That was 2013 then…


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?

Bottom 10
10. The Place Beyond the Pines
9. Planes
8. The Iceman
7. Welcome to the Punch
6. Admission
5. White House Down
4. The Counsellor
3. Diana
2. Austenland
1. Man of Steel

Top 10
10. Sunshine on Leith / Kill Your Darlings / Frances Ha
9. Philomena
8. The Way, Way Back
7. Pitch Perfect
6. Frozen
5. Wreck-it-Ralph
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.


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