Well, look at that. It’s 2020. This means a number of things. It means we get an extra day of February, it means we’re about to get bombarded with 11 months of political commercials and attack ads, and it means we have lots of new shows and movies to look forward to. Hey, one out of three ain’t bad, as long as we’re grading on a pretty generous curve, which we are.
Below, members of the Uproxx staff have identified some of things we’re looking forward to from TV and film this year. We’ve got triumphant returns and sad goodbyes and Tom Hanks with both a robot and a dog. That’s some range. And this list doesn’t even come close to covering everything. There is so much content coming this year. Too much content, probably. But it’s an attempt to highlight a few goodies, which is at least a start. That has to count for something.
THE TV SHOWS WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO
The boys and/or robots are back in town
Better Call Saul, Fargo, and Westworld all took 2019 off and all of them are coming back at some point in 2020. That’s great news. It’s great news in very specific ways for each show, too. It’s great to have Better Call Saul back because that show rules. It’s great to have Fargo back because Fargo also rules and because this new season will feature Chris Rock and Timothy Olyphant (and Olyphant’s character is named Dick “Deafy” Wickware). And it’s great to have Westworld back because that show is just completely insane. I remember almost nothing about the second season and I recapped every episode. It’s a blast.
That’s the point, really. Television is just more fun — and more interesting and more unhinged — when these shows are on. I missed them a lot last year. I’m glad to have them back. I missed all my crime boys and/or robots. — Brian Grubb
The potential — possible? — return to standup by Jon Stewart
I know Jon Stewart’s eventual return by way of an HBO stand-up special isn’t going to save the world, but it might give fans an hour of sanity, and that’s something. Also, I think it’s a mistake to assume that we’re going to exclusively get the Daily Show version of Jon Stewart. Never forget leather jacket-clad Stewart, America’s cool comedy boyfriend. Much as I (and many others) would love to see Stewart take a stick of dynamite to the freshly renovated bullshit mountain (it’s got gold toilets now!), don’t be surprised if Stewart passes on the chance to seeth for an hour and, instead, mixes things up a little, bashing on both the politics of the moment and the weirdness of modern life. Whatever path he takes, though, it’ll be a welcome return to one of our most clever observers.
— Jason Tabrys
Some sad but much-deserved swan songs
Maybe it’s because I’m writing this as “WWIII” is the number one trending topic on Twitter, but instead of getting excited for any new shows in 2020, I’m focused on what’s coming to an end. The Good Place and BoJack Horseman both return for the second half of their respective final reasons, followed by GLOW, Corporate, The 100, Fresh Off the Boat, Modern Family, and Homeland (yes, Homeland is still on) later this year. Criminal Minds is also wrapping up after well over 300 episodes. Please check on your parents. They’re devastated. — Josh Kurp
A swan song for a show that was just starting to get its due
If 2019 taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood has a bad track record when it comes to ending beloved stories on screen. Am I jaded after suffering through the season finale of Game of Thrones and a lackluster final installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy? Sure, but there’s still a spark of hope that Schitt’s Creek will do what others before it could not. I want weddings and karaoke ballads and wigs — god, do I want more wigs — but mostly I want to see these characters we’ve fallen in love with over the past five seasons get the endings they deserve. And because Dan Levy is Dan Levy, I think that’ll happen. — Jessica Toomer
Marvel TV making moves
The MCU TV shows will be full of Easter eggs, so get ready, and it pains me to admit that although I’m looking forward to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, that one seems like pure buddy-comedy comfort food with few surprises in store. Whereas Wanda Maximoff and Vision’s repairing feels like a true preview of what Kevin Feige promised would be unexpected new horizons for the Marvel Studios characters. This looks like an honest-to-god homage to The Dick Van Dyke Show, something that we clearly do not expect a couple of Avengers. Also, Randall Park and Kat Dennings will make their MCU return with Kathryn Hahn as a meddling neighbor. Although this may all be due to time travel, this is still a trip I wanna take. — Kimberly Ricci
Our profane king returns
