2016 had its up and its downs, but if it had nothing else, the year at least had some amazing media; from new and returning television and music artists to movies to all of the game changers in different mediums. We can only hope that 2017 is able to deliver in these departments as well. So, we decided to compile a list of things that are currently planned to be released this year that we’re excited about!
Note: These lists are in no particular order and are not completed lists (for in case we get some surprise Beyonce drops from someone who knows…) Some dates may be subject to change.
2017 in Television
Shadowhunters (Season 2)
The second season of Shadowhunters continues to follow the main storyline of book series The Moral Instruments. In the new episodes, fans will see the repercussions of Jace’s ‘realization’, how this affects Alec and Clary, as well as what has been happening within the Institute and the Shadowhunter world since then. Season 2 premieres tomorrow (January 2nd) on Freeform.
“Finally, Shadowhunters has returned to me! The cast and crew all seem genuinely excited for all of the changes and additions they’ve added to the show for this season so not only am I curious to where the direction is going (especially as a fan of the books) but I’m also pretty excited myself. Season one felt really focused on not only trying to gain its footing as a show but also trying to help Freeform (previously ABC Family) gain its footing as a redesigned channel, which is a pretty heavy responsibility to bear. The show isn’t perfect, but hearing the cast and crew share that the show is stepping its game up especially on the dynamic between Clary and Isabelle (which is arguably better on the show than the books) and representation (shoutout to realizing that people of color, members of the LGBTQA+ community, and more than one manic pixie dream girl/damsel in distress can exist in fantasy) I hope this season lives up to the hype.” – Brie
“Although it hasn’t had the strongest of performances at times from some actors, the series still does well to portray this world to outsiders as well as keep things fresh for fans of the books. The show has brought in components from later books and tweaked the weaker aspects of them. Gone are the slut-shaming and biphobic remarks. Bless. The second season already looks even better than the first and you’ll catch me watching every moment.” – Mary
Degrassi: Next Class (Season 3)
Spoilers for anyone who did not watch seasons 1 and 2: The upcoming 3rd season of Degrassi: Next Class (17th season overall for the current Degrassi franchise) according to Stefan Brogren via Twitter is the “strongest the show has ever been,” stating the season will have big jokes, major heartbreak, and may upset Tr*mp (the last one was not exactly said in those words, the statement was PG-ified). The season also deals with the aftermath of the fatal bus crash that ended season 2 as fans wonder who lives and who dies (and who tells their story). Season 2 of Degrassi: Next Class will stream on Netflix worldwide January 6th and air in Canada on F2N starting January 9th.
“I’ve been a Degrassi fan since I was a little girl when the biggest drama on the show was between Manny Santos (Cassie Steele) and Paige Michaelchuk (Lauren Collins) over cheerleading. I’ve seen every episode and season, including Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High and I’m still mad about Caitlin and Joey not being able to completely work it out and Joey cheating on her in Degrassi: School’s Out. So having all of this background Degrassi knowledge, being aware of when the series had its high points regarding characters and storylines and when the show had its low points and knowing when the show was clearly being biased towards a character/ship or delivering fan service, I’m really excited about this season. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Degrassi is at its most progressive with its current cast (although I probably wouldn’t deny it either) but with their current cast they’re allowed to explore so many things that they either brush over before, never tackled, or totally hinted at and implied but for some reason REFUSE to say the word(s) out loud. I was one of the people who felt like their racism storyline last season could have been way better (although I can and will acknowledge that the storyline wasn’t intended for me or viewers like me to get a better understanding of racism and privilege, it was intended for young, white viewers who needed to get a better understanding and realize why we say, Black Lives Matter), that said, there have been multiple times that I felt like Degrassi could have done something better or pushed a boundary stronger and definitely a lot of times I think they did something flat out wrong, but it’s the fact that they at least keep trying that means something to me and keeps me watching/supporting the show.” – Brie
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Based on the popular Lemony Snicket book series A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Netflix series will follow the Baudelaire orphans after their parents perish in a (seriously unfortunate) fire as they meet their…let’s say eccentric relatives and try to escape the one and only, Count Olaf. A Series of Unfortunate Events begins streaming on Netflix Friday, January 13th.
