We’ve barely had time to digest all the great film, TV and other pop culture gems that were gifted to us in 2017, and we’re already looking ahead to the next 12 months.
Here’s just a handful of what we’re most excited about in 2018, from the music we’re all going to be hitting repeat on to the dramas sure to have us all gripped…
1. ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ series two
Hulu has already confirmed that a second series of the Emmy-winning dystopian drama will begin streaming in the US in April, hopefully answering all the questions that the year’s biggest cliffhanger left us with following the series one finale.
Intriguingly, the first series of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ ended in the same place as Margaret Atwood’s original novel, meaning even devoted fans of the book are going into series two without any knowledge of what’s going to happen.
Anyone nervous that the continuation of the story could be disloyal to the book can rest easy, though, as author Margaret Atwood will be sticking around as a consulting producer, having also co-written every episode of the first series.
2. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot
Perhaps because of all the doom and gloom the news dealt us in 2017, the announcement of Harry and Meghan’s engagement served as a real glimmer of light, with even some of our most royal-sceptic friends taking pause to revel in the moment.
The wedding itself is coming in the spring – Saturday 19 May to be precise – and royal wedding fever is going to be pretty unavoidable for the months leading up to the big day.
3. Kendrick Lamar heads out on tour
Have you seen his performance from VMAs this summer? Have you seen the visuals that accompanied his latest album, ‘DAMN.’? Frankly, have you seen how much tickets cost?
Already one of the most exciting figures in rap music, all signs point to Kendrick’s 2018 tour being something to behold, and we can’t wait to see what he pulls out of the bag.
4. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are finally ‘Freed’ from ‘Fifty Shades’
Listen. You know it’s going to be crap. We know it’s going to be crap. And we can’t wait. We’ll be there, front and centre, on opening night.
Meet you there, right?
5. Trixie Mattel is crowned winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars’
Yeah, OK, we probably shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but when the line-up was announced for ‘All Stars 3’ earlier this year, it became pretty apparent that the competition was Trixie’s to win.
Given the progress she’s made since season seven (check out her web series ‘UNHhhh’ or Viceland’s ‘The Trixie And Katya Show’ if you don’t believe us), we’d say she was at the very least a dead cert for the final.
Having said that, we said the same thing about Adore Delano before ‘All Stars 2’, so maybe we shouldn’t count our chickens before they’re hatched…
6. The Kardashian family welcomes a few new members
And speaking of chickens and not counting them before they’re hatched… OK, so no one knows exactly how many new members of the Kardashian/Jenner family are coming in the next few months, with rumours suggesting there could be as many as three on the way.
What we do know is that Kim and Kanye are currently expecting their third child via a surrogate, and our guess is we’ll just have to wait to find out if the newcomer will be getting a cousin or two in the months that follow…
7. The year of the pop diva
We already know that 2018 is the year that Kylie Minogue makes her return to the world of pop.
Given that her last offering was a Christmas album (and not even one that gave her a hit single, we hasten to add), it’s a fair guess that the Minogue machine will be firing on all cylinders as she marks her return to the pop arena, not to mention the fact she’s also set to star in ‘Swinging Safari’ with Guy Pearce.
But Kylie isn’t the only pop diva who’ll be back in the new year.
Madonna has already announced that she’s planning a 2018 tour (meaning new music can’t be too far off either), while Celine Dion has hinted there’s an English-language album coming this autumn.
In November, Lady Gaga’s producer DJ Whiteshadow alluded to a “sister album” to 2013′s ‘ARTPOP’ in the pipeline, while Britney Spears fans have speculated that the end of her Vegas residency could spell new material.
8. Oh, and Ariana Grande’s back too!
‘Dangerous Woman’ was one of our favourite albums of 2016, so this alone has got us excited for Ariana Grande’s return to the music scene.
But this year obviously pushed the singer into the headlines for reasons no one could have predicted, after her concert in Manchester was the scene of a terrorist attack which claimed the lives of 22 people.
