You know, we’ve been talking about this tenth anniversary week for a long time. The problem is, we’d always end that conversation before coming up with a concrete plan for what to do. This Mildly Pleased Hall of Fame idea isn’t that fleshed out yet, but I think we’ll use it to enshrine media that specifically we all like. Meaning it’s not going to be the best stuff of all time, but the stuff that most represents our tastes. I had originally envisioned doing something like this years ago as a video essay series, but that’s a lot of work. So instead, I’ll merely write about a movie that has become the centerpiece of an annual tradition at the blog: The Edge.
When given a chance to comment on Parachutes in 2006, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said “We know that’s terrible music, and we always try to think about what we can do next.” Nonetheless, two years later I still made it my first C.A.T. (and one of the few any of us would do on an album from the 21st Century). Three years after that, a spambot commented on that post “I am not sure where you’re getting your information, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for great info I was looking for this information for my mission.” Perhaps I can help.
I wonder if 2018 will be the year I get back into video games? The past few years, being a gamer has become something of a secret shame, since you could argue that the alt right came out of the Gamergate controversy. Plus, video games are the most time-demanding media to make a hobby out of; it takes way more time to play a game than it does to check out a show or a watch movie or listen to an album… I guess reading books maybe take longer. Anyway, after watching the Last Jedi backlash, I’ve been reminded that all fans are terrible and just because other, bad people like a thing doesn’t mean I can’t like it too (I hope).
So I wish I had played more games last year. I regret not getting to play Divinity: Original Sin II the most, it looks so good and I never even bought it. I had a policy last year, it was my New Year’s resolution, to only buy a game if I was going to play it that night. Even with that, I still ended up with copies of Splatoon 2 and Persona 5 that I never got around to because I’m a sucker for that Prime 20% discount thing. I hope to do better this year.
As it always tends to be, picking 10 movies from a whole year to call my favorite was pretty hard to do. Especially since the year just ended a little more than a week ago, it’s hard to say with certainty what will age poorly and what will remain in my good graces. I mean, hell, maybe we’ll find out more actors are creepy sex perverts and their movies will be ruined by that. My point is, these lists are hard because they’re so absolute and life doesn’t work that way. To make my job a little easier, I decided to have a theme for my list this year, so, without further ado… 2017: The year of the mom.
(Oh, and just because it wasn’t even in my top 15, shout out to Landline for also being a good motherhood movie.)
The time has come again for another Mildly Pleased Awards and my body is willing but my spirit is broken. The idea of an awards show for the stuff that doesn’t stand out, for the forgotten middle, feels like it’s at its most inessential after a full year of blasting moderates and centrists for allowing bullshit to bulldoze us. So let’s dispel the notion that this is anything but three friends taking a chance to talk about art that otherwise would go undiscussed. Because yeah, Brett Ratner jokes aren’t as funny anymore and tomorrow sounds a lot scarier than it did a few years ago, but this is still our lives, damnit! Now that we’re into 2018, I take to heart this advice from Hurray for the Riff Raff: “do your best but fuck the rest, be something.”
I went into 2017 hoping that The Defenders would live up to Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and it really didn’t. Harmonquest‘s second season was a disappointment, but at least it survived the Seeso-geddon which has denied the world an already completed second season of Take My Wife. And then there was the longest, most inexplicable hiatus in Steven Universe history, right when we needed it least. Yes, there were many disappointments in the last year of TV, but there was even more to enjoy. Here, let me list 15 great shows to prove my point.
It’s time to admit my approach to music isn’t that great. I basically look at three websites and my Twitter feed for recommendations and add everything I find to my Apple Music library. In 2017, that was over 130 albums. What that boils down to is maybe five albums I really love and like 30 albums I would like to put on this list. And then the day comes when I have to write this post and it sucks. I artificially limit myself to only five honorable mentions, so, suffice it to say, there were some albums that could have been on this list earlier today that I won’t even talk about. This was the year that I tried to cut back on investing in media that I wouldn’t immediately use, and maybe in 2018 I’ll have to try to extend that approach to music too… On the other hand, maybe this is a good problem to have?