“A Series of Unfortunate Events was the book series that every year at the Scholastic book fair when I was in elementary and middle school, I sought out to get the next book and if I couldn’t I just borrowed my brother’s copy because what else are siblings for? When the movie came out in 2004 I was super excited to see it and consequently pretty let down by it (I’ll still watch it if it comes on though so I wasn’t let down that bad). The movie didn’t work for me because not only did it try to combine three amazing books into an hour and 48-minutes but because it felt wacky without merit. The Netflix series doesn’t seem to be following the book series verbatim either but it does seem to have this meta vibe about itself that will allow fans of the book series to enjoy the adaptation and hopefully bring in newer fans to this amazing story.” – Brie
“Young me is definitely freaking out about this series. But will I be able to watch them suffer?? This is the ultimate question. Still excited to see how it’ll turn out, though.” – Mary
Based on the characters of the Archie Comics, Riverdale is an upcoming drama set to premiere on the CW January 26, 2017.
“2017 definitely seems to be the year nostalgia because I used to read Archie comics in the Sunday funnies and whenever I got a piece of Bazooka bubblegum as a little girl too (PS. please tell me neither of those comments is outdated already). So that’s partly why I’m excited for Riverdale is to see how they adapt these bubblegum characters into edgy, teen drama characters. The other reason why is because based on character descriptions, Riverdale seems to be a mix between Twin Peaks and Dawson’s Creek (I’ve never seen Dawson’s Creek so if I’m wrong I’ll retract this statement). And if there are three things you can never really go that wrong with regarding tropes it’s; someone has gone missing in a small town, teen angst ensembles, and really nice aesthetics.” – Brie
The show is the first sitcom set within the DC Universe and focuses on how an insurance company deals with the aftermath that is left by superheroes. The series premieres February 2, 2017 on NBC.
“While most of the DC series haven’t caught my eye, ‘Powerless’ definitely grabbed me right away. The premise of the show is already hilariously funny as the promo alone shows how these frequent superhero interactions in the city affect the lives of the locals. It also addresses that question most of us think in the back of our minds sometimes when watching one of the big box office hits. The series also boasts some fantastically fun actors like Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, and of course Vanessa Hudgens. It’s hard for this show to turn me away. Is it February yet?” – Mary
Star Wars Rebels (Second half of Season 3)
The mid-season finale left fans wanting more as Ezra and Maul found out Obi-Wan Kenobi was still alive and introduced the Dark Saber to Sabine. The second half of this season will follow up with Thrawn and the implications of the Dark Saber. The show returns to Disney XD on January 7, 2017!
“While not too much is known about what will happen when season three returns, it’s almost certain that it will continue to deliver punches. Thrawn is still waiting for the right opportune moment to strike the Ghost crew, and the rebellion as a whole and Sabine has taken the Dark Saber, a weapon that was highly treasured amongst her people in the past. The third season has so far shown that it will not hold back from showing the horrors of consequences for a growing rebellion. The stakes keep rising and excitement is growing!” – Mary
Ducktales: The Series
Based on the original 1987 series of the same name, Ducktales will follow the characters Huey, Dewey, and Louie and Scrooge McDuck on their adventures. The series is expected to premiere on Disney XD in Summer 2017.
“I was raised on Ducktales, my brother and I had the VHSes and watched the reruns of the show in syndication. We also had one of those Ducktales Disney Storybooks where Webby Vanderquack came over for a play date with Huey, Dewey, and Louie and the boys didn’t want to hang out with her because she was a girl and she stood up to them and proved herself to not only be way cooler than them but basically told them to check themselves before they tried to come at her. I will indeed credit this picture book as a contributor to my feminism and girl empowerment development as a young girl. So needless to say, with a pretty awesome voice cast, a classic show, Emmy Cicierega (guys she worked on Gravity Falls which is one of my faves!) as a storyboard artist, and the iconic theme song, I’m so ready.” – Brie
Big Hero 6: The Series
Disney XD gets the honor to host the new series that takes place after the events of the blockbuster film Big Hero 6. The show will follow the group of heroes as they defend their city of San Fransokyo from various villains. Both the film and series are loosely based off of Marvel Comics of the same name and has most actors from the movie reprising their roles. It’s expected to premiere on Disney XD in mid to late 2017.
