2016 Top 5: Things I Watched

I will freely admit that I spend too much time watching television. I should probably figure out something better to do with my time, but since I watched it, I’m going to review it.  Here are the Top 5 things I watched this year, including both movies and television shows.

#1 – The Expanse

Have I gushed about The Expanse yet?  Oh, that’s right, I have.  I watched the first season twice this year, once on my own, and once with friends. I absolutely love it. The characters, the visuals, and above all, the story are wonderful in their own rights.

I will often gush about this absolutely gorgeous scene from the middle of the season with Chrisjen Avasarala walking through snow in Montana in her sari that is just so visually stunning and so in character than it blows me away every time I see it.

Not what you would expect from a space opera, is it? But there you have it.

#2 – Stranger Things

Did you see it yet? Because you totally should. This quirky startling Netflix show draws heavily on ’80s nostalgia, but also weaves a spooky scary story that comes together with a satisfying conclusion. #TeamBarbForever


#3 – Arrival

I honestly heard almost nothing about Arrival before it was released, but then I started seeing reviews saying it was the best sci-fi movie of the year, and strongly implying that I would be a fool to miss it. And I am not a fool.

Arrival is a wonderful first encounter story with a lot of twists and turns (and strangely also set in Montana…) and I really don’t want to give away anything that might spoil it. If you have seen it, I’d love to discuss. If you loved Interstellar, Arrival should be at the top of your list.

#4 – Supergirl / The Flash

You didn’t think I wouldn’t try to sneak in something extra to my top 5 list, did you? But look at these two cinnamon rolls who are too good, too pure for this world.

It is no secret that I have a secret crush on The Flash is my favorite superhero. I didn’t know what to make of Supergirl, until they did a crossover episode last season. I loved it, and as soon as I had access to the full season, I crushed it. Supergirl is a wonderful story about finding one’s place in the world, and making a difference. I love the scenes when Callista Flockhart’s character, Cat Grant, takes either Supergirl or her alter-ego Kara Danvers under her wing to mentor and explain how things work in a woman’s world.  There has been a coming-out story in this season that has been absolutely heart wrenching and heartwarming at the same time.

And, I mean, the Flash. Just look at him. 😀  Both of these shows are on my “can’t miss it” list.

#5 – The Great British Bake Off

It should come as no surprise that The Great British Bake Off makes my list. The show is just so British, and baking. My heart breaks that it is leaving the BBC, and losing 3 of its 4 hosts. If you aren’t in the know, it is a baking competition that happens in a tent in the English countryside. There are no contrivances, no voting off your enemies and saving your friends. You continue onward only on the basis of your skill baking. It is heartwarming and hilarious and very very British.

I’ve been looking for a picture for the last 10 minutes, and I just can’t stop looking. 😀 Here’s one from the No Context Bake Off twitter feed, and it is just perfect.  I can’t really describe the show any better.

Bonus! – Kubo and the Two Strings

I just watched this one last week, and I’m not sure I’m ready to add it officially to my top 5 for the year. But you should watch it. It didn’t really stay around in the theaters long enough, but this stop-motion animation was strikingly gorgeous and told a fantastic story of love, loss, and redemption.  Check it out.


So those are my favs for the year.  What did you watch and love this year?  What did I miss?