meeting with a young Lebanese source, things go haywire, putting Doron in a confrontation against a terrorist cell. The pursuit takes our hero and his team to the depths of Lebanon, they deal with Hezbollah activists from Lebanon and Palestinian militants in the West Bank.
Fauda season 4 promises new characters in Omar Tawalbe (Amir Boutrous) the aforementioned source and his sister Maya (Lucy Ayoub), who is a well-respected officer in the Israeli Police force. The critically-acclaimed series was co-created by lead Raz and Israeli journalist Avi Issacharoff, who based the story on their real-life experiences serving in the armed forces.
The Emmy-winning writers of Ted Lasso, Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein, have united with Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) for Shrinking, a new drama series that deals with mental health in a comedic sense. In it, he plays a grieving therapist, who starts breaching ethical barriers and telling patients exactly what he thinks, resulting in tumultuous changes to his and their lives.
Shrinking marks the second Apple TV project for Segel, after the 2022 musical drama film The Sky Is Everywhere. The 10-episode series also stars the legendary Harrison Ford (Blade Runner) as Dr. Phil Rhodes, Jessica Williams (The Twilight Zone), Christa Miller (Cougar Town), Lukita Maxwell, and Michael Urie.
The first two episodes of Shrinking premiere globally on January 27, after which it follows a weekly schedule.
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