The Best Movies, TV and Music for January

Including the long-awaited return of “True Detective.” Plus, a documentary on one of the biggest financial scandals of the 21st century.

January 2, 2024 6:07 am
True Detective Night Country
After a long hiatus, "True Detective" returns for its fourth season
HBO/Warner Bros.

Welcome to Culture Hound, InsideHook’s deep dive into the month’s most important cultural happenings, pop and otherwise (note: you can find our monthly book guide a little later this week). 

WATCH: Self Reliance

In theaters, January is a dumping ground for mediocre horror and action films. On the small screen this month, however, you’ll find a few solid indie flicks and this promising comedy, which is written, directed by and starring Jake Johnson (New Girl). In a funny riff on The Running Man, Johnson must avoid bounty hunters for 30 days to win $1 million. 

(1/12, Hulu)

More new films coming to the big screen and small: Night Swim (1/5, theaters); Destroy All Neighbors (1/11, Shudder); The Beekeeper (1/12, theaters); Mean Girls (1/12, theaters); The Kitchen (1/19, Netflix)

WELCOME BACK: True Detective: Night Country

Taking over from series creator Nic Pizzolatto, Issa López helms the fourth season of this dark mystery series, which has had its creative bumps since season one. The filmmaker claims the show will be a “dark mirror” of that incredible run of shows, with an emphasis on being “cold, dark and female” (as opposed to the “male and sweaty” elements of the series past). Here, a police detective (Jodie Foster) investigates eight missing scientists at an Arctic research station in northern Alaska amid a pitch-black winter. (1/14, HBO/Max)

More returning TV shows: The Bachelor (1/22, ABC); Queer Eye (1/24, Netflix); FEUD (1/31, FX/FXX/Hulu)

BINGE: Hazbin Hotel

An odd but appealing mix: Film studio du jour A24 teams up with Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers) for an animated comedy series about demons trying to get rehabilitated to get into Heaven. Also? It’s based on a crowdfunded YouTube pilot, it’s a musical and very R-rated. (1/19, Prime Video)

More new TV series and miniseries: Echo (1/9, Disney+/Hulu); Ted (1/11, Peacock); Sexy Beast (1/25, Paramount+); Griselda (1/25, Netflix); Masters of the Air (1/26, Apple TV+)

LISTEN: Future Islands

It’s already been a decade since the Baltimore indie band’s commercial and critical breakthrough, most notably the 2014 single “Seasons (Waiting on You)” racking up multiple Song of the Year awards from the likes of Pitchfork, Village Voice, etc.  Ten years later, the group’s seventh studio album People Who Aren’t There Anymore finds FI exploring similar if more melancholy takes on their post-wave dream pop.

More new music: The Vaccines (1/12); Danny Brown (1/19); Green Day (1/19); Sleater-Kinney (1/19); The Smile (1/26)

STUDY: Man on the Run

A former Malaysian prime minister and an “elusive playboy businessman” are the center of the 1MDB financial scandal and this true-crime documentary. And that businessman? Joh Low, who, among other things, helped finance the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. (1/5, Netflix)

More new documentaries and specials: Man on the Run (1/5, Netflix); Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli (1/9, Netflix); 75th Primetime Emmy Awards (1/15, Fox); June (1/16, Paramount+); Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees (1/23, Netflix)

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