1. Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch could start a whole new way of playing games
It was easy to miss Black Mirror’s one off special, Bandersnatch, as it appeared without warning between Christmas and New Year. But it’s worth making sure you check out this stand alone episode because it’s both good, and an interesting demonstration of a potential future for gaming. The story of Bandersnatch is a very meta one about an 80s developer trying to make a video game based on a choose your own adventure book, told in a story you can control with your remote. Some option are little more than cosmetic (what food to eat, or music to listen to for example) while others can have life and death consequences. What follows is the lead character’s mind gradually unravelling as he tries to take control of an interactive story while being taken control of in an interactive story. It is, for all intents and purposes, a Telltale game, only with live filmed humans instead of game characters - you make choices and the story branches with multiple paths and at least five known endings right now. It’s good story, a fun experiment and has huge potential for a future where we ‘watch’ games as much as play them. Leon Hurley
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2. How easy will it really be to create with Dreams?
The Dreams beta technically started back in December, but only folks who had already signed up to the official Dreams mailing list were invited. But many more people will soon have a chance to try out the creative side of the LittleBigPlanet studio's new venture. Sign-ups for the beta open up to all on January 4, and developer Media Molecule will start inviting waves of participants in starting on January 11. Only a limited selection of the full game's creation tools are available in the beta (along with a brief tutorial and some sample "Dreams" to give you ideas), but it should be plenty to get you started. So far we've seen the MediaMolecule team create some amazing things, but they all makes games themselves, so now will be the chance for everyone to find out just how accessible the tools on offer are in Dreams, and how easy it is for the average gamer to try their hand at making games. The beta will run through January 21, and the full game is still scheduled to arrive sometime this year, so lets get practising. Connor Sheridan
What: Dreams Creator beta
When: January 11 through 21 for new applicants
3. Netflix's new You TV show is a marvellous mix of thriller, horror and odd comedy that might make you want to give up social media forever
If you like anything like Gone Girl or even American Psycho, then new Netflix TV show simply entitled You is an absolute must-see. As you will see from the trailer, it's got some seriously creepy vibes courtesy of a young bookstore manager called Joe (played by Gossip Girl's Penn Badley), who falls in love a little too hard with a customer called Beck (Elizabeth Lail). But unfortunately for Beck, Joe's just a touch obsessive, and learns way too much about her before they even go for drinks via her regularly updated social media channels. It's an odd watch, because it's hard to know who you're rooting for. On the one hand you've got Joe trying to be the best boyfriend ever and better Beck's life in every way possible (with regular extreme measures), and then you've got Beck herself who turns out to be way less of the Insta-perfect girl you expect her to be. You is that kind of rollercoaster trainwreck that keeps you ploughing through the episode just to see what other mad shit happens. Sam Loveridge
When: Right now
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4. Are escape rooms the new haunted houses for horror?
Honestly, it's a surprise that an escape room hasn't featured in a horror movie sooner. These puzzle rooms are the perfect place to trap anyone you want to to murder, and the fact that people are locked in really saves on those set and casting costs. Escape Room, a new movie from Insidious: The Last Key director Adam Robitel, plays with the idea in an intriguing way, with the trailer showing hints of a Cabin In the Woods type of constructed reality and a cast made up of "she was in that thing, right?" level stars showing psychological strain as they battle to survive. Rachel Weber
What: Escape Room
Where: January 4
When: Movie theaters
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5. Can the conclusion of Count Olaf's capers satisfy fans?
A Series of Unfortunate Events isn't just an apt description of 2018, it's the super dark - but somehow still delightful - children's adventure series on Netflix, and we're getting a third helping. The last two seasons have spoiled us with perfect performances from character actors like Joan Cusack and Tony Hale, elaborate sets, and Neil Patrick Harris in the role of a lifetime as Count Olaf, but the time is coming for us to get some sort of closure on the atrociously unlucky Baudelaire children. This final season will try and deliver it, tying to gather together the spider web of plot threads and - hopefully - landing the Baudelaire orphans with someone, anyone, who can actually take care of them for more than two episodes. Rachel Weber
What: A Series of Unfortunate Events
When: Out now
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6. The 76th Annual Golden Globes could see big wins for Black Panther, Killing Eve, and more this weekend
While The Oscars still scrambles to find a suitable host, The Golden Globes is prepped and ready to stage a killer show on January 6, as the annual academy awards ceremony looks back on another year of stellar film and television. The big news is that superheroes are finally beginning to earn recognition as a cinematic genre, with Black Panther up for a total of three awards, including Best Picture, eclipsed only by the likes of Vice, The Favourite, and A Star is Born in nomination counts. On the small screen, Killing Eve, Barry, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel are expected to win big, while one of the co-hosts, Sandra Oh, could well be accepting a trophy herself on the evening, with the actress in the running for best female performance in a television drama. She and her co-host, Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Andy Samberg, will likely be providing plenty of laughs throughout the evening, and you can expect the topical jokes to be a little less excruciating now that Ricky Gervais has been discharged from presenter duties. Hollywood will certainly be sleeping easier, anyway. Alex Avard
What: The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Where: NBC (US), E! (UK)
When: 8PM ET/5PM PT (US), 1AM BST (UK)
- Black Panther is up for Best Picture at the Golden Globes 2019 - see the full list of nominations here
7. Brooklyn 99 season 6 finally comes to NBC on January 10, so thank your deity of choice that NBC saved it from an untimely end
Way back in May 2018, the internet experienced a rollercoaster of emotion when Fox (boo, hiss) cancelled Brooklyn 99. Heartbreak, denial, anger: we all went through it together. Then ecstasy struck as NBC came to the rescue, picking up the police-station comedy series that’s been praised for its diversity, humour (duh), how it subverts stereotypes, and the genuine warmth between characters. The internet breathed a sigh of relief. After co-creator and showrunner Dan Goor heard Fox was cancelling it to replace its timeslot with the recently-purchased Thursday Night Football, everyone scrambled to find another home for the series, among them Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment. Hearing that Hulu had dropped out was a blow according to Goor, but NBC picked it up a mere 31 hours later. The whole saga raises some important questions about how the industry measures the success of TV shows. With streaming services fast becoming giants of the entertainment world, and their reluctance to release viewing numbers, it seems like measuring TV shows’ success by how many people watch them on the night they air is becoming an increasingly obsolete way to judge their popularity. Let’s hope that Brooklyn 99 isn’t put through the ringer like that ever again. Ready? All together now: NINE-NIIIIIINE! Zoe Delahunty-Light
What: Brooklyn 99 season 6
Where: NBC (US)
When: January 10, 9pm/8pm central
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8. Luther season 5 kicks off at last, and this daily episode release is a schedule I can get behind
Idris Elba is back as grizzled, gloriously rugged, East London copper DCI John Luther in Luther season 5, launching nearly four years after the end of the previous series. And rather than limiting us to one new dose of Luther every week, the BBC is drip feeding us with a fresh slice of action every day. It feels like the perfect balance between the Netflix-style drop a whole season in one go, and what now feels like a painfully slow one episode per week release schedule. It provides just the right sense of drama, which is highly appropriate for this dark and twisted season, whereby you know you can't just binge watch seven episodes in a row, but there's never too long to wait until the next one. Turns out soaps basically had it right all along. Sam Loveridge
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