Unless you were born one of those Pollyanna, ray-of-sunshine types, it likely takes a concerted effort to see the positive side in any given situation. (Dwelling on the negative is so much easier!) With the Inauguration looming at the end of the week — and the, you know, end of times to follow — it’s considerably more challenging to find things to cheer us up. And yet, feeling hopeful is what drives us to get out of bed every day.
On that note, Metro’s features team decided to seek out a bit of light by sharing what we’re looking forward to this year, from diving into inspiring books and TV shows, to spending quality time with loved ones—plus, the solitary pursuits that make us feel less alone.
Rachel Raczka,Boston Going Out editor, national music editor
Haim’s debut album “Days Are Gone” was my summer jam in 2013 — then 2014 — and 2015 after the 1989 Tour — and again after Boston Calling in 2015. Their breezy, effervescent, daydreamer vibes make for the ultimate running, driving, lounging and kitchen dancing soundtrack, and I can’t wait for their sophomore release to drop in the coming months.
Meanwhile, I just gifted myself a 10-pack of amazingly therapeutic bath oils from Kneipp that I plan to indulge in over the remainder of the winter. Baths and binge watching is a weekly ritual that keeps me sane. I’m pretty stoked about that as well.
Matt Prigge, New York features editor, national film editor
The thing I’m most looking forward to in 2017 is the impeachment of Donald Trump. But that’s not going to happen, so I guess all I have on the horizon is completing all the books of J.G. Ballard (“Crash,” “High-Rise”) — an almost certainly insane project I’ve been doing, mostly in order, since last April. I’ve never read straight through a prolific author’s entire CV before, and it’s been really fascinating watching a talent evolve over time. (And also all his books are hilariously grim and weirdly comforting right now.)
Since I’m the movie guy, I also have plenty of upcoming films on the docket. I could say I’m most stoked for the new Soderbergh (“Logan Lucky”) or the new Terrence Malick (“Song to Song”) or new Sofia Coppola (her nutso-sounding remake of “The Beguiled.”) But top on my list might be “The Death of Stalin,” in which “Veep” creator Armando Iannucci finally makes his first movie since “In the Loop.” And it’s about something he knows best: the scrambling about and petty in-fighting of creatively sweary government stooges, in this case those caught in the aftermath of the Soviet demon’s demise.
Eva Kis, New York Going Out editor
I spent my Christmas vacation moving from the Upper East Side, where I’ve lived since arriving in the city, to Bed-Stuy. Having more than 500 square feet to call our own is already making a difference in my relationship with my husband, the excitement of exploring a new neighborhood together jolting us out of what was, to be honest, a bit of a rut.
While I wouldn’t recommend moving as couples therapy, the thing getting us through between Ikea trips and using a hot plate until our gas is hooked up is “Yuri on Ice.” This new animated series, now available on the Crunchyroll streaming service, is about a young Japanese figure skater who cracks under the pressure of competition — until his professional idol becomes his coach, and he learns a lot more than some new moves.
Kate Mooney, New York features editor, national health editor
It might sound corny, but my dog Phoebe gets me through every day. She’s a six-year-old terrier mutt, and she’s my rock — a scruffy, apricot-colored, cuddly rock. No matter how I’m feeling, spending time with her, whether we’re throwing a stick in Herbert Von King Park or bingeing Netflix together (Netflix and canine?), is a constant salve.
I finally watched “Fargo” on FX, a Midwestern noir inspired by the Coen Brothers’ 1996 film. Noah Hawley’s anthology drama is an immersive, suspenseful watch that’s dark as hell while still offering some solace for its characters (in Season 2, for example, by applying “The Myth of Sisyphus” as an analogy to finding and sticking to a sense of purpose, fruitless though it may be). Season 3 airs in April with a present-day sibling rivalry plotline, starring Ewan McGregor as (both!) adversarial twin brothers.
Jennifer Logue, Philadelphia Going Out editor, national TV editor:
In 2017, I’m personally looking forward to diving deeper into my yoga practice. While I go to class regularly, I’ve given myself the challenge of focusing on a new pose each week at home. It’s not about intensity, it’s about consistency and the mental clarity enjoyed from embracing yoga every single day.
I’m also really looking forward to O17 in September — Opera Philadelphia’s first festival ever. Spanning 12 days, it will feature 25 performances at venues across the city. This is another shining example of how Philly continues to flourish as a destination for the arts. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Tina Chadha, New York features editor, national style editor
I’m very grateful to have become a home owner in 2016 — I can finally use my master’s degree in HGTV and Pinterest.
I look forward to flexing our democratic muscle, educating ourselves on the goings-on in Washington and standing up for each other. Call me an optimist, but I believe dark times inspire innovation and force the passive to get off the couch (myself included). I’m seeing more people active in political discussions now more than ever (the cat videos in my FB feed are being replaced by Robert Reich posts) and it makes me hopeful.
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