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Content You Need To See

LET'S RANK

2023 is shaping up to be another great year in terms of content for all different kinds of fandoms. With that in mind, we thought we’d recommend some content that you need to check out in the meantime. After all, there’s nothing better than having something to play, watch, or read while you wait for your anticipated releases of 2023. You should give everything on this short list a try— almost like a tasting platter of sorts, featuring different kinds of content from 2022 and before.

MOVIES YOU NEED TO SEE

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

A screen cap from Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery featuring several characters all seated/standing by a table. From left to right: Duke Cody (Dave Bautista), Lionel Toussaint (Leslie Odom Jr.), Peg (Jessica Henwick), Birdie Jay (Kate Hudson), and Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig).

Although this movie was only out in theatres for a week in November 2022, it's now up on Netflix as of the time that this article goes out. Much like the first Knives Out movie, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is equally as great, with an awesome ensemble cast that all give great performances in this murder mystery. Daniel Craig stars once again as Detective Benoit Blanc, with others in the cast including the likes of Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, and more. Even if you haven't seen the first film, this is still a fun watch, which is especially good since January isn't exactly a month known for amazing movie releases.

2. Wendell & Wild

A screen cap of the protagonist of Wendell & Wild, Kat Elliot (voiced by Lyric Ross). Here, she holds a boombox while standing in a classroom.

Yes, we know. While this is technically animation, we also have to remember that animation is merely a medium for content, not a genre. There were quite a few good animated movies that came out this year, from Turning Red to The Bad Guys to The Bob's Burgers Movie, Wndell & Wild is the one we'd like to highlight today. Having been released on Netflix in the Fall of 2022, it tells the story of a teenager named Kat Elliot (voiced by Lyric Ross), who is recruited by a pair of demons (the eponymous Wendell and Wild, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, respectively) to summon them back from the dead. What ensues is a funny and weird adventure, one that we're sure you'll enjoy.

1. Everything Everywhere All At Once

A screen cap from Everything Everywhere All At Once, featuring the three main characters of the film all standing together as they are surprised by an unscene character. From left to right: Joy Wang (played by Stephanie Hsu), Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh), and Waymond Wang (played by Ke Huy Quan).

If you skipped everything else on this list, we heavily recommend that you don't skip over this one. Everything Everywhere All at Once is considered by many to be a step above the many other films that were released in 2022, with some outright declaring it the best movie of the year. It is a chaotic, dramatic, and fun ride, wherein protagonist Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) explores the multiverse. Such a plain description doesn't quite do this movie justice, as you never quite know what to expect next with each new scene. We're keeping things simple here, because with Everything Everywhere All at Once, it's an experience that you need to see for yourself. It'll not only bring the laughts, but also tug at your heartstrings with moments that may just make you cry, much of which is thanks to the amazing performances put forward by its entire cast. Go watch it NOW.

TV SHOWS YOU NEED TO WATCH

3. Heartstopper

Two of the main characters from Heartstopper, both standing in a hallway inside their school. On the left is Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and on the right is Nick Nelson (Kit Connor).

Heartstopper is one of the most wholesome that you can watch right now, available on Netflix. While it's more oriented towards teenagers, it's still a great addition to your watchlist, especially as it features both a great LGBTQ+ oriented story. The quality of the show is thanks in large part to its great cast of young actors and actresses, with Joe Locke (playing Charlie Spring) and Kit Connor (playing Nick Nelson) taking the lead roles. Even if you yourself aren't a part of that community, Heartstopper is still a pleasant, sometimes dramatic slice-of-life that you're likely to enjoy. With seasons 2 and 3 already greenlit, you may want to catch up soon before those get released in the future.

2. All of Us Are Dead

A screen cap from the show, showcasing several students standing in awe of something before them.

