23 December, 2014

THE 2014 THINGS IN VISUAL MEDIA AWARDS!



[INSERT AWESOME BANNER HERE... ehh screw it]

Last year I wrote an extensive list of my favorite, and least favorite, of 2013… and then never posted it. Why? Because.

Anyway, these are my favorite things of 2014… they may not be yours. That’s cool. I don’t like things so you’ll think I’m awesome. I like them because no one else is going to enjoy my life more than me.

TELEVISION

Half-Hour Shows

BLUESTONE 42 – This is MASH in Afghanistan but with Brits and they’re not doctors but a bomb disposal unit. This show doesn’t wimp out on content, context, humor, or crudeness. It is as adult oriented as anything on HBO. It also tackles subjects American comedies would shit their pants thinking about. Thanks go to an Australian for suggesting I watch it.

BROOKLYN NINE-NINE – I loved this one last year and this year is no different. If anything, it’s getting better. As with all the shows on my list, the casting director did a brilliant job hiring the best actors for the job. I am glad to see this one doing well enough in its new slot that it will likely get another season (and once you get a third, a fourth is pretty much in the bag).

COMMUNITY – After the horrible 4th season… holy hell that was terrible… Dan Harmon returned to make an EPIC SEASON! Thank the gods.

THE GOLDBERGS – I am not a nostalgic person but I grew up in the 80s and remember that decade very well. So when I heard a show about the 80s was happening, I had mild interest, but enough of it to check it out. Glad I did. It’s to me what “The Wonder Years” (a show about the 60s) must have been to people my age back in the late 80s. The cast is brilliant. The writing is fun and touching. It’s a perfect reminder of why people are still stuck on the 80s today. It was one of the most influential decades in modern times… and is still shaping films, shows, comics, and books we enjoy today.

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JON OLIVER – Comedy Central is probably kicking and screaming knowing they missed out on this cat as the replacement for Stephen Colbert. Sure, the show still, at times, feels like it’s trying to figure itself out, but most of the time it is dropping nukes all over the dipshit nature of scumbags who use and abuse the system. Sure, it’s a comedy show, but it’s more relevant as a news source than most of the cable “news” services out there.

INSIDE AMY SCHUMER – This human is my kind of feminist.

KEY & PEELE – I feel like these guys are only getting better. Bring on season 4!

RICK AND MORTY – Dan Harmon can do no wrong! Well, unless you’re a studio/network executive.

VEEP – It’s probably going to be on here every year until they quit making it.

YOU’RE THE WORST – A friend kept telling me about this show and I dismissed its potential because of the promos. I only checked it out because I heard Janet Varney was in it, and she’s my jam. Turns out it’s a killer show with instant chemistry between pretty much all the actors. The writing is sharp and funny. Also, the story telling is (for the most part) believable. This is how people with these personality issues behave. I’ve known a few of them… and this show nails it. Not to mention it deals with a soldier suffering from PTSD in hilarious ways… without mocking the problem.

Hour-Long Shows

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODDYSEY – My greatest love is space; time; physics; science in general. If only I was smarter, or had more of a drive to work my ass off, I’d be a physicist of some kind. This show is the foundation of my very being! And I’ve watched each and every episode more than a dozen times. Having also watched the original many times, I can confidently state that Neil deGrasse Tyson paid the greatest respect to his hero, Carl Sagan. It is also my favorite single season series of the century.

GAME OF THRONES – Even though I felt season 4 had some missteps in story telling (something I didn’t feel watching the first three), it also had some of the most powerful and heartbreaking moments of the television season. Hell, just the battles in episode 9 alone were worth the price of HBO for a year! And then there are the one-on-one fights in episodes 8 and 10 respectively. Dear Lord of Light! Probably the two best fights in the history of history!

THE LEFTOVERS – It took several episodes before this one got things going but once it did… I was looking forward to each and every episode. It’s also one of the few shows I’m really looking forward to seeing next season.

TRUE DETECTIVE – Just when you thought HBO couldn’t create another epic show, they did. The story telling was nearly perfect, with hints to the solution of the mystery early on (you can look for them online if you like). I won’t say too much since there are several twists along the way, but what I loved most is that the ending wasn’t about those twists… just about the end of a journey. And I still maintain that’s what endings should be about… not answering questions. If you didn’t answer questions before the final ten minutes of your series (and since each season is going to be independent of the other, then I consider this a series finale for these characters), then you’re likely going to tell a shitty ending if you try to fit those answers into the final scenes.

FARGO – While I do think this received overpraise, it also received earned praise. I want to see more shows like this and TRUE DETECTIVE, where there is a self-contained story every season. That was the original intent for HEROES but they got scared and couldn’t see a way to abandoned beloved characters… and in doing so, ruined the show.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK – I liked this season a lot more than I liked last season… and I did like last season a good deal (well, half the episodes). This season was more consistently good than season 1, and also used less cheesy cheats to tell the story (though that ending is ridiculously convenient).

