Intro, let’s go: For 2015, I’m recapping what I read, watched, wrote and listened to and whatever else. This isn’t a favorites or best, it’s just what happened to me in the cultural landscape. Music and podcasts were first. Now, it’s TV and movies.
This post won’t contain details on the insane amount of NBA games I’ve watched this year, but just know that’s #1.
To level-set: I picked up a cable subscription about halfway through the year, primarily for NBA (was spending too much on League Pass), but my wife swears it was because of Mr. Robot.
Yep, I’d say that was my favorite show of the year. It took all the professional critics by surprise by how unexpectedly good it was. I heard about from a guy behind me on an airplane who was explaining some of the first episode to the person sitting next to him. He described it as “like a hacker show” and it is, but it was also subversively anti-establishment, until it wasn’t. The characters’ motivations were doled out in small, tantalizing pieces, until it was flipped on his head. The look and feel was distinct for television. It was a complete story with plenty of seeds for more. The first season was a great experience from beginning to end.
Um, at the beginning of the year, I really enjoyed The Jinx, the mini-series about Robert Durst, a real estate guy who lucked into his father’s dynasty and then may or may not have killed (but probably did!) three other people, including his wife. I had never heard of this person or his story before, and it was fascinating.
I missed Better Call Saul this year, but everyone said that was exceptional. I kinda forgot Mad Men was on this year, but it was, according to all of the ‘best of…’ lists. It’s been one of my favorites for its entire run, but this year it was good, but a little drawn out. Let’s round up the AMC section with Halt and Catch Fire. I caught up with Season 2 around the same time as Mr. Robot, which made an interesting tech-geek double feature. They took the show in a cool direction, focusing on a small Internet start-up in the 80s, a nice and undertold story. I’m glad it’s coming back for a third season.
Ending the year, The Leftovers and Fargo were my go-to’s. The Leftovers hits on everything I like–mysterious spirituality. I loved Lost for the same reason. I’d probably watch anything by Damon Lindelof at this point. Fargo was a quirky crime story told right; everything we wanted True Detective to be.
Let’s keep it to movies released this year or seen in the theater. Uh, didn’t go to a ton…I’m trying to think…hmmm…Sicario was my favorite and the best I saw this year. Mad Max was fun. Ex Machina was unnerving. Jurassic World was better than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t see any of the Marvel movies. The Martian was okay. Selma was the most Christian movie I saw this year and the most inspiring. I skipped Pitch Perfect 2 to watch the NBA Playoffs. The End of The Tour was a talkie, and I’m glad I had read the book before. Going Clear, the movie about Scientology, was eye-opening.
Wish I would’ve seen or will see: Joy, Dope, Straight Outta Compton, Spotlight, A True Story, American Ultra, Steve Jobs, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Star Wars