Below are a few things I enjoyed entertainment-wise this year.
This FX series mainly following a Princeton-dropout turned wannabe music manager to his cousin was tonally perfect. It showed a part of the city many don’t get to see, unless its in a stereotypical way without any nuance. The series does a good job showing the day-to-day goings-on for its main characters in a real and not shined up way. (P.S. Listen to the Atlanta recap episodes from the podcast Where’s My 40 Acres? if you really want to get into what made the episodes of this series so special.)
The Get Down
I liked a lot of series on Netflix this year but I’m going to spotlight The Get Down, a series on the rise of rap in the Bronx during the late 1970s. The 6 episodes making up part 1 of the first season is all that’s out now (it’s supposed to come back soon to conclude its first season). It starts a little slow, particularly the initial episode, but the last few episodes are must watch.
It’s hard to hit or exceed expectations when your next project has been anticipated for years. Somehow JoJo made it work. Mad Love is my favorite album that came out this year hands down. The whole thing is great, but the 3 song stretch from “Like This”, continuing with “Edibles,” and ending with “High Heels” is simply 🔥.
Sleeping With the One I Love
However, when it comes to singles, Fantasia served us classic soul realness with this song from her latest album. Using a sample of James Browns’s “It’s a Man’s World,” it gives old-school vibes without sounding dated.
Disney — between its animation department and Marvel — is on a hot streak like nothing I’ve seen before, and this movie hit just the lighthearted, optimistic note in the midst of a dramatic year to be a perfect escape from reality.
London Has Fallen
A good ole action film with funny quips thrown in. There isn’t much more to be said.
(Note: I haven’t seen Rogue One yet, or it’d probably be here too.)
When it comes to books, I exceeded my yearly goal of one book a month. Below is my list from the year, I stayed largely with fiction:
Hunted by Karen Robards
Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
The Power Trip by Jackie Collins
First Sight by Danielle Steel
The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato
The Heiresses by Sara Shepard
Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
Chasing Tomorrow by Tilly Bagshawe
To Selena, With Love by Chris Perez
The Bourne Ascendancy by Eric Van Lustbader
The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe
Shimmy for Me (novella) by Deanna Cameron
When It Counts by Lauren Hopkins
The Santangelos by Jackie Collins
Of all of these books, The Bourne Ascendancy stood out the most. It hit a little too close to home with everything that happened politically in the past 18 or so months. Here are a couple of passages for illustration: