23 Reasons I’m Excited About 2023

With a new year comes new stuff. Without further ado, here are 23 things in entertainment I’m looking forward to this year. They’re listed in order by release date and then the things that don’t have announced dates are listed alphabetically. It makes sense!

Paul T. Goldman – This has already premiered as you read this but not as I write this. This is a parody of true crime stories but also maybe not – it’s about a real person named Paul T. Goldman who may be the victim of a major scam and the attempts to make a movie about his life in which he plays himself. It’s deliberately blurring the line between documentary and fiction and I can’t parse how much this is rooted in fact, if at all. Which is straight up my alley. Also in its favor is that it’s created by Jason Woliner, one of the brains behind Eagleheart and a writer and director on so many cool things. He said nice things about something I wrote years ago and I interviewed him for my website and it was such a great experience. His name on a project virtually guarantees it’s going to be good and we should all be supporting him. (January 1; Peacock)

The Last of Us – I know video games have a really bad record when adapted to other media, to the extent that I feel a sense of dread when a game I love is announced for a movie or TV show. I can’t not watch the Mass Effect show but I don’t have any confidence that it will be good.  But The Last of Us looks really good. I didn’t make it that far into the game, which is more a reflection of the time I had available rather than a statement on its quality. Everybody loves it! As a game it’s maybe a little bleak for me but there’s less time investment in a season of TV so I can handle that amount of bleak. Short version is that Pedro Pascal plays yet another character protecting a young child in a hostile world. This one is post-apocalyptic and there are zombie-esque “Clickers”, but that’s not really the main thing. Also Nick Offerman is in it. At this point, I’m not willing to assume that any HBO-associated project is actually going to air until I’m looking at it but this seems like a safer bet than most. (January 15; HBO)

Poker Face – This is an old-school case of the week procedural, which usually means it’s a show your parents would enjoy. But this is created by Rian Johnson (who’s directing several episodes) and stars Natasha Lyonne as a human lie detector. Honestly? It sounds like Columbo with the serial numbers filed off and I’m very into that. This looks terrific – Lyonne is always compelling, Johnson makes almost exclusively things I like (Knives Out, Last Jedi, some great Breaking Bad episodes), and there’s an impressive array of guest stars set to appear. I don’t know why we’re not all talking about this all the time. (January 26; Peacock)

Danger Street – Pretty much every mainstream comic I’ve been into in the last few years has been a 12-issue series written by Tom King. Human Target, Mister Miracle, and Strange Adventures at DC and Vision over at Marvel. And now he’s working with artist Jorge Fornes for a new series about the outskirts of the superhero community. The meta-premise is that this series features all the characters from DC’s 1975 series 1st Issue Special, an anthology that was meant to launch characters into their own series. It mostly failed at that. But it had everybody from major-ish characters like Dr. Fate and the New Gods, briefly popular sensations like Warlord, and a bunch of failures who immediately disappeared like Codename: Assassin, the Dingbats of Danger Street, and Lady Cop (who spent most of her issue educating teens about venereal disease). Also one of my favorites, The Creeper, is involved. Love that guy. I can’t wait to see how King incorporates Darkseid and the Outsiders (a shockingly unfunny “humor” comic) into the same story. (Every dang month)

The 2023 Marvel Lineup – There’s really too much to talk about any of it at length, but I’m looking forward to 2023’s Marvel slate. We’ve got three movies with sequels to Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Marvels, which brings together Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Monica Rambeau. That sounds like a fun team and it’s well-established that Ant-Man and the Guardians characters are my favorite parts of this whole Marvel enterprise. And check out that Guardians trailer. Rocket’s not going to make it, is he?

