2018: Year Of Anticipation

It’s that time of year again…really early on the first day of the year…when we here at Gabbing Geek take a look at the upcoming year in entertainment, especially the Geek-related, and offer our thoughts on what we are and aren’t looking forward to.

That’s right.  It’s time for the Year of Anticitipation

Yes, it’s the annual Year of Anticipation.  Just as I have in the past, I took everyone’s suggestions in various categories, and then added some thoughts on what each thing is, why we might be excited, and why we might be worried.  Then I invited the others to add their input to whatever they felt like adding their input too.  Jenny, for some reason, felt that meant adding her thoughts to everything and added a “no comment” to anything she had nothing to say on.  That’s…that’s Jenny all right.

She also deleted my “Anticipation Baby” that I used the previous two years.  Boo!

Anyway, here we are.  Enjoy.–Tom

Movies

Here we are, the movies.  Action on the big screen, and thanks to trailers, we know roughly what’s coming.  Some of these will be awesome, some will suck, and some will be in the middle.  But here we go!

Avengers: Infinity War

What is it?  It’s the big story the MCU has been building on since the first Infinity Stone showed up in Captain America: The First Avenger and the first appearance by Thanos in Avengers.  Thanos comes to claim the Infinity gems, and it’ll take a lot of heroes to maybe be able to stop him.

Why we’re psyched!  Even the weakest MCU movies have generally been a blast, and here we see not just the Avengers, but Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and a host of others all show up for the movie every one time superhero comic book geek has been secretly hoping someone would make at some point in time or another.

Why we’re wary…  Could having this many characters in one movie, even one that may stretch to three hours for all we know as of right now, possibly do justice to all of them?  Even if the Avengers themselves are the main focus and the other heroes are just hanging out as guest stars, that still doesn’t mean it will all balance out.

Watson says: This is the cinematic equivalent of a George Perez cover. So much going on…even moreso than Civil War! If Marvel can deliver a real narrative, rather than giving us the superhero version of Love Actually, this could be special.

Jenny Says: I’m ready for them to usher in Captain Marvel – the closer we are to that, the better!

Ryan says: I haven’t been this excited for six gems and a glove since Queen Elizabeth II entered that boxing tournament!

Jimmy says: I don’t know what the hell Ryan is talking about, but as a hardcore 80’s/90’s Marvel Zombie and reader of all things Infinity, I’ve been waiting for this one for a LONG time.  Can it possibly live up to the hype?

Black Panther

What is it?  After getting an introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther gets his own solo adventure as the King of Wakanda takes on evil in his own cool and collected way.

Why we’re psyched!  Speaking for myself here, I’ve been a huge Black Panther fan since Christopher Priest’s run of the comic book.  T’Challa is a brilliant strategist, fighter, inventor, scientist, and he’s a king so he has all kinds of political powers and responsibilities to boot.  Exploring a hero who is also a king could lead to some interesting insights that might be missing from a host of other MCU heroes.

Why we’re wary…  Should we be?  The MCU at least has the origin story down straight, Boseman made for a good Panther in the aforementioned Civil War, and director Ryan Coogler seems to know what he’s doing.

Watson says: I am SOOOOOO excited about this one! I haven’t been this excited about an MCU film since Winter Soldier.

Jenny says: I could not be more thrilled to see a diverse cast as well as the potential for more movies like this! It’s about damn time!

Ryan says: I think Jenny is too excited.  Like she’s over-compensating.

Jimmy says:  I’ve never been much of a Black Panther fan.  His appearance in Civil War and the trailer for this film haven’t done much for me.

Aquaman

What is it?  It’s a big screen solo adventure for DC’s King of Atlantis.

Why we’re psyched!  Aquaman is no Batman, so director James Wan probably got a lot more leeway to do what he wanted with the King of the Seven Seas.  Jason Momoa was rather cool as Arthur Curry in Justice League, and Wan has been rather excited in interviews about the movie for a while.  This could be a whole new world to explore in a corner of the DCEU that would be rather foreign to a lot of audience members and could make for a swashbuckling good time.

Why we’re wary…  Skipping the Aquaman jokes, can Momoa carry a movie?  True, many said the same thing about Gal Gadot before Wonder Woman came out, but Wonder Woman also had the advantage of a better-known and more beloved character at the centerpiece.  Let’s just wait and see how it turns out.

Watson says: A lot is riding on this film. If it is good and does well, the DCEU moves from ICU to the recovery ward and has a chance. If not, Gal Gadot moves on into a soloverse and pretends she never met Henry Cavill.

Jenny says: I’m actually quite curious about this movie. I thought the interaction between Aquaman and Mera were great in Justice League – and honestly, it’s made me want to see more! More water magic, more air bubbles, more fierce fish fighting.

Ryan says: I want to see this movie with an all-sushi menu at the Drafthouse.  This is true for every movie, though.

Jimmy says: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I thought Aquaman was the surprise standout in Justice League.  I won’t go so far as to same I’m excited, but I am definitely looking forward to this more now than two months ago.  As Watson says, this could actually be the last DCEU movie as things just aren’t going well for DC/WB.

Venom

What is it?  It’s Sony’s attempt to create its own cinematic universe using the relative handful of Marvel characters it still has the rights to.

Why we’re psyched!  A possibly R-rated movie featuring one of Spider-Man’s best-known enemies, the anti-hero (at best) Venom, is set to feature actor Tom Hardy in the title role.  Can’t be any worse than Topher Grace on that front…

Why we’re wary…  Apparently, this is a Venom movie that somehow does not at all feature Spider-Man himself.  How do they pull something that crazy off?

Watson says: It feels like we would have heard more about this one year out. Is that concerning? This could be an interesting movie if done right but it could also be Catwoman if they miss. I don’t see this one being middle of the road.

Jenny says: There is only one reason I’m going to watch this movie: Tom Hardy.

Ryan says: Look at that picture!  Venom is the Rorschach of the MCU!

Jimmy says: On the plus side, we’ll get to hear Jenny’s Swedish Venom impression.  On the negative side, this movie actually exists.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

What is it?  It’s the sequel to the MCU’s Ant-Man as Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man gets a new crimefighting partner in Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp.

Why we’re psyched!  Rudd made for a charming if unlikely superhero, and the heist elements in the first movie were a lot of fun, as were any time Michael Pena’s character told a story.  Ant-Man is a much more low-stakes hero; it might make for a nice antidote after Thanos nearly destroys the universe or something in Avengers 3.

Why we’re wary… For the first movie, a portion of that came from the work of director Edgar “Baby Driver“Wright, with the rest cobbled together after Wright left the project by director Peyton Reed.  Wright still got a story credit, but this time around the work is all-Reed.  So, who knows how this one will turn out?

Watson says: I didn’t LOVE the first one, but I could see the sequel being better. Paul Rudd wasn’t the reason I thought the first one was mediocre so excited if they can deliver him a better story.

Jenny says: Counter to Watson’s wrong opinion, I loved the first Ant-Man. I thought it was fun and quirky and who doesn’t love Paul Rudd? I’m really looking forward to more of that witty humor, and especially seeing Michelle Pfeiffer and Evangeline Lilly shine!

Ryan says: I look forward to seeing this movie and immediately forgetting it afterwards.  That’s true for every movie, though.

Jimmy says: Hopefully we see the return of the greatest MCU villain ever…Yellowjacket!

X-Men: Dark Phoenix

What is it?  It’s the latest in the X-Men film series, tackling perhaps the most famous storyline in the team’s entire history.

Why we’re psyched!  While X-Men: Apocalypse had some problems, it did introduce a potentially interesting team line-up.  Plus, if the movie sucks, at least it means the X-Men can be rebooted into something better within the MCU and no one will care.

Why we’re wary…  Can Sophie Turner anchor a movie?  This will be the first X-Men movie without so much as a glimpse of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, and with Turner at the center, well, that will put a lot on the actress, and Jimmy Impossible for one found her to be among the weakest elements of Apocalypse.

Watson says: Could this be the last of the First Class films? If so, the franchise deserves a strong send off. Apocalypse was a poor offering, so I am hoping this one steps up.

Jenny says: I’m cautiously optimistic about this one. Though Sansa Stark Sophie Turner isn’t my favorite choice for Jean Grey, I still have hope that she will pull this one through with heart, and angst. All I want is for her to own it, and for the story to be well written. If both of those things happen, then we’re in for a good ride.

Ryan says: YOU CAN’T COME BACK FROM A THROAT CUT!

Jimmy says: Yes, I hated Apocalypse and Turner’s Jean Grey in that film.  Maybe I’ll have a new appreciation for her now that I am catching up on Game of Thrones.  I used to love the X-Men films, but Apocalypse really left a sour taste in my mouth.  Hopefully they go out with a bang in what is likely the last pre-MCU X-flick.

New Mutants

What is it?  It’s another X-spinoff film, this time about the “next generation” X-Men the New Mutants, here cast in what appears to be some kind of horror movie.

Why we’re psyched!  Let’s give Fox some credit for actually trying to experiment with the superhero genre in a truly creative way as seen with Logan  and Deadpool.  Making the sudden appearance of superpowers something to be scared of works, especially when you consider the New Mutants line-up for the movie includes a werewolf, a girl who spent time on a demonic plain, someone who can summon your worst fears, a boy who can ignite himself on fire, and Cannonball.  This could work.

Why we’re wary…  Horror movies, good ones, are hard to pull off, and if this one ends with the “New Mutants” becoming junior X-Men, then does it count as horror and not just a weird puberty metaphor?

Watson says: Everyone remembers where they were when the trailer dropped. I woke the kids up and said, “It’s here, boys!” Hope it lives up to the hype!

Jenny says: There is only one reason I am going to see this movie, Arya Stark… um I mean Maisie Williams. I don’t think the trailer showed that this movie is going to be compelling in any way. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Ryan says: I look forward to not seeing this movie and then ignoring it on Netflix for years.  That’s true for every movie, though.

Jimmy says:  This is going to be this year’s Fantastic Four.  Though kids these days do seem to flock to a lot of dreck looking horror movies, so the box office might do ok.  But I doubt it.

Ready Player One

What is it?  It’s the cinematic adaptation of Ernie Cline’s novel, a futuristic ode to nostalgia and the 80s, as directly by one of that period’s biggest names, Steven Spielberg.

Why we’re psyched!  The book was, at worst, fun.  True, some of the Geeks here loved it more than others, but it was fun.  And if Spielberg can pull off the same trick he did for Who Framed Roger Rabbit and use his influence and call in favors to get the rights to lot of intellectual property, it can at least retain the spirit of the book it is based on.

Why we’re wary…  The book is basically 80s reference after 80s reference after 80s reference tied together with a plot that wouldn’t have looked too out of place in the 80s.  Plus, speaking for myself here and my general lack of interest in nostalgia, I lived through the 80s once and don’t remember that time being that great.

Watson says: Unlike Ryan and Jenny, I liked the trailers so far. I think the world building will be amazing. The question is whether this will be all style and no substance. Spielberg has been hit or miss in the last couple of decades, so I am not sure what will happen!

Jenny says: (@Tom – the 80’s were that great!) – Sigh. I am so worried about this film based solely on the trailers. It looks like some movie exec said – More cars! More fast! More furious! And less of that video game stuff… Which makes me sad. Ready Player One is an excellent book, with even more excellent and diverse characters. I hope they don’t throw all of that away for a chance to make a very bland cash cow. We shall see.

Ryan says: This will either be a great movie or a horrible movie or a totally average movie.  That’s true for every movie, though.

Jimmy says:  I think Ryan nails this one.  I think there is a lot of risk riding on this one.  Will they change it up too much that it pisses off hardcore fans of the book, but makes it into a watchable movie?  Will causal fans show up in either case?  As a fan of the book, I can tell what is going on in the trailers, but I’m not sure of the appeal outside of the die hard book fans (not Die Hard book fans, because there is no Die Hard book, but if there was, it would be the best Christmas book ever) or Spielberg completists.

Hey Jimmy! This is real!–Tom

Deadpool 2

What is it?  It’s the sequel to the surprise hit, the R-rated superhero comedy with Ryan Reynolds in the role he may have been born to play.  And this time, they have Cable.

Why we’re psyched!  The original Deadpool played fast and loose with the conventions of the superhero origin story while telling a superhero origin story.  It was funny, inventive, and Reynolds has probably never been as charming as he was in this one.

Why we’re wary…  Sequels are hard to pull off in the best of times.  Can even Deadpool make for something that is fun and fresh while still being basically familiar?

Watson says: Please let this be as good as the original. That was one of the best movies in years. It will be hard to repeat. Interested in seeing Brolin’s Cable. That was an inspired choice.

Jenny says: Josh Brolin + Ryan Reynolds is sure to be great. Even if this isn’t as good as the first, I’m still optimistic that this movie is going to be funny, and action packed. I’m ready to (say this next part in your best sexy-sultry Deadpool voice) buckle up and ride that train…if you know what I mean? Ha!

Ryan says: Even if this movie sucks at least it gave us one of the greatest trailers of all time.

Jimmy says:  A large candidate for Sequelitis, but hopefully not as I too loved Deadpool.

You Were Never Really Here 

What is it?  A Cannes film festival movie where Joaquin Phoenix plays a contact killer out to rescue a kidnapped teenager from a life of prostitution.

Why we’re psyched!  All I know about this movie is the trailer made it look cool as hell.

Why we’re wary…  When I mentioned this in the Gabbing Geek home office, no one reacted.  I’m not sure the others even know this movie is coming…

Jenny says: What? Is this a movie? Is no one asking where the hell Joaquin Phoenix has been? Because I’m asking. Where the hell has JP been? Also – I hate the beard.

Ryan says: Phoenix kills contacts?  What, is he only in favor of glasses?  THAT MAKES NO SENSE, TOM!

Jimmy says:  I’ve never even heard of this movie outside of Tom bringing it up every 5 minutes.

Tom adds:  Normally, I like to schedule these things in advance and then go back and proofread them before they go live to catch the typos I know I’ve made.  But I can’t do that for this one because that would ruin Ryan’s joke and make him look like a wanker.  And I am not that person.

The Incredibles 2

What is it?  It’s a sequel to the Pixar superhero comedy film.

Why we’re psyched!  Pixar didn’t make this until the director of the original movie, Brad Bird, came back to make it.  He’s got some great visual sense and had moved on to live action movies, so that’s a good sign that Disney/Pixar didn’t just pump out a quick something-or-other simply because they could.

Why we’re wary…  Pixar does better with original stories than sequels.  Have they had a really successful sequel outside the box office that wasn’t Toy Story?

Watson says: I didn’t love the original, so I am not really anticipating this one. If I could wave a magic wand, I would not have another Pixar sequel. It is getting lazy. Only Toy Story has delivered a unique sequel in the Pixar family.

Jenny says: Nope. Not even remotely interested in this movie. The first, at most, was just okay. I’ll most likely wait for everyone close to me to watch this and tell me if it’s worth spending time/money on. And honestly, when has a Pixar sequel worked out, other than Toy Story? – Ha! Watson and I agree on something! In the meantime, I will be busy with more important things like watching the Star Wars saga over and over again. Time well spent if you ask me.

Ryan says: The only way this movie would be interesting is if it was live action.

Jimmy says:  Wow, a lot of Debbie Downers here for Pixar and Incredibles 2.  I liked the first one well enough, and I’m sure I’ll see it eventually.  That’s true for every movie, though.

Tom adds:  Don’t look at me, Jimmy.  I thought The Incredibles was great, and Brad Bird is an animation genius considering his other films include The Iron Giant and Ratatouille.  I don’t get the hate here…

Pacific Rim Uprising

What is it?  It’s the next installment of Guillermo del Toro’s love letter to giant monsters/giant robots smashing each other.

Why we’re psyched!    Giant monsters and giant robots.  That’s really all there is to a  movie like this, and pretending you are going for any other reason is probably a sign you are lying to someone, possibly yourself.

