It’s that time again, readers. As our staff gear up for a new year of entertainment news, we let you know what we’re personally most excited to experience in 2018.
As always, it’s time to sweep the shadows of the old year out the back door and open our hearts to a brand new 12 months of Quality Content. Here’s a super-subjective look at the fandom moments our team here at Hypable are most looking forward to.
This article is part of Hypable’s 12 Days of Fandom, a celebration of 2017 and a preview of 2018. See new content every day from December 14 through Christmas!
Andrew Sims – @sims
Movie Release? Despite the less-than-perfect situation going on surrounding Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I’m excited to see where J.K. Rowling takes this story next. But the film I am most excited for is Love, Simon, the book-to-film adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
We’ve written about this book on Hypable before and even had the pleasure of interviewing Becky. The book is a coming-of-age story about a closeted character, whose secret might be exposed by a jerkface. While the story is a great one, the reason this is my most anticipated movie is the fact that a major studio, Fox, is releasing a story all about a gay kid.
How many times have we seen a story about a gay kid and his sexuality get a wide release by one of the major studios? We haven’t. I can’t wait to support this movie because I want to encourage studios to continue releasing films about us gays.
Reading Experience? Ooh boy. I haven’t been reading as much this year. I’m currently trying to re-read the Harry Potter books since I podcast about them weekly. I guess along those lines I should say that I’m hopeful J.K. Rowling will release the next book in her Cormoran Strike series, Lethal White. The series has fallen off of its once-a-year publication schedule, so who knows when it’s coming?
TV Moment? Most of what I watch these days is whatever looks interesting on Netflix. And even getting over to Netflix is a challenge for me these days. Over the past year I’ve found myself playing video games instead of watching TV at night. I find playing video games therapeutic — I’ve been playing The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey almost exclusively. So that said, I don’t have a particular TV show that I’m excited for. In the interest of being a good participant in this article: I did love Stranger Things season 2 (more than season 1!) so if the show arrives at the end of 2018, you can definitely count me in for that one.
Fannish Highlight? I recently stopped attending San Diego Comic-Con, so I can no longer count on that for my fandom experiences. (I went to them for eight years in a row… I’ve grown tired of the crowds and the non-stop hecticness.) So as of right now, the biggest fandom moment I have on the calendar is attending Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway.
I’m seeing it in April with my fellow MuggleCast co-hosts and am very excited to see the original cast back in their roles. It’ll also be a thrill to see the show with people who haven’t seen it before. I’ve said time and time again that this show needs to be seen, not read, so a lot of Americans are going to have their opinions of the show changed once they hit Broadway.
Brittany Lovely – @britlovely237
Movie Release? Every year I talk about Melissa McCarthy. And in at least one wrap up or anticipation post I discuss my personal comedy queen and a project she is involved with. This year is no different. So I was shocked to discover that my two favorite things in the world — Henson’s Muppets and McCarthy — were joining forces.
The Happytime Murders takes place in a world where Muppets and humans co-exist. But now, an old show’s cast is turning up murdered and a disgruntled ex-Muppet cop must work with his ex-wife (McCarthy) to solve the case. It is a Muppet-noir. And something I thought could only exist in my dreams. I will be there opening night.
Reading Experience? For the first time in I can’t remember how long, I am not anticipating a single book. I don’t know if I’m exhausted by YA, over dystopia, and not interested in reading about people’s lives, but there is not an announced book I’m preparing for in 2018. 2017 saw a ton of reading on my part, more than past years. But if someone has recommendations I’m all for them!
TV Moment? Ryan Murphy and I have had our battles. American Horror Story has, in my opinion, fallen into the same trap that Glee did. Too many ideas, not enough space to flesh out anything beyond superficial, generic story arc. Then American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson happened. And Murphy and Co. found a way back into my good graces.
The limited series format, one based on true events, adds the extra layer of restriction that Murphy needs. While he is able to be creative and cast brilliant ensembles, there are limits to what he can and cannot fabricate for these characters. Enter, American Crime Story: Versace.
This highly-anticipated second season of Murphy’s latest anthology has one more element sealing this series as my must-see TV for January — Darren Criss. Based on the trailer alone, this could very-well be his Emmy moment. It finally feels like the project that will break Criss away from Blaine Anderson and showcase what fans of his already know — his passion, craft, and stage presence.
Fannish Highlight? J.K. Rowling almost ruined my most-anticipated “fannish” moment for 2018. No, it is not Fantastic Beasts. But I am seeing Cursed Child again in the spring. I’m the first to admit that the book, the actual story, of Cursed Child is a mess. But Harry Potter, grown, still haunted and devastated, is not.
