On The Crumpet, my favourite posts of the year were always my end of year round-ups. I loved them because they allowed me to speak with truth and honesty, and sometimes, the reflective view is not the same as the “in the moment” euphoria of a review.
I thought long and hard about whether I would do those posts this year, and in commitment to my goal of self-preservation, I decided not to. They take an extreme amount of work, but I still hoped I might find time to sneak in 1 or 2. And I didn’t.
However, for posterity, here are the things that made my soul sing in 2015:
I had a weird relationship with music this year. Not a lot stood out for me, but what did, I played to DEATH lol. Taylor Swift’s 1989 was on play pretty much all of the year, partly because it was a CD Beth and I could both agree on, but also because well … pop just doesn’t get more perfect.
Adele, Schmadele. Whilst I love her, she’s one of those artists where I can’t listen to a whole album because it becomes a Mariah Carey walrus honking in my ear. I thought Hello was derivative of herself rather than original and it didn’t even make it on to my playlist. That said, I am so happy for her success. She’s a woman doing it on her own terms and winning. And she’s bloody photogenic as hell.
[edit – by chance, I just caught part of her Adele at the BBC program – wow, what a voice and what an ability to hold a crowd in thrall JUST with a voice. I take nothing away from her talent – maybe I just feel Hello got over-praised? I liked the other songs from the new album more.]
Another act I usually can’t bear in large doses is Coldplay – too trendy, too new agey, too smug. However, I am IN LOVE with their current album. A Head Full of Dreams is euphoric. It’s life post-Gwyneth – liberated, non-macrobiotic and just revelling in freedom and life. It sounds like a rebirth. You simply can’t listen to it without feeling resolved to move forwards, better and happier than before.
Other than that …just bits here and there. Oh and Spotify. I finally discovered Spotify – yay – oh and Pitch Perfect. Beth and I could – erm, do – sing along to that alllllll day.
I think movies had a really poor year this year. Obviously the year ended with Star Wars, which thankfully delivered, mainly by ditching everything that made the 2nd trilogy hideous, and re-imagining everything that made the 1st trilogy so great. Other than that, not much.
Because of Beth, most of what I saw at the cinema was her choice –
- Pitch Perfect 2 – HATED it at the cinema, hated it. Loved it much more on DVD, although the music choices and the uber-Germanisation still suck
- Insurgent – what a load of crap! I am a big fan of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and I was annoyed with what was lost in the original movie. Insurgent took those fears and made them worse – the appalling casting of Naomi Watts (yes love, of COURSE you’ll have a line-free botox-ed face after pretending to be dead and underground for 10 years) and again, the ridiculous departure from the main plotline. Sucked. I don’t even recognise what I see in the trailer for the final film – Allegiant. Is it right to keep the name of the source material when you’ve pissed all over it?
- Hunger Games – Mockingjay 2. Well this was a weird experience. Again, I love the books. Faithful books, faithful books. I love Jennifer Lawrence. The movies always got it *just* right. Yet Beth and I had no excitement in going to see this. I hate it when the last film is a 2-parter – it rarely needs to be – and a year between episodes here was just too long. There were only about a dozen people in the cinema with us when we went, which shocked me, again suggesting this had been too strung out – the franchise’s time had come and gone. That said, bravo. Faithful to the books, although the killer punch was a tad underplayed for me. But phew, the book ended up on screen.
Oh wow, TV’s been where it’s been AT this year. I have lived my life on my ipad, either through Netflix or Amazon Prime or Sky. Here, much more briefly, is what I watched and loved –
- Orange Is the New Black – series 3 – just keeps getting better and better
- Orphan Black – amazing, and an acting masterclass
- Better Call Saul – a slow starter. I think I misjudged what this would be
- Breaking Bad (finally, yeh yeh) – oh I struggled with this. Loved the concept, loved certain moments, hated too many of the characters. I think it lasted a season too long
- Mad Men – again finally, finally – amazing – women not allowed in the boardroom, whiskey on tap in the offices. Costumes to die for. So well made, and again, although it probably went on too long, it ended well for me
- Game of Thrones – OMFG GOT!!! I finally got it, got what all the fuss was about. Transfixed. Enraptured. Heartbroken. And he’s not dead. He’s sooooo not dead.
- Sense8 – weird and wonderful in equal measure, this was part conspiracy, part celebration of the sensual and erotic world. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more convincing gay love affair either. This show was HOT, but ultimately somehow less than the sum of its parts.
- Fortitude – criticised by most for being too slow, I really enjoyed this Icelandic pot-boiler.
- Scandal. OMG. I resisted this for so long, thinking it was just some woman froth about an affair with the US President – turns out I was way wrong. Conspiracy, political intrigue, ACTING in CAPITALS and ITALICS, wow. So much guilty pleasure.
- Person of Interest – this sat in my watchlist for 2 years, mainly because of my love for Michael Emerson. Interesting though – the show played dull and safe til around episode 10 of series 1 – I imagine this is when they got the nod for a whole series – and then KABOOM everything got bigger and better and twistier. Pure dark joy
- The Affair – I had such high hopes for this, but in the end it killed me with it’s love affair with itself. Overly smug characters doing the same thing over and over again. Yaaaawn.
- CSI Cyber – Beth loves it. Me, I feel like I’m watching the same episode and script every week
- Grimm. Damn that David Giuntoli is a hottie, and good job that he is else Beth and I would have given up on this long ago. We’re nearly at the end of season 2 now but the pace is sooooooo sloooooooow. Kick it up some notches already!
I still can’t get the rhythmn of Instagram. I’m still not reading enough. But at least my life isn’t ALL about nails anymore 🙂
What rocked your boat last year? What should I be adding to my playlists?