• James Hewlett

2019 Entertainment

I normally do separate posts for all of the different types of entertainment media I enjoy but I’ve got posts planned for the rest of the year and I don’t think I’ve got enough to say about each different one to make them individual entries.

So this year I’m just doing a combined ‘Entertainment’ blog post. Enjoy.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t read nearly as many comics as I would have liked this year, what I did read was a lot of older stuff that I’d either read before years ago or just missed. I’ll like to stay a little more current in 2020 or at least catch up on a few series I enjoy but have fallen way behind on.

I did read a fair few books though, as always due to the nature of my job I get a lot of time to listen to audiobooks in my van so thats where I consume most of them. I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Audible account. There was the usual mix of nerd ass shit and Star Wars novels, I tend to write about them as I’m reading them and if you’re interested you’ve probably already checked them out. Alphabet Squadron was easily my favourite as it harkened back to the old X-Wing books that got me hooked on the old Expanded Universe back when I was a kid.

I read a lot more non-fiction than I usually do this year. Both Sapiens and the follow up, Homo Deus, blew me away and opened my eyes to the history of our species and where we may be going. I also really enjoyed Mark Manson’s new book, Everything Is Fucked: A Book About Hope.

It wasn’t all heavy topics though, I also really enjoyed Console Wars about the fight between Sega and Nintendo in the early nineties and Best Movie Year Ever about the films of 1999.

One of the books that I did read a physical copy of this year was Rise of Kyoshi, set in the Avatar The Last Airbender world, a few generations before the events of that show. I was expecting it to be a fun little read aimed at young adults as the show is ostensibly a kids animation. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they leant into some of the heavier and more adult themes that also permeate through the show and wrote a novel that, while accessible by younger readers, definitely felt more aimed at the more mature fans of the universe. I can’t wait for the second part of the trilogy. I’ll take more stories in this world in any format I can get them.

I really didn’t see many new films in theatres this year, mostly just the big tentpole movies that I’ve written about individually so I’m not going to bother doing a movie section this year.

TV shows were a really mixed bag this year, I’m only going to touch on a few.

Game of Thrones, probably the biggest culturally impactful show of recent years, wrapped up with its final season and, quite frankly disappointed almost everyone. I was more positive on it at the time, because I think thats just who I am, but I have not been in any rush to rewatch the final episode. I had actually read all the spoilers for the finale months earlier so I think that softened the blow of how…. crap it actually way. It’ll always be a show I really enjoyed my time with, it never failed to look beautiful, have an incredible score and far far more good than bad but sticking the landing is tough.

A show I think absolutely did stick the landing was one I only got on board with this year while it’s second and final season was airing and I thing I watched all of it in the space of two or three days. Fleabag is a tour de force of a show from Phoebe Waller-Bridge who is taking the entertainment world by storm off the back of it, deservingly so. It’s raw, it’s hilarious, it’s short, it’s emotional, it’s brilliant.

I’ve talked enough about Watchmen and The Expanse recently so won’t go back over them. The first is the best show I’ve seen in a very long time and the latter is still my favourite show.

Before Watchmen I’d have said the best show of the year was Chernobyl. HBO really had a hell of a year!

I unfortunately played barely any board games this year so I've got nothing to add there.

I don’t feel like I played a ton of video games this year either but when I was making a list I realised there was enough to write something about them.

Jedi: Fallen Order was everything I wanted out of a Star Wars video game, especially one set in that era. It’s completely and utterly Tomb Raider with a lightsaber and that is a great combo. I recently hundred percented it, getting all the achievements and unlocking everything. I haven’t done that with a video game in a long time and it is a testament to how much fun it is just to run around doing stuff in that game engine. I’m content to have moved on from it now though.

At the start of the year I had a lot of fun playing Apex Legends online with Sam and Ed. We were never any good at the battle Royale game but hopping online and chatting shit with two of my best friends while running around frantically trying to shoot other people was great and so therapeutic at a time I needed it most. It probably helped that more often than not Ed and I were both drinking while playing.

I’ve had Xbox GamePass most of this year and it’s meant I’ve dropped into and out of playing a lot more games than I normally would, if only for a short period of time each. It’s been a great way of checking out a lot of cool little indie games I’d normally otherwise miss out on. It’s a great service with a really robust selection.

The only other video game I’ve been playing a lot of recently is one I had on Steam ages ago but I’ve found I’m playing a lot more of since getting the iOS version for my phone and that is Stardew Valley. It’s pretty old now but it’s just a nice, peaceful game that I can pick up for twenty mins at a time and then put down without feeling that I must keep going.

#entertainment #videogames #tvshows #books #reading #avatar #fiction #nonfiction #indiegames #mobilegames #starwars #hbo #streaming #gameofthrones #friends #achievements

©2017 by James Hewlett.