Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 End of Year Media Power Rankings

2013 is coming to an end. This year like every year has brought out a lot of new media. Some of it I liked. Some of it I spent a fair amount of time actually taking in. I listened to Daft Punk's Get Lucky a fair amount. I listened to Yeezus a couple times. Magna Carta/ Holy Grail has some listenable tracks. That's about all I'm too familiar with at the moment though. I tend to have a pretty insular approach to media. I usually spend most my time taking in stuff that I already am familiar with. All this great media is coming and going almost none of which ever comes up on my radar. The worst part of this is that I never get to take part in one of America's greatest year end traditions, the best of list. I never do a best of list, because I very rarely listen to, watch or read ten of anything produced in a year that year. But this year I'm saying "fuck it," just because I'm not the most up to date guy doesn't mean I can't put my dumb media opinions out into the ether. But since I don't have the references for a best of list I decided to a media power ranking instead. This isn't necessarily the newest or hottest of the last year, but who brought it the most in terms of making me happy.

Even though this is the first year I've done this, I can tell you there were some pretty big upsets this year. Meat Loaf isn't on there. It just shows that no positions are given away. I thought Jay Z really earned both spots in coveted top 5. I expect Meat Loaf will come back hard next year and show the world what he's got.

And remember, this is obviously very scientific and should be taken extremely seriously.


#1 Adele - 21 

I would've loved to see a little more competition for the top spot, but honestly shit wasn't even close. I was unfamiliar with Adele until her concert video, Live at Royal Albert Hall played heavily at the Best Buy I was working at. I picked up both 19 and 21 and have been listening to them on repeat since. Both are good, but 21 is great. Completely listenable from start to finish. So much so that I do. A lot. If you're not familiar with it pick it up, I think you'll be impressed.

#2 Jay Z - The Black Album 

This year Jay Z released Magna Carta Holy Grail. It’s okay. I like a couple songs off of it, and I don’t think it’s awful, but it certainly isn’t the best. Whenever an artist releases something that’s not nearly as good as their former self it makes me want nothing more than to just listen to their best stuff. And I don’t care who you ask the best of Jay is The Black Album. I’ve gotten in more than a few drunken fights over whether or not Blueprint deserves top honors. It fucking doesn’t

#3 The Beatles - Abbey Road 

I’ve always been a Beatles guy. I think they were the first band I actually spent money on to buy their CD. I think I got this when I was sixteen. It was always good and enjoyed it’s fair share of airplay by me, but this summer it really stepped up it’s game. Track 6 through the end might be my favorite section of recorded music ever. I imagine you've at least heard of the album. If you haven't listened to it you're probably an asshole who chooses not to listen to The Beatles just to be a annoying contrarian. You're only hurting yourself.

#4 Neutral Milk Hotel - The Aeorplane over the sea 

I first heard this album eight or nine years ago and it pretty quickly became one of my absolute favorites. Even though this is the first of these I’ve done I’d say that this a strong favorite to have this same spot damn near every year.

#5 Jay Z - The Blueprint  

Despite what I just said earlier this is still a great album. This album is on here because of a number of drunken fights over whether or not The Blueprint was better than The Black Album. It’s not, but I did sit down and really listen to this one and it is great. Great enough to make this list. Keep it up Jay, you’ve got a bright future in this biz.


#1 Breaking Bad 

I’m not sure if you have heard of this show, but pretty good. Most shows when they’re done I look forward to revisiting it in a year or so. I don’t know if I ever want to watch Breaking Bad again. As Breaking Bad was coming to an end I was talking about it with good buddy Brad Austin. I was lamenting the fact that I wouldn’t have Breaking Bad to look forward to any longer. His view was that he was almost looking forward to it being over. At the time I thought he was a fool who should never be allowed to have opinions. Even though he is a fool, as soon as Breaking Bad was over I saw his point. It was like a weight had been lifted off me. I didn’t need to worry about it anymore. I’d gladly welcome another show that can pull me in the way Breaking Bad did, but I kinda hope another one never comes along.

