10 Entertainment Trends We're Ready to Say Goodbye to in 2023 (& One We Want to Keep)

It’s no secret that 2022 was an incredible year for entertainment. It was the year that gifted us with highly-anticipated releases like Avatar: The Way of Water and unforgettable gems like Severance (yes, we’re still reeling from that season finale). Not to mention Netflix’s lengthy list of top original shows, from Wednesday to From Scratch. But with this wave of great new content came a host of entertainment trends that, quite frankly, need to be retired ASAP.

From whitewashed characters to the sudden rise of cheesy cooking shows (don’t even get us started on Is It Cake?), keep reading for 10 of the worst trends we’re ready to say goodbye to in 2023—and one trend we want to see more of.

1. Glorifying serial killers & psychopaths

It’s one thing to serve us thoughtful, well-rounded documentaries that offer insight into real-life crimes. But this past year, we've been bombarded with nightmare-inducing series and films (both documentaries and dramatized versions) that shine the spotlight on psychopaths and killers—and in many cases, unintentionally glorify them. Sure, we’ve seen creepy crime stories like HBO Max’s The Way Down and Netflix’s Dahmer get the most views—the latter made Netflix history with over a billion hours viewed in just 60 days. But should we really be celebrating when these shows often exploit victims and their families while glamorizing the criminals as misunderstood souls worthy of sympathy?

How about we tone down the humanizing of psychopaths within true-crime content? And maybe we can stop casting attractive A-list actors and actresses to play the dramatized versions while we're at it. (We're looking at you Candy, Love & Death and The Staircase).

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Ollie Upton / HBO

2. The problematic “Bury Your Gays” trope

We’ve seen this toxic trope play out so many times, from the death of Rose on Jane the Virgin to Poussey's triggering murder in Orange Is the New Black. In case you’re unfamiliar with the trend, it’s been around since the late 19th century, and it typically involves a queer couple where one partner endures suffering, gets killed off or eventually realizes that they were never actually gay. Initially, this was used by gay authors who wanted to write about gay characters without breaking any laws and social mandates. And unfortunately, this harmful trend still persists.

For example, take HBO Max’s House of the Dragon. Laenor developed feelings for Ser Joffrey Lonmouth. But this romance quickly died before it could even begin, because Joffrey was brutally murdered by Criston after appearing in just two episodes.

3. Binge-worthy shows that are short-lived

The Midnight Club. Partner Track. Archive 81. First Kill. Night Sky. They all got nixed in 2022 after just one (yes, one) season. And this lack of second chances is especially common for Netflix.

PureWow's Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment Joel Calfee perhaps put it best, saying, “Instead of putting out ten thousand new shows and then canceling most of them, why can't they put out a select few that are better? Or at least give their shows a chance to get a larger following with a second season?”

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John Shearer/Getty Images

4. Whitewashing (and, yes, we're still talking about this in 2023)

Hollywood’s diversity problem is nothing new. And while there have arguably been less egregious examples of whitewashing in recent years, the fact remains that Hollywood still has improvements to make.

For instance, in 2022, we saw this with the casting of Daisy Edgar-Jones (a non-Jewish woman) as Carole King in Sony's biopic, Beautiful, which led to major backlash on social media. One fan even reached out to King directly and said, "Please, please can you speak out against this casting. They're erasing us."

Then there was the casting of Bradley Cooper, a non-Jewish actor, as the famed Jewish composer, Leonard Bernstein. Understandably, fans were not happy to see the actor in surfaced photos from the set, where he’s seen sporting a prosthetic nose and chin. *Sigh.*

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5. TV hosts who aren’t really TV hosts

Perhaps this trend flew under your radar, but you’ve definitely seen this before. A certain celebrity (or duo) will pop up at the beginning of a reality show or dating show to serve as “host” and offer a basic introduction. But throughout the course of the series, said host is nowhere to be found until mayyyybe they show up in the finale. Need proof?

