The best shows to watch on Netflix in January are bountiful, with comedy, romance, animation, reality, and anything else that will please even the pickiest TV watcher. The docket includes Nicolas Cage screaming F-bombs as loud as he can in History of Swear Words, a docuseries about all of the naughtiest words out there, and the return of Cobra Kai, the Karate Kid continuation that’s become quite the hit.
Our list of suggestions for the best shows and moves on Netflix in January is below, but here’s the full list of what’s new on Netflix in January. If you’d like even more hand-picked suggestions, click over to our full list of recommendations.
The Best Shows and Movies on Netflix This Month
Season 3 available Jan. 1
The continuation of The Karate Kid that we all thought was a joke until we watched it and realized it was actually good returns for its third season and first season as a Netflix original (the first two seasons were on YouTube), with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) maybe putting their rivalry aside to help out the kids they teach. Cobra Kai is one of TV’s great success stories; it started as a small show that became a huge hit and will only get bigger now that it’s on Netflix.
History of Swear Words
Available Jan. 5
Nicolas Cage hosting a docuseries about the roots of the most famous swear words? Well gosh golly dagnabbit gee willikers, pardon my French, but this sounds flippin’ wonderful! Seriously, listening to Cage unleash the F-word through reciting famous movie lines or just running the F-bomb gamut with different inflections to demonstrate its myriad meanings is great. In each 20-minute episode that’s focused around one swear word, Cage is joined by comedians discussing what they love about each curse, as well as lexicon experts who break down the etymology of the words we don’t say around our mothers.
Pieces of a Woman
Available Jan. 7
No, it’s not a documentary about Real Dolls. This film did the festival circuit and has gotten decent reviews, particularly for star Vanessa Kirby and her portrayal of a woman going through grief after a home birth ends in tragedy. Shia LaBeouf also stars, but given recent news around him, Netflix would prefer that we don’t mention that.
Part 3 available Jan. 15
Matt Groening’s an impossibly rich dude who doesn’t have to work another day in his life based on sales of “Don’t Have a Cow, Man” t-shirts alone, but he follows up The Simpsons and Futurama with this medieval/fantasy-themed cartoon about a hard-drinking princess (Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson) realizing her destiny as something more than a hard-drinking princess. After a rough start, the show has grown on me quite a bit, and the infinite possibilities of this magical world suit the humor of the Simpsons and Futurama veteran writers who pen many of the scripts. Bonus: The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade lends his voice to a steampunk scientist this season!
Outside the Wire
Available Jan. 15
It’s been a while since Netflix released an original movie with lots of punching, robots, and explosions, so we welcome this sci-fi flick starring Anthony Mackie as a military android and Damson Idris as a drone pilot who team up to find a doomsday device and save the world. Did we mention it has punching, robots, and explosions?
Season 2 available Jan. 22
The list of reality competition shows based around a niche art is unnecessarily long, but one of the best is this Netflix series featuring glass-blowers going at it in sweltering temperatures. There’s nothing that different in format from other series of its ilk, except the gorgeous handcrafted glass sculptures that are made and the fact that one tiny mistake can lead to a shattering disappointment.
Season 4 available Jan. 27
Thy loins shall be quenched, fair madam! For those of you who don’t subscribe to Starz, the long wait for Season 4 is nigh. Season 4, which aired in 2018, finally hits Netflix to follow Jaime (Sam Heughan) and Claire (Caitriona Balfe) in the New World seeking passage back to Scotland. That doesn’t exactly happen, but all the romantic drama, time-warping sci-fi, and primitive survival adventure does. Binge this and then begin your painful wait for Netflix to acquire streaming rights to Season 5.
Want to know what else is coming to Netflix? Here’s everything new on Netflix in January.