The tree is down, the leftovers are finally finished and your New Year hangover is just about waning — yes, it’s officially January 2022.
We know, we know, it’s difficult to feel too excited at the prospect of a brand new year right now. But with a new year comes new beginnings, and there’s lots to look forward to that doesn’t require booking a one-way ticket to the Caribbean. Think new book releases to sink your teeth into, new TV to binge watch, new fashion collabs to brighten your winter wardrobe and just the right amount of gym classes to tentatively book into. This, ladies and gents, is your zeitgeist, January it-list to see you through. At least until February.
Looking to while away a few hours on the train or simply fill the silence of the void where Christmas joy once lived? Podcasts are your answer. January has plenty in store to add to your list, with a little something for everyone. For the gossip-starved literary aficionado, try Once Upon a Time... at Bennington College, a noirish, nostalgic look at the Bennington College class of 1986 — which featured Bret Easton Ellis, Jonathan Lethem and Donna Tartt — and promises a “tale of money, murder, madness and genius”. True crime more your thing? Head to Sofie Hagen and Dr Julia Shaw’s Bad People as they pore over the most intriguing criminal cases in history. Been following the rise and fall of Silicon Valley’s princess Elizabeth Holmes? The Dropout is a gripping listen about hubris, hustle and billion dollar valuations — and there’ll be new episodes to come following the trial verdict this week. Or if you’re feeling very anti-wellness — ‘tis the season! — then listen to Maintenance Phase, where journalists Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon “debunk the junk science behind health and wellness fads”. Yes please.
Fiction’s class of 2022
If you’ve made it your 2022 mission to cut down on screen time, there’s no shortage of brilliant new fiction to scratch the escapist itch that social media has left. Send Nudes by Saba Sams is a collection of short stories perfect for those who are pressed for time (and attention span), all focused on the world of girlhood and growing up as a woman (fans include Emma Cline and Megan Nolan). Staying in the coming-of-age realm is Brown Girls, the debut novel from Columbia MFA graduate Daphne Palasi Andreades. Set in Queens, New York, it follows a group of young women forging their identity. New Animal by Ella Baxter is a darkly comic novel centred about Amelia, who works in a funeral parlour by day and becomes a sexual adventuress by night. And Candice Carty-Williams fans, rejoice! She’s back on the scene with People Person, which follows lifestyle influencer Dimple as she gets to grips with her estranged half-siblings.
I’m with the brand
Mindless consumerism is never the answer, but a little New Year wardrobe spruce can’t hurt, right? Lazy Oaf has nailed its usual cheery approach to streetwear with its David Méndez Alonso collaboration, featuring primary colours aplenty and a bang-on-trend bobbled balaclava to keep ears toasty. Gucci’s new Zodiac campaign features both real-life and embroidered tigers to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Elsewhere in collab central, Hollywood’s darling Timothée Chalamet has teamed up with Haider Ackermann to release a hoodie, with all proceeds going to Afghanistan Libre, a charity working to safeguard women’s and girls’ rights. Fashion with a conscience, indeed. And if you’re (virtual) window-shopping for a dose of joy, check out designer of the moment Supriya Lele, whose A-list fans include Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid, and whose clothes have just featured on the (beautiful) first cover of the newly relaunched Vogue India.
Small screen SOS
For those with no plans to leave the sofa until March (hi, guys!), this one’s for you. January’s TV schedule is looking ripe for bingeing, with the second season of Euphoria returning in a blaze of eye glitter and teenage hedonism on January 10th. Also back with a bang this month are Cheer (January 12), the hit Netflix documentary that had everyone googling “how to master backflip without prior training”, and After Life (January 14), the Ricky Gervais dark comedy that’s as hilarious as it is tragic. If it’s trash and talking points you’re after, the new season of Too Hot to Handle returns at the end of this month. And for adrenaline junkies searching for a fix of Line of Duty, hit up the new Jed Mercurio thriller Trigger Point, starring none other than Vicky McClure as a bomb disposal officer. It’s set to be, ahem, explosive.
New year, new you
The January seventh-circle-of-hell cycle of health kicks and exercise doesn’t have to be so bad. Really. New classes will help you get your fitness mojo back at last. Third Space in Mayfair is launching a new group Wattbike class, for those who want the (sweaty) hustle of road-biking, without having to deal with the elements (a real win). 1Rebel is expanding its Oxford Circus flagship with a brand new reformer Pilates class, promising to “rip up the Pilates rulebook and bring customers a fun and fire-filled session”. Not so keen on said fire? Try out Fly Low at Gymbox, in which you swing from hammock to floor in a seamless dance routine. Minimal effort required, apparently, and if you can master that, you’ll almost certainly have abs of steel. More into flying high? Fitterati favourite BXR is opening its swanky new Bishopsgate gym in early February, featuring a 125m-high climbing wall overlooking London’s skyline. You’ll be at the Olympics in no time.
Living the meme
Realistically, you’ll still be spending most of the month mindlessly scrolling, but you can still find joy on your screen. Follow @ordinarypeoplememes for a daily dose of suburban comedy, with quotes you’re likely to hear from a distant uncle or Kirsten in accounting, overlaid on to pictures of — you guessed it — ordinary people. (It’s funnier than it sounds).
If you’re a TikToker, you’ll most likely be aware of this account by now, but head to @SylvanianDrama for soap-opera creations of Sylvanian families lying, cheating and ordering strippers (!). It’s guaranteed to both ruin your childhood and provide a laugh or two. And @aidenarata is the go-to account for absurdist memes and pictures of her cat, Puff. Follow now.