2020 Pop-Culture Predictions

Plus our wrap up of the biggest moments of 2019

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We round up the biggest pop-culture moments of 2019 and predict the trends of the future.

Loveliest Leading Man

2019: Keanu Reeves

We all collectively swooned when “the Keanussaince” exploded in 2019. Not only is The Matrix actor incredibly handsome, he’s certifiably the nicest guy in Hollywood (donating millions of dollars to cancer research and giving out selfies and autographs to one and all).

2020: Tom Hanks

This year expect a similar outpouring of love for the second-nicest guy in Hollywood as he takes over our screens in a spate of new releases (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Greyhound, BIOS). It’s time to #givethanksforhanks. We really hope that catches on.

tom hanks

Coming-Of- Age Film

2019: Booksmart

Finally, 2019 served us up a coming-of-age flick we could relate to. Booksmart’s portrayal of female friendship and teenage angst was a refreshing break from the usual overdone high school movie tropes we grew up with.

2020: Pink Skies Ahead

In a story all too familiar to millennial women, British actress Jessica Barden depicts a wild young woman whose life unravels after being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Relevant? Yes. Must see? Duh.

Booksmart, 2019

Most Anticipated Book

2019: The Testaments

In 2019, Margaret Atwood answered the question that has tantalised readers for decades: what happened to Offred? The sequel to 1985’s The Handmaid’s Tale saw Atwood win the Man Booker Prize.

2020: Ghosts

Hype is building for the first foray into fiction for the much-loved journalist, writer and podcast host Dolly Alderton. We can’t wait for this novel, which examines the ‘ghosting’ phenomenon in modern dating.


Dream Collab

2019: Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus

From now until the end of time, the banjo strums and jaw-rattling bass of Old Town Road by Lil Nas X (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) will instantly transport us back to 2019. It was the country- rap collaboration we didn’t know we needed and in the words of Justin Bieber, “This shit bangs.”

billy ray and lil nas x

2020: J.Lo and Usher

The best scene of 2019 was Jennifer Lopez pole dancing for Usher in Hustlers. In 2020, could Jenny from the Block make her musical return a collab with her co-star? We can only dream.


2019: Big Little Lies

It was the most anticipated series of the year and it lived up to the hype. The sun may have gone down on the Monterey Five, but that doesn’t mean that 2020 won’t have binge-worthy shows to fill the Big Little Lies-shaped hole in our hearts…

2020: Normal People

We’re calling it: this year everyone will be talking about the BBC Three adaptation of Sally Rooney’s generation-defining love story. It has all the makings of a hit, complete with ever-charming Irish accents.

Breakout Star

2019: Florence Pugh

In 2019, this cherub-faced actress (far left) went from “Florence who?” to“Florence Pugh!”  with her stand-out performances in Swedish- set horror film Midsommar and the long-awaited Little Women revival alongside Emma Watson that earned the star an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. 

2020: Eliza Scanlen

Home and Away alumna (and fellow Little Women star) Eliza Scanlen (left) is set to make waves in 2020 in Netflix’s psychological thriller The Devil All the Time, produced by Jake Gyllenhaal. Did someone say Margot Robbie 2.0? Watch out, Hollywood.

florence pugh eliza scanlen
Eliza Scanlen & Florence Pugh

Best Revival

2019: Charlie’s Angels

Reboots, remakes and revivals were rife in 2019. The best of the bunch? Charlie’s Angels. Thanks to the expert hand of Elizabeth Banks who helmed the film, this new iteration was fresh, introducing the inimitable trio to a new generation of fans.

2020: Legally Blonde 3

At last, Legally Blonde is returning to our screens for a threequel. It’s taken 17 years, but with most of the original cast and crew on board, here’s hoping they can silence the sceptics, steer clear of gimmicky recycled plot lines and provide a relevant and riotously funny instalment. In the words of Elle Woods herself, “What, like it’s hard?”

Prime Podcasts

2019: Dolly Parton’s America

We had more than enough listening material to satisfy our huge appetite for podcasts in 2019. And a special mention goes to a fascinating newcomer, Dolly Parton’s America, which investigates the country music star’s mass appeal. Yee-haw.   

2020: The Topical

Prepare for the podcast medium to travel into uncharted territories in 2020. The Topical, brought to you by the team at satirical news site The Onion, goes live in January, and will deliver daily swipes at news and current affairs.


dolly parton
Dolly Parton

This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of marie claire.

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