1. Galavant (January 4)

The short-run musical comedy series Galavant tells the fantastical tale of a knight who falls from grace after his storybook happy ending goes awry. The series features Timothy Omundson—such a reliable comedic presence on Psych—as its villain, the dastardly King Richard, alongside lesser-known heroes. The premise is more than enough to intrigue a musical theater fan, but add The Neighbors’ Dan Fogelman (a series that delivered a delightful musical episode of its own, “Sing Like A Larry Bird”) and songs by Glenn Slater and Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, as well as the aforementioned The Neighbors musical), and we’re there. [Kate Kulzick]

2. Girls season four (January 11)

Half the appeal of Girls is watching the train-wreck situations the characters get themselves into, possibly because these cringeworthy predicaments tend to be so familiar and relatable. Season four looks to be no different, what with Marnie allegedly sleeping with the wrong people (e.g., the handsome troubadour with a girlfriend), Hannah leaving New York for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and weathering relationship woes with Adam, and Shoshanna attempting to land a job. What makes Girls even more relatable is that the characters’ actions have actual consequences; for example, the new season’s trailer shows Jessa getting arrested, something that’s a long time coming. On Girls, as in real life, there are no fairy-tale endings. [Annie Zaleski]


3. Togetherness (January 11)

Debuting in the center of HBO’s Sunday night comedy block on January 11 is the series premiere of Togetherness, the first television offering of Jay and Mark Duplass. A fitting filling for the Girls/Looking sandwich, Togetherness looks to examine the trials and disappointments of relationships and aging in the late-30s set. While the material seems well traversed already by FX comedies like Married and You’re The Worst (and, hell, The League) it’s the prospect of seeing an HBO/Duplass blend that makes this series one to look out for. [Libby Hill]


4. Parks And Recreation season seven (January 13)

Parks And Recreation has always been great at eliciting weepy emotion from its viewers, and even Parks’ cast and crew admitted to “ugly crying” as it finished taping its last season. Hopefully some of that sentiment makes it on the screen for the show’s final episodes, which follow Leslie Knope and the Pawnee Parks Department into the year 2017. That time-travel twist—revealed in the last scene of the season six finale—should make for some interesting viewing, as all the characters now have years of backstory to fill in and a whole world of new opportunities awaiting them. [Marah Eakin]


5. Kroll Show season three (January 13)

Although Kroll Show has only been on for a couple of years, it’s coming to what creator and star Nick Kroll describes as a natural end with its third season, premiering this January on Comedy Central. Fans of “Pawnsylvania,” “Dr. Armond,” and “Oh, Hello” will surely mourn, but until we hear otherwise, we’re holding out hope for a “Wheels, Ontario” spin-off. [Marah Eakin]

6. Broad City season two (January 14)

Broad City was the freewheeling female-led stoner comedy that the world—and The A.V. Club’s TV writers—had been waiting for. But as the first season went on, the non sequiturs and brazen disregard for propriety began to gel into something with a little more (dare we say) heart. Hopefully our Broads can continue to take their storytelling to new heights in the second season. Or they could just make 10 episodes of Abbi and Ilana hanging out and getting high with Hannibal Buress and Seth Rogen. That would be fine too. [Katie Rife]


7. Blackhat (January 16)

Michael Mann, master of the painterly existential crime movie, tackles cyber warfare in his first feature since the underrated, Great Depression-set Public Enemies. Mann is a tremendously gifted, off-kilter visual stylist who excels at mixing research-steeped real-world detail with genre archetypes. He also has a longstanding fascination with technology and obsolescence, and Blackhat’s plot—which involves a hacker (Chris Hemsworth) getting furloughed out of prison in order to help catch a cyber terrorist—seems to offer plenty of possibilities for the writer-director to work out his pet themes. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

8. Justified season six (January 20)

For five seasons, Justified has found ways for Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder to dance around each other without bringing their rivalry to such a boiling point that one had to definitively win or lose. With this final season, it appears that the show is ready to kill that golden goose, and offer some resolution for these two killer characters. [Josh Modell]


9. Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love (January 20)

Sleater-Kinney’s last record, the just-okay The Woods, came out in 2005, and the band called it quits a year later, tired of being one of the hardest-working bands in the game. Ten years was apparently enough rest for the trio, as they’ve reunited for both a new album, No Cities To Love, and an extensive tour. The group’s already dropped a few new songs from the record, like rippers “Surface Envy” and “Bury Our Friends,” and sound like they’re in as fine a form as ever, if not better. Long live Sleater-Kinney. [Marah Eakin]


10. Belle & Sebastian, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance (January 20)

Stuart Murdoch’s decision to treat Belle & Sebastian more like a working band has resulted in a less prodigious recorded output, with albums appearing every three to four years instead of every one to two. But the albums themselves have been consistently strong, which makes Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, the band’s first proper record since 2010’s Write About Love—the band’s biggest gap ever—an indie rock event. Based on the songs released so far, “Nobody’s Empire” and “The Party Line,” Peacetime sounds like it will continue in the direction that Write signaled in its first few tracks: airier, with more synth, and tantalizingly close to the peak of “Your Cover’s Blown.” But even if it turns out to be “just” a bunch of new Belle & Sebastian songs, Girls In Peacetime will be thrown into immediate and constant rotation. [Jesse Hassenger]


11. The Decemberists, What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World (January 20)

Here’s another nerdy folk-rock collective that has taken a longer-than-usual break from recording with What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World coming four years after the stripped-down The King Is Dead. The good news is that the draught ends on the same day as Belle & Sebastian and Sleater-Kinney, making January 20 a belated (and secular) indie-rock Christmas. The first songs made available from the record, “Make You Better” and “Lake Song,” retain some of the more straightforward sounds of King. “We’re not so starry-eyed anymore,” Colin Meloy sings on “Better,” although some of the other track titles (“The Singer Addresses His Audience,” “Cavalry Captain”) sound a little more like the starry-eyed lit-rock heroes of yore. [Jesse Hassenger]


12. The Duke Of Burgundy (January 23)

Coming off of his ’70s giallo throwback Berberian Sound Studio, British director Peter Strickland pays tribute to another kind of movie they don’t make like they used to: softcore erotica of the Jess Franco/Jean Rollin variety. Like the films that inspired it, The Duke Of Burgundy appears to place a fetishistic emphasis on style, which seems like an appropriate choice for the tale of a kinky lesbian love affair between an entomologist and her bashful young maid. But The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd, who saw the movie in Toronto last year, assures us that The Duke Of Burgundy brings more depth and humor to the premise than its exploitation influences would suggest. [Katie Rife]


13. The Americans season three (January 28)

Complicated dramas are prone to the sophomore slump (in fact, we did a whole Inventory about the concept). But The Americans was the exception. In its second season, a murder mystery gave the show its narrative thrust, while still exploring themes of family, patriotism, and loyalty with the same brilliance of its premiere season, boding well for the next. But the most exciting prospect of season three is Frank Langella, who will play Phillip and Elizabeth’s new KGB handler. [Molly Eichel]


14. Mistress America (January) and While We’re Young (March 27)

Back when Frances Ha delighted the world (or at least the world of movie nerds) in 2013, news circulated of a second collaboration between writer-director Noah Baumbach and actress-writer Greta Gerwig, with few details beyond a general reference to their “untitled public school project.” Now the movie has a name—Mistress America—and a premiere set for the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. Baumbach has also since finished another new film, While We’re Young, which begins its theatrical release on March 27. Mistress is about a college freshman (Lola Kirke) striking up a friendship with an oddball New Yorker (Gerwig), while Young is about a fortysomething couple (Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts) striking up a friendship with free-spirited hipsters (Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried). That sounds like a workable double feature, especially considering Baumbach’s well-established talent for prickly, hilarious social comedies. [Jesse Hassenger]