Why we’re wary…  Was the first one that good?  Heck, even if you did like it, Del Toro is not directing this one and it looks like most of the original cast didn’t come back either.  Those are not good signs…

Watson says: I walked out of the first one it was so bad. I won’t be walking IN to this one…

Jenny says: Ugh – I want to hate the idea of this movie being made, buuuuuuut John Boyega is in this rendition, and who doesn’t love FN-2187? I’ll see it for Finn. That’s all I care about.

Ryan says: The first one was better than I first thought, so I may see this.  That’s true for most sequels, though.

Jimmy says: But I haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet…

Jurassic World:  Fallen Kingdom

What is it?  It’s more dinosaurs on an island trying to eat Chris Pratt.  Or something along those lines anyway.

Why we’re psyched!  The Jurassic Park movies are, even at their worst, a visual feast for anyone who wants to see dinosaurs and humans interact outside The Flintstones.

Why we’re wary…  Regardless of how well Jurassic World did at the box office, it wasn’t that special a movie.  Heck, I don’t think any of the Jurassic Park sequels have been all that good.  One was enough.  They only retell the same story again and again anyway.

Watson says: I am not a fan of the franchise, but I thought the first one was ok, mainly because I like Chris Pratt. I am sure I will see this, but just because I like sitting in dark, air conditioned rooms eating popcorn.

Jenny says: There is only one Jurassic Park movie that matters, and it’s the first one. Everything after that is fluff and not necessary. Sorry Chris Pratt, I love you, buddy, but I hate that we’re trying to keep something alive that should just die and fossilize like the dinosaurs they portray.

Ryan says: Nope.  That’s a big ten-negative, Ghost Rider.  The pattern is full.

Jimmy says: I’ll rewatch Jurassic World prior to seeing this and am curious how it holds up as I was one of the few that thought it was ok.  Ryan has an almost Prequels-level hatred for it, and Jenny’s seems to have festered over time.  The trailers really seem to give way too much away though…

Solo

What is it?  It’s a Star Wars spin-off that tells of the early years of everyone’s favorite half-witted, scruffy-looking, nerfhurder Han Solo.

Why we’re psyched!  Disney has been doing OK by Star Wars so far, so an origin story for Han Solo, one of the biggest fan favorites of the original trilogy, should be a lot of fun.  Besides, Ron Howard is a good, working man director.

Why we’re wary… OK, setting aside the obvious production problems behind the movie, here’s a question:  did anyone really want to see this story brought to life?

Watson says: Nothing says “great movie” like the phrase “Prequel origin story”. I like the character. I like Ron Howard. I will see this movie. I will forget this movie.

Jenny says: To answer Tom’s question above: No Tom, no one asked for this movie to be made. Listen, I consider myself a die-hard Star Wars fan, and I didn’t even want this movie to be made. You simply cannot replicate Harrison Ford. He’s one of a kind, and Alden Ehrenreich is a far cry from the witty smuggler we all know and love. There is only one reason I will see this movie in the theater, and that’s Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian. My prediction…Lando steals the show. 

Ryan says: Wait, they’re really making this?

Jimmy says:  Unfortunately, yes.  Even Ms. Impossible questioned the need for this as you apparently just can’t replace Harrison Ford.

Fantastic Beasts 2

What is it?  It’s the next installment set in Harry Potter’s universe as well-meaning researcher Newt Scamander matches wits with the evil Grindelwald.

Why we’re psyched!  Actually, the first movie was rather charming and fun.  I loved it way more than I thought I would.

Why we’re wary…  Given the current environment, will Johnny Depp’s presence kill the movie?  Colin Farrell was a pretty good bad guy in the first one.  Too bad we couldn’t bring him back for the role…

Watson says: I liked the first one but didn’t love it.  I’ll see this one only because I see everything.

Jenny says: I’m 100% looking forward to this movie. We get to see Young Dumbledore portrayed by Jude Law, and Zoe Kravitz as Leta Lestrange! What more can you ask for!? Additionally this is one step closer to the pending dual between Dumbledore and Grindelwald for the infamous Elder Wand! Who doesn’t want to see that?

Ryan says: I’m staring at the cast picture and I don’t know any of these people or their characters.  I will take my boys to see this in a comfy chair theater and enjoy my nap.  That’s true for most movies, though.

Jimmy says: I’ll echo Tom’s “I loved it way more than I thought I would.”  And Ms. Impossible REALLY loved it.  I get the feeling we’ll be there opening weekend.

The Predator

What is it?  A reboot/sequel/something from writer/director Shane Black for the Predator series.

Why we’re psyched!  Shane Black has been writing great action movies since Lethal Weapon and he’s since proven a strong director since he moved behind the camera.

Why we’re wary…  The Predator series has had way more misses than hits, so that’s cause enough to be a little wary.

Watson says:  Again?  Stop trying to make fetch happen…

Jenny says: OMG, why are we doing this again? Nope. Already over it.

Ryan says: If you made this movie ten years before the original it would be a Pre-Predator.

Jimmy says:  Own Predator.  Delete all related sequels.  Rent anything else.

A Wrinkle in Time

What is it?  A cinematic adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic children’s book about time travel.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Ana DuVernay seems to have produced a quirky, multi-ethnic, visually-imaginative movie that looks to be awesome.

Why we’re wary…  I’m not sure we are.  This just looks awesome.  I’ll look into reading the book before it comes out.

Watson says: This doesn’t look great.  I couldn’t actually see myself skipping this one.

Jenny says: Wrinkle in Time was one of my most treasured and favorite books growing up as a child. And though it has been a while since I read it last, I don’t remember a lot of what the trailers are suggesting. This could go one of two ways. The movie is an excellent retelling of the book, and it jogs my memory, and I love it. Or it’s just a fun new twist on a book I cannot fully recall. Either way, my hopes that its claims of empowerment run strong within the storytelling.

Ryan says: You get a strange interpretation of a book everyone read and nobody remembers.  And you get a strange interpretation of a book everyone read and nobody remembers.  EVERYBODY GETS A STRANGE INTERPRETATION OF A BOOK EVERYONE READ AND NOBODY REMEMBERS!!

Jimmy says:  I’ll do better than that, not only have I not read it and not remember it, I’ve never even heard of it before.

Bad Boys for Life

What is it?  It’s the third installment of the series where Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are cops that have exciting and comedic adventures.

Why we’re psyched!  Um, are we?

Why we’re wary…  Given how many years it’s been since last we saw these guys doing this bit, well, um, why?  Just why?

Watson says: If you put a gun to my head, I would have sworn they already made the third installment…

Jenny says: Looks like Martin Lawrence and Will Smith need to pay some bills. Count me out on this one. I-Just-Don’t-Care.

Ryan says: I plan on keeping my record perfect and not seeing this movie just like I did for the first two.

Jimmy says:  What Jenny said.

Wreck-It Ralph 2

What is it?  It’s the next installment of the Disney series about a video game bad guy who wanted more out of life.

Why we’re psyched!  The first one did for video games what Toy Story did for toys.  Diving deep into the characterization of a video game bad guy who just had a job no one could see past with the lovable loser Ralph was a heck of a blast.

Why we’re wary…  Why are we wary?  Good question!  I have no answer.  Ralph is invading the internet this time around.  That could yield some fun results.

Watson says:  I really liked the first one, and think the broader world of the internet allows for new satire.

Jenny says: As sequels go, I’m always weary – especially in the cartoon realm. Like Incredibles 2, I’ll wait for everyone else to see this movie, and then hear how the reviews go. But I’m not beating down any doors to see this opening weekend.

Ryan says: Can I just watch the original again?

Jungle Book

What is it?  It’s a non-Disney retelling of the Rudyard Kipling classic, marking the directorial debut of actor Andy Serkis.

Why we’re psyched!  There’s a lot to The Jungle Book that Disney never touched, and it might be interesting to see what that means when the characters are probably motion-captured as Serkis is known to do as an actor.

Why we’re wary…  Disney just did a live action version of The Jungle Book.  How much of an audience can this actually pull in, especially when it won’t have anyone looking for the Bear Necessities?

Watson says: I think this film will suffer with the live action version having been so successful.

Jenny says: Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict Cumberbatch.