On TV, we’ve got the vaguely defined Secret Invasion which seems to be picking up the tease dropped at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Ironheart brings back Wakanda Forever’s Riri Williams. Echo is a Hawkeye spinoff, Agatha Harkness: Covenant of Chaos revisits Kathryn Hahn’s fan-favorite character, and we’re getting a second season of Loki, which is where all this multiverse stuff started. Most of that is “Hey, that should be good” as opposed to “I need to watch this immediately”, but that just gives them room to grow. (Obviously Loki is appointment viewing.) Also, we’re getting the non-MCU movie sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse. Yes, I would enjoy a sequel to a perfect movie. Thank you. (All year round, starting with Ant-Man on February 17)

Party Down – Thirteen years after the cult comedy ended, my friends, it’s coming back. A Hollywood catering company? Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan? Ken Marino? Party Down? Like, if you’re not psyched about this revival, you clearly did not watch the original. Check it out, for cry pete. It’s twenty episodes and they’re all great. And then you can watch the new episodes! Lizzy Caplan won’t be back due to other work and that’s a shame but story-wise, it’s kind of nice to have one person who got out of that life, whether it’s because she achieved her dreams or just gave up. I’m so excited for one of my favorite shows to come back – man, 2023 is really shaping up. (February 24; Starz)

Perry Mason – I am maybe more excited about the second season of this HBO reboot than maybe anybody else. Season One came out in the early days of the pandemic and it was great. Matthew Rhys of The Americans as a Depression-era Mason? Sold! But because I have a bad brain, I hyperfixate on specific pieces of media when I’m dealing with stress or depression. And as a result, I watched the first season fifty times that summer. It’s the TV show I’ve watched in its entirety the most often. (But how wild would it be if I’d watched, like, Patriot one hundred times?) So Perry Mason is burrowed into my soul and I’m really excited to check in with my old quarantine friends. With one exception – Tatiana Maslany isn’t returning for this season because she was too busy being She-Hulk. That’s an acceptable excuse and I’ll reluctantly allow it. (March 6; HBO)

John Wick: Chapter 4 I’m not going to waste your time talking about this in any detail. John Wick is back and this time he’s fighting Donnie Yen. John Wick vs. Ip Man. Oh, hell yes. (March 24; in theaters)

Yellowjackets Season Two – I’m trying not to just list new seasons of shows that air on a roughly annual basis, but Yellowjackets is just on the long side of “a little more than a year”. Plus, it’s the big buzz show (no pun intended or desired) and we need our fix. There have been some cool casting announcements for new characters or adult versions of characters we’ve only seen in the past but beyond that, I’m trying not to find out anything. Just ready to let it all wash over me. (March 26; Showtime)

Doom PatrolThis one is a double! Not only will the HBO Max series air the second part of the fourth (and likely final) season, but the Patrol are also returning to comics in a new ongoing series. Dennis Culver and Chris Burnham will be bringing us The Unstoppable Doom Patrol, with the basic lineup from the TV show, minus Cyborg and plus a couple of new characters. It all spins out of a crossover event that I don’t understand but that doesn’t matter because the Doom Patrol is back in the DC Universe. As a Doom Patrol fan, it’s virtually unheard of for me to have two DP things to look forward to so I’m just going to revel in the moment. (comic premieres 3/28; new episodes TBA on HBO Max)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among ThievesOK, there is every chance that this could be as bad as past attempts to bring the role-playing game to the big screen. It’s a pretty dire history. But here’s the thing about this one – it looks fun. The trailer is funny. You’ve got Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez, you’ve got a comedy director. And here’s why I think that works – most people’s experience with Dungeons & Dragons isn’t serious and portentous. You’re playing it with your idiot friends and you’re all making jokes and the DM tried really hard to craft an intricate campaign with complex lore and you’re picking a fight in a tavern and then solving complex puzzles in the dumbest possible way. Seeing these people being kind of bad at their jobs in the trailer feels like the real D&D experience. You could have somebody forget that they have the perfect spell for this situation until the last minute and it’s true to the source material. It honestly looks like they could do a framing sequence where the movie actually is a role-playing session, which is what I want from the property. Plus, in the trailer we get to see an owlbear, a mimic, a gelatinous cube and both a dungeon and a dragon. (March 31; in theaters)

Mrs. Davis – Hey, is Damon Lindelof doing a new show? Yes, yes he is. GLOW’s Betty Gilpin plays a nun in conflict with an artificial intelligence known as “Mrs. Davis”. I love every single part of that. Hell yeah, Lindelof. I don’t know how this is a show but I want to see it so badly. (April 20; Peacock)

