2017 Pop Culture Year in Review

At the start of 2017,  I started typing a post summing up all the movies I saw in theaters, TV shows I watched and video games I played. I plan to do this again for 2018 to help keep track of my entire year. This post will be a little bit longer, but I think it perfectly sums up my geeky year. Here is my recap of the wonderful 2017:

Movies I saw in Theaters this Year:

  • Lego Batman
  • Logan
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (twice)
  • Wonder Woman (twice)
  • Spiderman Homecoming (twice)
  • IT
  • Thor Ragnorok (twice)
  • Justice League
  • Star Wars the Last Jedi

TV I watched:

  • The Tick
  • The Following
  • Iron Fist
  • The Flash Season #3
  • Arrow Season #5
  • Scorpion
  • Riverdale
  • Punisher

Video Games I played:

  • Gears of War 4
  • Overcooked
  • Life is Strange
  • Life is Strange Before the Storm Episodes #1 & #2

Most Thrilling New TV Show of 2017:

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

Riverdale is easily the best show I watched in 2017. It reminds me of a teenage version of Twin Peaks. The Archie comics are known for being light and the show takes the characters into a darker tone. I binge watched the first season over the summer and was waiting impatiently for the second season on the CW. It’s the one show I will watch the next episode the day after it airs.

Most Boring TV Show of 2017:

Iron Fist was easily the worst Marvel Netflix show for me. I find Iron Fist closely resembles the Green Arrow, but he comes across as naive and annoying. I was even more disappointed Iron Fist was the lead in the Defenders especially when his show wasn’t  great. If there is a season #2 of Iron Fist, the writers/producers/directors need to step up their game.

Most Bad Ass Superhero Movie of 2017:

Wonder Woman will always be such a bright spot in 2017. I will never forget the moment I watched Wonder Woman turn to Steve during the No Man’s Land scene and say:

Steve: No — we are doing something. We are! We just … we can’t save everyone in this war. This is not what we came here to do.

Diana: No. But it is what I am going to do.

Then Wonder Woman rushes onto No Man’s Land and kicks some serious ass. Wonder Woman is the movie all female geeks deserved. It also provides us DC Comics fans with hope that DC movies can be as great as Marvel movies.

Least Favorite Superhero Movie of 2017:

The only reason I’m going to put Logan for this award is because I’m also not the biggest X-Men fan in the world, so unfortunately, it was my least favorite movie.

The Last Jedi Thoughts:

I added this question because of everyone’s different opinions over the Last Jedi. I personally overall liked the movie, but I didn’t love it. I also didn’t hate the movie either and I disagree with fans who consider this as bad as the prequels. The Star Wars fans seemed to have mostly hated it considering there is a petition to remove Star Wars the Last Jedi as official canon. Personally, I think this is a bit ridiculous just because you don’t like the way the movie told a story doesn’t mean you have any right to remove it from being canon.

Podcast I Couldn’t Stop Listening to:

Adult Sh1T is the podcast by Kelsey Darragh & Kate Peterman from Buzzfeed. These two tackle a variety of topics in a fun way such as chronic pain, sex and mental illness. Every time I see their new episode appear on my podcast app, I make sure to put this at the top of my podcast feed.

Catchiest Song in 2017:

Lady Gaga Concert 3

Lady Gaga’s the Cure is my favorite song of 2017. I saw Lady Gaga live in August and it was one of my favorite concerts I attended. She’s so full of energy and made her concert personal. She told us the story of Joanne which she named her album after. Lady Gaga is one of my favorite pop artists.

Favorite Vlogger from Youtube:

Magic the Amateuring is my favorite vlogger of 2017! They also have their own podcast as well which is usually how I prefer to listen to their episode. This podcast is for anyone wanting to get into Magic the Gathering, but feels intimidated by the atmosphere. Bonus points because it’s two women co-hosting this podcast. I have considered for a while to donate to their patreon page because that’s how much I love their podcast / youtube channel.

