A new year means a new you, as several anti-smoking and weight loss advertisements will tell you. But around here, a new year means new television, and you won’t get grumpy or sweaty watching it. Make it your 2021 resolution to watch better television, and let us be your spiritual guru. We have the best shows to watch this week to get you off to a good start.
Our list of editors’ picks for the week of Dec. 27-Jan. 2 is below, but if this isn’t enough and you’re looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, sign up for our free, spam-free Watch This Now newsletter that delivers the best TV show picks straight to your inbox. You can also look at our massive collection of recommendations, or our list of suggestions of what to watch next based on shows you already like.
Series premiere Sunday at 8/7c on Fox
Just when you thought 2020 was done making a mockery of humanity, Fox says, “Not so fast!” This spin-off of the popular The Masked Singer does the bare minimum to create a new show, putting “celebrities” inside elaborate costumes and making them dance while other “celebrities” try to guess who they are. This format was sketchy enough as it was with singing, but with dancing? This is either the show that kills the franchise, or spawns a series of shows that makes 2021 worse than 2020.
Death to 2020
Sunday on Netflix
We know very little about this special except that it comes from Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror. But if you’re a Brooker fan, then you’ll recognize that Death to 2020 feels a lot more like his other work, like the Wipe series. That’s still enough for us to get excited! The one-off mockumentary will look back on the year the nearly killed us all and rip it a new one in faux-news fashion, with Hugh Grant, Samuel Jackson, Lisa Kudrow, Joe Keery (Steve from Stranger Things), and more starring.
Part 2 of Season 6 premieres Wednesday on Amazon Prime
The final 10 episodes of Michael Hirst’s epic about history’s most notable marauders would normally be airing on History Channel, but for reasons I don’t entirely understand — or maybe just a lot of money — the second half of Season 6 will air on Amazon Prime Video this week, with the usual airing on History coming at a later date. Season 6 Part 2 will resolve the first half’s cliffhanger, when Bjorn was bleeding out after being stabbed by his brother Ivar. Though knowing how this show goes, that might be a better fate than what’s in store for the rest of the characters as the series ends.
Final season premieres Thursday on Netflix
She’s taken on Satan and mean people at school, and in the final season of the Riverdale-adjacent series, Sabrina the Teenage Queen of Hell (Kiernan Shipka) and her witchy aunts take on the world-destroying Eldritch Terrors one by one. More important than the fate of our very existence: Can Nick Scratch work his way back into Sabrina’s heart?
New Year’s Eve Countdowns
Thursday at 8/7c on ABC, Fox, NBC
Well someone has to let you know when 2020 is over. ABC, Fox, and NBC will all hold New Year’s Eve countdowns, and since no one can actually hang out with the people they want to lest you start 2021 on a ventilator, you’re better off choosing which celebrities and network broadcast fits your style. ABC has Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale, and Billy Porter, Fox ditched Steve Harvey in favor of Ken Jeong and Joel McHale, and NBC has Carson Daly and Julianne Hough. Why, there’s something for every undiscerning person! Here are all the ball drops and how to watch them.
Headspace Guide to Meditation
Series premiere Friday on Netflix
Remember when TV shows based on blogs were all the rage? Now TV shows based on phone apps are a thing. Though not quite the same as HBO Max’s excellent A World of Calm, Netflix’s Headspace Guide to Meditation also attempts to bring some wellness and healthy living to viewers through a totally chilled-out instructional guide to embracing meditation. It’s animated and narrated by a guy with a British accent, so if that doesn’t mellow you out, nothing will.
Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide’s Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.