61 Reasons to Love 2014 – Rolling Stone
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61 Reasons to Love 2014

From returning rock legends to heart-stopping thrillers, the best of what’s to come in music, movies and TV this year

Don't expect to get a cultural breather after the past 12 massive months: Beginning early in January, there are can't-miss concerts, new and returning watercooler TV shows and specials, albums from rock legends, and the release of big-budget popcorn flicks that'll have everyone talking. With the caveat that all dates are subject to change (and, in same cases, simply our best guesses) here are our picks for the music, movies and TV to watch out for in 2014. 

By Mike Ayers, David Fear, Blaine McEvoy, David Marchese and Dan Reilly

Courtesy Warner Brothers

‘The Hobbit: There and Back Again’ (December 17th)

Peter Jackson's three-part take on J.R.R. Tolkien's other major Middle-Earth jaunt concludes, as Bilbo & co. fight that pesky dragon Smaug and prepare for all-out war. Something tells us that this trilogy's battlefield finale will make The Two Towers' Battle of Helms Deep look like a picnic. 

Gary Gershoff/WireImage

‘Unbroken’ (December 25th)

If you saw her war drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, you know that movie-star-turned-director Angelina Jolie is not a filmmaker who pulls her punches. For Unbroken, her next turn behind the camera, the former Lara Croft focuses on the story of Louis Zamperini — a real-life Olympic athlete who survived a plane crash, forty-seven days at sea and internment at a WWII POW camp. Sounds intense. Garrett Hedlund plays Zamperini.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Adele’s Follow-Up to ’21’ (TBD)

We're not gonna lie, there's not a ton to go on here, but its both widely rumored and reported that Adele has been back in the studio working on the follow-up to the world-beating smash 21. It's hard to say what the music will sound like or when the album may come out, but rest assured: it'll be insanely successful. 

Christie Goodwin/WireImage

Lily Allen’s Follow-Up to ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ (TBD)

When this cheeky Brit's Alright, Still LP came to the States in '07, it seemed like she was on track for transatlantic stardom. It hasn't quite worked out that way, but Allen's brassy recent single "Hard Out Here," and its accompanying (and controversial) video, suggests she's back in full irrepressible force. 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

John Fogerty’s Memoir (TBD)

Former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty has an autobigraphy on the way. "I want to tell the story of how I fought – hard – to maintain my artistic integrity in the face of opposing forces," he revealed when announcing the book, so fans can count on plenty of insight as to the group's bitter split, Fogerty's long fight to get control of the music he wrote, and his failure to reconcile with his brother and ex-bandmate Tom before the latter died.

HBO

‘Game of Thrones’ (TBD)

Think that this sword-and-sorcery series can't top that "Red Wedding" shocker? Think again: Season 4 will introduce viewers to the books' popular Prince Oberyn, known as the "Red Viper of Dorne," there are more nuptials on the way (gulp!), trouble will find everyone's favorite drunken royal, Tyrion, and Khaleesi is still hell-bent on getting her dragon-aided groove back. Let the Games begin! 

Mark Davis/Getty Images

Miranda Lambert’s Follow-Up to ‘Four the Record’ (TBD)

Intel for the country spitfire's next album is still shaky, but here's what we know: Last August, the country queen tweeted, "Time to make a record!" and followed that up a few days later with a photo of her singing in the studio. And at hubby Blake Shelton's Oklahoma tornado benefit, her tearful rendition of "The House That Built Me" (from 2009's Revolution) stole the show. So with Blake by her side (and up-and-comers like Ashley Monroe chirping in her ear), 2014 could very well be Miranda's year.

Frank Ockenfels/AMC

‘Mad Men’ (TBD)

This is the end, my only friend … okay, it's partially the end. Mad Men showrunner Matthew Weiner told Rolling Stone back in September that he'd be splitting this groundbreaking drama's last season into two seven-episode chunks (the last seven are dropping in 2015) and that he had something major in mind for his final act. Everything else is hush-hush, but come on: You know Don Draper and the rest of the Sterling Cooper crew will be going out with an existential and exquisitely art-directed bang. 

 

Barbara Nitke for Netflix

‘Orange Is the New Black’ (TBD)

The surprise hit of last year will be back some time in 2014. We're excited to see how the second season of this addictive prison drama concentrates more on the personal lives of Laura Schilling's newly hardened Piper Chapman and her fellow inmates. It's probably pretty safe to expect, however, that there will also be plenty of opportunities for hook-ups, break-ups, surprise shankings and Crazy Eyes doing what she does best, i.e. dropping knowledge while looking cuckoo.

Stefan M. Prager/Redferns via Getty Images

Carlos Santana’s Memoir (Release Date TBD)

The legendary guitarist will release his as-yet-untitled memoir sometime this year. As noted when he announced the project, the autobiography will include his memories of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Eric Clapton, and many other famed musical luminaries, as well as "stories about some of the people who have had a divine influence on his life, such as Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu." 

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

U2’s New Album and Possible Tour (TBD)

The Irish rockers are reportedly planning an April release for their currently title-less 13th album. The band has let slip that the record has a loose concept featuring songs from the perspective of two people, one young and innocent, the other older and wise. Danger Mouse is set to produce, and Bono recently said that the music will have elements of punk, soul, and R&B. There have also been loud rumors of an accompanying tour. 

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