The Month In Pop Entertainment: January 2014

Ring in the New Year with new music, TV series, and a surprising amount of horror movies.

The holidays are officially over. So as we (hopefully) start a brand new year with an abundant assortment of giftcards, here’s a top ten list of entertaining ways to pass these long, cold winter nights.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones — 03 January

In this fifth installment of the horror series, the malevolent demon moves on to prey on another family. Critics are saying that it has to be terrible because its trailer barely shows anything. But how else do you make a trailer for a movie that’s mostly about staring at dark rooms, waiting for something for move by itself?

CBS’ Intelligence — 07 January

A cocky, confident soldier (Josh Holloway) becomes a top-secret spy after an implanted chip upgrades his brain. It’s kind of like The Six Million Dollar Man. It’s a lot like Jake 2.O, if you actually remember that show.

FOX’s Enlisted — 10 January

A sergeant finds himself in charge of his two brothers and other lackluster military recruits. It’s being described as a “workplace comedy set in the Army”, but this sitcom, similar to McHale’s Navy or Gomer Pyle, USMC, is full of goofy antics and silly personalities.

Jennifer Nettle’s That Girl — 14 January

There are only two members of Sugarland. So lead singer Jennifer Nettle’s first solo album has to be like one of their albums, right? Actually, it seems to continue the trend towards more pop-based country music.

FOX’s American Idol — 15 January

The most successful singing competition on TV returns with Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr. on the judges panel, Randy Jackson as “mentor”, Ryan Seacrest as host, and at least five currently unknown people who can really sing.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit — 17 January

Chris Pine stars as a newbie secret agent in this origin story based on the popular Tom Clancy character. If you are looking for a break from all those potential Oscar contenders, this is your popcorny pick.

The Nut Job — 17 January

A squirrel plots out a nut store heist in this animated comedy featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, and Liam Neeson. Talking squirrels planning a robbery doesn’t surprise me. They can be very crafty creatures. But has anyone ever heard of a shop that only sells nuts?

PBS’ Sherlock — 19 January

Season 3 of the BBC import will introduce us to a new villain (Lars Mikkelsen), show us how Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) faked his own death, and how Watson (Martin Freeman) dealt with it all.

FOX’s Sleepy Hollow Season Finalé, — 20 January

The biggest hit of the fall 2013 season comes to an early end in a big two-hour finalé. The good news: it’ll be back for another season. The bad news: you’ll have to wait until fall 2014 to see it.

I, Frankenstein — 24 January

In this very loosely adapted version of the classic monster story, Aaron Eckhart stars as the creature and Bill Nighy co-stars as the leader of a clan of demons. If there is a sequel, the Bride of Frankenstein will probably be a mercenary employed by a coven of witches. But seriously, this movie does look interesting.