Greetings, all you beautiful, delicious people! Welcome to our end-of-year blog post!
It’s been a looooooong, rough one, hasn’t it? I mean, let’s be real: It’s been a goddamn nightmare for a lot of us. I won’t get into it because, well, YOU KNOW what’s been going on. (But it’s often orange, and it’s often ruining life as we know it (Super Hubs note: And often runnin’ it’s fuckin’ mouth.) Then, there’s the whole thing where damn near every man in Hollywood is a shitbag. Sigh. It has not been great.
(Super Hubs note: Also that whole thing where the FCC did a whole mess of shady shit to ruin the internet all so our corporate overlords can make a few extra bucks.)
So here at MWB, we’ve done what many did: We buried ourselves in entertainment and hoped for the best! As such, we offer up our favorite things from 2017.
It’s important to note that not everything on these lists came into existence in 2017; they were simply the best things we interacted with.
Favorite Movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Man, I loved this movie—and not just because I’m super into Tom Holland now. When we were sitting in the theater, watching this movie, I just felt like this movie was breathing life into me. It was sweet, it was funny, it was emotional, it had the right amount of creepiness a la Michael Keaton’s Vulture . . . It had Martin Starr, donning his professor look, which I’m very into! Speaking of the school, can we talk about how diverse the student body was? Thank God it wasn’t just a sea of white, which wouldn’t exactly be believable in New York damn City.
Also, can we talk about Zendaya? She was SO funny. Every little aside and quip from her in this movie was exactly right for the occasion. She wasn’t giving us too much; we could’ve even had a little more, to be honest. Whether they make her Spidey’s love interest for the next movie or not, I can’t wait to see more of their interactions! (Super Hubs note: Also her eyebrow game is on point!)
I also LOVED Tony Stark-as-frustrated-dad in this movie. I thought those notes of Tony-as-reluctant-caretaker-figure to the little kid in Iron-Man 3 were really cute, and I’ve been waiting to see more of that. This movie paid off, and then some. I wish we knew a little bit more about why he found and chose Peter in the first place, but I love how much hope he has for our young hero, and how he’s clearly trying to find the right balance when it comes to being a surro-dad. It’s *kisses fingers* beautiful. Gimme, gimme more!
Finally, I have to give it up for this movie because its creation led to what is absolutely one of my favorite things about 2017 . . .
Favorite Pop Culture Moment: Tom Holland’s Lip Sync Battle Performance of “Umbrella”
OH. MY. GOD.
This is the moment when I legitimately fell in love with Tom Holland. I mean, holy shit. Tom does the damn thing in this performance. I didn’t realize he had a dance background, so this was such a delightful surprise. I like a man who can dance. And since he’s in his 20s (early, but IT’S STILL LEGAL), I don’t have to feel weird about it!
Tom Holland, get @ me. Don’t be concerned about the fact that I’m married; it’s not cheating because you’re a celebrity!
Favorite TV Show: Brooklyn Nine-Nine / The Good Place / Riverdale
Yes, I’m cheating. But I also feel like all my shows are my favorite shows (and I really struggled with leaving Bob’s Burgers off this list, honestly) because I watch some exceptionally funny stuff, so a three-way tie was the VERY LEAST I was willing to do. Deal with it.
First up, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: The quality of this show is consistent AF. When we started this journey four years ago with the 99 precinct, I wasn’t sure it was going to have traction with viewers. After all, I have a track record for liking shows that promptly get canceled (see: Firefly, Happy Endings, Sirens). So I just didn’t think this was going to last. Plus, I *was* a little wary about the idea of Andy Samberg carrying a whole show. But damn, this show is GOLD. I’m glad this season did me the solid of (spoiler alert) not having Jake and Rosa in jail for more than two episodes because I was really struggling with that during the cliffhanger ending of season four. I should’ve known I can trust the writers. I can’t wait to see what else is in store.
I won’t say much about The Good Place because literally EVERYONE is talking about how great this show is—and for good reason. It’s funny as hell! I love the whole cast and the way they play off each other. Obviously I came here for Kristen Bell, but I’m staying for absolutely everything. It’s difficult to talk about the show without talking about spoilers, so I’m just going to say that if you like laughs, get on this show.
Finally, the beautiful, sloppy bitch that is Riverdale. You’ll recall that I wrote about this show in June. I don’t know how and when it turned me, but damn it, it really did. Is it because I’m now obsessed with Cole Sprouse (but, in all honesty, I have been ever since he dressed up as Milo Thatch for Halloween)? POTENTIALLY. But really, I feel like this show has no right to be as entertaining as it for being a CW show, and for that reason, I’m hooked. There have been a few misses in this new season (I didn’t quite care for “Chapter Twenty: Tales from the Darkside”), but I’m still pumped to see how everything is going to shake out.
