Four TV shows to hunker down with this winter

Netflix's January lineup promises good, intriguingly bad, and witty

If you don't like Canadian winters, your best bet is staying at home with Netflix.
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Winter is here: the seemingly endless season that wraps every Canadian in a cold blanket of darkness.

If you’re someone who’d rather never leave the house than brave the cold, you’re probably planning on spending these coming winter months curled up in bed with Netflix open on your laptop. If so, you may already be lost in the platform’s sea of titles, wondering what to watch first.

Don’t fear—I have four binge-worthy TV recommendations to tide you over this winter.

You (Dec. 26)

This psychological thriller returned to Netflix on Dec. 26 with a second season just as creepy as its first.

You’s first season captivated audiences back in September of 2018 with its themes of love, intrigue, and good old murder. It stars Penn Badgley (yes, that creep from Gossip Girl) as Joe Goldberg, a lovesick bookstore manager. Right off the bat, Joe’s love for one of his customers turns into obsession. In an effort to win her heart, he does increasingly diabolical things.

This season, Joe trades life in New York for life in L.A., quickly finding a new object of admiration: his co-worker, the aptly-named Love Quinn. Although he tries desperately to abstain from his old habits, his love for Love leads him in the same dark direction.

Watching You is like watching a car wreck on the other side of the highway: it’s unsettling, but you still can’t help but watch with unblinking eyes. The showrunners did a fantastic job of placing the viewer in Joe's head. You’re stuck between wanting him to get caught and wanting to see what he does next.

I recommend this show to anyone who needs a quick TV fix this winter. It’s dark, thought-provoking, and it serves as a prolific warning of the dangers of toxic, possessive partners. I know I’ll be settling down to watch season two during my inevitable post-holiday slump.

AJ and the Queen (Jan. 10)

AJ and the Queen premieres on Netflix on Jan. 10. I’ll quote Netflix’s summary of the series because it’s the best thing I’ve read all decade (that said, this decade has only been about a week long): “While travelling across the country in a run-down RV, drag queen Ruby Red discovers an unlikely sidekick in AJ: a tough-talking 10-year-old stowaway.” I’m sold.

This comedy series stars the man, the myth, the queen, RuPaul. RuPaul, an American drag queen, is a pop-culture legend. He has received six Primetime Emmy Awards for his popular reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul is known for bringing awareness to both the LGBTQ+ and drag communities, and I have no doubt he’ll do the same in AJ and the Queen.

AJ and the Queen’s trailer put a huge smile on my face, and my guess is that the rest of the series will do the same. AJ and Ruby, two travelling misfits, have the capacity to have a beautiful impact on one another and those they encounter. This show promises to bring a much-needed splash of comedy and heart to this winter.

Sex Education (Jan. 17)

Sex Education is another popular series returning to Netflix this January. It stars Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey, an actress who happens to look exactly like Margot Robbie.

I adored Sex Education’s first season. It was awkward, heartfelt, and very, very funny. The premise is that Otis (Butterfield), the teenage son of a sex therapist, opens an underground sex therapy clinic at high school to coach his peers through their tumultuous sex lives. It sounds ridiculous, but trust me, this show is a delight. But don’t only take my word for it: the show has a 91 per cent rating on film review site Rotten Tomatoes.

The season two trailer shows Otis and Maeve (Mackey) reopening the clinic for a new school year. I expect no shortage of new, delightfully awkward situations to come their way.

I will be eagerly awaiting this coming-of-age series’ return on Jan. 17, and I recommend that you catch up on the show in the meantime.

Next in Fashion (Jan. 29)

If you enjoy watching people suffer—I mean, of course, on reality TV shows—then you may enjoy Next in Fashion. This new Netflix series is a fashion design competition show hosted by Alexa Chung and Tan France. Over the show’s 10 episodes, 18 hopeful designers compete in a number of design challenges for the chance to win a cash prize and debut a collection with a luxury fashion retailer.

Most of this show’s promise comes from its hosts. Model and fashion designer Alexa Chung launched her successful fashion brand in May 2017, while Fab Five member Tan France became the loveable and well-known fashion expert on Netflix’s Queer Eye in 2018. If you’re like me and desperately need something to tide you over until the next season of Queer Eye debuts, then Next in Fashion is the show for you.

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