Ryan says: I just want this to crush in the box office so that Watson loses twice.

Jimmy says: I’ll reserve judgement until we see a trailer, but do we really need another Jungle Book?

Mary Poppins Returns

What is it?  It’s the long-awaited (?) sequel to Disney’s Mary Poppins.

Why we’re psyched!  Emily Blunt is the new Mary Poppins, and Ryan-favorite Lin Manuel-Miranda is not only acting in it, he wrote some songs to go along with the movie.

Why we’re wary…  I know Disney has had some success with newer versions of their classic films, but these were often retelling with live action an animated film.  This is a live action sequel to a (mostly) live action movie.  And can Emily Blunt possibly live up to what Julie Andrews pulled off the first time, especially considering Andrews won an Oscar for the role?

Watson says:  I’ve never been a big fan of the original, but look forward to Manuel-Miranda.

Jenny says: I am looking forward to this movie. I think it’s going to have some much needed updates and surprises for all of us. I hope it’s as charming as it’s two lead characters!

Ryan says: Hella umbrella with a fella who could be jella with your tella. Let me bust it acapella.  Yeah, that’s why LMM got the role instead of me.

Jimmy says: This is the film I’m looking forward to the least so far on this list, and that includes movies I’ve never heard of.

Maze Runner The Death Cure

What is it?  It’s the final installment of the Maze Runner saga.

Why we’re psyched!  YA dystopias are all the rage these days…or they were a couple years ago.

Why we’re wary…  Two words:  January release.  Besides, have we even seen the previous movies?

Watson says:  The second was dreadful after a very promising first picture.  I’m surprised we get the third film.  My boys and I read the first one together, so I could see myself hitting this one in January for closure.

Jenny says: I loved the first few books, but it does take a weird turn for me, even in the literature. How they are going to portray that on screen is going to be tough. I feel bad for this series, because it had great potential, and it feels likes it’s fizzling out, just like the Divergent series.

Ryan says: I like pizza.

Jimmy says:  And we have a new champion!  That was a short lived reign for Mary Poppins.

Rampage

What is it?  An adaptation of the old video game where giant animals rip apart cities starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Why we’re psyched!  The Rock is a charming screen presence, and giant animals breaking things is something that at least is cool to look at.

Why we’re wary…  You know, that old video game didn’t even have a plot.  You just played as a giant monster that turned into a normal-sized human if it took too much damage.

Watson says:  If they don’t eat someone in a bathtub, what is the world coming to?

Jenny: I’ll be taking a bath that night,week, month…maybe Watson will get his wish from above. I really don’t care about this movie. Sorry, Dwayne Johnson.

Ryan says: Especially pizza from Pieous.

Jimmy says:  

Tom adds:  I just want this movie to do better than the Fifty Shades nonsense I keep seeing trailers for.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

What is it?  It’s an animated feature with the Mile Morales Spider-Man!

Why we’re psyched!  Hey, a different version of a classic hero actually got a big screen movie!  That could be cool.

Why we’re wary…  I can’t say I am wary…or excited about this one either way.  Let me ask Jimmy what he thinks…

Watson says:  I am intrigued by the trailer, but it feels a little like a direct to home video offering.

Jenny: Eeeeek – This should have starred Donald Glover, and since it doesn’t… well. I’m wary. Honestly, I didn’t know this was on the docket. Something tells me this might get a few directors, and a couple of re-writes before it even makes it to theaters.

Ryan says: But, really, as long as the pizza has good crust I’m in.

Jimmy says: It worries me a bit that the first story that they are going to tackle with Miles is Spider-Verse.  While it likely won’t be much of an adaptation of the comic book storyline, there is already the sense that we are going to see a lot of different Spider-Men show up in this.  Which may be cool, but comes off to me like they were afraid to go all in on Miles.

Tom adds:  Considering I’ve already seen trailers for this, explain to me again, Jenny, how it will be getting multiple directors and rewrites?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

What is it?  A new animated feature-length retelling of a classic Dr. Seuss book.

Why we’re psyched!  Hey, Benedict Cumberbatch’s distinctive voice actually sounds like a cool idea.

Why we’re wary…  Is there enough material to this book to make a full-length movie?  Plus, well, there’s not much out there, so for all we know this movie won’t even come out this year.

Watson says:  Why do we need this?

Jenny says: IT’S BENEDICT-FREAKING-CUMBERBATCH! Need I say more?

Ryan says: I grew up with thicker dough pizza but that’s hard to get around here.

Jimmy says:  I love the original TV special and even like the Jim Carrey feature length film, but Cumberbatch aside, is this really needed or wanted?  And they had to pad out the live action film significantly with new material, what will they do here?

Tomb Raider

What is it?  It’s a cinematic reboot of the popular video game character.

Why we’re psyched!  Tomb Raider actually had a couple popular movies before.  And there may even be a plot to this one, not like other video-game adaptations coming out this year.  Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander takes over the role of Lara Croft, so that could be cool.

Why we’re wary…  Vikander is married to Michael Fassbender, and that reminds me he tried his hand at a video game movie with Assassins Creed.  Has there ever been a good video game-based movie?

Watson says:  Why do we need this?

Jenny says: I actually really like Alicia Vikander as an actress. I am hopeful this might reboot the series with another strong female lead on the big screen. And we need this because it’s a smart, strong, and badass FEMALE character. Did we need 50 Bond movies? No. But Bond is fun, and so is Tomb Raider. So, I say let’s see what Alicia can do – and save judgement till after the movie.

Ryan says: Texas just tries to imitate everyone else’s pizza.  That’s okay, I guess.

Jimmy says:  I’m intrigued but skeptical.  It’s doing a good job of looking more like the recent video games than the barrel chested originals and the Angelina Jolie films.  But the trailer didn’t do much for me.

Mission Impossible 6

What is it?  It’s the next installment of the popular spy/action series based on the old TV show.

Why we’re psyched!    These movies are just a ton of fun.  Why wouldn’t we be psyched?  Just because Tom Cruise’s last action movie was The Mummy…oh wait…

Why we’re wary…  Actually, I can’t say that I am, but I’ve only ever seen the first one.  Maybe my fellow Geeks can do a rewatch with me for this series like we did last year for The Fast and the Furious.

Watson says:  This series has grown into a reliably solid series.  I’ll see this one for sure.

Jenny says: The reason why these movies work is because they are like bad romance novels. Same kind of plot. Same kind of characters. Same kind of rush when you get invested. It’s a fun popcorn flick, and I for one look forward to seeing what new shenanigans and tech they can come up with!

Ryan says: Can I eat pizza while watching this?  Yes, yes I can.

Jimmy says:  I’ll rewatch with you, Tom.  I always do.  I like this franchise, though I was a little disappointed with the last installment.  And all the talk about this one will be about Henry Cavill’s non-CGI mustache.  🙂

Ocean’s Eight

What is it?  It’s an all-female spin-off/remake/sequel of the Ocean’s 11 movie series.

Why we’re psyched!  Look at that cast!  Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, and Anne Hathaway for starters, and even if Soderbergh isn’t behind the camera and Clooney isn’t in front of it, those guys are listed as producers and having an all-female twist could be rather cool.

Why we’re wary…  Hey, as much fun as having an all-female heist movie could be, does it have to be a spin-off of an established property?  And we could say Debbie Ocean (Bullock’s character) can get the task done with less associates, but there’s also this part of me that just thinks the studio wasn’t willing to pay that many women to play the gang in case the movie bombs.

Watson says:  I love racial and gender opposite casting, but I didn’t like the original series.  Pass.

Jenny says: Sign me up. I am a huge fan of the original version and the remake. So, I’m 100% behind this. I hope this reboots the series into a higher level of class, wit, and charm! #GirlPower

Ryan says: I would totally eat pizza watching this movie.  Because I love heist movies.  And pizza.

Jimmy says:  I like the original series and this looks like more of the same with less, uh, people.  Probably a rental.

Annihilation

What is it?  It’s the cinematic adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s supremely weird first book in the Southern Reach trilogy.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Alex Garland has some good sci-fi chops, and the trailer looks suitably weird considering the source material.

