Pop culture to get excited about this Winter Quarter

Devan Coggan, Current editor

With an influx of new TV shows in the fall and an abundance of blockbuster movies each summer, winter can feel like a boring time to be a pop culture fan. Fortunately, this Winter Quarter promises plenty of new releases to look forward to. (I mean, what else are you going to do except watch TV and movies when there’s a foot of snow on the ground?)

1. Ensemble comedies
Nobody does an ensemble comedy better than Wes Anderson, and in typical Anderson style, the upcoming “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (March 7) is stacked with talented actors. With Ralph Fiennes, Adrien Brody, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Tilda Swinton, the cast reads like the guest list at the coolest party ever. Murray will also appear in another comedy with a killer cast: George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” (Feb. 7), which follows a group of art historians who set out to save priceless works of art from Nazi destruction. It doesn’t sound like Oscar material, but with Clooney and Murray cracking jokes and fighting Nazis with Matt Damon, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett, it’ll definitely be fun.

2. Fresh faces on the late-night scene
The stale lineup of late-night shows is getting a bit of a shake up as beloved NU alum Seth Meyers (Communication ’96)  will take over Jimmy Fallon’s desk Feb. 24 as the new host of “Late Night,” while Fallon will move up to “The Tonight Show.” In addition to his house band The Roots and his inability to keep a straight face, Fallon will hopefully bring a new energy to the show, an energy Jay Leno has lacked for the past, oh, 20 years or so.

3. Netflix binge-watching
Unfortunately, Netflix kicked off 2014 by purging some awesome shows and movies. (I guess if I still want to be able to watch “Troll II” whenever I want, I’ll have to buy it on DVD). The good news is that exciting things are coming to the streaming service this winter, including the final season of “Breaking Bad” and the second season of the service’s original series “House of Cards.” All episodes of “House of Cards” will be available Feb. 14, which means yes, I am considering Kevin Spacey my valentine this year.

If you’re like me, the best part of Superbowl Sunday is the snacks, the halftime show and Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl,” which showcases two hours of small, fluffy dogs playing (aka the best thing ever). This year, however, the Hallmark Channel (wait, there’s a Hallmark Channel?) is upping the cuteness and airing the first-ever “Kitten Bowl” on Feb. 2. Please, please, please let this be the start of a trend replacing all television programs with hours of small, cute animals playing. Next year I’m hoping we’ll get the “Slow Loris Bowl.”

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Twitter: @devancoggan