by Julian Spivey
Good Grief – Netflix – Friday, January 5
Dan Levy of “Schitt’s Creek” fame makes his directorial debut with Netflix’s “Good Grief,” about a man (played by Levy) grieving the deaths of both his husband and mother while traveling to Paris with his two best friends (Ruth Negga and Himesh Patel) for a weekend getaway. The film is sure to be heavy but in the hands of Levy should also have plenty of laughs and provide something heartwarming to begin your year with.
Criminal Record – AppleTV+ - Wednesday, January 10
I’m interested in anything Peter Capaldi and Cush Jumbo are doing after enjoying their work in previous shows (mostly “Doctor Who” for Capaldi and “The Good Wife/The Good Fight” for Jumbo). Here they star in an eight-episode British crime thriller from creator Paul Rutman that has Capaldi as a veteran detective and Jumbo as a younger one clashing about a murder case from years before when new evidence arises.
Self Reliance – Hulu – Friday, January 12
There’s always been something about Jake Johnson that interests me as an actor going back to when I first was introduced to him through his role as Nick Miller on Fox’s sitcom “New Girl.” I’ve gone with him nearly everywhere he’s gone since and now look forward to seeing his director skills in “Self Reliance,” his directorial debut. The film, a comedy thriller, sees Johnson playing a man who receives the opportunity to win $1 million in a reality series on the dark web if he can outwit and keep hunters from killing him for 30 days. There’s a loophole to the game, though, he can only be killed if he’s alone so he spends the time trying to convince anyone he can to remain with him 24/7. The film has a supporting cast that includes Anna Kendrick, Natalie Morales, Emily Hampshire and Christopher Lloyd.
June – Paramount+ with Showtime – Tuesday, January 16
June Carter might be primarily known today as the wife of country music superstar Johnny Cash but Carter via her first family of country music The Carter Family was a superstar long before she met Cash. It’s nice to see a documentary about her life from documentarian Kristen Vaurio, one of the producers behind Alex Gibney’s acclaimed “Going Clear: Scientology & The Prison of Belief.” Cash is one of my musical heroes but I feel I don’t know as much as I’d like about Carter, so I’m thrilled this documentary exists so I can learn about her career and legacy.
Masters of the Air – AppleTV+ - Friday, January 26
“Masters of the Air” is the highly anticipated, long-awaited companion series to HBO’s critically acclaimed WWII miniseries “Band of Brothers” (2001) and “The Pacific” (2010) that follows the 100th Bomb Group of the United States Army Air Forces, which earned the nickname the “Bloody Hundredth.” The miniseries was created by John Shiban and John Orloff based on the 2007 book Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany by Donald L. Miller and executive produced by Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The nine-episode series features an all-star cast of Austin Butler (Oscar-nominee for “Elvis”), Barry Keoghan (Oscar-nominee for “The Banshees of Inisherin) and Ncuti Gatwa (“Doctor Who”) and will surely be one of the early frontrunners for Outstanding Limited Series for the 2024 Emmy Awards.