It seems like everyone is collectively applauding the impending closure of 2016 as New Year’s Eve edges closer — and with good reason.
This has been an especially trying year for a multitude of reasons, and no one is very sorry to see 2016 bid its last adieu. As such, here are some especially excellent reasons to be optimistic about the future and look forward to 2017. Thus far, the new year is looking pretty auspicious:
1. The live-action Beauty and the Beast comes out on March 17, 2017.
You’re lying through your teeth if you say you aren’t a tad excited/curious to see what is happening with this live-action version of one of the best Disney movies ever. With a star-studded cast which includes Emma Watson, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen, the movie is guaranteed to be a heated topic of discussion, regardless of whether or not it stinks. (Although I sincerely hope it doesn’t stink, for all our sakes.)
2. Many diverse women will make history by holding public office in 2017.
With the uproar of the election, it was easy to forget that some pretty major victories occurred for women in politics this year (even if they weren’t THE major victory). Catherine Cortez Masto became the first Latina in history to be elected to the Supreme Court. Florida elected Stephanie Murphy to Congress, making her the first Vietnamese-American woman in history to nab a spot in the bicameral legislature. Ilhan Omar, a Somalian refugee, became the first Somali-American Muslim female legislator. Basically: even though a giant, wrinkled apricot will be serving as President of the United States, the future for women in politics is still bright.
3. Wonder Woman is coming out on June 2, 2017.
Finally! It only took a million years, but a major female-fronted superhero movie is finally happening. (We do not speak of Catwoman.) While Batman VS Superman was appropriately dragged for being a dark and subpar, the trailers for Wonder Woman are actually looking pretty great. The movie isn’t going to win any Oscars, but it’s definitely promising to be the fun, kickass DC superhero movie we’ve been missing.
4. There are going to be some pretty amazing (or, at the very least, annoyingly catchy) albums released next year.
Lorde, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Erykah Badu, Kelly Clarkson, The Shins, Haim, The Flaming Lips, SZA, and (probably) Arcade Fire are just a handful of the artists which are expected to drop albums in the new year. So, at the very least, 2017 will hopefully have a memorable soundtrack.
5. Game of Thrones is coming back!
Yes: sadly, it is the final season. But you know what? That means that Season 7 is going to be chock full of all the moments that you have been dutifully awaiting over the past six years. Basically: I’m predicting some epic dragon battles, and that sh*t is going to be amazing.
6. The Women’s March on Washington will take place on January 21, 2017.
On Donald Trump’s first day in office, thousands of women will send a message to the new President by marching from the Lincoln Memorial to the White House. While it’s probable that such a statement will receive jeers and eye rolls from opponents, a sea of women parading toward the White House in an attempt to make their voices heard will be an undoubtedly moving sight.
7. Duck Dynasty and Girls will finally be over.
I’m sorry, both of these shows need to end so I can stop hearing about a Robertson family that is not my own (and is also hateful and racist), and the first-world problems of four white, privileged women. Also, I’d be perfectly happy to not see Lena Dunham pandering for attention in my news feed ever again.
8. Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters in December 2017.
While Rogue One received generally positive reviews, the movie was certainly no replacement for the adventures of Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8 (who is, undoubtedly, the true star of the films). If the next movie is even remotely as enjoyable as The Force Awakens, then it’s definitely going to be one of the year’s highlights.
9. Curb Your Enthusiasm is returning with a ninth season.
Though details are still scarce, the show reportedly began shooting episodes for the new season last month — so the odds of it making a return during the new year are exceptionally high. Which is great, because, as proven by the most recent season of SNL, we need Larry David now more than ever.
10. A Mean Girls musical is coming down the pike.
And yes, Tina Fey is behind the whole thing, so it will undoubtedly be incredible. (Although, if Hamilton is any indicator, getting tickets for the show may be an ordeal unto itself.) The show is set to premiere sometime during the fall of 2017.
11. Season 2 of Stranger Things will be rolling out in 2017.
While the release date is still unconfirmed, Netflix will supposedly be unleashing the next installment of the wildly popular series during July of next year — and, if everything goes according to plan, I’m willing to bet we get some satisfaction on the Nancy/Jonathan storyline …
12. Instagram is probably going to blow up with all the new celebrity babies that are due in 2017.
Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, P!nk and Ciara are just a sampling of the celebrity moms who are currently expecting, so there are definitely going to be some cute, new baby photos floating around next year.
13. A royal engagement, perhaps?
I’m just sayin’ — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting quite cozy these days. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the rambunctious royal sets aside his wild ways to settle down with the Suits actress. And if that happens, the internet would definitely lose its collective sh*t over the anticipation of another royal wedding.
14. No more campaigning … for now, at least.
Sweet lord (or Lorde, depending on who you prefer), the campaigning of 2016 will finally be a distant memory in the new year. While the news cycle was admittedly gripping this past year, I think we can all agree that we’re somewhat exhausted by the dizzying and ultimately disappointing political rollercoaster which was the 2016 Presidential Election. It’s time to rally and focus on how we can all collectively do better in two years.
15. The Year of the Monkey is over.
According to Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. Specifically, it is the year of the Fire Rooster, which brings with it a year full of new responsibilities. This past Year of the Monkey (R.I.P. Harambe) was full of surprises — of both the good and bad variety. The Year of the Rooster is said to be full of opportunities which favor practicality rather than risk. Basically: trying to keep your balance and maintain a steady course will be rewarded this next year, which, after the bizarreness of 2016, will likely be a really nice change of pace.