The nation took Ariana into their hearts thanks to her reaction to the atrocity, spending time with the victims’ families and loved ones, as well as organising the One Love Manchester concert, which saw a host of the biggest names in music performing to raise money for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.
Whether or not Ariana chooses to address the events on her forthcoming album is, of course, completely up to her, given all she’s done already, but either way, we’re intrigued to hear what she comes up with next.
9. Ocean’s flipping Eight
Would. You. Look. At. That. CAST?!
Sarah Paulson. Rihanna. Sandra Bullock. Awkafina. Mindy Kaling.
How can this possibly fail? We are so ready.
10. ‘American Crime Story’ comes back for a brand new series… with a brand new crime
While we’re on the subject of “how can they fail with a cast like that?”, we present: ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’.
We loooooooved Ryan Murphy’s take on the infamous O.J. Simpson trials last year, and it looks as though he’s ramping up the drama for the second series, as he delves into the 1997 murder of fashion juggernaut Gianni Versace.
Looking as though it’s taken a few tips from the producer’s other more OTT offerings like ‘Feud’ and ‘American Horror Story’, the new show looks like it’s got it all: luxurious settings, gripping drama and more wigs than you can shake a Versace baton at.
11. We’re getting a brand new royal to fawn over
Yes, we know, not everyone is a fan of the royals, as is their right, of course.
But all this talk of next year’s royal wedding has got us even more excited for the new arrival in 2018, following the announcement back in September that Kate Middleton was expecting her third child.
12. Jorja Smith finally releases her debut album
Since the Brits introduced its Critics’ Choice award in 2010, it has helped launch the careers of a number of massive homegrown stars… but it’s safe to say that they haven’t always been the most exciting.
True, there’s no doubting the success or talent of stars like James Bay, Sam Smith and Emeli Sandé, but they aren’t always the go-to artists when you’re thinking of British stars who really pack a punch.
It looks like this might be about to change when Jorja Smith is honoured at next year’s ceremony, though. She’s already captured the attention of Drake and been compared to artists like Amy Winehouse and FKA Twigs, so we reckon she’s definitely going to be one to keep an ear out for when her debut full-length album arrives next year.
13. Anyone for a second ‘spoonful of sugar’..?
A sequel to one of the most beloved films of all time, and coming more than 50 years after the original, we’re still not sure how we feel about ‘Mary Poppins Returns’, or whether this is a Disney offering that really needs a follow-up.
Honestly, though, with Emily Blunt in the lead role, plus a supporting cast compiled of Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Angela Lansbury and Colin Firth, there’s a lot to look forward to here.
It’s probably safe to say that it won’t match up to the original, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we should write it off completely. But for anyone already on the edge of their seat, we regret to tell you it’s not slated for release until the end of the year.
14. The Doctor will see you… soon
The news was everywhere when Jodie Whittaker was confirmed as the newest star to join ‘Doctor Who’, marking the first time the lead role has gone to a woman.
She’ll make her debut when Peter Capaldi’s incarnation regenerates in this year’s Christmas special, but she won’t truly take centre stage until next year, welcoming a whole new motley crew of assistants when the new series kicks off.
Considering interest in the series from the general public has waned in recent years, prepare for ‘Doctor Who’ to be the show on everyone’s lips later in 2018 ahead of Jodie’s debut.
15. Taylor Swift brings her ‘Reputation’ tour to the UK
Listen, Taylor. The ‘Red’ and ’1989′ world tours were all well and good. But we saw what you were charging for those stadium shows, and now we want to see how you plan on making it worth your fans’ while.
So far with this album campaign, Taylor Swift is two for two when it comes to elaborate and arresting visuals, so there’s every chance she’ll deliver with the ‘Reputation’ tour. We’re intrigued, to say the least…
16. Meryl Streep (!) and Cher (!!!!) share the screen in ‘Mamma Mia! 2’
‘Mamma Mia!’ might seem like the film least deserving of a sequel 10 years later (it’s a lot of fun but it is really bad, isn’t it?), but when you hear Meryl Streep explain her reasoning for getting behind it at all, it all starts to make sense.
