‘Adele’ on her new album
“Have you been heartbroken again, lately, Adele?” the label bosses said to me, and I had to sing mournfully back to them: “No–ooh–oh, ooh–oh–ooh–oh.” I’ve been happily loved up since 2011, haven’t I? Big massive son in 2012. Married to my long-term partner in 2016. Mainly just drink tea and that now. I paid for Alan Carr’s wedding essentially out of boredom. “You can’t sing about Alan Carr’s wedding,” they said. Which is bollocks because planning that was actually very fraught and we had to have at least two big barneys about the table settings and four (four!) about whether we’d have bows on the chairs, so actually, Sony, there is a lot of material there. They still said no.
I go home. Start thinking about things that wind me up. “Lower back pain” is one, even after we got that special mattress. Or “When Simon and I start a new box set but he watches three episodes ahead then just goes on his phone when I’m watching with him” – which ruined Mad Men for us both. “Should I give up / Or should I just keep setting tables.” The coffee machine we have at home makes nice coffee, but not as nice as an actual coffee machine, in an actual shop. Is that one? Write it down anyway. Picking up Lego? Write it down. Go on Facebook and look at everyone I sort of half-fancied at school to see if they’ve lost their hair or had kids yet (they have). Boring being 30, isn’t it? Not much drama to it. Simon’s not washed the casserole dish yet when he said he’d clean the casserole dish. “And I throw dish soap / In the sink / Watch it pour as I / Touch your fa–ce.” Gonna start an argument with him when he gets back, see if there’s anything in that. Make him sleep on a sofa for a couple of days and see if that inspires anything. JG
The new James Bond movie is already exhausting and they haven’t started making it yet. So far, it has been a succession of cliffhangers: will Daniel Craig return, or slash his wrists like he promised after Spectre? (He’s back on board, for now.) Will Danny Boyle direct? (No, but here’s Cary Joji Fukunaga to replace him). Will Bond die at the end? (Highly unlikely, but that’s what Boyle wanted.) The rumour mill always grinds long with Bond movies, and the fact that this one’s release is set for February 2020 means we have a whole year of speculation to look forward to. One thing we can be (reasonably) sure of: this will be Craig’s final mission as 007. Which means we’ve got the bonus game of “who’ll be the next Bond?” to add to the fun. It’s anybody’s guess. Recent candidates include Richard “Bodyguard” Madden, Dev Patel, Paapa Essiedu and Harry Styles. Who else? Brooklyn Beckham? Millie Bobby Brown? Jacob Rees-Mogg? SR
Cute? Subversive remakes of classic kids’ films
“Soooo is this, like, for grownups? Or little kids?” That is the question confused people in cinema foyers will be asking throughout 2019, as the trend for subversive remakes of animation classics continues. After the reimagined Mary Poppins, we can look forward to a gothic, Tim Burton-directed Dumbo (the trailer reveals definite shades of Lynch’s The Elephant Man); a new Aladdin, in which Will Smith bravely takes on Robin Williams’ iconic Genie role; a “punky” reboot of 101 Dalmatians called Cruella, set to be directed by I, Tonya’s Craig Gillespie with Emma Stone in the lead role; and a hipster Lady and the Tramp featuring Tessa Thompson, Janelle Monáe and a screenplay by “mumblecore” legend Andrew Bujalski.
The Disney highlight, however, will be a new live-action/CGI, Black Panther-referencing version of The Lion King, which has already being called “the blackest Disney film ever”. The cast features Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones (reprising his Musafa role) and Seth Rogen and is headed up by a dream team of Donald “This Is America” Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as Nala. There is no word yet on whether Glover will also contribute any music in his Childish Gambino guise, but Queen Bey is already down to collaborate with original composer Elton John on some new soundtrack material. EEJ
Charles Dickens’s semi-autobiographical tale never looked like a vehicle for creative swearing and quick-fire political farce, but in Armando Iannucci’s hands, who knows? Especially since Peter Capaldi is on board (as Mr Micawber). It’s a story oft-told on screen, but the man behind Veep and The Thick of It has said he wants his version to feel “current and contemporary”, with a cast more representative of modern London than the 1840s. Hence the surprise casting of Dev Patel as the first non-white Copperfield in movie history. From Mumbai slumdog to Victorian workhouse, Patel has come a short way, you could say, but Iannucci “couldn’t think of anyone more appropriate”. The ensemble includes trusted names such as Ben Whishaw, Paul Whitehouse, Hugh Laurie, Benedict Wong and Tilda Swinton (as Betsey Trotwood). Much as he did with his comedy The Death of Stalin, Iannucci promises to brush the cobwebs off costume drama. SR
End of TV show endings
Future TV-ologists will date the end of the Geekassic Period to 2019, when the small screen’s apex predators finally went extinct. The Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones might seem like two entirely different shows – one’s a sexless sitcom about weedy Caltech physicists; the other is a bonk-a-thon, fantasy drama with dragons – but these huge hits represent just how thoroughly nerd culture has gone mainstream.