It seemed like a big deal when Armando Iannucci — creator of Veep and, more importantly, The Thick of It and its spin-off movie In the Loop — swore off political satire in the wake of Trump. On the other hand, good for him! Trump jokes are easy, and besides, Iannucci has always had bigger fish to fry. From co-creating Steve Coogan’s eternally boobish Alan Partridge to the sickly funny The Death of Stalin, Iannucci has always been drawn to understanding — then mocking — those who make life miserable for everyone else. From the trailers, Iannucci’s latest HBO romp appears to concern a doomed space cruise ship whose fate is in the hands of a penny-pinching NASA. Even if it winds up less cutting (or even less funny) than previous Iannuccis, it’s still an Iannucci, and since he recently turned Dickens’ whopping doorstop David Copperfield into a movie that runs just under two hours, it’s clear he can do anything. — Matt Prigge
Reese and Kerry coming to Hulu
Celeste Ng is one of the best novelists of her generation (or any generation), and Little Fires Everywhere is a brilliant and riveting family drama, ripe for adaptation by the right people. Lynn Shelton in the director’s chair, and Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington in the lead roles (along with Rosemarie Dewitt and Joshua Jackson in supporting roles) are the exact right people. Little Fires Everywhere arrives on Hulu in March, and it has the potential to be clean up in awards season. — Dustin Rowles
Awkwafina: The Show
The Farewell was so wonderful that basically I’ll watch anything in which Awkwafina plays someone who resides in a New York borough. This will not be the same character, Billi, which is made clear in the show’s title. But Awkwafina has shown her characters can be funny while displaying a remarkable depth, which sometimes isn’t obvious with Comedy Central shows. Giving her the keys to a comedy is a no-brainer at this point, and the chance to see Bowen Yang outside of his current SNL pigeonhole is exciting, too. There’s a lot of talent at play here, and it feels safe to expect something great. — Ryan Nagelhout
THE MOVIES WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO
The thing I like about the Fast & Furious franchise is that there’s almost no way to screw it up. These movies have been big/dumb/loud neon action for almost two full decades and they just keep adding people to the cast to make it all bigger and louder. Helen Mirren is the Fast & Furious movies now. Helen Mirren! She plays Jason Statham’s mom! Vanessa Kirby plays Jason Statham’s sister, which means Helen Mirren plays Vanessa Kirby’s mom. John Cena is in there for this new movie, shocking the majority of the general public who assumed he had been in these movies for years already.
But mostly I’m excited because Fast 9 marks the return of Justin Lin as director. Lin directed the run of franchise from Tokyo Drift through Fast & Furious 6 and, in doing so, brought the franchise back from the scrap heap. He was the one who brought in The Rock in Fast Five. His bona fides are very much intact. And, like, who knows where this sucker will go? The last movie ended with a cyberanarchist played by Charlize Theron — Charlize Theron is the Fast & Furious movies! — attempting to hijack a nuclear submarine. You could tell me anything about this movie and I would believe. I guarantee they will end up in outer space before this is over. — Brian Grubb
Let Guy Ritchie cook
No job in Hollywood is as endangered as the auteur. Marvel won’t let directors direct their own action scenes; the Star Wars-verse fires filmmakers if they don’t stick to the script. Guy Ritchie, once his own genre, has been loaning himself out as an anonymous blockbuster technician for years. Do you even know the ostentatious Brit behind Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch helmed Disney’s live-action redo of Aladdin? The perk of getting quality gigs is you occasionally get to cash in your chips to make whatever you like. Few ever do, so kudos to Ritchie for The Gentlemen, a return to his incorrigibly laddish, impenetrably plotted, indubitably English crime comedies, featuring not one but two token Yanks (Matthew McConaughey and Jeremy Strong). It will probably require a Reddit maniac to figure out the byzantine storyline, but it’s been too long since any Hollywood director with a voice has really let their freak flag fly. — Matt Prigge
Sonic is coming and he looks very normal now
Listen. I know what you’re thinking, but we have to see this through. The initial trailer was a dentophobic nightmare, the reaction to which made a movie studio completely redesign the superfast blue mammal wearing puffy red shoes. Collectively, as a society, we must endure the first writethru. Will it be Cats-level CGI schadenfreude? Probably not, as the redesigned Sonic looks pretty decent and much improved over the human teeth of the initial blue hedgehog.
