It’s now 2016 and since we’re safely in the new year (In case there was a great wombat invasion at the last minute or whatever) I thought I’d take a look back at the best and worst media that I experienced over the year with a quick blurb on what I thought they did right or wrong to deserve their placement on the list.
This is just my personal experiences but if anyone wants to add something to the list feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll throw it up here (I didn’t get to read any comics this year for example so that’s wide open for the taking).
- Mad Max comes back in an absolutely terrific sequel: I’ve never actually been Mad Max fan so I wasn’t really interested in this film when it came out. But after hearing people constantly praise I finally checked it out and I was not disappointed. Nonstop action with a great story made this one of my top movies of the year.
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens doesn’t drop the ball: This is a movie that could have really gone bad. So I was really glad when it turned out to be pretty great. It’s given me high hopes for the rest of the trilogy and I hope the sequels are as good as this one was.
- Marvel has another good year: While they weren’t as good as last years movies both Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man were very good to me. Avengers was pretty fun time and Ant-Man defied my concerns over it’s potential problems to be a fun and very enjoyable movie.
- Spectre is yet another good James Bond film: While it wasn’t as good as Skyfall and they kind of rushed to make Spectre a part of the Bond universe again, I still enjoyed this film and thought that it was nice closer to Daniel Craig’s time as James Bond.
I did not see a single film from this year that I didn’t like. Then again I don’t go to the movies that much. So here’s some other peoples worsts:
- Spectre took itself a little too seriously. I like serious spy stuff like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but that’s not what I go to a Bond movie to see. Rogue Nation knew what kind of movie it was and delivered a better escapist spy-fi experience. - Ghost in the Machine
- Marvel has a very good year of TV: We had the debut of three great Marvel shows this year in the form of Agent Carter on ABC and Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix. Agents of Shield meanwhile has been very good over the past year. It’s nice that the MCU TV verse is coming along well.
- Justified ends on a strong note: Justified ended it’s 6-season run earlier in the year with a terrific and satisfying final season. It will be missed.
- Fargo has an even better second season: After the terrific first season of Fargo the second had a big challenge ahead of it. However it beat that challenge and then some, delivering an excellent second season with even higher hopes for the third season. Hopefully that one too will be even better than the last one.
- Thunderbirds are Go! was a nice surprise, taking the original concept, treating it with a decent blend of critique and reverence to create something that can often suffer from ADHD editing, but is a solid series in and of itself and is luckily weaker when it’s trying to create homages to the original. -Speccy4i
- And to be honest, if 2015 wasn’t the year of Back to the Future, it would have been the year of Gravity Falls. Hot damn. This is a series that continuously kept evolving to the point that the opening of series 2 and where it is now almost feels like a different show. Alex Hirsch has thrown a lot of stuff at the wall, most of it has stuck and he’s doing incredibly daring stuff considering it’s come out of the House of Mouse. It’s honest, brutal, hilarious and twisted but at it’s core it has a lot of heart and with one last massive episode left to go, I have absolutely no idea how it’s going to end (beyond a few thematic beats) but I’m completely convinced that it’ll stick the landing. If you haven’t been watching it, now’s the perfect time to catch up. -Speccy4i
- Doctor Who feels like it’s undergone a slight retooling, which considering that there’s been none of its usual changes (same Doctor, Companion and showrunner) is kind of impressive. Capaldi’s finally settled into the role and has managed to swing away from the stretched out dark “I’m old and grumpy and not like Matt Smith” early phase and into a more traditional “cool Uncle” feel that older Doctors tend to inhabit. The stories have seen a marked improvement, with a reliance on Moffat’s worse tendencies dampened (although still apparent). Still not quite at the height of the Tennant years (or even the first series of Smith’s tenure) but hopefully a sign of better things to come. -Speccy4i
- The Walking Dead makes some dumb choices: Let’s start first with the new spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, what was supposed to be a look at the early days of the zombie apocalypse just rapidly devolved into Walking Dead 2.0 with even more unlikable characters. Then on the Walking Dead Prime there was the irritating Glenn fake out that achieved nothing other than destroying my patience. Not a good year for this show.
