Best of pop culture in 2013

There were many highs and lows in terms of entertainment during 2013. Expectations were justified or destroyed, and a lot fell right in the middle.

Here is my best and worst TV shows and music from last year. Since I did not watch many movies in the theater this year, I’m just going to go ahead and say “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” was my favorite film of 2013. Because living in Bemidji, we have a tight bond with the character.

Top five albums

This is kind of tough, given that there were many great albums released last year. From a resurrected David Bowie (didn’t make the top five) to Kanye West making another great album. Here is my top five favorites.

5. Yeezus, Kanye West — Another solid, weird album from hip-hop’s most prolific tweeter.

4. Hesitation Marks, Nine Inch Nails — Trent Reznor and crew come back from a 5 year hiatus and made Nine Inch Nails most interesting album since 2006’s “Year Zero.”

3. Matangi, M.I.A — Sonic blasts, awesome production and tongue in cheek rhymes made this an intriguing listen. Though not an album to listen for a casual listen…especially if you already have a headache going in.

2. AM, Arctic Monkeys — I’ve enjoyed their music, but never really had one of their albums grab my attention like this one. Solid rock with weird vibes.

1. Reflektor, Arcade Fire — Hands down my favorite album of the year. A double album that feels like Modest Mouse meets Daft Punk.

Worst Album of 2013

because the internet, Childish Gambino — Really like the first album from Gambino, but as much as I tried to get into this one, perhaps because of the over saturation of Auto-Tune, I just kept turning it off.

Best Show of 2013

“Breaking Bad” ended with the craziest 8 hours of television I have ever seen. I rewatched the season after Christmas (it was my Christmas present from the folks) just to make sure it wasn’t just the hype of when I saw it the first time through. But no, they pushed the adrenaline up full throttle and brought the madness Walter White unleashed to crazier levels.

Worst show of 2013

Any reality show can go here. I do not have any patience for reality TV.

Best return of a cult show

The return of “Arrested Development” really impressed me. The first couple of episodes were not very engaging, because after so many years have passed between season three and season four, they had to lay down the new plot. But as a whole, it works well. It takes multiple views to appreciate the whole thing.

Worst return of a cult show

Where season four of “Arrested Development” made for great TV, the fourth season of “Community” (the closest any show has, in my opinion, come to the brilliance of “AD.”) was riddled with episodes falling flat or being weird for the sake of weird. It didn’t help that the show’s creator Dan Harmon was exiled from the show and Chevy Chase quit before all the episodes were filmed. Season five looks promising with the return of Harmon.

Well, that’s my list of highs and lows in entertainment for 2013. Hoping 2014 will be a great one too.

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