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A new year means lots of new TV shows and movies. What to expect

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

So with the new year comes new TV shows and movies. But even though I live for new stuff to watch, I can't watch all the new stuff. So we asked Pop Culture Happy Hour's Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris to find out what's on their radar. Hello, you two.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Hello.

AISHA HARRIS, BYLINE: Hey there.

MARTÍNEZ: Linda, let's start with you. What's must see viewing for you?

HOLMES: So one of the things that I am very excited about this year is a series on Peacock called "Poker Face." It is essentially "Columbo" starring Natasha Lyonne, who people know from "Russian Doll" and other things. It was created by Rian Johnson, who is fresh off of "Glass Onion," and it's very much a case-of-the-week show that follows this woman Charlie as she goes from town to town. She's on the run herself from - for reasons that you will find out. And she - everywhere she goes - it's a little bit, you know, one of those things where everywhere she goes, there's a mystery that needs solving. And she runs into all kinds of wonderful guest stars like Lil Rel Howery and lots of really cool and interesting folks.

And I am excited about this just because I love "Columbo," and it has very much the spirit of that show. It also has all those wonderful guest stars. And I love Natasha Lyonne. So I've seen the first just, like, six of these. There will ultimately be 10. I'm very excited about "Poker Face" on Peacock.

MARTÍNEZ: She has this feel about her that she can figure out when someone's lying to her, so I think, yeah, it'll probably be fun to watch. OK, now there's also an upcoming action comedy that's on both your radars - "American Born Chinese," a TV series that's going to air on Disney+.

HARRIS: Yeah, and this is based on the graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. It's - basically it follows multiple storylines and includes a mythic Chinese god and a kid of Chinese immigrants who's struggling to fit in in his school as one of the few Asian kids at his school. So it deals with identity and themes of adolescence and how those things collide. And I'm really excited for this action series adaptation of it because it is going to be starring Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu, who are reunited from my favorite movie of 2022, "Everything Everywhere All At Once." So I'm really excited for it. It's also created by Kelvin Yu, who is an actor and writer who's worked on "Master Of None" and "Bob's Burgers" among other things. So some great pedigree here. It looks really exciting.

HOLMES: Yeah, I'm excited about this one, too. I think that cast reunion, coming so soon on the heels of "Everything Everywhere All At Once," is so exciting. I would watch pretty much any of those actors in anything. So I definitely plan to check this one out, too.

MARTÍNEZ: I mean, there are battles between Chinese mythological gods. That's all anyone has to say to me to have me watch that. Aisha, so what about returning TV series that you're going to be following?

HARRIS: Well, I'm really excited especially for the return of "Yellowjackets" on Showtime. It was kind of, I think, a surprise hit last year. It's not based on any, you know, familiar property. It's about a girls' high school soccer team who are fighting for survival after their plane crashes in the middle of nowhere. And they're on their way to a tournament in 1996. And then it jumps back and forth between the events that occurred while they were stranded there and then their lives as adults in the present day. And it has an amazing all-star cast that includes Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Juliette Lewis. And I'm so interested and curious to see how Season 2 kind of digs into all of the mysteries that were still left at the end of Season 1. There are some things that were sort of wrapped up, but there were a lot of loose threads there. So Season 2, I hope, is going to answer some more of those questions and provide perhaps even more mysteries and puzzles for us to solve.

HOLMES: Yeah, I loved "Yellowjackets." I think one of the most exciting things about a new year of television is always thinking about what's coming back that - you know, television shows go away for a long time now. So I am excited to eventually see the return of not just "Yellowjackets," but also, you know, "Succession," which I love, "Severance," which premiered on Apple last - in 2022, and which I thought was great. "Ted Lasso" will eventually be back, also on Apple. So, like, just there's a lot to look forward to that I already know that I like.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. I can't let either of you go without hearing more about a movie from each of you. So, Aisha, you go first.

HARRIS: As soon as it hits theaters, I am going to be in the - well, not the front row, because I want to be able to see it, but in the middle, as perfectly central as possible, to see "Magic Mike's Last Dance." I loved "Magic Mike XXL." I'm one of those people who actually thinks that it's better than the first "Magic Mike," which I think was also good. But I'm very excited because it's kind of continuing in the tradition of "Magic Mike XXL," which featured older women in that film like Jada Pinkett Smith and Andie MacDowell, and here Salma Hayek plays a - what looks like possibly a love interest for Channing Tatum. And so I'm just very much looking forward to it. This is the type of thing where you go to the movies for, and it's sure to be a very entertaining experience amongst a lot of other people who are excited to see "Magic Mike's Last Dance."

MARTÍNEZ: And Aisha, they - I don't care what they had to spend, I better hear Donna Summer somewhere in that movie.

HARRIS: (Laughter).

MARTÍNEZ: You can't name a movie "Last Dance" and not have Donna Summer somewhere in that movie singing. Linda, what about you?

HOLMES: Well, I'm excited about "Magic Mike's Last Dance." I share that with Aisha. Those are wonderful, really wonderful movies, I agree. And I'm also looking forward to the continuation of a series, which is "Creed III," which is coming out this year. It's the new kind of "Rocky" universe movie, although this is the third one that is about Adonis Creed, who is played by Michael B. Jordan. And in this one, he - his sort of - I can't tell if they're nemesises (ph) or frenemies or what, but the co-star is Jonathan Majors, who's a terrific actor. And Michael B. Jordan directed this. You know, the first one was directed by Ryan Coogler, who is now doing all kinds of exciting stuff. And he stepped away from directing after the first one. But this one is directed by Michael B. Jordan. It's his feature directing debut. And it's very exciting. I really want to see what this guy does in the director's chair, in addition to the fact that, you know, I really enjoy watching him in these films. So "Creed III" - love it.

HARRIS: Yeah.

MARTÍNEZ: Linda Holmes and Aisha Harris, hosts of Pop Culture Happy Hour. Linda, Aisha, thanks.

HOLMES: Thank you.

HARRIS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.
Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.
Aisha Harris is a host of Pop Culture Happy Hour.