Every year, Oprah Winfrey puts together a list of her favorite things–aptly called “Oprah’s Favorite Things”–that’s meant as a gift guide for everyone. Since this blog is more about books, music, movies, and television rather than ‘things’ (also since the holidays are over,) I thought it might be fun to discuss my favorite media from the past 12 months. As a year, 2013 was pretty good in terms of the big blockbuster films, latest installments of franchises, new television series, music discovery, and delving into new book series.
This year alone I tackled The Maze Runner trilogy, the Percy Jackson series, and A Song of Ice and Fire. According to Spotify, I have 443 tracks on my 2013 playlist, as opposed to 220 songs on the 2012 mix. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch every film I wanted to in theaters, but I saw a majority of them after they were released on DVD. However, I did watch almost every new pilot that aired this year, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Now it’s time to take a look back at the books, music, movies, and TV shows that I discovered in 2013–all of which I highly recommend.
If you thought Jan. 6 would arrive without me writing a post in anticipation of Teen Wolf’s winter premiere, you thought wrong. Teen Wolfseason 3B is only 19 days away and all the promotional media leading up to the premiere has got me more excited than ever. I’m actually a bit worried because I now have only 19 days–3 weekends–left to re-watch seasons 1, 2, and 3A. That’s barely any time at all! But even as I scramble to watch all 36 episodes of Teen Wolf rather than go to holiday parties or spend time with my family (just kidding! I’ll make them watch with me,) I can’t wait for MTV’s supernatural drama to premiere. It’s one of my favorite shows and I’m thankful–as I’m sure many other fans are–that we’re even getting a winter season this year.
Photo via @MTVteenWolf
When last we left Beacon Hills, Scott, Stiles, and Allison had performed a dark ritual tying them to the nemeton in order to find their parents, who had been captured by the Durach/Jennifer Blake. Scott had become a True Alpha, which means he became an alpha by being a really good person rather than killing another alpha. Scott beat Deucalion, who’s pack of alphas had been either killed or disbanded. Derek gave up his alpha status to save his sister, Cora, then left town with her to get away from Beacon Hills. In one of the biggest cliffhangers of season 3A, Peter Hale killed the Durach on the nemeton and shouted, “I AM THE ALPHA! I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE ALPHA!” (Yikes.) However, Scott and his friends were happy. Though if there’s one thing I know about Teen Wolf, that won’t last long. So let’s talk about Teen Wolf 3B.
I obviously don’t try to hide my love of animated films: I’m part of the Disney generation. I grew up with Jasmine, Belle, Ariel, Meg, and Mulan; as I got older, Tiana and Rapunzel were added to the lineup of Disney heroines. No matter how old I get, though, I can’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t want to see the newest animated musical from Disney. (I’m twenty-three, if I were going to grow out of it, you’d think I would have done it by now.) So of course I saw Disney’s newest film,Frozen, which came out on November 27. Everyone has been raving about Frozen, calling it the best Disney movie sinceBeauty and the Beast. It certainly had the best opening weekend of a Disney animated musical since The Lion King, but I wasn’t so sure. I liked The Princess Frog and Tangled, but they still weren’t quite up to the standards I had come to expect as a child growing up on these flicks. So I went into Frozen with an open mind, if not very high expectations.
Photo via Disneys–Frozen on Tumblr
Frozen follows the story of two princesses in the fictional kingdom of Arendelle: Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell.) Elsa has a magical gift to create snow and ice. But after a traumatic childhood event, Elsa hides herself away and tells no one about her gift, while Anna grows up essentially alone. On Elsa’s coronation day, she and Anna get into a fight and Elsa runs away from Arendelle, leaving the kingdom in an eternal winter. Anna follows her sister to find Elsa and bring her back. She teams up with Kristof (Jonathan Groff,) a surly mountain man, his reindeer Sven, and a living snowman named Olaf (Josh Gad.) By the end of the film, I had definitely fallen in love with the characters of Frozen as well as the story. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s as good as The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, especially through the rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia, but Frozen is definitely a quality Disney film–for the most part.
I will be the first to admit that my love of television is just bordering on unhealthy–I am one series shy of tracking 40 shows on SideReel–and one of my favorite aspects of watching television is talking about my favorite series, specifically on Twitter. I love to live-tweet my favorite TV shows (especially Teen Wolf,) but the great thing about Twitter is that it’s not a one-sided experience. TV shows use their social media accounts to interact with fans and discuss each episode of the series. However, I have recently found that the writer’s room Twitter accounts for TV series are even more fun to follow than a show’s official Twitter.
Photo via Shaddicted on Tumblr.
I first heard about writer’s room Twitters through Tumblr during TV premiere season when the staff of Sleepy Hollow and Elementarygot into a bit of a tiff–which was hilarious to watch as a fan of both series. (Seriously, how could you not love these two?) I started following both the accounts and then I began looking for writer’s room accounts linked to some of my other favorite series. Unfortunately, not every show has a Twitter for their writers and not every writer’s room account is as fantastic as others. I’m not sure who actually runs the Twitters–my guess is that it falls to a social media person rather than the actual writers–but they often interact with the writers’ personal accounts. No matter who runs these Twitter accounts, if you’re a fan of these shows, they’re definitely worth following.