What can you say about a year that promises to bring us the end of a Star Wars trilogy, a Deadwood reunion, and Batman’s 80th Anniversary? 2019 is going to be wild and so I’ve picked out the 19 pop culture things I’m most excited about.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (February 8) – The original was an absolute delight, and the long in-development sequel is finally ready. Set in a Mad Max dystopia after the Duplo characters devastated their world, everybody but Emmet has become tougher and more cynical. We know most of the cast is kidnapped and Emmet has to team up with Rex Dangervest (another Chris Pratt character, this one in action hero mode), and all of our old favorites are back. I really loved the first one and I’m so psyched to see Unikitty and Benny and Lucy and all the rest again.
Doom Patrol (February 15) – So far, the DC Universe app has been a big old waste of money. There is one show, Titans, and it’s very bad. But the episode that introduced the Doom Patrol was halfway decent and I really liked the actual DP stuff. The Doom Patrol is the other superhero team of freaks and outcasts with a wheelchair-bound leader to debut in the summer of 1963. The X-Men went on to eventually become Marvel’s top-selling title and a massive multimedia franchise. The Doom Patrol went on to die a couple of years later when their series was cancelled. But they’ve hung around and keep on popping up and I love them very much. I’m excited to see their show, which looks to have a heavy Grant Morrison influence, even if I don’t understand why Cyborg is hanging around with them and not the Titans. They already have a guy named Robotman! (DC Universe)
Whiskey Cavalier (February 27) – It’s rare that I’m excited for a network drama, but this looks like a fun action comedy/drama that stars Lauren Cohan. And that means I don’t have to watch Walking Dead anymore. So long, suckers! (ABC)
Daredevil #1 (February) – The newest relaunch of the Man Without Fear comes from writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto and it immediately follows a storyline titled “The Death of Daredevil”. I took a short break from comic Daredevil because I’d been reading it for about fifteen years straight through Bendis and Brubaker and Diggle and Waid, and I needed a break. But Zdarsky, who was primarily known as an artist until recently, has been doing such good work lately, including writing one of my favorite Spider-Man stories ever. So I guess I’m headed back to Matt Murdock with open arms once again. (Marvel)
Us (March 15) – So here’s the thing. This is the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s Oscar-winning Get Out and it’s another horror/comedy/social satire and it has an amazing cast that includes Tim Heidecker. And that’s all I know because I’m a big chicken and the trailer scared me. I had to have a friend vet Get Out before I could bring myself to watch it at home. Will it be good? Definitely. Will I see it? Eventually….
Captain Marvel / Avengers: Endgame / Spider-Man: Far from Home (Various) – Yeah, of course I’m pumped up about this year’s Marvel movies. Captain Marvel looks great and is based on my favorite version of the character, so everything is good there. Endgame is going to be massive and speculation is rampant that any number of the original Avengers won’t be walking away from it. And we don’t know much about the Spider-Man sequel since Marvel is not really promoting it given that currently Spidey is a pile of dust. Little bit of a spoilee if you start showing that trailer before Endgame comes out. Should be a good year!
Game of Thrones – Final Season (April) – It all comes down to this. The White Walkers vs. the world while the world also fights itself. This is going to be epic, even if last season has sort of shaken my faith in the showrunners. Hopefully some of the shortcuts and lazy writing are out of their system after a two year break and we can just get an awesome wrap-up and see who ends up on the Iron Throne and if there’s a world left to rule. (HBO)
Deadwood (Spring) – After so many years of false starts, the Deadwood reunion movie is finally happening. I don’t know anything about the plot except that it picks up fifteen or so years later on the eve of South Dakota gaining statehood. I don’t want to know more than that because Deadwood is my favorite TV show ever and just thinking about the fact that there will be some new Deadwood left to see makes me want to cry with joy. This is my event of the year. (HBO)
John Wick 3: Parabellum (May 17) – John Wick committed a murder at the Continental and there’s a $14 million contract on his life. Everybody awesome from the first two movies is back and Jason Mantzoukas plays a hitman named “The Tick Tock Man”. Let’s not pretend this isn’t going to be 100% rad.
