January Previews: Netflix and Amazon

This month we look at streaming releases pulling audiences into worlds near and far, strange and familiar. An intriguing mix of comedy, period drama and iconic characters.

Medici: The Magnificent (Netflix)

A lush and luxurious-looking Renaissance-era drama, this second season about the Medici family is set twenty years on from its predecessor, which starred Richard Madden and Dustin Hoffman. Here, Sean Bean steps into the show as Jacopo Pazzi, the head of a rival banking family to the Medicis in 15th Century Florence. Daniel Sharman plays the young Lorenzo – nicknamed ‘The Magnificent’ – who must assume control of the Medici bank after an attempt on his father’s life. With the eight episodes directed by Jon Cassar and Jan Maria Michelini, intrigue and an international cast are promised.

Endeavour S5 (Amazon Prime)

All six episodes of the fifth season of ITV’s Endeavour, the Russell Lewis-created prequel to the perennially popular Inspector Morse, are set to become available on Amazon Prime this month. Once again starring Shaun Evans as the young Oxford detective, it’s now 1968 and the Summer of Love is but a distant memory, as events around Cowley Police Station grow ever darker. With the sixth season due in 2019, this is the perfect opportunity to reacquaint yourself with one of television’s most iconic characters.

Sex Education (Netflix)

Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson headline this appealing-looking new sitcom that is set for an eight-episode first season. Butterfield’s Otis sets up an underground sex therapy clinic at school, inspired in part by his own mother’s experience as a sex therapist. Anderson, of course, is frank the matriarch, who thinks nothing of asking her son if he’d like to talk about his recent habit of “pretending to masturbate”. Ncuti Gatwa co-stars as Otis’ best friend Eric, who promises to help his sexually repressed friend explore a new frontier.

All shows available from January 2019 onwards. For more details, visit Netflix and Amazon.

James Mottram

1. All stills courtesy of Amazon and Netflix.