A close second would be Ash Hardell & Riley Dennis for all of their political / LGBTQIA+ videos. I feel I have learned a lot from both of these vloggers.

Top Video Game I played in 2017:

Life is Strange Photo from Wikia

Life is Strange was my favorite game of 2017 and even probably one of my favorite games of all time. I have linked my Life is Strange review on other articles so I won’t link it here, but you can find it on my gaming section of my blog. My friend recommended this game to me and I was addicted after the first episode. Max Caulfield was me when I was attending college; scared and insecure. This game is amazing please play it if you haven’t already.

Weirdest Video Game I played in 2017:

Octodad.jpg

Octodad is probably the weirdest yet most challenging game I played this year. You play as an octopus being a dad and doing “dad” things like taking your kids to the aquarium. Me and the boyfriend play this together as an added bonus.

Favorite Comic Book Convention I attended this year:

Convergence 2017

Convergence will always be my favorite conventions because this was my first convention I went to. I have gone for 4 years now and it’s always been a highlight of my summer. In the above picture is my aunt and uncle who both have attended Convergence longer than I have. We were in a Star Trek party room standing under the beaming portals *sorry I’m not a Trekkie* I’m counting down the days for Convergence 2018.

Personal Moments:

Top Three Memories of 2017:

GRADUATION 2017 2

Graduating from College: I almost cried happy tears while I sat down at my school’s gym listening to everyone getting their degrees. Even though this was almost six months ago, I don’t miss college… yet. In a year from now, I’m sure I will have a random memory from college pop into my head and remind me how much my college years mean to me.

Kauffman Memorial Gardens

Road Trip in June 2017: Me and my family had such a great time driving around the US. This has prompted us to plan more trips together in the future. Hopefully they can be road trips because my car is great to drive around in.

IMG_3373

Moving Out: I love my new apartment. Me and the boyfriend have done some decorating and now our apartment feels like home. All we need is a kitty walking around the room.

The Worst Memory of 2017 / One Moment in Time I Wouldn’t Want to Re-Live:

All the moving! First, we moved all of my stuff from Winona, MN to the cities. Then we moved everything to our permanent apartment. I hate moving with a passion, thankfully I’m all done. That’s not something I want to do again.

My Resolution for 2018:

I don’t like setting specific resolutions so instead I will say a couple things. I want to read more books & comics, play my PS4 more and travel! I want to go to Harry Potter world, travel to the Carolina’s, see Seattle and more.

 

 

 

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Breaking Bones in the Punisher

If a new Marvel TV show is released on Netflix, I will watch it within the week.  Daredevil blew me away with the inner battle between Daredevil & Wilson Fisk. The Punisher was officially introduced in the second season of Daredevil and Jon Bernthal blew me away with his performance of the character. One scene in season #2 I always think back to is when the Punisher is at a pawn shop when the owner acknowledges to him he’s selling child pornography. The Punisher barely bats an eye as he walks back to the owner and seals his fate. This is realistic to the Punisher as a character because of how he uses violence to achieve justice. The Punisher season #1 is addicting, thrilling and at times hard to watch.

The Punisher is probably the most violent and graphic show Marvel has to offer. Frank is often severely beaten in some episodes along with a video being shown of a man being tortured. If violence is something that provokes you or triggers any memories you may have, I do not recommend watching this and instead quickly scrolling through Wikipedia for a summary of the show.

The Punisher begins with Frank Castle attempting to live a normal life. He’s contacted by a super computer hacker named Micro who believes there is a conspiracy involving the murder of Frank’s family. This first season details Frank’s struggle of PTSD in losing his family and also trying to move forward.

At first, I thought the first couple episodes were a little bit slow. I did find by episode 3 or 4, I was more likely to binge the rest of the season. I also found 13 episodes seemed a little long. I would have been fine with 8 or 10 and I think it could have still effectively told the story.

I am so glad Karen Page is included in this first season. I like how Marvel turned her into a character that fights for the truth and she’s often seen defending the Punisher. My only wish is that she had a bigger role in the plot of the show.