Important PSA: WE AT MWB ABSOLUTELY THINK THE BLACK HOOD REVEAL WAS A BAMBOOZLE. Meet us over on Twitter, or in the comments, if you want to hear our evidence of this/find out why you’re wrong for being “disappointed” by the reveal.
Favorite Book: The Dark Tower series
This is also a little bit of cheating. Y’all know how much we love this Stephen King series over here. But I reread the series earlier in the year, and I was struck by just how much I loved it. I was actively crying before I’d even finished The Gunslinger, and loooong before Jake Chambers’ second death. I think I cried during the first four books, and then I was okay for five and six, and then I was back to crying in the seventh.
Honestly, though. I never would have thought that a series by a horror writer would come to mean so much to me. And yet it’s now one of my favorite things. I spend way too much time thinking about what a perfect run of Roland’s story would look like, and whether that would mean everyone would make it to the end or if some would still have to die. Regardless, it’s a spectacular piece of storytelling, and while it might not be for everyone (because, again, I’m still surprised it’s for me), I feel like if you’re willing to go on an adventure of redemption, then you need to read this.
Favorite Album: Melodrama by Lorde
It doesn’t come up much here, but I love music. So much so that weekly conversations with my bestie about bands inspired us to finally get off our asses and start planning our podcast (coming soon, to your earballs). As such, I do have an album of the year.
I looooved this. I actually slept on Lorde for a little while; SH was way more into her album Pure Heroine than I was. But after one of those aforementioned conversations with Christina, I was starting to look forward to Lorde’s next sonic offering. And boy, she didn’t disappoint! I think Melodrama is fantastic. The song order is perfection—much better than Pure Heroine, which I think needed some rearranging—and the overarching theme is one that resonates. There are some interesting choices stylistically, like the way a lot of songs don’t necessarily follow the standard construction we might come to expect from music, and while not everything is to my exact liking, it’s obviously exactly what Lorde wanted to do. And I think that’s what makes it great.
I recently listened to an interview she gave when she joined Marc Maron on his podcast, where she said that PH had absolutely no live instruments on it, but Melodrama has a few. I’m wondering if that’s making a difference for me as well.
My top songs from the album: “Homemade Dynamite,” “The Louvre,” and “Hard Feelings/Loveless”
Super Hubs’s Picks
Just a quick note before I begin. I was originally going to do my top picks and then follow up with biggest disappointments. Buuuuuut…then I figured this year has been full of negativity. And much of that negativity comes from the internet. Because the internet has a way of bringing out the worst aspects of even the best person, and it gives everyone a place to run to to scream about how much they hate something, or someone, or abstract concepts that mean nothing to literally anyone else but DAMMIT THEY’RE STILL GONNA LET YOU KNOW HOW MAD IT MAKES THEM. So…I don’t want to contribute to the negativity. Let’s just have fun, shall we?
Favorite Movie: Oh my God, this is already too hard!!
How? How do I choose? There have been so many great movies this year. I could do what Nikkie did and choose a top 3, but I refuse to make this easy for myself! I must sweat, I must cry, I must hurt my own feelings and force myself to make a damn decision! But how can I? When this year gave us Wonder Woman, DC’s only truly good offering in their entire sloppy-ass franchise, and home to one of the absolute best scene in any superhero movie ever (you know I’m talkin about that No Man’s Land scene). Or IT, a phenomenal adaptation of the book I devoted AN ENTIRE DAMN MONTH to writing about. Or Thor: Ragnarok, which put the funny back into comic book movies and gave us glam rock Jeff Goldblum. Or The Blackcoat’s Daughter, a surprising and legitimately frightening indie horror movie full of great performances and tense, disturbing atmosphere. Or fucking Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the only Star Wars movie I have ever loved and one that finally shed the series of its worst tendencies and laziest formulas, and you can fight me on that, annoying (mostly white) fanboys. And that’s not even counting all the amazing movies I haven’t seen: Girl’s Trip, Get Out, Logan, The Shape of Water, or Coco. 2017 was a great year for movies, y’all! But I have to make a choice. I must have conviction. I must have courage. I must choose…
Wonder Woman! Sorry, IT; you were a great movie, and I’ve seen you like 8 times already, but Wonder Woman is a more important movie. As Nikkie said, Hollywood’s filthy secrets are finally being dragged into the light, and the #MeToo movement is growing every day. Wonder Woman, aka Diana, is a truly inspiring figure, one of the best and most underrated superheroes in the world and, despite a weak villain and studio-mandated THIRD ACT OF EXPLOSIONS (TM), this movie truly did her justice. Not to mention Gal Gadot is an inspiring human off camera just as much as she is on camera. This movie is a tonic against the venom that has been this year.
Favorite TV Show: Agents of Shield
So this is a show that is consistently overlooked, and I feel like more people need to know how good it is. Each season has been better than the one before it. This season in particular had a very interesting format where it was split into three storylines that worked as standalones but were all tied together by a single artifact. And guys, they introduced friggin Ghost Rider! AKA: the most metal comic book character ever. And he was cool as shit!