15. Neil Gaiman, Trigger Warning (February 3)

Sandman author Neil Gaiman hasn’t put out a short-story collection since 2006’s Fragile Things, so his new Trigger Warning feels like a long-awaited return—especially since he’s said it’ll include a new piece set in the world of his novel American Gods. But it also feels like something potentially risky and new for Gaiman. He’s no stranger to dark, morbid, or frightening material—there’s plenty of it in Sandman—but his more recent novels, like The Graveyard Book and The Ocean At The End Of The Lane, have been friendlier, more about wonder than terror. This collection wasn’t necessarily designed to put the emphasis on horror, but as Gaiman says in the intro (published as an advance excerpt online), it is full of death, pain, and at least one giant tentacle. [Tasha Robinson]

16. Scott McCloud, The Sculptor (February 3)

As revolutionary as Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics was, he hasn’t been known nearly as well for actually making comics, apart from his excellent retro superhero series Zot! and a handful of less memorable minor works. That said, he does two things particularly well as a writer and artist: Fine, precise, confidently detailed black-and-white art, and evocation of deep emotion. That’s why his new graphic novel The Sculptor sounds so exciting. The story, about an artist who makes a deal with Death in exchange for a supernatural talent, but has a fatal deadline looming, sounds like a high-concept wish-fulfillment hook in the vein of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds or Alex Robinson’s Too Cool To Be Forgotten, with the same potential those books fulfilled, to take a common fantasy in a new direction. [Tasha Robinson]


17. Jupiter Ascending (February 6)

The Wachowskis’ long-delayed $175 million space opera—originally set to be released last summer—finally hits theaters this February. Though their work has been met with mixed critical and commercial success, the sibling duo belongs to a rare category of big-budget, effects-heavy directors whose films never feels anything less than completely personal, turning a preoccupation with self-discovery and fluidity into big-screen spectacle. This film—which stars Channing Tatum as some kind of elf-eared wolf-man super-soldier and Mila Kunis as a janitor who is the queen of space or something—looks to be no different. Expect years of vigorously argued defenses. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]


18. Better Call Saul (February 8)

When AMC announced a Breaking Bad spinoff, it was met with some (understandable) skepticism. Wasn’t this just AMC trying to milk a few more dollars out of one of its two departing hits? Would Paul Kinsey: Hare Krishna be its lead-in? But as the rumors about obligatory cameos receded into the background, the continuing adventures of New Mexico’s most delightfully sleazy lawyer started to seem like a great idea. Among the encouraging signs? Saul isn’t going to try to be Breaking Bad II. A (slightly) lighter, less episodic show with its own tone, from some of Breaking Bad’s crackerjack team of writers? And a long-awaited showcase for Bob Odenkirk? With Jonathan Banks’ no-nonsense leg-breaker skulking nearby? And Michael McKean in a supporting role? Case closed. [Mike Vago]


19. Maureen Johnson, The Shadow Cabinet, book three in The Shades Of London series (February 10)

Maureen Johnson seems to delight in torturing her fans. After the second book in The Shades Of London series was released in February 2013, readers took to Twitter to demand to know what would happen next with two of the characters, but Johnson would drop nary a clue. The series begins with a Jack The Ripper mystery but reveals a mythology of its own, set against a London boarding school and a kickass protagonist named Rory, who is beginning to learn just how kickass she is. Come February, we’ll finally see how Johnson ties up the loose ends from book two (The Madness Underneath), but knowing her, we’re in for some more unresolved mysteries. [Laura M. Browning]

20. The Last Five Years (February 13)

The Last Five Years regularly tops lists of the best cult classic stage musicals. Jason Robert Brown’s exquisite score tracks the failed marriage of a writer and an actress through dueling perspectives (his moves forward in time, hers moves backwards). And while fans were nervous their beloved chamber piece would lose something in translation, so far there’s plenty of promise for Richard LaGravenese’s big-screen adaptation. For his doomed lovers, LaGravenese cast musical movie darling Anna Kendrick and Broadway veteran Jeremy Jordan (whose stint on Smash barely hinted at his talents). The film’s trailer captures the show’s pathos, romance, and humor with a surprisingly deft hand. And whether or not the film soars, its soundtrack will offer another beautifully sung version of score for those who want to take a brief break from Sherie Rene Scott and Norbert Leo Butz. [Caroline Siede]


