January 2016 Primer: The Best Movies, Games, Sports And More Coming Your Way This Month

Above: There are plenty of entertainment options available to you throughout January
Above: There are plenty of entertainment options available to you throughout January

Happy New Year!

As 2016 begins, here’s hoping you had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, good food, ample drink and terrific memories. And now that everyone is taking a good 6-8 weeks to decompress and have a little alone time, let’s dive into the goodness coming your way in the month ahead.

The Truth is Still Out There
Mulder and Scully are back! While it’s not a permanent return, The X-Files returns on January 24 for a six-episode miniseries and from the commercials, it looks like a couple series regulars (read: Smoking Man, Walter Skinner) are back for this little reunion too. As for other new offerings this month, fans of Arrow and The Flash get another DC Comics spinoff in the form of Legends of Tomorrow, featuring Brandon Routh’s Atom and several others that have already appeared in that universe.

Returning Favourites
The start of the New Year means a bunch of shows are set to make their return, including Downton Abby and Banshee, which fall at complete opposite ends of the spectrum, while Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have dropped already dropped a Sherlock special that you should probably find because it’s likely amazing. Also coming back this month are Marvel’s Agent Carter and New Girl, which needs to rebound after a rough fourth season.

Streaming Options
With Shomi and CraveTV both now being available to everyone – instead of being customer specific options – your streaming options have tripled to start 2016. While there are some overlaps, each has their own solid selling points, with Shomi having Season 1 of the critically acclaimed Mr. Robot and CraveTV airing Billions. Plus there is still Netflix, which killed in December with Making a Murderer and gets Season 4 of Suits this month.

If You’re Looking for a New Book…
Several familiar serial writers return in January with new offerings, including Danielle Steel, Ian Rankin and the freakishly prolific James Patterson. Also dropping a book this month? Pope Francis.

The Revenant
If you’re into movies, chances are you’ve already heard all the chatter about The Revenant, the latest from Oscar winner Alejandro Inarritu that stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson. It’s apparently as good as advertised and might be the film that finally ends up getting Leo his Academy Award. Check it out when it opens nationwide on January 8.

College Football Playoff Championship Game
It’s No. 1 versus No. 2 – Clemson versus Alabama – and to the victor go the spoils. While ratings for the semifinals were down because the Tide rolled over Michigan State and Clemson trounced Oklahoma, the championship game delivers what it is intended to do, giving fans the two top teams in the nation. You have to wait until January 11th for the College Football season to end, but it should be worth the wait.

Also in Theatres This Month…
With so many quality flicks opening in December, January has become kind of a dead zone of sorts for movies. Rolling out over the rest of the month, you’ve got Ride Along 2 with Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, Dirty Grandpa starring Robert DeNiro as the titular character and Zac Efron as his preppy grandson, and The Finest Hours, which has Chris Pine as a Coast Guard officer looking to save Casey Affleck and his crew.

If Gaming is Your Thing…
Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India, the middle piece in the Chronicles trilogy that includes China (out last April) and Russia (due in February) and is set during the 1840s conflict between the Sikh Empire and the East India Company. Also arriving is the latest LEGO adventure, this time with Marvel’s The Avengers playing the lead.

Two UFC Events on Your Television
This month’s pay-per-view offering from the UFC took place on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean the company is done with events; not by a long shot. On Sunday, January 17, bantamweight champ T.J. Dillashaw defends his title against former champ Dominick Cruz on TSN and on Saturday, January 30, light heavyweight contenders Anthony Johnson and Ryan Bader collide in a bout to determine the next title challenge on FOX.

NHL All-Star Weekend
On the ice, the month closes out with NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville. Saturday features the Skills Competition – fastest skater, hardest shot, etc. – with the game going Sunday, only this year, there have been some changes. Rather than the traditional “Conference vs. Conference” format, this year is a 3-on-3 format with teams from each division playing in a three-game tournament with a million dollars on the line. Will it work? Not sure, but it’ll be worth checking out.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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