My First Annual Best of List

2022’s Best of Review

Every year I set for myself a number of goals – reading, writing, and watching among them, and I thought, why not share the best of what entertained me this past year.

I am almost always behind the times. I am rarely current on anything, but I figured some of you may be like me and want to know what might still be worth the effort, so I’ve compiled my first “best of” list.

Taking note of the books, graphic novels, tv, films, and video games I enjoyed this year, I realized not all categories had a love option, but there were definitely some standouts.

Books & Graphic Novels

I use Goodreads to keep track of my reading goal, in addition to ratings and what else I’d like to read…eventually. They use a five-star rating system and not one book I read this year received such high marks, although I did have two books that tied with four – The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I’ve included the links to my reviews, if you’re interested. Each are unique in their own way, as is the artwork of Harleen by Stjepan Šejić, my top graphic novel of the year, which, too, earned four stars. Although, it really is a piece of eye candy.

Television

I watched a great deal more television than I anticipated, and I still feel Arcane by Netflix based on the game, League of Legends by Riot Games is the best thing I watched. The story, the characters, and the style are all top notch. This may lead you to wonder then at how a reality show made it on my list.

RuPaul’s Drag Race is one of my favorite things ever, and The Sis and I are longtime fans. All Stars Season 7 was a unique experience in which the cast were all returning winners vying for a chance to be called the Queen of All Queens. Not only was this one of the best shows I watched all year, the cast is stellar, but also this is probably my favorite season of the show of all time.

Movies

I made my movie watching goal and then some. Yay for keeping expectations low(er). My viewings this year were a mix of past and current films, those in my genre, and some just because. While most were middle of the road, disappointing, and/or forgettable, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar was never going to be counted among those. No surprise there. The surprise was liking it as much as I did. If you’re late to the party, like I usually am, this is definitely still worth the watch. Runner up, Free Guy. I know, it surprised me too.

Video Games

Yes, I invested in the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect. Did I already have the trilogy? Yep. Does EA need more of my money? Sigh. When Dragon Age: Dreadwolf comes out will they get more? You’d better believe it. Mass Effect 2 is still one the best games I’ve played, and the Legendary Edition only made everything better. Streamlined graphics, all the DLCs save one, and it is still a great time. This playthrough I tried my hand at being a Renegade male Shepard who romanced Tali and made some difficult decisions. That’s the fun of this series, there are so many options to explore, and that’s why we keep coming back, no matter what you may think of the ending. 😉

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So, there we have it.

There are so many more books, shows, movies, and games to enjoy, so you can imagine how my new year’s lists are already bursting, but I’d be delighted to hear what you enjoyed most this past year. Please share your recommendations!

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Escapism or Research

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

We all remember during lockdown and the US presidential election, how so many of us struggled, while others flourished. There was an outpouring of creativity and community and I was in awe of what could be done when given the chance. I was not one of those people. I was in the first group.

I was not creative. I barely wrote. I couldn’t watch anything “heavy”; there were a lot of bad movies viewed. I developed anxiety.

It was a strange time.

It was the year that will go down in infamy – 2020.

We couldn’t wait for it to go away. So many of us looked to 2021 as a magic reset button.

It was not.

I was determined to make 2022 different. With the new year and new goals, I decided to stop wasting my TV viewing time on things I’ve watched a dozen times over. I would watch those “must see” movies and shows in my genre. I would read the books I “should have” read. I would read more screenplays because you know, that’s what I want to do in life.

I had a new perspective and I wanted to make an impact.

Then, when things felt like they might be getting better, ever so slightly, a megalomaniac chose that moment to make things that much worse.

It’s easy to use TV, movies, and video games as a means of escapism in a world turned on its side. It’s easy to rationalize it all as research when you’re a creative.

It’s a little column A, a little column B.

So, despite the current situation, I thought I’d share the 3 shows I’ve watched so far that I’ve enjoyed if you’re in need of a little escape (or research 😉 ). They’re all available on Netflix.

  • Arcane – By far the best show I’ve watched in some time. The animation is beautiful, the characters are all intriguing, and the world is unique. Considering it took 6 years to make the first season, I’m guessing it will be a long wait for season 2, but it will be worth it.
  • The Witcher Season 2 – I am a big fan of the third installment in the video game series – I even wrote a review about it – so I was always going to watch the show. While season 1 was a little convoluted and hard to follow if you weren’t familiar with the material, they did a great job with the second season.
  • Shadow and Bone – This series kept being suggested to me, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had not read the books, or even heard of them beforehand. I have since read the first novel. Don’t waste your time, just watch the show. It’s a magical land, actually, they don’t call it magic, and there are some fun characters, and it was better than I thought it would be.

I’ve started a few other shows and if anything else resonates, I’ll be sure to pass it along.

Do you have any shows or movies to recommend? What shouldn’t be missed?

Happy Watching!