These Are a Few of My Favorite Things… from 2017

2017… we barely knew you.

Actually, I suppose we knew you as long as we knew any given year, and, to be frank, sometimes it felt like this would be the year that never ends.

For me, 2017 brought on a new job (actually, two!) and the discovery of this weird website where I can write out my thoughts and people can read them (or, more likely, ignore them).

So, since Medium (still) allows me to publish this shit, here’s a list of my favorite things from this most 2017th year.

Film:

We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy!

There were many great movies this year. I saw quite a lot of good cinema (and I saw quite a few of them multiple times, as is tradition). I definitely started the year thinking that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was gonna be the very best (like no one ever was). After all, its predecessor took the top spot for 2014. But alas, I was wrong.

And it wasn’t Guardians’ fault; no sir! That movie was everything I thought it would be and more. But I didn’t anticipate how good some of the others would end up being. Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor: Ragnarok, too, were epic standouts in the superhero genre (Justice Leaguenot so much).

Wonder Woman

And there were wonderful films outside of that very specific genre. Dunkirk deserves every Oscar it can get. Blade Runner 2049 was a stunning beauty.

And for every good movie I got to see, it felt like there was at least one that I missed. Still on my list to watch are Baby Driver, Get Out, IT, Kingsman, and The Shape of Water, just to name a small few.

Porgs!

But my very favorite movie of 2017 has to be- has to be- Star Wars: The Last Jedi. You can read my full review here, but suffice it to say, it was the culmination of all the great films I saw this year. An amazing story, breathtaking visuals, and a stellar performance from the entire cast. I’ve already gone four times, and it hasn’t even been out four weeks. If any movie this year has been just a fantastic time at the movies, it was The Last Jedi.

Television:

Supernatural

Something I’ve been very impressed with this year has been television. Now, I’ve always watched an (over)abundance of television; shows like Supernatural and Star Trek are my mainstays. And while there’s been a lot of good television this year (Supernatural’s 12th and 13th seasons have been some of the strongest in years), a few shows, both new and old, have really stood out.

Stranger Things

On the streaming networks, this year I discovered quite a few amazing shows, from Star Trek: Discovery (granted, it had a very shaky start) and Handmaid’s Tale to Man in the High Castle, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, and The OA. Of course, my favorites from the likes of Netflix and Hulu definitely was Stranger Things’ second season, which was such a perfect follow-up to one of my very favorite shows ever.

Legion

On the cable side, as always Game of Thrones did a great job, but this year I really fell in love with HBO’s other show, Westworld. But it was really the superhero genre that won me out; FX’s Legion was one of the greatest shows I’ve ever watched (and felt way more like a streaming network show than a cable excursion), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. really came into its own with the LMD/framework storyline, which made it all the more baffling when it came out in the news that ABC was planning on cancelling the show after that season ended (thankfully, Disney vetoed that decision).

Music:

EIsley

Music is something I don’t really talk about in my Medium reviews. And that is really something I should change. In 2017, my favorite band ever, Eisley, released their new album, I’m Only Dreaming, which I absolutely loved (though their third album, The Valley, will always be my favorite). I also discovered a singer called Fleurie, who’s song There’s A Ghost was played on repeat for a long time.

Grace Vanderwaal

Grace Vanderwaal- the talented kid I voted for on America’s Got Talent- released her first album, and frankly you wouldn’t know it was her first album from listening to it. My personal favorite track is Darkness Keeps Chasing Me.

Of course, my musical passions have always leaned towards film scores, and this year did not disappoint. From the live action Beauty and the Beast to Jeff Russo’s eclectic Legion score, there were so many great soundtracks to listen to.

Michael Giacchino

My stand-outs have to be Michael Giacchino’s energetic score for Spider-Man: Homecoming and John Williams’ beautiful Last Jedi.

If you’d like a listen to everything I loved in 2017, you can find my “Awesome Mix 2017” playlist on Apple Music here:

And on Spotify, here:

Books:

Admittedly, I’ve had a hard time getting into books lately. It isn’t that I don’t love reading; I do. But between trying to write my own books, I haven’t found time to get too much reading done.

That said, I did read a few amazing books this year. One of my favorite book series finally came back with it’s tenth volume, in Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant: Resurrection. And I literally just finished V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic, which I had a hard time putting down.

But the best book I read this year was Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane. That book was truly mesmerizing, and one that I could not put down. A more grown-up version of his Coraline, or a spiritual sequel to it, it is truly one of the greatest and most haunting books I’ve ever read. As soon as I finished it, I found myself wanting to start it over and read it again.

Welcome, 2018:

Well, 2018 is here. It just rang in as I finished this list. 2017 was a mixed bag in the real world. Even the lighter fair that is the entertainment industry, 2017 revealed some horrible truths, and hopefully those revelations are affecting real and needed change.

That said, the escapism provided by the stories and music I’ve listed here were exceptional, and here’s hoping, whatever the real world of 2018 brings us, the movies, television, books, and music will be there to whisk us away to galaxies far, far away and teach us something that we can, hopefully, bring back to reality and make our world a better place.

Happy New Year, y’all.

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