Tuesday, January 3, 2012

10 FAVORITES (49): Highly Anticipated in 2012

It is now 2012 and with all the things from 2011 behind us, I thought we should go over some of the things that audiences are looking forward to this year in TV and Film.  So this week's 10 FAVORITES covers 10 things (4 from TV and 6 from Film) that our culture has deemed "highly anticipated."

THE 10 
OF 2012

Oprah's Next Chapter
Premiered: January 1, 2012
This first one already premiered on New Year's Day and the reaction, so far, has been somewhat mixed.  It seems audiences are thrilled to have their favorite TV personality back in interview mode, but the format (for many) seems all too similar to her in-studio format (just without the studio!).  But only the first episode has aired, so we shall see where Ms. Winfrey's "Next Chapter" takes her this year.

Premieres: January 16, 2012
J.J. Abrams' new prison-themed mystery series certainly has the LOST factor going into it (it even features LOST co-star Jorge Garcia!).  Both critics and audiences are looking forward to what could very well be the next LOST.

Premieres: January 29, 2012
When it comes to edgy and acclaimed dramas, HBO seems to have the monopoly on them (see Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, etc.).  This new series has the added pedigree of an Oscar-winning legend in the lead role: Dustin Hoffman.

Premieres: February 5, 2012
Everyone wants to have the kind of success Glee enjoyed (at least in its first season!).  While NBC's new musical-drama is more based in the creation of a musical (rather than a high school setting!), the comparisons to FOX's musical-dramedy are inevitable.

The Hunger Games
Premieres: March 23, 2012
Suzanne Collins' successful novel series is making its way to the big screen.  After several casting sessions and meetings of studio bigwigs, Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone, X-Men: First Class) garnered the lead role of Katniss in this highly anticipated apocalyptic fantasy.

The Avengers
Premieres: May 4, 2012
Marvel Comics has set the stage with their successful film adaptations of Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America.  Now, the stars of those films have come together (except with Mark Ruffalo replacing Edward Norton as The Hulk) in the Marvel film comic book nerds have been drooling for since the first Iron Man film was released.

The Amazing Spider-Man
Premieres: July 3, 2012
Speaking of Marvel Comics, reboots are very much in style now (Thank you, Christopher Nolan! But more on that in a bit!).  Marvel's most popular superhero and his story have been re-imagined once again this time with The Social Network's Andrew Garfield donning the Spidey suit and The Help's Emma Stone as his main squeeze Gwen Stacy (no, not Mary Jane!).

The Dark Knight Rises
Premieres: July 20, 2012
And since I mentioned Christopher Nolan, I thought it only fair we talk about his offering this Summer 2012.  Nolan brings back his darker and more cerebral vision of Batman (as played by newly minted Oscar-winner Christian Bale!) in the third (and presumably final) installment of his Dark Knight Trilogy.  While Michael Caine (Alfred), Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) return, Bale's Batman faces Tom Hardy as the very primal Bane and Hollywood darling Anne Hathaway as the sexy and sultry Catwoman.  Also Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard (who, along with Hardy, worked with Nolan in the 2010 hit Inception) join in on the action as characters whose motives are not entirely clear, but it will be fun finding out come July 2012!

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Premieres: December 14, 2012
After months and even years of creative squabbles and changing directors, Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings prequel story The Hobbit is coming to theaters.  Jackson, in his creative fervor, has chosen to split the book up into two movies (probably heavily inspired by what Harry Potter and Twilight have done recently!) with the first one approaching this December.  For all of us LOTR fans, this has been years in the making ever since Return of the King back in 2003!

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part II
Premieres: November 16, 2012
And last (and, in my opinion, least!), Part II of the final story in Stefenie Meyer's widely popular vampire romance shall be released around Thanksgiving this year.  I can't really say a lot about this "saga" as I have spent my pop culture days avoiding this...I'll be nice: little story.

There you have it!  Some of the most highly anticipated TV and Film projects of the coming year.  Please, feel free to comment and talk about anything you think I might have missed.  Let's see if there's more to look forward to in this great year.  Go 2012!!!

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