The Best of The Best
2019 may have had its up and downs when it came to almost anything in the everyday news, but it was also full of a bunch of great stuff. I wanted to do this post to share some of my favourites from the year with you all to give you a chance to catch up on some awesome TV, movies, music & podcasts you may have missed. So, without further ado...
Favourite movie of the year: Joker
Honourable Mentions: Avengers Endgame, El Camino, The Irishman
2019 has been a pretty solid year for movies, and my absolute favourite has to be Joker. For a movie that I was pretty sceptical about beforehand, it absolutely blew me away. Of course, the performance from Joaquin Phoenix is at the centre of it all - I almost want to call it a career best performance, but the has had so many, it's too hard to choose. The movie itself needs no introduction, and I'm sure almost all of you out there have seen it - if not, be sure to pick up on home release!
Worthy runners up include the incredible Avengers Endgame - just purely for what it managed to achieve in tying up the storylines from 20+ movies over the course of a decade. It is also a visual spectacle, with an awesome performance from RDJ. Two huge Netflix movies; The Irishman and El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, were also two favourites of mine. The Irishman, while admittedly too long, it features amazing performances and it is amazing seeing Joe Pesci back on screen. El Camino, whist maybe not as appreciated as much by everyone, is a worthy follow up to Breaking Bad, and Aaron Paul, is in incredible form as Jesse Pinkman, a role he was born to play. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywaker is also a notice omission, and whilst I absolutely LOVED it, I don't think I've had enough time to process how much just yet.
Favourite TV show of the year: Succession (season 2)
Honourable Mentions: When They See Us, Unbelievable, The Wticher
As far as TV goes, there has only really been one candidate for me, and that is Succession. The moment I watched the first episode (after Kerry, my wife, had watched it), I was hooked, and the first two seasons were binged in no time. For those unaware, Succession is a dark comedy drama, that follows the Roy family (imagine the Murdochs), and their media empire. It has a whole cast of amazing characters - it's a bit like Game of Thrones set in the modern world, but with less violence and more politics. Season two ends on such a massive cliffhanger, and season three is already my most anticipated TV of 2020.
When They See Us & Unbelievable are two amazing true crime dramas both to come to Netflix this year, that both feature an amazing cast, and harrowing stories - that must be seen to be believed. While I haven't finished it at the time of writing, I'm also really enjoying The Witcher on Netflix. It's a bit like Game of Thrones on steroids, featuring a great performance from Henry Cavill. The final season of Game of Thrones is missing from this list, mainly because as much as I enjoyed it - it was just way too rushed for me to be 100% satisfying. I've also seen The Mandalorian - but that isn't released in the UK until next year, but it is INCREDIBLE.
Favourite artist/album of the year: Sam Fender/Hypersonic Missiles
Honorable Mentions: The Menzingers/Hello Exile, Dave Hause/Kick
This was a tough choice, because two of my favourite artists, The Menzingers & Dave Hause, released new records this year. As good as they both were, none of them caught my attention as must as the debut record, Hypersonic Missiles, from Sam Fender did. From the moment I first heard the single, Hypersonic Missiles, I knew that he was good, but it wasn't until he released the track The Borders, that it took it to another level. That is the single best track I've heard from a UK artist in years, and a song hasn't caught my attention so much since I first heard The '59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem.
Hello Exile by The Menzingers is a worthy follow up to the stellar After The Party, with particular highlights being Anna, and Strain Your Memory. Kick, by Dave Hause is an exceptional record, that showcases his talents, and how much he has grown as an artitst since his brother Tim has came on board.
Favourite podcast of the year: Finding Drago
Honourable Mentions: The Storyteller: Murder Most Foul, Triple Hopped, Bad Batch
Now, I don't even know if this podcast was strictly released in 2019, but I only discovered it this year, and I do know that it is absolutely incredible. Finding Drago is an investigative journalism podcast that starts as one thing, and ends as another. I don't want to say too much about it as to spoil the events, but it starts as a journey to find the author of a Rocky IV sequel novel named Drago: On Mountains We Stand.
