Sad to put 2023 in your rear-view mirror? Neither are we!
Except for the joy of our first three viewings of Barbie, the nerve-jangling quest for Taylor Swift tickets and the final seasons of Succession and The Crown, we're ready to move on.
So, what will we be obsessing over in 2024?
We've assembled the 24 coolest things in pop culture, tech, fashion and food guaranteed to have everybody talking in 2024.
This is the hot stuff we're most excited for - from a new Mad Max movie with an arse-kicking new Furiosa to rollable phones (yes, really) to whatever Tay-Tay does next, here's everything you need to know about the new year's most anticipated releases, trends and moments.
AT THE MOVIES
This spy spoof from Kick-Ass and Kingsman creator Matthew Vaughn will fill the James Bond-shaped hole in our lives in 2024. Ex-Superman Henry Cavill plays dashing Agent Argylle, the 007-esque creation of a reclusive novelist and cat-lover Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) whose espionage storylines attract the attention of a dinky-di spy (Sam Rockwell). Due in cinemas in February and also starring Dua Lipa, John Cena, Brian Cranston and Catherine O'Hara, Argylle has the internet intrigued because no one knows anything about the actual author of the first actual Argylle novel (due out in January) leading to viral TikTok speculation that - who else but - Taylor Swift is its multi-media mastermind.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
In director George Miller's prequel to his eye-popping scorched-earth extravaganza Mad Max: Fury Road, Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit) plays the young Furiosa (before she became the formidable Charlize Theron) who fights for her life and her freedom from biker warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) across endless wastelands of dust, fireballs and blood. There's not a jot of hot pink in sight in the trailer, but Furiosa may just be the fission of Barbie and Oppenheimer that cinema needs in 2024. Explodes in May.
Yes, Dune 2, Deadpool 3 and Gladiator 2 will be worth a look but the sequel without equal in 2024 is oddball auteur Tim Burton's return to his marvellously macabre 1988 comedy set to the calypso beat of Harry Belafonte. Michael Keaton is back as obnoxious poltergeist Betelguese and Wednesday's Jenna Ortega plays the daughter of original oh-so emo star Winona Ryder. Say it three times and Beetlejuice 2 should appear in cinemas in September.
The Work, by Bri Lee
Art, power, love and money equals a thumping good read, generally speaking, and Bri Lee's much-anticipated fiction debut is sure to prove the rule. She's best known for her searing 2018 non-fiction memoir Eggshell Skull, and her first foray into fiction takes on the art worlds of Sydney and Manhattan. Billed as a "dirty capitalist fever dream", The Work poses the question: if love costs and art takes, what price do we pay for wanting it all? We can't wait till April to find out! (Allen & Unwin).
The House of Hidden Meanings, by RuPaul
The words "hidden" and "RuPaul" in a sentence together instantly conjures intrigue. Who wouldn't want to read vignettes from the drag icon's life, embellished by his sparkling wit? Out in March, the memoir deep dives into his childhood in San Diego, complex family relationships, his rise to infamy, and finding love. (HarperCollins).
Tarts Anon: Sweet and Savoury, by Garth Whitton and Catherine Way
The story often goes that Garth Whitton took the cake at Dessert Masters 2023, but it was of course a tart that he took, not a cake. The man behind cult Melbourne joint Tarts Anon, along with his team, have now created a guide to baking a stunning tart, every time. The 50 recipes include your basic crowd pleasers - lemon, vanilla custard - and more fancy ones like the Black Forest, and all the mushroom and parmesan in between. Out in July - count us in. (Hardie Grant).
Who Killed JFK?
Investigative journalism reigns supreme in the podcasting world with deep dives into Elon Musk's antics and the Kennedy assassination likely to dominate early 2024 listening. US filmmaker Rob Reiner investigates historic documents related to President John F. Kennedy's 1963 assassination and explores the memories of living witnesses in the 2023-2024 series Who Killed JFK?
True crime delves into the supernatural with Wondery's Ghost Story investigating a 1937 murder with the help of homicide detectives, ghost hunters and a reluctant upper-crust English family. The limited series, based on the family of philosopher Jonathon Dancy and actor Hugh Dancy, was released in late 2023 and will continue to find audiences in 2024. The Last Podcast on the Left follows similar themes in a long-running series. A host reshuffle has breathed new life into the show dedicated to exploring the macabre, supernatural and occult. Be warned, it's NSFW (not safe for work).
Joe Rogan: heavy-hitters run free
Hundreds of millions of dollars are up for grabs as big-budget contracts come to an end in 2024 for major podcasts, including The Joe Rogan Experience, Call Her Daddy and Smartless. Rogan, who was reportedly paid $200 million for a three-and-a-half-year contract with Spotify could shake-up the podcasting world with his next move.
FASHION AND BEAUTY
We love a fabulous new make-up look, but it doesn't always help the wallet. That is, unless you know how to make dupes - duplicates - work in your favour. And it's no longer a state secret about which cheaper brand is the perfect substitute for a more expensive option. Brands such as MCoBeauty are now household names because their entire business plan is to create matches for coveted make-up options, with a cheaper price tag. It's worked so well for the Australian brand, that it has become the fastest-growing beauty brand. And with the cost-of-living crisis, it and dupes in general are sure to have another bumper year.
TikTok has a lot to answer for when it comes to trends - and in 2023 it was all about food-inspired looks. We had glazed doughnut nails and skin, strawberry and latte makeup and cherry mocha nails. Even pale blue nails were rebranded as blueberry milk nails. Expect the food-inspired trends to continue, with milk chocolate nails leading the way forward. The subtle chocolatey shade is set to be the go-to for those looking for a neutral with a hint of glam.
