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What to Watch This Week | January 8–14’s exemplary viewing recommendations for shows, movies, sports, and more on TV this week.

Looks like Jo Koy was not a great choice to host this year’s Golden Globes, but that’s not as egregious as handing the first-ever Comedy Standup on Television award to previous host Ricky Gervais. The only funny element of his Netflix special Armageddon is his ridiculous little Ted Talk headset mic. At least we have the Emmys next week (yes, next week).

This week’s What to Watch picks include the return of True Detective, new Marvel series Echo, Kevin Hart heist movie Lift, Kaley Cuoco action-comedy Role Play, and NFL Playoffs action. Get watching!

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What’s new this week

True Detective Night Country (HBO)

True Detective: Night Country | HBO, Max | Drama, thriller

Season 4 premiere, Sunday, January 14: True Detective is back for the first time since 2019, but show creator Nic Pizzolatto isn’t. Issa López, of spooky breakout film Tigers Are Not Afraid, takes over as director and co-writer. Also, the troubled detectives this time around are women (Jodi Foster and Kali Reis) investigating the disappearance of an Arctic Circle research team in remote Alaska. If you loved season 1’s supernatural undertones (if not its broody-dude monologues), Night Country won’t disappoint.

Action shot of NFL player

NFL Playoffs | Multiple channels | Sports, football

Coverage begins Saturday, January 13, 1:30 p.m. PT/4:30 p.m. ET: As of this writing, the top two seeds looking forward to Super Bowl 58 in February are the Baltimore Ravens (AFC) and the San Francisco 49ers (NFC). The rest of the AFC/NFC pack will battle it out over Wild Card Weekend in five games spanning Saturday, January 13 to Monday, January 15 on NBC, Peacock, CBS, FOX, ABC, and ESPN. First up on Saturday: Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins vs. Kansas City Chiefs.

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What to watch on Netflix this week

Pete Davidson Turbo Fonzarelli (Netflix)

Pete Davidson: Turbo Fonzarelli | Netflix | Comedy

Standup special, Tuesday, January 9: Former Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson’s second standup special for Netflix is called Turbo Fonzarelli because … who knows? The topics riffed on in this New Jersey set include Davidson’s childhood crush on Leonardo DiCaprio, an unexpected gift from a stalker, and observations on turning 30 last year. If Davidson’s current tour isn’t coming to your town, or he mysteriously canceled a show you had tickets for recently, Turbo Fonzarelli is the next best thing.

Lift (Netflix)

Lift | Netflix | Action, comedy

Movie premiere, Friday, January 12: New Kevin Hart heist flick Lift takes to the skies with Hart leading a misfit crew of specialists out to rob a passenger plane—more accurately, steal half a billion in gold before it reaches a terrorist cell. Lift was directed by F. Gary Gray, whose credits include Friday, Straight Outta Compton, and The Fate of the Furious, so the action is guaranteed, but what about the comedy? Vincent D’Onofrio, all 6-foot-4 of him, plays a “master of disguise,” which is funny enough to carry a movie alone.

What to watch on Hulu this week

Echo (Disney+)

Echo | Disney+, Hulu | Drama, sci-fi

Miniseries premiere, Tuesday, January 9: Speaking of Vincent D’Onofrio, he returns to his menacing Kingpin villain role in Echo, a spinoff of 2021’s Hawkeye miniseries centered on deaf Native American martial artist Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox). Having betrayed the Kingpin in New York, Echo returns to her Oklahoma hometown with her former boss/mentor on her trail. Echo also stars Zahn McClarnon, Devery Jacobs (both of Reservation Dogs), and Charlie Cox as MCU hero Daredevil. All five episodes stream on January 9.

Self Reliance (Hulu)

Self Reliance | Hulu | Comedy

Movie premiere, Friday, January 12: In his directorial debut, Jake Johnson (New Girl) plays Tommy, a man with the chance to win one million dollars on a dark web reality show at the invitation of Andy Samberg (Andy Samberg, in a surprise casting). All he has to do is avoid being killed by assassins for a month, NBD. But, Tommy exploits a loophole that he can’t be murdered in the presence of other people by clinging to unsuspecting friends, family, and total strangers 24/7. Self Reliance will be a real game show any day now.

What to watch on Peacock this week

La Brea (NBC)

La Brea | NBC, Peacock | Drama, sci-fi

Season 3 premiere, Tuesday, January 9: When it debuted in 2021, sci-fi series La Brea at least had an interesting premise: A massive sinkhole opens in Los Angeles, swallowing up dozens of people who then find themselves transported to 10,000 BC in the same location and fighting to survive. Unfortunately, La Brea soon slipped from a serious TV sci-fi contender to an increasingly ridiculous melodrama that makes Land of the Lost look respectable in comparison. But hey, it’s almost over—only six episodes to go!

Ted (Peacock)

Ted | Peacock | Comedy

Series premiere, Thursday, January 11: Since Ted is a prequel series to the movies Ted (2012) and Ted 2 (2015), you’re not going to get more of Mark Wahlberg palling around with a talking teddy bear. Instead, you get the origin story of Ted (voiced by writer/director Seth MacFarlane) and a 16-year-old Johnny (Max Burkholder) in 1993 Boston, where both are starting a new school year (just go with it). If you need a refresher, the original Ted is also on Peacock (Ted 2 is on Max, but you’re better off skipping it).

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W2W wildcards of the week

Destroy All Neighbors (Shudder)

Destroy All Neighbors | Shudder | Horror, comedy

Movie premiere, Friday, January 12: It may not challenge Foo Fighters’ Studio 666 as the greatest rock-horror comedy of all time, but what could? In Destroy All Neighbors, musician William (Jonah Ray Rodrigues) is determined to record his progressive-rock masterpiece, but his noisy neighbor (Alex Winter) won’t keep it down. The neighbor soon ends up dead, along with others, and the reanimated corpses begin attacking with ’80s-cheese abandon. Blood and gore and puppets and rock & roll!

Role Play (Prime Video)

Role Play | Prime Video | Action, comedy

Movie premiere, Friday, January 12: For their anniversary, suburban couple Emma (Kaley Cuoco) and Dave (David Oyelowo) stage a roleplaying meetup in the city. Soon, it’s revealed that Emma used to lead a double life as a contract killer and her old boss (Bill Nighy) wants her back … or dead. Like the recent movie The Family Plan, Role Play is a breezy mix of shoot-’em-up action and romantic comedy, with the added bonus of Cuoco’s inexhaustible charm and enough wigs for a RuPaul’s Drag Race finale. Familiar, but fun.

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