Both shows will air their finales in the coming months, which is not to say the nerds will be instantly banished back to their basements. As well as all 338 (combined) episodes being available on demand for all eternity, there are several sequels, prequels and spin-offs in the works. Young Sheldon is already on a second season, while HBO has commissioned work on five possible GoT “successor shows”, including one co-written by George RR Martin and Kingsman’s Jane Goldman. EEJ
The degree of praise heaped on the Fleabag star and creator since the show first came out – Phoebe Waller-Bridge is Generation Snapchat’s Shakespeare! Phoebe Waller-Bridge is the first female to say the word bum, ever! – has been so huge it has almost eclipsed the show itself. So it would be easy to forget where we left the character in season one. To recap, its final scene saw our protagonist hollow from the grief and guilt of the death of her best friend Boo, but being given a second chance by a fragile bank investor interested in saving her guinea pig cafe.
So what is next for our tragi-comic hero? Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning, has revealed its themes are “very distinct from the first series”. The show has been held up as an emblem of modern feminism, but since it first aired, conversations around gender imbalance have been uprooted and inspected, from the movement towards intersectionality to #MeToo. Will this have an impact on the narrative? Or could Waller-Bridge’s career ascent (this year, she played L3-37 in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and penned and exec-produced Killing Eve) add celebrity force to the sadcom? Or maybe just a cameo from Thandie Newton?
Much of the original cast have been confirmed – Olivia Colman is the evil godmother and comic Brett Gelman is the evil Martin – while Sherlock star Andrew Scott has also signed up. We know nothing of his role yet but it’s likely to involve some kind of bleak sexual encounter involving a rusty spoon and an alleyway. Or guinea pigs. Can’t wait. HG
After a year off to let the cattle roam free and to clear up oh-so-many laughing gas canisters, Glasto returns – but will it be back with a bang or a wheeze? Our money is on the former. So far, Stormzy is the only confirmed headliner, while Kylie has been given the now coveted “legends” slot on Sunday afternoon. Liam Gallagher has already tweeted a not-so-subtle nod to the fact that he will be among the lineup. Bookies’ fave to top the bill is Kendrick Lamar, who would be the first US hip-hop headliner since Kanye West and his wobbly cherry picker in 2015. In other, ahem, rumours we want to believe, it seems as if 2019 will finally be the year that Fleetwood Mac play. Warning: if they do, it will be without Lindsey Buckingham, who parted ways with them earlier this year. Led Zeppelin are also in the mix, as well as Elton John, Madonna and Paul McCartney, who could return 15 years after his 2004 set. We’d be happy with any of the above, but who are we kidding? We’re probably going to spend four days in the Stonebridge Bar trying to get a selfie with Jarvis Cocker and miss everything at the Pyramid stage. LC
Hole reunite (probably)
Every couple of years, Courtney Love teases a possible Hole reunion, but this time it sounds as if you’ll need to get serious about bringing that diamante tiara out of storage and scrawling the word “slut” across your belly with a tube of Rimmel lippie (shade: Sugar Plum). There was a brief reunion of sorts with bassist Melissa Auf der Maur in October but the real gold is set to come with Love’s autobiography threatened for early 2019 – surely the perfect summer beach read, BTW. Love says she will be working on new music following publication and, after 2012’s one-night, two-song appearance of the classic lineup showed that Love, Auf der Maur, Eric Erlandson and Patty Schemel were on good terms, hopefully the next Hole album will be made by all four, unlike 2009’s essentially solo Nobody’s Daughter. Twenty-five years after Live Through This ripped the seams of pop culture’s fishnets, we are so very ready for more. LC