#2 Firefly

Opinions on Firefly fall into three distinct camps: People who fucking love it, people who haven’t seen it, and jerks who pretend not to like it because they're too wrapped up into their own too cool for schoolness to admit they’ve just witnessed greatness. This show is riding high as the number two spot. It's an early favorite to have number one next year since I can almost guarantee you I will not be revisiting Breaking Bad anytime soon. But I did just start on Game of Thrones so there'll be some heavy competition for Mal and the crew to contend with. 

#3 Star Trek DS9

Even Though this doesn’t have the top spot. Great show. The least Star Trekey of all the Star Treks in a good way. There are cheesy moments just like all Star Treks, but when it’s right there’s nothing that competes. Fun fact: The episode The Visitor has made me cry every time I’ve seen it. I usually skip over it when it comes up. 

#4 & #5 Parks and Recreation & How I Met Your Mother

Sometimes you don’t want dramas. Sometimes you just want to unwind with some comedy. Usually I treat sitcoms like well whiskey, sometimes you need a still 22 minute shot of some RJ Hodges to help you relax. There are sitcoms I love, but generally the shows I keep on going back to are dramas, space ones and other. I just saw Parks and Rec earlier this year. I don’t know if I'll keep on coming back to these shows or their placement on this list is a one off kind of thing, but they were good. Not good enough where I tried to watch them live or even close to air time, but good enough where I’m excited when I see their are new episodes on Netfiix. I look forward to seeing how HIMYM ends this year. Not enough to actually go out of my way to watch it, but still. I can't imagine these shows will be on this list every year, but goddammit they made me happy. And that's what this is all about. 


#1 This is the End 

Great. Just a great movie. Hadn’t laughed this hard in years. 

#2 Star Trek: The Best of both Worlds

2013 saw the release of two Stars Treks in theaters. The sequel to the 2009 Star Trek reboot, Into Darkness and a remastered theaticral release of two episodes Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Best of Both Worlds parts 1 & 2. Into Darkness was just okay. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t too good. Even in a year where I’m trying to rack my brain about how many movies I saw, it doesn’t make the list. The Best of Both Worlds on the other hand, GREAT! If they released every episode in the theaters I’d go see nearly every one. Actually I’d skip most of the first two seasons because there’s a lot of stinkers in there. But most I’d pay good money to see remastered with better sound. My one gripe with the event, why was in not remastered to be formatted for 16:9? Seems so silly. Why go through all the trouble of making something fit for high definition then still have it made for older TVs. I suppose they’ll do that next year and expect me to shell out money to see it again in the theaters. Something I will gladly do. 

#3 Serenity

The movie that got fans of Firefly to stop crying for a little bit. Granted it’s not enough, but it’s good. It had Firefly's wit. It was nice to see what was possible with a larger special effects budget. It was great to see some of the loose ends get tied up, albeit a little too quickly. Sometimes I was Serenity and I'm happy that I got to see a little bit of resolution to Firefly, sometimes I just wish it would've gotten a chance to get played out over a few more seasons on TV. Fuck you Fox.

#4 & #5 The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises

Don't let the fact that these two are towards the bottom of the list fool you. These are both great movies. Anyone who doesn't think so is an idiot whose wrong. I don't remember watching too many movies this year. I saw Flight. I liked it, but it's not one I'll be going back to over and over. I saw Taken. Thought it was brilliant, but that's another one I can't imagine watching repeatedly. I will however be there with bells on for Taken 3. I really wanted to like Man of Steel. I didn't really, but I wanted to. When trying to think of the movies I saw and liked this year I would be lying if these didn't trump most the other ones. I watched and loved both again and would be surprised if this list doesn't include at least of these two and Serenity just about every year.

All mentioned have had a strong 2013 and should be proud. Only time will tell where they rank next year. 2014, like every year will bring a lot of strong competition. Nobody on this list is foreign to competition, and I'm sure they'll all make a strong push to be back here next year. 


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