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Entertainment Essentials: January 12, 2018

CREDIT: Warner Bros.; Jay Maidment/Lionsgate; Augusta Quirk/IFC; Jeff Daly/FX

Every Friday, NewsCult Entertainment Editor Jeffrey Malone recommends the entertainment essentials of the week – at least three, often more, and usually at least one cinematic and at least one televisual, but it could be ANY combination.

1. Movie: Paddington 2 – Everyone’s favorite marmalade-loving anthropomorphic bear is back, and this time he’s washing windows and getting (wrongfully) thrown in jail! Courtesy of director Paul King and a bevy of delightful British actors, the Paddington series is delightful for children and adults alike, with a heartwarming tale of the immigrant experience tucked in there for good measure.

2. Movie: The Commuter – If you’re a genre flick aficionado, chances are you’ve been closely following the career of Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, whose whizbang action wizardry places him at the the top of the genre heap. The Commuter, his latest team-up with Liam Neeson, finds the mysterious Vera Farmiga proposing an intriguing deal to former cop Neeson on his train ride home. And then of course all breaks loose. As hoped for, it is both ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining.

3. TV: The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story Season Premiere (January 17 on FX) – We’ve had to wait two years for the follow-up to the immensely satisfying first season of American Crime Story. This time, the true tale takes us to the world of high fashion, as it turns out that glamour attracts murderous passions. The death of legendary designer Gianni Versace is on tap, and as is usually the case for a Ryan Murphy-produced series, the eye-catching cast (including Édgar Ramírez, Penélope Cruz, and Darren Criss) is the biggest draw.

4. TV: Portlandia Season 8 Premiere (January 18 on IFC) – Put a bird on it! Cacao! The dream of the ’90s is alive in Portland! If those exclamations are all that you know about Portlandia, then chances are you haven’t watched Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s IFC sketch series past the first season. This skewering/chronicle of a Northwestern U.S. 21st Century sort-of-utopia has gotten more adventurous and experimental as the years have gone by. And well, it’s time to get all caught up, as Season 8 will be the show’s last. Will Mr. Mayor and all the other residents keep Portland weird forever and ever?

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