Once the three day blitz of Festivus/Christmas Eve/Christmas Day has passed, that means there is only one more week left in the year. And 2014 was a pretty solid year. “Fargo” came to Bemidji, we got a snippet from a new Star Wars film, D’Angelo came back with a pretty great album, “Weird Al” got his first No. 1 album (about time) and we found out “Twin Peaks” will return to traumatize a whole new generation just to name a few.
So here is my list of may favorite moments in pop culture for 2014.
Best Album: D’Angelo “Black Messiah”
I’m glad I waited to write this later than others, because it seemed like a week after everyone released their best album of 2014 list that R&B/funk genius D’Angelo dropped what was the best album of the year with “Black Messiah.” A brilliant, funky, angry album, “Black Messiah” has great beats, fuzzed out guitar riffs, awesome vocals.lyrics and cool production. It blows that garbage album by U2 that Rolling Stone claimed the best album out of the water ten-fold. Seriously Rolling Stone, find a new band or artist to hype beyond U2, Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones or the surviving Beatles — music did continue after 1986.
Best Humor Album: “Weird Al’s” “Mandatory Fun”
“Weird Al” is a national treasure. At least he should be. He took such earworm songs as “Happy” and “Blurred Lines” and gave them the proper parodies that I enjoyed listening to with “Tacky” and “Word Crimes.” To which I must again say: He is a national treasure.
Best Movie: ?
I only went to one movie this year, and I don’t think “X-Men: Days of Future Past” would probably be the best film released in 2014. And I streamed “The Interview” from home, and that can’t be the best movie of 2014.
Best Movie I Actually Saw In The Theater: “X-Men: Days of Future Past”
That was a fun flick. I enjoyed it. The X-Men movies are a lot better when Bryan Singer is helming them. Because, let’s face it, “X3” was a terrible movie. I also liked combining the actors from “First Class” with the original films as well.
Best Trailer For A Film That Will Not Be Released For A Whole Year: “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens”
Let’s face it, this is a franchise that needed a new start after those horrible prequels nearly destroyed it. And I’m confident that with Abrams involved (despite the initials J.J. appearing in his name) that we will not have to endure another Jar Jar Binks fiasco. And seeing the Millennium Falcon in action again was great.
Best TV Show That’s Growing On Me: “Gotham”
This show started off so uneven that I basically hate-watched the first four episodes or so. It’s not the best writing on TV, but it is getting better, especially with toning down some of the more over the top elements and actors (ahem…Edward Nygma). I’m looking forward to where they will be taking this, as long as we don’t experience another Balloonman episode.
Best Comedy TV Show: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
With “Parks And Rec” hanging its hat this year (and after a pretty forgettable season last year) it seems “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will be carrying the torch. I love the irreverent humor of this show, and anything with Terry Crews is destined to be great.
Best Decision NBC Made: Bringing Back Dan Harmon to “Community”
The year 2014 was brought in on a great note when “Community” showrunner Dan Harmon was brought back after being fired after season three. Season four was a mixed bag that lacked a lot of what made “Community” a great show, though to be fair the writers did do a good job keeping the show watchable. Season five felt like the show was back to its elements, and bringing in Jonathan Banks as Professor Hickey was so hilarious. Even though it was great, NBC had other thoughts, because they cancelled it. This is just my opinion, because I have no idea what their reasoning was, but canceling this show right when it was getting back on track was a horrible decision. But it was saved at the last minute by Yahoo Screen (to be honest, this was the first I ever heard of Yahoo Screen). I’m not sure how I’m going to watch this through my TV, but I’ll have to find a way.
Best TV Show: “Fargo”
To adapt such an iconic film like “Fargo” must have been no easy task, I’m sure. But Noah Hawley pulled it off with the FX series. And since it took place in a fictionalized Bemidji, I had the unique opportunity to not only blog and live Tweet each episode, I got to interview Hawley himself just prior to the premiere for a news story. So that made the whole experience a pretty awesome one.
There it is, my favorites of 2014. I’m looking forward to 2015.