Now that 2014 is almost two weeks old, the time for introspection (re: list-making) is over. Miley Cyrus was everything, Kanye West was everywhere, and Jennifer Lawrence was both. So, let’s lock that up, shove it in our time capsule, take a selfie with said capsule, and bury it somewhere unassuming so that no one finds it for the next 20 years. Therefore, Justin Bieber’s front lawn it is.
It’s time to look ahead at what we’ll all be watching, tweeting about, and twerking to in '14. Many of the same cast of characters will be back, because pop culture is stubborn and cyclical. But, there are young stars to emerge, fresh memes to share over our computers, and new shows to watch and live-tweet until our fingers hurt. And, Beyoncé will, well, keep on being Beyoncé. Some things, we hope never change.
Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
Photo: Via Rob Hoffman; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
Beyoncé Drops A Dance Epic
was powerful, filled with feelings, introspection, and slow jams. As such, critics all wondered, "Where is the single?" There really isn't one, which was a daring move on Bey's part. But, where is "Standing On The Sun" or "Grown Woman"? (Yes, we saw the video for the latter, but where is the officially released song?) One thing we know is that she has a lot of material left from Beyoncé
, and we are guessing that the dance jams and "Single Ladies" singles are in hiding...and they'll come out when we least expect it.
Photo: Via Comedy Central; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Funny Women Will Rule TV
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler spent the last half decade paving the way for a crop of upstart funny ladies who are set to have our sides splitting all year long. Internet darlings Abbi Jackson and Ilana Glazer are moving their cult hit Broad City — about the painfully awkward lives of 20-something women in New York — from the web to Comedy Central, while network vet Amy Schumer looks to continue her run as comedy’s newest ingenue with her hit sketch-romp Inside Amy Schumer. But, the show that is perhaps most primed to tickle our funny bone is the Tina Fey-produced single-cam Tooken, about a young woman (played here by the poised-for-a breakout Ellie Kemper) who escapes a cult and is forced to reset her life in the Big Apple. Start engraving those Emmys now.
Photo: David Fisher/Rex/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
The Kimye Wedding Meltdown:
Oh, what we would give to be a fly on the wall during one of Kim and Kanye’s wedding-planning sessions. We imagine the phrases “space-station,” “Steve Jobs hologram,” and questions like, “How much do you think the Pope costs?” are uttered freely. But, whatever the larger-than-life couple has planned, it has to be something no one has ever seen before, because that’s just the way they roll. Still, with so many egos involved in the planning and execution, between The Kardashian clan, the E! Network, and Mr. Ego himself, we expect major fireworks. And, we’re not talking about the one’s shot from a boat (although they’ll probably have those, too.)
Photo: Willi Schneider/Rex/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Miley Cyrus Will Shock Us All...By Growing Up
Miley Cyrus, that wrecking-ball-riding, culture-appropriating, twerking "provocateur" may have been the biggest water cooler topic of 2013 because of her blithe naïveté, but she has also shown herself to be savvy and in control. Soon, she'll realize that nothing will shock us more than presenting herself as a composed, articulate woman who has well-developed thoughts on image, femininity, and music. Then she'll really shake things up.
Photo: Via MediaPunch Inc/REX USA, Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
Finally: Lady Rappers Will Take The Mic
Let's think back to 2011 (yes, three whole
years ago): Azealia Banks let loose with "212." Iggy Azalea came out swinging by releasing "P***y." And, Nicki Minaj, who didn't have a proper album under her belt, straight up stole "Monster" out from underneath Jay-Z and Kanye West. (Seriously. Grand larceny.)
But, Azealia's album never manifested, Iggy didn't take to the pop mainstream, and while we all know who Nicki is, she's is best known for the dance song "Starships" and her American Idol
But, now we have Angel Haze and Dominique Young Unique. And, Nicki's "Boss A** B****
" is, well, hot
. This will be the year female emcees will begin to have just as many guest spots as their guy counterparts.
Photo: Courtesy of NBC; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon Revive Late Night
If the unparalleled success of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon sparked the talk-show revival, then Seth Meyers joining the fray in February should catapult the once-tired format into full-blown renaissance mode. With Fallon taking the reigns of The Tonight Show from Leno and Meyers bringing his brand of sly and acerbic wit to Late Night as Jimmy’s successor, 30 Rockefeller Plaza is once again the hippest address in showbiz.