My 2018 most anticipated moments, typically revolve around theater. And this year it remains, Cursed Child. The chance to see Jaime Parker, and the entire original cast once more, is something I could not pass up.
While Cursed Child takes the top seed, Broadway’s 2018 season as a whole is equally something I am looking forward to. I am also planning a venture to see Mean Girls, Frozen, Angels in America, Carousel, and My Fair Lady.
Brook Wentz – @BrookWentz
Movie Release? Let’s start off by being honest. 2017 hasn’t been the best year, and it’s had a pretty drastic effect on me. The big blockbuster projects I was most hyped about fell a little flat and my usual nerdy go-to’s weren’t enough to tune out real world disasters.
Everything that I became passionate about this year were things I never saw coming. Which makes me feel like it’s a little pointless to pour tons of excitement in one proverbial direction. Especially when next year I’ll probably be swept up in something not remotely on my radar. Not to mention, most of the things I am excited about are either in development or unconfirmed. The Raven Cycle adaptation, the untitled Daniels/Russo Brothers film, and the new Amazon series from the creators of Black Sails come to mind… If I have any hype at all, it’s mostly up in the air.
Anyways, back to movies. Since Black Panther was already taken, I’m going with a film I literally heard about yesterday. It’s called Every Day and it’s based on the book originally written by David Levithan. I have no idea if it’s going to be any good and I have absolutely zero ties to the original property, but the cast list is extremely interesting. Starring Colin Ford (Supernatural), Jacob Batalon (Spider-Man: Homecoming), Justice Smith (The Get Down), and Lucas Jade Zumann (20th Century Woman, Anne with an E), it’s like they put me in charge of casting. These are some of my favorite up and coming actors, so to see them all working on one project? It’s definitely got me intrigued.
Reading Experience? A big part of my year was spent discovering the McElroy family of products. To outsiders, it’s hard to properly articulate what’s so alluring about this family or the 6,800 projects they have going at any time. But because their ‘brand’ is centered on an honest attempt at projecting good into the world, the media they produce is an absolute joy to consume. Which is why I’m incredibly thrilled about their upcoming graphic novel The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins. From what we understand, the book will exist as an adaptation of the first Adventure Zone podcast arc and will be written by Clint McElroy with art by Carey Pietsch. Whether it’s a frame by frame recap of the original podcast story, or a new addition to canon, I’m completely on board and ready to enjoy the comic format.
TV Moment? I’m honestly not going to be able to unclench until I know Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency will be returning to BBC America for a third season. Assuming it gets picked up again (I can’t accept any other outcome), then that will probably be the best TV moment of my year. But if we’re discussing things that are absolutely confirmed for 2018, then I’m probably most excited for Netflix’s reboot of Lost in Space. We don’t actually have many specific details surrounding the project yet. It’s rumored to be Netflix’s most expensive show to date, will probably be premiering in May, and has cast the astonishing Toby Stephens as John Robinson. So, you know, I’m 100% on board. I’ll follow that man anywhere.
Fannish Highlight? I have a few fannish things up my sleeve that I’m looking forward to next year. I want to continue to hone in on my writing and I’m tentatively planning on attending Universal FanCon in Baltimore. Mostly I hope to cement some of the friendships I’ve developed recently and leave my heart open enough for all the surprising things that still might come along!
Caitlin Kelly – @purplehrdwonder
Movie Release? As much as I love my entertainment steeped in superheroes, there comes a time when a girl needs some variety. Between The CW’s Black Lightning and Marvel’s Black Panther, it looks like I might finally be getting my wish for new stories that weren’t previously being told on screen. Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa was a standout in Captain America: Civil War, and I cannot wait to see him headline his own film. The trailer looks incredible and unlike any of the other films in the MCU. February cannot come fast enough.
Reading Experience? As a lifelong book lover, I am always taken by books about books and their importance in the world. The Great Library series by Rachel Caine fills that niche perfectly. Set in a world where the Royal Library of Alexandria never burned, this series explores how important books and knowledge are to society. Three books are currently out, and I am excited for the summer 2018 release of book 4, Smoke and Iron, which looks to pick up after the huge cliffhanger at the end of book 3 in which our ragtag team of dissidents are set to wage war against the corrupt library.
TV Moment? I never thought I would be excited for yet another streaming service to go live, but DC’s upcoming service has proved me wrong. Three series have currently been announced for the series: The live-action Titans, season 3 of Young Justice and an animated series focusing on Harley Quinn. Young Justice alone would have been enough to get me hyped, as the animated adventures of young heroes like Nightwing, Kid Flash and Aqualad was cancelled too soon by Cartoon Network. But the addition of content like Titans has me more than willing to open my wallet for whatever the new service will cost.
