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Derek’s Top 10 Films of 2017

February 11, 2018

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To begin, I watched 38 of the films that 2017 had to offer. Yeah, I missed several that I really wanted to see like The Post, Phantom Thread, Wonderstruck, I, Tonya, The Disaster Artist, Darkest Hour, The Florida Project, Detroit, Lucky, Molly’s Game, Hostiles, Call Me by Your Name, Personal Shopper, All These Sleepless Nights, and The Founder, but overall I think I caught a good cross-section of 2017. If you want to see how I ranked every single film of 2017 that I saw, check out my letterboxd list at https://letterboxd.com/derekdixon/list/dereks-top-films-of-2017/. I will be using letterboxd to keep track of everything I watch in 2018 (as well as to make film lists of whatever may feel relevant at the time, like perhaps ranking all of the Marvel films after a new one is released…), so if you want to follow that journey this year, I would love to have you join me. What follows in this post are the best of the bunch of the 2017 films. Please let me know what you thought of what you watched. Do you agree with my list and thoughts? Do you disagree? Do you think I’m crazy? (Okay, the answer to that question is pretty obvious, but thanks for reading anyways) What do you think? Let me know and enjoy the reading!

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Derek’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2017

January 21, 2018

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I increasingly feel like my top TV shows list is more of an apology than a celebration. There were so many TV shows that aired during the calendar year 2017 that keeping track of them took as much time as watching the ones that I enjoyed. And I admit that my TV watching habits are far different from the majority of my generation. Due to the spotty internet quality in my apartment, I did not watch the new seasons from many of the shows on the streaming websites (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) that many others, whose opinions I admire, greatly enjoyed such as Stranger Things, Master of None, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Mindhunter, American Vandal, GLOW, Sense8, Bojack Horseman, The Crown, Dear White People, Big Mouth, The Get Down, MST3K, The Punisher, Godless, Lady Dynamite, One Day at a Time, Catastrophe, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Sneaky Pete, Patriot, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Runaways and Alias Grace. In addition, I don’t enjoy “binge watching” shows, so if I fall behind for a season, even on a show that I have previously greatly enjoyed, it can be difficult to catch up. As a result, I wasn’t able to watch new seasons of Game of Thrones, The Leftovers, Twin Peaks: The Return, Halt and Catch Fire, Top of the Lake: China Girl, Better Things, Search Party, Queen Sugar, Underground, The Deuce, Vice Principals, Feud: Bette and Joan, Broadchurch, and Veep.

 

Never fear! (I say this more for my sake than for yours, dear reader) With all of that as a caveat, I did actually watch several TV shows (on a week to week basis of course) that I greatly enjoyed in 2017. I hope they can bring you some joy too.

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Derek’s Top 10 Films of 2016

January 31, 2017

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I watched 87 films over the course of 2015. As I stated in my post about my favorite TV shows of the year (https://24framespersec.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/dereks-top-10-tv-shows-of-2016/), I intentionally watched less TV in 2016 with the purpose of watching more films. The resulting numbers bore out accordingly: I watched 144 films throughout the calendar year 2016, 98 of them were films I had never watched before and 45 of those were films that were released in 2016. There were many films that I wanted to see but didn’t have the opportunity to catch (a few of which include Jackie, Manchester by the Sea, Loving, Paterson, 20th Century Women, Fences, The Handmaiden, Elle, Toni Erdman, and Hidden Figures), but overall I feel like I covered a good breadth of the films that I was interested in watching throughout the year. These were my 10 favorites along with 5 honorable mentions and that’s without even getting to other great films like Midnight Special, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Witch, Kate Plays Christine, and Keanu. I’m glad it was a great year for film in 2016 because it felt even more needed with the goings on in the rest of the country. Here we go!

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Derek’s Top 10 TV Shows of 2016

January 13, 2017

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I intentionally watched less TV in 2016 than I had the past several years. I mean, I didn’t do so for any good reason, I did it because I wanted to focus on watching more films in 2016, but as a result I quit watching a multitude of mediocre shows that I was only staying with because I had been watching them from the beginning and had some small emotional attachment. In addition, the poor internet quality in my apartment meant I was only able to keep up with *two* streaming shows despite there being many more that I really wanted to catch. All that being said, in this time of #peaktv I still found a great many shows that I liked and even some that I loved over the course of 2016. Four of my five favorite shows from 2015 didn’t return in 2016, so the top of my list looks quite different this year. And on top of that, I definitely “cheated” in making this a list of 10 by combining a few shows into the same spot, but it represents how I consumed and contemplated the things that I watched this year, so I hope you enjoy reading it at least. Let me know what you think!

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The Top 10 Films of 2015

February 16, 2016

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Seeing as how we are two months into 2016 (which has already seen the release of one stupendously great Coen brothers film), I’ll try to work through the backstory quickly so we can get to the main event. I saw 42 of the films that 2015 had to offer and overall I didn’t think it was an incredibly great year. Of course there were films that I missed (chief among them Anomalisa, Room, Bridge of Spies, 99 Homes, and 45 Years) and maybe they will shift my opinion by the time I get around to them in the future. Yet even amongst a general feeling of large view mediocrity, there were several films that I loved in 2015. These were the bright spots:

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The Top 10 TV Shows of 2015

February 7, 2016

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In a perfect world, the shows I love would be renewed for new seasons every year and remain the best shows on TV. Television is a fundamentally different narrative medium from film because of this ability to remain consistent from year to year.

 

I start with this as a way of saying that 2015 was a good year in television…which means this list won’t be all that different from the past couple years, so those of you who have read this blog in 2014 and 2013 might not read much that surprises you here. But hopefully you will nevertheless enjoy reading about what I enjoyed watching over 2015.

 

Of course there are always shows that I want to watch that I just don’t have the time to finish. This year I really wanted catch up with Mad Men before its final seven episodes, but it was a bit too much given everything else I was watching regularly. I enjoyed the first seasons of both Halt and Catch Fire and The Leftovers, but in the former case my DVR died and I lost all of the episodes, while in the latter case I fell behind and didn’t have time to finish before writing. On the streaming side, I really wanted to watch Sense8 on Netflix and The Man in High Castle on Amazon Prime, but sometimes those streaming shows can feel more like a task to be finished than a fun experience when all of their episodes are sitting in a long queue waiting to be watched.

 

And yet, there were so many good shows last year that I forced myself to only give five honorable mentions. This means I don’t have the time or space to tell you that Brooklyn Nine-Nine was solidly funny again in 2015, Review and Silicon Valley were probably even better in their second seasons than in their first, and Broadchurch started from the emotionally powerful ground at the end of season one and only got more powerful in season two. Too bad, some of those other shows were great and worthy of discussion, but they can’t even be mentioned here. 😉

 

Without further ado, here are the honorable mention shows (alphabetical) and top 10 from 2015:

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2015 By the Numbers

January 11, 2016

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Sometimes, a raw breakdown of the year without much commentary can be informative. Here are a few important numbers from my life in 2015:

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