This year marked my first year of really reading comics. Although I’d always been interested in superhero stories and the comic format, it had seemed seriously overwhelming and I never truly knew where to dive in. Late in 2013, I saw clips from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye on Tumblr and decided to start reading it. From there, I found other series that people recommended based on reading Hawkeye, then I read lists of comics that were generally recommended.
With New Year’s so close, I’ve put off my list of favorite television shows of 2014 long enough. Surprisingly, this list wasn’t as hard to figure out as I originally thought it would be. Of course, as Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorkerrecently pointed out, these six series aren’t the end-all-be-all of the television I watched in 2014.
Starz’s Black Sails was an addictive and politically complicated pirate drama, while the network’s Outlander provided a fantastic adaptation of a cool sci-fi novel. Arrow and The Flash on The CW as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC have revitalized the superhero genre on TV. Syfy hooked me with two new shows that have wildly different premises: Helix and Dominion. Orange is the New Black returned for a second season on Netflix and gave me my favorite quote of the year:
Photo via Tumblr
Bob’s Burgers and Brooklyn Nine-Nine continued to keep Fox’s block of Sunday night comedy interesting. Meanwhile, Once Upon A Time returned from a boring Neverland/Peter Pan plot to provide an interesting take on The Wizard of Oz, as well as a slightly-bonkers live-action adaption of Frozen. Orphan Black had a decent second season with an exciting twist in the finale that left me wanting the third season immediately. Parks and Recreation also featured a series-changing finale in their sixth season that will provide an interesting final season.
All in all, 2014 was a good year in television. But, even after looking at the best of the shows mentioned above, these are the six series that really stood out to me this year.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get out to the theater as much as I would like — for reasons including, but not limited to, the fact that the movie ticket prices in NYC don’t help me stick to my budget. However, thanks to VOD and DVD releases, I did manage to catch many of the movies I was excited to see in 2014. It was a fantastic year for Marvel Studios blockbusters, a rather lackluster year for young adult novels-turned-movies, and a particularly good year for Veronica Mars fans.
Although my list may not be comprised of the best movies released in 2014 (many of which I’m guilty of missing), these are my five favorites from the year that I’ll surely be rewatching even through 2015.
As someone who loves discovering new music on a regular basis, and as someone who always needs to have music playing in order to work, pass the time, or function on a basic level, figuring out my favorite music of the year is a difficult task. (The only other list that even rivals in difficulty is the Best TV of the Year list.) Thankfully, Spotify does a helpful roundup of what its users have been listening to throughout the year, which made this list a bit easier to compose.
However, I do take issue with some things that came up on my Spotify Year in Review — especially that my most listened to songs are not necessarily my favorite songs of the year — so I’ve made my own lists. These are my top 5 bands/artists of the year and my top 10 favorite songs (I had to make a lot of really difficult cuts down from 20).
This year I participated in the Goodreads annual reading challenge – as I’ve done so for the past two years. In 2013, I completed the challenge of reading 45 books, and in 2014 I raised the bar a little higher to 50 books. Thankfully, due to some binge-reading over the summer and my 45-minute train commute to and from work, I met my goal a few weeks before the end of 2014. Out of the 50 books I read this year, here are my picks for the best of the best.
(Note: I haven’t included comic books and will try to write a separate top 5 list for those later on.)
We’re well into the fall television season – some shows have already gone on their midseason hiatus – and nearing the time for winter premieres of new series. This year I didn’t have as much time to catch all the new pilots (as opposed to 2012 and 2013) and had to focus on the shows I was particularly excited to watch. However, even though I gave many new series a chance, I didn’t stick with all of them (there’s only so much time in the day!). These are the four new fall shows that I’ve kept up with each week and will be excited to see how they progress through their debut seasons.