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Ten New and Returning Shows to Watch on Netflix in January 2021

New year, new stuff: Meditation, murder, Cobra Kai, and Nicolas Cage are all on streamer's January roster.
  • The History of Swear Words, Cobra Kai Season 3, and Disenchantment Part 3 (Photos: Netflix)
    The History of Swear Words, Cobra Kai Season 3, and Disenchantment Part 3 (Photos: Netflix)

    Netflix has a host of new and returning shows to keep us entertained this month. Self-improvement is at the top of many a list of New Year's resolutions, and in keeping with that mindset, the streamer is shining a spotlight on mindfulness and mediation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, several crime-infused projects are also dropping, including a Night Stalker docuseries and a contemporary take on an iconic French thief. We'll also get Season 3 of Cobra Kai, a new coming-of-age series with fairies, and, as they say on TV, that's not all.

    Here are the releases we're most looking forward to on Netflix in January:

    Cobra Kai — Season 3

    The first two seasons of Cobra Kai landed on Netflix back in August after originally premiering on YouTube Premium. Now comes the long-awaited third season of the Karate Kid spin-off. Following Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and his circle long after the events of the All Valley Karate Tournament in 1984, the second season ended on a cliffhanger that left teen Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) severely injured. This new season is set to pick up with Miguel in the hospital, while Daniel heads to Mr. Myagi's village in a bid to reconnect with the teachings of his sensei.
    Available January 1

    Headspace Guide to Meditation (NEW series)

    "When was the last time you did nothing?" Headspace Guide to Meditation asks its viewers. Across 20-minute installments, former Buddhist monk and Headspace meditation app co-founder Andy Puddicombe explains the science and benefits of meditation. Showcasing different techniques, this introductory guide focuses on stress, anger, and letting go. What better time to explore mindfulness and mediation than on New Year's Day when the eight-part series lands?
    Available January 1

    The History of Swear Words (NEW series)

    From mindfulness to an investigation of profanity, hosted by nome other than Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage. Each of the show's six episodes focus on a different curse word with historians, experts, and entertainers all weighing in. Talking heads include Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Joel Kim Booster, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
    Available January 5

    Surviving Death (NEW series)

    Based on journalist Leslie Kean's book of the same name, the docuseries Surviving Death explores the possibility of the afterlife. Tackling age-old questions that have long occupied human thought, director Ricki Stearn (Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Reversing Roe) interviews people who have experienced near-death or been revived after dying, and presents innovative new research exploring what happens after a physical demise.
    Available January 6

    Lupin (NEW series)

    Combining a heist at the Louvre and a literary thief dating back to 1905, Lupin has all the ingredients for a thrilling Parisian ride. Assane Diop (Omar Sy) turns to Maurice Leblanc's gentleman burglar character Arsène Lupin for inspiration to enact his revenge against the wealthy family he holds responsible for his father's death 25 years earlier. A hint of magic appears in the teaser, and we would expect nothing less from Now You See Me director Louis Leterrier.
    Available January 8

    Inside the World's Toughest Prisons — Season 5

    Entering its fifth season, this series from British journalist Raphael Rowe — who was wrongly imprisoned himself for 12 years — returns with another look at prisons around the globe. This time Rowe heads to the Philippines, Greenland, and South Africa to examine the conditions faced by the incarcerated and how these countries view rehabilitation and the justice system.
    Available January 8

    Night Stalker: The Hunt for the Serial Killer (NEW series)

    The Night Stalker rampage took place during a record-breaking Los Angeles heatwave in 1985 when he attacked seemingly at random — targeting people from the age of six to 82. The lack of a pattern in age, demographics, neighborhood, racial background, and socioeconomic status made it impossible to predict where he would strike next. Archival footage and first-person interviews bring this true American horror story to life.
    Available January 13

    Disenchantment — Part 3

    Part 3 of Matt Groening's adult animated fantasy-comedy series sees the hard-drinking Princess Bean (Abbi Jacobson) attempting to follow her destiny. Growing into her power, she is accompanied by elf companion Elfo (Nat Faxon) and personal demon Luci (Erc Andre). As the three venture out into new worlds, Princess Bean is offered an alliance between magic and science — a proposition she wants to "drink on" — while having to consider the state of Dreamland with her unstable father in charge. Previous seasons have seen Princess Bean travel to hell and deal with her evil mother, so the fearless friends are used to dangerous quests involving unsettling parental figures.
    Available January 15

    Fate: The Winx Saga (NEW series)

    With Sabrina Spellman and her witchy pals having tued up their final season in December, they've left behind a vacant supernatural teen slot. Wiccan powers are replaced by fairies in a series based on the Italian-American manga-style animation Winx Club. Co-creator Brian Young wrote 21 episodes of The Vampire Diaries, which puts him in good stead for this adaptation that follows 16-year-old fairy Bloom (Abigail Cowen, who played Weird Sister Dorcas on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) as she learns to use her powers in the Otherworld while maneuvering life at a prestigious boarding school.
    Available January 22

    50M2 (NEW series)

    50M2 is a Turkish drama following hitman Gölge (Engin Ozturk) who is being pursued by a local crime boss. When he takes up sanctuary in a vacant tailor shop — measuring 50 square meters — he is mistaken for the late owner's son, a case of mistaken identity that he embraces in order to hide out. To make matters more complicated, Gölge cannot remember anything about his childhood and is trying to find anything connected to his past. Will he discover who he is while adopting the life of someone else?
    Available January 27

    Emma Fraser has wanted to write about TV since she first watched My So-Called Life in the mid-90s, finally getting her wish over a decade later. Follow her on Twitter at @frazbelina

    TOPICS: Netflix, 50M2, Disenchantment, Fate: The Winx Saga, Headspace Guide to Meditation, History of Swear Words, Inside the World's Toughest Prisons, Lupin, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, Surviving Death, Cobra Kai