Back in 2008, she told The Guardian: “Everybody was really dimmed spiritually after 9/11. I thought, ‘What am I going to do with the kids?’ So I took all these 10-year-olds to see a matinee of ‘Mamma Mia!’.
“The first part was really wordy, and then ‘Dancing Queen’ started up. And for the rest of the show they were dancing on their chairs and they were so, so happy. We all went out of the theatre floating on the air. I thought, ‘What a gift to New York right now’.”
After writing to the producers thanking them for making the musical, she wound up bagging the lead in the film all those years later… and given everything going on in the world in 2017, all of which Meryl has been very vocal about, we suddenly understand why she thinks we might need a bit of ABBA sparkle.
17. ‘Black Mirror’ gets a whole new medium to terrify us
After what felt like a loooong wait, 2017 gifted us with six new ‘Black Mirror’ instalments, tackling everything from dating apps and online footprints to helicopter-parenting.
While there’s still no word on whether 2018 will be the year we get a whole new batch of dystopian episodes to keep us sleeping with our iPhones safely in a drawer for weeks afterwards, we do know that the first book adaptation of ‘Black Mirror’ is coming soon.
Coming in September, the Charlie Brooker-edited project will feature all-new stories from authors Cory Doctorow, Claire North and Sylvain Neuvel.
18. ‘Black Panther’ is ready to pounce
We got a preview in the most recent instalment of the ‘Captain America’ series, but 2018 is the year that will finally give us a stand-alone ‘Black Panther’ film.
Chadwick Boseman will be starring as the titular superhero, with supporting cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B Jordan, ‘Get Out’ actor Daniel Kaluuya and Oscar nominee Angela Bassett.
We reckon that, similar to ‘Wonder Woman’ in 2017, this is going to be one for even the most casual of comic book fans to get behind.
19. ‘Peter Kay’s Car Share’ returns for one last run round the block
Peter Kay sparked concern among fans when, towards the end of 2017, he announced he was cancelling his forthcoming record-breaking tour for personal reasons.
He had previously announced plans for two final episodes of ‘Car Share’, drawing a definitive close to John and Kayleigh’s story, with one of them also being completely improvised.
Shortly after Peter’s announcement, the BBC announced that these two episodes would be going ahead as usual, giving us something to look forward to laughing our way through in 2018.
20. Beyoncé headlining at Coachella festival
We’re not even going to be there, and we still can’t wait to see what tricks Beyoncé has up her sleeve.
Given that the last time she sang publicly it was this incredible Grammys moment, we can’t imagine Bey’s return to the world of live performance will be a half-arsed attempt, and we couldn’t be more jealous of the lucky few with tickets to Coachella in 2018 to see her.
With rumours suggesting everything from a full-blown Destiny’s Child reunion to a handful of special guests, it’s going to be a musical moment that has everyone talking.
21. ‘Tales Of The City’ makes its Netflix debut
Safe for a few slip-ups in recent years we’ll not mention, Netflix hasn’t exactly done too badly for itself with its original content, from dramas like ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Orange Is The New Black’ to more light-hearted shows such as ‘Grace And Frankie’ and ‘Master Of None’.
According to Deadline, a modern-day adaptation of ‘Tales Of The City’ will be among its new offerings in 2018, with cast members from the first mini-series including Laura Linney already confirmed to be back.
And any die-hard fans concerned that a new story might take the show in an unwanted direction needn’t worry, as author Armistead Maupin is thought to be serving as an executive producer.
We should also point out that despite Armistead Maupin himself discussing the new project, Netflix is yet to confirm it directly.
22. Awards season 2018
There’s been plenty of talk about Hollywood corruption, specifically with regards to sexual harassment in the film industry, over the last six months, sparked by the numerous allegations made against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
With an entire season celebrating all things showbiz just around the corner, we’re intrigued as to how organisers of the Golden Globes and Academy Awards are going to handle things this year.
And then there’s the recurring theme of diversity, a conversation helped along by the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. After strides were taken for this year’s Academy Awards, we’ll have to wait and see how the 2018 ceremony pans out.