It's a brand new year, and that means a full 52 weeks of new movies, television shows and all other goodies to look forward to... or feel worried about. Here are eleven things I want out of 2011's best and brightest.
1. This Many Superhero Movies Not To Kill The Genre
Let's start on a potential downer, shall we? I can't be the only person who's worried that Thor, Green Lantern and Captain America: The First Avenger opening within weeks of each other is a little... well, too much, can I? Sure, comic nerds like me can tell the difference between fictional universes, but will mainstream audiences who can't tell their Green Lantern from their Green Hornet, never mind Green Arrow? And, if they can't, will there be backlash from those who can't understand why Robert Downey Jr. or Sam Jackson don't turn up when Ryan Reynolds puts on his magical wishing ring for the first time? For all that I should be excited about seeing these characters debut on the big screen with all the care and attention that they're getting, I can't help but feel a little worried that it'll be too much at the same time. Which reminds me...
2. Summer 2011 Not To Be Overkill
Ignoring the three big superhero movies, summer this year also has Cowboys & Aliens, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, X-Men: First Class, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Super 8, Rise of The Apes and Pirates of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides appearing. We've become used to a lot of big movies dominating the summer multiplexes, but this really seems like a lot of big movies all happening a week or two apart. There'll be winners and losers, sure, but how big the winners will be, and how badly the losers will fare remains to be seen. I'm worried that it'll be carnage, to be honest.
3. New Ideas Would Be Nice, Too
Even though both 300 and Watchmen left me cold, I can't help but be curious about Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch (out March 25), in part because it's not a sequel or an adaptation or based on a toy the director grew up with thirty years ago. It's the same reason I'm looking forward to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's Paul (March 18) and whatever JJ Abrams' Super 8 (June 10) turns out to be. 2010 saw Inception become a pretty sizable hit. Wouldn't it be nice if the same happened over and over again this year?
4. An Alien Invasion That Sticks
Skyline didn't really make a massive dent in the public consciousness last year, but this year brings more alien invasion fiction to our screens. ABC's V returns for its belated, shortened second season this week, and the Steven Spielberg-produced Falling Skies debuts on TNT in the summer, by which point moviegoers might have recovered from March 11's Battle: Los Angeles. Call me old-fashioned, but I'd love for at least one of these three to be successful and good. I like the ideas behind alien invasion stories, so having a good one (or three) sticking around would be really nice, thankyouverymuch.
5. Zombies To Shuffle Back To Our Screens, Better Than Before
They may have been controversial, but I'm hoping that the creative changes behind the scenes on AMC's The Walking Dead make it a better show. I know this makes me the odd-man-out in fandom - and on this blog, too - but after a good pilot, I quickly lost interest in the first season. There's so much potential in the show, and it'd be great if it fulfilled it second time around. After such success with the first season, hopefully it'll be given the leeway to do things right.
(Also, doesn't 28 Months Later come out this year? I'm looking forward to that one.)
6. The Tintin Movie Not To Suck
This one is pretty straightforward, right? I am really, really looking forward to The Adventures of Tintin: Secret Of The Unicorn - It's directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson from a script by Steven Moffat and Edgar Wright! - but all of the preview images of the CGI animation look a bit... well, Polar Express. So, finished film: Please don't live down to my fears.
7. Steven Moffat To Do Whatever He Wants
I'll admit it: The winner of 2010 for me? Steven Moffat. Say what you like, but between his first season as Doctor Who showrunner - including that wonderful Christmas Special - and his Sherlock season, he's shown himself to be one of the most interesting writers working in genre television today. With more Sherlock en route for later in the year, and his second Who season (The first in the new split-season format), I honestly can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
8. Ridley Scott To Do What He Used To Do Best
Rumor has it that Ridley Scott's mysterious prequel to Alien may appear before the end of the year. Add this to the "Please don't suck" list, although I'll admit that even at its suckiest, any Scott-directed Alien movie is at the very least likely to be an interesting failure.
9. More Episodes From Favorite TV Shows
It's not enough that NBC is finally bringing Parks & Recreation back from purgatory after far too long, I'm hoping for a fourth season renewal - as well as a third season for both Community and Parenthood, both rumored to be close to cancellation. I'd hope for some more Stargate Universe, but I think that ship may have already sailed.
10. Netflix Instant To Increase Its Offerings
Netflix Instant is a wonderful thing - Or, at least, it has the potential to be, but its offerings update on what seems like an irregular basis, and seems trapped between some TV shows worth revisiting, old movies that few would be interested in and whatever Starz is sharing that month. I understand that movie studios and television companies are cautious when it comes to licensing content that could reduce their own profits, but still: If I don't watch When In Rome on Netflix because I'm really, really bored, it's really unlikely that I'm going to go out and buy the damn thing. Follow your audience, people.
11. Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark To Stop Being A Disaster
Oh, it sounds like a joke, but I'm entirely serious: The long, sad saga of the Spider-Man musical has long since stopped being funny. At this point I don't even care if it's a bad show, I just would like 2011 to go by without any more stories of accidents, injuries or people quitting because it's unsafe. As wrong-headed as it is, I'd like this year to be safe and happy for everyone, even people who sing U2 songs every night for a living.
...Well, that's my list of 11 wishes for the new year off the top of my head. But what do you want to see in the next twelve months? Those comment sections are there for a reason, you know...