As for the runners up, Storyteller: Murder Most Foul is a true crime podcast set here in Aberdeen, telling an absolutely horrible story, yet a story that needed to be told. Triple Hopped is a podcast all about craft beer in which each episodes the host talk about a certain type of beer, or a certain brewery. Bad Batch is the latest podcast to come from the team behind Dirty John & Dr Death, Bad Batch tells the story of a bunch of patients who were offered a miracle cure, yet were all rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
So there you have it, my favourites for the year. I would have liked to have maybe included books and games too, but I don't think I read a single book all year, and I didn't play enough games that blew me away to justify making a list.
What were your favourites? Let me know in the comments below.
the Best of The Box
I love me some good TV. We are always on the hunt for a new box set in our household. Over the last few weeks I have been watching some great TV; some absolutely mind-blowing TV, some new & some returning favourites.
Wild Wild Country - Netflix
I'm going to start off with the show that has blown my mind the most recently. That show is Wild Wild Country, a Netflix docuseries based on the controversial Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh & the rise of his Rajneesh movement across the globe - primarily how it affected the small town of Antelope, Oregon, USA.
I'm reluctant to say too much about this show, because I think it would be best to let it unravel before you eyes - and I really don't want to spoilt it for you. Although I've linked the trailer below, I'd suggest going into it without watching the trailer, as it gives a bit much away for me. Just watch this show, and prepare for your jaw to drop in disbelief.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace - BBC
Next we have The Assassination of Gianni Versace - the second season of the American Crime Story anthology series, the first season being The People v. O. J. Simpson. Created by Ryan Murphy, the man behind the extremely popular American Horror Story, American Crime Story will re-create a huge American scandal each season.
As stated by the title, this season follows the assassination of fashion guru Gianni Versace in 1997. Now this is a story I had absolutely no prior knowledge of, so I have been absolutely gripped by it from the off. The cast features Édgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace, Penélope Cruz as his sister Donatella, Ricky Martin as Gianni's lover & Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan (the man behind the assassination). Check out the trailer below.
Marvel's Jessica Jones (S2) - Netflix
Following up from the slight disappointing "The Defenders", Netflix are continuing their Marvel run with Jessica Jones back for season 2. For those unaware Jessica Jones follows Krysten Ritter as the titular super powered private detective as she takes on new cases whilst trying to solve the mystery of her past.
Season 1 was without doubt one of the high points of Netflix's run with the Marvel characters. Whilst only around 6 episodes in, I'm still trying to figure out how this season will go. Ritter puts in another captivating performance as Jessica Jones & does plenty to hold your attention. The Netflix shows seem to have suffered from a dip in quality as they have went on with the exception being the recent "The Punisher", so I can only hope that Jessica Jones doesn't suffer from this as the season progresses. Check out the trailer below.
Love (S3) - Netflix
Love, the Judd Apatow produced romantic comedy series is back for its third and final season on Netflix. If you haven't already seen it, Love follows Gus (Paul Rust) & Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) over the course of the turbulent relationship that features many ups and downs throughout. There is also a great supporting cast full of hilarious characters to back up the strong leads.
For me, the third season has so far been every bit as good as the previous too. When it first came along, Love was a show that completely took me buy surprise & quickly got me hooked. It is such a refreshing take on the genre & a show that I think deserves your attention. Check out the trailer below.
One final thing. A glaring omission from this list is The Walking Dead. The Walking Dead is a show I have been watching for 8 seasons now, and it is a show that I have seriously lost interest in - but can't stop watching. However, I think i'm going to save my full thoughts on that for another blog. There's a lot to cover there.
I hope you find something from this list to get stuck into. Also, let me know if you have any recent recommendations.
Happy watching 📺
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