- Pretty Little Liars finally reveals who “A” is and it doesn’t matter: Pretty Little Liars is a show about four high school girls being harassed and stalked by the worlds most elaborate troll. After 6 years they finally revealed big bad A’s identity in a reveal that could have very easily gone the evil transgender route and surprisingly didn’t. And after all this it doesn’t matter, because in spite of A being unmasked there’s still a season and a half left in show, possibly more. So this reveal, while interesting, is ultimately pointless in the long run.
- The Witcher 3 is the best RPG I’ve played in a long time: This game had a great storyline, excellent combat, and was a great finale to an excellent trilogy of games. Definitely my pick for game of the year.
- Shadowrun Hong Kong was also good: I missed this when it first came out by a month but I made up for by blowing through it in a few days. This was my second pick for game of the year. It wasn’t as good as Dragonfall and there were some game play changes I didn’t like but other than that it was a good game.
- Mortal Kombat X is a guts tearing good time: Following up the excellent series reboot this sequel had introduced both a great new cast of characters and several new gameplay mechanics in addition to the older ones. It’s a game I always enjoy playing even if I’m not good at it.
- Halo 5’s story is kind of a problem: While I did like this game, the way the games story played out didn’t sit all that well with me and as such I didn’t enjoy it as much as previous games. Still the gameplay was pretty enjoyably so it was still a good game, just not a great game.
- Fallout 4 is kind of a mess: I don’t know what it is about this game but something doesn’t sit well with me about it. There’s just something off about how everything works in the game that bugs me and is making it hard for me to finish the game. Also you can’t really talk your way out of fights anymore and that saddens me.
- Final Fantasy Type-0 is shit: Now for the one game this year that I actually disliked. There’s nothing to this game, the main characters have no personality, the game looks bland even with the HD boost, and the story is almost non-existent until it turns nonsensical at the end. I recommend staying far away from this one.
- WWE NXT is has excellent wrestling: In spite of being a developmental brand (i.e. training center) NXT continuously manages to outshine it’s parent company with it’s great roster and excellent matches. Also it has one of the best women’s divisions in the world and some of the best matches of the year came from this division.
- Lucha Underground has great storytelling: Lucha Underground on the flipside has some of the best storytelling in wrestling at the moment. By functioning as a Sci-Fi show that happens to have wrestling as a centerpiece to the action, they’ve managed to have enthralling storylines backed up by action packed matches that help tell they storylines. Also in spite of potential cancellation it will be back for a second season and that is excellent news.
- WWE refuses to change: WWE has done business the exact same way for the last 20+ years. If you think that they’re in for a change you would be right but you would get laughed out the door by the old fools running the company. And in spite of boring TV shows and PPV’s dwindling audiences and viewership, and dead silent crowds at shows the company refuses to try and do anything different about the way they do business. It’s telling that in the final months of the year when a good portion of their roster was out on injury that they floundered around and were totally incapable of making new stars out of the people who still around.
- The Aeronauts Windlass was a nice surprise: This book caught me totally by surprise since Jim Butcher is my favorite author and I didn’t know that he was writing a new non-Dresden Files book. Nevertheless this was my favorite book of the year with it’s fun characters and interesting storyline. I eagerly wait the next book in this new series.
- The Providence of Fire is a great sequel: The second book in the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne trilogy, this book was a terrific sequel to a very decent book. The plot is even more detailed than before as the characters take very different and interesting paths and ends things on several great plots threads that should make for a amazing final novel.
I only read two books this year and luckily both were good. No bad books from me.
- RWBY continues on in spite of tragedy: Earlier this year the creator of the web series RWBY, Monty Oum passed away due to complications from surgery. So it was nice that Roosterteeth, the company he was working for has continued to work on RWBY after his death. He is missed but his work continues on.
- I can’t play Bloodborne: This just a general gripe since I don’t have a PS4. Bloodborne is the best game I’ve never played and I’m sad that I haven’t gotten to.
- Kinja underwent some new changes and broke everything: Comments and notifications have been acting wonky and I haven’t been able to put pictures articles or comments without a workaround in weeks. It’s always something with Kinja. :(
Anyway that’s it, folks happy New Year 2016!!!