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The actors’ and writers’ strikes are over!

I could not be more excited to have the Hollywood strikes settled. As an avid consumer of television and movies, especially the best new works that come out, the strike went on far too long for me. Over the summer, when somebody told me they figured it would end around Christmas time, I was aghast, I was horrified. I keep a mental list of shows I am waiting for a new season of to come out (and these shows were meant to come in 2023 or 2024), but due to all of the strikes, who knows when they will be released. And, of course, my biggest fear is any of them getting canceled. When I saw that the third season of Euphoria wasn’t expected until 2025, the idea was so ridiculous that I wondered if it would even be worth it. For a show like Euphoria, I will continue watching it, absolutely, but I think of so many other amazing yet smaller shows that may not survive. 

I think the show I am looking forward to the most is Stranger Things, like so many others. The wait for season four was irksome, and I hate to think the same wait is happening all over again. Since the fifth season was meant to film this past summer, with writing still in progress, as the Duffer brothers highlighted, the final season of the show is now expected to come sometime between late 2024 and late 2026. Millie Bobby Brown started working on Stranger Things as a pre-teen, and by the end of the show she will most likely be married to Jake Bongiovi, absolutely wild to think about. Stranger Things, like many shows, while perfectly produced, written, promoted, and performed, now seems to be dragging on far too long due to the pandemic and the joint strikes. For now, I will settle on hoping the season comes in 2024, but I honestly expect a 2025 release. 

A few other shows that pop into my head as much anticipated, at least for me, have only filmed one or two seasons, meaning they will have a much tougher time with a delayed release. Many Netflix shows had ambitious release dates after a 2023 release to come out in 2024, but that was all before the strikes. I figure that The Diplomat will jump into production with the possibility of a very late 2024 release, if there are a similar number of episodes. More realistically, I would predict the second season of The Diplomat to come out mid or early 2025. After the cliffhanger of the first season, I am eager to see if my predictions will come true in the second season. While I have no idea what the long term plans for this show may be, after Keri Russell’s Emmy nomination, I would hope that they could carry out a similarly well-executed plot for four or five seasons. More than five seasons of a show make me extremely nervous because somehow those later seasons are never quite the same; even making it through five solid seasons is challenging. Typically, only sitcoms make it past that season-five mark, with most shows along the genre of The Diplomat staying strong for only two to four seasons unless they follow the single episode plot styles like NCIS or Criminal Minds, which hold on for six or seven seasons until a major drop off.

Another show in a similar situation as The Diplomat is The Recruit. The Recruit came out around the same time as The Diplomat and was also quickly picked up for a second season projected for 2024 just before writers strike began. I feel that there will be less of a rush on The Recruit’s second season in comparison to The Diplomat which carried more weight with Keri Russell and her Emmy nomination. I do think that Noah Centineo is ready to film, considering the hefty beard he has built up in the past few months on Instagram. Clearly, the beard is pointing toward his character’s capture in Russia being for an extend period of time, or maybe his character spiraling after the death of Max (maybe she’s dead, maybe she’s not, but I hope not), or maybe Noah Centineo just took the mustache trend a little too far. The whole situation will test my patience until the second season returns.  

The last show I will touch on is a pretty obvious one: The Summer I Turned Pretty. Since I like to pick winning sides, I lean toward Conrad, but I am nervous that Jenny Han may be changing things up for us. I doubt it, but I’m still a little anxious. The problem with this show’s timeline is that a summer release is preferred. The second season was renewed for a second season before the first was even released so that they could begin filming the show at the end of summer and beginning of fall in 2022. The confirmation of a third season was announced in early August of this year, but that makes me question the potential of the third season being released by summer 2024. I believe that Jenny Han has continued to write the show during the strike, keeping it all to herself, but until things are truly up and running, they will be unable to start filming until most likely the beginning of next year. I guess this means we won’t get the end of The Summer I Turned Pretty until 2025, and again I am impatient to see how the show plays out. Personally, I find the third book’s plot the hardest to stick to seeing as Han has already adapted the plot of season one and two to be more accessible and realistic for an older audience (teen to college or older versus middle school and early teen). Maybe Han will work something out to not be set in summer, but that probably ruins the point of the show as centralized around summer romance, summer aesthetic, and summer drama. 

Since I’ve gone through the shows I am thinking about the most, I will briefly consider a few movies coming soon and coming not so soon. Timothée Chalamet has jumped into promoting Wonka, set to come out at the end of this year, with his humorous SNL introduction referencing the actor’s strict restriction of promoting one’s work. We can expect Glen Powell and Sydney Sweeney to start promoting their new movie much more as well as the production is given finishing touches. Anybody But You is still on track to be released Dec. 22 of this year for a little bit of sunshine from Australia during the winter. Anybody But You might just mark the major return of the rom-com genre considering an uptick in interest in those productions in the past two or three years after a major drop off since the early 2000s. With superhero movies on the way out, maybe rom-coms will take up that space soon. I just hope they finally make a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. I also can’t wait to see the adaptation of Emily Henry’s rom-com novels since most have been bought and given to producers or directors; I don’t expect those to reach the big screen for two or three more years though. With all of this waiting for the return of old shows, I hope we see new shows emerge out of the hiatus as well. I hope that actors, writers, and studios come together better than before (just quickly, please). 

Edited by Phoebe Clayton

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