Every month, streaming services in Australia add a new batch of movies and TV shows to their libraries. Here are our picks for January.
“Messiah” has a provocative premise, involving a longhaired, charismatic leader who emerges from the Middle East, and who often seems to be present in moments of crisis and chaos. Michelle Monaghan plays a C.I.A. agent, tasked with determining whether this mysterious man is dangerous, or if he’s actually — as his growing army of followers believes — the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The latest adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel “Dracula” comes from the writer-producer team of Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, who previously brought modern pizazz to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in their popular series “Sherlock.” This three-part mini-series is more of a direct interpretation of the source material, with the Danish actor Claes Bang playing the sinister, seductive Count Dracula. But Gatiss and Moffat bring their own dynamic style to the material, making a drama that’s partly an intimate portrait of unimaginable evil and partly a full-on horror assault.
‘AJ and the Queen’
The “Sex and the City” writer-producer Michael Patrick King and the groundbreaking drag performer RuPaul cocreated “AJ and the Queen,” a road trip dramedy series that features RuPaul in a substantive acting role. He plays a successful cabaret act named Ruby Red, who loses his life savings and is forced to embark on a national tour while taking care of a streetwise teenage orphan named AJ (Izzy Gaspersz). As the two deal with the culture of Middle America, they ponder what it really means to “be yourself.”
A different kind of British cop show, “Giri/Haji” (which translates to “Duty/Shame”) is about a Tokyo detective who attempts to defuse a Yakuza gang war by tracking down his long-missing criminal brother in the U.K. He’s assisted by a struggling London Metropolitan Police detective (played by Kelly Macdonald), who gets a crash course in Japanese culture as she ventures into the underworld alongside a man who’s not inclined to tell her much about himself, or about the case.
The creators of the hilariously absurd doctor show parody “Childrens Hospital” have produced a surreptitious sequel in “Medical Police,” a 10-episode mini-series that features a lot of the same characters and actors from the original series. Erinn Hayes and Rob Huebel play American physicians in a Brazilian pediatric facility, who get drafted to help investigate a potentially devastating bioterrorist attack. “Childrens Hospital” staples Rob Corddry, Malin Akerman, Lake Bell, and Ken Marino also appear in what’s sure to be a nutty, knowing riff on over-the-top international thrillers.
‘Sex Education’ Season 2
One of 2019’s more unexpected delights, the disarmingly frank dramedy “Sex Education,” quickly earned a renewal from Netflix after a big audience tuned in for its funny and pointed story about teenagers helping each other handle their adult sexual desires. In season two, the virginal hero Otis (played by Asa Butterfield) continues to manage his own complicated relationships while also discovering that giving sound advice to his confused classmates can’t keep their sex lives from getting messier.
The crime novelist Harlan Coben is known for his twisty page-turner plots, which often involve ordinary people getting dragged abruptly into mysteries that end up exposing surprising secrets from their own lives. At the start of the mini-series “The Stranger,” a family man named Adam (Richard Armitage) has a casual conversation with a woman he doesn’t know, who tells him something disturbing about his wife. The encounter turns his life upside-down, kicking off a string of strange situations and discomfiting revelations.
‘Bojack Horseman’ Season 6 (Part B)
After five years of anthropomorphism, showbiz satire and light surrealism — all threaded with some genuinely moving contemplation of what it means to be happy and successful — “Bojack Horseman” comes to an end with eight more episodes. This offbeat animated series has been telling some fairly dark stories in its homestretch, so fans can expect to be put through an emotional wringer before the cult favorite reaches its conclusion.
The comedian Adam Sandler gives an electrifying performance in the white-knuckle thriller “Uncut Gems,” bringing boisterous humor and a serrated edge to the role of Howard Ratner, a gambling addicted New York jewelry dealer who spends one wild weekend making long-shot bets in hopes of digging himself out of a deep financial hole. The writer-director duo of Josh and Benny Safdie (with their co-writer Ronald Bronstein) keep the movie barreling forward at a breakneck pace, piling problems onto a protagonist who deserves all the trouble he gets, but who is still oddly sympathetic.