Yes, another Netflix show. But we promise that this one's pretty fun. All of Us Are Dead is a South Korean-made adaptation of a Webtoon comic of the same name. It's centred around a group of high school students who find themselves fending for their lives in the midst of an unexpected zombie apocalypse. In it, you'll find drama, brutal thrills, and action that's bound to keep you watching for all 12 episodes of this 1-season show. While it may not exactly be the most ideal for a binge watch, especially if you're someone who doesn't like seeing blood, we still think it's something to check out. Plus who knows, maybe it'll get you into watching other great South Korean shows, too (*cough* Business Proposal, Crash Landing on You, Kingdom *cough*).

1. Andor

The protagonist of Andor, Cassian Andor (played by Diego Luna), in a screen cap of the show.

There's a good chance that many of you are already Star Wars fans, and so, you may have already heard of Andor. However, we're of the opinion that this show is a tad bit underrated and really does deserve more attention. While there has been great Star Wars content over the years, such as the Disney+ The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Andor is a different beast of its own. While it still very much includes quite a few of the same elements as other Star Wars properties, it’s also a more mature and nuanced take on that world, centred around Cassian Andor (from Rogue One). Plus, with its 12 episodes, that’ll be more than enough to hold you over until Season 3 of The Mandalorian.

ANIME YOU NEED TO CHECK OUT

3. Pop Team Epic

A screen cap from Episode 1 of Pop Team Epic. Here, Pipimi (left) offers a hand to Popuko (right), who is on the ground. In the background a star falls from the sky.

If heavy themes aren't really your thing, then how about you watch Pop Team Epic? It can only be described as “what if we made memes into an anime?” Truly, every episode is chock full of all kinds of humour, from parodies of popular movies, shows, and video games, to its own brand of absurd comedy. Adding to that is the fact that the voice actors change with each episode (with each episode featuring a male voiceover, followed by a replayed female voiceover), making this show different from most other anime. If you're still not convinced, then you ought to at least search up clips of Pop Team Epic on YouTube. We guarantee that there'll be at least a few that gets some laughs out of you. Alternatively, you could check out the manga, too!

2. Ya Boy Kongming!

The eponymous progatonist of Ya Boy Kongming!, Zhuge Liang Kongming, using a microphone as he makes a gesture with his left hand.

Continuing the theme of fun shows is Ya Boy Kongming! It likely has one of the most ridiculous premises for an anime released this year, wherein a historical Chinese figure named Zhuge Liang Kongming is transported to modern-day Japan. What does he do there, you may ask? Why, as anyone would logically conclude, he becomes interested in helping a younger singer reach the big leagues and becomes her manager, of course! Despite how weird this anime may seem, it truly is a fun ride that you could watch between in-between the more serious shows like Attack on Titan.

1. Blue Lock

A screen cap from Blue Lock, with protagonist Yoichi Isagi laser-focused in the midst of a soccer match.

If you've been looking for another sports show to watch like Haikyu!!, then Blue Lock may just be up your alley. It's focused on the sport of soccer, fitting considering that the 2022 FIFA World Cup came to an end last month. If you're still feeling that soccer fever, this show could fill the post-World Cup lull that you might be feeling right now. This anime is about the efforts of the Japanese Football Union trying to improve their status on soccer's world stage. Enter: Blue Lock, a program intended to train the best that Japan has, specifically a striker, with the caveat of those failing out of the program being unable to play for the Japanese team. Check it out now!

ANIMATED SERIES YOU NEED TO WATCH

3. Smiling Friends

The two main characters of Smiling Friends. On the left is Charlie Dompler (Zach Hadel), and on the right is Pim Pimling (Michael Cusack).

We thought we'd start off this short list of animated shows to watch with Smiling Friends, an adult cartoon from Adult Swim. The show was created by Zach Hadel and Michael Cusack, who some of you may know for their animations on YouTube and Newgrounds. Regardless of if you know of them, you should check out this show because of how funny and downright bizarre it can be. Smiling Friends follows the adventures of Charlie Dompler (voiced by Zach Hadel) and Pim Pimling (voiced by Michael Cusack), both of whom work for a company whose business it is to make its customers smile. From that, hilarity usually ensues. We'd recommend searching up clips of Smiling Friends online if you're still not sure, but regardless, you ought to really watch it.