Photo: Jim Smeal/BEImages; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Shailene Woodley Becomes a Household Name
Don’t look for Jennifer Lawrence to give up her crown as America’s Sweetheart any time soon, but if Shailene Woodley continues her meteoric ascent, she might have to share the title. After wowing audiences last year with her touching performance in The Spectacular Now
, 2014 has Woodley poised to make the leap from star to superstar thanks to roles in not one, but two surefire blockbusters. First up, she’ll play Tris
, in the eagerly-awaited adaptation of the best selling dystopian YA novel, Divergent
. She’ll follow that up with another high-profile adaptation, this time as the terminally-ill Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars
. As if that wasn’t enough, Woodley is the most earnest and self-aware young star since you-know-who.
Photo: Joseph Branston/Future P/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Indie Goes Back To The Garage
Sure, we all felt giddy when listening to Haim, Tegan and Sara, and Disclosure this year, but things go in cycles. It's time to head back into the gritty, noisy garage. With impending albums from heavy-hitters like Foo Fighters and The Hold Steady, it's the indie world that'll have some guitar-fueled releases. Albums from Liars, The Men, Cloud Nothings, Titus Andronicus, and Dum Dum Girls will have us rockin' out.
Photo: Via iTunes; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
The Year Of The Stunt Album
Beyoncé came through on one trusted Thursday night and changed the game. But, now that the industry has sensed that someone can indeed still make money off of the album, we'll be seeing all sorts of artist stunts with varying degrees of success. Soon we'll see people releasing albums as virtual reality performance-art pieces in languages they are not fluent in or perhaps even from space. Space.
Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
Lena Dunham Cast in Her First Major Role
We all knew it was only a matter of time before Lena Dunham tried movie stardom on for size. And, with the upcoming Happy Christmas, she may have found the perfect vehicle for her transition from small screen to big. Not much is known about the film, other than that it costars Anna Kendrick and that it’s about a dysfunctional family at Christmas. But, director Joe Swanberg cut his teeth in the low-budget world of mumblecore and has no doubt influenced a lot of Dunham’s own work, so it’s kind of a match made in heaven. And, for those of you worried that Dunham might be seduced by the movies and flee your favorite show ever, fear not: Girls was just renewed for a fourth season.
Photo: Stewart Cook/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza.
Justin Bieber's Audience Grows Up...and Goes Away
What made the power of Belieber-belief so strong was that Justin was so relatable: a cute boy who would be a great vessel for which they could pour all of their pubescent desire. But now, the Beebs has become a bit of an Eddie Haskell, and his fan base will have a hard time relating to outrunning paparazzi on Segways and peeing in buckets. He's got a bad attitude folks — and not in a cute way. His descent...well, this isn't as much of a prediction as it is a fervent hope.
Photo: Bravo Press SA/Rex/REX USA; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
Jennifer Lawrence, 24/7:
Whether you can't get or have had enough of Jennifer Lawrence, get ready: You ain't seen nothin' yet. First, she's got the awards-show circuit, and then she immediately moves into doing press for not one, but two blockbusters. Yep, she'll be working for both X-Men and Mockingjay (which will be released this year), meaning that J. Lawr will be everywhere, all the time. Fortunately, she'll be charming us nonetheless, as we think that any sort of backlash is hogwash.
Photo: Courtesy of HBO; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
True Detective: This. Is. It.
It’s rare that a new show comes along with impossibly high expectations and actually winds up meeting them. And, for HBO’s unsettling new crime drama, that’s saying a lot, since we can’t remember a show being greeted with this much hype since, well, ever
. But, that’s what happens when you enlist Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson — a pair of Hollywood movie stars at the height of their powers who should have played opposite each other ages ago — to play opposing gumshoes on the trail of a killer, deep in the murky heart of the Louisiana Bayou. The footage we’ve seen is haunting, the reviews are glowing
, and Harrelson wears a wig. Even before the first episode unspools, True Detective
is the first must-see TV of 2014.
Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics; Designed by Ammiel Mendoza
The Auteurs Are Back
Every year, we get a handful of efforts from some of our most prized directors, but 2014 just feels different. It feels special. Why? Because along with prolific directors like Woody Allen and Wes Anderson, whose films Magic In The Moonlight and Grand Budapest Hotel are both out this year, we also get offerings from the likes of Chistopher Nolan, whose space odyssey Interstellar is the director’s first non-Batman movie since Inception. Then there’s Darren Aronofsky, who left us wanting more with Black Swan and finally returns with the bible-epic Noah. David Fincher’s Gone Girl might just be his most anticipated movie yet, while modern master Paul Thomas Anderson has us salivating with his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice. Last, and certainly not least, the reclusive Terrence Malick is finally expected to release his untitled love story set in the Austin music scene and starring a dream cast that includes Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender, and Ryan Gosling, And no, we’re not making that up. Toldya this year was special.