This year for Christmas, I want:
For something better to fill the shoes of "Twilight." The franchise has proven that there is a big audience of romance-loving young women out there, and those who can win them over will reap the financial rewards. By my hope is that the studios that try to target this audience in the future won't just try to rehash "Twilight," but actively try to make better films and offer better choices to the young female demographic that has too often been ignored or underserved.
For the advertisers to wise up about online audiences. I know that the media infrastructure takes a long time to change, and the cultural transition is going to take a long time, but it still irks me that by watching shows and movies online, through streaming services or other legal methods, I'm not counted in the same way as someone who is still watching live television or going to the theater directly. What I spend on an iTunes download of an early VOD film isn't counted toward box office. If I watch a show only more than a day or two after its original airdate, I don't factor into most of the ratings advertisers pay attention to. This has got to change.
For Netflix and Redbox to win the content wars. It's been a rough year for both companies, and in many ways it was their own fault, including the boneheaded moves by Netflix in raising their prices and trying to split the company in two. However, a lot of grief was caused by content producers trying to wring more dollars out of their libraries, and making demands that are clearly out of touch with the way that consumers are using online services. Netflix may not be perfect, but from the point of view of the little guy, it's still the best deal out there by far. If Netflix gets taken out, and the studios decide to distribute their own content online separately, we can almost certainly expect higher prices and less convenience as a result.
For the incoming "Akira" adaptation to further the Racebending conversation. As you may have heard, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart are being courted to play the leads of a new American-made "Akira" film that looks to be desperately trying to mine the cultural cachet of property, but of course has no intention of even trying to examine the complex, challenging issues at the heart of the original story. And they've conveniently gotten rid of all the Japanese kids. It's too late to stop the film from happening in this late stage, so the best we can hope for is a good, hard crash-and-burn, providing yet another example for Hollywood on how not to adapt an anime property.
For nobody to spoil me for "The Dark Knight Rises" or "The Avengers." There are a couple of others that I'm worried about, but these two in particular are going to be real headaches. We're looking at what are doubtless going to be two if the biggest summer blockbusters of 2012, and months in advance there is already a steady stream of information about them trickling onto the Internet that is getting harder and harder to avoid. By the time July rolls around, I'm sure it's going to be absolutely impossible.
For the current rerelease trend to stop. I know that the studios have long used rereleases to help balance their books. However, lately I've been disheartened at the sheer number of older films, either in the process of being converted for 3D and IMAX screens or under consideration. Disney's done a few now like "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast, but how many people really want to sit through the three-hour "Titanic" in 3D? Or "The Phantom Menace"? I guess we'll find out next year.
For a fourth season of "Community" that won't be compromised by budget cuts or executive meddling. I don't mind so much if the series leaves us before its time, but I want it to go out on its own terms. Or to be picked up by a nice cable channel like Comedy Central.
For all the new films and television shows coming out this winter and next year to exceed my expectations, and for those that didn't to improve.
For Filmspotting to find a new co-host as cool as Matty "Ballgame" Robinson. We're all going to miss you.
And for another really kickass "Doctor Who" Christmas special, because you can't have too many of them.