With a new year comes new shows, and it’s looking good so far. The Last of Us will probably get the most attention because of the video game’s success, but let’s not forget cult horror mangaka Junji Ito’s latest anthology, as well as a side project from the makers of Ted Lasso.
Bad Batch Season 2
The Bad Batch might have been fairly uneventful regarding cultural impact in the Star Wars universe, but it’s doing a fair enough job of filling in gaps within the lore. In this case, it’s about clones that don’t entirely operate as programmed and defied Order 66. Season one was just about interesting enough to keep you invested in their tales and escapades, but what makes this a draw is that the series sheds some light on the events surrounding the dissolution of the clone programme, along with the politics involved.
Release date: January 4
Servant Season 4
The final season of M. Night Shamalayan’s for-Apple TV+ series will close the circle for the Turner family, who has to deal with the threat of nanny Leanne Grayson (Nell Tiger Free) one last time. Grayson’s war with the Church of Lesser Saints is escalating, pushing all parties towards an inevitable showdown. Find out who the mysterious nanny really is, and more importantly–who is that child in their home? Is there another Shyamalan twist waiting in the wings?
Release date: January 13
Network: Apple TV+
The Last of Us
The live-action adaptation of the critically-acclaimed video game is set to hit the screens this January. While the sequel divided opinion, the first was unequivocally lauded for its engaging storyline and gameplay, and that’s where we start anyway. In a world decimated by a zombie outbreak (mutant Cordyceps infection, if you’re pedantic about that kind of thing), Joel (Pedro Pascal) has to transport high-value cargo in the form of Ellie (Bella Ramsey) to the Fireflies–a militia group–base outside of the quarantine zone. It’s a father-daughter kind of show at the end of the day, so if you’re into that kind of thing…
Release date: January 16
Network: HBO Go
Junji Ito Maniac: Japanese tales of the macabre
The Japanese horror legend, who became the first mangaka to win the coveted Eisner award in 2021, makes his ‘normie’ debut on a global platform with Maniac. Not to be confused with the Junji Ito Collection, Maniac is a new 12-part anthology of 20 works showcasing his unique visual style and storytelling prowess. Fans can look forward to new content featuring classic favourites like Tomie and Soichi. Those who have no idea what his works are like; think disturbingly unnerving and macabre (not going to spoil anything with the screenshot). But don’t worry, he loves cats.
Release date: January 19
Legend of Vox Machina Season 2
Imagine playing Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) so epically that you raise enough Kickstarter coin to create an animated series of your own. That’s what these eight voice actors did with Vox Machina, a band of eight D&D heroes. They are featured in Critical Role, a highly popular self-made web series where they play D&D, which sometimes features celebrity guests (and fans) like Stephen Colbert and Joe Manganiello. Based on the campaigns from their web series, it tries to recapture that ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ chaotic fun with intriguing character development and the dynamics of an old-school D&D session.
Release date: January 20
Network: Amazon Prime
What happens if your therapist loses the plot? Jimmy Johns (Jason Segel) is struggling with grief and starts to go against his training and conventional ethics–he starts to tell his patients precisely what he thinks. The result changes everyone’s lives–including his own–in ways no one could have imagined. Shrinking is created by Segel along with Brett Goldstein and Bill Lawrence, the duo behind Ted Lasso, so expect a lot of feel-good vibes here.
Release date: January 27
Network: Apple TV+