Pop Culture Resolutions For 2013

This is it, 2013 and with it a plethora of possibilities for what society will kick into the mainstream and proclaim a cultural phenomenon! I wonder how many predictions of doom will sprout forth given that we are on this oh-so-lucky number thirteen. All I can say is that if it’s anything like the Mayan Apocalypse, I’ll be snug in my home with a movie and maybe a glass of wine. As far as apocalypses go, I’d say we’ve been making out like bandits so far.

While the population ponders over which gym to get a membership to or how to spend their Christmas gift cards, I sat down and thought about how the entertainment world would shock us in 2013. Granted we’ve seen previews for this and that, but what does that say for what’s trending in 2013. What do people want to see and more importantly, what goes mainstream and influences what becomes entertainment down the road?

Entertaining the New Year

220px-TheAvengers2012PosterThe Avengers pretty much capped the superhero phenomenon for me; superheroes have been in style for a few years now but, and you’re all thinking it, it seems that Hollywood has been stretching it a little thin as far as material goes. You know things are slowing down when they are already remaking movies that came out less than five years ago and then they have to combine the characters to make something entertaining. Not to say that they didn’t FINALLY find the best Bruce Banner ever in Mark Ruffalo, and there are some fun movies to look out for. Iron Man is always a pleaser and with installment number three coming up, I’m thinking they won’t be hurting at the box office. If nothing else Robert Downy Jr. is just The Man at witty, faced-paced banter and if that doesn’t give you enough hope for sarcasm you can always catch Wolverine in his comeback. Then there’s Man of Steel; I’m just going to go into that one with low expectations and hope for the best. Superman might be one of the most reproduced cinema characters from comic-land…besides Batman. Oh…and there’s no more Batman. But there’s an acrobatic guy with cheesy one-liners just waiting to take flight (I can’t resist the pun).

The fantasy genre itself hasn’t been doing too shabby in TV land. Once Upon a Time got renewed, much to the excitement of many fairy tale fans. Grimm was also renewed but, if you ask me, the show has become less about the fairy tales and more of a supernatural cop-show. Though I am personally excited to hear what happens next in the saga. The vampire fantasy genre still gets the ladies so Vampire Diaries is back again–though it’s tough at this point to see what else they could possibly come up with.

I’m seeing the fantasy genre wane a bit on the movie side of things. We’re finally letting go of vampires–but to trying to bring in zombies as love interests? At least Warm Bodies seems to have the sense to not take itself too seriously. Either way, I don’t think it will be a trend setter. Walking Dead is popular because devastation rains down in zombies, not love and “save the cute ones.” That’s what movies like Beautiful Creatures are for—this new book-to-movie release being one that could bring new light to the idea of witches and magic given its Southern ambiance and lore all its own. I personally enjoyed the book and am looking forward to a solid depiction of a young adult novel without having to make excuses for it (cough, cough).

game-returns-bigAs for epic tales, The Hobbit Trilogy continues into 2013 in what I feel to be an overly drawn-out depiction of a novel that could have been an enjoyable movie in just one three hour block, not three. Alas, I remain a sucker for the world of Middle Earth and will no doubt pay for my ticket once the hype and lines have shortened substantially. On TV there’s Game of Thrones with mixed reviews across the board, from new watchers to followers of the book series alike. They’ll certainly stick it out through the rest of the series, much like myself and The Hobbit, but we can expect to hear quite a bit of grumbling, albeit mostly under our breath.

As for themes, try alter egos–Superman in Man of Steel, Dexter’s loyal following and what seems like a conveniently similar idea in a new show called Do No Harm starring Steven Pasquale that will air on NBC. The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde concept seems to be popping up here in there throughout television and movie history but given the announcement that this will be the eighth and final season of Dexter, you can’t help but think the timing is spot on. Here you are 2013—let’s see if you can get hooked on a new guy that you can love to hate, or hate to love. Or just watch a lovable dad make meth—that’s right Breaking Bad is back, too and this one never fails to please. Even Star Trek’s newest movie gives us the good-guy-gone bad in the one and only Benedict Cumberbatch (my new favorite actor). Given his depiction of the tortured-by-simpletons Sherlock Holmes for the BBC, I cannot wait to see him as a full-on villain.

If you don’t want to see a good side to a character, then this year it seems we will have the opportunity to dig up some classic psychopaths and episodically view their younger origins. Already so far there is the promise of the childhood of Norman Bates (Did he have a shower growing up?) and Hannibal Lecter. Beating Anthony Hopkins’ performance will be tough for ex-Bond villain Mads Mikkelsen, Hopkins didn’t blink once in in the movie Hannibal. And though it seems a little morbid at first glance, we can’t forget that society loves to watch this kind of thing (Proof: Law & Order is still around). So we’ll see if either of these dark shows lasts longer than their first season.

What Else is There?

I can’t say that sharing-like-we’re-addicted-to-it is anything new—if only it were the kind of sharing I learned about in kindergarten, like sharing your crayons or sharing your gummy bears. Now? We share all things intangible, nonsensical and often private. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook. Kindergartners of the future will only know the term ‘sharing’ as something you do via the Internet. What will they do when they want to borrow a crayon? Oh yeah . . . they probably won’t have crayons. Maybe they’ll have to share iPad’s! What we do know how to share are Someecards and Angry Cat. Need I say more?

flu-sex-influenza-epidemic-date-flirting-ecards-someecardsSomeecards.com exploits pop-culture and references situations from virtually everyone’s life to create awesome one line delivery on an e-card. Most notably there will be a lot of angry quips regarding Beyonce’s lip syncing; possibly not the best way to start a new year for her. Is there a future for all the hype? Sure, though I can see it waning a bit over the course of the year. Of all the memes we’ve seen in the past year, the fluffy frown-monster known as Angry Cat was the least annoying…and is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Next time you consider making another version of ‘What my friends/mom/society/dog thinks I do’, put it AWAY! That is so 2012! Make an Angry Cat and make it funny because Angry Cat is sticking around for a while to be prized right alongside the likes of the bacon-dog, the badass Honey Badger and every kitten and pretend dinosaur on the planet.

There has been this interesting trend in media technology—phones are now getting bigger? But personal computers still get smaller. Will 2013 launch the year where the tablet and phone intersect at the point of some awkwardly sized computer device that can also make calls? Where it’s just too big for your hand but just too small to use for movies or typing comfortably, no doubt something like this already exists or will exist but I find it odd how for so many years the goal was to be able to fit the phone in your pocket. Now—we care more about the screen and how big it is. Priority shift indeed!

angry cat baconStatistics suggest Americans don’t prioritize food and diet. Food is fuel, your body is a temple and where your food comes from and how it is made is often overlooked. I keep hoping this will change and maybe this will be the year that we get the message. Though given the trends, I’m not sure there’s much hope. A singular food is a hard thing to make a pop-culture phenomenon but America, you did it. Bacon is EVERYWHERE. And not just as bacon; there’s bacon soap, bacon air fresheners, bacon gum and bacon mayonnaise! And the Paleo diet just LOVES bacon. Its ‘good for you’ they say. We might just drive up the price of bacon since demand is so high! When the country runs out of bacon you can cry softly into your bacon-shaped pillow (yes, they have those too).

So grab your hat-with-a-built-in-beard, your fancy iPhone 5 (already obsolete) and your bacon gum-drops because 2013 is upon us. Lucky number thirteen—and we should be more than happy to be the product of the worst apocalypse ever.

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