Why we’re wary…  Have you read the book?  It doesn’t really explain much, and it’s mostly a head trip combined with a head scratcher where four women described only by their professions (none of them have names) go into the really weird Area X and learn…not a whole hell of a lot by the time the book ends.  The movie makes it a five woman expedition, and it could be fun but it will certainly will be weird.

Watson says:  A question occurred when watching the trailers:  how often are new sci-fi properties successful?  Pretty uphill battle.

Jenny says: When I saw the trailer I was instantly intrigued. It feels a little like Alien + Arrival + Predator + Lucy. Soooooo – yeah. I’ll probably see this movie as long as the reviews stay above 70% on Rotten Tomatoes. Sorry-not-sorry.

Ryan says: If pizza evolved it would still be pizza.

Alita: Battle Angel

What is it?  It’s a live action adaptation of a classic anime.

Why we’re psyched!  Director Robert Rodriguez has proven with Sin City he can capture the look and tone of various other works, and he really can do a good, special-effects laden movie.

Why we’re wary…  MY GOD!  LOOK AT HOW HUGE HER EYES ARE!  KILL IT!  KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Watson says:  She really DOES look like anime…

Jenny says: Didn’t even know this was a movie. Good for them. Tell me if it’s good guys.

Ryan says: She can see pizza from a mile away.

Jimmy says:  I only know about this movie because James Cameron has been talking about making it for years.  I recently saw the trailer and didn’t see this appealing much to the general audience.

Isle of Dogs 

What is it?  Director Wes Anderson returns to animation for this tale set in Japan when all the dogs of the nation are exiled to an island while a “dog flu” or something ravages the country.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s Wes Anderson!

Why we’re wary…  It’s Wes Anderson!  The man’s idiosyncrasies mean viewers either love or hate his work.

Watson says:  It’s Wes Anderson!

Jenny says: My friends are all dog owners, and they all squealed when this preview showed at a recent viewing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Now, before that moment, I didn’t know this was a thing. But apparently they think this is going to be good. I might see this if they drag me to the theater, but like that Fox movie Fantastic Mr. Fox with George Clooney.. I’ll probably wait to download this illegally. Just kidding. Who would do such a thing? Not me. No, not me.

Ryan says: I wouldn’t watch this movie for free pizza.

Jimmy says:  I’ve never heard of this, but I watch a lot of dog movies, so who knows.

TV

TV can be tricky because, well, TV typically starts a new season in the fall, but some stuff (like Netflix) comes out at its own pace and I have to make some guesses over whether to include it or not.  Plus, everyone has their favorite shows that may or may not be included.  And yes, even TV-adverse Watson has a favorite show.

Game of Thrones 

What is it?  It’s the huge HBO hit coming back (maybe) for its final season sometime this year.

Why we’re psyched!  Game of Thrones is the only TV show Watson watches.  That should tell you all you need to know about how awesome this show can be.  Heck, we should have Jimmy Impossible all caught up by the time this last season airs.

Why we’re wary…  Well, the last season seemed rushed and many of the show’s timing problems became more prevalent.  Can the show stick the landing, especially now that it is well beyond all of the published source material to lean on as a crutch?

Watson says:  I think this show WILL air in late 2018 and I am worried about the quality. Season 7 was pretty weak. I understand they are playing without George’s guidance, but that is not excuse for bad writing, poor characterization, and choppy editing. Having a 1000 page novel didn’t make any of those things great in the first 6 seasons.   PS- I also watch Family Guy!

Jenny says: (No one cares what else you watch Watson, let alone Family Guy). Anyway – I am excited, and hopeful. Honestly, I’m just looking forward to winning the Death Pool again – because, let’s be honest, we all know I’ll win. That being said – like Watson, I too feel like Season 7 was rushed, and I believe they have a lot to cover and counter quite a bit for the final season. Either way, we’ll get closure, and for that I am thankful.

Ryan says: I look forward to the death pool.

Jimmy says:  No comment…yet.  🙂

Legion

What is it?  It’s the FX drama about David Haller, the telepathic and probably schizophrenic son of Professor X.

Why we’re psyched!  For a superhero show, there weren’t many superhero showdowns with a lot of special effects.  Much of the first season took place on various mental and astral planes, and few of the featured mutants had what might be considered a flashy superpower.  Instead, we took a deep dive into a very traumatized young man.

Why we’re wary…  This would be a really easy show to screw up and go into a sophomore slump after a stellar first year.

Jenny says: I loved the first season of Legion. I thought it was weird, and wild, and a lot of fun. I also love Dan Stevens. So more of this wack-a-doodle show is a good thing for me.

Ryan says: First season got better as it went, so I’ll give this a shot.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

What is it?  It’s the MCU TV spin-off with those daring S.H.I.E.L.D. agents doing whatever it is they do.

Why we’re psyched!  Well, Ryan is.  That much is certain.  He thinks this stuff is great television.

Why we’re wary…  A Friday night time slot?  Not exactly showing confidence from the network.  This is the one Marvel property to date that never grabbed me at all.  At least Iron Fist had that drunken fighter for one episode…

Watson says: This didnt get cancelled?

Jenny says: Unfortunately I think that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on it’s last leg. They had a really strong season last year, but I don’t think that will help it hold on. Regardless of it’s future, I’ll be sure to support the show because I love the actors, and the story has been fun. DVR will be full for sure!

Ryan says: Last season was amazing.  Can’t wait for the next story arc!

Arrowverse stuff

What is it?  It’s the series of shows that form an interlocking TV universe that started with the CW’s Arrow.

Why we’re psyched!  The current seasons started off well for all four shows.  There’s no reason to worry about it just yet.

Why we’re wary…  Could producer Greg Berlanti, who handles all these shows, plus a Titans thing for the upcoming DC streaming service, plus Riverdale, plus one other upcoming comic book adaptation (see below) be spreading himself too thin?

Watson says: “There won’t be a lot of crossovers” -Ryan Garcia

Jenny says: Sorry everyone in the DC Universe, I gave up on these this past year. Too much to follow, too many episodes, too many crossovers. If I get sick for a week, and it’s on Netflix, maybe I’ll catch up again. *sigh* *sad face*

Ryan says: Flash and Supergirl are awesome–love those shows and everything they do.  They’re the pizza of the CW.

Tom adds:  Since when does one big crossover a year and maybe a second smaller one count as “a lot”?

American Gods

What is it?  It’s the visually impressive TV adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel.

Why we’re psyched!  Season one was a delight on many levels, introducing a vast world with lot of deities both old and new running around and causing trouble, and with a fantastic cast that could have begun and ended with Ian McShane’s Wednesday/Odin.

Why we’re wary…  The series’ two creators, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, both quit the show over a money dispute with the network.  Fuller is probably the one most responsible for the show’s many visual flairs, so who can say what the show will even look like without those guys?

Jenny says: I loved this new series. It felt fresh, it was visually compelling, and it didn’t take itself too seriously, even though some parts were really dark. I look forward to seeing what trouble our cast of characters gets themselves into.

Ryan says: I watched half the first season and couldn’t be bothered to finish.  Yawn.

Vikings 

What is it?  It’s the History Channel’s first (and hardly the last) foray into scripted TV.  It’s about the vikings (duh) and is at least quasi-historical in its portrayal.

Why we’re psyched!  Of the various shows I’ve written up for Gabbing Geek, I am rather surprised how much this one, the one I originally thought was the weakest of the five shows I started with, became something of a favorite.  Sure, it plays sometimes like a much less expensive version of Game of Thrones, but it had some charismatic lead performances at the center.

Why we’re wary…  Though historically accurate, the show’s lead character was killed off last season and the show is currently looking for a new lead amongst his many sons, none of whom can currently hold a candle to what their father was.  That’s intentional to be sure, but how this will affect the overall series remains to be seen.

Jenny says: I am so sad that I haven’t kept up with this. I am watching it retroactively, and still love it. So hopefully this keeps going strong, mainly because I have a huge lady crush on Lagertha.

Handmaid’s Tale

What is it?  The harrowing adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel.

