Your 2017 Fresh Start: Here Are 20 Original Pop Culture Highlights To Look Forward To

We’re talking the freshest of the fresh takes, people–sequels and remakes need not apply.

Your 2017 Fresh Start: Here Are 20 Original Pop Culture Highlights To Look Forward To

After the DEFCON 1 shitshow that was 2016, we all need a fresh start more than ever–and that includes in pop culture, as well. Sure, there are a slew of hotly anticipated sequels and season returns on deck in the new year. However, in the spirit of starting 2017 with the cleanest slate possible, we’ve compiled the shows, movies, and web series that aren’t adaptations, remakes, or reboots–and music from artists coming out with their debut studio albums.


Friends from College (Netflix)
Keegan-Michael Key and Cobie Smulders lead this ensemble comedy about a group of 40-something friends who all went to Harvard and are now leading very different lives. Nick Stoller (Neighbors, Get Him to the Greek, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) is set to direct all eight episodes and is cowriting and co-executive producing the series with his wife and fellow Harvard alum Francesca Delbanco.

G.L.O.W. (Nexflix)
Fun fact: There was a female wrestling league in the 1980s called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, aka G.L.O.W. Even more fun fact: Jenji Kohan is executive producing a 10-episode series about G.L.O.W. starring Alison Brie and Marc Maron.

Taboo (FX)
Long presumed dead, James Keziah Delaney (Tom Hardy) returns to London after a long voyage to inherit his father’s shipping empire that he’ll soon discover is poisoned with enemies and conspiracy.


IO (Netflix)
Fresh from the Sundance Institute’s Writers Lab comes a coming-of-age movie starring Margaret Qualley (aka that manically dancing girl from that Kenzo fragrance advert) as one of the last surviving members of a post-apocalyptic Earth trying to find a cure for the dying planet before the last shuttle to a distant human space colony leaves her stranded.

Brown Girls (web series)
Two friends are trying to find their ways in the world as a South Asian-American writer who’s just learning to embrace her queerness and a Black-American musician with serious commitment issues.

Feud (FX)
Anthology maestro Ryan Murphy drops the first season of his new series focused on legendary feuds. First up: Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon) vs. Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange). Ding, ding.


Room 104 (HBO)
After their totally underrated show Togetherness was unjustly nixed by HBO, the Duplass brothers are back at the network with a new comedy anthology about an assortment of characters passing through the same hotel room. Don’t ruin this for us, HBO.

The Young Pope (HBO)
Jude Law assumes the role of fictional Pius XIII, the first American pope whose ultra-conservative stance becomes a hotbed of controversy.

Crashing (HBO)
Created by and starring comedian Pete Holmes, Crashing is a fictionalized version of his Holmes’s life as a stand-up comedian trying to start his life anew after catching his wife cheating.


The Mick (Fox)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Kaitlin Olson is just the worst as Mickey, a salty chain-smoking woman who moves to an affluent neighbor to raise her sister’s spoiled kids.

This Is Fiction (web series)
You’re plopped smack in the middle of Johannesburg, South Africa, for an up-close portrait of its 20-something citizens. The creators of web series claim that they’ll “show you the scenes that you need to see to believe, but it’s make-believe” . . . whatever that means, it sounds intriguing.

Pixar’s original film is a welcomed check for diversity as a musical centered around one of Mexico’s biggest holidays, Día de Muertos.


Rock That Body
Anything involving Broad City alums is bound to be choice: Show director Lucia Aniello makes her film debut, cowritten by Paul W. Downs and starring Ilana Glazer. The premise? A male stripper dies during a bachelorette party in Miami Beach. Instant classic.

A Cure for Wellness
A remote wellness center in the Swiss Alps is pretty much the exact opposite in Gore Verbinski’s sleekly stylized psychological thriller starring Dane DeHaan.

Let’s be frank: M. Night Shyamalan can seriously be hit or miss. But James McAvoy as a kidnapper with 23 different personalities? Hit.


Get Out
Jordan Peele taps into his dark side with his directorial debut about a black man uncovering the twisted designs of his white girlfriend’s parents at their plush estate.

Baby Driver
From the mind of Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) comes a story about an ace getaway driver who suffers from a condition that leaves a constant ringing in his ears he can only drown out with music.

Table 19
Anna Kendrick heads up the ensemble comedy about the members of the lamest table at a wedding rising in revolt.


Sampha, Process
British singer/songwriter Sampha Sisay has collaborated with some of the best in the business (Kanye West, Solange, Drake), and now he’s set to release his debut album, Process. If the rest of Process is an ounce as good as its single “Blood on Me,” we’re in for one of the dopest albums of 2017.

After a false start to her album release this year, it looks like Solána Rowe, aka SZA, is finally ready to bless us with her studio debut. In the meantime, just sink into the velvety smoothness of her EP.


About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.