2018, it is a pleasure to finally meet you. If I could be honest, your buddy 2017 was kind of a dick, albeit a dick with one or two redeeming qualities. Or we could put it this way, 2017 was your one “friend” who is more like someone you know pretty well and under the right circumstances can be somewhat of a good time. However, overall, that person is prone to making inexcusably bad statements about race relations, is a liability when drunk and more often than not, likely to steal something from a person’s house when that person has been nice enough to invite you over and even nicer to be cool with you bringing one or two people, 2017 being one of those people.
So in short 2018, it’s a very low bar when it comes to you being a better year than 2017.
What is 2018 bringing to the table that will help it possibly pass 2017 in the overall rankings of years and the quality of those years? Here are 18 things to look forward to in 2018.
The Return of Atlanta
It has either been two years or two decades since Atlanta came into our lives with a warm unpredictably and gracious ensemble that instantly made it one of the best shows on television, if not the best show on television. That first season was but a comet, streaking across the sky and gone entirely too soon. Since that season ended with Donald Glover’s character shacking up in a storage unit, Glover has seemingly done everything except produce a second season. Although to be fair, Lucasfilms called and offered him the role of a young Lando in the upcoming Han Solo movie (standby on that one) and when those folks call, you answer. You always answer. You put everything on hold and you answer. So Glover can be forgiven for putting Atlanta on the backburner for a minute and even more so, for quickly returning to it once time allowed.
Big Time Sports Happenings!
Okay so in February we have the 2018 Winter Olympics and yes, there are people who poo poo the Winter Olympics, dismiss them in favor of the cooler and flashier Summer Olympics, but I for one still ride with the Winter Games. Dude, when they go super fast down the mountain on skis? That shit is dope. And the luge? You’re really just hoping someone doesn’t die! Anything with skates is great and the same goes for anything taking place on a mountain. Sleeping on the Winter Olympics is a chump move. Plain and simple.
Then, a few months later, the NBA regular season wraps up and we get the real NBA season, the playoffs. As with most years, the first round will largely be forgettable but when the dust settles, we get some legit matchups that are must-see television.
And hey, the East might actually be interesting this year thanks to the emergence of the Celtics and the hints of vulnerability of the Cavs. Over in the West, it certainly seems like a given that the Warriors will make it to the Finals for the fourth straight year, but a lot can happen between now and then that could change that. And if we do end up with Cavs/Warriors v. 4, it’s not as if that’s the worst thing in the world.
The NBA Finals would then be followed up by the 2018 World Cup and even though all of America, including America’s best male soccer players, will be watching from this time, that doesn’t mean the Cup will be any less exciting. Let’s not act as if having the Americans in the Cup has any real bearing on the outcome. The US Men’s team predictably gets a draw or two, then a hard fought loss before eventually being ousted by a far superior squad. This year we just lose out on a week or two of advanced stages of patriotism, which admittedly is always kind of enjoyable. I’m sure we can fill that void somehow. I believe, I believe, I believe that we will…still watch the Cup despite the U.S. not being in it. Or at least some of us will.
Marvel Movies Coming in Hot
The good people at Marvel Studios are hitting 2018 with a fierce one-two punch. First there’s the highly-anticipated Black Panther, a movie that 4 out of 5 dentists agree looks super badass. That movie is but a delightful appetizer for the main course though, Avengers: Infinity War, i.e. the movie Marvel has been building towards since they released the first Iron Man in 2008. Everyone is in this movie. Well, everyone except Deadpool, but no worries there fans of superheroes who drop F bombs, Deadpool 2 is also coming out this year and looking down the road, thanks to Disney recently buying Fox, Deadpool is now neighbors with Marvel Studios, so it’s only matter of time before he is part of the gang too.
The Mueller Investigation
Well, unless the President stops it.
The Americans Wraps Things Up
America’s favorite Russian spies living outside of D.C. in the early 1980’s head towards the finish line starting in March. The last season wasn’t great, but it also wasn’t terrible. It was just pretty good, which would be a compliment for any other show. But The Americans isn’t any other show, it’s better than that. So the drop in quality last season was noticeable. Now though, it’s all killer and no filler and the fate of Jennings is starting to come into focus. Or will start to. I’m not sure anyone has a real idea what’s going to happen to them right now. I know I don’t.
Can Democrats Make Noise in the 2018 Mid-term Elections?
Well, unless the President stops them too.
Finally, an Oral History of The Wire
Jonathan Abrams knows how to spin a good oral history and his latest book, All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire, tackles a subject that has begging for one: The Wire. There have been abbreviated attempts at compiling a history of the show put together before and there’s no shortage of things to read about arguably the best television show ever, but now we get a legit history of the show by a true master of the form. The book comes out on February 13, but you can pre-order it now.
