January. Huh. Yeah. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again. When the novelty of sobriety and boiling pulses in vegetable stock has worn off, what is there left to do in this cold, eternal month?
Television, obviously. In January, television is your doughty friend. Its windscreen never has to be scraped with a Guardian free Great Speeches Of The Twentieth Century CD. It won’t try to convince you to eat a meringue made from whisked kidney bean juice. It will never make you do a burpee.
In the first of a new recurring feature, here’s our pick of the best new and continuing shows airing between Friday the 25th and Thursday the 31st of January 2019. Come back next week for the new additions.
Friday 25th January, Netflix
Zombies and swords collide in big-budget South Korean Medieval fantasy Kingdom. It’s the story of a prince’s journey to defeat the evil plague running through his people, making them immune to death and hungry for flesh.
Kingdom was adapted from web-comic series The Kingdom Of The Gods (written by Kim Eun-hee and drawn by Yang Kyung-il) and – hooray – has already been renewed for another six-episode season. Here’s the season one trailer.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt season 4B
Friday 25th January, Netflix
The final six episodes of Kimmy’s post-bunker journey are here. Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski return to send off NYC’s brightest smile in the sitcom with the best jokes-to-things-said-out-loud ratio since 30 Rock ended.
True Detective season 3
Monday 28th January, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
Season three of the back-on-form True Detective reaches episode four (previous episodes are available to stream on NOW TV). Green Book’s Mahershala Ali stars opposite Stephen Dorff as detectives investigating the disappearance of two children in a macabre story told over three different timelines.
Tuesday 29th January, 10pm, Channel 4
Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s razor-sharp sitcom is midway through series four and showing no signs of losing its edge. Marriage, parenting, addiction, sex, death, charity shops… all human life is here. Catch up on the previous series on All4.
Wednesday 30th January, 10pm, Channel 4
This new taboo-smashing 45-minute comedy drama contains unsettling sexual content, because lead Marnie (played by newcomer Charly Clive) is plagued by intrusive thoughts of precisely that variety. It’s based on a real-life memoir, and manages to be warm and funny as well as graphic and disturbing. Perhaps don’t watch it with your nan.
Bob Mortimer: My Favourite Sketch
Sunday 27th January, 8.50pm, GOLD
The Sally Phillips-hosted comedy series reaches its apex with Sir Bob Mortimer, a comic whose presence makes any panel show, podcast or series of Taskmaster at least ten times more fun. At least. See him take Phillips through his comedy inspirations.
Tin Star season 2
Thursday 31st January, 9pm, Sky Atlantic
Following on from last week’s feature-length season two opener (available to stream, along with the entirety of both seasons one and two, on NOW TV). Tin Star stars Tim Roth (try saying that three times fast) as a former London detective having relocated his family to a small US mountain town. Expect weirdness, intense performances, family tension and plenty of violence.