Saturday, December 29

Theresa's Favorite Things 2018

Dave Grohl “playing” and dark stories with a bit of magic,
Original streaming options and a YouTube chef to binge,
These are a few of my favorite things from 2018.

Favorite Film - “The Endless” by Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Synopsis: As kids, they escaped a UFO death cult. Now, two adult brothers seek answers after an old videotape surfaces and brings them back to where they began.
In my personal opinion, streaming services kicked the Box Office’s ass this year with their own originals and a large selection of underappreciated gems, like “The Endless.” I have a love-hate relationship with streaming as I think it creates an easy out for studios to not showcase brilliant pieces on the big screen (case in point - the way “Annihilation” was treated). On the other hand, I have to thank them for allowing me to find new writers and directors, like Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, and just awesome, original storytelling.

Favorite Album – “Vicious” by Halestorm 
Oh 2018, you were not kind to the music industry this year. Specifically, to rock and Rolling Stone said it better than I could with the article, Why Mainstream Rock Sucked in 2018. (link to hyperlink)
I scoured the entire list of album releases in 2018 on Wikipedia and even saw some of my usual favorite bands on there like Disturbed but still felt unfulfilled. Luckily, Halestorm kicked ass like always with their latest, “Vicious.” Izzy can always pick me up when I need it.

Here’s to hoping Foo Fighters surprise us in 2019.
Favorite Song – “Play” by Dave Grohl
Foo Fighters may not have put out a new album this year but Dave gave us a new song! “Play” exudes Dave’s passion for music and there’s no better way to experience it than to watch the YouTube clip.

If you have any kind of background in music, the whole concept of “Play” is full of nostalgia, heart and that drive to become better. You may even pick up that guitar that’s getting a little dusty in the corner.

Favorite Book – Toss-up between “Rules of Magic” by Alice Hoffman (Oct. 2017) 
and “The Girl in the Tower” by Katherine Arden (Dec. 2017)

I have to clarify that both books came out in 2017. But “Rules of Magic” was a Christmas gift I didn’t read until the New Year so it counts and I was surprised to see Katherine Arden at Phoenix Fan Fusion and that she actually wrote a sequel to her amazing first novel, “The Bear and The Nightingale.” So, there’s my excuse for these great titles.
“Rules of Magic” is the prequel to “Practical Magic.” If you’ve only seen the movie, you’ve done yourself a disservice and need to get the book ASAP. Alice Hoffman takes the reader back this time with the beloved aunts and gives a dramatic yet charming new story to fall in love with.
“The Girl in the Tower,” like mentioned above is the sequel to “The Bear and The Nightingale.” If you like different takes on classic fairytales and fables, you need to add this series to your collection. Based on Russian literature and folktales around Jack Frost, you immediately get transported and lost in a different world with darkness in every corner and a heroine you root for out loud. 

Favorite Audiobook– “Paradox Bound” by Peter Clines, read by Ray Porter (Sept. 2017)
Technically this audiobook came out in 2017 too but we listened to it on our way to California and it was an absolute joy. Peter Clines has a knack for writing dynamic characters and fast-paced action. Ray Porter’s narration only makes the ride more enjoyable.
Synopsis: A time-traveling hunt soon yields far more than Eli Teague bargained for, plunging him headlong into a dizzying world full of competing factions and figures straight out of legend. To make sense of the mystery at its heart, he must embark on a breakneck chase across the country and through two centuries of history - with nothing less than America's past, present, and future at stake.

Favorite Show– “Sharp Objects” 
Talk about one crazy, intense show that you want to turn away from but can’t help yourself. It was the same with the book and HBO’s adaptation was spot on and just as mesmerizing as the book. Absolutely loved this dark story!
Side note: 2018 has been one crazy, busy year for me which means I have yet to watch “The Haunting of Hill House.” I’m 99.9% sure it will take this over this spot once I binge it over the weekend.

Favorite YouTube Channel– Binging with Babish
After YouTube’s God-awful 2018 rewind, is YouTube going to die a horrible death? I hope not because I absolutely love Binging with Babish; both for the recipes and the down-to-earth sexy host. (My boyfriend is aware of my feelings and is a good sport). Anyways, since most of you are movie/TV fans, Babish came into the limelight for taking recipes from TV and movies and making them for viewers. He has also published a cookbook of these recipes. If you haven’t discovered him yet, do yourself a favor and jump on YouTube right now. Forget the rest of my article looking forward to 2019. You have some catching up to do.

Looking forward to in 2019:

While I enjoyed looking back at 2018, I have to say there’s already a few things I’m looking forward to or horrified to see coming in 2019. Here’s a quick recap. May your New Year bring you great new films, books, TV and more to satisfy your pop culture thirst.

·      Jordon Peele’s “Us” has me counting down the days to March.

·      Boo to Disney taking my favorite animated films from my childhood and making them live action. An article about my true feelings will be coming soon.

·      “The Endless” writers are in pre-production for their newest film “Synchronic.” Here’s to hoping it comes out in 2019. 

·      Alice Hoffman has tweeted about a Maria Owens novel! This would be the third book in the Practical Magic series. 

·       “Stranger Things,” “Game of Thrones,” “Big Little Lies” and “Westworld” (if it gets a 2019 date). Need I say more?

·      Whatever is up Dave Grohls’ sleeve for 2019, I’m all for it!

·      I think this will be the year I finally get on board the podcast train. 

Feel free to send me your favorites on Twitter @theresadillon or Facebook. 

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