2 Dope Queens Come to HBO
The hit podcast hosted by The Daily Show alum Jessica Williams and her bestie Phoebe Robinson is coming to HBO in February in the form of 4 episodes, each one directed by comedian Tig Nogaro and featuring guests like Jon Stewart, Sarah Jessica Parker and more. There are some artists out there who you trust completely, you know that they’ll deliver something solid. Such is the case with Williams and Robinson. Now I can only hope you A) consider me an artist and would then B) consider me an artist you could trust so that you would take my word for it and check out 2 Dope Queens. It’s a lot to ask, I know. But it’s the holidays.
Another Star Wars Story? More like Another Star Wars story!
Maybe you haven’t heard, but they are making like, a boat load of Star Wars movies now. And it’s not just tales of Skywalker family drama. They’re branching out, going forwards and backwards…well, mostly backwards, but whatever. Last time it was Rogue One which gets a solid review from me of “cool.” Now we get the Han Solo backstory that I guess we always wanted. The haters are frothing at the mouth for this one, but let’s all settle down and decide for ourselves. I for one think that at the very least, it too could get a review of “cool” from me and given the amount of pure garbage that gets peddled these days, another “cool” movie isn’t that bad.
Finally, More of The Good Place
Season two was rudely interrupted by the NFL and of all things, Thursday Night Football. You know what’s terrible? Football on Thursday night. I’m serious. It’s a turd, even if it’s your team playing. You know what’s even worse? When that shit show is on instead of The Good Place. 2017 really was tough business. The rumors were true. Thankfully Thursday Night Football is past us and The Good Place is back to play out the rest of what was already a fantastic second season.
The Yankees Are the Yankees Again
To clarify quickly, I’m a Red Sox fan. I hate the Yankees. However, in recent years, I haven’t hated them nearly as much as I have in previous years. Even their 2017 team was annoyingly likeable. But now, now that they went out and added Giancarlo Stanton and look like a unstoppable, homerun-hitting demogorgon, I truly and passionately hate them with all my heart again. Weirdly I think that the Yankees becoming the big bad Yankees again is actually good for the Sox, but what will be really good for the Sox is if they too pick someone up that can hit a homer or forty. Then, the rivalry that really drives baseball will be back in business, something that would be good for everyone involved.
Kanye Might Be Coming Back?
Giddy Up America is officially a Kanye-free zone. However. America isn’t and I actually believe fully that America is better when Kanye is out there mixing it up. He’s rumored to be working on new music and said music could be coming out in 2018. That is not a bad thing. Even if the music itself is bad. That makes sense. Just think about it for a second.
Westworld Comes Back for a Second Season and Hopefully Some Answers
And the winner for most frustrating show of 2016 is…Westworld. And yes, 2016 was now officially two years ago, which means it’s been a while since we hung out with robot cowboys and the like. That seems like more than enough time to fix some of the problems of the first season and put together a show that is at least 80% as interesting as the premise.
Dude, Justin Timberlake Isn’t Playing the Super Bowl for Nothing
When it was announced that Timberlake was this year’s performer for the Super Bowl Halftime Show, I know I for one thought that it meant that finally, we’d be getting a follow-up to 2013’s The 20/20 Experience. Nothing official has been announced, but if you go to homeboy’s website, all that is there is a small logo of some sorts. You know what that means, right? It means he has a new album coming out. It’s true. It’s a trick that musicians try and pull now, but they’re not fooling anyone. I’m onto you, musicians. Each and every one of you. Well, except for Jack White. That dude is a mystery to me. I think he’s a vampire.
Bill Hader Gets His Own HBO Show
Ever since Hader left Saturday Night Live, the hope (at least in these parts) was that he did so to do more than just lend his voice to peanut commercials. Now in all fairness, he did do two seasons of Documentary Now with Fred Armisen, so it’s not as if he’s just been sitting back, cashing peanut checks. But with Barry, a new show on HBO that Hader directs and stars in, Hader gets his own stage to shine on and given the dude’s track record, it seems like a can’t miss proposition. Plus, hitmen are funny. It’s true. No one thinks they are and granted, often times they aren’t. But did you ever see Gross Pointe Blank? That’s funny. So yeah, hitmen are funny.
Ocean’s 8 is like the George Clooney/Brad Pitt Ocean’s 11 but with ladies. However, not just any ladies. Like really talented and cool ladies who are super duper awesome.
And thus you have the least professional and classy way of describing Ocean’s 8.
It looks great. Can’t wait.
Hey, At Least We Have The Bachelor and The Bachelorette
Maybe not Bachelor in Paradise, though. Although that might be for the best.
Possible Guitars Spotted and There was Much Rejoicing
The sad truth of life these days is that there aren’t that many exciting young bands out there who can take over airwaves and co-headline summer festivals. That could change in 2018 though as word around the campfire has started to show signs of the returns of both Vampire Weekend and Arctic Monkeys. This would be good news, this would be welcome news. Arctic Monkeys are a hell of a rock band and Vampire Weekend are interesting as interesting gets when you imagine Paul Simon spending his time in Brooklyn and Cape Cod. Dear God we need rock bands and these are two legitimate rock bands. Fingers crossed.
And that goes for the entire year. 2017 was shit. 2018 has to be better, right?