“Look, if this show offers me nothing else, which I already know it will because Big Hero 6 is amazing and Baymax exists, I want this show to at least hopefully offer me justice for Tadashi. It’s fine Disney, you don’t even have to explain it. We won’t even question how he’s suddenly alive again and completely throwing off movie canon and Hiro’s motivation to even become a superhero. I’ve paid my dues of Disney deaths please at least give me this one back. Also, is anyone else curious about if the show is going to have a little Stan Lee cameo in every episode? No? Just me? Obviously, you’re all lying.” – Brie
“Big Hero 6 became one of my favorite movies immediately. The film did an amazing job at showcasing the delicate emotions that follow the traumatic loss of a loved one, no matter the age. It also gives the emotional and mental pain gravity and importance, something that is often left out or not thought to be as imperative as physical pain. With the series, I have high hopes that they’ll continue this. Tadashi was a great influence and friend, in addition to being his older brother, to Hiro. To see how he still deals with the loss as time goes on will be great. I also hope they show time does not heal all wounds. (Side note that I’d totally be lying if I said I didn’t want them to somehow bring Tadashi back. Even though it basically negates everything the first film did so well with Hiro. Ahhhh.)” – Mary
Final Season of Switched At Birth
Switched At Birth is set to say goodbye to Freeform (previously ABC Family) after five seasons this year. The show was not only ABC Family’s highest-rated series debut to date, it was also the winner of an honorary Peabody Award and one of the first mainstream television series to focus on the Deaf Community, Deaf Culture, and communicate with ASL. Season 5 is set to premiere on Freeform January 31, 2017.
“It feels like just two years ago when I interviewed Vanessa Marano about her role on Switched At Birth…because it was two years ago. I have a lot of catching up on the show to do and it has been on my, ‘To Catch Up On’ list for awhile so this show is added on our ‘Things We’re Excited For in 2017′ list more so because of the show’s importance. They’ve done episodes where there was no talking and all communication was through American Sign Language, they’ve tackled so many different and difficult storylines, and they have a cast that is so fully aware of the community they are representing and have respect for them. So I think it’s only fair to acknowledge that before they go.” – Brie
The Handmaid’s Tale
Based on the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood of the same name, The Handmaid’s Tale is set in a totalitarian theocracy in the “near future.” The show will begin streaming on Netflix, April 26, 2017.
“If you’re anything like me, you might read this book for the first time in your senior year AP English literature class (or just any class in high school). If you’re even more like me, you’re going to really like the book (you’re also going to realize how relevant and possible and frightening the events in the book are). The Handmaid’s Tale tackles the likes of politics, caste and class, gender, who gets to decide how women control their bodies and their lives and just about everything else that, especially with what’s going on currently, people are fighting to protect, correct, and reform. I think The Handmaid’s Tale is a really important read and I heavily recommend it (I don’t want to put an age limit on it because I don’t want to demean any teen/young adult’s intelligence or experiences so I’ll only say if you were old enough to read or watch The Hunger Games this is prime for you) and I’m excited to see the show. I hope it not only does the book justice, but I hope it reminds us why we have to keep fighting for the right things in our world.” – Brie
The latest installment of ShondaLand, Still Star-Crossed is a period drama and sequel to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The show is set to premiere sometime this year on ABC.
“Everyone will most likely read Romeo and Juliet in high school. Everyone will most likely watch the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo and Juliet where Leo Dicaprio, arguably at his prime in beauty, is quoting Shakespeare while wearing a Hawaiian shirt and using a gun instead of a sword. And everyone has probably heard and/or know the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s song “Love Story.” But, we were due for another Romeo and Juliet adaptation this time with Lashana Lynch playing Rosaline, the main character/Juliet’s cousin, and Shonda Rhimes producing. It just seems right. I’m really interested in seeing where this show goes especially since it’s not following Romeo and Juliet necessarily. Also, did I mention, Shonda Rhimes?” – Brie
2017 Honorable Mentions
This is a list of things we recommend checking out in 2017 that didn’t fit in the Television, Movies, or Music categories.
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
The HBO documentary gives an intimate look at the private lives the Hollywood royalty of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Airs on HBO on January 7, 2017.
