If I Could Nominate the 2019 Emmys

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Nominations for the 2019 Emmys are due soon, and you’ll see a lot of articles about who should be nominated and why. Here’s one man’s (correct) opinions. Note: If I don’t think five (or more) things should be nominated for a category, I’ll just list the ones I think *definitely* should merit attention. Also note that I’m only doing drama and comedy – no miniseries or sketch/variety, though I’ve listed some I really liked below.

Best Drama Series:

  • Big Little Lies
  • The Deuce
  • This is Us
  • You

Best Comedy Series:

  • Barry
  • GLOW
  • The Good Place
  • Russian Doll
  • Superstore
  • Veep

Best Actor, Drama:

  • Milo Ventimiglia, This is Us
  • Sterling K. Brown, This is Us
  • Penn Badgley, You
  • James Franco, The Deuce
  • Sean Penn, The First

Best Actress, Drama:

  • Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
  • Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
  • Susan Kelechi Watson, This is Us
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce

Best Supporting Actress, Drama

  • Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
  • Zoe Kravitz, Big Little Lies
  • Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
  • Carrie Coon, The Sinner

Best Supporting Actor, Drama

  • Adam Scott, Big Little Lies
  • Justin Hartley, This is Us
  • Bobby Canavale, Homecoming

Best Actor, Comedy:

  • Bill Hader, Barry
  • Ben Feldman, Superstore
  • Andy Samberg, Brooklyn 99
  • Tony Hale, Veep
  • Marc Maron, GLOW
  • Ted Danson, The Good Place

Best Actress, Comedy:

  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus, Veep
  • Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
  • America Ferrera, Superstore
  • Kristen Bell, The Good Place
  • Alison Brie, GLOW

Best Supporting Actor, Comedy:

  • James Marsden, Dead to Me
  • Henry Winkler, Barry
  • Charlie Barnett, Russian Doll
  • Nico Santos, Superstore
  • Manny Jacinto, The Good Place
  • Timothy Simons, Veep
  • Reid Scott, Veep

Best Supporting Actress, Comedy:

  • Cecily Strong, SNL
  • D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place
  • Lauren Ash, Superstore
  • Sarah Goldberg, Barry
  • Clea DuVall, Veep

Other shows/noms I hope make it: Fosse/Verdon (and Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams); Escape at Dannemora (and Patricia Arquette and Eric Lange especially); Sharp Objects (and Amy Adams especially); Chernobyl; and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

Now check back when, say, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Game of Thrones are the top-nominated shows. Sigh.

A Favorite Super Bowl Tradition

Some people love the Super Bowl for the commercials (though in recent years they have not been nearly as good as the ones of old). Some love it for the drama of a championship game. But my favorite part of the Super Bowl, at least the last few years, have been the SNL Totino’s trilogy of commercials. Sadly, since Vanessa Bayer left as a cast member the show no longer makes these pre-tapes. But a Totino’s clip in January was the highlight of my SNL viewing season. Check them out below:

What I am Looking Forward to, 2019 Edition

Now that we’re well into 2019, I wanted to do a quick post discussing the movies and TV shows about which I am most excited this year (h/t Chris Daly for encouraging me to write this).

Star Wars Episode IX:

Still no title and no teaser, but no matter – it’s a new Star Wars movie.

Disney+:

A new Star Wars show (The Mandalorian), new Marvel shows (centered on Loki, Scarlet Witch, and Lady Sif), every old Disney movie, and more. This is going to be Disney’s version of Netflix, and if you’re anything like me you are already feeling like this:

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Marvel Movies:

Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home all look fantastic. You have the first female-led Marvel movie, the movie that will resolve the cliffhanger from last year’s terrific Infinity War, and then a new Spider-Man movie riding a wave of recent Spidey successes (Venom, Into the Spider-Verse, etc.).

excited to see Spidey in action

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Because the first Lego Movie is as close to perfection for me as any movie in recent memory, from the debate of following the instructions vs. free building to the joy of seeing so many old parts and sets. Can’t wait for the follow up.

Disney Remakes:

Dumbo, The Lion King, and Aladdin were easily some of my favorite Disney films growing up, so to get all three again on the big screen in the style of Maleficient, Cinderella, the Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast will be a treat. Curious to see how Will Smith’s genie compares to Robin Williams’s. The voice cast for The Lion King (Donald Glover, Beyonce, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, and a returning James Earl Jones as Mufasa) is pride-worthy (see what I did there?).

