The Best Of | 2017

The time has come to once again make a summary of the best things I consumed in 2017. I look forward to making this list every year because I like being able to look back at what I was interested in, what songs were playing during my memories and how my taste has or hasn't changed in a year. From compiling this list I can see that I am being far more assertive with what I want to consume and what I don't, I am taking more of an interest in areas I would have dismissed and unapologetically enjoying the direction my taste is going in. So here we go, it turns out I had quite a lot to say about everything on this list so settle in, grab a coffee and get ready to see what made me excited this year.


Get Out
To preface, I don't usually like horror. I have an over active imagination and find a horror movie tends to linger and manifest in my mind for a long time so I tend to stay away. That is until I heard all of the hype surrounding Get Out and boy, was the hype worth it. Get Out was a perfect horror that to me had elements of a thriller and a ton of social commentary. It was really refreshing to see unknown (to me) actors shine and tell a story that was so clever, so well thought out and so relevant. Get Out is definitely a movie I will rewatch or recommend if anyone ever wants to watch a horror.

Watching Moonlight was like taking a massive breath of fresh air; it was so refreshing. I was so ready to watch a coming of age story about a young black man finding himself and it did not disappoint in any way. It was equally heartbreaking as it was uplifting and I was reminded whilst watching it that a truly great movie challenges you emotionally. From the music, to the beautiful indulgent cinematography to the outstanding acting by all of the cast, I hoped it would get the recognition it deserved. I for one was thrilled when it won Best Picture and so many positive reviews rolled in. I already can't wait to rewatch it and indulge in the magic once more.

As You Are
Hands down, this is the best movie I watched in 2017; in fact I would go as far to say it is up there in my top 10 movies of all time. I dont know to articulate what I'm trying to say honestly, just that, this movie made me heartbreakingly sad and I didn't think that would happen. I'm sad because I miss in a rose-tinted way a time that was simpler, purer, richer and more alive. I'm sad because we can't go back; we are hurtling forward at an alarming rate. I'm sad because the film makes you feel so much for two boys and you want them to have it all. You want them to get to the promise land so badly, to be happy, as in truly genuine without-a-care-in-the-world happy but you know thats not how their story ends. I'm sad because this movie is a perfect time capsule. I'm sad because this is one of the most beautiful love stories I have witnessed on screen. I have thought about this movie every day since I watched it and to me that speaks volumes.

So this seems like a curveball compared to the other movies that were my favourite of the year but sometimes I do enjoy less emotionally draining movies. I, like most children, grew up and watched the original Jumanji with Robin Williams in it and desperately wanted the board game. I will admit I am always skeptical of remakes of a classic but I shouldn't have worried with the new Jumanji. With an all star cast and a really good re design of the original idea, the new film was hilariously funny, with some slight dry wit and broke the usual character tropes which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a silly, feel good, light film and one I know will become the staple for the kids of a new generation.


Stranger Things (Season 2)
I have spoken at length before about how much I adore Stranger Things. I truly believe it is one of the most unique pieces of television made in the last decade and I hope it carries on for years to come. It has absolutely everything you could possibly want out of a television series with an added bonus of being set in the 80s. The second season was as good, if not better, as the first and it was great to see the kids really become comfortable with their characters. In particular, Noah Schnapp who plays Will shone in his role and I enjoyed the new storylines within the current cast. Steve's new role as a babysitter created a great dynamic, as did the heartwarming relationship between Bob and Joyce and finally, the up and down newly created family of Hopper and Eleven. My housemate and I were in tears during the penultimate and ultimate episode so much so we had to pause Netflix to grab tissues. I can't believe we have to wait a year for the next season so in the meantime I will be rewatching season two over and over again until then.