Why we’re psyched!    This show was brutal in its depiction of a hyper religious society and what it does to women…and to men for that matter.  The small indignities lead to bigger ones for a society that basically has literal institutional rape at its foundation.  Here are characters that need to find small ways to empower themselves as they just try to survive.

Why we’re wary…  I’m not sure that I am, but the series used up all the material from Atwood’s book for season one, and I have no idea where they can go from there.  That’s actually a good thing, though…or it could be a bad one.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

Jenny says: Still haven’t watched the first season, but this show (and Runaways) are the main reasons I acquired Hulu. Looking forward to seeing where this horrific story goes.

Runaways

What is it?  It’s the live action, TV adaptation of the Marvel comic about a group of teenagers, some with powers, who discover their parents are actually supervillains and, well, run away.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s already started in 2017, and so far, so good.  Hulu only drops an episode a week, so the ten episode season will end in 2018.

Why we’re wary…  Some changes were made, often from necessity, but how much the world of the Runaways can be expanded remains to be seen.

Watson says: Might binge the first season and then argue with Ryan and Jenny for a year on why I don’t watch S2.

Jenny says: I loved the comic – it was the very first Marvel comic I read. The characters are compelling, the backgrounds are diverse, and the story has a delightful twist. I look forward to seeing how they translate all of this on screen with live characters – come on – we’re sure to see a Dinosaur, and that’s exciting all by itself!

Ryan says: I’m getting Hulu for this and Difficult People (even though it was cancelled).  Can’t wait to watch.

Jessica Jones

What is it?  It’s the second season of the Marvel Netflix series about a superstrong private eye with a bit of PTSD.

Why we’re psyched!  Jessica Jones may have been the thematically deepest of the Netflix shows, at least until The Punisher came along.  I know I ranked season one as the best of the Netflix stuff, so let’s see how season two goes.

Why we’re wary…  Jessica Jones doesn’t exactly have a huge rogue’s gallery to play with, so who or what she’ll be battling this time is anybody’s guess.  To be honest, all of Jessica’s comic book adversaries were really other heroes’ bad guys she inadvertently crossed paths with more often than not.

Watson says: Still have two episodes to go on Season 1. Fingers crossed.

Jenny says: I really loved the first season of Jessica Jones. But I am wary that of what will come for the 2nd installment. David Tenant as the Purple Man was excellent, and unfortunately he’s supposed to be gone. How they bring him back (heard rumors he’s back), and how they introduce new story lines for Jessica is going to be interesting. I’m hopeful! Again, this stems from the fact that I want more strong female-centric characters on screen.

Ryan says: Yes!

Jimmy says:  I still give Daredevil season one the edge of Jessica Jones, but both were great.  Since then the Netflix shows have been way more miss than hit.  (I haven’t finished Punisher yet.)  Hopefully JJ season two is more like season one than the dreadful second season of Daredevil.

Luke Cage 

What is it?  It’s the continuation of the adventures of Marvel’s Hero of Harlem.

Why we’re psyched!  I, for one, dug the style and music of Luke Cage.  I might have been alone around the Gabbing Geek offices for that.

Why we’re wary…  A release date has not actually been announced yet, but I think I read they finished principal photography, so a late year drop date, while a very distinct possibility, isn’t a guarantee.

Watson says: If I watch any MCU series, it will be The Punisher. In related news, I’m not watching The Punisher.

Jenny says: I did not LOVE Luke Cage season 1, but I didn’t hate it either. If they pick up the pace a bit, then I think I’ll be happy to see this one come back next year.

Ryan says: No!

Jimmy says:  I was disappointed with Luke Cage season one.  And I got what they were going for with the style, music, etc., but like most of these series it went on WAY too long.  I wish they’d all stick with the Defenders style 8 episodes instead of 13.  I’ll likely watch.  Hey, I finished Iron Fist and that was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on the small screen.

House of Cards 

What is it?  It’s the Netflix political drama that helped put the streaming service’s original shows on the map.

Why we’re psyched!  Um…are we?  If it comes out this year, it’ll be a shortened final season focused on Robin Wright’s Claire Underwood as near as I can make out.

Why we’re wary…  Putting aside the issues that led to Kevin Spacey’s removal from the show, I can honestly say I think the show ran a couple years too long.  I grew tired of it, and if I wasn’t doing write-ups, I would have quit ages ago.

Watson says: I actually hope it is successful without Spacey to send a signal.

Jenny says: Fortunately, despite the scandal, I gave up on this show a long time ago. Sorry to the rest of the cast for an very unfortunate turn of events.

Ryan says: Hell no!

Black Mirror 

What is it?  The British anthology series about the wonders of technology and how much people misuse it.

Why we’re psyched!  Technically, the show drops its full season onto Netflix a couple days before 2018, but not everyone sees everything instantly.  As it is, Black Mirror is often a well-written show with fast-moving plots, even if most episodes end in the most depressing way possible.

Why we’re wary…  I don’t think the Netflix-produced season three was as good as seasons one and two.

Jenny says: Oh boy, this show is super dark, and extremely surreal. I love and hate it at the same time. Working in Social Media it feels too close to home most of the time, which makes for a great thrill most of the time. I’m eager to see what they do for the upcoming season – but by word of mouth only. I don’t know if I can digest any more depressing images of how our world is going to shit.

Ryan says: I look forward to liking every other episode.

Jimmy says:  I’ve still only watched the first episode!  🙂

Ash vs Evil Dead

What is it?  It’s the continuing adventures of Ash Williams, the idiot responsible both for summoning and then defeating the Evil Dead.

Why we’re psyched!  I just started the show, but it had the Sam Raimi/Bruce Campbell feel to it, and continued their tradition of splatstick comedy.

Why we’re wary…  Evil Dead superfan Jimmy Impossible couldn’t keep up with it for some reason.  That may be…disquieting.

Jenny says: No Comment

Ryan says: Comment.  Just kidding.

Jimmy says:  I need to get back to watching this.  I watched most of the first season and enjoyed it.  It simply got squeezed out because there are only so many hours in the day.

The Magicians

What is it?  It’s the TV adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular adult fantasy series that posited a world where being Harry Potter didn’t mean you were happy.

Why we’re psyched!  The SyFy Channel finally decided to actually live up to its name and do some original content.

Why we’re wary…  I can’t personally answer that one since I have never seen the show.  But for some reason Netflix keeps asking me if I want to rewatch it when I’ve never seen it once.  Maybe I should get my ass to Brakebills.

Watson says: If the show follows the book series trajectory, it should be crappy by now. Only Ryan is left as a fan…

Jenny says: Has the show jumped the shark yet? I feel like it jumped a few sharks last season. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun, and they have taken liberties to get creative (like having a musical episode), but the story feels disjointed and a little slow and plodding at times. Hopefully this new season brings us some much needed action and magic, because – isn’t that the point?

Ryan says: LOVE THIS SHOW!  It’s the pizza of the SyFy network.  Sorry, the pyzza.

The Walking Dead 

What is it?  It’s AMC’s superpopular zombie show.  But you knew that.

Why we’re psyched!  Because it’s The Walking Dead and like the walkers on the show, it doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of dying any time soon.

Why we’re wary…  I’ve still never seen it.  Jimmy made an offer to guide me through it the way I am with him on Game of Thrones, then maybe I can see what all the fuss is about…though my non-Geek sister is a fan who told me to start after season three or something along those lines…

Watson says: I was thinking of binging this one when it concluded but everyone watching seems to think the series isn’t going to end strong. Pass…

Jenny says: Well, I am a Walking Dead fan, and have kept up with it until about 3 weeks ago. I have to admit, I am getting Zombie Drama fatigue. I feel like we’re watching and experiencing the same old story lines. Granted, I have not watched the finale yet – but does it really matter? It’s had a great run, but I feel like the series is losing some of its momentum.

Ryan says: I read the comic book so I’m way ahead of you all.

Jimmy says:  I’ll never understand Ryan not watching this because he’s read the comic (so have I) especially since he watches Game of Thrones.  But anyway.  Even I’m growing a bit tired of this now as the mid-season finale just seems to be the same thing all over again as Jenny alluded to.  Seriously, can we get rid of Negan already?

iZombie

What is it?  It’s the fun and quirky zombie-medical-examiner show where said medical examiner eats brains to gain the vicitms’ knowledge and personality to provide clues to who killed them.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s, like, probably the opposite of The Walking Dead in every way possible, with the zombies being a lot more personable and friendly…so long as they get a steady supply of brains that is.

