New Year’s resolutions aren’t a bad thing, but I sometimes wonder if in our quest to start the new year with things we need to fix, we can easily start our new year thinking about what could go wrong instead of what could be right. A favorite author of mine, Annie F Downs, says she doesn’t do New Year’s resolutions but New Year’s experiments. As in, what kind of person would I be if I started every day with exercise or if I traveled more or ate less sugar? It's not about saying stop that or start that, but more about saying “What if...”. I love that.
So, when it comes to pop culture, what if we did the same thing? What if I look forward to whatever fun stuff awaits me? What if I saw change as an experiment? I could easily be worried that Brooklyn 99, one of my all time favorite shows, may have lost its steam after its changing networks and taking such a long break. But I’m gonna be happy I still get to see Jake Peralta be the loveable idiot/genius he is. Even if I am grumpy about the fact that a winter season surely means no Halloween episode, I’m gonna focus on the fact that maybe a new network might breathe some fresh air into a show that, admittedly, was getting a little routine.
Along the same lines, there are some out there that think Will Smith’s absence from the new Men in Black International means that it won’t have any of the magic of the original. I would say that those people have an irrational dislike of both Tessa Thompson and happiness. Or maybe they should just see change as an experiment, rather than a disappointment. I’m not gonna focus on how bummed I’d be if this movie doesn’t live up to the hype, and instead I’m gonna just watch the trailer again and think about how awesome it is that there are two sci-fi/comedy/action movies in the universe starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson (the other one being Thor: Ragnarok and if you haven’t watched that please correct that. It’s on Netflix and it’s perfect watching for a holiday break).
While we are talking about superheroes, I could be really concerned about the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I could focus too much on the fact that several of the original Avengers have contracts that will likely expire after Avengers: Endgame. Or I could think about how awesome it will be to see new heroes like Captain Marvel and Black Panther step up to become more central to the MCU, and likely keeping things fresh all the while. And hey, at least I’m finally getting a MCU female lead superhero.
You might be thinking I’m being silly. These things don’t matter as much as so much of the other important stuff happening in our life and our world. I’m a pop culture columnist, and I agree with you. But, what if we just had an experiment and made 2019 the year that will be awesome? Probably, it would be.
Strange Perspective is a weekly look at all things pop culture by columnist Rachel Strange.