Last year was when Mark Zuckerberg lost our trust for ever, when it transpired that Facebook had sort-of facilitated the rise of global fascism. And while its pumpkin spice latte-guzzling little sister Instagram continues to thrive, the golden age of social media seems done, with even the new iPhone OS boasting “digital detox” features to push you into occasionally engaging with the outside world. Besides, influencers from Zoella to Logan Paul have proved that this new, highly unregulated age of celebrity is not without its controversies, having, respectively, flogged crappy advent calendars and shown a dead body on YouTube. But could we really give up on social media, and will next year be the one when we do it? So much of our cultural output seems to be a reaction to our always-on world, whether that’s Rina Sawayama’s phone-addiction anthems, or Channel 4 reality show The Circle, effectively a Gen Z Big Brother with a Black Mirror edge. Mudhoney (remember them) even released a song in 2018 imagining Jesus’ crucifixion as a social-media broadcast. And, as much as we want to acknowledge its vapidity, what else would we have to moan about if not the ills of technology, as every generation before us has done? (See: Video Killed the Radio Star.) It seems, then, that this uneasy relationship will continue – at least until the microchips-in-brains era anyway. As Jenny*, 24, tells us, she couldn’t delete Facebook anyway (“How would I know when anyone’s birthday was?!”). HJD
*Names changed to protect the innocent
Janet (Ms Jackson, if you’re nasty)
Control (1986). Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). Janet (1993). The Velvet Rope (1997). Four consecutive albums that helped shape what pop music was, is and will be in 2019. In fact, Janet Jackson’s influence is so huge and manifold that she has a lengthy Wikipedia page featuring a list of artists influenced by her. This features the obvious (Beyoncé, Britney, Aaliyah); the slightly more outré (Robyn, Dev Hynes, How to Dress Well); and the does-it-even-need-to-be-spelled-out (Eliza Doolittle, Peter Andre, Heidi from Sugababes). If you’re thinking: “Well, yes, but she’s not done much since that whole Super Bowl wardrobe-malfunction thing,” then please be quiet because a) 2015’s fresh-sounding Unbreakable album is a lost classic; b) She has been touring a high-energy hits extravaganza in the US for most of 2018; and c) Following August’s Made for Now, there is new material coming to prove that she’s still very much part of today’s musical conversation, thank you very much. MC
Kanye for Pres-ye?
Kanye certainly makes it hard for fans of Kanye. We want to love him and his passion for mid-century light fittings, his wild visions of leather jogging bottoms, his on-point tweets about removing likes and follower counts from social media, not to mention his way with a rap banger. Yet when it comes to politics, the man is a loose canon: in October he said he was “distancing himself” from it and yet you never know with Ye. West’s idolisation of Donald Trump, in particular, makes us extremely wary of his much-vaunted run for president. When Queen of Coachella Lana Del Rey has to step in to give you a telling-off about wearing a Make America Great Again cap on Saturday Night Live and goes on to call out both men’s “Delusions of Grandeur [and] extreme issues with narcissism”, you know things aren’t in a great place. SNL cast member Pete Davidson also made his thoughts clear after West went on a pro-Trump rant, which wasn’t aired by the show. “Kanye is a genius, but like a musical genius … Being mentally ill is not an excuse to act like a jackass.” So what will Kanye’s run for president look like? We can only assume it will be made up with weekends spent at Mar-a-Lago discussing what a pussy grab will look like in 2020, what Kim can learn from Melania about wearing jackets with inappropriate slogans written on them, and how best to bring Quavo in for a guest spot. LC
Lana Del Rey
Over the space of four albums, Lana Del Rey has elegantly inched away from the bruised Hollywood dame caricature she created after Video Games propelled her to stardom in 2011. Her 2017 album, Lust for Life, for example, added more personal touches to her lyrical moodboard of vintage Americana, bad boyfriends and a New Look-sized assortment of red dresses. Perhaps her biggest shift is still to come, with 2019’s excellently titled, Jack Antonoff-produced Norman Fucking Rockwell album, preceded by the country-tinged Mariners Apartment Complex and the distinctly un-radio-friendly, 10-minute-long Venice Bitch (her managers apparently responded with “Can you make a three-minute, normal pop song?” when she first played it to them), a song that reflects the United States’ current mood via its fractured dissonance. She has been more confrontational too, admonishing Kanye and ending an entertaining spat with professional provocateur and part-time rapper Azealia Banks on Twitter with the T-shirt-ready slogan “I won’t not fuck you the fuck up”. Welcome to new Lana. MC
Madden’s bum (a slight return)