I’m curious to know all of your thoughts behind this first season. I’m interested in having the Punisher cross over into Daredevil or Jessica Jones because I think Jon Bernthal does a great job at accurately bringing the comic book character to life.

 

Archie Comics Rejuvenated in Riverdale

River Dale

Photo from Netflix

This is probably one of my favorite categories on my blog to write about. I love binge watching TV shows because once you watch a good show you become obsessed with it for weeks. I am devoted to all my shows especially if they end on a cliff hanger which angers me yet gets me excited for the new season. A couple days ago I was browsing through my Netflix “list” and stumbled upon Riverdale and decided to give it a watch. Turns out I finished it in two days. I wanted to type my final thoughts on this Archie Comics reboot.

I can’t say I have ever been a fan of the Archie comics. They just didn’t intrigue me and it seemed like a comic about two beautiful women fighting over one guy and I was just over that cliche. The TV show though… I want to go back and read the comics.

River Dale Characters.jpg

Let’s dive into the characters first if you are unfamiliar with the Archie comics. Archie Andrews is a conflicted teen who is committed to the football team along with writing music. Betty Cooper is the stereotypical girl next door, literally as she lives next door to Archie. She’s cute, sweet and innocent. Veronica Lodge is the opposite of Betty as she’s sophisticated and edgy. She’s entitled and privileged as she grew up with money and nice clothes. Jughead is the social outcast or the “weirdo” of the group.

The TV show revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Jason Blossom whom later is found shot to death in a river. All of the characters mentioned above have somehow been interwoven into solving Jason’s murder. Just when you think you have an idea of what’s going on, the show basically delivers a scene leaving you asking yourself what the fuck did I watch? Which is surprising since this seems like a creepy/eerie Gossip Girl show.

Usually in my Bizarre Brunette Binges posts, I talk about spoilers, but I’m going to leave out all spoilers in this post. I am encouraging all of my readers to watch this show before the season premiere on October 11th.

 

Team Scorpion Geniuses for Hire

Summer is meant for binge watching new TV shows. Currently, I’m attempting to binge watch Capaldi’s season of Doctor Who which I had been meaning to do for a while now. Recently, I finished my binge watch of Scorpion which is a fantastic show that my friend introduced me to. We were hanging out one night at her apartment when she nonchalantly mentioned this show. After pulling up Amazon Prime, we watched the first episode, I was instantly hooked into the premise of the show. By the way, my friend purchased all the seasons to Scorpion, it’s not included with Amazon Prime. Scorpion will be on the fall TV line up for CBS, but I have no idea when the fourth season will air.

Cabe Gallo

Agent Cabe Gallo Home Land Security. Photo by CBS.

Happy Quinn

Happy Quinn, mechanical prodigy. Photo by CBS

Sylvester Dodd

Sylvester Dodd photo by CBS.

Tobias Curtis

Tobias Curtis, photo by CBS

Walter O Brien

Walter O Brien photo by CBS.

Scorpion tells the true life story of Walter O-Brien, a man with an IQ of 197 who hacked NASA when he was younger. Walter recruits other genius’s like him to join a group titled Scorpion. His recruits include Sylvester Dodd (human calculator), Happy Quinn (a mechanic prodigy) and Tobias Curtis (behaviorist/psychiatrist reads people like they’re an open book). In the pilot episode we meet a young waitress named Paige Dineen played by the gorgeous Katherine McPhee. She is raising her young son Ralph who is also a genius. Walter with his team get recruited by Cabe Gallo, a homeland security agent to save the world which sounds corny, but in some cases this statement is genuinely accurate.

One reason why this show is addicting is because of the on screen chemistry between the cast. Walter is cringe worthy at times because he doesn’t understand human emotion. However, Paige teaches Walter what’s appropriate in emotional situations so he can learn from his past mistakes. Sylvester is the cute nerd of the group and I adore his love for board games. Happy provides the negativity at times, while Toby is usually the one who is inappropriate for the most part. Cabe tries to control his team, but ultimately, he’s proud of the team he put together.

