New Year’s ‘Messiah’

(Above: Mehdi Dehbi in ‘Messiah.’ Source: YouTube video)

On New Year’s Day, Netflix will debut two 10-episode series that are cut from decidedly different cloth – Messiah and Spinning Out.

Messiah’s combustible premise involves a man (Mehdi Dehbi) who appears in the Middle East, proclaiming himself to be the returning Jesus. The ‘Messiah’ soon develops a large following, as others try to determine whether he is the real deal or a fraud determined to cause geopolitical chaos.

The story is told from multiple points-of-view, including that of CIA agent Eva Geller (True Detective’s Michelle Monaghan). The cast also includes Jane Adams, Weaver Bryce, Sayyid El Alami, Farès Landoulsi, Melinda Page Hamilton and Tomer Sisley.

Michael Petroni is the show’s creator.

If thrillers based on religious controversy aren’t your thing, you might prefer Spinning Out, a show in which the stakes are considerably more earth – or should we say ice — bound.

Following a devastating fall that takes out her of individual competition, figure skater Kat Baker (Kaya Scodelario) realizes she can still realize her Olympic dream by pairing with talented bad-boy partner Justin Davis (Evan Roderick). It will be no easy task for Baker, who must try to keep her eye on the prize while holding onto a waitressing job and attending to her family in nearby Hawkley, ID.

The cast includes Mad Men’s January Jones as Kat’s mother, a former figure skater, and Hunger Games’ Willow Shields as younger sister Serena.

For more on both shows, visit Netflix.

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A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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