There are plenty of awful things about January, but it's not all bad. As we stagger across the hellish waste that is the first month of 2013, there are plenty of things to look forward to. More specifically, there are four.
Once, summer was dead. Heat choked New York City, forcing culture-consuming citizens to flee boiling theaters for polo grounds of the Hamptons or the sideshows of Coney Island. Even after air conditioning made culture possible year-round, the arts have never really given up the summer break. Opera is strictly a cold-weather pursuit. Almost no Broadway plays dare risk a July opening. Until cable TV upended the schedule, summertime on the tube meant reruns, game shows and more reruns. Even film, which feasts on summertime, follows its own nine month schedule, with January, February and March serving as the dead period.
There is something reassuring about all this. How nice it is, at season’s end, to look back over the last nine months and remember when it all began. To rank your favorites, to remember the worst of the bunch, to mourn those plays or television shows that closed before their time. But even better is to be where we are now—in the middle of it all. The holidays, thank God, are behind us, and the next great wave of new stuff is about to hit. We have new plays, new operas, new TV shows, and the worst movies we will see until August. Some of it will be worth remembering—most of it will be trash. In either case, this is what I’m looking forward to loving or hating, across four formats—because in 2013, all culture is the same, so long as it’s longer than 140 characters.