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Analysis: ‘The Gilded Age’ brings ‘Downton Abbey’ drama to 1880s New York society #FireNews365


I’m not mad about it, however, because I have decided that my new year shall actually begin in February.

That’s right, I’m using the first month of the year as just a test run for 2022. After all, isn’t time now considered a construct?

If you’ve got some time (and even if you don’t) check out some of this new content.

Three things to watch

‘The Gilded Age’

My love of historical dramas is well documented. If you set it in New York City, I’m doubling down.

Which is why I couldn’t have been more excited for HBO’s “The Gilded Age,” which is set in 1882 and brings all the tension that happens when the new ways clash with tradition.

Oh, and Cynthia Nixon is in it, and there may not be anyone who reminds me of NYC more.

The series, which also stars Louisa Jacobson and Christine Baranski, is brought to you by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes.

It’s streaming on HBO Max, which is owned by CNN’s parent company.

‘The Afterparty’

(Center foreground, from left) Ben Schwartz as Yasper and Sam Richardson as Aniq are shown in a scene from "The Afterparty."

High school reunions can be a lot, but this one is killer.

That’s the concept behind the Apple TV+ mystery series “The Afterparty.” A group of friends gets together for a party after their high school reunion, and one of them ends up dead.

Each of the eight episodes tells the story from the perspective of characters in this ensemble cast that includes Tiffany Haddish, Dave Franco, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz and Ilana Glazer.

To add to the fun, each episode also is styled in a different Hollywood genre. The premiere kicks off as a rom-com, followed by a musical, an action flick, a psychological thriller and more. Click here to read my interview with some of the cast, who had a blast working on this one.

“The Afterparty” starts streaming Friday.

‘The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window’

Kristen Bell stars as Anna in "The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window."

Speaking of genres, a long title is needed when you are doing a satirical take on one of the most popular in modern culture.

This miniseries stars Kristen Bell as a woman who loves her wine, sometimes mixes them with pills, and may or may not have witnessed a crime.

Sound familiar?

It should, as there have been so many books and movies that have centered around this exact type of plot. Bell just makes it more funny than fierce.

It starts streaming on Netflix Friday.

Two things to listen to

Rick Ross announces his album during a time-out in the game between the Miami Heat and the Boston Celtics at Miami's FTX Arena on November 4, 2021.

Rick Ross’ 11th album, “Richer Than I Ever Been,” was released in December, but the deluxe version drops Friday.

Where there is Ross, there is a celebration of the good life and all that comes along with it in the world of hip-hop.

This latest project gives you all of that and more, with assists from fellow artists, including Wiz Khalifa, 21 Savage and Jazmine Sullivan.

(From left) Morgan Wade and Sadler Vaden perform at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 18, 2021.

Ross isn’t the only one with a deluxe album coming out.

Country artist Morgan Wade has a deluxe edition of her “Reckless” debut album, which came out last year.

It drops Friday.

One thing to talk about

(From left) Patrick Dempsey as Andrew Hennings, Reese Witherspoon as Melanie Smooter and Josh Lucas as Jake Perry star in "Sweet Home Alabama."

We are getting old, you guys.

Do you realize that we fell in love with Reese Witherspoon and Josh Lucas in “Sweet Home Alabama” 20 years ago?

That’s right. That film came out in 2002, along with other popular films like “Lilo & Stitch,” “8 Mile,” “Spider-Man,” “Resident Evil,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “John Q” and “Scooby-Doo.”

Time is flying.

Something to sip on

(From left) Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott and Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers star in "Scream 5," which came out this month.

Let’s stick with the old-movies theme and talk about how many sequels are planned to come out in 2022.

We’ve already had “Scream 5” and “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” so far this year — and that’s just the tip start.

If all goes to plan, we also have “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” “Jurassic World Dominion” and “Top Gun: Maverick” coming — just to name a few.

I have been known to rail against sequels, but these days there’s comfort in revisiting old characters who feel like old friends. So, bring them on.

What did you like about today’s newsletter? What did we miss? Pop in to poplife@cnn.com and say hello!



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