Winter TV Watch List: Time for the Byrdes and the Bees of ‘Ozark’ and ‘Yellowjackets’

·8 min read

And we’re back! This week is full of highs and lows, endings and beginnings, from the conclusion (for now) of one of the most talked-about shows in recent memory to a return of a streaming favorite that embarks on the first part of its final season. Truly time to make peace with your favorites and maybe find a new one too.

But enough yakking, on with the television!

ozark-season-4-jason-bateman-laura-linney
Netflix

“Ozark”

Friday, January 21 on Netflix

ThThe final season of “Ozark” begins on Jan. 21, and these first episodes are a doozy. The fourth season of the Netflix hit has been split up into two parts of seven episodes each, and this first batch picks up in the immediate (and bloody) aftermath of the Season 3 finale. The Byrdes are in over their heads once again, but their freedom is finally within reach – maybe. Further complicating matters is the addition of a new cast member in Alfonso Herrera, who plays the charismatic but deadly nephew of Omar Navarro (Felix Solis), and who could portend doom for Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) once and for all. Who will make it out alive, and will the intensity be too much to handle? Tune in when all seven episodes of “Ozark” Season 4 – Part 1 drop this Friday. Or spread them out to make the wait for Part 2 less excruciating. [INTERVIEW]

winter tv finale
Yellowjackets
Showtime

“Yellowjackets”

Sunday, January 16 at 10 p.m. on Showtime

The buzziest (pun very much intended) series of the past few months is coming to a close and we’re already going through withdrawals. If you are late to the “Yellowjackets” party, it follows a female soccer team whose airplane flight goes down on the way to a big game 25 years ago. The show toggles back and forth between the immediate aftermath of the crash, as teammates struggle with some pretty dark urges while being marooned in the wilderness, and present day, when some of the survivors find themselves in over their heads with an extortion plot, potential murder and maybe some supernatural weirdness (origin of weirdness TBD). With a terrific roster of young stars (including Sophie Thatcher, who popped up on “The Book of Boba Fett”) and more mature talent (like Melanie Lynskey, Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci) and more mysteries than you can count, “Yellowjackets” was utterly addictive. And now it’s done! [FINALE PREVIEW]

winter tv watch list movie
A Hero
Amazon

“A Hero”

Friday, January 21 on Amazon Prime Video

TThe latest film from Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, one of the world’s premiere miniaturists, who can create a vast epic out of the simplest conflict, is also Iran’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards. (It was also in competition for the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Grand Prix.) Amir Jadidi stars as Rahim, a man who is in prison for being unable to pay a debt. (Side note: This offense would put almost every American with a liberal arts degree in the slammer.) Rahim is given 48 hours to convince his creditor to drop the charges. But things don’t go as they are supposed to. If you’ve seen one of Farhadi’s films, you know to expect great humanity and depth. [INTERVIEW]

winter tv watch list documentary
hawkeye-hailee-steinfeld
Marvel Studios/Disney+

“Assembled: The Making of Hawkeye”

Wednesday, January 19 on Disney+

“Hawkeye,” the Christmas-set Marvel Studios series that just ended its yule tide run, was a ridiculous amount of fun. “Assembled: The Making of Hawkeye” will let us all know if it was as much fun to make. Part of a surprisingly r“Hawkeye,” the Christmas-set Marvel Studios series that just ended its yuletide run, was a ridiculous amount of fun. “Assembled: The Making of Hawkeye” will let us all know if it was as much fun to make. Part of a surprisingly revealing series of Marvel Studios documentaries, this installment promises to go behind the scenes of the series starring Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld as archery enthusiasts who go up against a thuggish mob during the holidays. Hopefully, it will go into the creation of those eye-popping effects (aided by visual effects house Industrial Light & Magic) and the maneuvering that allowed for the return of Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin (of the late, great Netflix “Daredevil” series). With any luck, this doc will hit the bullseye. [INTERVIEW]

winter tv watch rewatch of the week
Golden Palace
Disney

“The Golden Palace”

