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Opinion: What to stream in January 2024: ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘Echo,’



As the calendar flips to 2024, the streaming world looks more expensive and less expansive than a year ago.

Changes are everywhere: Most of the major streaming services have raised prices over the past year; Amazon is adding commercials to Prime Video later this month; corporate consolidation is looming; and there are significantly fewer shows being made as companies look to cut back and focus on the bottom line.

Consumers need to adapt. While there are still blockbuster, must-see series on the way (such as Apple’s “Masters of the Air”), there’s less that’s worth splurging on — at least until proven worthy (like Max’s “True Detective: Night Country” and Paramount’s “Sexy Beast”).

That’s where a strategy of churning — that is, adding and dropping services month to month — comes in. It takes some planning, but pays off in monthly savings, since there’s no use paying for a service you hardly watch anymore. Keep in mind that a billing cycle starts when you sign up, not necessarily at the beginning of the month.

Each month, this column offers tips on how to maximize your streaming and your budget, rating the major services as a “play,” “pause” or “stop” — similar to investment analysts’ traditional ratings of buy, hold or sell, and picks the best shows to help you make your monthly decisions.

Here’s a look at what’s coming to the various streaming services in January 2024, and what’s really worth the monthly subscription fee:

Apple TV+ ($9.99 a month)

More than two decades after “Band of Brothers” and 14 years after “The Pacific,” producers Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are back with their third epic World War II miniseries, “Masters of the Air” (Jan. 26). Austin Butler (“Elvis”) stars, alongside a sprawling cast that includes Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Callum Turner (“Fantastic Beasts”) and Ncuti Gatwa (“Sex Education”), in the true story of American airmen undertaking an incredibly perilous bombing campaign over Nazi Germany. The nine-episode series is based on the bestselling 2007 book of the same name by Donald L. Miller. “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific” — both of which originally aired on HBO and are now also on Netflix — were spectacular (there’s a strong argument that “Band of Brothers” is the greatest TV miniseries ever made), and “Masters of the Air” should be one of the highlights of the TV year.

Apple’s
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also got “Criminal Record” (Jan. 10), a British crime-thriller series starring Peter Capaldi (“Doctor Who”) and Cush Jumbo (“The Good Fight”) as detectives squaring off with each other over an old murder case.

There are also new episodes of “For All Mankind” and “Monarch: A Legacy of Monsters” (both season finales Jan. 12), and with Oscar nominations looming, Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon”



Read More: Opinion: What to stream in January 2024: ‘Masters of the Air,’ ‘Echo,’

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