It made me laugh; it made me cry. Isn’t that what characterizes a good film? Not only was “50/50” entertaining, but it made me think. The plot was smart and relatable, and the acting was spot-on. It even had a happy ending, and who doesn’t enjoy one of those?
TV Show: “Best Friends Forever”
“BFF,” written by and starring Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, is my new favorite show. It is only four episodes in, but I have yet to see something I don’t like. It is utterly hilarious, and, to be honest, reminds me a little of my own group of friends. It’s a must-watch in my book.
Album: “In the Mountain In the Cloud” by Portugal. The Man
I could listen to any of Portugal. The Man’s albums all day every day, but “In the Mountain In the Cloud,” released in July, is definitely my favorite. It artfully balances musical complexities and simplicities, and there’s always a song perfect for whatever mood I’m in. If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one album, this would be it.
Movie: “A Separation”
Though “Drive” certainly merits a mention, Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” is the best movie I saw in a weak year for film. The Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film may be from Iran, but the relationships and emotions created in the story transcend borders. It’s a cinematic, emotional and cultural experience.
TV Show: “Game of Thrones”
I don’t watch much television, so the fact that I went out of my way to catch up with HBO’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” should speak for itself. The acting, especially from Peter Dinklage, is terrific, the story is unpredictable and the production value is up to HBO’s usual high standards … and then some. Plus, it has Joffrey, a character so brutally evil that even Gandhi would be tempted to take a swing at the little blonde nightmare.
Album: “’Drive’ (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)”
A movie called “Drive” better have a sweet soundtrack to listen to on the ride-along. Luckily, this album, featuring a hauntingly moody score by Cliff Martinez and ’80s tinged songs by bands like College and Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx, works as the perfect accompaniment for a Sunday drive, the walk to class, or one of the best movies of 2011. It’s so good I almost forgot Ryan Gosling was in “Drive.” Almost.
Movie: “21 Jump Street”
I haven’t seen many movies this school year, but I saw this one with my mom, and she thought it was just as funny as I did. Which is actually kind of weird now that I think about it; I thought my mom was more mature than that.
TV Show: “RuPaul’s Drag Race”
This entire semester, I’ve been channeling my inner Glamazon and lip-syncing for my life on a daily basis. I try to serve big hair realness every day. I don’t know what to do now that the season is over. It gives me more time to obsess over “Community,” I guess.
Album: “Master of My Make-Believe” by Santigold
This album just came out last week, so I haven’t given it a good listen, but it’s been four years since Santigold’s last record. I’ve been waiting forever for this. Bring on the conscious afro-dance beats!
Movie: “The Hunger Games”
Katniss is a badass female protagonist who refuses to be a damsel in distress.
TV Show: “Suburgatory”
This new sitcom is witty, sharp and hysterical. The show’s depiction of suburban life is exaggerated yet also freakishly accurate.
Album: “Ceremonials” by Florence and the Machine
This album fits any mood and is great to study to. The songs on the album range from deep and introspective to happy and empowering.
Movie: “The Help”
I laughed. I cried. I abstained from chocolate pie (not like it’s abundant in Sodexo-land anyway). “The Help” reminded me of my humanity in a way I hadn’t known possible. Not to mention I’m a female journalist who has black framed glasses and curly hair so I kind of related to one of the characters. But no matter who you are, “The Help” is a humbling reminder to love people. Period.
TV Show: “Parks and Recreation”
The show may have felt like a rip-off of “The Office” at the start, but thanks to a few fresh cast members, Deputy Director Leslie Knope’s new political agenda and the ever-pleasant theme song, “Parks and Rec” earned its spot in my weekly lineup.
Album: “F.A.M.E.” by Chris Brown
I don’t care what music you’re into – those who can hear know “Look at Me Now” is the song of 2011, and any album it is recorded on makes it the year’s greatest. Lucky for us, it just so happens to sit on a throne with “Deuces,” “She Ain’t You” and “Yeah 3x.” As far as I’m concerned, “F.A.M.E.” is like the double-your-dough of party music.
Movie: “We Bought a Zoo”
When I was a little kid, it was my dream to own my own zoo. Needless to say, “We Bought A Zoo” was the exhilarating realization of my childhood fantasies. Everything about it was great, from the emotional plot to the powerful music.
TV Show: “The Walking Dead”
When I came home for winter break, my siblings and I spent a couple of days watching the second season of “The Walking Dead.” I’m not much for TV shows or zombies, but the AMC hit show is tantalizingly exciting and dramatic. It goes beyond the simple horror and gore characteristic of zombie flicks.
Album: “Helplessness Blues” by Fleet Foxes
I know it was released May of 2011, but I only discovered it in September. (Have pity; I was musically sheltered from indie folk until I began to work for Marquee.) Fleet Foxes was a new, cathartic sound for me, and I fell in love as soon as I heard it.