La La Land
This year’s Oscars best picture frontrunner, La La Land might – on the face of it – sound like a classic piece of awards-courting. It’s a love story between aspiring performers in LA, and a musical to boot. Yet, that isn’t to reckon with the kinetic energy of Damien “Whiplash” Chazelle’s direction, as well as the almost preposterous chemistry between leads Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.
On general release from Friday 13 Jan
Among a phalanx of po-faced police procedurals, Paul “Shameless” Abbott’s series stands apart. Here’s a rare cop drama that’s up for having a laugh, as best exemplified by Joanna Scanlon’s gloriously bawdy DI Deering. She and the show are back for series two.
Continues Wednesday 11 Jan, 9pm, Channel 4
A welcome return for Michaela Coel’s smutty but sweet sitcom, which documents the sexual frustrations of a religious young woman in Tower Hamlets. Last time we saw Tracey she had just been chucked out of her mum’s house and had upended her sister’s wedding, so there’s tidying up to be done as this second series begins, though that’s unlikely to slow the show’s steady stream of gags.
Begins Thursday 12 Jan, 10pm, E4
Chris Gethard’s podcast mines reliably awkward terrain: calls from anonymous listeners. The catch? He can’t hang up no matter how strange it gets. A bonkers, brills listen.
After nearly four years of radio silence, the band who merged indie with minimal electronica to such stratospherically successful effect are releasing their third album, I See You. Teaser single On Hold sees the band combine their trademark slow and spacious sound with the rapturous sampling that will be familiar to fans of Jamie xx’s solo career. On Hold, maybe, but certainly not stuck in the mud.
Situated amid a whopping 500 acres of rural hillside, Yorkshire Sculpture Park is home to more than 100 works of art. But head into its Bothy Gallery and you’ll find even more. Beyond Boundaries: Art By Email explores political situations outside the UK. Pieces have been emailed over by artists who can’t freely leave their countries. The hypnotising Deer On The Road by Kurdish photographer Sabr Dri features alongside various other images.
At Bothy Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, until Sunday 5 Mar
Turner In January
When Henry Vaughan left his collection of Turner watercolours to the Scottish National Gallery, he did so on the condition they be exhibited for free every January. His wishes have been honoured ever since; witness this great Scottish tradition.
At Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, until Tuesday 31 Jan
The UK’s annual festival for new dance returns to The Place in London for a 28th outing, kicking off this week. Co-produced by the Breakin’ Convention festival, arts venue Jacksons Lane, the Rambert dance company and Grad-Lab Dance, who offer support to graduate dancers, it comprises 78 works from exciting new names across a host of styles.
At The Place, WC1, until Saturday 25 Feb
International mime festival
London’s longest-running international theatre season has been celebrating visual performance since 1977. This year’s roster, comprising 120 performances, is nothing if not varied: purveyor of dazzling ball-chuckery Gandini Juggling prepares to amaze with its new show Smashed; Compagnie MPTA and Mathurin Bolze’s drama Barons Perchés untaps the narrative potential of the trampoline; and Les Antliaclastes adapt Mark Twain’s Is Shakespeare Dead? using, er, taxidermy puppetry. As you do.
At various venues from Monday 9 Jan to Saturday 4 Feb
Fabric opening parties
The London club’s reopening comes with plenty of caveats (ID scanners at the door and more CCTV cameras), but after the efforts of the club and its dance music fans with their #SaveOurCulture campaign, there is plenty to be cheered about. Chiefly that nightlife is not dead.
At Fabric, EC1M, Friday 6 Jan to Sunday 8 Jan