OUTLANDER – This show makes my list because I enjoyed the style of storytelling and I think there are some terrific performances. Plus, I am a softy for Ronald D. Moore projects.

BEST ACTING – TV

I don’t split categories by male and female performances. That’s stupid. You don’t see “best male director” or “best female writer” categories. Why do we still split actors up when handing out awards? Anyway… I will, however, split them by half-hour and hour-long.

Half-Hour Shows

Stephanie Beatriz – BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Andre Braugher – BROOKLYN NINE-NINE
Wendi McLendon-Covey – THE GOLDBERGS
Hayley Orrantia – THE GOLDBERGS
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – VEEP
Anna Chlumsky - VEEP

Hour-Long Shows

Rupert Friend – HOMELAND
Allison Tolman – FARGO (also THE MINDY PROJECT)
Samuel Anderson – DOCTOR WHO
Pedro Pascal – GAME OF THRONES
Maisie Williams – GAME OF THRONES
Tatiana Maslany – ORPHAN BLACK
Lorraine Toussaint – ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK

FILM

I haven’t seen all the movies released in 2014 so there are going to be some that I see in 2015 that would have made this list (perhaps BIRDMAN is one of those). These are the movies I loved most in 2014… when I saw them. Your favorite movie may not be on this list because I haven’t seen it.

FAVORITES

BOYHOOD
CAMP X-RAY
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
GONE GIRL
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
THE LEGO MOVIE
NIGHTCRAWLER

BEST ACTING – FILM

I also don’t separate “starring” or “supporting” role. They’re ALL roles supporting the story. 

Payman Maadi – CAMP X-RAY
Juliette Binoche – CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
Kristen Stewart – CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA & CAMP X-RAY (I’m on Team KS 2014 it seems)
Andy Serkis – DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Toby Kebbell – DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Rosamund Pike – GONE GIRL
Tyler Perry – GONE GIRL (what did I just say?! Yeah, he’s awesome in it)
Dave Bautista – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (I had no idea who he was, but he blew me away)
Chris Pratt – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY & THE LEGO MOVIE
Karen Gillan – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Jake Gyllenhaal – NIGHTCRAWLER

AND THE WINNERS OF THE 2014 THINGS IN VISUAL MEDIA AWARD

TV SHOW OF THE YEAR

Half-Hour

BLUESTONE 42 – This was such a surprise and so much fun to watch that I can’t call anything else my favorite of the year.

Hour-Long

COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODDYSEY – I can’t fully express the joy I felt watching this… and still feel revisiting it.

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR - TELEVISION

Half-Hour

Wendi McLendon-Covey – THE GOLDBERGS

Hour-Long

Tatiana Maslany – ORPHAN BLACK

MOVIE OF THE YEAR

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – Not since the early 90s has a movie made me feel like a kid again… over and over and over. Those who have listened to my podcasts over the years know I was already a big James Gunn fan, but he even blew me away with this movie. And though no one will nominate him as best director… I will. And writer… what the hell. You know what? I’m gonna make a category just for him.

CREATOR OF THE YEAR

James Gunn

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR - FILM


Juliette Binoche – CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA

And that's it. What are your favorite things in the visual media from 2014?

9 comments:

  1. First, thanks for posting this.

    I share a lot of you picks for hourlongs. I just don't watch as many of the halfhour shows. But, I did watch "You're the Worst" and it was really good.

    I noticed Maslany made your acting list, but Orphan Black didn't make your list of shows. Was it on your list in 2013? I didn't feel the second season was as strong as the first.

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    Replies
    1. ORPHAN BLACK was one of my favorite shows of 2013. I think Maslany took her performance to another level this year... unfortunately, the writers didn't. They just tried to amp things up... and in doing so, amped up the worst in their writing talents.

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  2. FYI Dave Batista guest starred on the Chuck episode Chuck versus the couch lock.

    He played a member of John Casey's former combat team if you remember.

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    Replies
    1. Wow. He did! I had completely forgotten that.

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  3. Does anyone think Guardians of the Galaxy was a little overrated?

    For all the praise it has gotten I was expecting more from it.

    All in all I liked it but I wouldn't call it out of this world great like some have done.

    I mainly liked Drax, Rocket and Root's humor and the interactions they had.

    Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will be better since they have established the characters.

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    Replies
    1. It was awesome. If you thought otherwise, that's a you thing.

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  4. For Guardians of the galaxy being a bit overrated I thought Edge of Tomorrow was a little underrated.

    Tom Cruise's best movie in a long time since Mission Impossible 3.

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    Replies
    1. I thought the first half of "Edge" was awesome. Second half essentially abandoned its awesomeness and went for a super conventional second half (and a story line that violated its own rules). So, it just doesn't do it for me like it does for people who are not as sensitive to story telling issues. "Guardians" was consistently good and stuck the landing every sequence. It's pretty much perfect.

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  5. My favorite tv shows of 2014 are.

    Game of Thrones
    Ray Donovan
    Hannibal
    Fargo

    ReplyDelete