Mallory Jansen puts in a phenomenal performance as AIDA, a typical Pinocchio type A.I. who wants to be a real girl but who, when she gets to be one, decides that she’s also going to create the matrix. The final storyline of the season is a great mirror universe type story that is a chilling look at America under despotic rule and Phil friggin Coulson gives a goddamn amazing inspirational speech, and I swear if he doesn’t get to say “Avengers Assemble” in Infinity War, I’m going to flip my shit!
Favorite Book: Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
It’s Scooby Doo meets Cthulu. If you’re not sold by that premise alone, then there’s nothing I can do.
Favorite Game: Nintendo Switch
Okay, so you might be thinking that this isn’t any different than me not choosing a single movie as a winner, but you’re wrong. This is more about the state of gaming as a whole and my relationship to video games as it exists this year. Gaming isn’t great and, as a responsible adult with responsible adult responsibilities, I don’t have time to sort through all the bullshit to find the good stuff. And over the last few years, I was losing my love of gaming in general. But the Switch changed that.
It’s the first console since the N64 that’s really made me feel the joy that made me fall in love with gaming in the first place. I can’t really explain why. There’s something magic about Nintendo. You can see it in their games and their design philosophy. The magic had dimmed over the last few generations, dulled by the success of the Wii and its onslaught of shovelware games and nearly killed by the marketing failures and lack of games on the WiiU. But the Switch came out swinging with an entire year of great games and a design that makes gaming convenient and fun. Nintendo makes me happy, and this console is them at their absolute best.
And if you want me to give a game, then it’s Breath of the Wild. A fully 3D Zelda game with the design philosophy of Zelda 1. That’s something I’ve been waiting for practically all my life.
Favorite YouTube Channel: PBG Gameplay
So lately I find myself getting my entertainment through YouTube more than traditional media. There are many reasons for this, none of which matter. PeanutButterGamer has been making videos on his main channel for almost 10 years, and he’s always been one of my favorites. SpaceHamster has been around for nearly as long, and he’s also one of my favorites. They are very positive, very weird, and very funny, and they never fail to make me happy. And a few years ago, PBG announced that he would have a new show on his gameplay channel hosted by him and SpaceHamster called PB & Jeff. It is my favorite thing ever. They are a force of positivity in a sea of shrieking, hateful monsters. And for the most part they are very family friendly. They avoid cursing and—except for the occasional joke—any kind of questionable subject matter. Not all of the videos on the channel are PB & Jeff, though most of them are, and the ones that are just PBG are also really good.
He also has a series on the channel called Hardcore, which is him and several guest stars playing Minecraft or Terraria, but if they die, they die for good. It’s always a fun, semi story-based series, and the guest stars rotate each season. It’s pretty great.
As I said, they’re just very positive people and they’ve been a source of real happiness for me in a very very dismal year.
So that’s it for me! This year sucked but I was able to find little bits of happiness along the way. It sucks that we had to look for escape this year and everything’s just been so exhausting. But stay strong, my friends. This list is nothing if not a call to find the happiness wherever you can. The world is cold and dark my friends, but light the fires, draw the drinks, and let us huddle together. There’s always a story to tell.
Here’s hoping 2018 is at least a little better. I’ve got some plans for posts that will be fun for me at least and hopefully fun for you!
What are your closing thoughts, Nikkie?
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All great points, my love. For my own conclusion, I would just say that there *are* a few things worth looking forward to in 2018. For one thing, they’re still publishing books as far as I know. And while the publishing industry isn’t free of its issues, I’m always happy to dive into something fun. (Hit me up on Twitter or in the comments with the upcoming reads you’re most excited about!)
For another, and I’m shocked myself that this isn’t the first thing I said: WE’RE GETTING A PUPPY!!!! Oh. My. God. I’m so excited. Her name is Marlowe, she’s a Chiweenie (that’s a Dachshund-Chihuahua mix), and I can’t wait for her to be in my arms. She’s going to be soooo small. I’ll share some pictures of her precious little face on Twitter in the new year (gee, Nikkie, it seems like you’re bringing up Twitter an awful lot; it’s almost like you want us to follow you guys over there or something). But I’m thrilled to finally be getting a dog because SUPER HUBS’S DEVIL CAT’S REIGN OF TERROR WILL FINALLY BE OVER!
To clarify: The cat is still alive. Its his reign of terror that is dead. (Because can evil ever truly die?)
And finally, not only will I be embarking on the fun of starting a podcast with my bestie, but I will *also* be starting a new job! I’m really looking forward to this new opportunity and what it will afford me. So there are a lot of good things in the works for us, and I’m hoping it will shape up to be a better year than this one has been. So . . . everything crossed!
We’ll see you in 2018, MWBers!
Nikkie and Super Hubs