The Best Movies, TV, Books and Music for January

Need 48 reasons to stay inside this month? Here you go.

By The Editors
January 4, 2018 9:00 am

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise.

WATCH: The Alienist
Seriously, stay indoors: January may end up being 2018’s best month for the small screen. Start here, with the long-awaited Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) adaptation of Caleb Carr’s turn-of-the-century murder mystery/thriller. (Jan. 22, TNT)

PERUSE: #PlanetPlastic
You want to protect Africa’s wildlife. You enjoy the work of Belgian model Marisa Papen. You need a calendar. Here’s a triple-threat solution: a year of NSFW pics of Papen, taken in Africa, with proceeds benefiting Forgotten Parks, an organization that rescues animals, fights off poachers and trains rangers.

READ: Gnomon: A Novel
Nick Harkaway (the son of spy author John le Carré) has carved out his own niche for weird, reality-bending fiction. His latest book aims for future noir — it’s a detective story set in a dystopian future, where every thought and word is known and recorded by an overreaching “System.” Seems prescient. (Jan. 9)

REVEL: An Evening Of Respect: Celebrating Otis Redding Ft. The Dap-Kings
It’s the 50-year celebration of (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay — the song that bellows from every subway platform in infamy. Beyond a live performance, the cocktail party-meets-fundraiser will feature special guests Otis Redding III and Dexter Redding, along with host Whoopi Goldberg. (Jan. 25)

WATCH: The Clapper
January is a cesspool of low-budget horror flicks and abandoned studio films needing a brief theatrical home. If you must head out in this weather, try this crowd-pleasing indie comedy-drama, where Ed Helms as an infomercial regular who gets a surprising 15 minutes of unwanted fame. (Jan. 26)

ENJOY: Winter Jazzfest
It’s more than just music. But don’t get us wrong, there will certainly be music. Also on the schedule at this edition of NYC’s annual jazz bonanza: talks on sexism, immigration and protest. A fest for the times, if you will. And we will. (Jan. 10-17)

VISIT: Edmund Clark: The Day The Music Died
From British photographer Edmund Clark, an exhibition exploring the structures of power and control behind the so-called global War on Terror. A multi-media inquiry into how we protect citizens from the threat of international terrorism, from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan to extraordinary rendition and the CIA’s secret prison program. (Opens Jan. 26)

PLAY: The Inpatient
The first great virtual-reality game? Sony opts for tension and chills in this immersive, first-person VR mystery, where you play an amnesiac inpatient who must solve the mystery of why you’re in a creepy sanitorium. (Jan. 23, Playstation VR)

GATHER ‘ROUND: TimesTalks: James Franco & Dave Franco
Brothers, collaborators and beautiful weirdos, James and Dave Franco come together to discuss their critically acclaimed film The Disaster Artist and how there is more than one way to become a legend. (Jan. 10)

LISTEN: Our January playlist
New songs from MGMT, Cardi B, Moby, Migos, N.E.R.D., Lily Allen and more.  Oh, and the best of 2017, in case you missed it (the playlist, not the year).

STREAM: A Futile and Stupid Gesture
The birth of counterculture comedy is highlighted in David Wain’s biopic on National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney (Will Forte), the man who co-created Caddyshack and Animal House. (Jan. 26, Netflix)

And don’t forget … On The Worms Heart (Jan. 19), The Shins reinvent last year’s acclaimed Heartworms album by making the slow songs fast and vice versa … There’s a multitude of deleted scenes and bonus footage available for IT (Jan. 9) and Blade Runner 2049 (Jan. 16), two of last year’s better (and better-looking) films coming to Blu-ray … Yes, David Lynch’s book of nudes (out now) is as weird and alluring as you’d guess … The civil war in Yemen and great coffee are at the center of Dave Eggers’ new true-life tale The Monk of Mokha (Jan. 30) … Rose McGowan’s naming names and continuing the needed work of the #MeToo movement in her autobiography Brave (Jan. 30) … And finally, the welcome TV return of The Good Place (Jan. 4), Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee (Jan. 5), Crashing (Jan. 14), American Crime Story (Jan. 17), Planet Earth (Jan. 20) and Baskets (Jan. 23).

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