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The road ahead: 2013 in entertainment

Submitted by Liz Fox on January 12, 2013 – 9:03 pm2 Comments

Last year was fraught with media missteps. Images, videos and websites were subjected to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which prompted an intimidating outcry regarding First Amendment rights.

Popularity increased tenfold for streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, resulting in a battle for the lowering of royalty costs. Even the film industry, which continued to shell out blue-filtered, effects-driven blockbusters, suffered a backlash when the Aurora and Sandy Hook massacres hit close to home.

But the year did bring some good things: an impeccable Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ‘“The Dark Knight Rises;” an entertaining beef between Amanda Palmer and indie curmudgeon Steve Albini; comebacks from The Shins, Fiona Apple and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, just to name a few. Amidst all the drama, there were still releases and celebrity stories that made it all worthwhile, and it is these forms of entertainment that bring us to 2013.

From what’s been made known, this year will be a strange one full of hits and misses. “Iron Man 3,” “Scary Movie 5,” and “The Wolverine” may usher in another slew of mediocre film sequels, only to be combated by the ambitious “Evil Dead” reboot and Baz Luhrmann’s racy adaptation of “The Great Gatsby.”

Lo-fi stars Guided by Voices will release yet another album – their fourth in two years – and Thom Yorke’s supergroup, Atoms for Peace, will put out their debut in February, thereby satisfying any Radiohead fans who were disappointed with “The King of Limbs.”

Even videogames, whose technology is advancing more with every minor development, will see brainless rehashing with new segments added to the “Metal Gear Solid,” “Tomb Raider” and “Resident Evil” franchises.

More importantly, the evolution of media, and the debate surrounding it, will become more heated. Digital music heavily outsold physical CDs in 2012, and the widespread use of iPads has paved the way for reading digital content in new ways.

Facebook posts and 140-character statements of intent have replaced public relations, and music-streaming websites have allowed any hipster with a Casio to record a soundscape masterpiece and promote it as Pitchfork’s next big thing.

The universality of the internet and continually advancing technology have passionate advocates and naysayers, and if 2013 is as fast-paced as the first two years of the decade, the two sides will only continue to battle it out via wall post battles, blog stories and comment feeds.

At any rate, the world is changing. But while technology seems to keep moving forward, the state of entertainment – movies, music, television, videogames – is completely stagnant.

Our society has fed franchises for decades and with the exception of a few standouts every year, the bulk of industry figures don’t have anything new to say or offer. While niche markets will remain in their own worlds due to our pick-and-choose method of information, there’s still hope 2013 will be the year things start to truly evolve and that some gaps, whether they exist between people or genres, will begin to close.