21. Last Man On Earth (March 1)

Last Man On Earth is already one of the most unusual network television experiments, and it hasn’t even aired yet. Will Forte stars as the title Last Man, and that’s about all we know about the plot of the upcoming Fox sitcom. A few details about production have emerged, like that Forte wrote the pilot, The Lego Movie’s Phil Lord and Christopher Miller directed it, and Kristen Schaal and January Jones have joined the cast in some capacity, but there are no hints as to why or how Forte ended up alone or when this takes place. All we know comes from the trailer, in which Forte wanders around Los Angeles all by his lonesome. It goes against all the rules for a trailer; it’s vague, takes its time, and deliberately keeps us in the dark as to what the hell it’s actually about—but it’s hilarious. If there’s any way this concept can sustain itself, it’ll be thanks to Forte’s singular weirdness. [Caroline Framke]


22. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Chasing Yesterday (March 2)

With an Oasis reunion seemingly still a no-go and the 2014 collapse of Beady Eye, anyone needing a Gallagher musical fix must turn to Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, who are releasing Chasing Yesterday on March 2. Judging by the first new music associated with the LP—the groove-heavy guitar-pop lope “In The Heat Of The Moment” and the glam, sax-stung B-side “Do The Damage”—on this album the band is looking to scratch a swaggering Britpop itch. [Annie Zaleski]


23. Modest Mouse, Strangers To Ourselves (March 3)

It’s a little crazy that Modest Mouse won’t have released an album for eight years by the time Strangers To Ourselves hits stores. Plenty has changed: Johnny Marr is no longer a member, nor is longtime bassist Eric Judy. But it’s safe to assume that Isaac Brock is still a crankily brilliant songwriter, which means anything he puts out is worth a listen. [Josh Modell]

24. Kazuo Ishiguro, The Buried Giant (March 3)

It’s been a decade since Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go (which became an understated, underrated movie in 2010), which is twice the usual wait for a new novel from him. Then again, he’s worth the wait. All he’s revealed about The Buried Giant is that it’s about “lost memories, love, revenge, and war,” which isn’t much to go on. But his past novels—including the wryly funny The Remains Of The Day (which also became a film), An Artist Of The Floating World, and When We Were Orphans—have varied widely enough in tones, style, subject matter, and genre that it’s a fair bet this generic description doesn’t hide a generic book. Part of the thrill of a new Ishiguro novel is discovering its singular voice and unpacking what kind of story it turns out to be. The subject matter isn’t as much an issue as the direction he decides to take it. [Tasha Robinson]


25. Bloodborne (March 24)

Hidetaka Miyazaki, the director behind the beloved Souls games, has skipped Dark Souls II and gone straight to work on the series’ PlayStation 4 metamorphosis. Bloodborne is an unmistakable heir, but it somehow looks even meaner and darker than its sadistic predecessors. It has traded the medieval setting for something more Victorian, and, in the process, replaced shields with history’s most ineffective guns. Now, there’s even less to protect players in a world where everything wants them dead. [Matt Gerardi]


26. Jon Cryer, So That Happened: My Unexpected Life in Hollywood (April 7)

Anyone who read Jon Cryer’s 2013 Random Roles interview knows that he’s an amiable fellow with a self-deprecating sense of humor who’s worked with a lot of great people and has a lot of great stories to tell about them. So the thought of him writing a memoir is something worth getting excited about—or, as he said in a statement when he first revealed that it was in the works, “In these times of truly global crisis when fear is outracing hope, I think we can all be grateful that the guy who played Duckie in Pretty In Pink is writing a book.” [Will Harris]