Scorpion is one of my all time favorite TV shows. It’s worth taking the time to watch all three seasons especially to get emotionally invested with each character. Scorpion can be purchased through iTunes or Amazon. CBS under their CBS All Access subscription service has 6 free episodes of Scorpion waiting to be watched.

“You Have Failed This City” Arrow Season #5

My fourth post in “Bizarre Brunette Binges” spotlights another DC superhero TV show. Arrow was the first DC superhero show to air on the CW in 2012 during my freshman year of college. I already briefly explained how I became hooked on Arrow in my Flash Season 3 Review, but I have yet to watch the current seasons of Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. The boyfriend couldn’t stop talking about the Arrow season finale so I made watching Arrow a priority. My all time favorite season of Arrow was season #2 with Deathstroke and so far the most recent seasons of Arrow couldn’t top season #2. However, this season was epic and I’m still shocked about the season finale.

Wild Dog

Photo by Screen Rant 

Season #5 starts with Oliver Queen attempting to assemble a new team after Thea and Diggle quit. Laurel died in the last season and her void means there needs to be another Black Canary. At first I was skeptical of new team members as I was attached to the old team. The new crew includes Curtis the tech genius, Wild Dog the rebel, Evelyn the one obsessed with revenge and Rory the survivor of the nuclear attack Damien Darhk launched. Wild Dog is someone who I originally despised, but after learning his back story and how he connects with Quentin throughout the season, I really think he adds to the Arrow team.

While Oliver is recruiting team members, Star City is being plagued with a series of murders by an archer titled Prometheus. He is specifically targeting Oliver and reminding him of his past. The season revolves around uncovering Prometheus’s identity and reminding Oliver why he became the Green Arrow.

The reason why I rave about season #2 so much is because Slade Wilson was terrifying. Oliver felt his family was constantly unsafe because Slade killed his mother so his sister could have been next. Slade with the mirakiru became a formidable enemy for Oliver to fight and the back story of how Slade evolved into Deathstroke was told brilliantly. I will say Adrian Chase who is Prometheus is as horrifying as Slade Wilson which I wasn’t expecting.

Lian Yu Season 5 Arrow Photo by IGN

Photo by IGN

Let’s talk about that season finale though, how did the Arrow characters make it off the island? Adrian Chase kills himself in the last moments of the season finale triggering the explosion of all the bombs on the island. Except all of Team Arrow and everyone Oliver cares about is still on the island. I don’t believe all of them were killed off, but the boyfriend has a theory where Cisco vived them off the island. I’m certain with the combined intelligence of Curtis and Felicity, they probably came up with some escape plan we don’t know about. Regardless, October cannot come around fast enough.

Arrow is my favorite DC superhero TV show. It has some fantastic seasons and some mediocre seasons, but Green Arrow is getting the TV show he deserves. My ultimate wish is for Green Arrow to appear in the Justice League movie coming out in November, but sadly, Green Arrow is only for our TV screens.

 

 

 

Feel Savitar’s Wrath in Season #3 of the Flash

I was sitting at my desk in Sheehan Hall on the 9th floor watching the first episode of Arrow. I thought the premise sounded interesting since Green Arrow hasn’t had a lot of spotlight in cartoons or movies. Season #2 premiered the next year and that’s when nerdy Barry Allen appeared on the screen. Grant Gustin is the exact person I would have pictured for the Flash and I appreciated his lightness that he added to Oliver’s team. Soon after the CW announced the Flash spin off and I was all on board. Yesterday I was able to catch up on the Flash and I have to admit that season #3 was one hell of a season.