Tracking the supposed movements of somebody’s rear end is a difficult task, but it’s a task I’m willing to take on, just for you. The bum in question belongs to Richard Madden, former member of Games of Thrones’s Stark clan and most recently the star of the BBC’s hotbed of political intrigue – no, not The Andrew Marr Show – the Jed Mercurio-penned “racy” thriller, Bodyguard. Since he pulled what’s now known as a “Night Manager” and flashed his behind in the acclaimed show, the 32-year-old Scottish actor has become the hottest property in tellyland since Tom Hardy pouted his way through a modelling contest on a 1998 episode of The Big Breakfast. But what next for the tush that tippled the UK? Well, there’s a turn as Elton John’s manager and lover John Reid in the 1970s-set flick Rocketman, but that isn’t out till May. So until then, fans will have to make do with joining the 1.7 million others stalking his Instagram. Most popular is currently a shot from July of Madden, his bottom somewhere out of shot but deffo still attached to his body, wild swimming in Devon. A wry smile flickers across his face. His arse, is, we assume, extremely damp. Ladies and gentlemen, control yourselves. If that wasn’t enough to have you reaching for the smelling salts then this quote should shine a light on why Madden is 2018’s biggest bae: “Between filming, I eat pizza, drink, don’t work out, get fat.” Excuse us while we go and order a Domino’s meat feast. LC
You didn’t need a degree in girlband studies (imagine) to know who the best member of slightly ropey US group Fifth Harmony was. No, it wasn’t the limelight guzzling Camila Cabello (who jumped ship in 2016), it was clearly 22-year-old megastar-in-the-making Normani, who, since the band went on “hiatus” earlier this year, has scored a US Top 10 hit with the pillow-soft Khalid duet Love Lies, and been compared to both Beyoncé and Janet Jackson. While the latter co-signed her tribute to her at the BMI R&B and Hip-Hop awards in August, Normani is being coy about comparisons to Mrs Carter-Knowles: “It’s not fair [to say] that I’m the next Beyoncé just yet,” she told Fader recently. “But I hope to become that.” While work continues on her debut album – collaborations with Calvin Harris and rapper 6lack have emerged so far – there is even more time to re-watch her jaw-dropping performance of Love Lies at the Billboard music awards. Essentially, all she did was walk, spin around and elegantly fall on the floor, but in the spaces between a star was born. MC
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Hollywood has been like a ghost town recently. Where have all the actors gone? Where’s Brad Pitt? Where’s Leonardo DiCaprio? Where are Al Pacino, James Marsden, Dakota Fanning, Damian Lewis, Emile Hirsch, Kurt Russell? Even Luke Perry goes straight to voicemail. Turns out, they are all over on Quentin Tarantino’s set, recreating the Manson family murders and the decadent, dodgily attired, flower-powered Los Angeles of the late 1960s. Tarantino’s take is a mix of reality and fiction, he’s hinted. Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, wife of Roman Polanski, who was murdered by Manson’s followers in 1969. DiCaprio and Pitt (in their first time on screen together) play fictional friends – respectively a washed-up TV cowboy and his stunt double – who are, says Tarantino, “struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognise any more.”
Tarantino has described the film as “probably the closest to Pulp Fiction that I have done”, which will be music to fans’ ears, but this could be his biggest challenge yet, in the wake of #MeToo. Tarantino’s obliviousness to the depredations of his longtime producer Harvey Weinstein, his treatment of Uma Thurman during Kill Bill, and his defence of Roman Polanski’s sexual assault: all have taken the shine off that once super-cool Tarantino brand. Let’s see if he can redeem himself by restaging the brutal murder of a pregnant woman. SR
Created back in 1991 and spanning radio spoofs, sitcoms, mockumentaries, YouTube shorts, two autobiographies and a (surprisingly not crap) feature film, Alan Partridge is a character with unrelenting comedic stamina. Written by Steve Coogan and the Gibbons brothers, new series This Time With Alan Partridge is set in (and airing on) the BBC. It’s the character’s first time back at the channel since the final episode of Knowing Me Knowing You in 1995, during which Alan accidentally killed a guest using one of Lord Byron’s duelling pistols, leading to him being banished to local radio (in reality, Coogan has made some shorts for Fosters and two one-offs with Sky).
