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Tired of Watching That Old Pam and Tommy VHS Tape? -- What's Upstream for Jan. 27- Feb. 2

A screengrab from the trailer for Hulu's 'Pam & Tommy'
(Image credit: Hulu/YouTube)

Judging by the falling stock prices of media-tech companies recently, Wall Street might be second-guessing the largesse of the Streaming Wars.  But until the money runs out, its full Peak TV ahead for the major streaming services, with plenty of new stuff to watch in the next week. For those not sated by the recent barrage of NFL playoff walk-off field goals, there's Netflix's Home Team, a comedy starring Kevin James inspired by the story of just-departed New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, as well as HBO Max special Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep. For the kiddos, there's Apple TV Plus’ The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild and Netflix’s Raising Dion. When those kids hit the hay, explore the transformation of a comedy legend and Jell-O pitchman into something far, far worse in Showtime’s docuseries We Need to Talk About Cosby. Or take a nostalgic jump back to the mid-to-late 1990s with Hulu’s limited series Pam & Tommy, and recall the, er, passion and surprise of the old VHS format. Here are 10 programming events in store for Jan. 27- Feb. 2:

Home Team (Netflix, Jan. 27)

Promotionally speaking, could Netflix get any luckier? Longtime New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced his retirement just in time for the release of Home Team. Kevin James stars as Payton, who finds himself back in his hometown coaching his 6th-grader son’s youth football team after the Saints' ugly 2012 "Bountygate" scandal gave him a little well-deserved time off from the NFL. Taylor Lautner and Rob Schneider also star in this family comedy.

Bunker (HBO Max, Jan. 27)

Following in the footsteps of Netflix, HBO Max is getting behind plenty of local language series. Bunker is one of the streaming services’ first original Mexican productions. The half-hour, eight-episode action comedy revolves around Vladimiro (Bruno Bichir), “a middle-aged man who has lost the respect of his wife and children and finds peace only in a bunker located in the basement of his home.” But instead of tranquility, Vladimiro finds chaos when he teams with Russian and Korean scientists and businessmen. In addition to Bichir, the series also stars high-profile Mexican actors including Victor Oliveira (Hernán) and Miguel Rodarte (Macho). Bunker first debuted in 39 territories across Latin America and the Caribbean on the streaming service in June. 

Needle in a Timestack (Amazon Prime, Jan. 28)

An adaptation of Robert Silverberg's 1983 short story, Needle in a Timestack takes place in a universe where time travel is possible, making the past and present blend into one. The film follows Nick (Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr.) as he struggles to save his marriage to Janine (Cynthia Erivo) after her time-traveling ex-husband Tommy (Orlando Bloom) tries to rewrite history. Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) wrote and directed the film.

Doomlands (Roku Channel, Jan. 28) 

Doomlands is Roku's latest offering culled from the Quibi catalog, which Roku acquired in January 2021. The series, created by Josh O’Keefe, is also the streaming services’ inaugural adult animated comedy series. Set in a post-apocalyptic landscape, the Australian sitcom centers around outlaw Danny Doom and aspiring bartender Lhandi as they travel across a hellish wasteland in their mobile pub: The Oasis. O’Keefe began working on the project in college and started a 2015 Kickstarter campaign to help the series come to fruition.

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (Apple TV Plus, Jan. 28)

After Disney acquired 20th Century Fox, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild went from being a Buck Wild TV series spinoff to a feature film. Simon Pegg returns as one-eyed weasel Buck Wild, who rescues possum brothers Crash and Eddie from a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs. “Together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.” Ice Age franchise characters Manny, Sid, Diego and Ellie will once again be respectively voiced by Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Queen Latifah. Despite the five previous movies in the Ice Age franchise grossing over $6 billion theatrically, the latest edition in the series will exclusively stream on Apple TV Plus. Perhaps the decision was a result of the fifth installment of the series, Ice Age: Collision Course, being panned by critics, evidenced by the cretaceous chilly 18% Rotten Tomatoes score.

The Afterparty (Apple TV Plus, January 28)

This eight-episode murder-mystery comedy series comes from Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street). Tiffany Haddish plays Detective Danner, who is on a mission to find out who killed Xavier (Dave Franco) at a party following a 15-year high school reunion celebration. Each episode is a retelling of the same night told through a different character’s perspective, coupled with unique visuals to match the teller’s personality and point of view. The Rashomon-like dueling narratives is reminiscent of Showtime’s 2014 drama The Affair. The series will launch with three episodes, followed by one new episode weekly every Friday. Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou also star. “The Afterparty is stuffed with actors who tend to be the funniest parts of whatever project they’re in, but who meld together here as the ensemble of a comedy geek’s dreams,” noted the Hollywood Reporter's Angie Han.

We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime, Jan. 30)

This four-part docuseries is the latest nonfiction account of a famous, wealthy man who uses his power to “allegedly” commit sex crimes. The series, directed by W. Kamau Bell, explores Cosby’s legacy along with the 60 public allegations of rape and drug-facilitated sexual assault against the comedian. The series made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week. “Bell marshalls incisive commentary and archival video. In doing so, the comic and director who is a self-proclaimed “child of Bill Cosby” less makes a case than presents a problem. It remains for viewers to decide what to do with Cosby’s legacy,” writes Variety’s Daniel D’Addario.

Raising Dion – Season 2 (Feb. 1, Netflix)

After the first season of Raising Dion began debuted on Netflix in October 2019, the streaming services declared the show their most popular kids and family series of the year. Based on the comic book by Dennis Liu, Season 1 follows Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) who after losing her husband, Mark (Michael B. Jordan) must raise her son Dion (Ja’Siah Young) on her own. While navigating single motherhood, Nicole realizes that Dion has superhero-like abilities. In Season 2, Dion needs to not only save his family and friends, but also the city of Atlanta.

Pam & Tommy (Hulu, Feb. 2)

Ten years before the birth of YouTube, a personal VHS tape recorded by Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson and Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee’ became the year's biggest "viral video" hit. And of course, FX and Hulu know a little something about mining the tawdrier events of the 1990s for streaming gold. For this particular, er, biopic series, Anderson is played by Lily James (Rebecca), while Sebastian Stan (Star Trek: Discovery) stars as Lee. While it may sound like a salacious Lifetime movie, Pam & Tommy has big names behind it. Robert D. Siegel, who directed The Wrestler created the series while the first three episodes were directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya). Based on a 2014 Rolling Stone article, the series also stars Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman as the men who stole the sex tape and made itpublic. So far, the series has clicked with critics, who aggregated it at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Terry Bradshaw: Going Deep (HBO Max, Feb. 1)

In August 2021, four-time Super Bowl champion and former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback turned broadcaster, Terry Bradshaw did a series of live performances at the Clay Cooper Theater in Branson, Missouri. He sang, made jokes and told stories about his past. HBO Sports and NFL Films turned that one-man show into a 75-minute special that includes a sit down interview with Bradshaw as well as archival footage from his NFL career.