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A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: What 2014 Has in Store for Pop Culture

Howdy, Popculturology readers. Your trusty Pop-Ed writers will be taking the holidays off, so this will be the last Pop-Ed you get from me during 2013. Before we disappear into a haze of Christmas cookies and questionable egg nog, I wanted to offer the five things you should be looking forward to in 2014.

The How I Met Your Mother series finale
It's no secret that I love How I Met Your Mother. My weekly recaps of the show are what a large part of Popculturology is built on. I often joke around with people that as a kid, I used Boy Meets World as my template for how I believed my life as a teenager would be and during my early 20s, I used HIMYM as a template for how I believed my life as an adult would be. I'm sure basing your hopes for life on TV shows is a completely healthy and well-balanced thing to do.

After over eight years of following the HIMYM gang, everything ends this May. We've already met The Mother, and Cristin Milioti is great in the role, but there are still holes to be filled in, plot points to explain. Despite the shaky storytelling during this finale season, there's no way I could abandon this show before it finishes its journey. Like many of you readers out there who I've talked to about HIMYM, I have an emotional connection to this show. I want to see how it ends.

Girl Meets World premieres
Speaking of Boy Meets World, the popular TGIF show makes its comeback in 2014, with much of the original cast, including Ben Savage, Danielle Fishel and William Daniels signing on for Girl Meets World. The show will follow Cory and Topanga's daughter as she navigates growing up.

Should we be as excited as we are for Girl Meets World, a series airing on the Disney Channel? Probably not. But after growing up watching the original series and then scheduling college classes around those ever-present marathons on cable, our generation is so deeply in love with Boy Meets World, we'll ignore the fact that the Disney Channel unleashed Miley Cyrus on the world.

Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show
After Jay Leno stole The Tonight Show from Conan O'Brien a few years ago, it looked like The Chin was going to host NBC's late-night centerpiece until he died. Surprisingly, NBC set the wheels of the future into motion again in 2013, launching a plan to replace Leno with Jimmy Fallon.

We've talked enough about how Leno probably won't go peacefully into the (late) night, so let's focus on the concept of Fallon hosting The Tonight Show. Unlike when O'Brien inherited the show, NBC allowed Fallon to stay in New York City, moving The Tonight Show back to New York for the first time in decades. This is a huge deal. When O'Brien went to California, he definitely lost something that made his tenure on Late Night special. Without New York, O'Brien wasn't able to do his remote segments that featured him out on the street talking to people. Fallon won't lose his comfortable surroundings.

Another perk of staying in New York City is that Fallon will keeps The Roots as his house band. How cool is that? The Roots as the house band for The Tonight Show? Huge step up from Kevin Eubanks.

A summer of sequels
It may seem like every movie in the world is coming out during 2015, but the summer of 2014 won't be too shabby. During the past few weeks alone, we've gotten a ton of trailers for the big tentpole sequels coming out during that time.

When it comes to sheer ambition, Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past leads the way. The movie unites the cast from the original X-Men trilogy with the cast from the X-Men: First Class prequel.

Sony hopes to establish a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In the movie, Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man will face the Green Goblin, Electro and the Rhino. Too many villains? Marc Webb and Garfield's take on Spider-Man trumps Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire's version, so maybe a multitude of villains will work better this time around than it did in Spider-Man 3.

If Rise of the Planet of the Apes surprised critics and earned Andy Serkis Oscar buzz for his motion-capture performance as Caesar, the leader of an ape uprising, will Dawn of the Planet of the Apes be the necessary step to finally get Serkis a nomination? (I have a hunch that if Scarlett Johannson gets an Oscar nomination for her voiceover work in Her, the Serkis conversation will become much more serious.)

Godzilla might not be a sequel, but with Gareth Edwards, the director of the awesome indie flick Monsters, at the helm, the film should make us forget the last time someone tried to make an American version of the king of monsters.

Star Wars: Episode VII news
This past Wednesday was the two-year mark until Star Wars: Episode VII hits theaters. While we won't get the actual movie in 2014, we should finally start getting some real information about it. We know that JJ Abrams is directing and it's been confirmed that R2-D2 will be back, but how about something substantial?

Seeing as how the movie is a sequel to Return of the Jedi, everyone is pretty certain that Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo will play a role in Episode VII. C'mon, Lucasfilm, show us Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford together. Give us something, even if it's just a teaser trailer with a Luke Skywalker voiceover.

Will we get a title for Episode VII in 2014? And if we did, would it even tell us anything about the movie's plot? Sure, some past Star Wars titles like The Empire Strikes Back and Revenge of the Sith were pretty self-explanatory, but what if we get another The Phantom Menace?

By the way, next person to start a rumor that Episode VII is going to be called Rise of the Jedi (or anything starting with Rise of ... for that matter) loses their Internet privileges.

Will Kate Upton three-peat as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model?
People, this is super important.
A Bill Kuchman Pop-Ed: What 2014 Has in Store for Pop Culture Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 12/19/2013 Rating: 5

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