Fannish Highlight? As many of you know, we’ve been rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel on our podcast ReWatchable. As a superfan of these two series, I’ve obviously been enjoying the chance to revisit two of my favorite shows alongside other superfans and newbies who have amazingly never seen the series after all these years.
But as fun as the experience has been, it has been a long haul. We started at the end of 2015 and will finally be wrapping up this Herculean effort in summer 2018. Though we haven’t settled on a choice for what series will be up next — though it’s sure to be a short one for some variety! — I am looking forward to moving onto another project. Buffy and Angel will always be two of my favorite series, but it’s time for something new.
Danielle Zimmerman – @Zimm102090
Movie Release? I’m not joking when I say that I’ve named The Disaster Artist as the movie I’m most excited for (as well as my favorite book from that year) for the last few years. As many of you (possibly) know by now, I’m a HUGE fan of The Room.
Since I can’t say “The Disaster Artist” for this anymore (because it’s out and charming the hearts of thousands), I’m going to say that the movie release I’m most excited for is Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero’s NEW movie Best F(r)iends. Their first movie together in over a decade, Best F(r)iends promises to be weird and charming and just what I need to keep my love of all things Tommy’s Planet alive and kicking. If nothing else, Tommy plays a mortician, which is as close to him playing a vampire as we’re probably ever going to get. This is going to rock.
Reading Experience? I can’t even begin to tell you how much Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies series and writing has meant to me. He’s one of those writers whose use of language is so comforting that I just want to wrap myself up in it.
In terms of books coming out in 2018, I’m most excited for Marion’s third and final installment in the series, The Living. The Burning World, which I could’ve gone on and on about for days, was so prescient and terrifying but also beautiful and touching. I can’t wait to see where this final book takes the story and the characters we’ve all come to know and love.
Marion’s books don’t get nearly as much love or attention as they deserve, so you can bet that when The Living comes out, I will be yelling from the rooftops about it. So, if you hear a crazy woman screaming in the distance about soulful zombies, just know that it’s me.
TV Moment? I never thought I could love a television show as much as I loved Agent Carter, but I was wrong (sorry Peg). From the very first episode, The Bold Type won my heart. It’s clever and heartfelt, but also tear-jerking and slightly soapy. But it’s 100% genuine and doesn’t shy away from tackling topics that modern women face today.
I can’t wait for the little show that could to make its triumphant return to Freeform in 2018. I’ll probably have to go out and buy a few more boxes of tissues before that happens, but they’ll be worth the investment. I just love this show too much and have felt like something has been missing from my life since it wrapped for the season. 2018 had better give me more of The Bold Type and QUICK.
Fannish Highlight? twenty one pilots has been completely silent since this summer. Their social media channels (both personal and for the band) have been dormant, their site has been a ghost town, and the world hasn’t heard them play music in months. In fact, it’s been almost two years since their last album, Blurryface, came out.
But that all changed last week after Hot Topic sent out a newsletter with new twenty one pilots merch. Merch that seemed to verify some fans’ theories on what the new album would be and when we would be getting it. 2018 will be the year that one of my favorite bands comes back into my life full-force and I couldn’t be happier. After the year I’ve had, I need their music. Badly.
My fannish highlight of 2018 will be sitting alone in a quiet place with tears streaming down my face while I absorb everything that Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun have created for their new album.
Donya Abramo – @virtual_don
Movie Release? It was a tough task to narrow my choice down to just one anticipated movie in 2018. And, for the very first time, my winner isn’t an entry in the Star Wars universe.
Everything about Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time has my attention. From the stellar cast, captivating trailers, and potential for pure, fantasy escapism, it catapulted its way to the top of my most anticipated movies pretty swiftly. And really, who doesn’t love a good time travelling adventure?
Madeleine L’Engle’s novel has become well-worn, and loved, in my care in the years since I first read it. Seeing how Ava DuVernay’s take pans out? Well, it’ll be just like experiencing the story for the first time, all over again. And it’s not often you get a chance to feel that.
Reading Experience? I initially passed over The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, for various reasons, but eventually picked it up after some gentle persuasion. I practically devoured it in one sitting. It was exciting, unexpected, and genuinely beautiful from cover to cover.
Which is why the follow up, The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, is my most anticipated novel of this year. The focus, this time around, will be on Felicity — the sister of the main character, Monty, in Gentleman’s Guide. — and her adventures outside of Monty’s sphere. A female-led novel, with science girl gangs and piracy? What’s not to love?
Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that it will continue with queer representation across the spectrum, as Felicity identifies as aro/ace. I’m genuinely counting down the days.
TV Moment? Cardcaptor Sakura was, in its own way, as responsible for catapulting me into fandom life as Harry Potter was. Through it, I forged friendships, and took my first steps into writing fanfiction and drawing fanart. It remains a hugely important entry in my fandom history.
And now it’s getting a follow-up series, with all the same production staff and voice cast on board. Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card is due to be released in early 2018 and my excitement for the series is somewhere in the stratosphere. The trailers alone have reduced me to happy tears. Wait until you see what kind of a mess I’ll be when the series drops…
Fannish Highlight? After New York Comic Con this year, I took a trip down to Washington, DC to watch my first live NHL game and put faces to the names of some of the friends I’d made through the Russian Machine community. I’d been following local U.K. hockey for years, but the NHL was on another level. Supporting the Capitals alongside like-minded fans, at the game, was an incredible experience.
So, I’m taking another trip to DC in February, with three games on the schedule this time around. That might not always qualify as a “fannish highlight,” under ordinary circumstances, but one of those games is a bit special. The Capitals will be taking on the Maple Leafs in an outdoor game — called the Stadium Series — which will be another first for me. Add to that reuniting with the friends I’ve made in the DC area and other Capitals-related shenanigans and it has become the singlemost, planned 2018 event that I’m eagerly counting down to.
Erica Ostergar – @ericajaneo
Movie Release? I’m not much of a movie person. I go to the movie theatre maybe twice a year, so I mostly get hyped about the big blockbuster releases (hello, Star Wars!). With Netflix stepping up their original content, I’ve been watching a lot more movies in the comfort of my own home this year. I’m excited to continue consuming content that way in 2018.
In 2018, Netflix wants to release 80 new movies. With the sheer amount of movies and the creative freedom allowed on a streaming site, I think we’re in for a great year! I’m excited to see the storytelling. I’m especially excited to see the diversity Netflix gives us. I hope to see more content from women in the coming year, especially women of color. I think Netflix is the place to see it happen.
Reading Experience? Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy was the only book I read in 2017 that I just could not put down. It had a strong narrative voice unlike any I had heard before. It had compelling characters and struggles I could relate to. In May, 2018, we’re getting a companion novel called Puddin’ and I couldn’t be more excited.
Puddin’ will follow supporting characters from Dumplin’ as they navigate life after the Clover City pageant. I’m looking forward to the female friendships and girl power we’re sure to get with this book.
TV Moment? I thought my obsessive relationship with Freeform would be over when Switched at Birth and Pretty Little Liars finally came to an end. While I was excited to finally get closure with those shows, I’m even more excited about where this network is heading in the coming year.
They are keeping their content focused on strong female characters, but the women on Freeform now are more grown up. They aren’t perpetually stuck in high school. They are off to college and starting their careers. I am so here for it.
The Bold Type was incredible (and season 2 is going to be an amazing part of 2018!). Now we have the Yara Shadhidi-led Black-ish spin-off, Grown-ish, to look forward to. Yara is a star. Her character Zoey on Black-ish was a scene-stealer, and I can’t wait to see how she navigates the new world of college when Grown-ish premieres in January.
Fannish Highlight? In 2018, I’m looking forward to taking a deep dive back into fandom with A Series of Unfortunate Events. While many of my favorite books have been adapted into movies and television shows, nothing has held up to my experience with Harry Potter. That fan experience bridged together books, movies, and online communities.
When Netflix picked up A Series of Unfortunate Events, I knew something special was going to happen. Nothing will ever be the same as Harry Potter was for me, but A Series of Unfortunate Events offers a fan experience I haven’t had in years. Season 1 was delightful and with season 2 expected this spring, I’m ready to reread the books, watch all the episodes, and incessantly talk about every detail with all my online friends.
Kristen Kranz – @kranzie85
Movie Release? No matter how crazy, complicated, or concerning the world may get, dinosaurs are always the best kind of escape. I can’t wait to see how Claire and Owen plan to save all those dinos from the impending eruption. I can’t wait to see how much Claire has evolved from the woman we saw at the beginning of Jurassic World. I can’t wait to see all the dinosaurs, new and old, as they fight for their lives against a force greater than even them.
I look forward to seeing if this is the first movie in which humans and dinosaurs truly work side by side to survive… or if the dinos are just biding their time til they can get a human snack or two. The Jurassic World movies are perfect escapist fare for when you just need to be away from the world, and I’m certain that by the time June rolls around, we’re definitely going to need it.
