Thanksgiving is right here. A day to sit down again, replicate, and think about all the good things in your life. Household, associates, your well being—these are all worthy. However what about reveals, motion pictures, and comics?
Every year, the io9 workers writes concerning the popular culture we’re grateful for. The leisure that has introduced us pleasure over the previous 11 months. Issues that we’ve not solely appreciated, however which were so transformative or impactful, we’re truly grateful they exist. So sit again, seize a turkey leg, and see what the io9 workers is grateful for in 2022. (Or, if you’d like, look again at 2020 and 2021.)
We’re Grateful for Cell Go well with Gundam: The Witch From Mercury
I completely love Gundam, however with the primary mainline collection on the horizon this 12 months since Iron Blooded Orphans, I used to be nonetheless full of a way of trepidation about The Witch From Mercury. Little or no of the franchise within the twenty first century has grokked with the issues I really like most about Gundam as an idea—and the messages that resonate most clearly all through the earlier works in it—have existed in entries like SEED, Reconguista in G, or the aforementioned Orphans. Would Witch From Mercury comply with go well with? Had Gundam forgotten methods to be Gundam outdoors of nostalgic retreads of its original self?
Fortunately, I used to be blown away from episode 1 of G-Witch, because it’s develop into affectionately recognized. Not only for the potential sapphic vibes between its feminine protagonists Suletta and Miorine, nor the unbelievable design and motion of its primary mecha, the Aerial. Witch From Mercury constructed out a brand new Gundam world that explored anime tropes that the franchise has not likely touched earlier than—principally a highschool setting—with explorations of transhumanism, bio-tech, the way forward for capitalism, the military-industrial advanced’s relationship with class warfare, and extra, with the hallmarks and chunk I really like about Gundam’s core beliefs. Lastly, there’s a contemporary collection that feels reverent of what Gundam was when it first started, with out simply immediately aping or rehashing it. Whereas there’s loads of alternatives for Witch From Mercury to collapse because it continues, for now, I’m grateful for Suletta Sundays having develop into the spotlight of my week over the previous few months. – James Whitbrook
We’re grateful for queer media
This 12 months looks like we’ve actually turned a nook in queer illustration in media. Now not relegated to aspect tales and three-second editable clips, queer tales are lastly getting the limelight. From Our Flag Means Loss of life to Interview With the Vampire, even sprinkling in Guillermo de la Cruz’s popping out story on What We Do within the Shadows and the very lesbian-coded Gundam: Witch from Mercury (see above), I really feel like I can lastly assume to myself, “I wish to watch a present centered on messy queers,” and I’ve a plethora of tales to select from. There’s under-the-radar reveals like The Bastard Son & the Satan Himself and kids’s animated reveals like The Owl Home and Paranormal Park which might be additionally doing a tremendous job at delivering fully-rounded characters and deeply queer tales. To say nothing of the books which have come out this 12 months. I won’t have cared for Nona the Ninth, however in between Taz Muir’s Locked Tomb sapphics, Freya Marske’s attractive witches, the Burning Kingdoms’ magical catastrophe sequel The Oleander Sword, and the ultimate installment of the orc/sorcerer romance of the century The Thousand Eyes, the lesbians ate nicely in 2022. On the finish of the 12 months I’m simply grateful that I can see myself, my tales, my associates, and my romances someplace on display screen, depicted in a method that facilities the characters themselves and never simply the challenges of being queer. – Linda Codega
We’re grateful for RRR
I’ve by no means had a theatergoing expertise like RRR. I’ve seen the movie 5 instances and every looks like the primary. The epic historic fantasy musical and bromance with blockbuster motion from director S.S. Rajamouli is a life-changing cinematic expertise like no different. The viewers will get on their ft, cheers, laughs, quotes alongside, and even has a dance-off. I’ve been chasing that movie-audience excessive ever since and no movie this 12 months can examine. N. T. Rama Rao Jr. and Ram Charan are on the spot stars—equally charismatic romantic leads and motion heroes. I refuse to observe RRR on Netflix till the streamer gives it in its unique Telegu language, but when it’s the one method you possibly can watch, simply do it, particularly since there’s a sequel within the works! Give it all of the awards. – Sabina Graves
We’re grateful for bizarre style TV that’s not a part of a franchise
Nothing in opposition to understanding what you want and selecting to stay inside these boundaries, whether or not it’s a present throughout the Marvel or Star Wars universe, a prequel to a present you as soon as appreciated however with many extra dragons, or a fourth season of a present about raunchy vampires. However 2022 had a very excessive fee of “this present sounds cool, don’t know a lot about it however guess I’ll take an opportunity” kinds of style titles that ended up moderately majestically rewarding the viewer. Simply to call a couple of, however Our Flag Means Loss of life, Archive 81, The Resort, and Severance all discovered their niches shortly with characters we couldn’t cease excited about, and plots that made us cheer when second seasons had been introduced (or sigh sadly when the alternative occurred). That these kinds of reveals exist in any respect provides us hope that creativity continues to be alive in Hollywood, and makes the existence of all these freaking streaming providers really feel slightly extra justified. – Cheryl Eddy
We’re grateful for the return of the cinematic expertise
When the pandemic first hit in 2020, and thru a lot of 2021, film studios made the appropriate name in delaying movies till such a time when seeing them within the theater could be a secure endeavor, each financially and for moviegoers. Though we’re removed from out of the pandemic woods, loads of motion pictures have come out this 12 months (for higher or worse) with the intonation of “solely in theaters.”