This time around, Alan will be presenting a One Show-esque sofa chatshow alongside actor Susannah Fielding, whose character needs a new sidekick after her usual host John has a heart attack. By episode two, John is dead and Partridge begins his journey to “worm his way back in”. And what better timing to revive a character so Little England and hard Brexit, that if you cut him open he’d bleed LBC radio mics and pork pie jelly? The prescience has not escaped Coogan, who told journalists earlier this year that the idea for the plot comes from the media’s drive to represent Leave voters more on air. Alan’s return could well be the one positive thing to come out of Brexit. HG
Queer Eye season 3
The big news for season three is that the lads are leaving the state of Georgia and taking their makeover magic on the road. All eight episodes will feature “heroes” (victims?) living in Kansas City, Missouri, a mid-size, midwest city, sometimes known as “the Paris of the Plains”. This nickname, as will soon become clear, has absolutely nothing to do with the inhabitants’ love of couture or innate sense of chic and everything to do with KC’s many “boulevard-style” streets. In other words, the Fab Five still have their work cut out.
We predict they’ll rise to the challenge, with more Trump-baiting diversity than ever, plus Antoni offering low-effort tweaks to the local BBQ cuisine, Karamo beating his own record for eliciting tears (five minutes in, max), Tan declaring the French Tuck officially over and Bobby doing all the real work. EEJ
After 2016’s palate-cleansing album Anti, no one really knows where Rihanna might go next. Or if, you know, she is even that interested in the music bit of being a megastar any more. In 2018, she released more socks (with Stance), and makeup (via her record-breaking Fenty line, named alongside Nike and Spotify as one of Time’s “most genius” companies), and acted in the actually-quite-bad Ocean’s 8, which went on to gross $300m worldwide. Needless to say, her fans have been getting antsy, peppering her Instagram with questions about new music, with Rihanna even turning herself into a meme by captioning a picture of her wiping her brow with the words “When your fans keep asking you for new music”. So what can we expect? Well, er, everything, really. Early rumours suggested it would be a double album: one half pop and the other dancehall, with producers attached including R City, Sean Paul collaborator Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Skrillex and Boi-1da. Then, in September, EDM producer Alesso let slip that he’d heard from mutual friends that Rihanna was making a dance album, a claim that was semi-supported by Diplo. It’s not clear whether Diplo himself is involved, or if he’s ever actually recovered from Rihanna once describing one of his creations as “a reggae song at an airport”. Maybe there will also be a place for latex-friendly experimentalist Sophie, who was pictured in the studio with Rihanna pre-Anti. Whatever happens, expect the music to continue to be just one part of Robyn Rihanna Fenty’s growing empire. MC
Shhh … it’s ASMR
ASMR. Whisper it. Actually, get a little bit of spit on your tongue and then whisper it again. Then hum lightly in the microphone with your mouth mostly shut, before softly brushing your hair and wiggling some slime about in your hands. Nice! ASMR, or autonomous sensory meridian response to give it its full, tongue-wobbling title, is the name given to those stress-relieving tingles in your head brought on by sounds like the above. And, like mindfulness before it, it’s the latest feelgood trend to sweep the internet, with everyone from Margot Robbie and Selma Hayek to Cardi B giving it a go in 2018. In 2019, it seems the trend is poised to only get bigger. Life With MaK, the teenage US ASMR expert, has more than a million YouTube subscribers, and spawned a glut of memes in recent months. And you know when something has really hit the mainstream when the ad-makers get involved: Paramore’s Hayley Williams used ASMR to promote her vegan hair dye brand; and Renault recruited a German ASMR YouTuber for a recent campaign. Expect, then, to see ad and album campaigns with an extra buzz (geddit?), as ASMR definitively replaces meditation as both our go-to relaxation technique and go-to sales ploy. But, if you are using YouTube to unwind, don’t forget to actually sleep and eat your greens, too; there is probably only so much that hearing a feather duster sweep a microphone can actually do for you. HJD