Other Disney Releases:

Wow, is Disney going to own the year or what? Both Frozen 2 and Toy Story 4 are sequels to well-received animated films that I’ll definitely see in theaters.

The Beach Bum:

Directed by Harmony Korine, who also did Kids and Spring Breakers, this Matthew McConaughey-starring vehicle looks insane, in the best way possible. Can’t. Wait.

Others I have some interest in include the reboot of Men in Black, Detective Pikachu (it has a cute trailer), Hobbs and Shaw (because #FastAndFurious movies usually deliver), Shazam, Ad Astra, Sonic the Hedgehog, Little Women, and The Goldfinch.

TV:

While of course I’m excited about the return of some shows (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Big Little Lies, Superstore, The Good Place, etc.), I want to highlight things that are other premiering or ending in 2019.

Premieres:

The Watchmen (HBO – from the creator of LOST and The Leftovers, and with characters from Alan Moore’s original groundbreaking graphic novel), I am the Night (TNT – miniseries with Chris Pine and directed by Patty Jenkins), Russian Doll (TNT – miniseries with Natasha Lyonne about someone who has to live the same day over and over again), and Miracle Workers (TBS – Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi who play an angel and God, respectively).

Finales:

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix), Veep (HBO), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), and of course Mr. Robot (USA) all conclude this year.

Here’s hoping 2019 has more hits than misses, and is an even better entertainment year than 2018. It already has brought us one of my favorite all-time GIFs:

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What is everyone else excited about? Let me know in the comments!

Best of 2018

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Time once again for what I think were the best movies and TV shows of the year. Overall, I think it was a pretty good year, with some memorable moments that’ll provide lasting entertainment memories.

