I was thinking about 2014, that bizarre, space-age year we’re now enjoying, and it occurred to me: This is going to be the best year ever.
Need proof? I’ve assembled a list of 2014’s upcoming perks, and they’re so awesome that I am now writ
1. 2014 began with our most important human asset: Anderson Cooper’s giggle.
The Kathy Griffin/Anderson Cooper New Year’s Eve Fiasco-Spectacular is always a gem, but this year Kathy turned on the major improv chops for a roast I won’t soon forget. She harassed the Silver Fox for his subpar tweets and called him a “lonely little boy” in a model’s body. Personally, I died when she described his childhood: “Mommy’s at Studio 54,” she intoned. Anderson descended into a fit of nursery giggles that is actually too adorable to describe. His giggle is a heretofore unheard noise. Like a remix of that Yma Sumac song or something. And now his coquettish guffaw is the kickoff anthem of 2014. Thanks to Anderson and the fabulous, forever underrated Kathy.
2. Tina Fey will play a Russian prison empress in Muppets Most Wanted, mortals.
Tina Fey will slay us with one-liners and references to the little-seen miniseries Dog President when she co-hosts the Golden Globes with Amy Poehler this month, but she will rivet us with a charming Russian accent when she stars in Muppets Most Wanted. Truth: I thought the last Muppets movie was cloying as hell. The franchise needs some glamorous grimness, and Tina’s sartorial tribute to Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago will do the trick.
3. The U.S. will get to see Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham as Helena Bonham Carter.
This past Christmas I thought: “Santa Claus thrives in the night and spends most of his time in chimneys. How he is different from Helena Bonham Carter?” The woman is a one-of-a-kind phenomenon — that rare actor who has played everything from straight leading roles and period drama heroines to character actress roles and kooky, cartoonish weirdos, all while remaining a distinct celebrity in her own right. The new Great Expectations remake with Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger, and Ralph Fiennes — released in the UK late last year — will arrive stateside and give us Carter at her Carteriest: as Miss Havisham. Look at that still. Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein joins the Monster Ball and the “Thriller” video. Perfection yet again from the two-time Oscar nominee.
4. Cate Blanchett is going to win everything and save the glamor of award shows.
Cate Blanchett will win her second Oscar for Blue Jasmine, and that means we’re in for a fabulous awards season. She has the grace of Katharine Hepburn and a versatility that — pardon my stridency here — blows even the legendary Katharine Hepburn out of the water. Plus, her cheekbones are Gothic marvels. Flying buttresses dappled with rouge. Her wins will also boost an interest in A Streetcar Named Desire, and that’s going to save society.
5. Neil Patrick Harris will out-cabaret Cabaret in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Neil Patrick Harris has unofficially owned Broadway ever since becoming the Tonys’ most reliable and daring emcee, but now he’s going to certify his dictatorial reign with a starring role in John Cameron Mitchell’s beloved musical. I always support the overt sexualization of NPH. When you basically become the assigned champion of gay entertainers, sometimes you’re obligated to sacrifice sexiness for palatability. That’ll change with this wicked romp on the Great White Way. Phew.
6. There’s going to be a Veronica Mars movie, and Jamie Lee Curtis is in it for some reason.
Love Veronica Mars, Kristen Bell, and my main thug Logan Echolls. Love Jamie Lee Curtis. And now, the two tastes will swirl in an Activian colloid of digestible goodness. Maybe Jamie Lee’s the scary-ass killer? I cannot wait.
7. Brian Boitano and Billie Jean King are going to f*ck sh*t up.
I can’t even say the word “Sochi” without conjuring my unresolved, mixed feelings about the upcoming winter Olympics, but I do know how psyched I am that Brian Boitano and Billie Jean King will be attending the games and representing outness and legendary athleticism. If Britney Griner wants to show up and punt basketballs at Putin, that’s fine with me too.
8. Meryl Streep is going to bedevil you with she-devil antics in Into the Woods.
The world’s not good enough for this photo. Meryl Streep, fresh off her role as Vicodin-Blasted Paula Deen in August Osage County, is back with an even more macabre role: The Witch in Into the Woods. Evil Meryl is a commanding force. Until I have a reason not to, I’m calling this film The Devil Wears Horrifying Press-Ons.
9. Looking is going to bring us all together, damn it.
We know a fair amount regarding HBO’s dramedy about gay pals in San Francisco, and I’m liking all of it. It appears to be a show with plenty of self-deprecating, introspective characters. My favorite insight so far: In the third episode, Agustin (Frankie J. Alvarez) and Patrick (Jonathan Groff) are talking about their respective work and personal lives when Patrick says, “I don’t know if either of us are very good at being who we think we are.” Yessss. Bonus: We’ll be recapping this exciting new show at TheBacklot. Let’s get overly critical!
10. Angelina Jolie is some sort of Mega Angelina Jolie Droid Ox in Maleficent.
I don’t know who green-lit Maleficent or even yellow-lit it, but thank God. What is this? How is this real? How is Angelina Jolie starring in a movie that looks like A Midsummer Night’s Dream staged inside an Evanescence video? Is that coat secretly a leftover item from Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow? This movie is a microcosm for 2014 in general: Don’t ask questions. Just accept that whatever’s going on is shocking and simply the best.