What to watch on Netflix Canada in January 2020

NOW critics pick the best TV shows and movies coming to Netflix Canada including Uncut Gems, AJ And The Queen, BoJack Horseman and Sex Education


WHAT WE CAN’T WAIT TO WATCH

AJ And The Queen

RuPaul has kept busy putting contestants through acting challenges on Drag Race, but now it’s drag superstar’s turn to submit to the critics. In this intergenerational road trip comedy – executive produced by The Comeback co-creator Michael Patrick King – RuPaul plays Ruby Red, a big-city drag queen who somehow ends travelling across the United States in an RV with an 11-year-old kid named AJ (Izzy G.). Think Harold And Maude meets The Adventures Of Priscilla. Drag Race stars Trinity the Tuck, Latrice Royale and Pandora Boxx are also in the mix. January 10

Dracula

No, the world really doesn’t need another adaptation of Bram Stoker’s horror classic about the Transylvanian vampire and his attempts to increase his coterie of undead. But this BBC/Netflix co-production, told in three 90-minute installments, looks bloody promising. It comes from the same folks who resurrected another much-adapted property in Sherlock, and stars Claes Bang, the Danish actor best known as the suave, put-upon gallery owner in the Oscar-nominated art-house satire The Square. January 1

Spinning Out

Judging from the trailer, this original Netflix  series looks like the figure-skating version of Black Swan. It’s the story of figure skater Kat, who after choking at a crucial competition, attempts to revive her career by switching to pairs skating. January Jones plays a demanding coach, while Kat’s new partner is a “bad boy” with a sinister vibe. How Spinning Out will rank in the greater figure-skating film/tv canon is to be decided, but we’re guessing somewhere between The Cutting Edge and I, Tonya. January 1

BoJack Horseman (season 6, part 2)

Having dropped the first eight episodes of its final season in the fall, Raphael Bob-Waksberg’s brilliant animated series – 50 per cent funny-animal comedy, 50 per cent Hollywood satire and 100 per cent excoriating psychological drama – returns for the last eight, and it’s not going to be pretty. Although our horseman hero has finally committed to recovery and was last seen making genuine amends, the show demonstrated very clearly that the people he hurt are still dealing with the fallout of his actions, and a reckoning is coming. Given Bob-Waksberg’s ability to balance darkness with absurdist laughs – and the capacity of Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, Paul F. Tompkins and Amy Sedaris to play that balance – it’s going to be painful. January 31

Hip-Hop Evolution (season 4)

The Toronto-produced documentary series hosted by Shad is continually one of our favourite series on Netflix. It goes deep into familiar narratives, like the 90s east coast/west coast rap rivalry that dominated much of season three. We don’t have any details yet on season four, but given how the previous season ended with Goodie Mob, we’re hoping for a trip through the U.S. South. January 17

Sex Education (season 2)

After a rollicking first season that ended with neurotic sex savant Otis (Asa Butterfield) on the verge of his first healthy relationship just as his cynical handler Maeve (Emma Mackey) realizes she’s caught feelings for him, the only move possible for Laurie Nunn’s Welsh-set, American-inflected high-school comedy is, naturally, chlamydia. An STI infection burns through the Moordale student body, exposing the need for a real sex-ed curriculum rather than the ad hoc advice Otis and Maeve have been dispensing, which, one assumes, will give Gillian Anderson a lot more to do as Otis’s overly solicitous sex-therapist mum. January 17

Cheer

This original Netflix documentary follows a Texas competitive college cheerleading squad as they prepare for the National Championship. Over six episodes, we’ll see the athletes as they face injuries, personal setbacks and triumphs leading up the high-stakes competition. In recent years, the financial mistreatment of NFL cheerleaders has made headlines and shined a light on the shady practises within the industry. We’re not sure if Cheer will look into this side of the industry, but it nonetheless sounds like an interesting dive into the sport. January 8

Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty

JFL42 fans know the North Carolina-born stand-up comic and actor for the series of warm, funny sets she did at the festival a few years ago. Known for her appearances on Chelsea Lately, The Mindy Project and Last Comic Standing, Feimster has some of the best timing of any comic around. That should be evident in this show, her first hour-long Netflix special, in which she discusses her childhood, her family’s relationship with Hooters and the movie that made her realize she was a lesbian. Speaking of that, Feimster’s a cast member in the L Word reboot, which started airing this month. January 21

Ragnarok

Look, when you’re a teenager it always feels like the world is ending. But what if you’re a teenager in Norway, and you’ve grown up in a culture with its own very specific apocalypse mythology… and it seems to be coming true? That’s a hell of a hook, and we’re very curious to see how creator Adam Price – whose Danish political drama Borgen was an essential show in the Scandinavian TV wave earlier this decade – plans to play it out. January 31

Next In Fashion

Antoni’s got a cookbook. Jonathan’s got his stand-up tour. And now Tan is getting his own Netflix spinoff show with style influencer Alexa Chung. (Netflix, please give Bobby his own Trading Spaces-style show and Karamo an inspirational talk show!) Next In Fashion is a competition series where up-and-coming designers will compete to become “the next big name in fashion.” January 29

Uncut Gems The Weeknd

Julieta Cervantes

The Weeknd co-stars in the Safdie Brothers’ thriller Uncut Gems.

