Disney/Marvel's 'Eternals,' Season 2 of HBO's 'Righteous Gemstones' and 'Euphoria' - What's Upstream for Jan. 6-12

Disney/Marvel's 'Eternals'
(Image credit: Disney)

The "Dry January" phenomena doesn't just affect your liquor cabinet. You could see it when you fired up your smart TV on Jan. 2, and all those streaming services, which had enticed you with all sorts of original goodies throughout the last holiday half of December, were suddenly a little bereft of good bingeables. 

Fortunately, for the second week of January, the lights are coming back on a bit for your favorite AVOD and SVOD services. Here are 10 programming events in store for Jan. 6-12:

Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure (Peacock, Jan. 6)

Timed well to the run-up to the 56th Super Bowl, this six part documentary series features the NFL Hall-of-Fame Joe Montana's former teammates (Jerry Rice and Steve Young), one of his coaches (George Seifort), the guy who owned the team he starred for (Ed Debartolo), more current-day QB legends (Tom Brady and Peyton Manning), as well as luminaries from other pro sports (Magic Johnson, and Ken Griffey Jr.), all delivering the usual sports-docu testimony on what made Montana so unstoppable throughout the 1980s. Like so many sports and music docus these days, the subject – in this case Montana - is not only a participant in the project, but he also served as an executive producer on the series. This means that pMontana, to a degree, was in control of the story being told, which is not necessarily a bad thing. It worked for ESPN’s The Last Dance, which was executive produced by Michael Jordan. The first two episodes of the docuseries will premiere Peacock on Jan. 6 with new episodes premiering weekly.

Star Trek: Prodigy (Paramount Plus, Jan. 6)

The first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences, the animated Star Trek: Prodigy follows a crew of aliens figuring out how to work together to create a better galaxy.

Produced by CBS’ Eye Animation, Paramount Plus will begin the second half of Prodigy's first season on Jan. 6.  

ViacomCBS, which will also show Star Trek: Prodigy on its linear Nickelodeon network, has already re-upped the show for a second season. Critics gave it a solid 89% aggregated score on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Women of the Movement (Hulu and ABC, Jan. 6)

ABC's six-episode limited dramatic series focuses on Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of Emmett Till, who was brutally killed in the Jim Crow South in 1955. Series producers include Jay Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan, who originally worked with HBO on another Emmett Till miniseries based on Devery S. Anderson’s book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. Anderson’s book is also the main source material used for Disney's Women of the Movement. In addition to Mambie Till, the series will focus on several other women of the Civil Rights movement. Women of the Movement will air in three two-episode parts for three consecutive weeks, starting on Jan. 6.

The Tender Bar (Amazon Prime Video, Jan. 7)

Adapted from J.R. Moehringer’s 2005 memoir, coming-of-age drama The Tender Bar stars Ben Affleck, whose young nephew seeks out replacement father figures among the patrons at his uncle's Long Island bar. The project walked a long, circuitous route to get to its watering hole. Starting as a Sony Pictures production in 2013, Ted Melfi was originally set to direct the coming-of-age drama, co-starring Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe and Christopher Lloyd. The project was eventually passed to Amazon in 2020, which is when it was announced that George Clooney would direct. Oscar winner William Monahan (The Departed) wrote the script adaptation for The Tender Bar, which was released theatrically on Dec. 17. Rotten Tomatoes aggregation trashed it with a 51% fresh rating, but it's probably worth a stream for the star power alone. 

El Deafo (Apple TV Plus, Jan. 7)

Ever since launching in Nov. 2019, Apple TV Plus has been on a mission to capture kids’ attention. Its latest original endeavor is a three-part animated series based on Cece Bell’s Newbery Honor-winning 2014 graphic memoir, El Deafo. Written and illustrated by Bell, the novel and titular series use anthropomorphic bunnies to tell the story of young Cece, who is losing her hearing. Bell executive produced and narrated the series, which also features the voices of Jane Lynch and Chuck Nice. 

The Righteous Gemstones Season 2 (HBO Max, Jan. 9)

The HBO comedy about a family of evangelical preachers is finally back after two years. It is the third series that Danny McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green have produced under their Rough House production company, following Eastbound & Down and Vice Principals. With Season 1 averaging around 844,000 viewers across the pre-HBO Max networks' various platforms back in 2019, The Righteous Gemstones wasn't a breakout hit, and it only sort of clicked with critics, who aggregated it at 75%. But Rough House track record and the cast, which is toplined by McBride, John Goodman, Edi Patterson and Adam Devine, gave it another bite at the apple. 

Euphoria – Season 2 (HBO Max, Jan. 9)

The eight-episode second season of the Emmy-winning teen drama was set to begin filming in March 2020, and then, you know what forced production to go on an indefinite hiatus. So, the show’s creator, Sam Levinson (Assassination Nation), made one-hour standalone installments that aired in 2020 and 2021. An American adaptation of an Israeli show, Euphoria stars Zendaya, who made history at the 2020 Emmys as the youngest person to win lead actress in a drama series. The first episode of the second season of Euphoria will be available Jan. 9, with subsequent episodes to be released weekly on HBO Max. 

I’m Your Man (Hulu, Jan. 11)

This German science fiction romance centers on Alma (Maren Eggert), a scientist who for three weeks has to live with a humanoid robot whose artificial intelligence is designed to be the perfect life partner for her. Written and directed by Maria Schraderand, I'm Your Man premiered in March at the Berlin International Film Festival and was selected to be the German entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. On Dec. 21 the film made the Best Foreign Language Film shortlist. The film scored a 96% aggregated rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with NPR's Tom Cogshell calling it, "Beautifully executed."

Eternals (Disney Plus, Jan. 12) 

After a Nov. 5 theatrical release that brought in $71 million in its opening weekend, the Marvel Cinematic Universe film is finally available to subscribers on Disney Plus. Eternals joins 13 other MCU movies streaming in IMAX’s expanded aspect ratio for home viewing on the streaming service. Starring Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek and Gemma Chan, the film follows gods called the Eternals, who are in an inter-galactic battle with the Deviants. Critics trashed Eternals with a 47% aggregation rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the Denver Post's John Wenzel calling it, "Gorgeous but vacant."

Cheer Season Two (Netflix, Jan. 12)

The Emmy-winning docuseries about a Texas-based Navarro College cheerleading squad is back. The first season consisted of six episodes and dropped on Netflix in Jan. 2020. The show made stars out of coach Monica Aldama and members of her team. In September, one of those cheerleaders, Jerry Harris, was arrested for multiple federal sexual misconduct charges. Those allegations, in addition to Covid-19, and of course, a cheer competition, are all part of the sophomore season, which has been expanded to nine episodes. The show garnered six Emmy nominations in 2020 and three wins including outstanding unstructured reality programming.