It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new bunch of movies/TV for 2016, and we’re feeling good…
In with the old and out with the new. After discussing the biggest disappointments of 2015, our 10 favorite comics of 2015 and top 10 WWE/NXT matches of 2015 (and podcasting about the best of 2015) it’s time for Laser Time to movie forward and look at what we’ll be doing in the next 12 months. But when the Laser crew is into such a diverse number of things, it’s to hard to make a list of every single movie, TV show, wrestling event, video game, or comic book thing we’re looking forward to. Instead, we limited ourselves to finding the very cream of the crop, spotlighting the seven most hype-worthy things of 2016.
This list ranges from our very specific joys within the Laser Time family, like our devotion to seeing comic book movies on opening day, a deep affection for JRPGs, and above all, the geeky nostalgia of men in their 30s. So don’t expect us to feign interest for Divergent, and forgive us if we missed the existence of some exciting new TV show that flew past our aging minds. With all that in mind, here’s our very specific list of our most anticipated things of this year…
7. Too Many Comic Book Movies To Name
I was originally going to just make this about Captain America: Civil War. It looks like a much better Avengers film than Age of Ultron, and will feature the film debuts of a new Spider-Man and Black-GODDAMN-Panther. But then I remembered Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, and Doctor Strange, so I thought, “fine, then this is a great year for Marvel.” However, there’s DC attempt to launch its own cinematic universe, and I’m just like “Jesus, how many freaking films are there?!?”
Starting with February’s Deadpool and March’s Batman V. Superman, all the way to November’s Doctor Strange, this will be a year full of comic book movies. Will they all be amazing/spectacular additions to cinematic universes, or could this be the year we hit ‘too much of a good thing’ when it comes to Marvel and DC adventures? It’ll be quite interesting to see, especially if DC can create a compelling world out of both Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad this year. And you know I always look forward to a great Marvel vs. DC debate…
6. Lucha Underground Season Two
Of course the Cheap Popcast wrestling nerds here are looking forward to the usual events like the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and G1 Climax, but what we’re really looking forward to is the unexpected. The type of shows that feature violent cartels, unkillable zombies, dragon men, and hardcore wrestling matches all in the same hour. A show that takes wrestling production values to the level of a binge-watch-worthy drama while keeping the in-ring action just as good. I’m talking about the second season of Lucha Underground, a show that deserves a much bigger audience after a spectacular debut season.
Premiering on the nascent El Rey Network (which reaches less than half the install base than WWE’s home-turf USA Network), Lucha Underground is what happens when powerful TV and film producers decide to make a great TV show that’s built around wrestling. Gone is Vince McMahon’s brand of wannabe drama – Lucha Underground hires the best free agents in wrestling to bring to life ridiculous-yet-compelling stories while also having some of the most brutal matches on TV. The second season looks to continue the excellent hybrid of high drama and high-impact lucha libre-inspired wrestling when it premieres at the end of January. If you’re looking for wrestling that’s actually made for grown-ups, it’s way past time to catch up on the adventures of Mil Muertes, Pentagon, Prince Puma, Sexy Star, and all the rest.
5. The Venture Bros. Season 6
Us nerds have learned to deal with delays and slow productions of things – hell, just look at how many Game of Thrones fans have adapted to George R.R. Martin’s writing speed. The Venture Bros. has certainly tested my patience. The pilot premiered in February 2003, and the sixth season will finally start airing on Adult Swim at the end of January. Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer aren’t the speediest, but it’s a credit to Venture Bros.’ quality that I’m still excited for a new season of the show.
Last January brought about an hour-long Venture special that basically wiped out or reset almost every storyline, creating a whole new status quo for Rusty, Hank, Dean, and their huge collection of broken toys. This new season sends the wannabe Johnny Quests to New York City, which means extended riffs on Spider-Man, G.I. Joe, The Spirit, and pretty much every other major metropolitan memory in pop culture history. Of course, each of those NYC icons will likely be cast as emotionally damaged or unfulfilled losers who should’ve grown out of their colorful trappings years ago, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.