Annual Media Roundup

January 1, 2020
Media I consumed in 2019... 4 star in red, 5 star red and bolded...

Movies at the Cinema (11 (+3))
Into the Spider-Verse, A Tuba to Cuba, Muppet Movie Singalong, The Great Muppet Caper, Avengers: Endgame, The Man Who Kill Don Quixote, Toy Story 4, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Purple, The Rise of Skywalker, Little Women
"Into the Spider-Verse" sticks out as being so fantastic and representing the diversity of Spider-Man... Muppets are sentimental favorites seen at the Brattle... "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" was a nice adaption of a book I had recently read.

Movies on Video or Streaming (39 (+2))
Coco, Return of the Jedi, Bandersnatch, Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather, Big Trouble, Oldboy, Roma, Fyre, Casablanca, 12 Angry Men, Won't You Be My Neighbor, The Big Short, Nanette, Rocky, Drive, Tron: Legacy, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Vertigo, Austin Powers, Brokeback Mountain, Raging Bull, The Deer Hunter, Her, Airplane!, Captain Marvel, Harold and Maude, Louis C.K. 2017, Not Nornal, 48 Hrs., Rushmore, Always Be My Baby, Brick, John Wick, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Step Brothers, Girls Trip, Drumline , Die Hard
Coco was just visually lovely! Bandersnatch was technically a 5, but I think it was more because of the gimmick of "choose your own adventure" in video form - but the attention to retro-computer detail as well as the mediation on free will was appreciated as well. "Drive" stuck with me, of only for that awesome scorpion jacket. It was cool finally seeing "Harold and Maude" (and the manic pixie dream older woman) and its probably influence on the book "Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death" and Wes Anderson films in general. And both "Rushmore" and "Brick" had that cool noir-movie dialog in modern setting vibe.

TV Show Seasons (23 (+15))
One Punch Man, Broad City Season 4, Russian Doll, Workin' Moms, Catastrophe Season 1, Catastrophe Season 2, Catastrophe Season 3, Love, Death & Robots, Catastrophe Season 4, Game of Thrones Season 8, Black Mirror Season 5, Silicon Valley Season 4, Good Omens, Superstore Season 1, Tuca and Bertie, Derry Girls Season 1, The Office (All Seasons, But Sleeping), One Punch Man Season 2, Derry Girls Season 2, Superstore Season 2, What We Do in the Shadows Season 1, Big Mouth, Superstore Season 3
"One Punch Man" really stands out for the fun anime spectacle. "Catastrophe" was really funny, swinging from disaster to disaster (not to mention being Carrie Fisher's last cameo) - I'd still put in a plug for looking up "Pulling", also produced/starring Sharon Hogan. It's a shame "Tuca and Bertie" didn't get a second season- especially the first part of the series, the energy is fantastic. "Superstore" is proving to be a competent carrier of the old Office/Parks and Rec energy. "Big Mouth" is both super funny, and also really thoughtful in parts, about what so many of us went through as we tried to figure things out in adolesence.

Books (30 (-2))
The Beatles Lyrics, Sapiens, Love and Limerence, Luke Skywalker Can't Read and Other Geeky Truths, The Drama of the Gifted Child, F*ck Whales, I, Robot, I Am Spock, The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling, Sing To It, WLT:A Radio Romance, Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life,They Change It, Elastic: Unlocking Your Brain's Ability to Embrace Change, Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI, The Prodigal Tongue, Married to a Cave Man, Normal People, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Book, Conversations with Friends, Conscious: a brief guide to the fundamental mystery of mind, The World According to Garp, Station Eleven, Today Will Be Different, Tell the Wolves I'm Home, Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought, Medallion Status, The Original Hitchhiker Radio Scripts, Normal People, The Yin and Yang of American Culture: A Paradox
At the time "Love and Limerence" seemed incredibly important - just this take on if some people are more or less prone to head-over-heels'ness -- and maybe just going over how if you're not, you're not necceesarily broken. Ted Chiang (here represented by "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling" will be showing up on my decade best list). "Normal People" was a "low"-five, but really stirred something in - something about romance amoung the young intelligensia- not that I was there myself but I recognized accidentally hurting or being hurt by other people.

Audiobooks/Podcast (17 (+6))
House of the Spirits, getting-started-with-redux, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Original Radio Series (Seasons 1 and 2), 99% Invisible, Baby Geniuses, Beef and Dairy Network, Everything is Alive, Hidden Brain, Judge John Hodgman, Jump the Snark, Making Sense, My Date Wrote a Porno, Retronauts, The Allusionist, The Grandma's Virginity Podcast, The Talk Show, Watch Out for Fireballs!
I think this is the year podcasts really started clicking for me. I'll probably most remember the older "Grandma's Virginity Podcast" made by the inventor of Rick and Morty. Also it was good coming back to "House of the Spirts" after reading it in college

Comic / Graphic Novel (9 (+-0))
Be Your Own Backing Band, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness, James Brown: Black and Proud, The Midas Flesh, The Bot Folio, My Dirty Dumb Eyes, Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaption, Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery", DOOM
"My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness" was a fascinating read from cultures I'm not a part of. "My Dirty Dumb Eyes" by Lisa Hanawalt who made "Tuca and Bertie" was very good. And I think "Anne Frank's Diary: The Graphic Adaption" really made that tragic story come alive.

Video Games (17 (+2))
Minit, Picture Cross Summer Pack, Just Cause 3, Just Cause 3: Mech Land Assault, Just Cause 3: Sky Fortress, Just Cause 3: Bavarium Sea Heist, The Oregon Trail, Just Cause 3, Ape Out, Katamari Damacy , Mr. Bullet, NES Remix 1, aquapark.io, Just Causeā„¢ 4: Los Demonios, Star Wars Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader Archero
I think of all the hobbies I used to pour more time into (maybe because I wasn't playing tuba then) videogames I sort of miss the most - a lot of nostalgia here including replaying Katamari Damacy and Rogue Leader (still my favorite Star Wars game - I guess here I didn't list the single VR X-wing misison on Star Wars Battlefront - not sure if that was worth the cost of admission, frankly.) "Archero" on iOS I'm still messing with- it's one of the few grind/ad-laden things I've put up with, but its control mechanic (you are automatically firing at the nearest enemy all the time, but stop firing when you have to move) is compelling. Probably the biggest story here was "Just Cause 3" - in particular the DLC "Sky Fortress", which basically makes you a soaring Iron Man attacking the Helicarrier (but instead of Iron Man's armor you have Wolverine's healing abilities...) Just Cause is probably the most enjoyably visceral kinetic series I've played


I think this is a pretty good description of why people who don't like Atlas Shrugged don't like Atlas Shrugged. I know some people find that "making things happen via sheer force of will and integrity" inspiring but damn is it a bad book.