Depending on who you talk to, Donna Tartt’s 800-page, Pulitzer prize-winner was either a deftly constructed masterpiece, or a hugely overrated and overlong bore. It stands to reason, then, that any film based on The Goldfinch would be at least as controversial. Yet early signs suggest this particular adaptation (due in October), will err on the side of awesome elegance. Firstly, there’s the screenplay penned by Peter Straughan, who did sterling work on the BBC’s Wolf Hall series and the 2011 film Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Secondly, there’s direction from John Crowley, the man who turned another contemporary literary classic, Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn, into a Saoirse Ronan-starring, Oscar-nominated screen success. Thirdly, and most importantly, Nicole Kidman has been cast (alongside Ansel Elgort and Aneurin Barnard) as the frosty but kindly socialite matriarch Mrs Barbour. A role she’s always been ready to play. EEJ
How does writer-director Jordan Peele top Get Out? He’s probably been wondering that, too. You have set yourself quite a challenge when your little $4.5m horror makes more than $250m, wins you an Oscar, and becomes part of the language (how did we ever get by without the term “the Sunken Place”?). Peele has not ruled out a Get Out sequel some day; in the meantime, a few details of his new movie have emerged. We know that Us involves two couples – one black, one white – whose weekend break goes wrong. The first poster describes it as “a new nightmare”. It stars Elisabeth Moss, Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke (Black Panther’s M’Baku) and Duke “grandson of Jack” Nicholson. Peele is going to be busy in 2019. He is also making the black-centric, Jim Crow-era horror miniseries Lovecraft County for HBO, and hosting a rebooted series of The Twilight Zone (is that next door to the Sunken Place?). SR
Versus! We predict 2019’s biggest beefs
Nicki Minaj v cells
Nicki Minaj is a beef legend: three years ago she was asking Miley Cyrus “What’s good?”, this year she has somehow started fights with pre-linguistic Kardashian children. Things can only get weirder and younger from there. What next, foetus beef? Sperm beef? Will Nicki Minaj end this year without beefing with, like, Drake’s sperm (“Incredibly whack sperm. Just absolutely sub-standard sperm. Zero bars. No streams.”)? I cannot wait to find out.
Mason Ramsey v Bhad Bhabie
Two of 2018’s biggest success stories were Mason “yodelling” Ramsey – a child who became famous for yelling in a supermarket – and Bhad Bhabie, a teen who got famous for threatening the audience of a daytime TV show with the casual elan of a juvenile offender holding a flicknife. So it stands to reason that, in 2019, their paths must cross and explode into beef. We can’t quite call how this will play out: a street fight with Bhabie attacking a waving Ramsey from a Macy’s Thanksgiving parade float, or a Grammys duet performance that ends with Ramsey getting a nail extension surgically removed from his head? But it’s definitely going to happen.
Liam Gallagher v Noel Gallagher
The rumour wafting across Worthy Farm is that Oasis will reform to headline Glastonbury next year, which gives plenty of time for 1) Every lad in Britain who’s ever walked into a bar and shouted “Oi oi!” to get excited and start trying to buy ecstasy for it off the dark web; and 2) Liam and Noel to reunite, go for a meal, post a selfie on Liam’s Twitter (“As you were”), fall out about something trivial on the way home (“Oh I see, Lord Muck’s getting an Addison Lee home! Uber’s the only real rock’n’roll dial-a-ride service”), split up, and start a whole five-year news cycle about how they hate each other again. JG
Where’d You Go Bernadette?
