New to Netflix in January 2017

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Voltron: Legendary Defender’s second season, all four Christopher Reeve Superman films, HALO Legends, and more.

It’s out with 2016 and in with the new year at Netflix, as the streaming giant’s January slate of originals is set to include the second season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, a reboot of classic sitcom One Day at a Time from its original creator Norman Lear, and a new adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf.

As for classic movies, they’ve got Spielberg’s E.T., all four Christopher Reeve Superman films, The Shining, Braveheart, Boogie Nights, and more.

Titles and dates are for US only and subject to change.

Available 1/1/17

Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
After Innocence (2005)
Bee Movie (2007)

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  • Boogie Nights (1997)

Paul Thomas Anderson’s second film, a loving ode to the old school San Fernando Valley porn industry, features Mark Wahlberg as a dishwasher and dreamer whose, um, “special asset” lands him a gig as an adult film star. Filled with classic 70s and songs and an amazing ensemble consisting of Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, and more, Boogie Nights is a splendid blend of absurdity and drama, featuring strong characters and wild moments.

Braveheart (1995)
Caddyshack (1980)
Collateral Damage (2002)
Dreamcatcher (2003)
El Dorado (1966)

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  • HALO Legends (2009)

Set in the Halo-verse, these seven anime films (split into eight parts) focus on Master Chief’s mysterious origins, the Spartans’ advanced combat capabilities, and the tense rivalry between Spartans and Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs). Created in collaboration with some of the world’s leading animators from Japan, Halo Legends draws you into the center of humankind’s ongoing battle with the Covenant.

Hugo (2011)
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
License to Drive (1988)
Nancy Drew (2007)
Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Real Detective: Season 1 (2016)

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  • Superman: The Movie (1978)

If DC’s latest cinematic spin on Superman is a bit too grim and brooding for your taste, check out 1978’s take featuring Christopher Reeve as a soaring and valiant version of the Man of Steel and Gene Hackman as a deliciously devilish Lex Luthor. The other three Reeve films will be available as well along with Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns, starring Legends of Tomorrow’s Brandon Routh.

Superman Returns (2006)
Superman II (1980)
Superman III (1983)
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987)
The Parent Trap (1961)
The Shining (1980)
The Perfect Physique (2015)
The Rat Race (2012)
To Be A Miss (2016)
Trudell (2005)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Vanilla Sky (2001)

Available 1/3/17

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 11 (2016)
Jen Kirkman: Just Keep Livin’? – NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/6/17

Coin Heist– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Degrassi: Next Class: Season 3 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Growing Up Coy (2016)
Mar de Plastico: Season 1

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  • One Day at a Time: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

This reboot/reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic single mom sitcom, One Day at a Time, follows a Cuban-American family led by a recently separated, former military mom (Queen of the South‘s Justina Machado) as she navigates a new single life while raising her daughter (Isabella Gomez) and son (Marcel Ruiz), with some help from her Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno). And since you’re asking, yes, there is a Schneider.

Tarzan and Jane: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/7/17

Alpha and Omega 7 (2016)
Miss Sharon Jones! (2015)
Under the Shadow (2016)

Available 1/9/17

Best and Most Beautiful Things (2016)
Ratchet and Clank (2016)

Available 1/10/17

As I Open My Eyes (2015)
Best Friends Whenever: Season 2 (2016)
Happily Married (2015)
Jim Gaffigan: Cinco– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
We’re Lalaloopsy: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/11/17

Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016)

Available 1/13/17

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  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny — whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance.

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Aquarius (2015)
Casablancas: The Man Who Loved Women
Clinical– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Historia de un clan: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
It Follows (2014)
The Investigator: A British Crime Story: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/14/17

Camp X-Ray (2014)
Cardboard Boxer (2016)
Estar O No Estar

Available 1/15/17

A Beautiful Now (2015)
Hostage to the Devil (2016)
Señora Acero: Season 3 (2016)
Twisted Trunk, Big Fat Body (2015)
Wartime Portraits: Season 1 (2014)

Available 1/16/17

Flash of Genius (2008)
Halloweed (2016)
Rezort (2016)

Available 1/17/17

Fatima (2015)
Neal Brennan: 3 Mics– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 (2016)

Available 1/19/17

Good Kids (2016)

Available 1/20/17

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  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
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With a voice cast that includes Kimberly Brooks, Rhys Darby, Josh Keaton, Tyler Labine, Jeremy Shada, Bex Taylor-Klaus and Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun, Voltron: Legendary Defender’s second season will pick up right where Season 1 left off as the Paladins try to bring Voltron back together and finally defeat Zarkon in order to save the universe.

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  • Frontier: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

New to Netflix in January 2017

From San Andreas’ Brad Peyton comes Frontier – a period drama set against the backdrop of 1700s Canada, starring Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones, Aquaman), that revolves around warring factions vying for control of the fur trade in a ruthless game of wealth and power.

