2012 is in full swing now, and it might be the final year of humanity’s existence! While we count down the days to our certain doom, we still have plenty of stuff to look forward to. Apparently, the people who make music, movies, TV, books, and games haven’t received the memo about the end of the world. That’s all for the best, I suppose. I’m not spending my last year of existence in a panic. No way. I’m going to live it up and enjoy these fine things that 2012 will bring:

10. Smash
Normally, I’m not a fan of musicals. But a musical about the making of a musical? Count me in, if only because I want to see how much metatextuality I can handle before I break my brain. More seriously, this show, set to premiere on NBC on February 6th, has a lot of positive buzz, features the talents of Katharine McPhee and Debra Messing, and boasts some actual Broadway cred in composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Plus, y’know, it’s not Glee.

 

9. American election comedy
It’s an election year, which means that it’s time for Americans to vote for another far-richer-than-average man over the age of 45 to lead their country. Actual election coverage is boring as hell, but every once in a while, a contender releases a video like this:

 

and someone turns it into this:

 

or this:

 

(Apologies to Rick Mercer.) I’m sure that there’ll be plenty more gaffes to come, and I look forward to seeing what the YouTubers of the world will do with them.

8. Stacking for PC
I don’t say it enough, but I fucking love Psychonauts, and while it’s too much to hope that Double Fine Productions will ever make a sequel, I’m interested in whatever else the studio puts out. Stacking looks like a whole lot of fun, with its unique Matryoshka-doll puzzle-solving, and it’s been received well as a console game. When it finally gets a PC release some time this year, I’ll be able to experience it for myself.

 

7. The end of the world
As I stated earlier, this is our final year of existence. The world as we know it will be over on December 21st of this year. Never mind the fact that several scholars have said that we’re misinterpreting the Mayan calendar, THE WORLD WILL FUCKING END IN DECEMBER. In the highly unlikely event that we’re all still here on the 22nd, I look forward to seeing the myriad “I told you so” messages that will flood the Internet, not because I like smug assholes telling me that they were right all along, but because it’ll give me the opportunity to tell them that Jesus saved their sorry asses. Jesus fucking owns the Mayans. Don’t you forget it.

6. New No Doubt album
They’ve been promising this one for a while, but the band actually seems on track to complete it by early next year. It’ll be No Doubt’s first release since 2001’s Rock Steady. And hopefully, it’ll be nothing like that album.

5. Mass Effect 3
On March 6th, the epic saga of Commander Shepard and her – yes, her* – quest to save the galaxy from the threat of the Reapers will come to a close. I probably won’t have the opportunity to actually play the game before the summer, but I’m still looking forward to seeing how it all ends. (If it was all a dream, I’m going to have to go all Krogan on BioWare’s ass.)

*By the way, the picture that I linked is from fuckyeahhipstereffect. The fact that such a thing exists fills me with joy.

4. New Bloc Party album
Did you hear that Kele Okereke is out of the band? And that Dave Abbruzzese is their new drummer? And that they’ve changed their name to Gloc Smarty? Once I look past the bullshit of NME’s pageview-whoring rumour mill, I see four guys who are pretty stoked to be recording a new album. Let’s hope that this one rocks just as hard as the first three.

3. The third season of Cougar Town
I’m undergoing Cougar Town withdrawal at this point. (It’s a serious medical condition.) There hasn’t been a new episode on the air since last May. But the new season is set to premiere some time in March. (Nearly ten months without Cougar Town? Unacceptable, ABC.) When the show finally returns to the airwaves, I’ll be ready to play Penny Can with my favourite group of Floridian lushes once again.

2. Quantum Conundrum
As I mentioned above, I fucking love Psychonauts. I also fucking love Portal. Put the two together and you have the upcoming Quantum Conundrum, a puzzle game from the twisted mind of Portal’s lead designer, Kim Swift. Instead of a portal gun, you get a glove called an interdimensional shifter that allows you to change the physical properties of the world around you. You can make objects lighter, slow down the passage of time, or even reverse gravity. The game’s kid-friendly art style is more than vaguely reminiscent of Psychonauts, so expect this one to be a hit with people of all ages. Also expect lots of frustrated tears, smashed keyboards, and cries of “Fuck! That was so obvious! Why didn’t I see it all along?”

 

1. Deltron Event II
Ever since the self-titled Deltron 3030 came out in 2000, fans have been waiting for the hip hop supergroup to write a sequel to their Afrofuturistic space opera. Apparently, it has been completed, and the band just has to figure out the logistics of how to release it. All I can say is that they’d better fucking release it this year, lest Deltron Event II become the Chinese Democracy of alternative hip hop.

Honourable mentions: Bent; Bioshock Infinite; new albums from Our Lady Peace, Coheed and Cambria, Jimmy Eat World, and Paramore; Grand Theft Auto V; a supposed The Receiving End of Sirens reunion; the London Olympics.

So, 2012 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year, even though it’s humanity’s final one. What are you looking forward to in 2012? Feel free to sound off in the comments.

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