Friday, November 20, 2015

My 2015 Holiday Wishlist

Dear Hollywood,

It's that time again!  This year for Christmas, I want:

For women directors to get a fairer shake.  Now I understand that there have been some great efforts made in recent months, and I know there are a lot of systemic problems that can't be corrected quickly.  But when you've got the EEOC conducting an industry-wide investigation of gender discrimination, you have to acknowledge that there's something wrong with this picture.  Yes, I know that Ava DeVernay said no to "Black Panther," and Michelle Monaghan said no to "Wonder Woman," but we need to get to the point where female directors turning down these high-profile gigs is no longer newsworthy.  At the time of writing, there are only seven films directed by women on the 2016 movie schedule, two of them animated films.  On television the numbers are better, but still not what they should be.

For the DC films to score some wins.  I still don't know how I feel about Zack Snyder having the reigns for "Batman v. Superman" leading into the "Justice League" movies, but I hope that it does well enough to get the DC cinematic universe back on track.  Keep in mind that we also have David Goyer's "Sinister Six" movie coming, which could provide an alternate avenue of success if the capes end up going down in flames.  As much as I've enjoyed many of the Marvel films, and as much as I'm looking forward to "Captain America: Civil War," it's not healthy for the industry and the superhero genre if Marvel keeps dominating the field like this.  I also have high hopes for FOX's "X-men," which include "X-Men: Apocalypse,"  "Deadpool," and possibly "Gambit," though it's likely that one will be pushed back to 2017 because of production troubles.

For Renee Zellweger to get back on her feet.  A year ago she reemerged after a five year hiatus from acting with a dramatically altered appearance.  I find it very sad that she thought she had to resort to such drastic measures to be marketable again, and we'll see how it's affected her screen work soon.  Zellweger has three films coming out in the next year, including "Bridget Jones's Baby."  While she was never one of my favorite actresses, I really hope Zellweger pulls off this comeback.  I always respected her work, and we need more forty-something headliners like her onscreen.

For Messrs. Sepinwall and Fienberg to regroup and find new podcasting homes.  The sudden cancellation of "Firewall and Iceberg" at the beginning of October was one of the saddest events of 2015 for me, as it was by far the best television podcast out there.  I have no idea how I'm going to get through the midseason without these two.  Oh, and for all the writers from The Dissolve and Hollywood Prospectus to land on their feet.  This was a rough year for the media reviewing community all around.

For the 2016 presidential election coverage to maintain some semblance of sanity.  With Donald Trump involved until the primaries next year, it's going to be tough, and probably very entertaining.  But as I get older, I find that I have less and less tolerance for political shenanigans.  I hope Bernie Sanders holds out for as long as possible, though, if only for more Larry Sanders appearances on SNL.  Thank goodness I've stopped watching live television.

For the return of "The X-files" to go smoothly.  I don't think that the revival is particularly necessary, and there's a pretty good chance that it'll be a disappointment.  The original had some pretty major ups and downs in quality, after all.  I'll be happy with "The X-files" if we get a few decent updates on the "monster-of-the-week" installments, which were always my favorites.  Oh, and if they could clear up what happened to Gibson Praise and the Lone Gunmen, I'd really appreciate that.

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.  Especially "Dr. Ken," because it looks like we're stuck with him for a while.

And for the "Sherlock" Christmas special and the new "Star Wars" movie to be as good as their promos.

Happy holidays!

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