Where’d you go Richard Linklater? The Texan stalwart behind Dazed and Confused and School of Rock has been working steadily since his 2014 best director Oscar nom for Boyhood, but he’s yet to replicate the huge acclaim that greeted that long-gestating passion project. Where’d You Go Bernadette?, an adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2012 comic novel about an award-winning architect-turned-recluse-turned-missing-person, may rectify this. At the very least, it will surely make a star of 13-year-old Emma Nelson. The newcomer was plucked by Linklater from more than 500 auditionees to play Bee, Bernadette’s teenage daughter, who resolves to track down her missing mother, and find out more about the woman who gave her life in the process. Nelson will be sharing screen time with Cate Blanchett in the title role, plus Kristen Wiig, Billy Crudup, Laurence Fishburne and Judy Greer in support. EEJ
XXXTentacion may have been shot and killed on 18 June of this year, aged 20, but the controversial rapper looks set to be bigger than ever in 2019. Yes, despite being quite, quite dead. (Unless you’re of the school of thought that he’s currently living it up on Maui with Tupac, Elvis and Geoffrey from Rainbow, in which case, none of the following will be a surprise.) His streams quadrupled post-death; he posthumously won best new artist at the BET awards and his third album Skins made the top spot of the Billboard charts when it was released a couple of weeks ago. Recorded before his death, it was part of the $10m deal XXX – real name Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy – signed weeks before he died. He has also been busy putting out videos, including Sad!, in which he spookily turns up to his own funeral, and the moody, solitary clip for Moonlight, which finishes with a simple dedication: “Energy never dies. He is amongst us. Long live Jah.” Actually, can someone check every Airbnb in Maui? We’re suspicious now, too. Then there are the host of post-death guest appearances: Don’t Cry, his spot on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V and there’s a mooted slot on Kanye West’s forthcoming Yandhi, too. Don’t be shocked if he also shows up on Strictly, doing an entertaining rhumba to the orchestral strains of Get Lucky, with special guest vocals from Jess Glynne in a sequinned tux. LC
You Oughta Know, Alanis is back
It was a busy year for Alanis Morissette, a woman whose 1995 debut proper, Jagged Little Pill, enabled literally millions of teenage wannabe poets to fully, like, emotionally unleash. Firstly, that album was turned into a musical by Oscar winner Diablo Cody (fingers crossed its follow-up, Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie, gets an Eat Pray Love-style stage makeover, too). Then, as well as cutting off all her hair, she illustrated her own range of self-care greeting cards; launched her Conversation With Alanis Morissette podcast (one hot topic: an exploration of “four kinds of destructive narcissistic patterns”); and appeared twice at the 1440 Multiversity (ahem), hosting discussions on Exploring self and Self, and Connection As a Way of Life. (We assume the Navel Gazing Yogic Healing Centre is opening in 2019.) She has also been putting the finishing touches to her book, Perpetual Becoming, “a memoir, Alanis-style” that “interweaves her personal story with hard-won wisdom, philosophy, spirituality, guidance, and often cheeky tips on how to live an authentic life”. Incidentally, Cheeky Tips is also the name of her new holistic nail bar. Probably. MC
Zapped! TV in ’19
There will be new ideas on TV in 2019, but old ones are always safer. Reboot of the year should be Veronica Mars, while the BBC will try to make The War of the Worlds fresh with new versions, and ITV has hired Andrew Davies to finish Jane Austen’s final work, Sanditon. Royalty will still reign, as Olivia Colman debuts her Liz W in The Crown, Jenna Coleman is back in Victoria, and Helen Mirren shimmers through Catherine the Great on Sky. Plenty of fan-pleasing dramas also return: Endeavour, Poldark and – yes! – Line of Duty have new seasons.
Streaming will only get more massive, with Amazon staking big on Good Omens, staring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, and Netflix throwing billions at its bid for world domination. Potential hits on the ’Flix are rude Gillian Anderson comedy Sex Education and Henry Cavill-powered fantasy The Witcher. Assuming 2019 will not be a period of global calm, TV must keep up with the chaos. Russell T Davies’s BBC One epic Years & Years imagines a future of political upheaval that will compete with whatever real upheaval is happening. The Planet Earth team has made sumptuous Netflix eight-parter Our Planet, with a focus on wildernesses and endangered species – or what’s left of them. And Channel 4 has a real-life drama that might feel super-topical, or sadly quaint, in Brexit: The Uncivil War, about how the referendum was lost. We will be desperate for laughs, so it’s a good job that Catastrophe, Derry Girls and This Country are all back. JS
Main composite image: Allstar/CBS; Noam Galai/Getty Images; Michael Buckner Credit Deadline/Rex; Keith Bernstein/AP; Roy Rochlin/Getty Images; Startraks/Rex; Andy Seymour/BBC WorldWide. Second composite: Richard Saker/The Observer; Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images; Swan Gallet/WWD/Rex; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images; Terry Wyatt/FilmMagic