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Pop culture love.

'MRT-3 broke down more than 500 times last year,' said an Inquirer headline on the first day of 2018.

If that isn't the perfect metaphor for the, forgive my French, sh*tshow that is 2017, I don't what is.

It's almost a Sisyphean challenge to stay sane and positive after all the violence, death, threats of nuclear war and economic collapse, and erosion of human decency that defined 2017.

But this taught me to savor and treasure every single moment of joy I stumbled upon in this life-from the unintentionally hilarious yet adorable antics of my precocious 3-year-old niece to my many pop culture obsessions.

It's too early to tell if 2018 will follow the past two years' lead, but it doesn't hurt to strengthen one's fortitude by listing down some of the things that will sure to be a source of joy for the next 358 days.

'Saga' (Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples)

The new story arc of the space opera-family drama comic starts in February.

'The Wicked + The Divine' (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson)

The previous arc of the gods-incarnated-as-pop-stars comic shattered me. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

'Neverworld Wake' (Marisha Pessl)

'Night Film' was such a thrill and I'm ready to dive into another Pessl novel, which is rumored to be released this year.

'The Shape of Water'

Guillermo del Toro's adult fairy tale is getting rave reviews and I'm willing to wait until February to see it in all its glory on the big screen.

'Never Not Love You'

I'm a huge 'On the Wings of Love' fan but 'Till I Met You' just didn't do it for me (apologies, JaDines). So I'm cautiously excited for this new project from the JaDaoDine rom-com trifecta.

'Lady Bird'

I hope Greta Gerwig's young-adult masterpiece will have a Philippine premiere.

New music from Carly Rae Jepsen

No definitive news when CRJ's new album will come out but fingers-crossed St. Carly Rae will hear our prayers this year.

'Serial'

No word yet when the new season will drop, but producer Ira Glass said in an interview with Variety that the podcast's Season 3 will 'take on something huge and different.'

'UnReal'

The addictive TV series about the unapologetically badass female creators of a reality dating show is back for its third season.

'Suits' (K-drama)

I can't wait to watch Park Hyung-sik be all kinds of charming as the genius pseudo-lawyer in this Korean remake of the US legal drama.

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns though. Let's talk about the elephant in the room: J.K. Rowling.

If you know me you know how much I love everything 'Harry Potter.' But neither am I blind to its creator's faults-particularly, her defense of casting an alleged abuser in the 'Fantastic Beasts' franchise.

Honestly, this has colored my view of her upcoming projects-the 'Fantastic Beasts' sequel, 'Lethal White' (novel written as Robert Galbraith, rumored to have a 2018 release), and the 'Pokemon GO'-ish game app 'Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.'

It's an important issue-whether we should patronize the works of our problematic faves-that we as fans need to examine and confront in the coming years.

But for now, I'll take it one day at a time and revel in my pop culture loves.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Jan 7, 2018
Words:713
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