“There are some people in this world that are so amazing, so remarkable, that it never occurs to you that they could die. We were all forced to come to terms with this concept for a lot of people in 2016. We lost the likes of Bowie, we lost the likes of Prince, we lost the likes of Gene Wilder, and just a few days ago, we lost the likes of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds within only a few hours of each other. Here’s the thing; we lose lights every day, no one (maybe really young kids excluded) is unaware of this, this isn’t news. But two amazing, iconic, beautiful, talented empowering women that, on a mainstream and household level, became symbols for things that are often ignored or shied away from and swept under the rug left us. But I want to offer hope, too. That hope is that their legacies will never be forgotten. They’re Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Without them, Star Wars wouldn’t be Star Wars, Singin’ in the Rain wouldn’t be Singin’ in the Rain, Halloweentown wouldn’t be Halloweentown, and every script Carrie Fisher ever doctored would not be what they are. Their legacies are going to live on forever. Little girls will always want to be Princess Leia. People will always sing, ‘Good Morning’ and now with this HBO documentary, we’ll get to see even more of them. And to that end, my heart (and the force–did I do that right?) is with Billie, Todd, and their family who I hope the documentary helps them get through this time and offers smiles and laughs as much as it may offer tears.” – Brie
“As a fan of Debbie since I was a child and a major fan of Carrie, this was a documentary I had been highly looking forward to. Their relationship had been very much shown at the center of the spotlight thanks to Carrie’s candidness and blunt honesty about her life, something nearly all of us adored about her. For two remarkably passionate, caring, and fantastic women, there was a lot to look forward to when it was teased that fans would get a look of their private lives and home videos. Now with the two having passed in less than 48 hours of each other, there’s a level of heartbreak that’s been added. This is truly the last chance to see the two in their natural environment, to witness how different their relationship has become and how much they’ve grown. I look forward to Carrie’s hilarity and seeing Debbie in a home environment. I look forward to seeing the two happy together.” – Mary
Anastasia: The Musical
The new Broadway musical is based off the 1997 animated film of the same name that toyed with the long-rumored idea Grand Duchess Anastasia, youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II, had escaped the massacre which claimed her family. While the film held more of a fairytale feel, the musical is unafraid to embrace a more historically accurate side to the best of its abilities. Previews start in March 2017 and open April 2017.
“Have you ever watch the 1997 animated movie Anastasia and thought to yourself, ‘Hmm…this cinematic masterpiece deserves to have its own Broadway musical’? Well, guess what! In 2017 your request is answered! Anastasia is one of my favorite movies to ever do it and the bickering dynamic between Dimitri and Anastasia is everything I could ever ask for in a ship to be honest. But, the music is also incredibly amazing and it is actually one of my many dreams to one day be able to do all the parts in ‘Learn to Do It’ at the same time. But until that one woman show gets off the ground, I’ve been ready for Anastasia the musical since, probably forever, but I’m going to say since it was first announced as an off-Broadway production in Connecticut. They have added new songs along with the songs already in the original movie and changed around a few things, Anastasia is still taking her journey to the past and that’s honestly all that matters to me.” – Brie
“After a wildly successful run in Connecticut this past June, there’s a buzz of excitement to see this fantastic show take the stage on the Great White Way. While some aspects of the show need tweaking, like making the antagonist Gleb a stronger character with a more solid foundation, there is much to enjoy through the script and musical numbers. Fan favorite performances from the movie have all been included in the CT production, and a number of brand new songs have been introduced that create a stronger tie to the story amongst its changes to the stage adaptation. It’s lining up to be one of the biggest new shows on Broadway and I cannot wait.” – Mary
Another Round Podcast
Hosted by Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton, Buzzfeed’s Another Round covers, as they describe it, “everything from race, gender and pop culture to squirrels, mangoes, and bad jokes,” in this weekly podcast. You can listen to the podcast here or on their SoundCloud.
“Another Round, without a doubt, is one of, if not my favorite podcast and honestly one of the reasons I included them on this list is because I just really want Heben and Tracy to be my friends. Another Round features a lot of amazing guests including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Issa Rae, Daveed Diggs, Janet Mock, Queen Latifah, the list truly does go on and their interviewing and their way of connecting with the audience is one that I admire. Fun fact: a lot of the interviews I’ve written for Teenplicity were written while I was listening to or relistening to an episode of Another Round, so I’m not saying that they’re so amazing that they help you get your life in order, but I am definitely saying they’re so amazing that they help you get your life in order. Both women not only have cool stuff lined up for 2017 for the podcast, but they also have amazing stuff lined up individually that I’m excited to see. I wish I had this podcast to listen to when I was like 15 or 16 years old, so it’s only right that I share it with all of you. If all of that didn’t sell you on this podcast, their curls are poppin’ and their Black Girl Magic is out of this world.” – Brie
Hosted by Alec Baldwin, the Match Game revival features contestants as they answer fill in the blank questions and try to match with celebrity panelists. Match Game currently airs on ABC.
“Honestly, the funniest game show that’s ever been created.” – Mary