An excerpted look at some of what I liked this year:
Year-end Wrap Up
It's fun to look back and see what you did each year, what you read, what you watched, where you went. All the cool stuff! I'd like to share my favorite stuff this year so you can discover some new things to read or watch in 2024.
The Lazarus Project: Although there are only two seasons of this available so far, I only just learned about it a couple of weeks ago and I LOVE IT! It is time-travel/time-loop shenanigans and is just bananas, in the best way. It's one of those shows that you pause to have a little confab with your partner or fellow viewer to say, "Wait ... ok, so if so-and-so is in X year but then Y happens, do they do [redacted] or [redacted]? Or do they end up in [redacted]?" And then your brain breaks.
For All Mankind: If you aren't watching this (on Apple TV), you are missing out on some amazing storytelling. Even if your reading/viewing doesn't lean towards space-heavy SF, give this a try for the human stories. It's really engaging as well as an interesting look at how changing one historic event causes a domino effect of other small changes.
Interview with the Vampire: I read this book in the mid-'80s as a teenager, which started my love of vampire fiction. But this ... THIS! ... does what the film in the '90s couldn't: it fully gives in to the queerness of the book. The change from the late eighteenth century to the very early twentieth century adds extra layers to the narrative, with its look at race relations in the American South. Plus, it really does drive home how terrible it is to be in a toxic marriage ... forever.
BBC's Ghosts: We all love it. We're all kinda devastated it's over. I will never not laugh at Robin. (Also, there is a great companion book that just came out in time for gift-giving; I gave it to myself this year and it's hours of fun reading.)
What We Do in the Shadows (series, but film, too of course!) and Our Flag Means Death: Taika Waititi is a fucking treasure. Kooky, quirky, violent, queer, canny, out-of-their-time and -depth vampires in New York on the one hand and kooky, quirky, violent, queer, canny, and (some) out-of-their-depth pirates on the other. And beneath all of that, so much heart. I've been watching Shadows since its inception, but Flag got me to go back and do a full re-watch, and now I am impatiently waiting for series 2 to be available here in the UK.
Barbie: It's a Barbie world and we're just living in it.
Ok, so just 'film': singular. When I sat to write this, I couldn't really remember what I'd watched this year! It just wasn't a big film year for me, I guess. I think that the post-pandemic going-to-the-cinema outing hasn't quite returned to "normal." So I'll tell you what I did in the run-up to Christmas: I marathoned the extended versions of Lord of the Rings. Including breaks for the loo and cooking, it took me 14 hours. Every minute was fabulous.
What books did I love this year? Well, you'll have to sign up for my newsletter to find out more!
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