What’s far more likely is we get a movie that lands squarely in the Detective Pikachu realm: one that pleases fans of the video games because that world is faithfully put on film, but isn’t particularly memorable. That alone would stick the landing, so to speak. Not delivering a complete disaster will be because they listened to fan reaction, hit the brakes, and corrected course. Given what some other movies full of digital fur have done, that’s worth watching. And if you’ve ever wanted to see what the Blue Hill Zone looks like on film, well, that will be on the screen, too. — Ryan Nagelhout
Tom Hanks and a robot and a dog
We are very susceptible to cuteness in our genre and sci-fi. Witness Baby Yoda in The Mandalorian and Baby Groot in Guardians Of The Galaxy. But what if I told you 2020 was going to bring us a Tom Hanks post-apocalyptic road movie with both a robot and a dog. Too much? Not enough. BIOS, from Game Of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik, will showcase Hanks as an isolated and dying inventor at world’s end who creates a robot to care for his dog buddy. I know. It sounds like a Hallmark Channel remake of I Am Legend with a dash of Wall-E in the mix. Plus there’s Tom Hanks in a sci-fi film playing just the one role. This movie sounds like it was conceived by an algorithm and I mean that in the best way. — Jason Tabrys
Welcome back, Prince
There’s a release date set for Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America 2 for December 2020, filming has allegedly wrapped, and Murphy even mentioned it on SNL last month, but I still have a hard time believing that this will actually happen. How did they get Eddie Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Wesley Snipes, Tracy Morgan, and Leslie Jones all on the same set? It will either be the funniest movie of the year or the biggest disaster, but after seeing Murphy on SNL, I’m leaning toward the former, especially with Kenya Barris (Black-ish) responsible for the script. — Dustin Rowles
Bob’s Burgers is cinema now
Bob’s Burgers, one of the most consistently enjoyable shows on television, is being turned into a feature-length film. It’s only the second Fox animated series to get the big-screen treatment, but unlike The Simpsons when The Simpsons Movie hit theaters, Bob’s is still very funny and very sweet and very good. Creator Loren Bouchard described the movie as “a musical” and “a mystery,” and even if it’s only half as good as Work Hard or Die Trying, Girl, Gene and Courtney’s Die Hard/Working Girl musical mashup, it will still be one of the best movies of 2020. — Josh Kurp
Scarlett and Florence are ready for their MCU star turn
Let’s get one thing clear here: Natasha Romanoff has had a standalone Black Widow movie coming to her for over a decade since Iron Man II, which led to a cascade of supporting screentime. She’s finally getting her due, and yes, it’s a shame that it happened after her Avengers: Endgame death, but this is also fantastic timing to set up a new, kickass guard. I am wildly theorizing that Florence Pugh’s character, Yelena Belova, might become the new Black Widow and carry on the family legacy following this standalone movie. Or we might get some Hawkeye, if this Taskmaster clue holds any validity. Maybe we’ll get both! Let’s get going to Budapest, y’all. — Kimberly Ricci
Harley is coming back… with some friends
Normally I try to temper my excitement for any DC project because, well, we’ve all been burned before. But I am all in — like booking hair appointments for bangs and scouring the black market for hyena puppies in — on Margot Robbie’s Birds of Prey feature. The chaotic energy, the bleach-blinde villains, the suspenders, it feels messy and raw and bat sh*t crazy in the best of ways. Look, you can go to other comic book movies for inspiring heroes and cuddly feelings and world-saving antics. Me, I want a bit of anarchy in 2020, and Harley Quinn will deliver that. — Jessica Toomer