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Netflix’s ‘Ozark’: Season 4,’ Amazon’s ‘As We See It,’ HBO’s ‘The Gilded Age’ - What's Upstream for Jan. 20-26

Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, Laura Linney as Wendy Byrde
(Image credit: Cr. Steve Dietl/Netflix)

The video industry didn’t produce a record 559 original TV series in 2021 by going dry in January. And certainly, there’s plenty on tap to stream this upcoming week. The fourth and final season of Netflix’s Ozark is finally here to binge. And after a brief break, Showtime’s Billions is returning for its sixth season. The only caveat is that Damian Lewis is no longer with the series, which means that Season Six could be Billions’ last. HBO Max’s long awaited The Gilded Age also drops this week. There is plenty of nonfiction fare being offered up as well. In the run up to the Super Bowl, a docuseries about women in the NFL called Earnin’ It is coming to Peacock, while the short docu Three Songs for Benazir, which is up for Oscar consideration, comes to Netflix. Here are 10 programming events in store for Jan. 20-26:

The Envoys (Paramount Plus, Jan. 20)

Local language series are all the rage, so it’s no surprise that Paramount Plus is now streaming the Spanish-language Mexican and Argentinian thriller series The Envoys (Los Enviados) in the U.S. All eight episodes of the series, about two priests who go to Mexico to verify the alleged miraculous healings of another priest, will be available for bingeing. The cast includes some of the Latin-world’s biggest names, such as Luis Gerardo Méndez (Narcos: MexicoCharlie’s Angels), Miguel Ángel Silvestre (Narcos, Sense8), Irene Azuela (Sense8) and Miguel Rodarte (Narcos: Mexico).  Juan José Campanella, writer-director of the Academy Award winning The Secret in Their Eyes, created the drama for ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS) after signing a first look deal with the company in 2020.

Ozark – Season 4 (Netflix, Jan. 21) 

The wait is finally over. Marty (Jason Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) are back and most likely -- by season’s end -- will be killed by either the Navarro drug cartel or Ruth. The fourth and final season features explosions, car crashes and plenty of guns. Part 1 of Ozark Season 4 contains seven episodes. The premiere date for the final seven episodes has not yet been announced. Critics, who have warmed to this story about a Chicago financial planner who relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks to launder money, evidenced by the 93% score for Season 4 on Rotten Tomatoes. "If it all sounds kind of ridiculous it's because it is. But it's also massively entertaining, largely because of the performances," writes Bill Goodykoontz of the Arizona Republic.

Munich: The Edge of War (Netflix, Jan. 21)

Adapted from Robert Harris’ novel Munich, the Netflix film explores the lead-up to Adolf Hitler signing the Munich Agreement, which British prime minister Neville Chamberlain tragically mis-interpreted as the German leader’s promise not to invade Europe. The film, which was released theatrically in December, has been criticized for its sympathetic portrayal of Chamberlain, played by Jeremy Irons. That said, critics aggregated the drama at 94%. "A mixture of well-researched historical fact and pure fiction, Munich: The Edge of War is a smart and entertaining thriller that suffers from just one thing: We all know how it ends," wrote Michael O'Sullivan in the Washington Post

As We See It (Amazon Prime, Jan 21)

Based on the award-winning Israeli series On the Spectrum, the eight-episode Amazon series is the latest from Friday Night Lights (the series) EP Jason Katims. Focused three autistic twenty-something roommates trying to live independently, As We See It's lead actors -- Albert Rutecki (who plays Harrison), Sue Ann Pien (Violet) and Rick Glassman (Jack) – are all on the autism spectrum themselves. It’s a personal project for Katims, who has a son on the spectrum. “A few years ago, before I started thinking about this show, (my son) was becoming a young adult – the age of these characters in this show,” Katims told the New York Post. “And I was thinking a lot about his story and his future. You open up the Autism Speaks website, and you see a picture of a beautiful little boy. Those kids grow up. So, for a very personal reason, I was thinking about this subject matter. Then I saw the Israeli show.”

Single Drunk Female (Hulu, Jan. 21)

After one too many drunken fiascos, twenty-something Samantha Fink (actress Sofia Black-D'Elia) is forced to sober up and avoid jail time, which means moving back home with her mother, Carol (played by Ally Sheedy, 37 years removed from The Breakfast Club).  A job at the local grocery store and run-ins with former high school classmates make Fink want to drink more than ever. Question is, will she? The show has thus far eluded the spotlight of critics. But created by Simone Finch (The Conners) and executive produced by Jenni Konner (Girls), it does come with some pedigree. 

Billions – Season 6 (Showtime, Jan 23)

It’s questionable how the sixth season of the global high-finance series will play out without hedge fund billionaire Bobby Axelrod (played by Damian Lewis) in the lead role. Herr Axelrod is off to Switzerland and there is a new king in town, Mike Prince, played by Corey Stoll. The collision of wealth, power and corruption make this drama hard to take your eyes off of, which could be why Season 5 of the show scored an 91% aggregated rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Darkly comedic and full of delicious twists and turns, the series is a juicy melodrama that delights in poking fun at the lifestyles of the rich and famous," wrote Kelly Lawler for USA Today

Earnin’ It (Peacock, Jan. 23) 

This new Peacock limited series wants to make sure we know about women who have made a career in the NFL. Sarah Thomas, the first female to be an official in a Super Bowl; Jennifer King , the Washington Football Team’s assistant running backs coach; and Lori Locust, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach are among the women that this docuseries, narrated by singer/songwriter Ciara, highlights. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott and NFL icon Deion Sanders are also featured in the five-part series. New episodes will drop weekly in the lead up to Super Bowl LVI, with the final episode posting Feb. 27.

The Gilded Age (HBO Max, Jan. 24)

It’s been a long road for this HBO production about New York City’s caste system during the Industrial Revolution. Originally intended for NBC in 2012, and then again in 2018, the series moved to HBO in 2019, but was shut down three days before filming was set to begin in March 2020. Luckily for historical fiction buffs, the nine-episode series is finally here. Created by Julian Fellowes, The Gilded Age, about power and wealth, could very well be the American version of Fellowes’ Downton Abbey. Cynthia Nixon, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Taissa Farmiga bring the period drama star power. 

Three Songs for Benazir (Netflix, Jan. 24) 

The 22-minute short documentary follows Shaista, a young man who is a refugee living in modern-day Afghanistan. Newly married to Benazir and living in a camp for displaced persons in Kabul, Shaista struggles to balance his dreams of joining the Afghan National Army and the pressure he feels to start a family. The doc was recently shortlisted for Academy Award consideration in the nonfiction short category and won the jury award for best short at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

Aziz Ansari: Nightclub Comedian (Netflix, Jan. 25)

Nightclub Comedian marks Ansari’s fourth special for Netflix and the streaming service’s first standup comedy special of 2022.  It's based on what Netflix bills as “an intimate surprise gig filmed in New York City in December 2021.” The comedian’s first three Netflix specials, Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive (2013), Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden (2015) and Aziz Ansari: Right Now (2019) were lauded by critics. ■