Barry Allen at the end of season #2 runs back in time to save his mom from the Reverse Flash. In the season #3 premiere, Barry is seen living a different life with both of his parents alive and trying to date Iris. Barry realizes his mistake when he feels his memories of his old life disappearing. His uneasiness makes him realize that he has to have his mom murdered to restore peace. As he goes back in time to stop himself from saving his mom, he returns to a future that’s completely different. Barry created an alternate reality existing on the same plane as his old reality. This is called Flashpoint which is a well respected Flash comic story complete with an animated movie. Savitar is an enemy that emerges along with his partner; Doctor Alchemy. To make things worse, Barry accidentally travels to the future and witnesses himself trying to save Iris from Savitar, but ends up watching her die by Savitar. Barry must try and alter the future to save Iris’s life or try and get faster so he can save her.

Savitar Image by Inverse

Savitar! Photo by Inverse.

SPOILERS STARTING NOW!

 

 

Killer Frost from Buddy TV

Killer Frost! Photo by Buddy TV.

So I wasn’t expecting Savitar to be a future time remnant of Barry Allen. I was surprised because I was expecting someone else in Barry’s life to play a role in betraying him. It all made sense though and it shows how much of a mistake it was for Barry to mess with time. Also I really like Caitlin’s transformation into Killer Frost. Her outfit is edgy without being too sexy and her powers are frightening especially after that vision of her freezing Cisco’s hands off in the future.

This season is my favorite one to date because there was so much at stake; I ended up binge watching 7 episodes on 4th of July. One thing I absolutely could not stand was that Barry at the end had to enter the speed force. Are you kidding me?? He can’t have at least one happy ending??! After finally saving Iris which was the whole point of the entire season, he can’t spend one moment with her. I was disappointed. 😦 I wonder how season #4 will explain how he reappears back in Star City.

My next show to catch up on will be Arrow because the boyfriend keeps telling me this past season was decent. Unfortunately, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl weren’t that appealing to me in their respective seasons. I cannot wait for fall TV to see how season #4 of the Flash will play out.

 

Bizarre Brunette Binges: Iron Fist

Iron Fist.jpg

Welcome to my second post on a new category I like to call, “Bizarre Brunette Binges” On this series, I will discuss the latest TV show I finished watching. All of my posts under this category will include spoilers.  Let’s talk about the show that caused the most uproar; Iron Fist.

Iron Fist is about Danny Rand who becomes a trained warrior titled the Iron Fist after his parent’s plane crash in the Himalayas. After 15 years he returns to modern New York and is quickly shocked to find that the Hand (terrorist organization that is the sworn enemy to the Iron Fist) has infiltrated Rand Enterprises/Danny’s company. The show basically tells Danny’s story as he takes back his company and uncovers what happened to his parents.

To make this post easier to read, I decided to put bullet points for my initial thoughts of the show. Another reminder that there will be spoilers after this paragraph. 

Marvel Defenders 2

Cast of the Defenders!

 

 

  • Finn Jones did an okay job being Iron Fist, but I think it would have been really cool if Marvel added diversity to the cast of the Defenders and cast an Asian American actor. Yes, this isn’t an example of white washing, but there are so many white male superheroes that we could have altered Iron Fist a bit to have an Asian descent.
  • Ward Meachum is an asshole in the beginning.
  • Wow Faramir is a bad guy and is portraying an evil dad, how ironic.
  • Iron Fist does a better job explaining the back story of the Hand than Daredevil Season #2.
  • I was shocked that Colleen ended up being a part of the Hand, I wasn’t expecting that. It goes to show how you can be so devoted to a cause without really understanding what you pledged yourself to.
  • Iron Fist goes at a slower pace than the other Marvel Netflix shows
  • Colleen Wing was my favorite character in the show along with Ward Meachum.
  • I felt bad for Joy Meachum because I feel she didn’t get the character development that she deserved.
  • This show isn’t mediocre because of Donald Trump’s presidency (Finn Jones blamed the show for being bad because of Trump being elected as president)

As for ranking the Marvel Netflix superheroes, Iron Fist is my least favorite. I don’t think the show was horrible like other reviewers stated, but it definitely has its weak moments. I will say that I was disappointed because I had high hopes for the show. I’m still excited for the Defenders, but if Iron Fist does receive a second season, I hope it will be better in quality.