2013: What we’re looking forward to

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Champagne-soaked revelry isn’t just for New Year’s Eve any more. Our calendars may read January, but we’re still raising our glasses to the cultural celebration ahead — here’s to you, 2013, and to the things the Current’s looking forward to:

A year without a presidential election

Over the course of 2012, our media was choked, suffocated and rendered close to comatose by a pair of American politicians.

At least, that’s how it felt. The presidential showdown of last November left a trail of disenchantment in its wake. Our televisions and web browsers were saturated with how-low-can-you-go attack ads, biased pundits repeating themselves and a general sense the ideological face-off between these two overexposed candidates would — and maybe could — never really come to an end. Perhaps the American outlook on politics was best encapsulated in a popular YouTube video during which a four-year-old girl named Abbie cries because she’s “tired of Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney.”

Weren’t we all, Abbie. Weren’t we all.

But a new day has dawned. Obama is back in office and Romney has formally retired, giving way to a 2013 mercifully devoid of the elective inundation of yesteryear. Sure, the fiscal cliff drama rages on, the NRA is more unpopular than ever and Fox News continues to rack up journalistic controversy while MSNBC attracts the ire of many a conservative. Yet where digital banners beseeching one to “commit to Mitt” or to “have the president’s back” may have once decorated the corners of Web pages, we now find “For Your Consideration” ads put out by studios in advance of the Oscars. Where our mini-feeds were once flooded with the political statements of acquaintances, we now find treatises on the disputed quality of “Les Miserables”. The loss of an election to fret about has given our media a new flexibility, a freedom to focus on art, life and culture without the guilt of a moment’s political attention diverted.

So watch the final episodes of “Breaking Bad” and feel liberated by the absence of any political-race fixation. Catch up on “Modern Family” because its brilliance is one thing all your friends can actually agree on. Enjoy all of life’s little cultural pleasures without the looming Goliath of an election; the media is free — at least for now — from the self-centered choke hold of the race for the presidency.

Star-studded television

Jenna Elfman and Kevin Bacon are starting the new year in leading roles on television, and we’re beyond thrilled.

Elfman is starring in NBC’s new show, “1600 Penn,” and judging by the early premiere of the pilot, it’s going to be worth watching.

On “1600 Penn,” Elfman plays Emily Gilchrist, the first lady and second wife of Bill Pullman’s POTUS. We first came to be fans of Elfman in our wild elementary school days when we’d watch her ABC sitcom “Dharma & Greg” with our moms (no shame). Elfman was delightful as the free-spirited Dharma who knew how to stand up for herself. She’s solid at playing a range of kooky characters and making them relatable and is simply brilliant at comedy. Maybe best of all, watching her on television brings back some fond 90s-childhood memories.

“1600 Penn” has a strong cast, and if the pilot indicates anything, we can expect the writing, which is already decent, to get even better. As longtime Elfman fans, we’re happy to see her back on a show that’s funny and stands a chance at lasting.

Bacon is said to be connected to everyone in Hollywood (there’s a game to prove it —”Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”), but despite all this prominence, he rarely appears on TV; his new show, “The Following,” is his first time on the small screen. With commercials featuring a haunting recitation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven,” the show seems riveting. Add in glowing reviews and an engaging plot — a federal agent returns to work when a convicted serial-killing Svengali begins carrying out crimes using a network of other repeat murderers — and we’re already hooked. As proud “Footloose” admirers who enjoy a good scare, we’re dying (get it?) for the show to start.

High-fashion, high-drama and high-profile events

Thanks to the 100th Tour de France, we still have major sporting events to enjoy in 2013, a year sandwiched between the London Olympic Games and the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Running June 29 to July 21, the tour will consist of 21 stages, with riders including Bradley Wiggins competing for the maillot jaune.

For you fashion geeks out there, 2013 Paris Fashion week, in a little more than a month, is a feast you don’t want to miss. Alexander Wang, the new chief designer at Balenciaga, is putting on his debut show for the house. On Nov. 5, the brand surprised all by announcing Nicolas Ghesquiere was leaving, and controversy was soon raised. In contrast to Ghesquiere’s high-tech and edgy aesthetic, Wang is more known for his street style, “model off-duty” look. His fall show is the perfect chance for us to scrutinize how he fares against Ghesquiere. Who our bets are on, we’ll never tell.

The Glastonbury Music festival is back in 2013. Tickets sold out in record time (1 hour, 4 minutes) and the rumor of all-star performers including Rihanna and the Rolling Stones, the festival is sure to be another blockbuster summer event. In case you didn’t manage to get yours in that one hour, there will be a resale of any canceled tickets in April.

If you are a fan of celebrity weddings, Jennifer Aniston or simply drama, 2013 is a dream-come-true year. Rumor has it a furious Jennifer Aniston canceled her Christmas-Eve wedding at the last minute because her archrival Angelina Jolie was marrying Brad Pitt on the same day. True or not, the postponed wedding is sure to bring on endless comparisons featuring millions of rival celebrity couples’ pictures on the front pages of People and Us Weekly.

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