  • Best: Marvel Movies
    • Ant-Man and the Wasp was probably the kid-friendliest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also had a winning combination in Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly. Black Panther was a box-office behemoth and is likely a contender for a Best Picture Oscar. And Infinity War was the culmination of 10 years’ worth of Marvel movies, and seamlessly blended dozens of characters into one enjoyable film.
  • Best: Other Comic Book Movies
    • Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse may be one of the best comic book movies ever, full stop. Deadpool 2 was a solid sequel. (And I’m purposefully avoiding even mentioning or seeing Aquaman!)
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  • Worst: The fall network TV season
    • The “good” new shows were, what?  Manifest? New Amsterdam? A Million Little Pieces? Sure, some lived on my DVR for a while, but nothing that really was a must-watch every week.
  • Best: Sequels that were actually Good
    • Creed II, the aforementioned Deadpool 2, Incredibles 2, Paddington 2, Mission: Impossible 6, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Super Troopers 2 all were the kind of sequel for which we all hope: builds on the prior film’s premise, deepens the characters, and provides just as much bang for the buck.
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  • Worst: Other Sequels
    • The best thing I can say about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is that I barely remember seeing it. Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald was enjoyable in the theater, and then the more I reflect on it, the more I realize it didn’t have things that make for a good movie like, say, a coherent plot and story.
  • Just OK: Spinoffs and Soft Reboots
    • Ocean’s 8 and Solo were entertaining in the theater, but other than being obvious cash grabs for the studio, I’m not sure either really “needed” to be made. Were audiences clamoring to learn how Han got his last name?
  • Really Great: One Reboot
    • Bumblebee was the best Transformers movie. If that sounds like I’m damning with faint praise, let me just say that it’s beyond that – it’s one of the actual best movies of the year, full stop.
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  • Best: Actors turned Directors
    • A Quiet Place (John Krasinski), Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton), A Happening of Monumental Proportions (Judy Greer), and, of course A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper) were all winning entries made by people mostly known for being in front of the camera.
  • Worst: Most Literary Adaptations
    • A Wrinkle in Time. Ready Player One. Annihilation. Yikes.
  • Best: One Literary Adaption
    • Juliet, Naked was like seeing the book I’d read and loved translated perfectly the big screen, especially with strong performances from Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, and Chris O’Dowd.
  • Best, if not totally Intentional: Michael B. Jordan Playing Kind of the Same Part?
    • Son of a respected boxer has to avenge his father’s murder against the son of the man who killed him (Creed), and son of a respected prince has to avenge his father’s murder against the son of the man who killed him (Black Panther).
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  • Just OK: Movies taking a Big Swing
    • A Simple Favor, Blockers, and Searching all tried things (noir comedy, making John Cena into a mainstream comedian, using computers as the storytelling engine), but the results were mixed. And the less said about Welcome to Marwen, the better.
  • Best: Movies that Shine an Unfortunate Light on our Present Circumstances
    • Black KKKlansman is Spike Lee’s best movie in years, and while it’s depressing to see how little has changed in terms of racism and racial inequality in the intervening years since the movies events took place, the story (and execution of it) are fantastic. Boy Erased may have been my favorite movie of the year, and put a spotlight on the insane reality that is conversion therapy.  On the Basis of Sex shows in some ways how far we have come in equal treatment of the sexes, and yet in a year of #MeToo and #TimesUp, how much progress we still need to make.
  • Best: The Trailer to A Star is Born
    • Best trailer of the last, what, year? Five years? So memeable. Just amazing.
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  • Pretty Good: The actual movie A Star is Born
    • Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die.
  • Best: The unintentional humor of Rachel Weisz spitting in Rachel McAdams’s Mouth
  • Best: Netflix
    • Like Father (Kristen Bell, never not amazing), the final season of Love, the second season of GLOW, the first half of the final season of Kimmy Schmidt, and the Joel McHale Show bringing back the spirit of The Soup all made for a great year for the streamer. Plus, Roma may end up winning Best Picture (deservedly so). Even their misses (seriously, what was Maniac?) were well-pedigreed efforts.
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  • Best: Performances in Movies that were Just So-So
    • Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk, Julia Roberts in Ben is Back, Christian Bale in Vice, and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody showed that you can stand out from a mediocre film.
  • Just OK: Space
    • First Man, featuring a restrained performance by Ryan Gosling, was solid, but also left me feeling cold. It’s a movie I’m glad I saw once, but frankly left me disappointed. Sean Penn’s Hulu show The First, about a manned mission to Mars, focused on some odd aspects (how do you not make the primary focus, you know, the mission to Mars?)
  • Best: Limited Edition TV series
    • Escape from Dannemora is a late contender for best show of the year (seriously, Patricia Arquette is giving a master class), and Sharp Objects should get Amy Adams every Emmy next year. While neither had the cultural cachet of Big Little Lies, they were both excellent entries into the limited series canon.
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  • Best: Shows that Ended in the True to the Spirit of the Show
    • 12 Monkeys (a show I love and am not sure anyone else on the planet watched) paid off years of dangling plot threads and honored all of their characters’ journeys.  New Girl had a tight eight-episode final season that at times reached the show’s early peak.  Even The Last Man on Earth (gone too soon – Fox, why didn’t you renew it for one more season?) had a crazy cliffhanger finale that, though it will never be paid off, gave each character a moment to shine.
  • Worst: Every Time my Mom Brings up the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
  • Carrie Fisher I Dont Care GIF
  • Best: Movies About Musicians
    • Besides A Star is Born, both Vox Lux and Bohemian Rhapsody (while weird and slightly paint-by-numbers, respectively) all depicted about as well as I can imagine the rock star life.
  • Best: Lucas Hedges
    • While I didn’t like Ben is Back all that much, he gave a knockout performance, second only to the work he did in Boy Erased.
  • Worst: This Oscar Season
    • I liked some movies a lot (Roma, Boy Erased, On the Basis of Sex) but there some real misses: Welcome to Marwen, Vice, First Man, and Widows spring to mind immediately. Whatever takes home Best Picture this year will not be an all-time great movie. Although sadly, that’s been the case lately (bonus points to those of you, like me, who immediately remembered Shape of Water won last year).
  • Best: Spider-Man
    • Into the Spider-Verse was great, and so was the Spider-Man playstation 4 game. Good job, Spidey!
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  • Just OK: Natalie Portman’s year
  • Best: Inktober
    • My friend Chris participated in a thematic drawing contest in which one drew a cartoon every day in October (Inktober). The adventures of Orwick were really fun to read!
  • Best: HBO
    • Barry was the best new show on TV for me by a mile, Silicon Valley continues to churn out reliable laughs, Westworld is crazy and theory-inducing in all the right ways (“What is real? That which can not be recreated”), and John Oliver is my generation’s Cronkite. Bonus points for not airing a single episode of Girls or Game of Thrones this year, HBO!
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  • Best: SNL
  • Mostly Best: The Theater
    • More than in years past, I got to see a lot things on Broadway in 2018, most of which were terrific: To Kill a Mockingbird (fantastic), Angels in America (epic), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (magical), and even Lobby Hero (maudlin and sanguine at once). Of course, there were some other shows that were better left unseen: Mean Girls (would have been better off just rewatching the movie), Straight White Men (evidently Armie Hammer and Josh Charles together does not equal magic with a script that weird), and Children of a Lesser God (Joshua Jackson a.k.a. Pacey did some marvelous work, including learning ASL for the part, but the show fell totally flat).
  • Best, in that it Keeps Chugging Along: The Challenge
    • I didn’t love Vendettas or Final Reckoning as much as seasons past, and people like CT and even Bananas were pushed aside in favor of newbies like the Lavender Ladies (ugh) Ashley, Amanda, Sylvia, and Shane, as well as TYB Nelson, Corey, and Hunter. But this show is comfort food every Tuesday.
  • Best: Reliable NBC Comedies
    • The Good Place is the smartest comedy on television and, for the – fourth? – year in a row, Superstore is the best. That show has the greatest ensemble cast in comedy right now.
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  • Best: Glenn Weiss proposing after he won an Emmy
    • People probably have forgotten this already, but it made for an awesome moment in an otherwise dull show.
  • Best: Late Night Political Humor
    • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver continues to churn out excellent journalism masked in comedy, Seth Meyers’s A Closer Look is like someone distilled Jon Stewart-era Daily Shows into eight-minute chunks, Samantha Bee continues to spew righteous indignation all over TBS, and even Stephen Colbert has come into his own on CBS as someone who cannot believe what the world has turned into. Also, points to Michelle Wolf: Her White House Correspondents Dinner material was fantastic, and even if it wasn’t well received by thin-skinned hypocrites, it was funny and memorable.
  • Above All Best: You
    • For actually reading a blog that, while infrequently updated, means a lot to its author. See you in 2019!

