Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+: 10 of the best new shows to watch in January

Including The Rig, Vikings: Valhalla, Super League: The War for Football, Break Point and Extraordinary

Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street

Netflix, from Wednesday, January 4th

Not quite as catchily titled as The Wolf of Wall Street, this documentary series by the film-maker Joe Berlinger tries to unravel the story of Bernie Madoff’s monster $64 billion (€60 billion) Ponzi-scheme fraud, interviewing victims, whistleblowers and investigators, and featuring video depositions from Madoff himself to help explain the convoluted schemes that brought him to the pinnacle of the financial world before the scale of his chicanery was laid bare.

The Rig

Prime Video, from Friday, January 6th

Martin Compston, the Line of Duty star, heads this mystery thriller set aboard an oil rig in the North Sea, whose crew must survive a series of calamities in this most unforgiving environment. When an eerie fog cuts off all communication with land, the crew find themselves stranded with limited supplies, and soon they’re fighting for their lives amid a total system failure. As tensions rise and paranoia sweeps through the rig, it emerges that behind the mysterious fog lie forces that threaten to destroy them all.

Koala Man

Disney+, from Monday, January 9th

Tremble, ye criminals and litterbugs, before the vengeful vigilante power of … Koala Man. This new Australian animated series tells the story of the fearsome superhero tasked with protecting the citizens of Dapto from the evils of illegal dumping and parking in disabled spaces. Koala Man’s true identity, known only to the entire town, is a middle-aged dad named Kevin, but he’s not facing the town’s petty lawbreakers alone: his family also (reluctantly) help him tidy up its mean streets. But more powerful cosmic forces are also at work in the town. With no discernible superpower of his own, can Koala Man tackle the supernatural horrors awaiting him?

Welcome to Chippendales

Disney+, from Wednesday, January 11th

Fifty years ago no one would have believed that people would pay to watch a troupe of male strippers go the full monty. This crime drama series tells the story of Somen “Steve” Banerjee, who bucked the trend by starting a new style of striptease show featuring scantily-clad studs. Audiences were soon flocking to see this raunchy revue, and the Chippendales became a cultural phenomenon, making Banerjee rich in the process. But all that testosterone power soon went to Banerjee’s head, and it wasn’t long before he was breaking balls – and the law – in pursuit of more wealth and influence.


Vikings: Valhalla

Netflix, from Thursday, January 12th

The epic series returns for a second season – and as it’s all filmed in Co Wicklow, and bringing lots of work for beardy and flame-haired extras, we’re of course giving it a big thumbs-up. Sam Corlett returns as the Viking explorer Lief Eriksson, who is now a fugitive following the fall of Kattegat, along with his sister, Freydis (Frida Gustavsson), and the Nordic prince Harald (Leo Suter). We’re expecting lots more bone-splintering swordplay action.


Prime Video, from Friday, January 13th

Al Pacino heads a band of relentless hunters with just one prey in their sights: Nazi war criminals. They’re on a mission to track down and bring to justice the last remnants of the Third Reich wherever they may be hiding. Pacino is chief Nazi-hunter Meyer Offerman, with Jennifer Jason Leigh joining the crew for this second season. The action follows on from the disastrous ending to their mission in Europe at the conclusion of season one, and sees the Hunters regrouping for a mission to South America in search of the ultimate trophy: Hitler himself.

Super League: The War for Football

Apple TV+, from Friday, January 13th

Last year the world of soccer was rocked by the announcement of a breakaway super league featuring a dozen elite teams from the top tiers of European football. The backlash was swift, as the organisers were accused of being motivated by money, and soon teams were listening to their fans and declining to join sign up. This documentary series tells the story of the whole debacle, from how the idea was hatched to how it was finally scotched before a single ball was kicked.

Break Point

Netflix, from Friday, January 13th

Netflix has had a runaway success with Formula 1: Drive to Survive. The team behind that series is hoping lightning will strike twice with this new programme set in the supercompetitive world of grand-slam tennis. The series follows a selection of the world’s top tennis players, driven by ambition and self-belief, as they traverse the globe on a gruelling round of tournaments. The 10-part series will bring us up close and personal with the world number one Iga Swiatek, along with top-seeded players including Matteo Berrettini, Nick Kyrgios, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Frances Tiafoe as they compete on the Women’s Tennis Association and Association of Tennis Professionals tours. The series will also feature insights from the tennis legends John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick.


Disney+, from Wednesday, January 25th

The superhero space is getting so overcrowded that everyone’s scrambling to find a new twist on the genre. The elevator pitch for this new UK comedy series, written by Emma Moran, is to imagine that everyone in the world has a superpower – except you. In Extraordinary, everyone gets a superpower when they turn 18 except for Jen (Máiréad Tyers), who is about to turn 25 but still unable to fly, bend time or channel the dead. Can this caterpillar survive in a world of butterflies? Siobhán McSweeney (Sr Michael from Derry Girls) co-stars as Jen’s mum.

Lockwood & Co

Netflix, from Friday, January 27th

We’ve had Buffy the Vampire Slayer, now here’s Lucy the Ghost Hunter, a teenager with the psychic power necessary to conquer the nasty spirits that are plaguing the world. It’s Ghostbusters meets Fate: The Winx Saga in this new supernatural series set in a world where ghosts are running rampant and teenage psychics suddenly find themselves in demand from big corporations trying to eradicate this spectral scourge. But young entrepreneur Anthony Lockwood is determined to stay independent and, with help from Lucy and his brilliant sidekick George, set out into the unknown.

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney

Kevin Courtney is an Irish Times journalist