Happy New Year! 2014 was an incredible year!
During this year, we saw the second and third installments of Goblet of Fire on Pottermore, as well as Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince in their entirety, plus a series of Daily Prophet articles (and a new Harry Potter story) surrounding the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. We saw the Diagon Alley expansion to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando. We saw the last multi-fandom LeakyCon. We saw The Fault In Our Stars become a movie. We also saw the second-to-last movie set in Panem, as well as the last movie set in Middle-Earth. J.K. Rowling, as if she wasn’t doing enough, also released the second novel in the Cormoran Strike series.
However, the purpose of this post is not to round up FictionRow’s top stories of 2014, but to look forward to 2015. Here are the top 15 fandoms that I am most excited to report about here at FictionRow this year. Keep in mind that these are not the top 15 “most popular” fandoms by any means, but my top 15 favorite books, movies, games, events, websites or TV shows. By the way, they are listed in reverse order of what I’m most excited to see in 2015.
#15 The Hobbit
Wait a minute… Didn’t you just say that the last Middle-Earth movie was released in 2014? Yes, I did. But that only means that The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on home video this year, which means that I can finally attempt a complete full-weekend Middle-Earth marathon (with all three Hobbit and all three Lord of the Rings movies) sometime this year. Will we see an extended edition boxed set of all three Hobbit movies in 2015? Probably. Hopefully.
#14 Robert Galbraith
In 2013, Galbraith released his first book, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and in 2014 his second book, The Silkworm, was released. I’m guessing (or rather, hoping) that his third book will be released in 2015. And even if it isn’t released in 2015, we do have some Cormoran Strike news to be excited about this year: The Cuckoo’s Calling is going to be adapted for television by the BBC! I hope PBS (which broadcasts ITV’s Downton Abbey) or HBO (which will broadcast BBC’s and Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy) will pick up the series and bring it to American audiences. I’m decidedly more excited about the Cormoran Strike series than I am about the Casual Vacancy series, simply because I still haven’t read that book.
#13 Pemberley Digital
I love Pemberley Digital. They take classic novels (which I’ve never really had the patience to read) and adapt them for modern audiences, using YouTube as their platform. Their first was the Lizzie Bennet Diaries (which was all kinds of awesome), an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. They’ve also adapted Austen’s Emma (as Emma Approved). Currently, they are adapting two more stories: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (as Frankenstein, MD) and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women (as The March Family Letters, which is technically being distributed by PD and not directly produced by them). Frankenstein, MD’s first season wrapped on Halloween (with more to come in 2015) and March Family Letters debuted on Christmas Day. I’m particularly excited for MFL, because Kirstyn Hippe has written some songs for the show!
I’ve seen every episode of MythBusters, many of them twice. I’ve always been a huge fan of the “build team”: Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci. I felt shock and sadness when I found out that MythBusters was planning on dropping them for their 2015 season, deciding that, with slipping ratings, the show needed a severe creative shake-up. There are many who are upset by this creative direction, so many that more than 28,000 have signed a petition in hopes to bring them back (which likely won’t happen). With Kari Byron as the only woman on the show and Grant Imahara as the only racial minority, Discovery’s decision to drop them is a major step backwards, cites the petition. I agree, but I am also planning on tuning in to MythBuster’s 2015 season premiere next week to see what the new format looks like, rather than boycotting.
It has been a long wait, and it will be an even longer wait, because even though Sherlock is coming back this year, it’s only for one “special” episode, which will likely air around Christmas 2015. Season four will then follow in 2016. FictionRow.com has never had much of a Sherlock presence, but I’m hoping to change that this year as more updates about season four are released. I’ve seen every episode (and loved every episode), even though I haven’t written about them. In fact, I am “resolving” to expand FictionRow’s TV section significantly this year, with more than just Sherlock!
#10 LEGO The Hobbit
LEGO The Hobbit video game was released back in April with only the first two storylines: An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. It’s been said that since Peter Jackson decided mid-production to make three films rather than two, Traveller’s Tales (the developer for the LEGO video game franchise) was forced to make some changes to their game too. They seem to have followed the same schedule, however, releasing the video game after the first two movies had been released, but before the third. This meant not including any content from the third movie, although rumors stated early on that the content for the remaining third of the game would be released via downloadable content (DLC) after the third movie was released. Well, the third movie was released in theaters two weeks ago, and still nothing. What are they waiting for? Home video release? Whenever they choose to release it, FictionRow will let you know!
I’ve been a fan of the Myst game series for a long time. I remember playing a little bit of Riven during a high school art class, then playing (and completing) Myst through Myst IV: Revelation during college with my friend Luke. I still have yet to finish Myst V: End of Ages and the two expansion packs to Uru, but I’m hoping that can happen sometime before Obduction is released, which is currently slated for “late 2015”. I preordered Obduction when I donated to their successful Kickstarter campaign, so FictionRow will report when it is released! I also plan to write a review of Myst V when I finish it, even though End of Ages was released seven years ago now. I might even review the others games too, just because.
#8 Downton Abbey
As the fifth season of my favorite British TV show wraps across the pond, it will make its debut on PBS in the United States on Sunday! I’ve not been spoiled at all, so I haven’t the foggiest idea as to what’s going to happen this season. I probably won’t watch it on PBS, though, when it airs. Last year, I preordered season four on DVD and it arrived at my door in January, well before the last episode aired on PBS. So what do you think I did when the DVDs arrived? I binge-watched the entire season, of course! Likewise, I’ve preordered season five, and it should arrive on January 27th. If I do report on it on FictionRow, though, I’ll try to keep my articles timely as to when they air, and therefore spoiler-free.