A Very Specific “SNL” Theory

I still watch SNL every week, and while some episodes are more miss than hit, there is usually enough good material to make it worth my while. Over the last few years, some of my favorite sketches have been the Woodbridge High School theater productions, as seen here:

I love it – the kids are so self-indulgent, and think that their show is a seed that will sprout into a plant that will change the world.

A few weeks ago, SNL aired this genius commercial for a political musical:

(“”Jesus Christ.” – The NY Times” gets me every time.) It’s clear the show was “definitely written by the actors,” and, this is where my specific theory comes in: the actors in the musical are the alumni of Woodbridge High. You’ll note that a lot of the same cast is used. Moreover, their complete lack of self-awareness over how bad their high school productions went would totally translate into unearned confidence on the Broadway stage.

So, for the few of you who both read this blog and are devoted SNL fans like me, what do you think?

Best of 2017

During Thanksgiving weekend, my nephew wanted my family to play a game. It was pretty simple, actually: name your favorite thing, from categories he chose. Name your favorite TV show. Name your favorite movie. Name your favorite video game. Etc. As simple as the concept of the game is, however, it was wholly impossible for me to answer his questions. Having to choose my favorite movie would be like having to choose which is the favorite hair on my head. The idea of even trying to narrow down to just a handful, let alone one, was way too complicated. While I was happy to rattle off all-time favorites (“Back to the Future,” “A Few Good Men,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” all of the “Star Wars” movies, etc.) there was no way to pick just one.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because, as in years past, I’m not going to blog about my “ten favorite shows” or “eight favorite films.” I’m not bound by space or word limit. These are just the things that I either loved or thought about critically in the world of entertainment in 2017. Even though it’s been a dumpster fire of a year politically,  a lot of the below shows and movies allowed me some form of escape, at least temporarily. Here now is my list of the best of 2017, broken down by category. If you are able to narrow down your list(s), please feel free to provide it in the comments section below.

TV/Streaming

Love (Season 2)

Season 1 ended on a pretty good cliffhanger (Gus and Mickey kissing at the gas station seconds after Mickey has told Gus she needs to be alone for a year), and Season 2 really delved into the question of whether or not 1) these people actually like each other 2) these people are capable of love and 3) these people should be dating each other, either now or ever. Funny, and the show just feels…real. Special shout-out to Claudia O’Doherty’s Bertie, who cracks me up at least once an episode. Here’s hoping that the newly-announced Season 3 (the final season) sticks the landing.

