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What to Watch This Week: January 20 to 26

From a new comedy special from King of Queens star Kevin James to a rockin’ documentary about the early days of MuchMusic, we round up our top 10 shows to watch this week

1. 299 Queen Street West – Friday, January 26, Crave1

299 Queen Street West on Crave1. Pictured: Sook-Yin Lee.

Buckle up for a mega-dose of 1980s and 1990s nostalgia with this two-hour documentary that hearkens back to the early days of MuchMusic. With unprecedented access to the MuchMusic archives, 299 Queen Street West recounts the origin story and meteoric rise of “the nation’s music station,” highlighting its beginnings as a scrappy Canadian television upstart. Directed by Sean Menard, the film showcases MuchMusic’s rise in popularity in the ’80s and then into the ’90s, as rap music entered the mainstream while grunge and alternative rock began ruling the charts. As MuchMusic brought Canadian music fans a steady stream of cutting-edge entertainment, it also became a destination for music’s hottest stars, and it wasn’t unusual for hysteria to erupt outside the iconic street-level studio in downtown Toronto as the likes of Bon Jovi, Nirvana, The Ramones, David Bowie, Tupac Shakur, Mariah Carey, Radiohead, Garth Brooks, Neil Young and more dropped by. Those memories and more will be shared in interviews with the groundbreaking VJs who helped shape the brand and inspire generations of music fans, including Steve Anthony, Rick Campanelli, Monika Deol, Denise Donlon, Erica Ehm, Namugenyi Kiwanuka, Sook-Yin Lee, George Stroumboulopoulos, Bill Welychka and Michael Williams.

2. Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees – Tuesday, January 23, Netflix

Jacqueline Novak: Get on Your Knees on Netflix. Pictured: Jacqueline Novak

The North Carolinian comic takes her Off-Broadway show to Netflix. It’s described by the streamer as a “funny and philosophical meditation on sex, coming-of-age and a certain body part.” Meanwhile, the New York Times dubs it a “personal and intellectual history of fellatio.” 

3. Kevin James: Irregardless  – Tuesday, January 23, Prime Video

Kevin James: Irregardless on Prime Video. Pictured: Kevin James
Prime Video

The star of King of Queens and Paul Blart: Mall Cop returns to his standup roots with a new special that finds the icon riffing on parenting, aging, marriage, distrusting technology and cramming as many Tater Tots as he possibly can into his mouth. 

4. A Real Bug’s Life – Wednesday, January 24, Disney+ | Series Premiere

A Real Bug's Life on Disney+. Pictured: A Chinese mantis is featured in "The Big City" episode of "A Real Bug's Life."

Despite the title, this is not an update of Pixar’s 1998 animated comedy, but a National Geographic docuseries that takes viewers on a microscopic adventure into nine different insect worlds around the globe, where the forces of nature play out on a miniature scale and where tiny creatures rely on amazing powers and extraordinary alliances to make it through each day. Described as “one of the most ambitious and innovative natural history series ever to be made,” recent advances in miniaturized technology allow an unprecedented look at these extraordinary little characters, allowing viewers to see our colossal world through their tiny eyes. Featuring witty narration from Awkwafina, A Real Bug’s Life follows the incredible stories of the minuscule heroes living in worlds far beyond the imagination — from a jumping spider trying to find a home on the streets of New York City to a Costa Rican orchid bee’s first day on the job, making perfume as part of a unique pollination ritual.

5. Chrissy & Dave Dine Out – Wednesday, January 24, ABC Spark | Series Premiere

Chrissy & Dave Dine Out on ABC Spark. Pictured: Chrissy Teigen
ABC Spark

You are cordially invited to tag along with supermodel Chrissy Teigen and celebrity restaurateur David Chang as they hit up some of Los Angeles’ best restaurants — from exclusive hotspots to under-the-radar gems.

But this one’s more than just a food show. Of course, the kitchen craft of it all is thoroughly covered by Chang, who rolls up his sleeves and gets in there alongside each restaurant’s chef. But while he’s doing that, Teigen is front-of-house, chowing down yet also “hosting an always loose, unexpected and entertaining dinner party with undeniably delicious food and great conversation.” During said dinner party, the show promises “laughs and unfiltered conversations, where no topic is off-limits.” To help fulfill that promise week after week, holding court alongside her will be comedian Joel Kim Booster (Loot). Each episode, the chatty, charming duo welcomes a fresh array of famous guests, including Silicon Valley alum Kumail Nanjiani, Canadian Barbie star Simu Liu, Scary Movie actress Regina Hall and Teigen’s own husband, Grammy-winner John Legend

First up, in tonight’s premiere, Jimmy Kimmel and his wife, Murder Mystery screenwriter Molly McNearney, join Teigen, Chang and Booster for a slice or three at the “wildly popular” Pizzeria Bianco.

