With the start of a new year, our staffers take their pick of some of the best television shows, music, film, videogames, and books that came out in 2014.
True Detective Season 1
Do not watch this show. The eight episodes are not worth it. People shouldn’t be watching shows where the antagonist is a British speaking hillbilly. People with valuable time shouldn’t be watching a show that has one of the greatest shootouts that didn’t actually happen. People with good morals shouldn’t be watching a show where the cops are after a spaghetti-faced man. People should be going to church and eating their vegetables. People shouldn’t bother with this True Detective business – even if it was the best show on TV in 2014.
Oxymoron (Schoolboy Q)
Some Ice Cube, some R. Kelly, a little Pusha T, will definitely set this party off right. This should have been the hip-hop poser starter pack for 2014. Instead it will go down as a great bunch of songs that nobody listened to. Los Awesome and Break The Bank: beats that don’t need lyrics. Man Of The Year and Collard Greens: lyrics that don’t need beats. We listened to way too many Pharrell songs this year when we should have been listening to this.
Trese 6: Hightide at Midnight (Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo)
At first, Trese 6 seems like the usual detective story, but as Alexandra Trese continues to dive into what’s happening, it’ll seem as though she has met her match, and it’s going to take more than the twins’ powers to win this battle. New characters, mysterious backstories, and action-packed fight scenes are all wrapped up into yet another great installment in the series all thanks to Tan’s careful and exciting writing and Baldisimo’s sharp and intense detailing. Trese 6 will not disappoint you, I swear on Maliksi’s great hair.
Once again, Jerrold Tarog gave cinephiles a story that will leave hands over hearts and tearing eyes. The careful directing by Milo Sogueco, beautiful cinematography by Sasha Palomares, and wonderful acting by the cast do not help hold back the tears. Mariquina is about Imelda’s search for the perfect shoes for her late father, Romeo. During this search, Imelda also looks for closure for all the unspoken feelings and problems between them, better understanding Romeo in the process. Mariquina will leave you want to hug your family forever and never let go.
Once Upon a Time – Season 4
After the season three finale of ABC’s Once Upon a Time – with its Frozen-esque sequence that made me wonder, did they have the rights to do that? – I waited for season four with bated breath and mixed feelings. In no way was I disappointed as the show kicked off with Frozen references, a whole new backstory, and another complicated villain. Four months later, OUaT continued to surprise its audience, showing us that, even though it’s run through practically every fairytale you can think of, it still has more to offer.
1989 (Taylor Swift)
For anyone who doubted that she’d go back to country once she got into the pop genre, you were right. Additionally, for anyone who wondered if she could make the new pop album as catchy, relatable, and fun to dance to as her previous albums – she could, and she absolutely did. If you’ve heard Blank Space, this entire album is much like that song – once it’s in your head, it doesn’t leave. With quote-worthy lines and “this sick beat,” Taylor Swift’s 1989 gets you hooked and doesn’t let go.
Lights Out (Ingrid Michaelson)
Fun, light, and full of love – Lights Out showcases Ingrid’s soulful mix of romantic piano ballads in Open Hands and Ready to lose, without scrimping on the upbeat and happy dance worthy songs such as One Night Town and Afterlife. Lights Out is a colourful play on inter-genre vocals as an under the radar pop album masterpiece that has Ingrid Michaelson written all over it.
Once again, Blizzard does not disappoint. In Hearthstone, players get to face their opponents using beasts, spells, totems and more. With new quests and expansions to come, Hearthstone is not just a one dimensional card game that players will easily get tired of; it’s an adventure worth exploring.
The Lego Movie
It could have been a disaster, but directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Jump Street Trilogy) subverted that prediction by delivering one of the best surprises of 2014. Blending a compelling storyline with characters that pop and crackle on the silver screen, The Lego Movie became a film that surprised everyone by delivering something almost familiar then turning it on its own axis.
Belzhar (Meg Wolitzer)
Meg Wolitzer penned The Interestings and nine other compelling novels over a span of three decades. In Belzhar, however, she delivers a wallop with heart and a lot of angst as heroine Jam Gallahue, still reeling from her boyfriend’s death, is sent to The Wooden Barn, a boarding school wherein she signs up for a class that ultimately changes her life. Meg Wolitzer’s characters and twists will tug at the heartstrings of readers hungry for a compelling yet endearing novel. Bonus points for the reference to Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, a critical part of the story.
Turn Blue (The Black Keys)
After eight albums, one would think that The Black Keys’ signature blues-and-rock combo reminiscent of seventies funk would have already drowned in the mainstream. But Turn Blue proves that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney can still pull off a boundless orchestra of vintage organs and seductive guitar riffs over gloriously melancholic lyrics. Brimming with energy and American angst, it is impossible to last its entire 45 minutes and 11 seconds without wanting to drive off into a desert highway or quick-start your boiling hot summer in January.
In this breathtaking, nearly three-hour-long space epic from acclaimed director Christopher Nolan, our planet is dying, and humanity is forced to search the stars for a new home. The film is also backed by (mostly) real science and is aided by another wonderful musical score from Hans Zimmer. Despite some surprisingly cliché themes and the deus ex machina ending, Interstellar is a film that’ll leave a generation of audiences to marvel at the discoveries of science while inspiring them to further explore the boundless possibilities of space.