After seeing the requisite number of looks back on everything notable in 2012, I've decided that it's time to celebrate all the cool stuff I'm looking forward to in 2013. Here's a quick glimpse into the future of entertainment in the new year:
On the telly, the highlights for me are getting harder to find, given my disdain for reality TV and the fact that some of my old faves are going away, but there are a few things that will get me to fire up the old idiot box. This month sees the return of three of my all-time favorites. "Justified" just returned to FX and a new season of "Archer" is on its way next week, while Comedy Central will kick off the new episodes of "Workaholics" next week as well.
"Justified" -- man, what a show. Part cop drama, part Appalachian soap opera, part modern-day western, this show is really well-written and acted. If you haven't been watching, get with the program. Literally. "Archer" is so good that I still can't believe they made
it in the first place. It's hip, stylish, politically incorrect, and fall-out-of-your-chair-laughing funny. I've seen every episode a bunch of times, and it still cracks me up. If the new season is anywhere close to the old ones, it will be great. As for "Workaholics," it's one of those shows that you make fun of your kids for watching, at least until you find yourself watching it with them. It's crude, it's sophomoric, but it's crazy funny.
On the pay-to-play networks, Sunday marks the return of "Californication" and "House of Lies." Both have compelling storylines and excellent acting, notably Don Cheadle in "House of Lies." You should give that show a look. It's unlike anything you've ever seen, and television needs more of that. "Boardwalk Empire," which just concluded its third season, will be back this year, but HBO won't say when.
A little later in the year, AMC will bring us the last of "Breaking Bad," episodes that I can't wait to see, though I can't help but feel a sense of dread. I know the end of this show will be brilliant, but then it will be gone forever. I can't imagine anything topping it, but you never know. And by the time it's over, Showtime will do the same thing with "Dexter." I'll miss that one too, but not as much as "Breaking Bad."
Aside from the NFL and some news, those shows are all the TV I watch these days. Or want to. For me, it's all about quality over quantity. Better to watch a single episode of "Breaking Bad" than a year of "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" or "Duck Dynasty."
Last year finished strong with "Lincoln" and "Django Unchained," which gives me hope for a decent new year on the big screen. There's a new Superman movie, which even if it's only pretty good will be far better than all the other ones. The new Iron Man should be amazing, given that the first two certainly were. Thor and Wolverine movies will pull fans into theaters, and make tons of money. There's a new, modern version of Jack and the Beanstalk and a re-telling of "The Wizard of Oz."
Oh, and every movie you've ever heard of will come out in 3D. It's a cheap trick, but people seem to dig it, or they wouldn't keep doing it. I'm also pretty fired up about "The World's End" -- not the real one, but the movie with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who brought us "Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz" and "Paul." This movie can't miss. There's even a new "Star Trek" movie coming out, which should get more than a few nerds out of their parents' basements for a few hours.
Now to the most important form of entertainment of all: music. There will be much to see around town this year. Grant Langston and the Supermodels, one of the world's most under-appreciated bands, kicked off the year at Trout's, and we still have Reckless Kelly playing at the Crystal Palace in February, Styx at the Fox, Jackson Browne at the Fox, and Merle Haggard will be here April 13. Country fans will have the chance to see Clint Black and Darius Rucker early in the year. Comedy fans will get Christopher Titus, Bill Cosby and Jeff Dunham.
If you're an Elvis fan (and who isn't?), check out "Elvis Lives" at Rabobank in May. Sometime in spring, the great Bob Schneider has a new record coming out, which means a tour is inevitable. I'm sure he'll be playing at SLO Brew, and we'll be angling to get him to play someplace here. Bob is the coolest person on planet earth, and the most underexposed artist ever. If we can't get him to play here, drive to San Luis Obispo.
There will be much more live entertainment on tap later in the year, and I'll keep you posted.
Upon further review, 2012 really was a pretty solid year, entertainment-wise, but my money is on 2013 to raise the bar -- on TV, at the movies, and on concert stages all over town. Now it's up to all of us to get out there and enjoy it. And if we're really lucky, maybe 2013 will be the year that we all forgot about Gangnam Style, Honey Boo-Boo and the Kardashians. Fingers crossed.