Photo by Kleigh Balugo
After a turbulent 2020, 2021 brought many hopes that this year will be better than the last. While there are obvious things to hope for such as recovery from COVID-19 and an improved presidency, here Kindergarten Mag contributors are presenting what we are most anticipating from pop culture in 2021. While things may seem pretty bleak for some time, there are still plenty of things to look forward to!
Petite Maman Dir. Céline Sciamma
When I watched Céline Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire, it immediately made a place for itself in my top five of 2020. Soon after, I dove into the rest of her work and concluded that Sciamma is simply not capable of making a weak film. All that is currently known about Petite Maman or “Little Mommy” is that it will star two eight-year-olds, but directing children in her films is far from foreign to Sciamma and always proves to be an artistic success.
Soggy Bottom Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
Currently titled Soggy Bottom, Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest film is set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley and stars Bradley Cooper, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son, Cooper Hoffman, and Benny Safdie of the Safdie brothers (Uncut Gems). The cast alone is enough to be excited about but since Boogie Nights (1997) is one of my all time favorites, all I really had to hear was “1970s” and “Paul Thomas Anderson” and I’d be buying a ticket.
The Curse Dir. Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie
I am a huge fan of Nathan Fielder’s “Nathan for You” so my ears really perked up when I heard about The Curse. Showtime’s new comedy series will star Emma Stone alongside the show’s co-directors. The Curse will center around a newlywed couple who suffer the effects of a curse all while trying to manage their new HGTV show but despite the plot, The Curse will likely be less straightforward than an SNL parody skit.
Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan
This is a spin-off series from the manga + anime Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, which is my favorite anime (it’s tied with Fruits Basket). The four-episode series is based on a one-shot the manga author Hirohiko Araki has been working on centered around his character Rohan Kishibe, who also happens to be a manga artist. As someone who is currently doing an academic research project on Jojo, I’m very excited for this series, and I hope it can satisfy me while I wait for Stone Ocean to be animated very impatiently.
Take Me Home Tonight by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson is one of my favorite authors of contemporary YA, my favorite genre, so of course, I am highly anticipating her newest novel. Matson always manages to write entertaining yet touching coming of age stories, while mixing in a great but not overwhelming romance. Take Me Home Tonight is centered around two best friends sneaking out and spending the night in New York City, and I already know it’s going to be fun and dramatic and emotional all at the same time. Without even reading the synopsis, this book was already on my reading list, because I love Morgan Matson that much.
Raya and the Last Dragon dir. Carlos López Estrada and Don Hall
I’ve always been a huge fan of animated films, to the point of wanting to be an animator. While I’ve long moved on from that dream, I still look forward to the releases of animated films each year. Raya and the Last Dragon is one that I am particularly excited about, as Disney is finally releasing a film based on Southeast Asian culture. As a Filipina American, this means so much to me. I’m sure the animation is going to be gorgeous and I hope the story is wonderful as well!
Dune dir. Denis Villeneuve
Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya. Need I say more? The star-studded cast aside, the novel that the movie is based on is incredibly popular, yet I have not read Dune or seen the previous adaptation. I’m eager to see what the hype is about. The trailers make the story seem otherworldly and action-packed. I’m looking forward to seeing how Chalamet will do as the lead of a sci-fi film, a big departure from his previous roles.
The French Dispatch dir. Wes Anderson
Yes, another Timothee Chalamet film. But this time with the amazing Saoirse Ronan, and the recurring cast of the Wes Anderson cinematic universe. I am a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s films (who isn’t), and I am intrigued by the premise of this upcoming release. The French Dispatch will follow the top three stories of the French bureau of a Kansas newspaper. Sure to be aesthetically pleasing, Anderson’s unique storytelling methods have put this film on my must-watch list for 2021.
Colour Pop Collaborations
Colour Pop is a makeup brand that I support heavily. Their makeup products are not only affordable, but they are of excellent quality. However, what I love most about Colour Pop is how you can achieve stunning makeup looks with simplistic efforts. You do not need specific makeup tools to achieve your perfect makeup look. All you need is a clean set of hands to apply the pigment on and blend!
