Streaming Must-Sees (and Must-Skips) in January 2023
'Servant,' 'White Noise' and 'The Last of Us' lead this month's Tune In or Turn Off
Published Jan 19, 2023January is not know for having a particularly strong film calendar to get excited about – although, M3GAN has been making waves this year – and so we turn to the many streaming services to get us through the grey start to a new year. From country star biopics to the final season of M. Night Shyamalan's psychological horror series, there's lots to keep audiences entertained as they wait for award season to finish and the film cycle to begin anew.
Be sure to read our past editions of Tune In or Turn Off here for more streaming hits and misses.
Tune In: George and Tammy
Continuing in her Tammy era, Jessica Chastai plays country music star Tammy Wynette, with Michael Shannon as husband George Jones, in this six-episode miniseries. As someone who knew nothing about Wynette and Jones prior to the show, I was enthralled with their careers and tumultuous (to say the least) relationship between the two. While it's a fairly straightforward biopic, Chastain and Shannon are both reliably incredible in their roles and elevate the show beyond its basic foundations.
Tune In: Last of the Right Whales
A poignant nature documentary about the North Atlantic right whales, Last of the Right Whales shows us the natural beauty of these enormous creatures and why their extinction due to human intervention is a real possibility. Interviewing a range of experts, director Nadine Pequeneza lays out the challenges ahead and, best of all, poses practical solutions that inspire. A gorgeously shot film for animal lovers and nature doc enthusiasts alike.
Tune In: The Last of Us
Gamers can breathe a sigh of relief. The HBO adaptation of The Last of Us is not only befitting of the video game's fan-favourite legacy, but it also adds a layer of appreciation to the source material. And for the uninitiated, it's a wild, fun, post-apocalyptic show with some great performances and thrilling sequences. Wild set pieces and solid performances create a well-rounded show that entertains and compels.
Turn Off: The Rig
I really wanted to love The Rig, and the first episode started the show off with such great promise. Unfortunately, the rest of the series never quite lives up to its premiere, which is even more unfortunate given the great performances of its cast, including Emily Hampshire (of Schitt's Creek) and Iain Glen. The Rig is hampered by a head-scratching script that has its characters constantly acting in contradictions and the story itself not following a coherent logic. With such a great premise, its execution leaves a lot to be desired.
Tune In: Servant, Season 4
I've only seen three episodes of the final season of M. Night Shyamalan's highly underrated psychological horror series, and so far, none of the questions I want answered have been fleshed out; instead, new ones have been posited. Quite frankly, though, I am eagerly anticipating the resolution of the Turners' story (seriously, who is that child?) and have been enjoying the tension-filled ride so far. The season kicks off in the most incredible way that only gets darker and more horrifying. I can't say for certain, but Shyamalan seems to be on his way to sticking the landing on this one.
Tune In: Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Season 3
The greatest strength of the Jack Ryan series has been its allergy to reinventing the wheel. Series creators Carlton Cuse and Graham Roland know their audience, and they've created a show that serves them and them alone. Some may call it lazy and uninspired, but I think there's a beautiful simplicity in allowing a franchise to be what it is, no more no less. The third (and penultimate) season doubles down on its formulaic approach with a thin Soviet Union plot that is fun entertainment, offering John Krasinski's charm in spades.
Turn Off: White Noise
White Noise is bloated slog of a film that neither entertains nor provides audiences with the thought-provoking experience it desires. Noah Baumbach's latest film, adapted from Don DeLillo's dense novel of the same name, feels like a movie that thinks it's smarter than it really is. It's aptly titled, though, as there's a good chance White Noise will put you right to sleep.