Reading Experience? If you’ve ever heard me talk about books, then you’ve definitely heard of Cora Carmack’s high fantasy YA release that came out in 2017, Roar. I was already a huge fan of Cora’s contemporary romances (and if you haven’t checked out the Losing It series or the Rusk University series, I highly recommend both) so it seemed natural that I would check out her first YA story. I knew I would like it, but I didn’t imagine I would love it as much as I did. It simply grabbed my heart and refused to let go.
Shortly after Roar’s release, Cora started hinting at what was to come in Rage, and let me tell you, I didn’t think I could get more excited for the next Stormheart book, but she proved me wrong. The city of Pavan will be in rebellion, we will meet a few new characters, and get to know all of our favorites even better. Most exciting is the “badass curvy lady” leading the rebels that we will meet and most likely fall hopelessly for. I can’t wait!
TV Moment? While most people mourned the end of The Vampire Diaries in 2017 as the end of an era, I will truly mourn the end of Julie Plec’s vampire regime on the CW when The Originals series finale airs this spring. It’s been a long and twisted road for the Mikaelsons, but I’ve enjoyed their family dynamic and how it has changed dramatically from their first introduction in The Vampire Diaries season 2.
I may have lamented the pregnancy storyline in the beginning, but I’ve loved watching Klaus grow as a person thanks to the daughter he never knew he wanted. None of the Mikaelsons are the characters they were when we first met them, and that is the mark of a truly well-handled series. I will be sad to see them go, but all good things must come to an end at some point. Oh, and I look forward to seeing that final Klaroline reunion. Tee hee hee.
Fannish Highlight? Last year I had the chance to attend my first romance convention, and this year I look forward to going back without the newbie goggles. I really enjoyed getting to talk face to face with my favorite authors and meet a number of fantastic ladies in lines and at the after party. I am eager to meet a few new authors (and a few new-to-me ones) at this year’s convention and reconnect with all the familiar faces from last year.
The romance community is a truly wonderful place full of people who value many of the same things I do, so getting to spend an entire weekend surrounded by like-minded people full of hope and positivity is an absolutely delightful experience.
Lelanie Seyffer – @lelaniecypher
Movie Release? One of my many favorite things about Justice League was finally getting to see Jason Momoa’s Aquaman in action on the big screen. His mix of swaggering bravado and moments of vulnerability made him an instant fan favorite, and his scene with Amber Heard’s Mera in Atlantis was enough to make me want to stand up and demand an entire movie about the two of them right then and there. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until the winter of 2018 to see Aquaman — and I can’t wait to see what director James Wan and Jason Momoa bring for Aquaman’s first solo on-screen outing.
Reading Experience? While I could easily rattle off half a dozen diverse YA books I’m looking forward to in 2018, it’s Tomi Adeyemi’s The Children of Blood and Bone that I’m most hyped to read in this upcoming year. It not only landed one of the biggest YA publishing deals — somewhere close to or at seven figures — but the rights to adapt it to a movie were immediately snatched up by Fox 2000. This debut fantasy novel from Nigerian-American Adeyemi weaves in West African culture, mythology, and characters and has been called a “Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy novel.” Basically, it sounds like everything I want in a young adult fantasy and I can’t wait to sit down and devour it in one sitting.
TV Moment? Despite being basically ride or die for DC’s film properties, my interest in the DC TV shows ranges anywhere from nonexistent to passably interested (usually when I see a GIF of Wally West from The Flash pop up on my Tumblr dash). However, Black Lightning grabs my attention not only for its focus on diverse characters (including Black, Queer and Asian-American characters!) and family dynamics, but also for the fact that it’s completely unconnected to the Arrowverse. What we’ve seen has been fun and the buzz that I’ve heard has been great! You got me again, DC. You got me again.
Fannish Highlight? I binge watched the first two seasons of The 100 in about three days and found myself deep in a Kabby shipping hole. To cope with the pain of withdrawal, I hopped onto Tumblr and quickly became a part of the awesome Kabby fandom. A year and two seasons later, many members of the Kabby fandom are people whom I consider to be some of my closest friends. Unity Days, a The 100 convention in Vancouver this upcoming January, represents not only an opportunity to meet fellow fans of The 100 and the cast, it will likewise be the first time I’ll be able to meet a lot of my fellow Kabby fans and people I now consider some of my best friends. January 19 can’t come fast enough!
