McGinnis: 2015 Pop Culture Wish ListWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year ’round about this time, I wrote a column for Toledo Free Press that was a series of pop culture “wishes” I hoped would come true sometime in the following 12 months. Granted, some of them weren’t exactly long shots — I think most everyone took it as a given that Peter Parker would be restored as Spider-Man by the time the new movie rolled around. But the idea that EVERY item on my wish list might actually come true seemed quite unlikely. And yet it happened.
As a result, I’m feeling quite a bit of pressure with this year’s installment to ask for items that are worthy of this unique power I have so clearly been given. Rest assured, fair reader, this column will only ever be used for good and not evil. (Though admittedly I did have to be talked out of wishing for a date with Salma Hayek and Kate Winslet.) This year’s Pop Culture Wish List:
- I hope Daniel Bryan is able to return from injury and continues to be used well by WWE. It was a rollercoaster year for the wrestler born Bryan Danielson. After being terribly misused by World Wrestling Entertainment for much of his tenure as one of its stars, fan sentiment finally forced the company’s hand and made Bryan the marquee name at the year’s biggest event, WrestleMania. Then, his father passed away, followed by a neck injury which (combined with other problems) has sidelined him for over eight months. I hope Bryan is finally able to return to the ring and reap the rewards his hard work and fan support had earned him.
ODDS: 3:1. Unless the nagging injuries which have kept Bryan sidelined prove to be career ending, I’m certain we will see him back in the ring by year’s end. Whether WWE will use him well is another matter, though hopefully the backing of his fans will continue to bolster his case.
- I hope the new “Star Wars” movie finally gets people off George Lucas’ back about the prequels. It’s been 15 years since the release of “The Phantom Menace” seemed to transform the creator of the most popular film franchise in history from an icon to a chump, almost overnight. When the movie failed to live up to expectations, most die-hard fans seemed ready to burn Lucas at the stake for daring to make a film that wasn’t the genre-defining masterpiece they expected. Fans have since burned Lucas in effigy at most every possible opportunity, ignoring anything good he may have ever done — like, say, inventing the universe they are so obsessed with in the first place. With the release of J.J. Abrams’ new installment in December, I hope one of two things will happen: One, that the new film will be so good that fans will be satiated and move on from their Lucas hate, or two, the new film will also fail to live up to expectations and fans will realize that maybe their bar is set so high that no film could really live up to it.
ODDS: 20:1. Long shot at best. Fan hatred of the prequels and the creator held responsible has endured for so long that it has become part of fandom’s identity. If the new movie is good, Lucas’ work will be held in even higher contempt. If it’s bad, it will be his fault for selling the franchise in the first place. Either way, the flannel-clad creator can’t win.
- I hope a fifth season of “Arrested Development” is announced. It was one of those wonderful show business miracles that happen every now and again when in 2013 a new season of the cult classic TV series “Arrested Development” was released on streaming service Netflix. Sure, the new season was just different enough from the original to be a little unsettling — a by-product of the cast’s spotty availability — but it was still very entertaining and a big hit for Netflix. It seemed another season would be a mere formality, but for whatever reason the announcement has yet to arrive.
ODDS: 10:1. Most everyone seems to indicate that another season is a matter of when, not if, though as before the scheduling of all the talent is the big obstacle. Hopefully the recent release of season four on DVD will jumpstart the process a bit.
- I hope the cast of “Eye on Your Weekend” reunites for a new show. ODDS: TBA.