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Friday, January 25, 2019

2019 Preview: Television

Written by Jon Williams

Last week we finally got a premiere date for the return of one of television’s most acclaimed and popular shows. On April 14, the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will debut on HBO. The finale of season seven aired on August 27, 2017, so fans have been not-so-patiently waiting for nearly two years for it to return. Game of Thrones has become known over the years for its shocking plot twists, and the six-episode final season is sure to deliver plenty of drama and action as the fate of Westeros is decided.

A number of beloved shows are coming to an end in 2019. Out today on Netflix are the final six episodes of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the award-winning comedy series created by Tina Fey. In the comedy realm, both Veep and Broad City will take a bow with one last season each. The currently airing season five of Gotham will be its last, while Elementary will wrap after its upcoming seventh season. The fifth season of zombie detective show iZombie will end that story. The streaming prison drama Orange Is the New Black will also come to a conclusion after its seventh season, while the action-packed spy series Homeland will finish with its eighth. Finally, Academy Award nominee Rami Malek is back for one last round of the acclaimed Mr. Robot as its fourth season will be its last.

However, for all the series coming to an end, there are a number of new shows premiering that will vie for the attention of viewers looking for something to watch. Coming next month is Miracle Workers, a Heaven-set comedy based on the novel What in God’s Name by Simon Rich and starring Steve Buscemi and Daniel Radcliffe. Also coming in February is Boomerang, which follows the 1992 Eddie Murphy movie of the same name. In March, look for Turn Up Charlie, a streaming comedy created by and starring Idris Elba as a washed-up DJ who takes on child care duties for his friend’s daughter. Horror fans can look forward to NOS4A2, a series based on the novel of the same name by Joe Hill. And later this year, live-action Star Wars finally comes to the small screen with The Mandalorian, a series created by Jon Favreau and set between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.

There are also a number of limited series and one-time television events for viewers to look forward to. This weekend will see a live production of Rent, the popular musical that made its stage debut in 1996 and came to theatres in 2005. On Monday comes the first episode of I Am the Night, a six-episode miniseries starring Chris Pine and directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins. In March, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, starring Neil deGrasse Tyson, follows up the popular 2014 scientific series that itself followed on Carl Sagan’s 1980 show. Beginning in April is a six-episode miniseries adaptation of Les Miserables, a non-musical version based directly on Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel. Then in May comes a live production of the musical Hair, which originally came to the stage in 1967 and was adapted for film in 1979.

And then there are the shows that are coming back for another season, but not ending. Next month The Walking Dead returns from its midseason hiatus, carrying on after the departure of Andrew Lincoln, whose character, Rick Grimes, has served as the show’s main character up to this point. When that season ends, the spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, will return for its fifth season. American Gods, adapted from Neil Gaiman’s novel, returns for a second season in March. Also in March comes the fourth season of the Showtime drama Billions, while April brings the return of the acclaimed Killing Eve. This year will also see the long-awaited third season of the hit sci-fi/horror series Stranger Things after a nearly two-year wait.

Television is in the middle of a golden age, with so many quality shows that it’s difficult to keep up with everything. With so many viewers perfectly content to sit down for marathon binge-watching sessions, you can help keep your patrons happy and entertained for hours on end by making sure your television collections are robust and up to date. Use the links above or SmartBrowse on our website to find more, and let us know what you and your patrons are looking forward to watching in 2019.

Friday, January 11, 2019

2019 Preview: Movies

Written by Jon Williams

With the Golden Globes taking place this past weekend, awards season is officially in full swing. As we look back and celebrate the best of 2018, let’s also take a peek ahead at some of the delights that 2019 has in store for us at the box office.

Marvel movies have dominated the box office for years, and fans are eagerly anticipating a conclusion to the galaxy-altering conflict that was set up in last year’s Avengers: Infinity War. That will come in April, when Avengers: Endgame brings the heroes’ conflict with Thanos to a close and resolves their fates—for better or worse. Before that, though, comes Captain Marvel in March, starring Brie Larson as the titular superhero in a ‘90s-set adventure that introduces her to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Then, in July, Spider-Man: Far from Home gives Tom Holland’s popular webslinger a second standalone and the MCU its first foray into its next round of adventures.

Live-action remakes of animated Disney classics have proven to be popular, and 2019 has some big ones coming. First up is Tim Burton’s take on Dumbo, the 1941 tale of a bullied elephant who eventually becomes the star of the circus when he realizes his large ears can help him to fly. Then in May, as summer movie season is rounding into full swing, comes Aladdin, starring Will Smith in the role of the genie who helps humble beggar Aladdin win the heart of Princess Jasmine. July will see the release of The Lion King, which sees Jon Favreau direct a star-studded ensemble cast in a photorealistic update of the 1994 traditionally animated version.

As popular as these live action movies are, animation, both traditional and digital, is going nowhere. The fourth installment in the Toy Story franchise is coming in July, nine years after Toy Story 3 in 2010, while the sequel to the 2013 blockbuster Frozen is set to hit theatres just before Thanksgiving. Much closer than either of those, though, is The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, the follow-up to Christopher Miller and Phil Lord’s 2014 hit, in theatres next month. Also in February is How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the anticipated final installment in a trilogy that includes films from 2010 and 2014. Other animated movies coming our way this year include a Secret Life of Pets sequel (June), an Angry Birds sequel (August), and a new Addams Family movie in October.

The horror movie genre has undergone a renaissance in recent years, and that looks to continue in 2019. It begins in March with Us, an original film from Jordan Peele, the writer and director behind the 2017 horror hit Get Out. In April comes Pet Sematary, a new adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 novel and a remake of the 1989 film. Speaking of King adaptations, It: Chapter 2, which follows up the highest-grossing horror film of all time, comes to theatres in September. In between those two movies, in June, horror fans can look forward to Child’s Play, a reboot of the 1988 movie that spawned six sequels featuring the iconic murderous doll Chucky. In August, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark comes out, based on Alvin Schwartz’s collections of tales that have haunted kids’ dreams since they debuted in 1981. And while it may not quality as horror, exactly (more of a “zom-com”), the long-awaited sequel to Zombieland arrives at last in October.

Need more? Tyler Perry’s Madea returns in March in A Madea Family Funeral. David Harbour steps into the horn-stumps for a Hellboy reboot in April. Keanu Reeves is back for a third round as John Wick in May, while a new generation of Men in Black hits theatres in June. Quentin Tarantino’s look at the Manson Family, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, comes in July, followed soon after by Hobbs & Shaw, a Fast and Furious spinoff. In September, Downton Abbey will make the jump from the small screen to the big screen, while October will bring adaptations of the popular novels The Woman in the Window and The Goldfinch. In November, a third installment of the Kinsgman series is on its way, before the year finishes strong in December with a new Jumanji movie and, of course, the third and final film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy.

So that’s just some of what’s on our radar for 2019 at the box office, and you can be sure that it’s just a fraction of all the good stuff that’s coming our way. Let us know what you and your patrons are looking forward to, and stay tuned for information on when these movies will be available for you to add to your collections.