AVQ&A: What’s your pop-culture New Year’s resolution for 2023?

Clockwise left to right Crash Landing On You, John Wick, Fire Of Love, The Godfather II
Clockwise left to right Crash Landing On You, John Wick, Fire Of Love, The Godfather II

New Year’s resolutions can be so restrictive or boring, it’s no wonder they don’t tend to last very long. Here at The A.V. Club, we believe resolutions can be fun, too. Instead of giving up our vices or limiting our options, we’re setting goals for things we actually want to do this year. Whether it’s finally getting around to that movie, TV show, or book we missed out on, watching more of a particular genre, or just broadening our entertainment horizons, these pop-culture resolutions should be easy to keep. Maybe they’ll even inspire you to make some of your own for 2023.

Sign up for a classy streaming service

Image:  The Criterion Channel
Image: The Criterion Channel

I’m not going to suggest I have trashy taste in films, but I will admit that the vast majority of movies I watch are about the Avengers. So my resolution for next year is to sign up for one of those classy streaming services—a Criterion Channel or a Mubi—and spend more time watching actual films. I don’t really expect my cinematic preferences to change, but it’ll be good to eat some vegetables. Also, you never know if Captain America is going to show up in the post-credits scene of The 400 Blows or whatever. [Sam Barsanti]

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Watch more classic screwball rom-coms

His Girl Friday
His Girl Friday

I’m a dedicated rom-com lover, but next year I want to step up my game and become a true rom-commisseur. I confess there’s a recency bias in my rom-com knowledge, so I’m resolving to go back and watch more classic classics. Luckily, my A.V. Club colleague Gabrielle Sanchez provided me a primer to get started with great picks like The Thin Man, To Be Or Not To Be, and His Girl Friday, among others. 2023 is going to be all about the screwball spirit! [Mary Kate Carr]

Get into more soothing K-dramas

Crash Landing On You
Crash Landing On You

I finally gave in and watched the beloved South Korean drama Crash Landing On You at the insistence of a couple of friends this summer. As cheesy as it was, I was enamored, so I immediately watched Extraordinary Attorney Woo, one of Netflix’s most popular K-dramas of 2022. As thematically different as they are, my takeaway after completing them was how soothed I felt. I gravitate toward horror and psychological thrillers, so it was nice to delve into relaxing and romantic K-dramas for a change. That’s why my pop culture resolution for 2023 is to do that more for my own sanity. Narratively speaking, these shows tend to have tight 16-episode runs and wrap up perfectly. They are addictive because of slow-burn relationships, making them perfect binge-watch material. It’s no wonder the genre is globally resonant and so damn popular. Crucially, after the past few years, I hope to watch wholesome K-dramas that also double as escapism. P.S.: All recommendations are appreciated. [Saloni Gajjar]

Read Ordinary Human Failings

Image:  Penguin Random House
Image: Penguin Random House

I don’t read a ton of novels (non-fiction enjoyer over here) but for 2023, I’m resolving to read at least one: Ordinary Human Failings by Megan Nolan. Nolan’s intimate and incisive 2021 debut Acts Of Desperation follows a doomed 20-something romance that hits too close to home, in a good way. The upcoming Ordinary Human Failings promises to zoom out, focusing on a dead child in 1990 London, a family of Irish immigrants, and a journalist trying to put it all together. I can’t wait to see where she goes with it. [Drew Gillis]

Get a regular tabletop game going again

Image:  John Harper
Image: John Harper

My regular gaming group fell off our dice-rolling habits a couple of years ago, and then COVID-19 killed the social element of gaming stone dead. My goal in 2023 is to get that sort of collaborative storytelling back into my life, that blend of camaraderie and creativity (and snacks) you only get with a really good tabletop session. Inspired by the most recent season of The Adventure Zone podcast (and the generally effusive praise I’ve heard about it from my various nerdy friends), I recently picked up John Harper’s Blades In The Dark, a beautiful system for creating action-packed heists in the shadows of a haunted city. I’m still reading my way through the book, but every new philosophy, rule, or bit of flavor has me itching to see what my friends could do with this fascinating setting, Scoundrels (that’s the proper name) racing through back alleys, dodging demons, corrupt cops, and rival gangs in pursuit of that next big score. [William Hughes]

Catch up on prestige TV

The White Lotus
The White Lotus

My popular cultural New Year’s resolution is to catch up on all the peak-TV content I have no time to watch because I’m too busy sitting through films, like the latest Marvel epic with 20 minutes of end credits or some 3-hour documentary about Albanian goat herders (editor’s note: such a film does not exist). The White Lotus, The Crown, Yellowstone, Barry, Hacks, I’m coming for you in 2023! Oh, and The Sopranos. Never seen it. I’ll save you for 2024. [Mark Keizer]

View 200 films this year

The Godfather II
The Godfather II

Last year, I made the resolution to watch at least 100 films by the end of 2022. It’s safe to say, I crushed it. Now, looking forward to 2023 I would love to up the ante and view 200 films over the course of the year, delving deeper into films from countries such as Germany, Italy, and Japan. Not to mention, I’d love to work through the films I have not seen on the Sight & Sound critics’ and directors’ polls. Hell, maybe I’ll even watch The Godfather for the first time. So many films to see in this lifetime, so little time. [Gabrielle Sanchez]

Finish the Criterion Collection’s massive Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema Collection

Image:  The Criterion Collection
Image: The Criterion Collection

Last year, I bought the Criterion Collection’s Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema, an unbelievable collection of some of the best movies ever made by one of the medium’s most prolific voices. In 2021, I went through their equally stunning yet far thinner “Essential Felini,” and I was hoping to do the same with Bergman. Unfortunately, as of this writing, I’m only through Saraband, the 2003 sequel to Scenes From A Marriage, and Bergman’s final work, which sits about a quarter of the way through the collection. My progress has been pathetic, laughable, and an affront to the cinema. It will not stand. Next year, I plan to finish this massive 30-disc collection and its accompanying 250-page book. Normally, I don’t even bother with resolutions (why start the year with a failure?). But this is one I’m sure I can achieve, if not for me, then for the movies. [Matt Schimkowitz]

Watch more documentaries

Fire Of Love
Fire Of Love

You know how people with low alcohol tolerance are called cheap dates? That’s me with documentaries. I see films constantly, but because of my line of work, the overwhelming majority of them are scripted. So every time I catch a non-fiction deep-dive on a slice of history or a real-life biographical portrait, I am positively enthralled. (How did the lava in Fire Of Love make me cry?!) Watching more documentaries in 2023 should prove an achievable resolution because of that novelty—and because it’s not a chore, and can only help me become a more well-rounded cinephile. [Jack Smart]

Complete the John Wick trilogy before it becomes a quadrilogy

John Wick
John Wick

I’m going to admit to something embarrassing now: I have never seen a John Wick movie. I know, I know. I’ve been meaning to get around to it for years, I just never have. Based on what I’ve heard, I think it’s about a hit man who gets revenge on the guy who killed his dog. Is that close? I confess I don’t see how that premise could sustain three whole movies, but I wouldn’t underestimate the draw of Keanu Reeves in an action role. With the fourth movie coming out this March, I figure it’s finally time to get caught up on the franchise. My pop-culture New Year’s resolution is to watch all three John Wick movies before the fourth comes out. I’m not just giving myself a goal, I’m giving me a deadline too. [Cindy White]

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