As 2008 winds down to its last few days and hours, we have to say ... stop! Hold up! Turn back the clock!
The future is coming up fast and it’s filled with all sorts of fear and uncertainty. Give us a repeat of 2008 please, no matter how dreadful parts of it were. At least it’s now a known quantity. Safe. Comfortable. Who knows what kinds of things could go horribly, horribly wrong in the next 12 months? Actually, we do know, at least as far as entertainment goes. And to help work through our collective fears, we’ve compiled a list of those things we dread the most about 2009.
MTV plans to beef up its reality programming slate for 2009, rolling out 16 new reality shows, including shows centering on college students, party girls, skate boarders and aspiring actors. But with The Hills spinoff The City starring Whitney Port (pictured) already in sight as well as the return of Denise Richards’ It’s Complicated, were not sure how much more reality we can take. (Jennifer Livingston / MTV)
OK, we admit it; we fear change. And nowhere in 2009 will change be so pronounced as on the American Idol judging panel. Who is this new Kara DioGuardi and what business does she have sitting among those legends of Idol lore -- Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, and Paula Abdul? What if she upsets that delicate balance of bickering and compromise? What if she takes up time that could have gone to crazy-Paula moments? Or Simon versus Ryan Seacrest jabs? I mean, we only have four hours of Idol a week! Can we really afford to spend valuable minutes on an untested panelist? Scary, scary stuff. (Jason DeCrow / Associated Press)
The possibility of an upcoming Screen Actors Guild strike is problematic for a number of reasons. One, people will be out of work during a very difficult economic time. Two, we dont like re-runs. Three, it gets really tiresome reporting on strikes. So, for the good of the makeup artists and set decorators, (not to mention the viewers and the reporters), here’s to hoping SAG and the major studios can reach an agreement soon and to bypassing the strike altogether. (Hector Mata / Associated Press)
‘Avatar’ might be too cool
The buzz surrounding James Cameron’s big-budget return to science fiction has been nothing short of awe-inspiring. The film, a mix of CGI and live action using new techniques Cameron himself helped to develop, was shot with a special 3-D camera (also developed by Cameron). Mix that with the promise of large-scale, hard science fiction that hasn’t been attempted much in the past few years, and you have a project that seems guaranteed to live up to the hype and expectations that are riding on it. The only question (and fear) is what is to become of the cinema geeks overwhelmed by the images that Cameron and his effects crew are putting in front of them. For those with weaker constitutions, we fear the worst. (Mark Fellman / 20th Century Fox)
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt‘s growing brood
With six babies running around their mansion, one would think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie would consider taking a breather from baby-making. But according to Jolie, the couple has no intentions on halting production on their growing brood. Oh, no, Jolie told the New York Times in October. I mean, I know we seem crazy, just bringing them in one after the other, but we do plan. We make sure one is absorbed completely into the family before we add another.” OK, but just remember how stressed out Tom Baker was in Cheaper by the Dozen.(Matt Sayles / Associated Press)
‘Dollhouse’ and ‘Watchmen’
Two of the most highly anticipated projects of the new year in fanboy circles are also two of the biggest gambles: Joss Whedon’s new series “Dollhouse” and the big-screen adaptation of Alan Moore’s “Watchmen.” Buffy” fans were so desperate to get their weekly Whedon fix, they started a petition to keep the series on the air long before the first episode aired. But rumors of trouble on the series mean it may not be the slam-dunk for which fans were hoping. Meanwhile, the drumbeat of hype for “Watchmen” has been growing louder week by week since the trailer premiered in front of “The Dark Knight” over the summer. Is it possible director Zack Snyder can successfully film a graphic novel other directors have failed to adapt? He’d better hope so, because if either of these projects disappoints, the rage of the fanboys will make 2009 a very ugly year indeed. (Clay Enos / DC Comics)
And so its begun. U2S next album, No Line on the Horizon, is still months away, but news updates on it are coming almost daily. Expect the hype to only ramp-up as the March 3 release date approaches. But its not the constant updates of Bonos thoughts on such-and-such issue that have us worried, its early reports that the band collaborated with the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am. Were already feeling nostalgic for the giant lemon. (Peter Morrison / Associated Press)
Kanye West & puppets?
Admittedly, we dont know how to feel about the news that superstar Kanye West is developing a puppet pilot for Comedy Central. We love puppets, and we like Kanye, more often than not, at least. But after the artist experimented with his recently-released 808s and Heartbreak, were more interested in seeing and hearing what Kanye can develop musically, and less inclined to see him try to conquer all of mass media. (Mark Davis / Associated Press)
High-priced summer tours
In fact, this could pretty much be any year. But a Britney Spears tour, a new U2 album and the return of No Doubt means that for those who want to see live music, 2009 isnt going to be easy on the wallet. Looks like Fleetwood Mac may be the odd band out in this. (Warner Brothers)