J.K. Rowling gave us so much new content in 2014! 2015 will likely have less new content from Rowling, simply because there’s only one book left to be released on Pottermore—Deathly Hallows—which I suppose will mark the end of Pottermore as we know it, a mere four years in the making. If Pottermore follows their current pattern, only 12 new moments will be released this year, but I can still hold out hope that they’ll add more moments to the last three books later!
#6 Paper Towns
Hooray! Paper Towns will be released this year! It’ll be exciting to see how well it does in comparison to last year’s smash hit novel adaptation by John Green, The Fault In Our Stars. TFiOS is my favorite of John Green’s novels, but my second favorite would have to be Paper Towns, followed by Looking for Alaska, which is also being made into a movie! Paper Towns will hit theaters on July 31st, 2015 (which will coincide with GeekyCon 2015—the next item on my list)!
#5 GeekyCon 2015
Sigh. The most wonderful time of the year to me is not Christmas. It’s Leaky/GeekyCon. I’ve been attending LeakyCon since 2011 in Orlando, and I’m so excited for GeekyCon 2015 in Orlando again! Yes, the name has been changed, but GeekyCon shares the same spirit with previous recent LeakyCons. For me, GeekyCon is about the people. It’s a time for me to gather together with my friends, my fellow fans, those of us who work so hard to make the convention awesome. Obviously, as more updates about GeekyCon 2015 are released, I’ll report about them here at FictionRow!
#4 Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones season five will bring major changes—each new season always does—and the change that I’m most excited about actually has nothing to do with the show itself, but how it’s delivered. HBOGo will be public! I can finally feel not guilty about watching Game of Thrones—not because of the content, but because of using a friend’s cable account to watch it (since HBO is not offered by my cable provider). Obviously, I’m excited for the show, but I’m also excited about the release of the last five episodes of the Game of Thrones video game, the first of which will be released this month!
#3 Mockingjay, Part 2
This year will feature the last movie set in Panem. I’m excited for the war to begin—for the real action to start. Once again, stay tuned to FictionRow for updates as the trailers are released, as well as a full review after November 20th!
#2 Jurassic World
I’m so stoked for this movie. Yeah, the plot may be a little ridiculous, but still, the trailer looks so good. The dinosaurs look real again. The franchise is returning to its theme park roots. Mark your calendars for June 12th!
#1 The Force Awakens
December 2015 can’t come soon enough! I’m most excited for this franchise reboot, more than any other, because it too looks like it’s returning to roots, where space looks real again. Keep coming back to FictionRow for updates!
Glee: I’m mostly excited for this show to be over. I loved Glee in the beginning, but it really should have ended three seasons ago when everyone we really cared about graduated. Regardless, I’m going to tune in for the final season to see how it ends, but I’ll be happy to see just that: the end. I will not waste my time writing about it here, though.
How to Get Away with Murder: So good. So so good. The first half-season was nothing short of spectacular, and Harry Potter fans loved seeing Alfie Enoch in something new. I really cannot wait to see where the show goes from here!
Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015: I really, really wanted to include this in the top 15 things I’m excited about in 2015, but I’m not likely to be able to go to his closest stop to me—Minneapolis—since it’s Wednesday, September 2nd. School may not start with students until after Labor Day, which is late this year (the 7th), but I still have teacher workshops to attend. Still, you should find a date and location that work best for you and go see my friend Mark Oshiro in action!
Looking ahead to 2016:
Fantastic Beasts: I really could have included this in the top 15 of 2015 list, because we’re bound to get many updates (perhaps even a trailer) about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this year, but since it’s not slated for release until November 18th, 2016, I couldn’t. It certainly is the movie/fandom/thing that I’m most excited for in 2016, though!
Magic School Bus: I’m such a nerd when it comes to MSB. I have all 52 episodes on DVD and I watch them all through at least once a year. It’s how I relive my childhood, I suppose, watching the best educational TV shows on PBS Kids from when I was a kid. I’m excited for this reboot, but also wary. Magic School Bus without the same animation, without the same voice talent—particularly Lily Tomlin as Ms. Frizzle—is going to be very different and difficult to get used to. However, I am excited that Magic School Bus will be teaching more modern science (current episode fifty on computers feels particularly dated), so maybe this notion of new science will help me get past the more artistic aspects of the show.
Narnia Silver Chair: The Narnia franchise seemingly died after Voyage of the Dawn Treader was released. However, producers still hold out hope for creating a movie from the next book, Silver Chair. The problem, though, is that Silver Chair is probably fans’ least favorite of the entire series, and the current moratorium on the series means that a new movie probably won’t be made until 2017, and by then Will Poulter will probably have aged too much to reprise his role as Eustace. Then there’s the question of where do you go from there? Flash back to Horse and His Boy? Then flash back again to Magician’s Nephew? Then flash forward to The Last Battle? Producing the movies in the order that the books were written rather than in chronological order can certainly cause confusion among those who aren’t fans of the books already. Whatever happens, I do love the Narnia fandom and I’m excited to report about any updates to it in 2015.
There you go! The fifteen fandoms that I’m most excited about in 2015! This is going to be such a great year.
What are you most excited to see in 2015? Comment below!