And you already know what? For most of the motion pictures that I’ve seen in theaters this 12 months, it actually has felt like Theaters are Again. And it helps that there’s been some movies value seeing in theaters: The Batman, Nope, Ambulance, and The Girl King are all crowdpleasers and Film-Ass Motion pictures, experiences that completely hit on the large display screen. Prime Gun: Maverick takes the highest Film-Ass Film expertise for the 12 months, with a detailed second being Prey. Sure, it’s strictly on Hulu and can possible by no means see a theatrical launch in its life, nevertheless it feels prefer it was made to be watched in a theater. For individuals who are vaccinated and really feel secure sufficient to step right into a theater once more, right here’s hoping we get extra of these kind of movies in 2023. – Justin Carter
We’re grateful for Prime Gun: Maverick
I’ve to leap off Justin’s choose right here however for a special purpose. First, I wish to totally acknowledge that Prime Gun: Maverick isn’t an io9 film. However a part of why I find it irresistible and am grateful for it does apply to the films we cowl. You see, so typically today sequels are made to movies we liked rising up. Sequels we by no means, ever thought would occur, be it a seventh Star Wars, a 3rd Ghostbusters, you get the concept. And nearly all the time, these motion pictures don’t examine to the originals. How might they? At finest they’re strong remakes.
However Prime Gun: Maverick was completely different. Through the years of ready, the staff created a film that’s nearly definitely higher than the unique. A movie that works as a pure motion film, however works even higher with that icing of nostalgia. I first noticed the unique Prime Gun when it was launched in 1986 with my late grandfather so watching this one brings again all of the feels. In all probability why I’ve watched this new film nearly a dozen instances since its launch, each in theaters and at dwelling. – Germain Lussier
We’re grateful for Ghosts
We’ve spoken about how charming the BBC sitcom Ghosts is earlier than, and also you’d be forgiven if you happen to determined to provide the American model a strive. Nevertheless it’s such traditional TV consolation meals that CBS’s Ghosts stands—or a minimum of apparates—simply as strongly to its supply materials. When Samantha (iZombie’s Rose McIver) discovers she’s the proprietor of a dilapidated Victorian mansion in New England, her pleasure to show it right into a bed-and-breakfast together with her husband Jay (Pitch Good’s Utkarsh Ambudkar) is tempered considerably when she falls down the steps, is clinically lifeless for a minute, and wakes as much as discover the home is inhabited by quite a lot of ghosts from completely different time durations in U.S. historical past, from an Eleventh-century Viking to a Nineteen Nineties finance bro. It’s the form of present that might have completely had fun monitor again within the day, however the traditional construction solely augments the heat and coronary heart Ghosts nonetheless has beneath its incorporeal chest. —Robert Bricken
We’re grateful for One Piece
I’ve been recommending folks take a look at the uber-popular manga One Piece just about because it was first printed in 1997. It’s a job that’s solely gotten tougher because it has crept up in size, now working greater than 1,000 points. However I’m not totally insane; the explanation I need folks to spend a million hours of their lives studying One Piece is as a result of it’s that good, and is best than some other collection about rewarding long-term followers. This 12 months noticed the epic finish of the huge Wano storyarc, adopted by an expositional lore dump so large and mind-blowing it’s made my head spin. Calling One Piece a narrative about pirates is technically true, nevertheless it’s additionally about historical past, mythology, science fiction, samurai, dragons, robots, legendary creatures, future, monsters, world tradition, and a lot extra. Hey, these 1,000+ points needed to be full of one thing. —Robert Bricken
We’re grateful for cinematic tv
For occurring 20 years, tv has been getting higher and higher. And whereas large geek reveals like Sport of Thrones and The Strolling Useless introduced that to a complete new degree, it looks like 2022 has taken that up even one other notch. This 12 months we received a present based mostly on Lord of the Rings, a brand new Sport of Thrones in Home of the Dragon, an Obi-Wan Kenobi present, quickly we’ll get a Willow present, then there’s Andor, She-Hulk, and the record goes on and on. Not solely are these all actually good style reveals, they nearly universally really feel like reveals that, 20 or 30 years in the past, would have been made as motion pictures. And but, in 2022, we get to observe them within the consolation of our personal houses. Huge-scale, big-budget style motion pictures prolonged into full TV reveals. What a world. (And sure, I do understand that is in opposition to Cheryl’s equally good choose above.) – Germain Lussier
Need extra io9 information? Try when to count on the newest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s subsequent for the DC Universe on film and TV, and all the things it’s good to learn about James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water.