Master of None (Season 2)

Man, this show. Season 1 was pretty great, and then Season 2 just upped the ante. From the premiere episode, filmed on location in Italy in black and white, to the incredible Thanksgiving episode (which rightly won an Emmy for comedic writing), to the doorman/cab driver/hearing impaired woman episode, to the episode at Storm King and ending with the helicopter ride, Season 2 was just incredible. I know Ansari is on record as saying he needs to live more before he can do a third season, and I don’t blame him. If we can get a third season as rich as this one was, I’ll happily wait a few years.

The Good Place (spoiler alert in the clip below)

Holy. Forking. Shirt. I thought The Good Place’s first season was pretty good, and it was a show that, like The Office and Parks and Rec before it, would get its sea legs in the second season. But that twist at the end of Season 1 was genius, and I did not see it coming. Special shout-out to Manny Jacinto, who has made Jason into the show’s MVP.

Superstore

When I was growing up, NBC’s Thursday night line-up (aka “Must-See TV”) was the place for comedy. Cheers and Seinfeld and Friends are all sitcom legend, and some shows (Caroline in the City, The Single Guy, Boston Common) brought some laughs, despite lackluster ratings and having to be compared to those mentioned above. What does any of that have to do with Superstore? Superstore ticks a lot of boxes for me. It’s a funny workplace ensemble that really feels like a spiritual heir to The Office (without the awkwardness and the talking heads), and feels like it is of a place where it could have fit very easily into the Must-See TV schedule. It’s not the kind of show that will win accolades or awards (except from this blog, I guess), but it is consistent week-to-week, and its episode about health insurance was the best primer on the subject (in a funny way) that I’ve ever seen. Humor + distillation of timely political facts = a win in 2017.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 3)
Full disclosure: I thought this season felt a little muddled. Kimmy goes to college! Kimmy struggles in college! Kimmy leaves college! That’s a huge arc, and it was done in about 3 weeks of the show’s timeline. This season did great some great mileage out of guest stars like Laura Dern and Daveed Diggs, which I think bumped it up a notch for me.

Saturday Night Live

“Now I’d like to begin today by apologizing on behalf of you, to me, for how you have treated me these last two weeks. And that apology is not accepted!”

While some may argue that Melissa McCarthy and Alec Baldwin overshadowed the regular SNL players, SNL is clearly having a renaissance. Also, “Woke Jeans” is the sketch of the year for me, in a walk.

Billy on the Street

In a year when a lot of us wanted to just yell and scream out our frustration, Billy Eichner was our avatar.

The Leftovers (Season 3)

This show just got better and better. The final season didn’t waste time, even as the characters moved from Texas to Australia. Unlike a certain other Damon Lindeolf show, this one stuck the landing in the end. And Carrie Coon – just wow. What an all-time performance as Nora Durst.

Veep (Season 6)

The first season with Selina out of power entirely (and without Sue – who I really missed), the show smartly pivoted into a few funny story lines, most notably three terrifying words: Congressman Jonah Ryan.

Silicon Valley (Season 4)

The other half of HBO’s spring comedy duo, Silicon Valley took a few characters in new directions this year. Big Head taught at Stanford, Gavin Bellson became something approaching relatable, and poor Erlich is now stranded off in an opium den.

The 2017 Academy Awards

Well, the ending, anyway. I don’t think we’ll ever see another moment like that again, especially for presentation of best picture.

 

The Challenge: Dirty 30

Didn’t necessarily end the way I’d like, and there was a lot of drama from some random people (Nelson, I’m looking at you) and way too much (racist) Camila. That said, what a stacked cast. Wish they could just run it back.

GLOW (Season 1)

GLOW makes the brave choice of (spoiler alert) having the main character (Alison Brie) sleep with her best friend’s husband in episode 1. The show concentrates so much of its time on good guys and bad guys (or “heels” in wrestling parlance) both in and out of the ring. Like my friend Mags, I found myself compelled to root for the bad guys. Bonus points to Marc Maron for killing it as the show’s director and as a surrogate father figure to all of the GLOW ladies.

New Girl

Mostly because we finally got this moment:

 

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later

When I first saw Wet Hot American Summer, and it had the joke about meeting up ten years later, I never thought I’d be watching a whole TV season of the counselors’ lives. Of course, I also didn’t know what “streaming” or “Netflix” was, but that’s another matter. This whole series is insane, but in the best way possible.

