by Daniel Lucas
We all know that January can feel a bit lacklustre in comparison to December, we’re all trying to wind down after Christmas and spend a little less. So we thought we’d do a round-up of shows you can get stuck into throughout the month that’s most likely already on a streaming service you’re subscribed to.
Starring: Greg Davies, Alex Horne
Have you got what it takes to best a series of impossible tasks set by a tyrannical overlord? Could you overcome the insurmountable hurdles of eating a watermelon in under a minute, throwing a potato into a golf-hole, or fitting a toy camel through a small gap? I know I couldn’t, and would much rather watch a series of comedians do it instead. Thank God for Taskmaster, then, where all of those terribly exciting things and more happen episode after episode.
Starring: Greg Davies, Rik Mayall
Dan is a drama teacher whose dad is always out to get him, whose best friends are an idiot and an angry moustache, and who always finds ways to dress up like he ran head-first through a fancy-dress shop with his eyes closed. With enough odd side characters to make a Where’s Wally? of the bizarre (I’m looking at you, Mickey Two-Face), and one of Rik Mayall’s last roles, it’s a one-of-a-kind menagerie of the surreal.
Louis Theroux – Various
Starring: Louis Theroux
Louis Theroux is nothing if not brave, willing to go face-to-face with the unusual, and often with the highly dangerous. Watch as a meek and mild-mannered Englishman visits the ‘most hated family in America,’ dives into the adult movie industry, sits down with Saville, and investigates the Church of Scientology, all whilst calm enough to put the Dalai Lama to shame. Theroux manages to get the worst out of nearly everyone he interviews, and it’s fascinating to see.
Cunk – Various
Starring: Diane Morgan
Philomena Cunk is to Louis Theroux what Napoleon Dynamite is to Napoleon Bonaparte, what Frank Drebin is to James Bond, and what Liz Truss was to a Prime Minister. With all the intellect of a garden snail and the gravitas of a garden gnome, the documentaries of Cunk are some of the most enjoyably ridiculous things on our screens in recent years. With episodes covering big topics like religion, the beginning of the universe, and Christmas, it’s a glorious monument to the stupid.
Starring: Adam Scott, Christopher Walken
Lumon Industries has pioneered the Severance procedure, which separates the memories of the workplace from the rest of a person’s life outside of the office. One small group of employees at Lumon begin to uncover a web of conspiracies, however, despite their severed minds. Severance is like the offspring of Black Mirror and The Office, except with one less Ricky Gervais and one more Christopher Walken. Sounds like a win-win.
Starring: Karl Urban, Antony Starr
If you’re tired of all things superhero, and want to see what it would be like in a world where the Avengers were all murderous egotistical maniacs, or if Aquaman was outed in the #MeToo movement, or if Karl Urban can fail miserably at a Cockney accent episode after episode, then this is the show for you. Adapted from a much-lampooned comic of the same name, The Boys is gory, nudity-laden, and incredible.
Only Murders In The Building
Starring: Steve Martin, Martin Short, Selena Gomez
Three strangers with an interest in the podcasting world of true crime join together to solve a murder that occurs in their building, encountering a series of possible suspects on their path to the truth. Then, in some sort of lightning-striking-twice kind of possibility, another murder occurs, and they’re back to square one for the next series, all the while releasing their own podcast into the unending universe of true crime podcasts, like emptying a bottle of water into the Atlantic.
Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul & El Camino
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Bob Odenkirk
11 Series, 1 Film (2h 2m)
Breaking Bad follows a chemistry teacher who turns to a life of crime after a cancer diagnosis, El Camino ties up some loose ends from the finale of Breaking Bad, and Better Call Saul acts as a prequel for both, following the rise of criminal lawyer Saul Goodman. Then of course there’s the spin-off animated series Slippin’ Jimmy, which under no circumstances should you watch, unless of course you have one of those memory-erasers from Men In Black. In which case, go for it.