What to Watch This Week | January 2–8
CableTV.com’s primo viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.
Welcome to 2023! Over the holiday break, I compiled a year-end Spotify playlist of my favorite new albums of 2022 because, as a former music critic, I assume people are hanging on my every recommendation. At the very least, it’s loud and obnoxious enough to wake you up on a Monday.
This week’s What to Watch picks include the arrival of Mayfair Witches, AEW pro wrestling action, the debuts of The Rig and Alert, the return of Fantasy Island, and soft-rock doc Sometimes When We Touch. New year, new shows!
Jump to your preferred streaming service
What’s premiering this week
Mayfair Witches | AMC+ | Drama, supernatural
Series premiere, Sunday, January 8: Following up Interview with the Vampire, Mayfair Witches is the next of many Anne Rice TV adaptations coming from AMC. It’s based on Rice’s Lives of the Mayfair Witches series and stars Alexandra Daddario (The White Lotus) as a neurosurgeon who learns she’s descended from a family of witches. Said family is also haunted by a dark spirit, so good news/bad news? The first episode of Mayfair Witches will also air on AMC January 8.
AEW Battle of the Belts V | TNT | Sports, wrestling
Coverage begins Friday, January 6, 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT: Live from Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon, it’s AEW Battle of the Belts V. Airing directly after Friday’s edition of Rampage, All Elite Wrestling’s fifth Battle of the Belts will feature current champion Orange Cassidy defending his title against Kip Sabian, with likely outside interference from Penelope Ford (pro wrestling really needs to step up security ringside—this happens all the time).
What to watch on Netflix this week
Copenhagen Cowboy | Netflix | Drama, supernatural
Series premiere, Thursday, January 5: Director Nicolas Winding Refn (Too Old to Die Young, Drive) returns with Copenhagen Cowboy, a Danish-language crime drama with a spooky twist (and plenty of neon, of course). Miu (Angela Bundalovic), a young woman with supernatural abilities, infiltrates the criminal underworld of Copenhagen looking for answers about her past and to exact revenge (so she obviously knows something). All six episodes drop on January 5.
The Pale Blue Eye | Netflix | Drama, thriller
Movie premiere, Friday, January 6: Based on Louis Bayard’s novel of the same name, The Pale Blue Eye follows a detective (Christian Bale) as he investigates a brutal murder of a cadet at West Point Academy in 1830. The problem is no other cadets are willing to help—except for one, a young Edgar Allen Poe (Harry Melling). Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Toby Jones, and Charlotte Gainsbourg co-star in The Pale Blue Eye, which is also currently in theaters.
What to watch on Hulu this week
Season 2 premiere, Monday, January 2: Infamous 1977–1984 TV series Fantasy Island has spawned reboots before (including a 1998 TV revival and a 2020 horror movie), but FOX’s slick new version has the right stuff. Elena Roarke (Roselyn Sanchez), a descendant of the original’s Mr. Roarke, hosts guests looking to fulfill their wildest dreams, which come with a hard moral lesson on the side. If you’re missing the sights and drama of The White Lotus, try Fantasy Island.
Series premiere, Sunday, January 8: Another crime procedural? Is FOX turning into CBS? Anyway: When Nikki’s (Dania Ramirez) young son disappears, she joins up with her ex-husband Jason (Scott Caan) on the Philadelphia PD’s Missing Persons Unit to find him—and presumably others, since this is a weekly series. Alert was created by The Blacklist showrunner John Eisendrath, so it’s likely less cheesy than FOX’s 9-1-1 duo. After its Sunday premiere, Alert will air on Mondays.
What to watch on Prime Video this week
The Rig | Prime Video | Drama, thriller
Series premiere, Friday, January 6: A North Sea oil rig off the Scottish coast is enveloped in a thick, mysterious fog, cutting the crew off from all communications—even worse, supernatural forces are also afoot. Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), Martin Compston (Line of Duty), and Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek—yes, Stevie) star in this Amazon Original mashup of The Fog and Deepwater Horizon, and all six episodes of The Rig stream on Friday, January 6.
Jurassic World Dominion | Prime Video | Action, drama
Movie premiere, Friday, January 6: Sure, it’s been streaming elsewhere for months, but can Peacock deliver you a Keurig overnight with free shipping? The Prime Video premiere of Jurassic World Dominion will expose more eyeballs to the 2021 trilogy closer that reunited the ’90s Jurassic Park trio of Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill. As for Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, well, they react to CGI dinosaurs as adequately as ever.
W2W wildcards of the week
Sometimes When We Touch | Paramount+ | Documentary, music
Series premiere, Tuesday, January 3: Currently co-opted under the ironic flag of “yacht rock,” the soft rock wave dominated FM radio in the ’70s and ’80s, then fell out of favor and made an inexplicable comeback in the mid-2000s. The three-part Sometimes When We Touch: The Reign, Ruin, and Resurrection of Soft Rock docuseries covers it all, with interviews with Kenny Loggins, Air Supply, Rupert Holmes (he of “The Pina Colada Song”), and more. Waterbed not included.
January 6th | Discovery+ | Documentary
Movie premiere, Thursday, January 5: Documentarians Gédéon and Jules Naudet (9/11) interviewed first responders, police officers, and over 50 senators, representatives, and staffers who survived the domestic terrorist attack on the White House on January 6, 2021, but not the QAnon Shaman (‘member him?). Unlike HBO’s recent This Place Rules doc, January 6th focuses more on the event’s heroes than its bad actors, but why isn’t it premiering on January 6?