Late Night Shows

John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, and even Jimmy Kimmel really stepped up to the plate this year and delivered scorching, heart-felt, and/or impassioned monologues and comedy bits about everything from health care to net neutrality.

My friend winning Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions

When I was growing up, I used to ride the bus (and later gave rides home to) a kid named Buzzy (whose dad, fun fact, sold me my Bar Mitzvah suit). Really exciting to watch him win the whole Tournament of Champions. (And let’s be honest, Austin was really fun to watch, too.)

 

Other shows I enjoyed: The resurgent third season of Mr. Robot (especially the one-take/”oner” episode), When We Rise, Handmaids Tale, The Young Pope, Future Man, This is Us, and Big Little Lies.

People

James Franco

The Disaster Artist was great, full stop, and his performance on The Deuce was what brought that show from “huh, interesting idea” to fully watchable.

Laura Dern

Between Big Little Lies, her role as Jon Hamm’s new wife on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and, of course, as Admiral Holdo, Laura Dern had an amazing 2017.

Comic Book Movies

Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Wonder Woman, and especially Spider-Man Homecoming were all solid popcorn movies. (Of course, Justice League was about as entertaining as watching paint dry, but that was the exception, not the rule.) Bonus points to the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War for looking amazing.

Star Wars

While The Last Jedi isn’t my favorite Star Wars movie, at the end of the day it was a lot of fun, and years from now I’ll still be thinking about that scene of R2 playing Luke Leia’s original “Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” recording. #DroidGuiltTrip

Other Movies

The Big Sick was the best movie of the year, and I’ll be quite upset if it doesn’t get nominated for several Oscars. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon wrote a tremendous screenplay, Zoe Kazan does great character work in what amounts to not a lot of screen time, and Ray Romano and Holly Hunter are both incredible.

War for the Planet of the Apes

I’ll admit it: I love this new “Apes” trilogy. I love the original, Charlton Heston-led Planet of the Apes (and its goofy sequels), but the serious tone of this new trilogy (especially the last two) is really enjoyable.

Stronger

Gyllenhaal is on such a weird streak of choosing interesting, good roles, some of which really pay off (Stronger, Nightcrawler), some of which are disappointing (Demolition, Life), but all of which are captivating on the big screen. I wish this movie had gotten more awards-season recognition, but c’est la vie.

Other enjoyable movies: Get Out, I, Tonya, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, The Meyerowitz Stories, Lady Bird, and the movie I’d vote for Best Picture, The Disaster Artist.

 

Music

Um, did both Gallagher brothers release new CDs this year? And did the Oasis song “Don’t Look Back in Anger” become the unofficial rallying cry of the city of Manchester? Yeah, no matter what Camila Cabello and Taylor Swift tried to do, it was a good year for music in 2017.

Good Riddance

To the men who committed horrific acts (Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, Al Franken, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose) and to those who covered up or abetted their behavior, don’t let the door hit you.

RIP

Always tough to lose people who meant so much to the entertainment world, and I obviously cannot touch on everyone. But 2017 will be remembered for the losses of Chris Cornell, Chester Bennington, Bill Paxton, Mary Tyler Moore, Miguel Ferrer, Erin Moran, Martin Landau, Powers Boothe, Don Rickles and, of course, Tom Petty.

Anything I missed? What did others enjoy in 2017? For what will you remember this year? Let me know in the comments.

Made-Up Hallmark Christmas Movies

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My friends Shannon and Jessica, like me, love nothing more than a good (read: cheesy) Hallmark Christmas movie this time of year. The formula is pretty simple: take one (1) 90s/00s female “star” (ideally from “Full House,” “Party of Five,” “Beverly Hills, 90210” or its reboot, “90210,” or “Saved by the Bell”). Make sure she has a busy and important job: anchorwoman, ad executive, etc. She’ll definitely have no time in her busy schedule for two things: romance, and the magic of the Christmas season. Now find her a gentleman (often by way of Santa) and you’re off. But what makes these movies even better, in my opinion? The titles. Almost always a clever play on words, who basically spoil the plot entirely, these are the best parts of the movies. So, without further ado, I present to you my own, entirely made-up Hallmark Christmas movies. Some of these I think would actually work on the air. If you see one you like, please feel free to email/tweet/facebook/etc. this post to your friends – who knows, maybe this time next year we’ll be watching one of these. Continue reading