Why we’re wary…  Every year seems like it could be the last for this show, but the CW keeps renewing it.  Go figure.

Jenny says: No Comment

Jimmy says:  I’m surprised this is still on as well, but is a great little show.  It’s a lot of fun and somehow finds new ways to reinvent itself year after year.  Rose McIver doesn’t get near the accolades she deserves for essentially playing a different character every episode.

The Good Place

What is it?  It’s the metaphyiscal afterlife comedy on NBC.

Why we’re psyched!  Have you ever seen this delightful show?  Then you’d know why.  The twists and turns in the narrative and finely-tuned comedic characters make for some great television.

Why we’re wary…  It would be so easy for something like this to come crashing down…

Watson says: If this was not on network TV, I might have given it a chance.

Jenny says: No Comment – but I have had a bunch of people tell me I need to watch this show. One day – one day.

Ryan says: Love this show too.  It’s the pizza of the NBC shows.

Jimmy says:  Season two has been a bit more of a slog than the wonderful first season, but it’s still well worth watching.

Black Lightning

What is it?  It’s the latest DC superhero show from producer Greg Berlanti.

Why we’re psyched!  Berlanti seems to know how to do the DCU right on the TV medium, and on a much lesser budget than anything Marvel can throw on the small screen.

Why we’re wary…  It’s not connected officially to the Arrowverse just yet, and I do have to wonder if Berlanti might be spreading himself too thin.

Watson says: Of COURSE it will be in the Arrowverse.

Jenny says: What is this show? I cannot believe that this is the first I’ve heard of it. Oh DC – yet again you fail to interest me in any way. Not that I won’t give this a chance, unfortunately I don’t have any context for why I should watch this, other than it’s a superhero show. And if it’s connected to the Arrowverse, then I feel like it’s doomed. I gave up on that a while back.

Ryan says: Meh.

Stranger Things

What is it?  It’s the popular trip to the 80s on so many levels, where a group of kids have to deal with the evil things from the Upside Down.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s not coasting on 80s nostalgia.  It looks like a product of that time, but is telling a story of its own.

Why we’re wary…  The second season was a minor let-down after the stellar first.  Here’s to hoping we don’t get continually diminished expectations as we head into future seasons.

Watson says: They should have stopped at Season 1.

Jenny says: I disagree with Tom’s wariness. I believe the 2nd season of Stranger Things was just as solid as the first, but with new opportunities, and new growth for all our characters. So, because of that success, I absolutely look forward to another season. Maybe this round we’ll see what happens to the children One through Ten, in addition to Eleven. The idea that there are more people with powers makes the possibilities endless. Maybe they will do a better job than Heroes, or X-Men.

Ryan says: Um, we aren’t getting a new season of Stranger Things until 2019.  Why is this on the list?

Jimmy says:  I was surprised this was here too.  But agree with Tom that season two was a let down.  It was ok, but I reluctantly agree with Watson that they could have easily left well enough alone and left it at season one.

Tom adds:  I have no idea when this is coming out with season three, but added it anyway.  So yeah, we might not see more until 2019.

X-Files

What is it?  It’s another reunion season of the 90s science fiction staple where a skeptic and true believer, working for the FBI, look into the unexplained.

Why we’re psyched!  The last reunion gave us “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster,” which can stand with any episode of the original run as a classic X-Files episode.

Why we’re wary…  The rest of that reunion run was hit-or-miss, with that last episode making me rather mad.  I could do without that, even as Gillian Anderson says this is her last turn in the role of Dana Scully.

Jenny says: No Comment

Jimmy says:  Tom sums up my thoughts on this series pretty well above.

Books

Books are where things get a little tricky.  I personally buy books almost at random and read them as I see fit and don’t pay much attention to new releases.  Heck, the first two entries here were included last year on a request from Ryan.  I found out one of my favorite living authors has a new book coming out this year by dumb luck.  So, here we go…

Iron Gold

What is it?  It’s the continuation of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series.

Why we’re psyched!  Brown can deliver good action and morally complex characters in a futuristic setting that probably owes a lot to Robert E. Howard.

Why we’re wary…  I could probably cut-and-paste my answer to this question from what I wrote last year, but I did feel there was a lot in the last book that felt like filler.  Plus, it might be nice to see what other worlds and settings Brown has in him.

Watson says: I hopped off the station on this one.

Jenny says: Are you kidding me – I cannot wait for this! GIVE ME ALL THE PIERCE BROWN BOOKS!

Ryan says: I’m halfway done with it (I got an advance copy) and it’s awesome.  Full review coming soon.

Peace Talks (Dresden Files 16)

What is it?  It’s the next book in the spiritual granddaddy of a hundred urban fantasy series, the Dresden Files with Harry Dresden, Chicago-based wizard.

Why we’re psyched!  Author Jim Butcher knows how to put together a real pageturner, even for his other series.

Why we’re wary…  Is it even coming out this year?  I was expecting it last year, so take any predictions at this point with a grain of proverbial salt.

Watson says: I read the first one but wasn’t hooked. Maybe I’ll give the second one a chance.

Jenny says: No Comment

Ryan says: Is this really coming out?  That’d be cool.

Tom adds:  Ryan, you asked me to include this on last year’s list.  I included it on last year’s list.  It did not come out last year.  I included it again this year.   I don’t know when it is coming out.  I just know it will be cool.

Noir 

What is it?  It’s the latest from humor novelist Christopher Moore.

Why we’re psyched!  Moore is one of my favorite authors, and his sense of humor is weird and wonderful, whether he’s using the life of Jesus or rewritten Shakespeare as his model.  This time around, it would seem he’s using noir crime stories as his inspiration.

Why we’re wary…  I’m a big fan, but the last couple of books I read by him were a bit of a letdown.  So-so sequels to books that didn’t need one, or just whatever the hell Sacre Bleu  was.  I’d like to see something closer to Fool than whatever

Jenny says: No Comment

Winds of Winter 

What is it?  The long-awaited sixth book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the basis for Game of Thrones.

Why we’re psyched!  Martin’s work is usually dense and has taken a different route from the show by this point, so we can see a different path to the same end point with more characters and a more byzantine plot.

Why we’re wary…  I put this up most years wondering if it will actually show up.  There’s no actual release date for this thing as it is, so I’m mostly just putting it here as a placeholder in case those rumors that pop up from time to time that the book’s release is imminent turn out to be true.

Watson says: I doubt this book will come out until after George dies because I don’t think he cares anymore. I think he’s devastated and isn’t compelled to finish. Forget about Book 7. The series will be finished some day when George’s estate has another writer complete them, but I am not sure I care anymore.

Jenny says: Don’t kid yourself. This is never going to happen.

Ryan says: Bwah ha ha ha ha ha!

Jimmy says:  Hey, I started the first book!  Maybe it will be out by the time I finish book 5…which won’t be 2018…

Comics

Comics might be the one thing trickier than books.  Do we look forward to big crossover events?  Do we just include regular series we like that may come out in the coming year, as many creator-owned Image titles come out sporadically?  Well, we gotta put something here!

Doomsday Clock

What is it?  It’s DC’s regular superheroes meeting the characters from the seminal series Watchmen.

Why we’re psyched!    DC Rebirth has worked out much better than anyone who saw the New 52 would have given them credit for.  And besides, DC does own the rights to the Watchmen characters…we should probably be at least a little thankful they haven’t done this before.

Why we’re wary…  My general opinion of Geoff Johns is he’s not a bad superhero writer, and unlike a few folks around here (*cough cough* Watson *cough*), I don’t blame him for ruining a lot of DC characters.  That said, he’s no Alan Moore, and like many fans, I wouldn’t want anyone except Alan Moore handling the Watchmen universe.

Watson says: What a bunch of shit…

Jenny says: I didn’t know this was a thing. This is a thing? I guess I should start reading DC.

