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From Alison Hammond in the Bake Off tent to a Kardashian redemption arc – a wish list for TV in 2023

While the world edges ever closer to its demise, at least some good telly would cheer us up. That's certainly what Lucy Sweet hopes for

The Great British Bake Off. Matt Lucas has announced he is leaving - but who will replace him? Image: Mark Bourdillon / Channel 4

Do people still make new year’s resolutions? I gave up in 2020, which incidentally was when the world decided to give up as well.

Since then, making plans has felt too much like tempting fate, so now I start the year by hiding under the duvet, watching old episodes of The Office and waiting for the next terrible thing to happen. It’s not a great hobby, admittedly, but it’s better than making overnight oats.

While I’m still not feeling optimistic enough for any radical self-improvement this month, I still have the capacity to imagine a world where we can all have more fun and enjoy life, rather than feeling like we’re in one of Elon Musk’s doomed self-driving cars, trundling off the edge of sanity.

So as we tentatively step into 2023, wondering what delights it will bring (war, pestilence, draft excluder TikTok?) this is what I’m hoping to watch this year:  

Season three of The White Lotus 

I know this isn’t original, but I didn’t know I could love a TV show quite as much as I loved The White Lotus. You think everything’s been done, and then along comes that theme tune, which sounds like a deranged dance party inside a coconut. Then Jennifer Coolidge rocks up in a Dolce and Gabbana wrap dress, sipping a glass of champagne and walking as if she’s just sat on a cactus, and you realise that the world is still capable of delivering good things.

I think season three should be set in the Maldives, with the return of Greg, who sets his sights on a rich widow played by Catherine O’Hara. But really, I don’t care who is in it or what it’s about. JUST. GET. IT. MADE. 

A new presenter for the Bake Off 

Paul Hollywood is so thrusting and virile, it’s like having two men in tight jeans with an overhanging paunch on the team, so after Matt Lucas’s departure I’d like to see the gender balance righted. Please can we have Alison Hammond? After that Sainsbury’s Christmas ad we need a palate cleanser, and Alison is perfect – funny, warm and capable of out-statement-necklacing Prue.

Everything in the Darren Star Universe

I can’t wait for the clunky, woke hopelessness of And Just Like That. It turns out that the terrifying Restylane-filled faces of our Sex and the City favourites, along with their inability to understand anything that’s happened in the last 20 years, makes for an unintentionally hilarious treat. Then there’s Emily in Paris – the world’s worst social media star, who dresses like Polly Pocket at the Folie Bergere. And I’ve got my fingers crossed for season two of Uncoupled, mainly because I can never get enough of rich gay men being acerbic in galleries.

The Kardashians redemption arc 

Rather than ricocheting obscenely around in private jets and wearing Marilyn Monroe’s dresses to the Met Gala, I’m hoping that this is the year that the Kardashians finally come to their senses and renounce their worldly goods. Kim will become a hot-shot lawyer battling for justice for the dispossessed, Kris will give all her Martini money to the homeless and Kendall Jenner will finally learn how to chop a cucumber properly. (Never gonna happen.)

A half-decent sitcom 

And finally, wouldn’t it be nice to see a return to the golden days of British sitcom, without any tricksy plot twists, gasp-worthy cliffhangers or clever easter eggs? I just want to see actors on BBC-funded cardboard sets being misunderstood by women called Mrs Warboys, or spying on the neighbours, or having disastrous dinner parties. I don’t want to be almost sick with suspense, or have my expectations challenged. All I want for 2023 is the new Paul Eddington, wearing a polyester polo neck and sarcastically smirking in a gazebo. Please?

Lucy Sweet is a freelance journalist @lucytweet1

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