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – It’s the sequel to maybe the best video game ever. Any follow-up to Breath of the Wild has some pretty big shoes to fill but Nintendo is pretty careful about quality with their boutique franchises so there’s nothing cautions about my optimism. It looks like the world has been changed after Breath and now there are these landmasses floating above the world that Link has to explore. It looks like the towers and shrines are gone and it looks like there’s a new mechanic to rewind time. It looks beautiful and also looks enough like the previous game that they’re not going to fix things that didn’t need fixing. I’m so excited for this and also, I have a theory. You assume the title refers to “tears” as in rhymes with “fears”. What if it means “tears” (rhymes with “bears”)? That’s maybe just nonsense, but it would be a cool swerve. (May 12; Switch)

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One – This needs even less explanation that John Wick. This is my favorite movie franchise that doesn’t involve a man who can get very small or sometimes big and the two previous M:I movies directed by Christopher McQuarrie are perfect. And this is a Part One! Can you imagine how wild this has to be in order to justify two movies? Fallout was only one movie and this has to be two! The teaser trailer has been out for a while and it’s the raddest thing I’ve ever seen. All your favorites! Crazy action! Ilsa Faust has a sword and an eyepatch and that somehow makes her even hotter, which didn’t seem possible. Hayley Atwell, Cary Elwes, Shea Whigham, and Pom Klementieff join the cast! And also Rob Delaney? Henry Czerny’s Kittridge, who we haven’t seen since the first movie is back! At any given moment, there’s a better than even chance that I’m thinking about this movie. (July 14; 2023)

Oppenheimer – I like Christopher Nolan movies. And a biopic of the developer of the atomic bomb sounds like it might be pretty staid but the trailer looks incredible. We can pretend not to be interested but you know we’re all going to be into it. I wish I had more insight, but it looks great and every cool white person in Hollywood is in it. Hey, Nolan? It’s kinda noticeable. (July 21; in theaters)

Dune: Part Two – Despite a lifetime of disinterest in all things Dune, I loved the 2021 movie. It was good enough to get me past the time I tried reading the book in seventh grade but gave up because it was boring. I really like director Denis Villeneuve and his approach just hooked me. That said, I have already forgotten most of the details so I’ll probably have to rewatch before the sequel comes out. But man, I’m looking forward to the second half of the story. I mean, not so much that I read the book to find out how it ends. I’m too cool for that, man. (November 3; in theaters)

Crisis on Infinite Bang Bangs – So, I don’t know when this is coming out or what form it will actually take. But they’ve been teasing a Comedy Bang! Bang! version of Crisis on Infinite Earths since 2021 as they set up their own multiverse. Last year they released a trailer which showcased alternate realities, like one where Jason Mantzoukas hosts        CBB and also had beloved characters battling multiversal monsters. To draw out the Crisis analogy, it seems like Cake Boss is their Pariah, Bob Ducca is the Monitor, Rudy North is Barry Allen, and Morpheus is maybe Nix Utoan (which is a different DC Comics event). I don’t know if this will be a special CBB Presents episode or if we’ll get a week of alternate reality programming. The speculation was that this was a way for Scott Aukerman to take paternity leave but then he just recorded three months of podcasts in two weeks like an absolute madman. So who even knows? But comedy podcasting and DC Comics are my sweet spots and this seems like it’s made for me. (TBA; TBA)

Doctor Who – It’s the sixtieth anniversary of Doctor Who and we won’t be getting a proper season. We are, however, getting four specials featuring the Fourteenth Doctor. And the Fourteenth Doctor is none other than David Tennant, better known as, well, the Tenth Doctor. Jodie Whittaker regenerated into Tennant and now we have to wonder what that means. Presumably he’s not just the Tenth Doctor returning again but a new man wearing an old face. I don’t know, but it’s pretty cool. And I’m excited about Who again. Look. Jodie Whittaker was great. I have no beef with her. But new showrunner Chris Chibnall, well, he had some high points but his run was mostly bad. He’s inconsistent at best. And now Russel T. Davies, who ran the first four seasons of the revived series, is back and I’m looking forward to seeing where it’s going. We know Catherine Tate is coming back for one of the specials and that Fifteenth Doctor Ncuti Gatwa will star in what will probably be a Christmas special. So despite only airing four episodes, it still seems like we’re in for a good year of Doctor Who. (TBA; BBC and Disney+)