In 2023 we saw the fashionable rise of girlcore, thanks in part to the Barbie film, and the hyperfemme trend is set to continue in 2024. Girly aesthetics - pink, lace, bows, pastels and floral prints - will continue strong into the new year.
Taylor Swift dominated in 2023 and she shows no signs of slowing down in 2024. Not only does she continue The Eras Tour, including a few stops in Australia, there should also be the release of the last two of her re-records, Reputation and Debut. And, if rumours are to be believed, a brand new record could be on the horizon as well.
Of course, Swift is not the only one with new music coming. Millennials will be excited to see a new release from Green Day, plus Jennifer Lopez's upcoming album, This is Me... Now in February (alongside an Amazon Prime film of the same name). Jack Antonoff, famous for producing some of Swift's biggest songs - will release an album with his band The Bleachers, and Dua Lipa will release her third album, following the hit lead single Houdini. Also in the list of confirmed new releases is an album from Usher - perhaps proving why the RnB singer was chosen for the Super Bowl half-time show after not having a new release since 2016.
Technology and music
Technology and social media are going to play an even larger role in music in 2024. TikTok will have more of a presence in launching the careers of musicians and dictating the charts. Meanwhile, new algorithms, streaming features and potentially AI will influence how we stream music on platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Apple Vision Pro
"The era of spatial computing is here," boasts the Vision Pro announcement launching Apple's virtual reality headset. Users strap on goggles to see a phone display projected over their surroundings while navigating through apps with eye movements, gestures and dictation. The goggles record video and photographs in three dimensions allowing users to later relive experiences in life-size projections. The headset promises more pixels over each eye than a 4K TV. Apple's rumoured US release date for these, admittedly daggy looking, goggles is February.
Phone designers are working to solve one of society's newest problems - how to fit a large screen phone in jean pockets. Samsung, Motorola and Huawei released foldable phones but a bended ridge along the screen's centre was reportedly frustrating for users. Enter the rollable phone: a flexible screen extends and contracts with the click of a button to toggle between a slimline phone and a small tablet. Phone companies Vivo, Transsion and Oppo are leading the charge to release a rollable device by late 2024.
Always-home drone camera
Picture this: a drone flies around your house while the family is out, scanning for signs of intruders. Next-generation doorbell producers Ring are working feverishly to release their "Always Home" drone camera in 2024 after first announcing the product in 2021. The camera flies from room to room, on a predetermined path or by special direction, giving the user a live feed. The drone is also fitted with an intercom allowing users to speak with any welcome, or unwelcome, guests.
FOOD AND DRINK
Pithivier and rustic pastry
Rustic French pies called pithiviers appeared on fine-dining menus around the country in 2023 and the simple dish's popularity is growing. Meats, vegetables or cheeses are sandwiched between circles of puff pastry and a small hole on the pie's crust channels gravy into its centre. Another great meat and pastry dish - the beef Wellington - is also experiencing a surge in popularity. True story!
"One eats with his eyes first," ancient Roman foodie Apicius reportedly said. Of course, on everything-old-is-new-again TikTok, one only eats with their eyes. Short cooking videos are one of the social media platform's most addictive genres with home cooks whipping together mouthwatering dishes in quick-cut montages. TikTok food creators love dishes with sticky sauces, oozing cheeses and glistening noodles. It's all about texture and the craze is intensifying desires for dishes including cacio e pepe, char kway teow and dripping, slow-cooked meats.
Canary Island grenache
Bottles are popping but they're not from expensive old-world domains. Rising prices in Champagne, Burgundy and other revered wine regions means drinkers are turning towards lesser-known areas including the Canary Islands, Slovenia, Armenia and South Africa for a decent drop. Australia is importing more of these wines so keep an open mind about South African Chenin Blanc, orange wine from eastern Europe and grenache from the Canary Islands.
TV AND STREAMING
Masters of the Air
From Saving Private Ryan producers Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks comes a companion mini-series to their 2001 TV masterpiece, Band of Brothers. Another star-studded World War II epic, this one depicts the heroics of the real-life US airmen of the 100th Bomb Group (known as the "Bloody Hundredth" because of the heavy losses they suffered on combat missions). Austin Butler, Barry Keoghan, Ncuti Gatwa, Callum Turner and Raff Law lead the cast with pedigreed directors piloting each episode. Drops on Apple TV+ in January.
Mr & Mrs Smith
Part-time Childish Gambino Donald Glover (Atlanta) and Maya Erskine (Pen15) star in this reimagining of the 2005 action movie that paired Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. As operatives for a mysterious spy agency, can these lonely assassins keep up the pretence of their cover story - masquerading as a married couple - under the pressure of deadly missions and growing feelings for each other? Part romcom, part action thriller, success here will depend on the sizzle between the leads - remembering that the original movie had so much chemistry, it blew up one marriage, sparked another and birthed (the now former) Brangelina. Drops in February on Amazon Prime.
Colin Farrell was unrecognisable and criminally underused as squawking gangland boss Oswald "Oz" Cobblepot - aka The Penguin - in the 2022 movie The Batman (the one with Robert Pattinson) so director Matt Reeves brings him waddling back for an eight-episode spin-off exploring the disfigured villain's rise to power in the shadowy underbelly of Gotham City before the rise of the Dark Knight. Promising The Sopranos-style mafiaso grit rather than DC Comics superhero ka-pow, the show is not expected to appear until later in 2024.