Hulu

If you’re searching for more Betty White fun following her death a few weeks ago (just shy of her 100th birthday), look no further. When Bea Arthur refused to return for the eighth season of “The Golden Girls,” instead of closing up shop the show transformed into “The Golden Palace.” It followed White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, who decide to buy a somewhat dilapidated Miami hotel and take over its management. The show doesn’t totally work, but it does serve to extend the “Golden Girls” legacy a little while longer, while giving a glimpse of an alternate reality where “Golden Palace” became a sensation. Instead, it only lasted a single season. You can also see a young Don Cheadle as the hotel’s old manager, and Cheech Marin as its salty chef. (There’s also an obnoxious orphan kid who lives in the hotel for some reason.) Now if only they’d put “Empty Nest” and “Nurses” on Hulu, two extensions of the “Golden Girls” television universe. [WATCH]

winter tv watch best of the rest

“Somebody Somewhere”

Sunday, January 16 at 9:30 p.m. on HBO

The original logline for this new half hour HBO series is tantalizingly vague. “As Sam grapples with loss and Sunday, January 16 at 9:30 p.m. on HBO
The original logline for this new half hour HBO series is tantalizingly vague: “As Sam grapples with loss and acceptance, singing is her saving grace and her comfort.” The series was created by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen and stars Bridget Everett, Jeff Hiller, Mary Catherine Garrison, Danny McCarthy and Mike Hagerty. And several episodes of the first season (including the inaugural episode) were directed by American indie filmmaker Jay Duplass. [REVIEW]

“How I Met Your Father”

Tuesday, January 18 on Hulu

After the infamous collapse of the “Lizzie McGuire” reboot at Disney+, Hillary Duff is back in the Disney fold thanks After the infamous collapse of the “Lizzie McGuire” reboot at Disney+, Hilary Duff is back in the Disney fold thanks to “How I Met Your Father,” premiering on sister streaming service Hulu. Creators Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger promise a “standalone sequel series” to “How I Met Your Mother,” which ran for more than 200 episodes from 2005 to 2014. The new show features Chris Lowell, Francia Raisa, Suraj Sharma, Josh Peck and Tien Tran — and the voice of Kim Cattrall as the future version of Hilary Duff’s Sophie (as the original series was narrated by the late, great Bob Saget). [REVIEW]

“La Fortuna”

Thursday, January 20 on AMC+

This new series is flying under the radar but it could be worth seeking out. It’s the first television project by the great Spanish-Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Amenábar, whose film “Open Your Eyes” was remade as the Tom Cruise vehicle “Vanilla Sky.” (Amenábar directed all six episodes.) The series, based on the graphic novel “El tesoro del Cisne Negro” by Paco Roca and Guillermo Corral, has an intriguing premise (a group attempts to recover a shipwreck from a treasure hunter), a stellar cast (including Stanley Tucci and “The Hunting of Bly Manor” breakout T’Nia Miller) and it’s only six episodes. What could be better?[TRAILER]

“Single Drunk Female”

Thursday, January 20 at 10 p.m. on Freeform

Freeform occasionally launches a fun show that feels more sophisticated and funnier than what you’d expect out of Freeform occasionally launches a fun show that feels more sophisticated and funnier than what you’d expect out of the former ABC Family Channel. (Remember the sorely missed “Alone Together” a few years ago?) “Single Drunk Female” is the Disney-owned channel’s latest stab at a watercooler series, this one starring Sofia Black-D’Elia as an alcoholic who moves back in with her mother (played by the always-great Ally Sheedy) after a very dramatic breakdown. So far, the new dramedy has gotten some strong reviews and that cast alone makes it appointment television. Hopefully it doesn’t become too addictive. [REVIEW]

“Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock”

Friday, January 21 on Apple TV+

The seminal Jim Henson series, which ran on a prototypical HBO from 1983 to 1987, returns with a splashy reboot on Apple TV+. The Fraggles (and Dozers and Gorgs and even Uncle Travelling Matt) are back, and Dave Goelz, one of the original Muppet performers, provides a voice for his characters in this new iteration. Will the new show retain the original series’ themes of biodiversity and harmony with nature (among other favorites of the hippie-ish Henson)? Unlike the original, this one features starry cameo voices, including Patti LaBelle, Cynthia Erivo, Daveed Diggs, Ed Helms, Kenan Thompson and the Foo Fighters. It’ll be interesting to see if either of the late Henson’s own characters (Cantus and Convincing John) will be reintroduced without the genius behind them. [TRAILER]