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Comedy, death metal and 'True Detective'

Look ahead to January for these buzzy new movies, TV shows, books and albums

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com
"True Detective" returns Jan. 13. [Contributed by HBO]

Here are some of the best or buzziest new releases in movies, TV, books, comics, music and more on the horizon in January. As always, release dates are subject to change without notice. Happy New Year!

“Comedians of the World” (Netflix). Is there such a thing as too much comedy? Netflix seems determined to find out, taping 47 half-hour stand-up sets around the world from comedians from all over the place. (Jan. 1)

“Surviving R. Kelly” (Lifetime). A three-part documentary exploring the allegations of sexual abuse that have been leveled against R. Kelly, but also exploring his rise to fame as one of the most popular and influential R&B singers of his era. (Jan. 3)

“Ron Funches: Giggle Fit” (Comedy Central). OK, have you seen the new Ron Funches? I don’t mean the new special, but the new man. The often-brilliant comic cut his hair, lost a bunch of weight and looks almost unrecognizable. Seriously, the first thing everyone is going to say watching this is, “THAT’S Ron Funches now?” (Jan. 4)

"The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards” (NBC). Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh co-host the annual awards show where all of your favorite celebrities get sloshed and accept awards. (Jan. 6)

“Project Blue Book” (History). Aidan Gillen, Neal McDonough and Michael Malarkey star in this scripted series about real-life Air Force investigations into UFOs in the 1950s and '60s. (Jan. 7)

“The Truths We Hold” by Kamala Harris (Penguin). This is Sen. Kamala Harris' memoir and policy book. It’s the sort of thing you publish, well, about two years out from a presidential run. (Jan. 8)

“Replicas” (Entertainment Studios). Keanu Reeves plays a neuroscientist (yes, really) who brings some family members back to life after a tragic accident. Looks both terrible and awesome. (Jan. 11)

“Informer” (Amazon Prime). This six-part British terrorism thriller stars Nabhaan Rizwan, Paddy Considine and Bel Powley, all three of whom are totally dope. (Jan. 11)

Taking Back Sunday, “Twenty” (Craft Recordings/Concord). A 21-song career retrospective marking the fact that this post-emo pop punk band has been around for 20 years, which seems impossible, but here we are. (Jan. 11)

“True Detective” (HBO). Well, the first series was incredible (except for the last episode, which packed way too much into an hour). The second was a self-parody of the first rank. Season three is written almost entirely by series creator Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Pizzolatto, Jeremy “Green Room” Saulnier (who bounced after creative differences — uh-oh) and Daniel Sackheim. The new story is set in the Ozarks and stars Mahershala Ali in a very dicey wig. (Jan. 13)

“The Passage” (Fox). A new TV show based on Justin Cronin's sorta-vampire trilogy of the same name. With Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Emmanuelle Chriqui and Vincent Piazza. (Jan. 14)

“You Know You Want This: ‘Cat Person’ and Other Stories” By Kristen Roupenian (Gallery/Scout). Here it is, the heavily bid-upon debut story collection from Roupenian, who with her story “Cat Person” did what very few literary fiction writers have done — she straight-up went viral. (Jan. 15)

“From Hell: Master Edition #3” by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell (Top Shelf/Knockabout). Moore and Campbell’s “From Hell,” their take on Jack the Ripper, is already one of the greatest graphic novels ever published. Originally in black and white, Campbell has gone back and colored the story and is publishing it in chapters. Normally, I am pretty ideologically opposed to such manipulations, but Campbell knows exactly what he is doing, and the results feel like a fresh look at a classic story. (Jan. 16)

“Star Trek: Discovery” (CBS All Access). Yes, there are some PG-13 and R-rated moments, but it’s a shame that this show, about to start its second season, is behind a paywall rather than, say, on regular CBS broadcast. Because this thing is a blast — no, it doesn’t have the utopianism of the original, “The Next Generation” or “Deep Space Nine.” But it’s certainly better than the J.J. Abrams movies. Joining the cast: Ethan Peck as Spock and Anson Mount as Christopher Pike, captain of the USS Enterprise before Kirk. New episodes stream weekly on Thursdays. (Jan 17)

“Glass” (Universal Pictures). Man alive, is M. Night Shyamalan’s career revival something else. This third movie in the trilogy that started with “Unbreakable” (2000) and continued in “Split” (2016) is actually highly anticipated, which is something that most Shyamalan movies have not been for a good long time. With Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson and James McAvoy. (Jan. 18)

Arch Enemy, “Covered in Blood” (Century Media). One of the best melodic death metal bands around released a covers album with songs written by Megadeth, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, KISS and more. (Jan. 18)

Deerhunter, “Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared?” (4AD). This eighth album from Bradford Cox and company was recorded in part in Marfa and at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo. (Jan. 18)

Guster, “Look Alive” (Nettwerk/Ocho Mule). The first album in four years from this sort-of jam band. (Jan. 18)

Sharon Van Etten, “Remind Me Tomorrow” (Jagjaguwar). New album from this rocker, produced by John Congleton. She is always worth checking out. (Jan. 18)

“The Other Two” (Comedy Central). A promising-looking scripted show from former SNL writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider about an aspiring actor (Drew Tarver), his adult sister (Heléne Yorke) and their 12-year-old internet star brother (Case Walker), That’s a pretty strong premise. (Jan. 24)

Backstreet Boys, “DNA” (RCA). Their first full-length album in five years —doesn’t it seem longer than that, like maybe they transported here from, say, 20 years ago? (Jan 25)

“Serenity” (Avrion Pictures). Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway maybe commit a murder. Or something? Trailers for this thing have been floating around forever. (Jan. 25)

“Rent” (Fox). A three-hour live production of this increasingly legendary musical starring Kiersey Clemons, Tinashe, Brandon Victor Dixon and Vanessa Hudgens. (Jan. 27)