Ryan says: Jenny, I literally gave it my Geek of the Year Award!  YOU WERE TALKING TO ME ABOUT IT ON THE PODCAST.  Sigh.

Jimmy says:  While I generally agree that Watchmen and the DCU should be kept away from each other, this is working for me so far.  And it irritates Watson, which is a HUGE plus.

DC’s Hanna Barbera stuff

What is it?  It’s DC Comics modernized takes on classic Hanna Barbera cartoon characters.

Why we’re psyched!  These comics are more experimental and may get the spirit of the original shows right while doing it in a unique and different way, leading to critically acclaimed stuff like a post-modern Flintstones and a Silver Agey superhero universe with Future Quest.

Why we’re wary…  This experiment also gave us a post-apocalyptic version of the Wacky Races characters.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

Watson says: This actually looks cute.

Jenny says: No Comment

Dark Nights:  Metal

What is it?  It’s writer Scott Snyder’s grand multiversal saga about the many versions of Batman from dying universes coming to invade the Prime Universe.

Why we’re psyched!  Snyder did a deep dive on this, tying together all kinds of old DC continuity to craft a tale full of evil versions of Batman that somehow gained powers similar to his Justice League teammates while still having Batman’s tactical mind.  With references to everything from the original Challengers of the Unknown to Gaiman’s Sandman, this is a series that seems to tossing everything DC has ever done and then some at the reader.

Why we’re wary…  Ok, bear with me on this one…I am not sure how much Snyder can handle this.  Snyder reminds me a little of Brian Michael Bendis here.  Bendis did a fantastic Daredevil.  He could do street-level heroes very well.  But giving him cosmic heroes or big crossovers didn’t work out so well.  I’m not sure Snyder is the best fit for this story.  Had it come from a Grant Morrison or a Mark Waid, I think I’d be enjoying it a heck of a lot more.  Plus, I know we’re only halfway through, but I’d like to see the DC heroes win one once in a while in this series, even a small victory, like eliminating one of the Dark Knights from the Dark Multiverse.  And finally…Batman is the center of the multiverse?  Why not Superman?  He was the one who came first and, among other things, inspired Batman.

Jenny says: No Comment

Jimmy says:  Because he’s the God damned Batman, Tom!  I’m enjoying Metal so far, and it’s pretty amazing the threads from DC past and a lot of his own work that Snyder has tied together here.  It’s one of the bigger offenders though of the reader “knowing” that none of this will have any consequence.  This is comics, so we know the good guys win and everything more of less goes back to normal at the end, but this has had a lot of tie-ins to other books that had nothing to do with Metal before and after.  And there are still like 3 issues left.

Bitch Planet

What is it?  It’s the feminist dystopia that wasn’t The Handmaid’s Tale.

Why we’re psyched!  Bitch Planet, like all the best sci-fi, is more about the present than a possible future, even a terrible one like the one seen here.  It’s spawned a spin-off anthology from the looks of things, so there’s that too.

Why we’re wary…  Like a lot of Image Comics series with creator ownership, it does come out sporadically.  That means someone like myself has to wait longer since I read it in trade form.  That’s fine.  The creators should be given as much time as they need to tell the story they have to.  But that was the closest I could come up with for a reason to be wary.

Watson says: I would now call this title “Asshole Planet” #BeYourBetterSelf

Jenny says: Where have you been all of my life Deconnick!? Writing amazing comic books apparently. I love love love Bitch Planet. I rush out to the comic book store every time a new issues is published. The story is right on point in regards for diversity, feminism, and empowerment. As long as they keep around those themes, I’ll be one happy clam.

Monstress

What is it?  It’s the ongoing saga of Maikia Halfwolf and the demonic thing living inside of her.

Why we’re psyched!  It’s a beautifully drawn book for one thing.  For another, it’s got a great fantasy story going.

Why we’re wary…  I’m starting to wonder if the series is going anywhere.  I’m sure it is, but I wonder it all the same.

Jenny says: I have absolutely loved Monstress so far. I think, like all good series, it’s taking it’s time to really develop the characters. I am totally okay with the slow methodical approach, mainly because it’s dispersed with wonderful new species, and ideas around magic. Additionally Tom is right, the artwork is stunning, and the combo of great writing, and visual eye candy really makes this stand out for what I’m looking forward to in 2018!

Paper Girls

What is it?  It’s four 12 year old girls stuck in a time traveling war of some kind between forces they don’t understand for a moment.

Why we’re psyched!  This series has just been fantastic from start to finish, with the girls’ own personalities driving the plot as much as anything else.

Why we’re wary…  It’s still no Fallen

Jenny says: Brian K. Vaughn has done it again. Not only has he taken a group of people and made them click, but he’s introduced new fantastical ideas around time and space which makes this fun and fresh. I love that the story revolves around 4 young women. It never feels too grown up, but also never places these ladies in a negative light. If anything, it shows just how vulnerable we are as teenagers, and yet how adult we are at the same time.

East of West

What is it?  It’s the incredibly odd apocalyptic series set in a future America from an alternate timeline dealing with Western tropes, Eastern action movies, and the Horseman of Death searching for his family.

Why we’re psyched!  Jonathan Hickman has created a really bizarre and compelling story here, where the Apocalypse for a not-quite-Christian religion went a bit wrong because Death fell in love with a descendant of Chairman Mao.  Seriously.

Why we’re wary…  I’m pretty far behind on this one, and for all I know, it turned to crap a long time ago.

Jenny says: No Comment

Saga

What is it?  It’s the gigantic sci-fi series that tosses everything but the kitchen sink into a story that is, essentially, about two people from opposite sides of a longstanding war falling in love and having a kid together.

Why we’re psyched!  Because it’s awesome!

Why we’re wary…  Well, like East of West, I am very far behind on this one, but in this case that upsets Jimmy, and I don’t like upsetting Jimmy.

Jenny says: Saga continues to be ahead of the game when it comes to comics. Brian K. Vaughn truly knows how to push the limits of character building, without making us hate or love them too much. The allegory that came through the stories this past year was exactly what we needed to balance out the crazy of the real world. I think this series continues to get stronger the longer it’s on the shelf.

Jimmy says:  I was very late to the game here, but am completely caught up.  One of the best things on the spinner racks these days.  Catch up already, Tom!

Games

As it is, I know jack about video games.  I take suggestions from the crowd.  Whether or not either of these games shows up in 2018 is beyond me, and I probably won’t be playing either of them anyway.

Spider-Man for PS4

What is it?  It’s a Spider-Man game, obviously.

Why we’re psyched!  It looks like an open-world Spider-Man game that involves swinging through the city and fighting bad guys.  What’s not to love?

Why we’re wary…  It was supposed to come out last year.  Will it actually come out this year?

Watson says: I still don’t own a Play Station.

Jenny says: No Comment

Ryan says: It wasn’t supposed to come out last year so I still hold out hope.

Jimmy says:  I think at the time we wrote the 2017 Anticipation article, it was scheduled (or at least rumored) for 2017.  I’m still looking forward to it, but it seems like it is never coming out.

Red Dead Redemption 2

What is it?  It’s a Western from the company that makes the Grand Theft Auto series of games.

Why we’re psyched!  Rockstar Games tends to know what it’s doing.

Why we’re wary…  Or do they?

Jenny says: No Comment

Jimmy says:  I played the hell out of Grand Theft Auto IV, but could never get into Red Dead Redemption for some reason.  I do know a lot of people that did though and are very excited for this one.

Gabbing Geek

What is it?  You’re reading it.

Why we’re psyched!  We do what we love.  And for all that we have here a long list of anticipated stuff, there’s always the chance something we didn’t see coming slips through the cracks and does something awesome.  That happened last year with stuff like Get Out and Baby Driver.

Why we’re wary…  Watson put something in the office fridge that seems to be moving on its own…

Plus, there’s sure to be Box Office Nonsense from Ryan and Watson.

Watson says: More Box Office. That’s a promise!

Jenny says: Thanks for being here! Without you, we are nothing! So here’s to more you – the reader!

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tomk74

Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

2 thoughts on “2018: Year Of Anticipation

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