Michal Schick – @inkasrain
Movie Release? Forget the Best of Pixar list — Brad Bird’s The Incredibles is among my favorite superhero movies of all time (and as you know, it’s a crowded field). As hilariously funny as it is emotionally insightful, it’s one of the few Pixar films that I felt really deserved a sequel. (Much as I love it, the original’s ending goes out with a bit of a whimper.) While I respected Brad Bird’s reticence in this respect, I held out hope for years that he would change his mind and return to the superhuman (but super human) Parr family adventures.
And in 2018, my wish is finally coming true! Not too much is known about The Incredibles II, beyond an increased focus on multipowered infant Jack-Jack, but I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Most sequels face the challenge of revisiting a hero’s journey that has already been completed, but The Incredibles II has a distinct advantage. The film has always been the story of a family unit, not of one single member, and families are wildly shifting beasts.
What challenged Bob, Helen, Violet, and Dash even days ago (in film-time) will not be what challenges them today. And with so much (real) time elapsed since the release of The Incredibles, I have faith that different elements of the Parr family problems will be explored in the sequel. I can’t wait to see what Brad Bird has in store.
Reading Experience? Scythe, the first book in Neal Schusterman’s Arc of a Scythe series, was released in 2016, but I only discovered it late this year. It was one of those books that I had lying around and had heard good things about, but it was only when I was in between more pressing reads that my hand fell on its spine.
As it turns out, I’m very glad I waited — I only had a few months to wait for the sequel! Scythe is a riveting, weird, and emotional novel brimming with profound ideas, compelling characters, and no shortage of either death or humor. Set in a future where all illness, death, and human travail has been conquered by science, only the order of Scythes is left to prevent overpopulation. When Citra and Rowan are selected to apprentice to a formidable Scythe, all three embark on a twisting and breathtaking journey that winds up challenging the very foundations of their deathless and bored society.
Book two, Thunderhead, is easily one of my most anticipated reads of 2018. (Luckily, it comes out in January!) Scythe ends on a delicious cliffhanger, and the sequel will carry Rowan and Citra deeper into the mysteries of their world — with what I’m sure will be still more violence, intrigue, and contemplation. With its protagonists evolving into the dark and light sides of a single coin, I can’t wait to see what Neal Schusterman throws their way… and what discoveries still await in a world that thinks it has all the answers.
TV Moment? It’s difficult for me to fully express just how deeply I love Jessica Jones. The first season seemed to me to be a brilliant encapsulation of my own perception of modern female-hood — the anger, the hope, the friendship, the fear, and the ultimate human connection that is so fundamental to survival. Jessica herself, as bitterly funny as she is tragic, was not so much a breath of fresh air as she was a female character stripped of the need to please absolutely anyone. She was herself, jagged and mean and frustrating and wonderful, nothing more or less.
It’s been a damned long wait for Jessica’s return to the small screen — even her role in The Defenders, while fun, was flattened somewhat by the presence of so many men around her. Jessica Jones season 2 will finally return her to center stage, grappling as much with the demons within her as the ones New York City tosses in front of her booted feet.
Am I a little nervous that Jessica Jones season 2 won’t quite live up to the first? Well, obviously. But even with the mysterious return of Kilgrave, I trust showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, Krysten Ritter, and their team to strike that balance between Jessica’s two turbulent worlds. A complicated, alcoholic, PTSD-suffering wreck like JJ needs more than one season to root out all her issues, and I look forward to seeing what season 2 has to offer both Jessica and a pop-cultural scene still starving for female heroes.
Fannish Highlight? This might be a tiny bit of a cheat but I really am as excited for what Infinity War represents as I am for the movie itself. I’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe since its beginnings, when I hadn’t even heard of any group of heroes called The Avengers, and it’s a story that has shaped my life as its grown.
Of course, I’m incredibly psyched to see the dozens of disparate heroes come together in a crazy push to save humanity from Thanos. But I’m also emotional about the prospect, as so many years of investment in character journeys and development finally comes to a climax. Infinity War won’t be the end of the story, at least not for most of these guys; but it feels like a curtain dropping on part of a massive storytelling event, and even with more to come, I can’t help but feel nostalgically warm for this whole, culture-transforming project.
Natalie Fisher – @nataliefisher
Movie Release? It’s obviously Avengers: Infinity War. As a huge fan of the serialized format which allows more character development than any movie franchise usually allows, it’s all been leading to this — the culmination and crux of every story the MCU has told up until this point — and given the recent Disney/Fox acquisition, very possibly the end of an era. I’m desperate to see if my long-held theories about Loki’s relationship with Thanos hold true, and pick apart every hint… but really, truly, my number one priorities, as always, are Bucky Barnes, who has been in that freezer in Wakanda for way too long, and Steve Rogers, who’s been rocking a very wholesome grief beard since he threw aside the shield — literally — and stepped away from his role as Captain America.
