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 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
- Jill’s Top 15 Things of 2015
16. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won a friggin’ Oscar.
15. Tiger, manatee and panda populations are increasing.
14. The Hollow Crown (Series 2)
Over the course of one weekend, I managed to devour Series 1 and 2. Obvs, I love me some Cumberbatch so Benedict as Richard III was a major highlight for me. But I also love me some Billy Shakespeare so there were a lot of wee little hearts in my eyes as I watched the show. A must watch for any Shakespeare fan.
13. Obama/Biden memes
Barack and Joe’s bromance was one for the ages and it arrived just in time to wound our recently broken hearts.
Possibly the role Ryan Reynolds was born to play. I’m thrilled to see our Canadian darling’s comedic talents put to excellent, sassy, exciting, entertaining and delightfully filthy use.
11. Doctor Strange
I know, I know. Again with the Cumberbatch. Look, he’s like a sexy alien that I just can’t resist. Plus, Doctor Strange was a pretty good superhero movie, although I’m disappointed it wasn’t good enough to make it higher up on this list. I dunno, something to do with the pacing and character development. But the insane visual effects made this movie an incredible cinematic experience. I don’t usually say this but I’m glad I saw this in 3D.
Plus, I want to see Tilda Swinton in everything. With that being said, this movie was a waste of Rachel McAdams’s talents. Like, what the hell?
Also, movie people in charge of this one… for pete sake, why didn’t you let/make Ben keep the British accent? His voice is one of his best features for goodness sake! The facial hair was disgusting but I forced myself to look passed it but he should have just kept his accent. It would have affected the plot ZERO AMOUNT!
Ohhhhhhh my gawwwwd, the costumes. I loved this series. Although I did find Jenna Coleman’s blue contact lenses a tiny bit distracting, the gorgeous gowns and sets and Tom Hughes’ curly bangs made up for that entirely.
9. The Crown
Yup, two costume dramas based on English queens in a row. THAT’S HOW I ROLL. (Both also feature a former Doctor Who actor but that is unrelated, I promise.)
Um, can Netflix just chill the F out with the awesome shows? I can’t keep up! The Crown made for a stunning, interesting and addictive addition to Netflix’s stellar content. However… my kingdom for some eyebrows on Matt Smith, for goodness sake.
Ah yes. The movie that I wrote a blog post that time and some random on Twitter called me a feminazi. I remember it fondly. Honestly, I’m surprised it didn’t happen sooner. This movie was a lot of fun! It wasn’t perfect but it was funny and entertaining and unique in that none of the female characters were meant to be traditionally sexy and appeal to straight dudes. Yes, a lot of jerks didn’t like this (see link above) but it was a pretty good comedy action flick!
7. Viola Desmond and Harriet Tubman
We’re finally getting a lady face on some money.* Badass Harriet Tubman will grace the $20 American bill and Viola Desmond will appear on the Canadian $10.
* Note: Yes, we already have the Queen on Canadian money. Hush.
6. Luke Cage
This show is really, really great. This is the second of THREE Netflix shows to be on this list. I give this show 8 ruined sweaters out of 10. (That’s a little inside joke for people who have seen the show… ’cause he gets shot and it ruins his sweaters. It’s funny if you’ve seen the show…)
5. Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
I liked Samantha Bee on The Daily Show. I enjoyed her book too. But I love her as the host of Full Frontal With Samantha Bee. The show is super quick with its wit and very smart. It’s a lot like Last Week Tonight with John Oliver but they jump between current and ongoing topics and they regularly do stories from a female perspective. A must-watch for news-hungry feminists.
Plus, it’s worth mentioning that Sam Bee has the most diverse crew of writers in late night. Bonus points!
4. Stranger Things
After putting it off for a 1-2 weeks (mostly because I’m not a huge fan of 1980s films or sci-fi), I finally devoured this show, once again a Netflix original. If you haven’t heard that this show is good, y’all have been living under a rock. Dudes, even if creatures in the woods and nerdy children playing D&D doesn’t sound like a fun time, watch it anyway. Eleven is adorable. Crazy badass and adorable. Plus, ya know, waffles and junk.
Actually, I might rewatch this series. It’s very, very good.
3. Hamilton: An American Musical
I love musicals. I love history. This year definitely had a lot of major drama but Hamilton has been like a damn beacon of hope for we liberal-minded folks. The unique Broadway show is a combination of hip hop, historical tidbits, clever rhymes and heartbreaking storytelling. That’s probably why Hamilton took home almost every damn Tony it was nominated for earlier this year. I can’t wait to see it live myself, but it might be a while because tickets are hard to come by. I’m glad. That means a lot of people are craving a chance to see it.
Give the soundtrack a listen. I’m not even that much of a rap fan but I’ve basically had it on repeat since earlier this year. You won’t regret it.
2. Hillary Rodham Clinton
She was #11 on my list last year. Hillary took the high road during the election and did almost everything right. She may not have always been the most inspiring candidate but she was always the most prepared and the most deserving. Not only did HRC win the democratic nomination (which in itself is an accomplishment of historical proportions), she also won the popular vote by over 2.5 million. All the election predictors had their fingers pointed firmly in her direction.
Her tragic defeat was crushing for so many, including me—a Canadian. I wrote about the night of the election at 2am and I basically still feel the same way. But Hillary’s grace, her fighting spirit and her determination haven’t gone unnoticed and they will not be forgotten. She is a badass. I’m just disappointed that more people couldn’t see that as they cast their vote in the 2016 election.
I mean, frig. Even Beyoncé couldn’t get swing state voters on her side. WTF is wrong with those people anyway?
Ya know what? Screw it. I can’t. This list—99 Reasons Why 2016 Was a Good Year—covers a lot of cool shit but every time I think back over the course of this year, the more depressed I get. I just can’t with 2016, guys. I’m done. I’m addicted to social media and this past weekend, I forced myself not to go on Facebook or Twitter because it just makes me sad.
So, yeah. 2016 only gets 15 things. Deal with it.
Personally, I’m lucky in that I had some really great things happen in my life:
- My husband and I bought a house.
- I published my second novel.
- My debut novel was shortlisted for an award.
- I finished writing a draft of my third novel in a month.
- I met Bif Naked, got an autograph and a photo with her.
- I saw Classic Albums Live: Abbey Road.
- I toured a 17th century Spanish galleon with my nephew and sister-in-law.
- Reached the five year anniversary of working at Revolution Media.
- I gave a talk to some college students about writing novels and indie publishing.
- I surpassed my reading goal list for the year. I wanted to read 16 books—I’m currently at 22.