2. Castlevania

Two of the protagonists of Castlevania, standing beside each other. On the left is Trevor Belmont, wearing his typical vampire hunting garb and wielding his signature whip weapon. On the right is Sypha Belnades, wearing the clothing of her people, the Speakers.

Although adaptations of videogame properties have historically tended to be for the worse, the Castlevania Netflix series is an exception to this rule. It follows the general plotline of Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse, with elements from other games thrown in. Violent, action packed, and best of all, featuring a plot that does make sense, it’s a fun watch and a great way to get into the overall Castlevania video game series. A sequel series called Castlevania: Nocturne has already been announced, so you ought to get started on Castlevania and its 4 seasons NOW.

1. The Legend of Vox Machina

A screen cap from The Legend of Vox Machina, featuring the main cast all striking a cool pose.

Do you like Dungeons and Dragons? Well, then The Legend of Vox Machina might just be for you! Created by Critical Role, the show is in fact an adaptation of campaign one from their webseries. As such, you'll see all kinds of shenanigans ensue in this 12-episode adventure, helped by the amazing voice cast that includes the likes of Laura Bailey, Ashley Johnson, and Matthew Mercer. Even if you already know what goes down because you've seen the original campaign, you should still check this out, as it's fun and new way for you to "revisit" it. And if you like it, great, because seasons 2 and 3 are already on their way!

GAMES YOU NEED TO PLAY

3. Elden Ring

A screenshot from the game, of a player character in front of Stormveil Castle.

Admittedly, it should be a no-brainer for anyone to check out 2022's Game of the Year. However, if you SOMEHOW have not played Elden Ring yet, you should check it out NOW. Even if you aren't a fan of Souls-like games, we truly think that Elden Ring could be an exception. It does have similar gameplay to the games that have come before it, like Dark Souls III, but it's also so much different, and in ways that arguably make it easier to pick up. Between the open world, having a horse to ride around in, and the many ways that you can tackle Elden Ring's many, many enemies, there's a lot of positives to this game. Plus, there's DLC coming (both confirmed AND rumoured). So please, tarnished— get the game and start your journey towards becoming Elden Lord.

2. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes

A screenshot from Fire Emblem Warriors: Three hopes, showcasing a knight taking out a plethora of enemies with a heavy attack.

Were you expecting a Fire Emblem game to be on this list? Probably not. And in all honesty, being the available on the least amount of platforms out of the 3 games here makes it hard to access. But, if you like hack-and-slash style games or were looking to get into the increasingly popular franchise, then Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes should be the next Nintendo Switch game that you get. While it's not the most refined game ever, it's certainly a lot of fun, and it features an ensemble of diverse, unique characters that reflect that. Set in the same world as the previous Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, it's a reimagining of that game, essentially if different story decisions had been made by some of its key characters. That aside, the gameplay itself is a lot of fun, featuring smooth, fun combat, and ways to strategize like Fire Emblem games of before. And with a new mainline game set to be released this month (Fire Emblem Engage), this could just be your little taste test of the series before you hop into that one.

1. Disco Elysium

The protagonist of Disco Elysium, Harry Du Bois, showcasing his finger guns and The Expression. In the background is the setting of Disco Elysium, this being the district of Martinaise within the city of Revachol.

We know that this game isn't from 2022, but you NEED to check out Disco Elysium. Now, we do have to put out the caveat that this video game may not be for everyone. But for those who do try it, you may find yourself loving every moment of this isometric, role-playing game. While there are many RPGs out there, from your Fallouts to your Elder Scrolls and beyond, Disco Elysium is unique in several ways. Most prominently, it features a “Thought Cabinet”, wherein your character can internalize a thought and gain possible benefits (and negative effects). Combined with a skill tree that likewise features skills that provide both positive and negatives, it means that “upgrading” your character is no simple affair. Such a system allows you to truly cater your character towards the story path or playstyle that you prefer, meaning that multiple playthroughs are the way to go. Disco Elysium is almost always on sale at every seasonal sale, so if you're on the fence about it, you should purchase it then!