If your New Year celebrations are anything like mine you are probably going to wake up in 2015 feeling vulnerable and nauseated, tossed aside like Renee Zellweger's old forgotten party clothes. Best to stay in on January first, eat sparingly but continuously, and find yourself a way back from wreck to masterpiece by meditating on these fine new Netflix offerings, starting 1/1.
COMING JANUARY FIRST
- Friends: The Complete Series (1994-2004) at 0300 EST New Year's Day. You will still be awake, if you have friends of your own. If not, you have every reason to rise and shine, facing 2015 with a strong spirit and maybe some of that coffee with the butter in it.
- Dallas Season Three (2012)—This recently cancelled show about some troubled ranchers fucking each other, but not like you'd hope, could easily be included in the next category.
- Bad Boys II (2003)—In which the audience finally learns, along with the Boys, what happens "when they come for you." It is not that great what happens.
- Wayne's World 2 (1993)—What the film lacks in Rob Lowe, it gains with the absence of Rob Lowe. However, Queen to Aerosmith is an unbelievable downgrade and I say this as a fan of neither.
- Batman & Robin (1997)—All of the advertising for this movie covered up Alicia Silverstone's curves worse than Wilson Phillips putting Carnie behind a boulder on the other side of a canyon. She coulda been Andre Leon-Talley under there. Never saw the film, it looked terrible.
- It seems like a day doesn't go by that I'm not like, "Chris O'Donnell, who does that guy think he is."
- Jeepers Creepers 2 (2003)—You might think this is a Lesser Sequel but I defy you to watch them both, and revisit that opinion. As the Hostel franchise proves, you cannot go wrong with terrified quarterbacks running around in their underwear for no reason.
- (EDIT: Yes you can, apparently.)
- Election (1999)—Like all Tom Perrotta adaptations, this indelible film improves on the source material.
- Mean Girls (2004)—Simply the greatest film ever made.
Sure, Why Not?
- Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)—Your teenage self will thank you!
- Cast Away (2000)—Subtitled "An Evening with Tom Hanks," the secret to this movie is hidden in the Federal Express logo. Look close enough and you can see a tiny bloody handprint! Ben Affleck won rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of "Wilson," Tom's "Guy Friday" in the film.
- 101 Dalmatians (1996)—Like any musician, Roger is way less hot when he's three-dimensional and not just an idea on paper. The name of Pongo's bitch bride, Perdita, comes from a Spanish phrase meaning "but where did all of my puppies go."
- Shall We Dance? (2004)—Richard Gere must choose between Jennifer Lopez, Susan Sarandon, a gerbil and the Dalai Lama. Each brings something different to the table.
From Long Ago
- The Quiet Man (1952)—John Wayne's confused by Ireland, but even moreso by love.
- The War of the Worlds (1953)—The usefulness of microbes in repelling alien invasions demonstrated in this film inspired the anti-vaccination movement now championed by Jenny McCarthy, Kristin Cavalleri, and other scientists.
- The French Connection (1971)—This Oscar winner about people running around all over the place was inspired by a bitchy Howard Hawks comment. That part is true. He told the director that his movies sucked and to just make a really good chase movie, so he did. Never underestimate the power of a neg.
- Bruce Almighty (2003)—Morgan Freeman (played by God) uses Jim Carrey as his divine tool, granting Steve Carrell the ability to write his own check for the rest of his life.
Worth a Look
- Fort Bliss (2014)—From writer/director Claudia Myers comes this overlooked film in which Michelle Monaghan returns from Afghanistan and has trouble reconnecting with her young son.
- To Be Takei (2014)—The gilded cage of celebrity has never been so oft-memed, nor so deep- and velvet-throated.
- Get Low (2009)—Robert Duvall plays Felix Bush, who in real-life 1938 Tennessee was named Felix Bushaloo "Uncle Bush" Breazeale. Based on the true story of a hermit who meets Bill Murray and/or a ghost.
LATER IN JANUARY
- Psych: Season Eight and White Collar: Season Five. Two completely different television shows about two completely different mismatched pairs of cuties. (3 Jan)
- Z Nation: Season One. This show touts itself as The Walking Dead, but fun, which sounds even worse to me. I honestly thought this had to be some crappy Canadian import like [redacted] because no way could this be in current production, but no. The market will bear what it can. (3 Jan)
- Gillian Anderson returns with Season Two of The Fall, leaving plenty of time before Jamie Dornan's debut in Valentine's Day rom-com The Boy & Girl Who Loved Sex So Much They Hated It. (16 Jan)
- Beauty and the Beast: Season Two, even though it seems like it's been on forever. This show just seemed like it took everything weird and cool about the bonkers Linda Hamilton version, leaving just the name, and then jacked some Twilight on there via CW clichés and called it a day, so I don't know. My impression is that this season is about having too many Beasts! (16-Jan)
- Wolfblood is a British show for a younger audience that is either like Kid Teen Wolf or maybe "wolfblood" is just British for "werewolf," like how all kinds of foods that are not pudding are, in the UK, called "pudding." Blood pudding, wolfblood pudding, you name it. People I trust speak highly of this show, but I have not seen it. (Season Three: 16-Jan)
- Being Human: Season Three of the US version, which I really loved—it's the one with zombie Sally, Aidan taking care of creepy little Kenny, and tons of screentime for Nora—but that just makes the tragic back half of Season Four that much harder to swallow. I forgot just how long the show was actually great. (16-Jan)
- Frank (2014): This beloved movie features a mysterious and talented Michael Fassbender wearing a prosthetic head over his real head, and his junk in his pants. (8 Jan)
- Brick Mansions (2014)—Paul Walker, and a charming Frenchman, break into a dystopian ghetto that cannot possibly be as racist as it appears, to kill RZA. I love Paul Walker, and I like French action films, but I am gonna need some more info. (Week of 3 Jan)
- Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)—William Tiberius Kirk plays the fifth Jack Ryan in the fifth Jack Ryan movie, which takes place in a different timeline. (Week of 3 Jan)
- Not to be confused with Jack Reacher, which is about a man too small for recruitment even by shadows.
- Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)—Benedict Cumberbatch's finest hour, in my opinion, and Tom Hardy wears lots of different kinds of clothes on his body (not to mention wigs, on his head). It's fun to watch this decade-spanning spy thriller and imagine how, if they just had cell phones, the whole thing never would have happened, like literally it could have been solved in five minutes. That's so crazy to me. (Week of 13 Jan)
- Chef (2014): Swingers Auteur Jon Favreau stars, as a chef who can't use Twitter right! What's really hilarious though is this copy:
"This foodie comedy will make your mouth water and your belly ache from laughing."
- Doesn't that sound like a death threat? What a grim fucking proposal. "This nightmare machine will make you wish you could travel through time, to kill yourself before you see it." Guest-starring Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., Bobby Cannavale, Dustin Hoffman, and other people who should be imprisoned. Or shit, maybe it's not as appalling as it sounds? Maybe it's just the quote that's killing me. "This brutal shitshow redefines cinema as pain, and comedy as dread." (Week of 13 Jan)
- Iliza Shlesinger: Freezing Hot (2014)—Do you hate women? Not as much as this asshole. If you've ever wondered whether you're alone eating salad on a first date, walking in heels, or why your heteronormative boyfriend puts up with your Pinterest addiction, Iliza—host of syndicated dating show Excused and winner of Season Six of Lowest Denominator Standing—will set you straight. Unless your boyfriends are looking, bitch! Then she might make out with you! (23-Jan)