Looking Forward to 2015

Now that we’re over a week into 2015, I feel as if I should update you with how things are going viz a viz the blog and myself.

First things first, the blog. If I’m honest my interest in Crash Course was waning during the first half of this year, but being able to write about pop songs in a semi-sarky manner has helped reinvigorate my interest in blogging. Unfortunately at present there isn’t much new music going around in the charts for me to review. It seems the only song I haven’t reviewed so far that’s doing very well at the moment is Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” which has been out for months and is only big right now because of all the accolades it’s been getting.* As a result, I’m going to wait about a month or so before I get back into reviewing pop songs. In fact I might even review some new rock songs while I’m at it and help promote the music I’m passionate about.

For the time being, though, I’m working on getting the second series of Red Dwarf reviewed as part of my ongoing retrospective of that show and moving on to series three for the spring, along with possibly looking at some other sitcoms. I’ve got some other posts coming slowly along too, including another edition of my recently-launched new feature Second Spin, while the spring should bring with it a new slew of Eurovision contenders for me to review. Also, as you might be aware I’m currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing, so there will still be a bit of a balancing act there to contend with. I’ve just about finished up my work for this current semester, though, while the next starts towards the end of January; the modules and their subject matter are a bit closer to my comfort zone this time around, so it should be easier to balance work and writing for the blog.

Besides all that, 2015 is personally looking to be a great year for entertainment. There’s so much promising new rock music coming out this year it’s silly: already we’ve been promised new albums from The Answer, Noel Gallagher, Scott Weiland, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Europe, UFO, Anthrax, The Virginmarys, Def Leppard, Black Star Riders, Whitesnake, Stereophonics, Faith No More, Buffalo Summer, Deep Purple, Halestorm, Living Colour… the list goes on and on. That end-of-year list is going be tough, I can tell you now.

Television-wise it seems to be business as usual. The second series of The Musketeers is trundling along nicely and the second half of the second series of Atlantis looks to be good too. That show in particular, I feel, has really stepped up its game a bit since the first series, so I’m happy to see where they go from here. There’s bound to be another series of Doctor Who airing later this year, a show that I used to love but has done nothing but disappoint me for a while now. One thing that does peak my interest is the Odd Couple revival CBS are bringing in to replace the outgoing Two and a Half Men. I have a huge soft spot for the Seventies TV series so I’m really looking forward to seeing how they bring the format into the 21st century. Maybe it’ll be great, maybe it’ll be terrible, but I have high hopes. The misstep of every modern sitcom is an overreliance on “easy” jokes, usually revolving around sex and marijuana, which can be fine in small doses but gets tiresome quickly, so hopefully the producers of this reboot can dodge that bullet and do the brand justice.

As for film I’m not much of a cinema buff, so there are only two movies this year that peak my interest and they’re both nostalgia trips: Jurassic World and Star Wars Episode VII, both of which I’m looking forward to tremendously despite the internet’s insidious climate of naive cynicism doing all it can to derail my expectations. There really aren’t any other films I need to see in 2015, to be honest. I’ll probably get around to watching the second Avengers movie but if I ever get desperate for two hours of robot punching in my life I’ll just watch the first one.

Speaking of nostalgia, the LEGO franchise, BIONICLE, has recently been rebooted. Now, this isn’t something I’ve spoken about before on this blog, mostly because there’s been no reason to, but BIONICLE played a huge part in my upbringing. Not simply the sets themselves, which were consistently awesome, but the layered storytelling, the exquisitely crafted lore, the characters, the quests and the simple truths of unity and heroism at its heart (not to mention that gut-punch of a twist back in 2008) were extremely influential on my wanting to be a writer – so to see it resurrected with some of the original characters is an absolute delight. I honestly thought I’d bought my last set back in 2009, a year before the original line was cancelled, and although I won’t be buying all that many of these new sets I will be picking up a choice few. This is going to be a tough year for my wallet, but I think we’ll make it.

Coming back to writing, I’m hoping this is going to be a big year for me and I’ve already set myself two major goals: to finish the manuscript for my first novel, and to finish the pilot script for the screenplay I’m developing. The former project is pretty interesting: it’s been in development since 2011 and started out as a play before it turned into a book, and then turned back into a play, then back into a book, and so on until I finally decided enough was enough, sat down last autumn and started hammering the thing out. I’ve come to terms with the fact that it won’t be amazing and I don’t expect it to be a bestselling masterpiece – it’s a debut novel, how many truly are? – but I believe that simply getting the thing written and sending it off to agents will prove to be a huge stepping stone for me. The latter is an idea I’ve only been working on for a little while but it’s promising, if I do say so myself. Even if it never gets picked up, I think it’s something I need to do.

There are numerous other creeper projects I’ll be developing this year, including a comedy play, some short stories and future books, including a detective novel, some psychological horror, a 20,000 Leagues-style adventure story and a fantasy saga encompassing, at present planning, about eighteen books(!). This is looking far, far ahead into the future, of course, so who knows what truly lies ahead? 2015, you mysterious little minx, we’re ready for you now.

In the meantime, here’s some Europe. Why? Because they’ve been having the comeback of the century and we should all be glad about that.

*Well, there are two other songs, Meghan Trainor’s “Lips Are Movin'” and Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One”, that I could review. I’m reluctant to give them any attention, though, because they both seem like they’d be a waste of time: Trainor’s career is showing all the telltale signs of one-hit wonderdom and Smith bores the life out of me.

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