6. Queer Eye – Wednesday, January 24, Netflix | Season Premiere

Queer Eye on Netflix. Pictured: (L to R) Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski in season 8 of Queer Eye

The 11-time Emmy-winning makeover series returns for season eight to revitalize bodies, minds, homes and wardrobes. This time, the Fab Five are headed for New Orleans, where they’ll lend their expertise to the coach of the Louisiana School for the Deaf football team, a former nun and the world’s biggest KISS fan, among other “heroes” in need of a style shakeup. While the show has already been renewed for a ninth season beyond this one, set to take place in Vegas, the gang’s resident interior design guru Bobby Berk has announced that New Orleans will be his last hurrah. Breaking the news on Instagram, Berk posted: “It’s not been an easy decision to be at peace with, but a necessary one. Although my journey with Queer Eye is over, my journey with you is not. You will be seeing more of me very soon.”

7. Griselda – Thursday, January 25, Netflix | Series Premiere

Griselda on Netflix. Pictured: Sofia Vergara as Griselda Blanco.

There’s a common saying among folks in the entertainment business that if you can do comedy, you can do anything. And having already watched her rack up four Emmy noms for Modern Family, we’re quite eager to see Sofía Vergara go from zany housewife to drug lord in Netflix’s six-part mini. Based on a real-life crime saga, she plays Griselda Blanco, a devoted single mother who, in the 1970s, fled Colombia for Miami with her three kids. Tucked away in their luggage was a single kilo of cocaine, which Blanco built, literally brick by brick, into an empire that the so-called “Godmother” ruled over with an impeccably manicured iron fist . . . till it all slipped through her fingers. Narcos alums Eric Newman and Andrés Baiz shepherd the series on the writing and directing front. Speaking to Tudum, Newman teased: “There has never been a woman who came close to achieving the power, wealth and respect that Griselda did. And no trafficker, woman or man, ever elicited the same level of fear . . . It’s thrilling, emotional, funny, scary and tragic. Griselda is an antihero of the highest order, and a series of contradictions at odds with herself.”

8. Sexy Beast – Thursday, January 25, Paramount+ | Series Premiere

Sexy Beast on Paramount+. Pictured: L-R Emun Elliott as Don Logan, Stanley Morgan as Tommy and James McArdle as Gal Dove.

Inspired by the 2000 drama that earned Ben Kingsley an Oscar nom for his unforgettable turn as psychotic British gangster Don Logan, this ’90s-set prequel series traces the volatile friendship between Don (The Gold’s Emun Elliott) and plucky thief Gal Dove (Andor’s James McArdle, taking over for Ray Winstone).

9. Expats – Friday, January 26, Prime Video | Series Premiere

Expats on Prime Video. Pictured: Nicole Kidman as Margaret.
Prime Video

An Oscar-winning movie star who’d accomplished about as much as any actor could dream of on the silver screen, Nicole Kidman has, of late, found fresh creative ground to conquer via TV. From Big Little Lies to The Undoing to Nine Perfect Strangers, the small screen has yielded big returns for the Australian icon. Her latest project is another female- driven narrative, based on yet another hit novel — Janice Y.K. Lee’s The Expatriates. Helmed by writer-director Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Expats casts Kidman alongside Sarayu Blue (Never Have I Ever) and Ji-young Yoo (Smoking Tigers) as three disparate Americans living abroad in Hong Kong, struggling with very different, very fraught personal lives. But they’re brought together by a tragic event that forces all of them into existential crisis.

10. Masters of the Air – Friday, January 26, Apple TV+ | Series Premiere

Masters of the Air on Apple TV+. Pictured: Austin Butler as Maj. Gale "Buck" Cleven.
Apple TV+

Over the course of his illustrious career, Tom Hanks has dabbled in just about every genre. But the two-time Oscar winner has, time and again, returned to American history — especially the Second World War. On-camera, that’s taken the form of Saving Private Ryan and, just recently, Greyhound. Behind the scenes, he’s produced iconic HBO miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Now, Hanks adds a third series to his WWII catalogue, once again co-producing with Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman — but moving from HBO to Apple TV+. Masters of the Air embeds audiences with the U.S. Air Force’s 100th Bombardment Group (a.k.a. the “Bloody Hundredth”). Tasked with carrying out perilous raids over Nazi Germany, the young pilots of the Hundredth put their lives on the line every single mission, watching friends perish from both enemy attacks and random mechanical failures — knowing that every liftoff could be their last. Leading the cast is Hanks’ old Elvis co-star Austin Butler, alongside The Boys in the Boat’s Callum Turner and Saltburn’s Barry Keoghan. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Butler summed up the show’s harrow and heroism as follows: “At one point, the statistic was that only one in four men would make it back. There’s the psychological horrors of that reality. If you’re an infantryman and you’re in it every day, there’s a different type of psychological warfare that’s taking place as opposed to you going out to dinner in London for the night and then having to go back out the next day. The combination of those two polar opposites can take its toll on people’s psyche.” Added producer Goetzman in the same interview: “The battle in the air was unique and changed the course of the war and history. The dedication of these young men was instrumental in our eventual victory.”

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