The icing on the cake is that this film and its sequel were written and directed by the same team that has carefully crafted the Captain America story for many years — Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, and Joe and Anthony Russo. Yes, I am pretty sure Steve is going to die, but I trust this team to make it worth our while — they love him even more than I do. The fact that Marvel Studios placed their flagship product into the hands of those responsible for Steve and Bucky’s story thrills me to my core, because I know just how well they’ll serve both my beloved Brooklyn boys and also every other character who maybe hasn’t had the fairest go in an Avengers movie yet. I am longing to see what a Russo take on Bruce Banner or Loki or Rocket looks like.
Reading Experience? Look, I’ll be real with you. My most anticipated reading experience of 2018? Fanfiction. While I’m sure there are dozens of great novels that I’ll end up discovering during the year, there’s nothing, at the moment, that I’m looking more forward to reading than all the fic that this year in entertainment is going to spawn. I’m not going to name or link authors here, as that’s a line that some don’t like to cross, but all the new canonical content in all my favorite fandoms — from Star Wars to Supernatural — is taking the characters to new, never-before-seen levels of depth and development, and I cannot wait to see how some of my favorite writers expand upon those stories. For me, the joy of fanfiction is all about loving a world so damn much that you want to spend more time rolling around in it and indulging in it and dreaming about it than the source material provides, and that’s a very different experience than opening yourself up to a new world and getting invested to something new. Both are great, but they scratch different itches, and right now, I’m really itchy for the things I already love. There’s a particular canon-based Star Wars fic that I’m particularly desperate to see a sequel to given the events of The Last Jedi, and don’t even get me started on all the gap-filling that the Captain America fandom is going to get to do come May…
TV Moment? In my opinion, Supernatural’s 13th season is the best the show has ever been, but when it returns from winter hiatus on January 18, it brings something new and extra special. The mid-season premiere will serve as the long-awaited backdoor pilot for Wayward Sisters, the all-female hunter spinoff that the Supernatural fandom somehow Tulpa’d into existence. I’m not sure I have ever seen a fan campaign be picked up and developed by a network before — Wayward represents a huge step forward not just for Supernatural but for television in general, in terms of creators listening to and learning from their audiences as both the show and the viewers grow and change. Wayward Sisters will star Kim Rhodes as Jody Mills — my favorite character, outside of Team Free Will, in the show’s history — as she cares for and guides a household of young women all orphaned by the supernatural. I’ve already written extensively about the behind-the-scenes history of this concept, and there was a tiny hint that it was coming back in season 12. But it’s here, it’s happening, and season 13 has been building up to this point, introducing all the new major players who are planned to be a part of the action. The mid-season finale cliffhanger leads us straight into the Wayward pilot as the core team will come together, and then after that, it’s a matter of screaming and praying to the TV gods for a full season order.
Fannish Highlight? As I’ve made blatantly clear, I’m a theater superfan, and while my dedication to the craft and to the community does not depend whatsoever on celebrity casting, one of the surest things a favorite movie actor can do to make me their lifelong slave is to take to the boards. In fact, many of my uber-faves started out as stage actors and all I want for them is to return to that. However, our beloved Captain America Chris Evans has had an entirely screen-based career in the public eye — until now. This spring, Evans will make his Broadway debut in Kenneth Lonergan’s play Lobby Hero, where he’ll be reunited with his Scott Pilgrim co-star Michael Cera. I’ve seen Cera in a Lonergan play (This Is Our Youth) before, so I know what a brilliant vehicle that is for him, and I have no doubt that this lifestyle and medium will suit the famously craft-focused, fame-repulsed Evans to a tee. I already have my tickets and cannot wait to cry proudly at the curtain call!
Pamela Gocobachi – @pamelagocobachi
Movie Release? I feel like everyone is incredibly hyped about Avengers: Infinity War so for the sake of spotlighting something different, I’m going with Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One! Like many who have picked up Ernest Cline’s novel over the years, I remember being swept up in Wade’s story, the hunt for Halladay’s easter egg, and the idea of all that the Oasis has to offer. If there’s one thing that’s really solidified my faith in this upcoming adaptation, it’s the release of the most recent teaser trailer, which perfectly introduces all of the main elements of the story without giving too much away for those who haven’t read the book yet. I’ll definitely be looking forward to seeing Ready Player One with all of my pop culture-loving friends when the film hits theaters in March!
