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Your Weekly Watch List

The Last of Us and 7 Other Shows to Watch This Week

Plus: Velma, the 80th Golden Globes, Vikings: Valhalla, and more.
  • Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Photo: HBO)
    Pedro Pascal in The Last of Us (Photo: HBO)

    Looking for your next binge-watch, or just need to fill an hour? Welcome to Your Weekly Watch List, our curated collection of the best shows on television. Here’s what to watch from Monday, January 9 through Sunday, January 15.

    The new year continues to bring us a bounty of new TV. This week sees the premieres of highly-anticipated video game adaptation The Last of Us and HBO Max’s Velma, some awards season glamor at the Golden Globes, and more.

    Notable TV Premieres This Week

    Velma: Thursday, HBO Max

    Do we need a gritty animated prequel series to Scooby Doo? Maybe not, but there’s no denying the cast for this more grown-up take on the mystery-solving quartet is intriguing, with Mindy Kaling voicing the titular, spectacles-sporting investigator Velma Dinkley. She’s joined by Glenn Howerton as Fred, Constance Wu as Daphne, and Sam Richardson as Shaggy (or Norville Rogers, as the future suspected stoner is known here.) Promising a more down-to-earth take on the Scooby gang before Scooby entered the picture (meaning no sentient talking dog for now), Velma sees Kaling reuniting with longtime comedy collaborator Charlie Grady (The Office, The Mindy Project).

    Mayor of Kingstown Season 2: Sunday, Paramount+

    With star Jeremy Renner thankfully recuperating from his winter misadventures in snowplowing, crime drama Mayor of Kingstown returns for a second season of sibling infighting, shady deals, and Dianne Wiest. Riding high on the success of Yellowstone, creator Taylor Sheridan explores the corrupt McLusky family’s efforts to pick up the pieces after last season’s violent finale. One episode drops today.

    The Last of Us: Sunday, 9:00 PM ET on HBO

    For its first foray into video game-based dramas, HBO has assembled enough talent to offset the genre’s shaky history. The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal leads the way as Joel, a hard-bitten survivor of a 20-year-long zombie apocalypse tasked with escorting 14-year-old Ellie (His Dark Materials’ Bella Ramsey) through the blasted wasteland that was once America. Pascal and Ramsey are backed by co-stars Anna Torv, Gabriel Luna, Nick Offerman, Melanie Lynskey, and Merle Dandridge. With Neil Druckmann, creator of the acclaimed video game, joining up with Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) behind the scenes, The Last of Us promises an ambitious take on the post-apocalypse survival tale.

    Full-Season Binge Releases

    Koala Man: Monday, Hulu

    Creator Michael Cusack teams with Rick and Morty’s Justin Roiland to bring us this eight-episode animated series about an ordinary Australian dad who dons the crimefighting disguise of his nation’s perhaps least threatening local fauna to battle evil (or at least loitering) in his sleepy town. Featuring voice work from Hugh Jackman, Jemaine Clement, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Snook, and Miranda Otto, this irreverently violent superhero series sees things go belly-up Down Under once actual Aussie supervillains and supernatural baddies come calling.

    Vikings: Valhalla Season 2: Thursday, Netflix

    Set one century after Vikings, History’s first foray into scripted programming, Valhalla continues the adventures of Sam Corlett’s Leif Erikson, Frida Gustavsson’s Freydis, and Leo Sutter’s Harald. Together, the descendants of the Norse heroes of old confront the overwhelming crush of encroaching Christianity and the seemingly inevitable twilight of their gods — with plenty of cinematic sword fights thrown in for good measure.

    Hunters Season 2: Friday, Amazon Prime

    This over-the-top action series drew equal measure controversy and praise for its 1970s-set tale of New York Nazi hunters tracking down escaped German war criminals. Season 2 is unlikely to quiet critics decrying David Weil’s depiction of real-life atrocities alongside alternate reality, Tarantino-esque action set pieces, as Al Pacino’s Holocaust survivor takes his ragtag team all the way to South America to track down the still-alive Adolf Hitler (Udo Kier). This time around, Jennifer Jason Leigh joins the pursuit as the hunters continue their mission to stop the rise of a Fourth Reich.

    Finale Time

    Willow: Wednesday, Disney+

    With the fate of this long-awaited sequel series to Ron Howard and George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy epic still undetermined, Warwick Davis’ wizard faces the dual specters of the wickedly evil Gales and the even more mysterious and fickle foes that are streaming metrics.

    Tulsa King: Sunday, Paramount+

    Sopranos-lite wish fulfillment” it may be (see John Wenzel’s review), but this mafioso-out-of-water drama starring Sylvester Stallone as a New York wiseguy stranded in Oklahoma is already renewed for a second season. In the Season 1 finale, Stallone’s Dwight Manfredi continues to test the theory that there’s nothing that can’t be solved by a swift punch to the breadbasket.

    Special Events

    80th Golden Globe Awards: Tuesday, 8:00 PM ET on NBC

    Jerrod Carmichael rides herd on this annual, open bar Oscar warmup put on by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. On the movie side, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All At Once, Babylon, and The Fabelmans lead the nominations pack. In the best of TV categories, the final season of Better Call Saul battles the premiere of House of the Dragon, among other dramas, while fan favorite Abbott Elementary looks to oust last year’s comedy winner Hacks.

    If You Have...

    An Hour

    Andrew Santino: Cheeseburger: Tuesday, Netflix
    The Conners Season 5 Winter Premiere: Wednesday, 8:00 PM ET on ABC
    The Goldbergs Season 10 Winter Premiere: Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET on ABC
    Lingo Series Premiere: Wednesday, 9:00 PM ET on CBS

    An Evening

    College Football National Championship: Georgia vs. TCU: Monday, 7:30 PM ET on ESPN
    The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker: Tuesday, Netflix
    71st Miss Universe Pageant: Saturday, 7:00 PM ET on Roku

    A Full Day

    Sexify Season 2: Wednesday, Netflix
    The Traitors: Thursday, Peacock

    Up Next

    Night Court: Tuesday, January 17 on NBC
    That ‘90s Show: Thursday, January 19 on Netflix

    Dennis Perkins is a freelance entertainment writer with bylines at The A.V. Club, Paste, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Portland Press Herald, and elsewhere.

    TOPICS: The Last of Us, Hunters, Koala Man, Mayor of Kingstown, Tulsa King, Velma, Vikings: Valhalla, Willow, Golden Globe Awards