Aside from the basic universal makeup tutorial, the current collaboration that I am most excited about is their one with Animal Crossing! The launch date for this collaboration is on the 28th of January. The new makeup collection includes playful palette designs with famous characters like Blathers, Isabelle, and other villagers. The last collaboration they did was with Sailor Moon. They had several lip products, a few blushes, and a stunning eye shadow pallet. I highly suggest purchasing it if you love shimmers and light colors! It is hard to predict who Colour Pop collaborates with, so I and many other fans have to play a waiting game to see what else they have to bring for the rest of the year.
New Lana Del Rey Album
I have been a Lana fan for as long as I can remember; however, I am on my last strings with her (still, Born To Die and Ultraviolence will forever have a place in my heart). Despite NFR having much success, I wonder if this new album will even be worth a listen. I have yet to see much talk about the new album or her fangirls being overly excited about it. My prediction is that the album will be much slower than her previous one. She has become slower and slower throughout the years. Perhaps mellow, dreamy music is the keyword to describe her now, but I wonder if all the songs will have the same effect and not stand out from one another. Her new album will not come out for the next few months; therefore, it is time to reminisce about what her music once was and see what else she can bring to the table before I lose my appetite.
Kim’s Convenience, Season 5
My mom and I started watching Kim’s Convenience together and we’ve already finished all episodes that are available for streaming on Netflix. She is actually so hooked on it that I have to be the one to tell her we should stop watching and go to bed because it’s getting late. The topics in each episode are just the right humor for her and it’s so fun to see her laughing so hard at something that I also find funny. Although there have been quite a few times where I had to awkwardly explain a sexual joke because she didn’t understand, once she gets it she finds it hilarious! Technically, season 5 is airing on TV currently, as episode 1 was released on January 19. Unfortunately, we are always so terrible at catching TV shows when they are actually on. We are excitedly waiting for the newest season whether we want to catch up with it on CBC or wait for it to be on Netflix.
Fruits Basket, Season 3
Fruits Basket is, hands down, my absolute favorite anime so far. The writing is untouchable. The pacing, dialogue, everything! I am highly anticipating the next season because I miss seeing the beautiful art style every day. With anime, I usually look up what’s going to happen in a show because I don’t like not knowing. However, with Fruits Basket, I’ve actually never looked at Wikipedia to snoop at each character’s fate so I will let myself be surprised this time!
My Hero Academia, Season 5
My next favorite anime so far… too bad I already looked some stuff up! And also I got spoiled by people posting about the manga on Twitter. At least I can say I will probably like it! Apparently, another movie is also coming out sometime during summer. MHA fans everywhere are always very well fed with good content. I just hope there are fewer recaps this season.
Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance by Nisha Sharma
I spent about 2 hours on the Writer’s Block website looking up books to buy next and I came across this book that’s supposed to come out July 13, 2021. Lately, I’ve been really tired of reading about white main characters because… well! Look at the material! So I’ve made it a goal to read more Asian American fiction and the books that I’ve read so far have been amazing! Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance sounds kind of perfect. The description instantly sold me on it. Dancing, family troubles, and a cute love story all sound great to me! Even if another thing I’m tired of consuming content about is high school because it’s no longer relatable and adults don’t know what being a teenager is truly like anymore, I’m still looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of this book.
Minions: the Rise of Gru dir. by Kyle Balda
Bello, everyone! Please remember to give a loud “Yippa, yippo!” on July 2, 2021, in celebration of a new extension to the Despicable Me Cinematic Universe! In all honesty, the Despicable Me movies are good and the minions are funny. I said what I said! They are so powerful. They reproduced asexually and can’t die. I think people hate them because they already accomplished everything we wish we could. I’m excited to see Steve Carell return as Gru and I can’t wait to hear Taraji P. Henson and Michelle Yeoh’s voices debut in the Despicable Me world. Tank yu and poopaye!