As per tradition, I’ve compiled a list of awesome things I enjoyed over the course of the year. Since this year has been especially special for me, I also included the top five things that happened in my life. Check out posts from prior years:
- Jill’s Top 11 Things of 2011
- Jill’s Top 12 Things of 2012
- Jill’s Top 13 Things of 2013
- Jill’s Top 14 Things of 2014
15. Jurassic World
I’m a huge fan of the original Jurassic Park. I even incorporated Jurassic Park quotes onto one of the table bouquets. Chris Pratt is a great action hero/comedian and I really enjoyed this updated sequel.
14. Jessica Jones
I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that Jessica Jones might be the role Krysten Ritter was meant to play. Ritter has always done well with darker roles, but not a lot of those roles existed for women until the recent couple of years. Jessica is a dark character. A mysterious, troubled past. Addiction problems. Jessica Jones, another Marvel series by Netflix, is dark. Very dark. It should probably be higher on this list… I just haven’t had a chance to watch the whole thing yet. I’ve only seen a few more episodes but I very much look forward to watching the rest.
13. John Oliver
We got HBO this year so now I don’t have to watch the Last Week Tonight clips on YouTube. Hurray! Last Week Tonight has quickly become my favorite talk show (after the departure of The Colbert Report and Jon Stewart from The Daily Show). This show is infuriating, thought-provoking and laugh-out-loud hilarious. I just wish it was on more than once a week.
As a proud Cumberbitch and fan of The Bard, I jumped at the chance to see Benedict Cumberbatch star in Hamlet. The live Barbican production was shown on movie screens all over the world. Oh my god, it was great. I’ve seen MacBeth and Henry VIII: All is True live at the Stratford Festival in Ontario. But this version was memorable. The only bummer about it is that I know I’ll never get to see it a second time.
11. Hillary Clinton
She’s one badass bitch. I look forward to seeing her elected president next year.
10. What We Do in the Shadows
What We Do in the Shadows (originally released in 2014) is a New Zealand-made mockumentary featuring a coven of vampires. It’s better than it sounds, I swear. Starring Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh and Rhys Darby, What We Do in the Shadows was the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. Go see it. Now. I mean it.
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Totally funny and cute. I can’t wait for season two. The writing is so Tina Fey, it’s fantastic. It’s very upbeat but has some equally dark issues but it stays fun from beginning to end. Ellie Kemper is delightful. Titus = love.
8. Amy Schumer
Nobody can deny that 2015 was a huge year of Amy Schumer. Her film Trainwreck was a big success, her show continues to be clever and hilarious and now she and Jennifer Lawrence are besties and writing a movie together. PLUS, she is now writing a memoir, which I can’t wait for. She also had an HBO special that was super good and hosted Saturday Night Live. She turned down the chance to host The Daily Show when Stewart announced his retirement. And, oh yeah, she won a freakin’ Emmy. The woman is killing it.
(Side note: I’ve adored Schumer since 2013. Just wanna throw that out there.)
7. Better Call Saul
This must be what it felt like when Cheers fans turned on Frasier and realized it was great too. Better Call Saul, the highly anticipated prequel to Breaking Bad, had me a little nervous. I loved the original series and spinoff series’ are terrible so often. I should have had more faith in Vince Gilligan. Better Call Saul has the same essence as Breaking Bad, just dressed in a cheap suit instead of a HASMAT suit. It’s so good. So, so, so good.
6. Mad Max: Fury Road
Generally, this movie is ridiculous. But what action movie isn’t? It makes this list because it is exciting, visually stunning and unique among other films of its genre. It also happens to be known as the first feminist action movie, and I can believe it. Charlize and Hardy killed it.
5. Pluto’s heart
N’awwwwww! Pluto is so cute!
It took nine years for NASA’s craft to reach the mysterious planet and the Internet quickly fell in love with it.
4. Paris, France
The people of Paris have had a rough year. Not one, but two terrorist attacks in less than a year. I’ve been to Paris and it is a beautiful, culture-filled place. Despite these devastations, Parisians are not letting fear change their lives. Shortly after the terrorism attack of November, people were back in their local restaurants, despite a restaurant being one of the targets just days before. That takes guts and determination. France flipped ISIS the bird by keeping their borders open to Syrian refugees, despite the fact that some other countries are trying to close their borders. Good job, France.
3. The Canadian election
For those who don’t know, I’m Canadian. I was unsure who to vote for during this election for quite a while, torn between the NDP and the Liberals. I chose to vote Liberal. After nine years in power, Stephen Harper and many of his Conservative MPs were outsted and the Liberals got a majority government. Canada was tired of a government controlled by a cold, scientist-muzzling, oil-loving, environment issue-ignoring liar and voted for a new beginning.
I’m a Justin Trudeau fan, but I would have been equally happy to see Tom Mulcair, the NDP leader, become prime minister too. Trudeau’s charm won out in the end.
With that being said, Trudeau has proven himself to be a hell of a guy since the day he was elected. For the first time ever, Canada has a gender-balanced cabinet. Scientists are now free to be open about their findings. A public inquiry has been opened to investigate the high number of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
Trudeau took a bunch of kids from a children’s hospital to see Star Wars. Unlike our former prime minister, he talks to journalists openly. His government made Syrian refugee immigration a priority and fast-tracked the project. Trudeau was there at the airport to meet with the refugees when they arrived in Canada.
Who can say what 2016 will bring when it comes to Canadian politics? So far, I think the Liberals are doing a hell of a good job.
2. Same-sex marriage
Canada made same-sex marriage legal in 2006. We were the fourth country in the world to do so. This year, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the ban on same-sex marriage, making it legal in every state. Conservative groups across the country are still fighting against the decision, despite the fact that IT DOESN’T AFFECT YOU. IF YOU DON’T LIKE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE, DON’T MARRY SOMEONE OF THE SAME SEX. GET OVER IT. MOVE ON.
Additionally, Ireland legalized same-sex marriage by having the population vote on the issue. Although I don’t believe the majority should be deciding the rights of a minority, I’m glad the vote went the way it did.
1. Anyone who, in any way, helped or welcomed Syrian refugees to a safer country
2015 is the year of the Syrian refugee. News outlets didn’t really pay attention to the Syrian refugee crisis until a young boy drowned, his body washing up on the coast of Turkey. The human brain doesn’t comprehend tragedy on a huge scale so stories about thousands of refugees didn’t really click, until the story was about one single young boy who didn’t make it.
Donations flooding in and continue to flood in. Government assistance was increased. On a local level, the amount of support Canadians have been providing is incredible. Winter clothing drives have been organized. The footage of Syrians arriving at the airport brought tears to my eyes because they were so happy to be here, and so happy to receive such a warm, generous welcome. It’s really nice.
And a handful of personal highlights for me:
I published my first novel.
I finished writing my second novel.
I became an aunt for the second time.
I came to the realization that no matter how much I want to be able to focus on just one hobby/passion outside of my career, I’m just not wired that way. I’d love to dedicate every spare second I have to writing, but that wouldn’t make me happy. I’ve been having a blast getting back into scrapbooking, crafting and painting.
I started The Lazy Historian.
I found an anxiety medication that works for me. (I plan to blog about my anxiety eventually.)
I survived Winter 2014/2015, the worst PEI winter in recorded history.
Let me know what you think should be on this list!