What to watch this weekend January 26, 2024: TV awards contenders

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Even before they earned Oscar nominations for their respective performances in “Elvis” and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” Austin Butler and Barry Keoghan were already flying high. In 2021, the talented duo joined BAFTA TV nominee Callum Turner in filming “Masters of the Air,” a new miniseries produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman. The World War II-set drama — the first two episodes of which are now streaming on Apple TV+ — is the long-awaited follow-up to the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” which followed members of the Army and Marine Corps, respectively, during the war. 

The new series, which has been adapted for TV by John Orloff from Donald L. Miller‘s book of the same name, follows the U.S. Air Force’s Hundredth Bombardment Group as they carry out dangerous missions on the continent well ahead of the Allied invasion of Normandy. It’s not a spoiler to say the series deals with heavy themes during its nine-episode run, but it looks great and remains enjoyable throughout, especially if you like military-themed dramas and stories about humanity’s ability to persevere in the face of evil. Grounded by its leads’ performances (and Butler’s inexplicably good hair), and with expert direction from the likes of Cary Joji Fukunaga and Tim Van Patten, “Masters of the Air” is the awards contender to watch this weekend.

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SEE Watch the ‘Masters of the Air’ trailer

However, if war-themed dramas aren’t your thing, other contenders include:

  • “Expats”: Emmy winner Nicole Kidman leads this Prime Video adaptation of Janice Y.K. Lee’s 2016 novel “The Expatriates,” which follows three American women (Kidman, Sarayu Blue and Ji-young Yoo) living in Hong Kong whose lives become entangled through tragedy. Written, directed and executive produced by Lulu Wang (2019’s “The Farewell”), the six-episode limited series is set against the backdrop of 2014’s Umbrella Movement and explores themes of privilege and accountability. The first two episodes are now streaming on Amazon.

  • “In the Know”: Created by Zach Woods, Mike Judge and Brandon Gardner, this stop-motion comedy set at a public radio station is a fun send-up of NPR. Capturing this particular moment in time with almost embarrassing ease, the show is as amusing as it is self-aware. But the six half-hour episodes arguably stand out for the incorporation of live-action interviews with real celebrities, which are conducted over video by “In the Know” host Lauren Caspian. In addition to Woods, who voices Lauren, and Judge, who voices the station’s film critic, the cast includes J. Smith Cameron, Carl Tart, Caitlin Reilly and Charlie Bushnell. All six episodes are streaming now on Peacock.

  • “True Detective: Night Country”: The third episode of HBO’s revitalized crime drama finds Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Navarro (Kali Reis) working together to solve the case of what happened at the Tsalal research station. A clue in Clark’s trailer leads them to cover a connection between Annie, the woman who had been murdered years prior, and one of the men. The episode airs Sunday at 9/8c on HBO and Max.

PREDICTthe 2024 SAG Awards winners by Feb. 24

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