27. Neutral Milk Hotel tour (April 13-June 11)

Jeff Mangum was so far underground for so long that every day he spent making music in public felt like a gift. But all good things must come to an end, and there’s no sense beating a horse that might be nearly dead at this point. So Mangum will re-retire Neutral Milk Hotel “for the foreseeable future” after a run of shows that is blessedly hitting theaters instead of festivals, since the band makes more sense in a beautiful hall than a muddy field. [Josh Modell]


28. Run All Night (April 17)

Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown, Non-Stop) teams up with star Liam Neeson—now firmly entrenched as this generation’s answer to Charles Bronson—for the third consecutive time in an action thriller about a hit man squaring off against his former boss. Run All Night was filmed almost back-to-back with Non-Stop, and we can’t help but hope that some of that superbly entertaining (and aptly titled) film’s forward momentum rubbed off on the project; if it’s half as the twisty as the pair’s previous collaborations, it’ll be a hoot. Brad Ingelsby (Out Of The Furnace) wrote the script. [Ignatiy Vishnevetsky]

29. Avengers: Age Of Ultron (May 1)

When a film makes more than $1.5 billion at the box office, it’s a given that its sequel is going to be not only highly anticipated but a full-fledged event. Fanboys have been giddy with excitement ever since the announcement that Ultron would be the villain for the film (even if they were slightly less ecstatic about the revelation that the character’s origin would be rejiggered to remove Hank Pym, Ultron’s creator in the comics), while movie aficionados were intrigued by director Joss Whedon’s March 2013 revelation that he was looking to The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II as inspirations. Throw into the mix the introduction of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and Vision, and you’ve got the must-see movie of the summer—and, fingers crossed, the entire year. [Will Harris]


30. Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15)

For the nearly 30 years since Beyond Thunderdome, the return of Mad Max has been as much a mirage as an oasis in a world without water. Fury Road was originally slated for production in 2003 with Mel Gibson in the title role, but the Iraq War scuttled plans for the shoot. Now the fourth installment in the series is finally set to launch with Tom Hardy taking over as Max, Charlize Theron providing backup, and original trilogy director George Miller overseeing the mayhem. The teaser trailer promises high-octane automotive carnage, twisted post-apocalyptic characters, and mind-melting visuals, giving fans hope that Fury Road will be that rare belated sequel that’s worth the wait. [Scott Von Doviak]


31. Pitch Perfect 2 (May 15)

The original Pitch Perfect was a charming sleeper hit tailor-made for choir nerds and a cappella dorks, thanks to Anna Kendrick’s unassuming personality and the complex (but relatable) personalities of her singing posse. The motley crew returns for Pitch Perfect 2, out May 15, and in true sequel fashion, there’s more at stake—like a trip to the splashy a cappella world championship (think Bring It On with a dash of Best In Show)—and bigger, braver examples of absurdist physical comedy. Aca-awesome! [Annie Zaleski]

32. It Follows (May 17)

The Babadook, 2014’s other film-festival horror standout, is already in theaters, but It Follows has been taking its time, still traveling the festival circuit after premiering at Cannes in May. The premise offers a clever spin on a slasher trope, anthropomorphizing the idea that sex equals death by means of a sexually-transmitted curse that haunts a teenager played by The Guest’s Maika Monroe. But early reviews, including another one from our own A.A. Dowd, suggest that It Follows is so much more than that, employing innovative camerawork and expertly crafted pacing to produce real tension and primal dread. The new U.S. trailer for It Follows builds on (positive) comparisons to genre master John Carpenter, a selling point for a horror movie if there ever was one. [Katie Rife]


33. Noelle Stevenson, Nimona graphic novels (May 19)

Fans who followed Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic Nimona through two years of twice-weekly updates got the privilege of watching Stevenson evolve, rapidly and visibly, from an art student playing with form and color to a marvelously confident artist putting raw emotions on the page. The story evolved to the same degree: Initially a comedy-rich fantasy goof set in a medieval world that put mad science on the same level as wizardry, it rapidly deepened into a powerful story about jealousy, trauma, and the limits of friendship and love. And it rapidly developed a devoted fan base, turning Stevenson into an instant success story as a comics artist. Nimona’s story wrapped earlier this year, followed by the news that HarperCollins will publish the entire Nimona series, with new material and revised artwork, as a pair of graphic novels. Longtime fans may consider this icing on the cake, but it’s thrilling to see the mainstream so thoroughly embrace such an idiosyncratic, individualist indie voice, and the print version is guaranteed to get Stevenson’s debut to the bigger audience it deserves. [Tasha Robinson]

34. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (May 19)

While games like BioShock were touting the “nuanced morality” of whether it was okay to devour little girls to enhance your magical powers, Polish developer CD Projekt RED was busy treating gamers to real moral dilemmas in their game The Witcher. The 2011 sequel, Assassins Of Kings, was bigger and better, adding desperately needed polish to Geralt of Rivia’s gritty world, based on the novels of Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt promises to bring a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy, wrapping up plot lines stretching from the first moments of the 2007 original. [William Hughes]


35. Community (“Early 2015”)

At this point, Community has crossed the threshold from the little show that could to the little show that defies all logic as to how it continues to exist. Saved from cancellation by a last-minute pickup by Yahoo, Community will be fulfilling the first half of the Prophecy Of The Cape by making it to six seasons. Season five was an impressive return to form with creator Dan Harmon, and Yahoo’s stated commitment to letting Harmon and company make the show with minimal involvement gives hope that it will find another creative surge as it settles into a new home. While Community will be losing its third original cast member with Yvette Nicole Brown’s departure, as well as recurring players Jonathan Banks and John Oliver, the addition of Enlisted’s Keith David and Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Paget Brewster could be just the infusion of new blood the show needs as it reaches 100 episodes. [Les Chappell]


36. Mario Maker (“early 2015”)

Mario Maker seems like a perfect app for the Wii U—an endlessly intriguing system with a desperate need for titles that will drive players to give it a chance. A spiritual sequel to the beloved Super Nintendo title Mario Paint, the game will allow players to construct Mario levels in a variety of palettes (including the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario World, and Super Mario Bros. 3) for their friends to play through. The title’s longevity, though, will ultimately be dependent on how willing Nintendo is to finally embrace online sharing of user-generated content, a minor flaw in the otherwise excellent Super Smash Bros. For Wii U. [William Hughes]

37. The Legend Of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D (spring)

The Legend Of Zelda series is built primarily on consistency. Nearly every game in the franchise follows the same pattern: A guy in green gets a sword, progresses through a series of dungeons to get pieces of the mystical Triforce, finds toys to help him, and eventually saves the princess from a large baddie named Ganon or some variation thereof. Majora’s Mask (originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000) keeps the dungeons and the toys but loses everything else, adding instead a complicated time travel system, body-twisting masks, and a terrifying killer moon. Challenging and richly atmospheric, it’s a game that deserves a new audience, which is hopefully what it will get when Nintendo brings out a 3DS version in the spring of 2015. [Zack Handlen]


38. Hannibal season three (spring)

After a fantastic second season landed NBC’s Hannibal on The A.V. Club’s Best Of 2014 list, it was inevitable that anticipation for the show’s third season would reach a fevered pitch. Unfortunately for the show’s ravenous audience, there’s no confirmed premiere date in sight, with showrunner Bryan Fuller saying not to expect the series to return until late spring. In the meantime, fans can bide the time by theorizing about the promised introduction of Thomas Harris characters Lady Murasaki and Francis Dolarhyde, the impending manhunt for Hannibal Lecter, and the addition of Gillian Anderson as a series regular, all of which ensures that season three of Hannibal will be well worth the wait. [Libby Hill]

39. Mad Men season seven, part two (spring)

Undoubtedly one of the single most anticipated pop culture events of 2015 is the conclusion of AMC’s Mad Men. Returning for the final seven episodes of its 92 episode run, the series meets its end as one of the remaining shows on television that could legitimately be in the conversation for greatest of all time. Hopefully this final run of episodes will be worthy of the vast expectations and bring AMC’s firstborn hit series to a place of cathartic closure. [Libby Hill]