Happy New Year to at least some of you, and the rest of you will get your 2015 soon enough. This is the obligatory year end roundup, which here will concentrate on the middle ground– nothing personal (too boring), but nothing on the world scale (way too depressing) either. Let’s have a media roundup! Click the titles to read previous reviews and appreciations.
Unlike last year, when nothing met the required standard, two movies I saw in the theater qualified as the years’ best. These were Captain America: The Winter Soldier, an excellent superhero action thriller I’d been waiting for for ages, and the delightful animated film Big Hero 6, which I was not expecting at all. (And which was also about superheroes.) The space opera/buddy comedy Guardians of the Galaxy, another Marvel property, qualifies for an enthusiastic honorable mention.
Another honorable mention goes to the episodes of the TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D that followed the premiere of Winter Soldier and which continued the events of that story on the small screen. I’d been following the show in spite of its uneven quality (of course, I would probably watch Phil Coulson do his laundry), and like anyone who’d been watching it I was amply rewarded by a dramatic improvement in both plotting and performances. Looking back, I’m pretty sure AoS was marking time until the release of Winter Soldier allowed it to get on with the story.
But the TV prize goes to that profoundly weird Canadian program, The Great Martian War. Don’t click on the link if you haven’t seen it and want to be surprised by it. Because it is a very surprising thing.
Finally, my coming-late-to-the party media discovery that everyone knew about already was that classic science fiction novel in TV form, Babylon 5. I look forward to these discoveries almost more than I do sorting through the new media every year, so if you have any ideas about things I might have missed, please pass then along.
Lots more about next year, well, next year. There’s a new photography project in the works, year seven (seven!) of the Drawing of the Day, and finally, some new comics that have been slithering around under the surface will see the light of day. And, of course, this blog will be this blog.