The best new Netflix UK series, films, and documentaries to binge in January 2021, courtesy of Secret London.
Having emerged from the post-Christmas slumber and stuck our heads over the parapet, only to see a new lockdown on the horizon, we’ve slunk back to the warm embrace of Netflix. Come join us! Plenty of blockbuster films, hot new series, and though-provoking documentaries are also being unleashed this month, so here’s the best of what to watch on Netflix UK in January, as well as some winners available now. Plus, a tantalising glimpse at what lies in store later in 2021! (Don’t forget, you can watch Netflix with pals using this nifty Internet extension.)
New to Netflix UK in January 2021:
The Office US (January 1)
As any journey into Twitter will tell you, The Office US inspires an almost cult-like reverence amongst its followers – and with all nine seasons arriving on Netflix this month, it might just be the time you join them.
Cobra Kai, Season 3 (January 1)
Netflix were quick to snap up this nostalgic hit (picking up the story of The Karate Kid thirty years later) from its original home on YouTube, and January sees the much-hyped arrival of a third season.
History of Swear Words (January 5)
How many times can host Nicolas Cage curse in one episode? Find out in this foul-mouthed romp through the history, origin, and significance of your favourite swear words. Read all about it here.
Disenchantment, Season 3 (January 15)
One amongst many animated shows to delight Netflix viewers, Disenchantment takes the humour of Simpsons creator Matt Groening and sticks it in a medieval fantasy land. Highly watchable stuff ensues!
The White Tiger (January 22)
Aravind Adiga’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel is a dark, absorbing look into the lives of India’s servants, and now this unforgettable tale of ambition and power gets a richly-deserved big screen adaptation.
The Dig (January 29)
When amateur archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) unearths the Anglo-Saxon treasures at Sutton Hoo, he stumbles upon one of the great archaeological finds in British history.
The best of the rest – coming to Netflix UK in January 2021
January 1 sees plenty of new arrivals, with The Wolf of Wall Street, Saving Private Ryan, Dredd, The Woman in Black, Smokey and the Bandit, and Easy Rider all turning up at once. The month continues in suitably action-packed fashion with Rambo (15th)and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan (19th), although there’s also more contemplative fare in drama Pieces of a Woman (7th), which deals with a young woman rebounding from the loss of a pregnancy. For me, though, the real gem of January rocks up on the 24th, when the incomparable Booksmart arrives. Do yourself a favour and give it a watch!
New arrivals in TV land include fourth seasons of Call My Agent (21st) and Carmen Sandiego (15th), along with a twisty, drama-filled fifth season of Riverdale (21st). Once you’ve conquered those, it’s time for magic series Fate: The Winx Saga (22nd), and rather more adult fare in season two of Bonding (27th). Finally, a second season of Snowpiercer arrives on the 26th, this time with 100% more Sean Bean in it. I wonder if he’ll make it out alive…
Documentary fare this month includes series from either end of the spectrum; either you gaze envious at gorgeous homes in season two of Dream Home Makeover (1st), or thank your lucky stars that you aren’t Inside The World’s Toughest Prisons, with season five arriving on the 8th. Finally, you can begin 2021 with a calm and clear mind, thanks to Headspace Guide To Meditation, arriving on January 1.
Now streaming – new to Netflix UK in December 2020:
They’re already here, so check ’em out!
Big Mouth, Season 4
Foul-mouthed teenagers going through puberty alongside their “puberty monsters” – and it’s all animated? One hell of an elevator pitch, so let’s be thankful it paid off and Big Mouth returned for a fourth season.
Last time we saw James Corden in a musical, it was Cats, and.. well, let’s just leave it at that, shall we? This time, he stars alongside Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Andrew Rannells as the Broadway stars who descend upon a small-minded town to give a young woman the prom she deserves.
A timely arrival in the wake of the Yorkshire Ripper’s recent death, this documentary talks to investigators and eyewitnesses to uncover the true horrors of one of the UK’s worst serial killers.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
For the second time, Denzel Washington produces an adaptation of an August Wilson play – and for the second time, Viola Davis takes the leading role. She stars as ‘Mother of the Blues’ Ma Rainey, with the late Chadwick Boseman (in his final film role) starring as her upstart trumpet player.
The Midnight Sky
George Clooney is the lone Arctic scientist trying to prevent a returning crew of astronauts from returning to a desolate Earth. Is it uncomfortably just a tad more plausible after the year we’ve had?
Think Shonda Rhimes adapting a Jane Austen novel, and you’ll get Bridgerton. Salacious secrets and high social scandals are rife in this new series, and I am here for it!
The best of the rest for December 2020
Original Netflix fare Mank dives deep into Hollywood mythology to tell the story of Herman J. Mankiewicz’s bid to write the script for Citizen Kane, whilst the women run the show in slick crime thriller Ocean’s 8. There’s also zom rom com Shaun of the Dead, historical drama Mary, Queen of Scots, Austen adaptation Pride & Prejudice, exceedingly wordy The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, skin-crawling serial killers in Seven, and an all-time classic in the form of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Plus, December saw the arrival of The Prestige, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Last of the Mohicans, and Wild Wild West, so get watching!
We were treated to a cracking month of telly, starting with the second half of Rick and Morty‘s fourth season. From there, it’s into a sixth season of How To Get Away With Murder, the debut of dark ballet drama Tiny Pretty Things, and a sophomore season of sweet Norwegian festive series Home For Christmas. And, running true to form, 2020 ended (mercifully) with darkness, hellish creatures, and magic in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Part 4. See, it could have been so much worse for us this year!
Things were quieter on the documentaries and reality TV front, but viewers can sink their teeth into Volume 2 of Song Exploder, in which musical talents break down their hit song to the delight of music aficionados.
Coming to Netflix UK in 2021
Impatient, are we? Fear not, for we’re a forward-thinking bunch too. We’ve sifted through the rumours, hearsay, and snippets of information to take a look forward to Netflix arrivals rumoured to drop later in 2021. They don’t have streaming dates yet, but keep your eyes peeled for the highly-anticipated fourth season of Stranger Things (check out a tantalising teaser trailer here), and the rumoured return for Russian Doll. We’ll of course keep you updated with the new arrivals!
Featured image: IMDb