Fargo Season Five – One of my absolute favorite shows, every time Noah Hawley puts together a new season, it’s a gift. Every season boasts a new cast (with occasional carryovers) and there’s always a question of when and where it’ll be set. The Midwest is where. That’s the only constant, but we can’t get more specific than that. However, Hawley confirmed this season is about a kidnapping that isn’t really a kidnapping, and it’s set in 2019. That means we could potentially see characters from Seasons One and Three, so keep an eye open for that. We know some of the cast including freaking Jon Hamm in the lead. What more do you need? Well, you’re also getting Juno Temple, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Lamorne Morris, and more. So geeked for this. (TBA; FX)

FuturamaIt’s back! Again! The sci-fi cartoon from Simpsons creator Matt Groening aired sporadically on FOX from 1999-2003. I could talk so much about how FOX screwed the show over but I’ve had twenty years to litigate and re-litigate that nonsense. But it was my favorite show at the time and I was heartbroken, but at least it ended with a proper finale, “The Devil’s Hands are Idle Playthings”. Then in 2008, spurred on by the success of repeats on Adult Swim, there was a series of four direct-to-DVD movies. The magic was still there, baby! The fourth, “Into the Wild Green Yonder”, served as a series finale. Because how many chances were they going to get?

Well, in 2010, Comedy Central resurrected the Planet Express crew for another four-year run which ended with a weird and moving finale, “Meanwhile”.  Oh, also there’s a possible series finale in the middle of the Comedy Central series, “Overclocked”, which was the last episode of the initial order. So after four series finales, Hulu is bringing everybody back, ten years after the last finale and twenty years after the first one. It’s been a voyage! After twenty-four years, they’re hitting 150 episodes! After some early issues with John DiMaggio possibly not returning as Bender, things have been worked out, everybody is on board and I anticipate loving it as much as I’ve loved all its other incarnations.  (TBA; Hulu)

Justified: City Primeval They haven’t announced an airdate yet, but I’m going to be optimistic. It’s a follow-up to Justified! How do you not get pumped about that? Raylan Givens is back and he’s headed to Detroit. Presumably it’s at least tangentially based on Elmore Leonard’s City Primeval novel, though Raylan wasn’t in that one so liberties will be taken. I’m really not looking into details, other than my memories of reading the book in college (on my own time – it’s not like I took a class on Elmore Leonard). I loved Justified so much and I’m just going to go along for the ride when they give me more of it. (TBA; FX)

Venture Bros. and/or Metalocalypse finale movies – It hasn’t been confirmed if either or both of these will be coming out in 2023, but we got the Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie last year, so there’s a change. Basically, both of these unceremoniously cancelled series are getting original streaming movies to wrap up all the dangling plot threads. I don’t know that there’s any way to get closure on everything in the Venture-verse in less than ten full hours but these are both shows with passionate creators who did amazing work for years and I’m looking forward to one last ride. (Who even knows?)

White House Plumbers – This miniseries tells the story of Watergate masterminds Howard Hunt (Woody Harrelson) and G. Gordon Liddy (Justin Theroux). Look, I don’t know that much about this show but I had to hit 23. And, you know, Theroux is kinda my guy because of The Leftovers and I went through a phase where I was fascinated by Watergate. Liddy is one of the weirdest guys in the world and it’ll be fun to see what they do with him. And I’ve got enough Watergate trivia stored in my head to be excited about some of the casting. John Dean played by Domnhall Gleeson, the John Dean of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Ike Barinholtz as Jeb Magruder! Rich Summer as Bud Krogh! Gary Cole as Mark “Deep Throat” Felt! Judy Greer as Fran Liddy! What’s that? F. Murray Abraham is playing Judge Sirica. Hell yes. Truly, I’ve still got the Nixon White House cast of characters stored up in my head so indelibly even though this all happened years before I was born. I kind of picked this as a bit but I might actually really be into this. (TBA; HBO)

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