This Is Us (Season 1)
Having seen hype online about this show but paying little to no attention to it I wish I could go back and tell myself to jump on the bandwagon because, wow. I binged watched the entire first season over a two day time period and wanted to watch season two immediately. I love how clever the first episode is in telling you how all the characters are connected and adore the chemistry between the actors. It is the ultimate feel good television series which isn't without heartbreak and sadness of course, but the overarching theme of family is so strong that it made me want to be a part of that world. The characters are three dimensional and again, challenge stereotypes which is super refreshing to witness. As soon as my exams are over and my life at university calms down a little bit I am going to get stuck into season two.

Jane The Virgin (Season 3 and 4)
I have adored Jane The Virgin since I first discovered it and believe it is a show that has stayed consistently great for every season. I particularly enjoy the 'telenovela' style of storytelling and really like that some of it is in Spanish with subtitles. My housemate also loves the show so we often watch it together and pick apart an episode after its one. Season 3 picked up again in the new year but I was left devastated and kept crying on and off for the rest of the season after the episode where Micheal dies. Season 4 left me still a bit weepy but with new exciting plot lines it didn't take long to be distracted. It is currently on its mid season break and I can't wait for it to get restarted in the new year.

Brooklyn Nine Nine (Season 5)
This show truly has it all and this season has only confirmed what an awesome, progressive show it is. The comedy is always on point, it tackles current sociopolitical topics and has the most diverse cast out of most television series to date. I also adore Andy Samberg and have since his SNL/The Lonely Island days but pushing that aside I would still rave about this show. Two stand out moments for this season were definitely the HalloVeen episode where I was blindsided with the surprise proposal and the 99th episode where Rosa comes out as bisexual. They were both brilliantly written and executed by the cast and further proved how incredible this show is.

Orange Is The New Black (Season 5)
I know I included OITNB last year but honestly, as long as it keeps going I will probably keep putting it on these lists. I wait (not so patiently) every year for it and this year was no different. The season picks up from the cliffhanger of the impending riot from last year and is set over a three day period. Many people didn't like this change in timeframe but I for one enjoyed it. It allowed certain characters and plot lines to breathe a little as we got to see more of their story. Naturally there were twists and turns but there was a particular shocking episode with Red and Piscatella that stuck with me for a few days. Taystee played by Danielle Brooks was again outstanding this year and everytime she was onscreen she shone. I again cried my way through the finale and am eager for June to arrive to see the fate of the women at Litchfield.


I have written more in-depth on this blog about LANY and why I love them so much when I wrote up my review of seeing them live which you can find here. The debut album is all sorts of incredible and had my most listened to song of 2017 on it according to Spotify. I have such fond memories tied to this album (and the band in general) and feel so lucky to have found them, let alone seen them live. The entire album is a masterpiece but a few songs stick out to me in particular being: Dumb Stuff, Hericane, Tampa, It Was Love, 13 and Super Far. A special shoutout to every EP they have ever released, there are complete gems on there (Made in Hollywood, yea babe no way and pink skies to name but a few) which is how I found the band in the first place. LANY are tied for first place with The 1975 for being my favourite band ever and I know they will continue to soundtrack my life for a long time.

Harry Styles (Harry Styles)
After hearing the debut single, Sign of the Times, I knew I had to put away whatever I thought this album would be and just wait as I had been completely wrong in the direction Harry was choosing to go as a solo artist. I really liked SOTT despite how different it was to the pop sound I was used to hearing from him and the entire album was a journey. It is cohesive for sure in the 70s rock style he was aiming for but a couple of songs really pleasantly surprised me. My favourites from the album are: Kiwi, Sign of the Times, Two Ghosts, Ever Since New York and Meet Me in the Hallway. As a bonus, I have been replaying all of his covers that he has done this year either on tour or as live special including covers of Fleetwood Mac, Kanye West and Little Big Town. Here's to seeing him live in 2018.

