I remember how in my bartending days, my team of customer service brethren and I referred to New Year’s Eve as amateur night. We called it this because every other day of the year we served regular drinkers. New Year’s Eve meant that people who only drank on occasion made this their night out. This caused concern for those of us with the responsibility of serving people who lacked the tolerance for drinking. We planned ahead by having cab companies on standby and prepared ourselves to go home covered in vomit.
Nowadays I prefer to imbibe indoors. I entertain myself by streaming my favorite shows. My preferred streaming service is Netflix, although Amazon Prime TV and Hulu are doing some epic things. We compiled a list of Top Notch shows coming to Netflix in January. This is what I am watching to relieve some of the Winter Blues. Yes, we are lucky to have snow. It’s still my human desire to be warm. When I’m not indoors under a blanket, I am wearing my Puffer Jacket and doing everything I can to stay warm. I am a working journalist. I keep telling myself, moving close to the Canadian border in this political climate was probably a good decision. I’m still cold, and I’m coping by streaming stellar shows on Netflix. Here’s what I’m watching.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: Season 3 (begin streaming on January 1)
Not only is this show stunning, it also stars Neil Patrick Harris. Life has ups and downs. Children don’t understand that. They don’t understand the concept of life difficulties. We aren’t doing them any favors by putting them inside a bubble until they are 18 and then releasing them into the dark world with no understanding of how to cope. Shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events do just that. They show kids that life really is about choices and circumstances. They do it in a way that isn’t abusive, but tolerable. Every human has the ability to do good or evil. They will encounter evil. They’ll fall for the lies of evildoers if they don’t know that evildoers do exist. Shows like this teach kids how evil people will do anything to continue their evil. This does this in a way that children can understand and even develop some empathy.
Pan’s Labyrinth (begin streaming on January 1)
We’ll begin this with a disclaimer This is Not a Kids Movie! Do not show this movie to your kids and do not go into this movie thinking it’s a cutesy film with puppets. Guillermo del Toro is no Tim Burton. This film is a real-life story of overcoming fascism with moments of imagery captured from the magnificent mind that is del Toro. WWII was horrible for so many, and that included children. Luckily for them, they are gifted with imaginations that help them cope. They are protected from the horrors of the world. Still, the horrors of fascism did happen, in order to keep it from happening again, we need to watch stories like this one to prevent it from happening. This movie may not be for kids, but it is for people who want to make the world a better place.
Across the Universe (begin streaming on January 1)
The music of the Beatles will live on. Some of us were lucky enough to live at the same time as John Lennon. All of us right now are lucky enough to live at the same time as the genius Paul McCartney. If you doubt that he is a modern-day Mozart, take a peek at this movie. Yes it is a bit campy, yes in many ways the movie is bad, but the music is amazing. If you are one of the few who hasn’t listened to the awesome tunes of the best group of all time then stream this movie to get a listen.
The Dark Night (begin streaming on January 1)
Now, I’m more of a Marvel fan than DC. However, Wonder Woman and Batman will make me cheat every time. The story of the genesis of Batman will never get old to me. It’s too interesting. This guy had it all. Wayne Enterprises made billions and − unlike most of us − Bruce Wayne was on track to live the life only some of us can dream about. Well, he lost it all and came back to fight against what took what mattered to him most. Money cannot buy love. That’s the theme behind Batman and even all of us poor people, can and do understand the motivation behind getting justice for past wrongs.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (begin streaming on January 2)
Yes, this movie was a box office flop. Characters like Solo could only be created by people like Lucas and Spielberg. Personally, I think it’s great that Leia is now a Disney Princess. Yes, Disneyland and World are money makers for a lot of people. Still, they bring people happiness. Yes, George Lucas made billions from the business of making movies. He made movies that literally changed the world. This unique concept of Lucas and the unique vision of Disney are to be cherished. Trying to replicate it was the main downfall. It doesn’t make Han Solo any less of one of the greatest characters of all time (He shot first!) and just because this film did really bad at the box office doesn’t make it less of a good movie. Just stream it, don’t go out for it.
Other movies and shows coming to Netflix in January include The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 4 January 25 and Ant-Man and the Wasp on January 29.
Personally, I am thankful for the new year. I am a year older and getting ready to enter into my late thirties. I am nothing but thankful for my years as a bartender. It taught me a lot and now that I’m running my own business, those times are what I refer to as a Godsend. Most of all it taught me that I’m better off staying inside streaming from Netflix and only venturing outside on occasion.
Tammy Marshall is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of writing. If you really want to get her on a subject, bring up Star Trek. She loves talking about traveling through space and what Gene Roddenberry’s vision did for science. Her hope is to inspire the first person to go to Mars and become the next Neil Armstrong. Her favorite movies are The Martian and Contact. She got to see Neil Degrasse-Tyson and George R.R. Martin. She wishes she could have met Carl Sagan. When she’s not plotting interstellar travel, she’s digging in the dirt. Her vegetables are legendary and her chickens have won awards. When her hands aren’t in the garden, she’s traveling to conventions around the country hoping to inspire the next person willing to go to Mars and aid Elon Musk on his mission.