Also arriving: “Drugs, Inc.” Season 6 (Jan. 1), “Ghost Stories” (Jan. 1), “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” (Jan. 1), “Mamma Mia!” (Jan. 1), “South Park” Season 22 (Jan. 1), “Spinning Out” (Jan. 1), “The Circle” (Jan. 1), “Sex Explained” (Jan. 2), “Thieves of the Wood” (Jan. 2), “Anne with an E” The Final Season (Jan. 3), “Gotham” Season 5 (Jan. 4), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (Jan. 4), “Cheer” (Jan. 8), “Harvey Girls Forever!” Season 4 (Jan. 10), “Titans” Season 2 (Jan. 10), “Until Dawn” (Jan. 10), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 6 (Jan. 11), “Grace and Frankie” Season 6 (Jan. 15), “Deadcon” (Jan. 16), “Jezebel” (Jan. 16), “NiNoKuni” (Jan. 16), “Ares” (Jan. 17), “Hip-Hop Evolution” Season 4 (Jan. 17), “Tyler Perry’s A Fall from Grace” (Jan. 17), “The Ghost Bride” (Jan. 23), “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” Part 3 (Jan. 24), “Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak” (Jan. 24), “The Ranch” The Final Season (Jan. 24), “Suits” Season 8 (Jan. 24), “Justine” (Jan. 28), “Next in Fashion” (Jan. 29), “Night on Earth” (Jan. 29), “Omniscient” (Jan. 29), “Diabelero” Season 2 (Jan. 31), “I Am a Killer” (Jan. 31), “Ragnarok” (Jan. 31).
‘Rob Delaney: Jackie’
Rob Delaney’s distinctive comic persona has found a following thanks both to his Twitter feed and to the terrific sitcom “Catastrophe” that he cocreated with Sharon Horgan. His new stand-up special “Rob Delaney: Jackie” features plenty of funny material about modern life and raising kids; but he also tells personal stories about existential confusion and loss, putting the wry quips into sharper relief.
Set in 1977, the quirky and heartwarming family film “Troop Zero” is a classic “slobs versus snobs” comedy about a group of misfit kids who demand to participate in a Georgia scouting jamboree, where one troop will be selected to record a message for NASA’s deep-space Voyager probes. A fine cast of comic and dramatic actors — including Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan and Allison Janney — fills out the grown-up roles. But the most impressive performer here is the bright young Mckenna Grace, playing an upbeat nerd who will not be denied.
‘Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer’
A year ago, the Netflix movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” dramatized Elizabeth Kendall’s nonfiction book about her longtime relationship with the serial rapist and murderer Ted Bundy. Kendall was also directly involved with the new docu-series “Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer,” which offers more direct testimony from her, as well as collecting insights and anecdotes from her daughter Molly and from a handful of other women who survived their acquaintance with one of the 20th century’s most notorious villains.
Also arriving: “Hugo” (Jan. 1), “Looper” (Jan. 1), “Green Book” (Jan. 16), “Men in Black: International” (Jan. 25), “The Magicians” Season 4 (Jan. 30), “Long Shot” (Jan. 31).
‘The Gloaming’ Season 1
One of the Stan streaming service’s most ambitious original productions to date, this moody procedural was created by the writer-producer Victoria Madden, best-known for similarly sophisticated mystery series “The Kettering Incident.” Emma Booth plays a cop whose investigation into an especially tricky murder has her crossing paths with an ex-lover, and forces her to confront old secrets and failures, rooted in the class divisions of her Tasmanian home.
‘The Bold Type’ Season 4
At the end of “The Bold Type” season three, the idealistic young journalists working at the fictional women’s magazine Scarlet recommitted themselves to their careers — just before learning that their jobs may be in jeopardy. Season four will resolve last year’s startling cliffhanger. The show’s talented cast and writers will try to top last year’s eventful run of episodes, which saw the Scarlet ladies risking their reputations to expose corruption and bad habits in the fashion industry.
‘True History of the Kelly Gang’
The novelist Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning fictionalization of the infamous outlaw Ned Kelly’s life story has now been adapted into a movie, by the director Justin Kurzel and the screenwriter Shaun Grant. George MacKay plays Kelly, in a stylish and violent film that retains Carey’s episodic structure and subjective approach, dropping viewers into the rough-and-tumble environment that birthed a bushranger. “True History of the Kelly Gang” also features an outstanding supporting cast, including a spirited Russell Crowe as the antihero’s offbeat mentor and Nicholas Hoult as a steely constable.
Also arriving: “The Croods” (Jan. 1), “I Love You Phillip Morris” (Jan. 1), “Rabbit Hole” (Jan. 1), “Mystery Road” (Jan. 2), “The Vampire Diaries” Seasons 1-8 (Jan. 3), “Black Sheep” (Jan. 7), “Harry Brown” (Jan. 8), “Radio Days” (Jan. 10), “Utopia” Seasons 1-3 (Jan. 10), “A Passage to India” (Jan. 13), “Out of the Blue” (Jan. 14), “River’s Edge” (Jan. 14), “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (Jan. 15), “Pope of Greenwich Village” (Jan. 20), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (Jan. 22), “Dead Lucky” Season 1 (Jan. 24), “Stardust Memories” (Jan. 27).