Sam Smith (The Thrill Of It All)
This entire album from start to finish is amazing. Simply amazing. I often listen to it in order to appreciate the journey of the songs and can't find one on there that I don't like. I do however I have two stand outs, Pray and HIM, that I have actually replayed immediately after to re-listen to certain parts because they felt so magical which I put down to his use of a choir on some tracks. It does feel extra special knowing Sam Smith is an out, gay man who lives his life unapologetically and his music reflects this.

Vancouver Sleep Clinic (Revival)
Again I have spoken at great length on this blog about how wonderful I find Vancouver Sleep Clinic and I was so excited to finally have a full length album to dive into. The entire album is a experience and that is the kind of album I always want to listen to. I throughly enjoyed the singles Killing Me to Love You and Someone to Stay but there are a couple more that got replayed a lot including; Revival, Lung and Living Water. Since seeing them last year I have been eager to witness the magic once more but unfortunately did not get to this year so I am holding out for next year!

Matt Wills (Cigarettes and City Lights)
I like many Matt Wills fans have been waiting eagerly for a full length album from him and it was so worth the wait. I am a huge fan of the album title for one and really liked that some songs that had been on EP's made it onto the full length album but had been slightly re-recorded like Hurricane that originally had a feature on it and has been taken off which I think makes the song its own. My favourite songs on the album are: Overdose, Hurricane, Hold Me, Always, Set You Free and Emily.

Superfruit (Future Friends)
This powerhouse duo of Scott and Mitch are from the Grammy Award winning group Pentatonix but have branched out on their own to explore more electro pop vibes away from acapella. Their voices shine on their own and beautifully blend together in delicious harmonies throughout the entire album which has a visual companion on their youtube channel. I am a huge fan of the entire album as a concept but a few songs stand out; Imaginary Parties, Worth It (Perfect), Vacation, Future Friends, Deny U and Fantasy. The album is mostly upbeat and full of great pop tunes with a few slower songs mixed in but this album helped soundtrack my summer.

The Time Travellers Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
As I sat on the beach in Croatia with my housemates at the beginning of the summer we began to discuss books. The time travellers wife came up in conversation and it turned out I was the only one who hadn't read it or seen the movie at all. When we got back to the UK I immediately went to Waterstones and bought it as I was going away again in a couple of days and thought it would be the perfect time to get stuck in. It was a very good book, not something I think I would read again, but I did enjoy the multi layered structure and the overarching messages.

Sweet Little Lies (Caz Frear)
I read a lot of crime books; I would say they are the majority of what I read except for poetry books. I'm not sure why this is but I would guess its because my parents do and  I think I have inherited their taste. Usually we don't fray from our two usual suspects, Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben but when I saw this book for 25p in a charity shop I decided I liked the plot enough to risk it. The plot is excellent, following the classic who dunnit trope of all crime books but with the twist of a personal connection to the narrator. A truly great crime novel that I raced through in order to see if my suspicions were correct and spoiler, they were not.

I am going to give this section of books its own little mention as this past year I have really, really got into spoken word/slam poetry. After binge watching most the videos on the Button Poetry youtube channel I quickly formed a few favourites and bought a few books that I could afford. This isn't a comprehensive list by any means but I have really enjoyed the short collections by these poets this year and hope to discover more in 2018.

Whisky Words and A Shovel & Rest in the Mourning (R H Sin)
Wait 30 Minutes (Patrick Roche)
Endowing Vegetables With Too Much Meaning (Kevin Kantor)
Give Me A God I Can Relate To (Blythe Baird)

Special mention to Our Numbered Days by Neil Hilborn
I know his book made it into my roundup of last year however I went with a friend to see him live in September and holy shit was he phenomenal. I laughed harder than I thought I would, silently cried a little and left feeling inspired whilst also immediately wanting to go to more slam poetry.

So there we have it, another list over for another year. There are a few surprises on this list which I am really happy about and I hope carries over into 2018. I also want to start doing more reviews individually for films, albums and books if I have really enjoyed them throughout the year as I realised I had way more to say. Here's to 2018 and hopefully I consume more greatness throughout the year.

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