Papa (2015)
Take the 10– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/21/17

Bates Motel: Season 4 (2016)
Grami’s Circus Show: Season 2 (2016)

Available 1/24/17

Cristela Alonzo: Lower Classy– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Gad Gone Wild– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil (2016)
Kill Command (2016)
Terrace House: Aloha State: Season 1: Part 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 1/25/17

Era el cielo

Available 1/27/17

Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
iBOY– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Kazoops!: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Shadows of Truth (2016)
Sharknado: The 4th Awakens (2016)

Available 1/28/17

Ripper Street: Season 4

Available 1/30/17

Antibirth (2016)
Swing State (2016)

Available 1/31/17

Bill Burr Stand Up Special– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA). Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.

Sherlock: “The Six Thatchers” Review

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The game’s back on.

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Ignoring last year’s Christmas special, “The Abominable Bride”, it’s been three years since the dramatic cliffhanger that closed Season 3, in which Sherlock executed the villainous Charles Augustus Magnussen – The Napoleon of Crime – and fled the country.

If you’d forgotten any of that, don’t worry – the show pretty much does, too. In fact, “The Six Thatchers” spends its opening ten minutes rolling back the consequences of that excellent finale, with Sherlock being absolved of murder and reinstalled within British society, no questions asked, thanks to Mycroft and the British government.

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Although this totally undercuts the drama of Season 3’s standout episode – whatever – it neatly returns Sherlock to 221B Baker Street where he can resume work as a consulting detective and impatiently await Moriarty’s next (posthumous) move. Through a couple of breathless sequences, Watson and Mary have a baby and Sherlock tackles numerous problems, including The Circus Torso and The Canary Trainer. But what follows isn’t Holmes and Watson slowly unravelling one of those intriguingly titled cases, like the good old days, but a short mystery followed by rambling tangent of revelations, flashbacks, and altercations, culminating in a dramatic yet strangely underwhelming climax.

That said, it starts off promisingly, with Lestrade snaring Sherlock with the impossible death of a young man outside of his parents’ home when he was seemingly halfway around the world in the mountains of Tibet. Sherlock is intrigued, but sadly Sherlock – the show – no longer cares about such trivial cases, and so Sherlock apathetically rattles off the solution five minutes after meeting the grieving parents. The whole case is there to soak up twenty minutes and set the episode off in a very different direction.

I’m not going to recite everything that happens next – there’s a lot – but what follows is a confused and confusing sixty minutes involving broken busts of Margaret Thatcher, a siege on an embassy in Tbilisi, mercenaries contracted by the British government, torture, brainwashing, memory sticks, and at the heart of it all is Mary, John’s wife and a former spy. But the problem lies less in the specifics and more in the way Sherlock, and the audience, is led through all of this intrigue.

Once he figures out why someone is breaking open figures of Thatcher, it really ceases to be a case for Sherlock Holmes. To figure what’s going on from hereon, Holmes can’t use his extraordinary powers of observation and deduction. He’s reliant the confessions from Mary and those involved, and for the audience this manifests as a series of crude flashback sequences and exposition dumps. Sure a couple of mysterious elements – an allusive acronym and a cryptic keyword – are thrown into the mix, but really Sherlock’s unpacking a convoluted situation along with the rest of us. And so when the climax comes, and we discover the mastermind behind it all, it doesn’t feel like a genuine and satisfying Sherlock ‘a-ha moment’; we’re finding out something new, rather than seeing something in a new light.

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Unfortunately, this whole detour into Mary’s past doesn’t really enrich the character – I still don’t buy her as a super spy – in fact, so much time is spent detailing the overwrought specifics of what happened, there isn’t a lot of time left to explore the new dynamics it establishes early on. Watson and Mary have a baby – it should be a big moment – but we hardly spend any quality time with them or the child. We attend the christening, but it isn’t allowed to play out in full – instead, it serves as the background to yet another sketch in which Sherlock is shown to be restless and self-absorbed.

Moments between Sherlock and John, Sherlock and the baby, Mary and John are squeezed in, here and there, but they bookend scenes and are too often overwhelmed by the sheer amount of plot the episode has to relay before we reach the end. There is one scene, however, which successfully marries the two, character and plot, wherein Sherlock, Watson, Mary and baby chase a lead together; it’s great, and feels way more cohesive than anything else in the episode, but it’s all too brief. Perhaps this wouldn’t be so noticeable, if the whole episode ultimately didn’t hinge of Sherlock’s relationship with Mary.

The relationship between Holmes and Watson also feels a little buried in this episode, with Sherlock functioning solo a lot of the time. Maybe it’s because he’s had so much free time that Watson bizarrely gets trapped in a weird subplot involving him sending flirty nocturnal texts to a woman he meets on the bus. It’s such a deeply odd character beat for someone who’s supposed to be decent and has just become a father that it must be setting something up for a future episode. (If not, it’s just a strange, strange interlude.)

The Verdict

I know I probably sound like a traditionalist, like I want every episode to begin with Lestrade briefing Holmes and Watson on a new case. But that’s not entirely true. Sherlock, at its best, has given us intriguing mysteries and excellent character moments in single cases – A Study In Pink, A Scandal in Belgravia, His Last Vow – but The Six Thatchers was a disjointed and unfocussed affair, and an underwhelming way to start the new season.

Ultimately, it just didn’t feel like a contemporary adventure for the famous detective, but the latest episode in a espionage-laden soap opera in which the art of detection is, sadly, incidental. That said, the ending removes Mary and puts the focus squarely back on the Holmes and Watson relationship, which we hopefully get to explore fully during the next case.