Reading Experience: I’m notoriously awful at keeping up to date with new book releases, but one thing I am good at keeping up with is music news. There’s no denying that 2017 was an amazing year for music. From heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and Sam Smith, to up-and-comers like Perfume Genius and Dua Lipa, it truly feels like 2017 offered up something for everyone on the music front. Looking forward into next year, there are a few new releases I’ll be keeping an eye out for, including The 1975’s Music For Cars and Vampire Weekend’s highly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s Modern Vampires of the City. Neither band has officially announced a release date for their records, but I’ll be crossing my fingers that we’ll be able to get our hands on them in the new year!
TV Moment? It’d be easy to pick something new and exciting for this segment, but there’s something to be said about taking the time to revisit old favorites. Thankfully, as part of Hype Podcast‘s upcoming rewatch of BCC’s Merlin, Selina and I are getting the opportunity to experience one of our favorite shows again along with our listeners. It’s been five yeas since the series finale aired on Christmas Eve in 2012, so I’m excited to come back to the series for our podcast with a fresh pair of eyes now that a few years have passed!
Fannish Highlight? For the past few years, my fannish highlight has centered around getting to attend events like Wonder Con and San Diego Comic-Con as part of Team Hypable. As incredible as it is to be amongst fans at SDCC, there’s one event happening in the summer of 2018 that I’m looking forward to even more and that’s attending Dan & Phil’s Interactive Introverts stage show in Los Angeles. I’m not the best at keeping up with the YouTube trends, but I’ve been following Dan & Phil’s individual and collective content for a while now and my favorite thing about the videos they put up is that they never fail to make me smile. They haven’t given too many details away with regards to what they’ll be doing on stage yet, but if it’s anything like their last stage show, I know I’m going to walk away having thoroughly enjoyed myself!
Selina Wilken – @SelinaWilken
Movie Release? I’m very excited about Alex Garland’s Annihilation, starring a fantastic team of women: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, and Gina Rodriguez (and Oscar Isaac!). Based on the trailers, this movie looks like a cross between The Martian, Hidden Figures and Arrival — badass female STEM superheroes using their brains to kick ass. What’s not to like?! It even comes out on my birthday (even though Paramount has pulled the theatrical release from most international territories, grr arr).
Reading Experience? It’s half-cheating, but I’m picking Philip Pullman’s Book of Dust, which came out in 2017 but which I haven’t had time to read. I’m a massive His Dark Materials fan, and I am so excited to set a weekend aside and dive back into this incredible, thought-provoking world.
TV Moment? The 100 season 5 is premiering in spring 2018 (no release date yet), and while The 100 would usually top any TV-related list I write, this year is extra special. The season 4 finale jumped six years ahead, which is a huge change from the show, which is usually so economical with its time. Considering how much work goes into crafting the characters and their relationships, jumping so far ahead opens up a whole host of possibilities, and it’s almost impossible to predict what has changed (and why!). I can’t wait to meet the new versions of the characters, and find out how the new factions and fights are going to reflect and further explore the series’ over-arching themes.
Fannish Highlight? In January 2018, I’m attending The 100 fan convention Unity Days in Vancouver, participating in a reviewer’s panel and finally meeting a bunch of the fans I’ve been interacting with on Twitter. I rarely get to attend live events and am stoked to be in a fan-friendly environment, and to celebrate this incredible show that we all love.
Sonya – @SonyaField
Movie Release? Thanks to two little munchkins that run my life (my sons), I don’t get out to the movies very often. However, I have been enjoying the Passionflix original movies, which started coming out this year. We only got three originals from them this year because the site didn’t launch until September. However, next year I’m looking forward to a full year of yummy romance novel adaptations! Their first original in 2018 will be of A Brother’s Honor by Brenda Jackson!
Reading Experience? This is only about two months away, but I am VERY excited for Sarina Bowen to publish Brooklynaire. Fans of the Brooklyn Bruisers series have long been waiting to get more details on Rebecca and Nate’s hush-hush romance. They’ve been secondary characters throughout the series and Nate has clearly always had a thing for his assistant. Basically, I’m going to freak out once I finally have my greedy little hands on this book.
TV Moment? I’m not very happy that New Girl is coming to an end; it’s been one of my favorite shows since it began. The cast is amazing, and the show never fails to make me laugh. But I am excited to see how the final season will play out, especially since they are making it jump several years into the future. I can’t wait to see where everyone will be in their lives and how having kids in the mix will change things up!
Fannish Highlight? Not many fun fandom events happen around my area, but I do plan on ordering some lovely signed books by my favorite authors because sometimes you just have to take things into your own hands!