2016 Favorites

Happy New Year!

Before we get too far into 2017, I wanted to pause for a moment and do a similar post to last year’s, with my 2016 “favorites”.

Films!

Unfortunately, most of the films I’m excited to see still haven’t made it here yet: Hidden Figures, La La Land, Jackie. (I am desperate to see La La Land, and the previews are just taunting me in my small, 3 movie theater-town…if it wasn’t freezing, I’d venture up the road to Cedar Rapids and see it at the “big” theater there.) These are my favorites of what I did see in 2016.

Hell or High Water (Crime/Drama/Western) – Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges are always good, but the big surprise here is how magnificent Chris Pine is. This is such a simple movie in some ways, but beautifully done, in my opinion. Also, having lived in Texas, I could fully appreciate how “Texan” all of the supporting cast was. (One of my favorite lines/scenes: “What don’tcha want?”)

Arrival (Drama/Mystery/Sci-Fi) – I gushed about this one in an earlier post, so no need to rehash here…just see it!

Sing Street (Comedy/Drama/Music) – Just delightful! It’s so uplifting and fun–it’s the warm hug we all need this year.

Bridget Jones’s Baby (Comedy/Romantic) – I missed Bridge so, so much. Let’s all forget The Edge of Reason–THIS is the worthy follow-up to Bridget Jones’s Diary.

The Girl on the Train (Drama/Mystery/Thriller) – Perfectly-cast adaptation of one of my favorite novels. Emily Blunt can do no wrong.

The Accountant (Action/Crime/Drama) – I seem to be the only one who really enjoyed this one, but it was probably my favorite action film of the year. It’s not that I’m some huge Ben Affleck fan, I just thought it was a cool concept and well executed…with so many remakes/reboots/superheroes, it’s nice to be surprised every once in awhile.

Sully (Biography/Drama) Tom Hanks is one of the least “showy” actors, and I love to watch him. It’s a miraculous story, helped by an excellent supporting cast.

TV!

The best gift I got this year was from myself: I signed back up for Netflix! My top three shows of 2016 were all from the streaming service.

Stranger Things – (Drama/Fantasy/Sci-Fi) I finally binged this over the holidays, and it was worth every ounce of hype…it was all that I hoped and more. The Duffer Brothers somehow managed to put everything awesome from the ’80s into one show. I knocked this one out in two days.

The Crown – (Drama/Historical) This one is at the top of my list for the year. Beautiful, addictive, and a few episodes that are just a master class in damn good TV. (See that gorgeous/eerie Great Smog episode: “Act of God”.)

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life – (Comedy/Drama) So nice to revisit old friends. A few missteps, but overall worth the wait.

This Is Us – (Drama/Comedy) My weekly emotional gut-punch. Keep tissues on hand at all times. You’ll laugh, too, but you’ll mostly just want to call your parents/siblings/friends immediately after each episode.

Dead of Summer – (Drama/Fantasy/Horror) Cancelled after just one season, but such nostalgic fun–awesome soundtrack (Janet Jackson! R.E.M.! INXS! Depeche Mode!) & very fun twists–it was the perfect throwback to 80’s slasher films. It’s no Stranger Things, but it was still pretty damn fun.

Timeless – (Action/Adventure/Drama) Pure, escapist fun. Don’t think too hard…just watch.

Pitch – (Drama/Sports) Three words: Mark. Paul. Gosselaar. This show will take your Saved By the Bell fantasies up a notch. That aside, the show is just fabulous in general–great cast, especially the lead (Kylie Bunbury), and just the right amount of “sports stuff” for non-sport fans.

The Path – (Drama) Netflix definitely has the edge on Hulu with original programming, but the excellent cast really stood out on this show. I wish this could’ve been binged all at once instead of coming out weekly, but I’ll be back to see where this crazy cult leads.

Good Behavior – (Crime/Drama) Michelle Dockery is not Lady Mary on this delicious crime drama. The heat between the two leads is off the charts, and if you’ve spent any time in the Southeast you’ll appreciate the characters and references to the area. (Shout out to Myrtle Beach!)

Favorite “mini-series” or “limited series” this year: London Spy, And Then There Were None, The Night Of, The Night Managerand the one the rest of the world loved, too: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story 

Older shows that just get better and better: The Americans, Younger

*********

It feels like the Golden Globes snuck up on me this year and I am not at all prepared. I am happy to see Jimmy Fallon back as the host, though! For those of you who will be following along at home, here’s a printable list of nominees.

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