Just take a look at how much actual screen time Michelle Buteau has on The Circle, or how often Nick and Vanessa Lachey appear on Love Is Blind. And oh, we can’t forget about Hulu’s new dating show addition, Back in the Groove. PureWow's VP of News & Entertainment Philip Mutz points out, “I watched Back in the Groove on Hulu with Taye Diggs as ‘host’ and he was literally in the series for three minutes.”

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Courtesy of Netflix

6. The influx of lazy food competition shows

We can all agree that food reality TV has gotten a whole lot more...bizarre as of late. Or as Mutz so eloquently puts it, Hollywood started “scraping the bottom of the barrel with food show ideas.” Need we remind you of Easy-Bake Battle, a totally misleading cooking show that features zero actual Easy-Bake ovens, and Next Level Chef, where the contestants scramble to complete cooking challenges in kitchens that are stacked on top of each other?

But of course, we can’t forget Netflix’s Is It Cake? The meme-inspired series follows a group of contestants as they bake unique cakes disguised to look like a variety of objects in order to fool the panel of judges. But watching Mikey Day dramatically slice through random objects with a sword can only keep us entertained for so long (and by "so long" we mean about ten minutes...).

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Getty Images

7. Incomplete series on streaming platforms

We know, we know. It’s all because of content licensing agreements and streaming platforms can only do so much when they only have rights to a certain number of episodes. But we can’t tell you how frustrating it is to get all caught up on the first season of a show, only to find out that the rest of the seasons are missing, or that there’s a huge gap between seasons offered on the streaming service. (We may or may not be salty over the fact that Hulu is missing several seasons of Survivor.)

PureWow's Executive Editor Dara Katz definitely knows the struggle. After noting that HBO Max pulled 200 episodes of Sesame Street, she said, "I can only watch the same narrative so many times."

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Apple TV+

8. The podcast-to-TV pipeline

It’s typical to see Hollywood take its inspiration from books, true events, old shows and films. But now, it’s clear that Hollywood is overusing yet another source for "fresh" ideas: podcasts. We’ll admit, this has led to some hits, like WeCrashed, The Thing About Pam, Gaslit and of course, The Dropout. Still, we have this nagging feeling that as this pattern continues, we're about to be waist-deep in dozens of podcast-inspired shows that we never asked for. *cough, Dr. Death season two, cough*

9. Embarrassingly bad CGI

If we're watching a movie that costs hundreds of millions of dollars to make, then the least we can expect are stunning visuals, including some incredible CGI.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t always the case for high-budget movies in 2022. For example, Thor: Love and Thunder featured an off-putting CGI shot of a floating head—a scene that fans mercilessly roasted on Twitter (they definitely had this coming). And then there was the $260 million budget Black Adam, which featured a ridiculous, totally unappealing cut-and-paste of Dwayne Johnson's head onto a smaller body—and the end result was just comical. 

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10. Inconsistent streaming schedules for new releases

Nothing really beats having thousands of shows and movies at our fingertips. But honestly, keeping up with the latest releases (across different streaming platforms) is a lot of work. Why, you ask? Well, this year has shown there's zero consistency in terms of how new episodes are released, as you may have noticed with services like HBO Max, Hulu and Netflix.

“I love that HBO makes us wait for a show like White Lotus,” says PureWow's Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals Rachel Bowie. “But Sex Lives of College Girls would drop two episodes at once on certain weeks. Then of course, Netflix drops some things in full, but others (like the Harry & Meghan docuseries) in separate batches. It can be a lot to keep track of and results in missing new episodes.” We certainly wouldn't mind a little consistency with new releases in 2023.

BUT, the trend we want more of in 2023? Streaming services saving canceled shows

As we’ve mentioned before, several binge-worthy shows got the boot last year that we're still not over. So why shouldn't other networks and streaming services step in to save these solid shows with loyal fanbases?

We’ve already seen this happen with Manifest, which was saved by Netflix after NBC decided to nix the show following a major cliffhanger. And as a result, the most recent season of the series landed in Netflix's top 10 with 74.78 million hours viewed in just a week.

Here's us raising a glass to saving more axed shows in 2023.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...