2016 was, well, a rough year. And 2017… well, that’s looking like it’s going to be a rough year, too. And whether or not you subscribe to the theory that rough years lead to great art, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier to get through. Still, there’s something to be said for taking solace in artistic greatness — or crashing cars or whateve works for you — in tough times. Sometimes it’s all we’ve got, and the need for that makes any disappointments that much more disappointing. As we look ahead at 2017, our writers shared their greatest TV- and movie-related hopes and fears for the year to come.
The first season of Better Call Saul was good, and sometimes great. Even with that bar set, the second season was a leap forward. The side-by-side stories of Jimmy and Saul both started kicking into high gear, giving viewers little glimpses of the people we know they’ll be when the show catches up to Breaking Bad, and Rhea Seehorn’s performance as Kim is becoming one of TV’s best. The show is starting to become a worthy companion to the original, and I would argue, a more enjoyable watch. My hope for 2017 is that it stays on the upward trajectory in season three. With so many of our favorite shows zeroing in on and end date, it would be nice to have this one settle into a spot at the top for a few years.
The last three Fast & Furious films (Fast Five, Fast & Furious 6, Furious 7) have been the best kind of big fun summer action movies. My worry is that this next one, The Fate of the Furious, will be the one that breaks the streak. Between the absence of Paul Walker and the fact that you can only go so big before you become a caricature, there’s a lot up in the air here. Save us, Statham. You’re my only hope.
I hope that people actually admit that The CW is great. The DC shows are consistently fun, The 100 continues to be one of the most surprising and morally ambiguous sci-fi, iZombie is the best zombie show on TV (don’t @ me), and Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend continue to be clever, compelling and progressive. Yes, everyone has perfect hair and rock-hard abs, but that doesn’t mean that the content is subpar.
I’m worried that the live-action Beauty and the Beast is going to be terrible. The trailer did not inspire a ton of initial confidence despite a great cast, so it would be a shame to tarnish the legacy of one of Disney’s finest films (and my personal favorite.). Disney had a rock solid run on all fronts in 2016, so I worry that that kind of momentum can’t be maintained.
That people keep listening to John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers, and the like. CNN declared that 2016 was “the year late night picked a side” and that side clearly didn’t come away with the presidency. There may be concerns about clearly evident bias going forward and the effectiveness of the Trump-is-a-monster narrative may be in doubt, but I do hope that late night’s ability to skewer isn’t dulled and that sharp observations don’t fall on deaf ears. If we require people to lie to us about adhering to some code of impartiality before we pay attention to them when they call out hypocrisy and other forms of political bullsh*t then we’re doomed.
Speaking of doomed, my effort to catch up with all the offerings on Netflix, Amazon, and other peak TV providers is not going well. Please slow down. I am trying to live a life.
That the second season of Preacher will be even better than the first. The first season was amazing, mind you, but now they have the plotline of the comics to deal with, at least to some degree. Their willingness to abide by the spirit instead of the letter hints it’ll be the springboard to something great.
That Hollywood’s higher-than-usual creative bankruptcy destroys most of the industry. 2017 is kicking off with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, a sequel to a 15-year-old movie nobody cared much about back in the nü-metal days and likely care even less about now. We’re getting a third Smurfs movie despite the fact audiences avoided the second one. Universal is trying to turn its classic monster movies into The Avengers, despite the fact that was supposed to happen with Dracula Untold, a movie that now apparently doesn’t count.
Disney made $7 billion this year, but the majority of that came from just four movies making roughly a billion apiece, and it also put out one of the biggest high-budget bombs of the year. And most studios don’t have the advantage of owning Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars to cover their increasingly expensive mistakes. The movie business is incredibly fragile at the best of times, and 2017 is not promising to be one of those.