Although T.S. Eliot said April was the cruelest month, I’d argue that it’s actually March. It’s long as hell: 31 days, the only non-Summer month with no real holidays, Daylight Savings Time kicks in, most places are cold yet the holidays are long gone, and it just feels like the most uneventful month of the year. This particularly March, we saw Republicans making asses out of themselves left and right with seemingly one political stunt after another, the horrifying prospect of Daylight Savings Time becoming permanent (it makes infinitely more sense to get rid of it altogether), a brutally grinding war in Ukraine, little good news in sight, and the most talked about event of the month was the first assault at the Academy Awards. Yikes…
Yet, there’s several reasons to believe April will be a much better month than we’ve had all year (or perhaps even the last couple years, since they haven’t exactly been wonderful).
10. “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” provides a long-overdue family theatrical experience…Families haven’t had a real movie in theaters all year, and there’s only so many times you can watch “Sing 2.” An increasingly-stingy Disney even pushed the release of “Turning Red” to Disney+ only, because there’s nothing parents of small kids need more than spending even more time at home. Whether “Sonic 2” is as good as the original or not really is irrelevant because (as the father of small kids) I’ve come to discover that there really is no such thing as a bad movie if kids will sit through it.
9. “The Batman” is (probably) coming to HBOMax…Just like parents of small kids have had no options in 2022, adults might prefer to watch the three-hour Batman movie in the darkness of their own homes, stretched out in a comfy chair and with no coughing adults in sight. The movie will probably be on HBOMax April 19th or somewhere not far behind that date. It seems more likely than not it premieres sometime in April.
8. Republicans might be less crazy…The 2022 mid-terms are fully underway now, and that means Republicans will be forced to pretend to be sane for a few months while they attempt to trick voters into thinking that they aren’t bonkers. The political climate might get worse as they try to “out crazy” each other before Republican primaries. But I think it’s slightly more likely they’ll be forced to put on their “respectable” face to appeal to voters who probably weren’t thrilled with March’s chaos: absurd race-based rants at Ketanji Brown-Jackson instead of questions, Matt Gaetz the sex offender magically finding Hunter Biden’s laptop in his possession, Trump being so emboldened he sued Hillary Clinton and dropped the Mo Brooks endorsement when Mo wouldn’t co-sign on helping him stage a coup, various Republicans bending over backwards to make pro-Putin talking points, Americans knowing that Ginny Thomas helped Trump’s coup and Clarence Thomas should definitely resign from the SCOTUS (but probably won’t), etc. In April, they’ll have to make their messaging more focused, and I’m guessing we won’t see too many new ones willing to kamikaze their chances by sucking up to Putin, at the very least.
7. Spring Break…Woo hoo! Most schools celebrate their spring break in April, and this will be the first one in three years where “What beach will I be least likely to die from CoVid?” isn’t a top Google search.
6. You can actually watch some of the best movies of 2021…Although this year’s Academy Awards has been completely overshadowed by “the smack” heard ’round the world, Will Smith’s senseless tantrum shouldn’t stop you from checking out many of 2021’s best movies–which are all making their way to streaming. Best Picture nominees “West Side Story,” “Drive My Car,” “King Richard,” “Nightmare Alley,” and “Dune” are already on HBOMax (“Richard,” “Alley,” and “Dune” were all in my top 10 list, and they have some lesser-known 2021 gems like “No Sudden Move,” “The Last Duel,” and “In the Same Breath”). “Belfast” and “Licorice Pizza” can’t hold out forever. You might want to check out some of the overlooked best movies of 2021 like “Pig,” “The Harder They Fall,” or “Stillwater.” And 2021’s best movie “Don’t Look Up” has been on Netflix for months.
5. Easter is the first holiday in forever…A big reason March sucks is because St. Patrick’s Day is the “biggest” holiday and almost no one actually gets off work for it. That’s not true for Easter in April, where most jobs will give you either the Friday before or the Monday after off. It’s desperately needed as there are no work holidays in the nearly two-month stretch between President’s Day and Passover/Good Friday. Bonus: Earth Day and Arbor Day are both in April, meaning that if people ever wanted to give a token nod to the abused and neglected environment, it’ll be in April.
4. “Ozark” ends…The final episodes of “Ozark” are being released on April 29th. This is really the only Netflix series I’ve stuck with from start-to-finish and even if the first half of the final season (released in January) wasn’t the best, I’m still fully committed to finding out how “Ozark” goes out. Will it be the first Netflix original drama to have a satisfactory conclusion?
3. The beginning of the end for “Better Call Saul”…Some people believe “Better Call Saul” is the best series on television, and even if I don’t quite accept that breathless praise for a spinoff that has only occasionally been as excellent as “Breaking Bad,” I’m still eager to watch the final season. The final season premieres on April 18th. Similar to “Ozark,” it’s being needlessly split into two parts: seven episodes in April and May with a few months break before the true final six.
2. “The Northman” storms screens…Robert Eggers is a great director that you may not know by name (his most recent movie “The Lighthouse” was the second best movie of 2019), and “The Northman” might change that. He’s rounded up a truly excellent cast (any movie with Willem Dafoe and Ethan Hawke will automatically wind up at the top of a “must see” list), a larger budget than he’s had before, and an intriguing sounding Viking-revenge premise. The movie comes out April 22nd.
Best of All: Ketanji Brown-Jackson will be sworn into the Supreme Court…Now that Susan Collins and Joe Manchin have publicly committed to voting for Jackson, it really doesn’t matter if Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski do as well (although they should). I’m knocking loudly on wood, but Ketanji should be sworn into the SCOTUS in April, proving that a judge with more experience than all three of Trump’s judges put together can rise above petty bigotry every blue moon and squeak through a process she would’ve sailed through in a sane world. Still, it’ll be pretty great to see her become not only the first black female SCOTUS judge in U.S. history, but the first black Supreme Court justice that most black people actually like (or who gives a toss about Civil Rights) since Thurgood Marshall left the court 30 years ago.
Possible Bonus: The news for “inflation” (price gouging) and Ukraine has been so awful that it’s hard to imagine April won’t be a little bit better…Of course, I’m almost afraid to say that, but why not do what 99% of the media refuses to and embrace a little optimism every once and a while?