New year, new binge? January is notoriously a slower time for new programming to hit, but there are still a fun assortment of shows to hit play on. Any time is a perfect time for a little TV catch-up session. Kick off them shoes, recline your chair, and grab your favorite beverage. Get ready for a new round of binging for the month of January. Here are six returning series that are all well worth your time.
What it is: An animated spinoff of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the program follows the group of elite experimental clones first introduced in that series, as they struggle to find their way as mercenaries in an uncertain galaxy in the wake of the rise of the Galactic Empire. Season 2 premiered to Disney+ on Wednesday, January 4.
Why you should watch it: It goes without saying that some of the best writing and character drama can be found in animated programming. And The Bad Batch is no exception. Dave Filoni, who was the executive producer of The Clone Wars animated series, is back again to oversee production of the spinoff’s second season. His extensive Star Wars knowledge and creative ingenuity, along with engaging storytelling and terrific work by the voice cast, this is a Galactic adventure definitely worth checking out.
Where to watch: Disney+ (Subscription, seasons 1 and 2)
Commitment: Approx. 6 hours (for the first season)
What it is: Technically a sequel series to History’s Vikings, Netflix’s Valhalla jumps forward 100 years in time to the 11th century, separating itself from the legacy of Ragnar Lothbrok, to follow the adventures of Viking legends Erik the Red (Goran Visnjic), Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett), Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), Harald Hardrada (Leo Suter), and more, as they battle to remain relevant in a quickly evolving Christian world. Season 2 premieres to Netflix on January 12.
Why you should watch it: Vikings: Valhalla may not deliver the same emotional punch that its predecessor did, but the hack-and-slash drama is still ever-present in Netflix’s big-budget historical fiction series, and the first season of the new series is Certified Fresh at 90% on the Tomatometer. And if the education in Norse history becomes too much for ya, it’s never too long before another epic battle takes place for all to behold. Praise Odin, indeed!
Where to watch: Netflix (Subscription, season 1)
Commitment: Approx. 7 hours (for the first season)
What it is: A supernatural drama that centers on a couple in mourning following an unthinkable loss. Their decision to seek outside help in their time of need unexpectedly invites dark forces into their home, leaving the duo to either fight for their family, or succumb to the demons that death, grief, and denial can dig up. Season 4 premieres January 13.
Why you should watch it: It’s a twisty psychological thriller executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan. That’s an important detail worth mentioning as the brooding tone that permeates most of the filmmakers movies is a big feature of Servant. Considering the difficult subject matter, how can it not be? Familial trauma, loss, grief, and isolation are all explored in this series, which goes to some extremely dark places. Leave it to the excellent performances of the talented cast — Lauren Ambrose, Toby Kebbell, Nell Tiger Free, and Rupert Grint — who regularly rescue the program from the expected tropes and trappings of the genre.
Where to watch: Apple TV+ (Subscription, seasons 1-3)
Commitment: Approx. 15 hours (for the first three seasons)
What it is: That ’90s Show is about to take audiences back into Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty Forman’s (Debra Jo Rupp) basement. It’s been nearly two decades since its sitcom predecessor That ’70s Show went off the air, which lines up perfectly with the flannel-tinged theme of Netflix’s new series. The spirit and comedy of the original will surely shine through in the spinoff (which debuts its first season on January 19), as once again, a diverse group of friends on the verge of adulthood will explore their adolescence and find their identities amid the odd Wisconsin world around them.
Why you should watch it: That ’70s Show lasted a total of eight seasons (200 episodes in total) and successfully shone a light on the trials and tribulations of the young generation growing up in the groovy 1970s. Nostalgia is a wonderful tool, and this show really leaned on that mechanism to create a whole slew of memorable comedic moments. And speaking of nostalgia, this is the project that introduced fresh-faced talent Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama to celebrity status.
Commitment: Approx. 73 hours (for all 8 seasons)
What it is: A raunchy, hilarious, action-packed animated adventure inspired by Critical Role’s first Dungeons & Dragons campaign that follows the missions of a rag-tag group of mercenaries known as Vox Machina, who become the unlikely protectors of the realm.
Why you should watch it: Dungeons & Dragons has become big business over the past decade. Many may look to Stranger Things for making a 20-sided-dice roll look super cool, but if a huge hat tip must be paid to Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, and the rest of the Critical Role gang. What started as a quaint live-stream channel celebrating the classic role-playing table-top game, evolved into something way more. And while the creative folks behind The Legend of Vox Machina are completely well-versed in the nerd culture that spawned the series, the fantasy program is proven fun for all who tune in — die-hard gamers and newbs alike.
Where to watch: Prime Video (Subscription, season 1)
Commitment: Approx. 5 hours (for the first season)
What it is: The television reimagining of the 1985 cult comedy film that starred Michael J. Fox. Instead of going for laughs, though, MTV’s Teen Wolf doubled down on the horror story at the core of the high school drama. Tyler Posey stars as Scott McCall, a normal teenager whose life gets turned upside down after a mysterious animal attack in the woods. Is he a werewolf? Human? A bit of both? As if high school wasn’t complicated already. Teen Wolf: The Movie and similarly werewolf-themed series Wolf Pack both premiere January 26 on Paramount+.
Why you should watch it: Teen Wolf hit MTV in 2011, back when the network was focused on creating original scripted programming. Over a decade later and Paramount+ is getting the werewolf band back together. To get up to speed on where the story left off with Scott McCall’s furry antics, now is the perfect time to re-visit how his supernatural adventures began before checking in with the movie sequel hitting the streamer later this month.
Commitment: Approx. 68 hours (for all six seasons)
Thumbnail image by Paramount+