Amazing Race (May) – It’s been a while since we’ve had a new season, and this one is right up my alley – all the participants are past contestants from CBS reality shows. And for the most part, they seem to be pretty well chosen. Yeah, we’ve got Survivor‘s tiresome bully Rupert, but no sign of the Hantz family. I’m especially excited to see two teams: Janelle and Brittney from Big Brother should be awesome, and Colin and Christie from Season Five of the Race are back. And that was a long time ago, so let me just remind you “My ox is broken!” Yeah. It’s that Colin. (CBS)
Star Wars Episode IX (December 20) – We don’t have a title yet, but J.J. Abrams is wrapping up the new trilogy and I am all in. Everything is speculation at this point and I’m sure I’ll write a lot more about it in the future when we know things, but we all know what we’ll be doing the weekend before Christmas.
Batman’s 80th Birthday (All year, baby) – 2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Batman’s first appearance in Detective Comics, and I have to assume that DC is going to do something special. We already know that the giant-sized 1000th issue of Detective is going to hit, but I’m sure we’ll hear about more special projects as the year goes on. (DC Comics)
The Righteous Gemstones (TBA) – Danny McBride is back with this new series about a family of televangelists. McBride’s got a good handle on heartland obsessions and I imagine I will love this as much as Eastbound & Down or Vice Principals. He’s reteaming with Edi Patterson (the Vice Principals breakout) and the cast also includes Adam Devine, Tim Baltz, and John Goodman. This should be great! (HBO)
Watchmen (TBA) – I’m a little confused at how this series based on the seminal comic series is going to work. It appears that they won’t be retreading ground covered in the comics and movie, though those events are part of the tapestry of the series. It appears to be set in the present, as Jeremy Irons plays a much older Adrian Veidt, though it could also spend time in the past with the original Minutemen. Look, there are a lot of things that could happen, but Damon Lindelof is in charge. He gave us LOST and The Leftovers and I’ll follow him straight into hell itself. (HBO)
The Boys (TBA) – This is an adaptation of Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s comic series about the working class black ops team that takes down superheroes deemed to be corrupt and dangerous. It’s the same team that brought you the other Garth Ennis adaptation, Preacher. And while I have some issues with how they’ve handled that, it’s still fun to watch. The Boys is a little more modular so I think there’s more room to play without breaking the universe. It’s also sillier, which should be a lot of fun. And, come on, Karl Urban is starring as Billy Butcher. That’s a good sign right off the bat. (Amazon)
Good Omens (TBA) – This miniseries adaptation already seems to be making some big changes from Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s 1990 comedy fantasy novel, but since Gaiman is writing the screenplay and incorporating material from the never-published sequel, I don’t think anybody will mind. Basically, it’s about the birth of the antichrist and the angel and demon who like Earth and try to stop the apocalypse. Said angel and demon are Michael Sheen and David Tennant, respectively. The cast also includes Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Josie Lawrence, Michael McKean, Miranda Richardson, Mireille Enos, and Frances McDormand as the Voice of God. I loved the novel (though I haven’t read it in a long time) and this looks right up my alley. (Amazon)
Too Old to Die Young (TBA) – I just now found out this crime drama was happening and it’s created by Ed Brubaker and Nicolas Winding Refn and that’s all I need to know. (Amazon)
Devs (TBA) – Another gimme, this mystery set in San Francisco’s tech scene is created by Alex Garland, who previously wrote and directed Ex Machina and Annihilation. I’m sold. (FX)
Veronica Mars (TBA) The surprisingly durable series returns years after the crowdfunded movie. Little is known about the plot, but most of the original cast is back, with new additions like Patton Oswalt, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and J.K. Simmons. I loved the original series – Well, the first two seasons anyway. The third season was a mixed bag – and I’m so glad that we’re getting a new miniseries. Kristen Bell’s significantly higher profile can only help, and I will never get tired of pointing out that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is on the writing staff. (Hulu)
Anything you’re pumped about? Let me know!