Friday, December 31

Favourite Things 2010

fyeahmusicals!
So this is my yearly post where I write about the things that I've really loved this year, my favourite things so to speak.

Television

I am quite obsessive by nature; once I start something I have a desperate need to finish it; I'm also incredibly impatient, so once I start something I need to finish it now. This is the reason I can’t watch tv series’. Once a series starts I have to get to the end very quickly and find out all the answers to the twists and turns – which is why I probably like films so much; there is a clearly defined beginning, middle and end. This is exactly how I got addicted to two tv shows this year: Veronica Mars and Mad Men.

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When Veronica’s best friend, Lily Kane, is murdered Veronica dedicates her time trying to find the murderer, as well as solving the town of Neptune’s mysterious crimes. Honestly that sounds like a young, hip version of ‘Murder, She Wrote’, I can’t imagine why I thought it’d be terrible. Veronica Mars started showing on E4 last summer; At first I scoffed at how terrible I imagined it probably was. I knew nothing of the delight that is Veronica’s quick wittedness or the wonder that is Logan Echoll’s tormented bad boy-ness (?).


Maybe I shouldn’t have sat down to watch it that first time - because E4 had it on every weekday at the most awkward of times (10.55 and 4.25, or something along those lines), which just felt like a challenge for me to get home from University in time to watch it every day - but by goodness am I happy that I did. The best thing about this series, in my opinion, is that it came off air (in the US) in 2007 and it was left at a, reasonably, closed ending (obviously in my head it would have been a better ending if there was some sort of Veronica/Logan “I hate you, I love you” montage, but I suppose that’s what Youtube is for). Ok, so most people hated and protested the cancellation, but for me it meant that I could watch the entire programme from beginning to end without any annoying cliffhangers or that whole waiting a week for the next episode business.

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If you haven’t heard of Mad Men at this point you’ve probably made it your mission not to hear about it. It’s been pretty big on everyone’s radar recently with many designers using the show as inspiration (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, etc) and the entire world falling in love with the undoubtedly stunning Joan Holloway (played by Christina Hendricks).

The drama follows one of New York’s most prominent ad agencies during the early 1960’s, mainly focusing on the agency’s most talented, yet secretive ad man, Don Draper (Jon Hamm). Mad Men is one of those odd types of shows where barely any of the characters – ranging from cutthroat ad-men to unappreciated housewives - are actually likeable people.  Yet you find yourself sympathising, empathising and actually liking the characters, because like in real-life they aren’t perfect people.

As much as I, like many others, adore Joan Holloway - and there are some incredibly strong female characters on the show in general - my favourite character has to be Don's previous secretary/current protégée Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss). Peggy has gradually worked her way through the advertising agency based on her own talent, whilst fielding taunts and rumours of 'sleeping her way to the top' from many of her male (and female) colleagues. It has been quite interesting to see Peggy grow from he innocent, young secretary from out of town in series one to become a smart, sophisticated feminist and Don's, much relied upon, second-in-command on the creative team. (See here - spoilers!).

Oh, one other thing. I really enjoyed this year was Doctor Who (and Torchwood) - much to my mum and sisters delight. It was mostly thanks to Karen Gillan - I had watched Doctor Who previously, mostly the ones with Rose Tyler and if I'm honest she sort of put me off. Now I quite like Billie Piper, but I do not like a love story where it needn't be (and I know 'proper' Doctor Who fans will hate me for this) and I did not like Rose Tyler. I do however love Amelia Pond, her general feistiness and, yes, her amazing legs.


Music


I'll start this by saying that I'm actually incredibly bored of music at the moment, after he flux of female artists last year (Florence, Marina, Gaga etc) we've had a few really awful female artists releasing albums  (Ke$ha, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Cheryl Cole - although, Rihanna doesn't offend me as much as the other two) and now if Simon Cowell has anything to do with it we'll be going into the New Year with the even worse Cher Lloyd. So you'll have to excuse me if I don't get too excited about music at the moment - despite listening to McFly's most recent songs, I have mostly been listening to a lot of Frank, Hole and the Glee soundtrack.


Film


I've not had a chance to see many films this year, at least at the cinema anyhow. I did however sign up for a Lovefilm account and have managed to watch quite a few films that have been itching to see for a while. One of which was 'Jennifer's Body', which if you remember was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. I also got to watch a couple of Drew Barrymore films (who I love), which I had been quite excited about; 'Going the Distance' and 'Whip It'. The thing I loved about both films was that they weren't overly sweet, or nauseatingly 'chick flicky'/'rom-com like'.



As it tells you on the poster Going the Distance is 'a comedy about meeting each other halfway'. The film is centred on a couple trying to make their relationship work as the travel back and forth between San Francisco and New York. The thing I hate about 'rom-coms' is that in the end it always seems to be the woman who has to compromise herself or somehow realises that the way she had been living her life previously was wrong. Which is why I loved this film (other than the fact it was quite funny), both of them 'gave a little'.




Mis-fit Bliss Cavendish finds a way of finding her true self outside of all the Pageants her mother enters her into, through her local Roller Derby League. I have spent more time  this year trying to work out what my Roller Derby name is than I have done, well, much else. I loved this film because it was about a girl finding her true self without the whole issue of romance somehow defining it. Granted there was romantic story, but it was pretty much secondary (if not less important) in relation to everything else going on. It's mostly about Bliss finding out who she is, aside from her mother and her friends. It's about someone having a passion for something - a girl really enjoying kicking a bit of arse. And it's about friendship -  the bonds she has with her mother, her best friend and her teammates.


In 2011 I'm looking forward to a new Adele album, keeping my fingers crossed for something good from Amy Winehouse, excitedly anticipating a new series of Mad Men and am itching to see The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.

Aaand that's all I've got - short and sweet. I hope you've had a fun-filled and entertaining 2010. Here's to an infinitely more exciting 2011.


2 comments:

  1. One of my favorite things this year has been how much more you are posting here! :)

    Introduced my kids to The Sound of Music this year and only narrowly missed a visit to Salzburg, home of the movie, when delayed by slow moving friends.

    I think 2011 will be the year I finally break down and check out this Mad Men that everyone loves so much. If I can find a legit place to watch it all! :goodytwoshoes:

    Have a wonderful year, Pixie! Happy New Year to you!

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  2. That put a very large smile on face Jen - Thank you!

    Did they love it? The Sound of Music is one of my favourite things all the time! How can you not love a film with an intermission?!

    I caved and started Mad Men at the beginning of the Summer and it took about 10 minutes for me to be addicted.

    Happy 2011 Jen!

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