Another year over etc – here are my favourite Film, Music and TV of the year.
I saw 95 films this year – although one was a Doctor Who episode so possibly doesn’t count, and one was on a plane, but that probably does count. That’s a decent return on my unlimited card, no? I’ve reviewed each film so won’t revisit that here, but here are my top and bottom 10 of the year. So I really like singing in a film. Who’da thunk?
10. The Place Beyond the Pines
8. The Iceman
7. Welcome to the Punch
5. White House Down
4. The Counsellor
1. Man of Steel
10. Sunshine on Leith / Kill Your Darlings / Frances Ha
8. The Way, Way Back
7. Pitch Perfect
4. Warm Bodies
3. The Sessions
2. Behind the Candelabra
1. Les Miserables
I’m not sure I really have the love of music I once did (except in films, perhaps) – in a world with no good music TV or music magazines I end up relying pretty much just on Radio 1 and 6 Music to tell me what’s out there. But there were tracks and albums I really enjoyed, so here’s a top 10 of stuff…
10. David Bowie – The Next Day
Bowie, Beyonce. They were all at this sneaking out albums malarkey. And the Thin White Duke snuck out a great single and video to go with it all.
9. Justin Timberlake – Mirrors
Justin Timberlake’s making music again? But I thought he was a serious actor these days, dahling? Oh well, if he makes songs like this, he can do whatever he wants, frankly.
8. Vampire Weekend – Diane Young
Their most recent album didn’t quite have the urgency of their earlier stuff, but the lead single was still a bouncy pop cracker.
7. Kurt Vile – Air Bud
Where did this come from? It doesn’t even have a video. Stil, it was all over 6 music and I liked it a lot.
6. London Grammar – Wasting My Young Years
Best new act of the year? No question.
5. Naughty Boy feat Sam Smith – La La La
This tune was a genuine grower. Even if the video creeps me out.
4. Lana Del Ray vs Cedric Gervais – Summertime Sadness
OK so the tune isn’t a 2013 one, but the mix was, and I had a rubbish summer that involved a very long process of not buying a house, so it’s kind of fitting.
3. Lorde – Royals
So pretty much the single of the year, and definitely the catchiest tune and beat. And it came from a 16 year-old. Makes you sick, no?
2. Haim – Falling
This and my top spot are fighting for album of the year – this is probably the better overall collection, but the next one possibly has more standout tracks. Close run thing, though. Love Haim.
1. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Sacrilige
Fantastic album and super-fantastic single. Loved this so much.
Telly had a decent year, all told. Maybe there weren’t as many huge stand out new shows as in some years, but returning series had a strong showing and Netflix began to prove its worth…
20. Waterloo Road – OK, so the Scotland move was random and silly, and the current batch of pupils is a bit rubbish, but the staff roster is great and has delivered some excellent moments: Audrey, Christine, Nikki, Maggie, Grantly – it’s been totes emosh.
19. Hollyoaks – What? Rubbish gangsters aside, it’s good again. Honest.
18. The Great British Sewing Bee – I can’t sew and don’t give two figs about it – and yet, this fair warmed the cockles. Awww.
17. Top of the Lake – It went a bit skew-whiff by the end but it was still pretty good for the most part and lovely to see lots of ex-Neighbours getting work.
16. Being Human – it went out with a much better series than the one that preceded it – with the new trio working well – almost a shame we didn’t get a bit longer with them.
15. Educating Yorkshire – Awwww. Lovely.
14. The Fall – Yeah, so bits were… icky. But Gillian Anderson… just so awesome.
13. Strictly Come Dancing – A great series all in all, mainly because Tess/Claudia proved to be a delight as a presenting team and there were lots of nice surprises in the cast, such as Mark Benton and Deborah Meaden.
12. My Mad Fat Diary – Best new teen drama in years, and I’m quite happy to enjoy the random 90s nostalgia.
11. The Returned – Slight let-down of an ending aside, one of the most engrossing and intriguing shows in ages. And a fantastic soundtrack, too.
10. In the Flesh – Wonderful new take on zombies (see also The Returned) in a year that had a very good showing for the undead in TV and cinema.
9. Last Tango In Halifax – Love all these characters. So much.
8. Doctor Who – Well, a patchy year for the 50th. Series 7B was very hit and miss, the 50th was a great episode though it did miss something not getting all the doctors back. The Christmas special was a proper mess with some great stuff from Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in the mix and some lovely lines/moments. Matt needed another year though, damn his nascent career. The show spoiled us with a ton of merchandise, radio and TV specials, minisodes, books and the Five(ish) Doctors though, so despite a few duff episodes it had a good anniversary celebration.
7. Neighbours – Not a perfect year, particularly given the vaguely racist axings of key cast – but when it was on form, it was really, really on form.
6. Orange is the New Black – One of the best new shows of the year, and it wasn’t even on TV. Welcome to the future, I guess.
5. Great British Bake-Off – Lovely Bake-Off. Horrible people on the internet hating the women in it. Scared BBC One might change it. Don’t change, GBBO!
4. Broadchurch – Last episode was a bit duff but otherwise this was fantastic stuff – from Chris Chibnall of all people. Sometimes life surprises you.
3. Game of Thrones – Again, not on TV. Well, kind of, but like many people I didn’t access it that way. So much drama! So good! For series 4 I’ll be going in no longer fresh though, having read all the books in the summer – I don’t know whether that will enhance or spoil my viewing.
2. An Adventure in Space and Time – Oh Mark Gatiss. Who knew you had this in you? But I’m so glad you did. Touching, beautiful, just wonderful. David Bradley has had a stonking good year (he’s in 2-4 of this countdown – all of which have made many people’s lists of the year. What a man.)
1. Breaking Bad – It really was a show that just got better and better. And another triumph for Netflix.