Now that we’ve wrapped up all of our end of the year/decade lists, I wanted to take some time to look at my most anticipated games, movies, and TV of 2020.
5. Westworld (Season 3)
I remember coming into the first season of Westworld months after everyone else and engulfing the show. I watched the second season as it aired but aside from the standout episode “Kiksuya,” most of that season is foggy. Season 3 appears to be built around the Hosts out in the real world and brings Aaron Paul into the cast so I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes (and probably revisiting season two to see if more of it sticks on a second pass).
Originally pegged for 2021, Disney moved up WandaVision to 2020 so it makes my list for this year. Given what we’ve heard so far about this one (and who from the MCU is involved), I’m really curious to see what this turns out to be since it seems like it has the potential to be one of the weirdest MCU offerings to date.
3. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 2)
Definitely wouldn’t have seen this showing up on my list a few months ago but the cast of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was just so endearing so now I can’t wait for a second season. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack a ton and even have the show replaying as I literally write this sentence. I don’t think season 2 is confirmed for 2020 but it seems like a likely bet so I put it on the list.
2. The Mandalorian (Season 2) / Star Wars: Clone Wars (Season 7)
A bit of a cheat but since we don’t have a new Star Wars movie to be excited about for the foreseeable future, I’m throwing both of these Star Wars shows into one entry. I really enjoyed the first season of The Mandalorian and the closing moments left me excited for the possibilities for where they go from here. A new season of the often-excellent and freshly-revived Clone Wars is also something to look forward to as we get a return of fan-favorite Ahsoka Tano and more adventures to flesh out the time between Episodes II and III of the main saga.
1. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier tops my most anticipated TV list for a couple reasons. First, I very much enjoyed Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie in the films and I’m just generally excited to see them back together and how their character arcs will continue in a post-Endgame world. Second, I’m even more excited and curious to see what the first Disney+ show in the MCU looks like and how it will set the tone for the future of the relationship between the films and the shows.
5. To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You
I didn’t expect to enjoy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before when it came to Netflix a couple years back but it became a regular element of the rotation in my “things to just throw on in the background” and still serves as wonderful comfort food so I’m very intrigued to see how the story expands in the sequel.
4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
I don’t have the deepest lineage with the Ghostbusters films. I grew up really enjoying Ghostbusters 2 and watched that one way more than the original, which I’ve probably only seen a few times. I thought the 2016 reboot was unfairly maligned by a bunch of whiny, petulant children on the internet. I won’t say it was the greatest thing in the world, but I wouldn’t categorize the other entries as mind-blowing either. This new one has me intrigued. A lot of that is probably thanks to the Force Awakens-style trailer, though.
3. Wonder Woman 1984
Wonder Woman is at the top of my list in the DC movie universe so I’m excited to see Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot back at the wheel on this one. Pedro Pascal coming in as one of the baddies has me excited. Kristen Wiig has me apprehensive. And a returning Chris Pine has me curious.
2. In the Heights
I recently deemed Hamilton as my favorite musical of the last decade. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first crack at Broadway and this 2008 Tony Award-winning musical would have easily made the list of my favorite shows from the 2000s. With Miranda himself having aged out of the role of central figure Usnavi, I’m excited to see his Hamilton co-star Anthony Ramos take up the mantle. And based on the trailer, I’m looking forward to seeing how they incorporate the subplot of being a DREAM-er in modern America as that thread is brand new to the story.
While Black Widow technically kicks off Phase 4 of the MCU and could also easily have a spot on this list, I wanted to focus on Eternals because this is potentially the biggest unknown the MCU has faced. In a similar vein to the Guardians of the Galaxy, this one is going to be centered around a lot of characters most people have no clue about so this film, more than the “seemingly set before Infinity War” Black Widow, will be the one that really sets the tone for what’s to come in a post-Thanos universe.
5. Marvel’s Avengers
From one Marvel project to another. The cast for this seems excellent with people like Nolan North, Troy Baker, Laura Bailey, and Travis Willingham all signed on. And with one team of Avengers headed off into the sunset, I’m interested to see how Crystal Dynamics brings a new version of the team to life in video game form. I’m not overly keen on the co-op multiplayer aspect of the game but they seem to be reinforcing the idea that the story is single-player focused so I look forward to seeing how it all comes together.
4. Doom Eternal
The 2016 version of Doom got me excited for first-person shooters again and most accounts of people who played the sequel at E3 or other events last year sang its praises for continuing the fantastic spirit and pace of the first game. With the game already bumped from the 2019 fall and many of the other games on this list recently getting delayed themselves, this is the first one on my list that I’ll get to spend some time with and I can’t wait.
3. The Last of Us Part Two
I have loved the last five games Naughty Dog has put forth. I have no doubt I will enjoy this one as well. They present some of the finest narratives in gaming and the continued adventures of Ellie and Joel is bound to be a heartbreaking and brutal adventure and it will likely leave me absolutely wrecked emotionally but so be it. Bring it on.
2. Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk beats out The Last of Us on this list because I am already more or less expecting Last of Us to be great, while the anticipation around Cyberpunk is a bit more of an unknown. CD Projekt Red proved their quality with the Witcher games (even if their seeming indifference to crunch culture is disappointing) but the move to a first-person shooter RPG seems a somewhat different beast from third-person action RPG. Plus, despite strong showings at E3 the past two years, nobody has gone hands-on with the title so all that we’ve seen is the measured presentations from the studio. With the game delayed until September, I imagine we’ll see significant hands-on impressions at this year’s E3 and I’m sure it will be glowing but the overall unknown here leaves me excited about the game’s potential.
1. Final Fantasy VII Remake
Final Fantasy VII is my fourth favorite entry in the franchise. I’d sooner see remakes of FFVI, FFIV, or FFIX, but FFVII is obviously the popular choice and I understand it. I certainly wish this first part of the remake was going to feature more of the original game than just the Midgar section but after going hands-on with the demo at PAX West last year, my excitement for this entry and all of the rest of the installments we will hopefully eventually see were secured. Embracing Square Enix’s ever-growing desire to make the most visually-stunning games possible, I can’t wait to explore a fully-realized Midgar with all of Cloud’s various friends, foes, and other. The action combat in the Guard Scorpion fight I played was a ton of fun and there are so many other great boss designs from the first chapter of Final Fantasy VII that will look astounding in this new version. As someone more or less disappointed by the last few single-player Final Fantasy installments, the nostalgia kick of this entry might be just what I need to reinvigorate my love of the series.
So those are the tv shows, movies, and video games I’m most excited for in 2020. Let me know yours in the comments or at @TrevorJStarkey on Twitter.