SOLID BETS

Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler is electrifying as a jeweller in New York City’s Diamond District who is addicted to taking risks and instigates chaos after an Ethiopian opal comes into his possession. The Safdie brothers have fashioned a masterpiece that builds on themes explored in their previous films: race, economics, addiction and basketball. The movie is like that opal: it looks gritty and ugly from one angle, but shines brilliantly and mesmerizes from another. The closer you get, the more this gem cuts right to your soul. January 31

37 Seconds

One of the biggest issues of the past decade has been around characters in marginalized communities being portrayed by actors not in those communities. Which makes 37 Seconds kind of revolutionary. It’s about a soft-spoken 23-year-old Tokyo manga artist with cerebral palsy who longs for independence and autonomy. It’s being played by Mei Kayama, a disabled first-time actor who brings a freshness and authenticity to the role. Directed by Hikari, the movie won the Audience Award at the Berlin Film Festival last year, and was warmly received at TIFF. January 31

Good Time

To whet our appetite for the Safdie Brothers’ latest, Uncut Gems, Netflix is bringing back the New York filmmaking duo’s breakout hit, Good Time. The grimy and exhilarating crime thriller stars Robert Pattinson as a bank robber eager to bail out his developmentally delayed brother from lock-up during one unbelievably chaotic night. Throughout the movie, Pattinson’s bug-eyed Connie hustles, barks and bites while using his white privilege to pin his bad behaviour on the nearest Black person. Read our review here. January 20

God’s Own Country

Francis Lee’s first feature (after a decade making shorts, and another 15 years as an actor) is a powerful, emotional love story about two ranch hands who take comfort in one another while working with animals in the vast countryside. And if that sounds a little like Brokeback Mountain, well, okay… but this is a rougher work. Set in present-day Yorkshire, it’s about an angry young man (Josh O’Connor) stuck on his family farm whose misery is broken by the arrival of a smart, serious migrant worker (Alex Secareanu). Lee watches these two characters find each other in an unforgiving world, marking the points where attraction ignites into lust, and then evolves into something richer and more compelling. It’s one of a handful of new romances that feels like it might be a love story for the ages. Read our review here. January 21

Game Night

The elevator pitch is “David Fincher’s The Game but with Jason Bateman.” But Game Night is way better than that sounds and is even stylishly directed in a way that lives up to the Fincher comparison. It unfolds over a routine evening among friends that escalates from Tostitos and charades to ducking bullets and foiling kidnappers. Rachel McAdams is a scene-stealer, reminding us all how funny she’s always been (think Mean Girls and Wedding Crashers). Read our review here. January 4

List of new titles available in January by date:

TV SHOWS

Coming Soon

Dracula

What The Love! With Karan Johar

January 1

Drugs, Inc. (season 6)

Line Of Duty (season 5)

Messiah

Nisman: Death Of A Prosecutor

Saint Seiya (seasons 4-5)

Spinning Out

The Circle

Vikings (seasons 1-2)

January 2

Sex, Explained: Limited Series

Thieves Of The Wood

January 3

Gotham (season 5)

January 4

Go! Go! Cory Carson

January 7

Rust Valley Restorers (season 1)

January 8

Cheer

January 10

AJ And The Queen

Giri / Haji

Harvey Girls Forever! (season 4)

The Inbestigators (season 2)

Medical Police

Scissor Seven

Titans (season 2)

Until Dawn

January 13

The Healing Powers Of Dude

January 14

Kipo And The Age Of Wonderbeasts

Leslie Jones: Time Machine

January 15

Grace And Frankie (season 6)

January 17

Ares

Hip-Hop Evolution (season 4)

Sex Education (season 2)

Tiny House Nation (volume 2)

Wer kann, der kann!

January 20

Family Reunion (part 2)

January 21

Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty

Word Party (season 4)

January 22

Pandemic: How To Prevent An Outbreak

January 23

The Ghost Bride

October Faction

Saint Seiya: Knights Of The Zodiac (season 1, part 2)

January 24

Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina (part 3)

The Ranch: The Final Season

Rise Of Empires: Ottoman

You Cannot Hide (No te puedes esconder)

January 26

Vir Das: For India

January 28

Alex Fernández: El mejor comediante del mundo

January 29

Next In Fashion

Night On Earth

Omniscient

January 30

Ainori Love Wagon: African Journey

The Stranger

January 31

BoJack Horseman (season 6, part B)

Diablero (season 2)

I Am A Killer (season 2)

Luna Nera

Ragnarok

MOVIES

January 1

American Graffiti

Curious George

Definitely, Maybe

Ghost Stories

Mamma Mia!

Manhattan Murder Mystery

Maze Runner: Death Cure

The 15:17 To Paris

The Imitation Game

The Post

January 3

All The Freckles In The World

January 4

Game Night

January 15

Quien a hierro mata

January 16

NiNoKuni

January 17

Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace

Sword Of Trust

Vivir dos veces

What Did Jack Do?

January 20

The Biggest Little Farm

Good Time

January 21

God’s Own Country

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

January 23

The Queen

January 24

A Sun

January 25

Captain America: The First Avenger

January 28

Legend

January 29

Frères Ennemis

January 31

37 Seconds

Miss Americana

Star Trek Beyond

Uncut Gems

LAST CALL

TV series and movies leaving Netflix this month.

January 15

Helix (seasons 1-2)

January 17

Short Term 12

January 31

Horrible Bosses

Little Women

Spartacus: Blood And Sand

Spartacus: Gods Of The Arena

Spartacus: Vengeance

Spartacus: War Of The Damned

Still looking for something to stream? Check out our guide to the 25 most binge-worthy shows of 2019.

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