Pointless Nonsense

Posted in comics, movies, top10, tv by Bill on June 10, 2015

My annual top 10 of everything, presented in early June because I’m a rebel with no regard for normal calendars.

Half Hour TV:

bojack

  1. Bojack Horseman, Netflix’s cartoon about anthropomorphic animals and sadness stuck with me more than any other show this year. It started off a little slow, but by episode 4 I was loving it, and towards the end it got really heavy and weird, in a good way.
  2. Community being on Yahoo is a little bit annoying. I have to remember to go to some new site to find it, and they screw up the placement of the ads sometimes (where it abruptly cuts to commercial in the middle of a sentence, then at the end of the break, you hear 4 words and then there’s a fade out/fade in where the ad break should have gone). But the show’s still smart and different and funny and Keith David and Paget Brewster are welcome additions to the cast.
  3. Big Time in Hollywood, FL is a very unusual show that the more I think about it, the more it reminds me of Evil Dead II except with crime instead of horror. It mostly plays with the tropes of the genre straight, but when somebody gets their hand blown off, we aren’t supposed to feel for the character or anything like that, we’re supposed to laugh as he manages to get the advantage in the fight by spraying blood from his wrist into the face of his opponent. The same people did this youtube series, which is a fake reality show but told entirely through “Next time on…” teasers. About a minute into that, you pretty much see the comedic sensibility of Big Time summed up perfectly.
  4. Parks and Recreation was still a very good show right up to the end, and I thought it had a fitting conclusion. It managed to not be too sappy but give satisfying endings to everyone.
  5. Brooklyn 99 remains very good, but for some reason I always feel like it could turn to crap any minute. And I don’t think there’s any rational reason to feel that way.
  6. Gravity Falls would be higher up if it put out more episodes. But it’s very, very slow going. Still, it’s an excellent supernatural conspiracy mystery comedy show, even if it’s probably supposed to be for 10 year olds.
  7. Archer is still solid. Though I feel like it always needs more Cheryl/Carol.
  8. The Last Man on Earth is a title full of lies, but the show has been interesting. It’s not always the funniest, but I am always curious to see where it goes next.
  9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is actually quite weak story-wise, and a lot of the jokes are iffy, but Ellie Kemper is really likable and makes it work.
  10. Bob’s Burgers is consistently good.

Missed the cut: It’s Always Sunny and The League are fine but I can’t get too excited about them anymore. Silicon Valley is interesting enough but sometimes it goes long stretches of not being very funny at all. Louie is getting weird.

Hourlong (or more) TV:

bcs

  1. Better Call Saul somehow doesn’t bother me like other prequels tend to. How did the guy from Mr. Show end up as the star of TV’s best drama?
  2. Daredevil is the TV adaptation of comic books I’ve been hoping for since the whole live action superhero boom started. If they do anywhere close to this well with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, I will be a happy man. Though happier still if they cast an Asian American as Danny Rand, but I don’t have enough faith in Marvel to expect that to happen.
  3. Justified went out on a really good note, with an exciting finale that wrapped things up nicely but not too neatly.
  4. Game of Thrones is still very good, but I really wish it wasn’t so rapey.
  5. The Flash is goofy and sometimes nonsensical but that’s how most superhero stories are supposed to be.
  6. How to Get Away with Murder played games with its timeline to make for a really engaging first season. I have no idea how they’ll manage to keep the same level of excitement for another season, but I hope they figure out a way.
  7. Agent Carter is actually getting a second season, which surprised me. But I liked the show, and Hayley Atwell is really attractive.
  8. iZombie brings back some of that classic Veronica Mars feel. It’s not as good, I preferred the film noir take on high school to the teen drama take on zombies (albeit with adults), but I do like the case-of-the-week mixed with lots of long-term subplots and a sardonic cute girl lead.
  9. Orange is the New Black‘s second season still kinda suffered from the protagonist being the least interesting thing about it. But it’s still a good show.
  10. House of Cards was better with Kate Mara, but Kevin Spacey’s Frank Underwood is still awesomely evil.

Missed the cut: The Americans is starting to get called “the best show you’re not watching” all over the place but also starting to lose my interest. The longer Suits goes, the more petty everyone on the show seems.

Superhero Comics:

batmaneternal

  1. Batman Eternal was the year-long weekly series featuring a much wider cast and more long-term mystery than typical monthly comics, and I enjoyed the hell out of it.
  2. Catwoman had been a pretty typically bad T&A book ever since the New 52, but partly due to the events of Batman Eternal and partly due to bringing in writer Genevieve Valentine it turned into a gritty organized crime story, and a damn good one.
  3. Daredevil has been written by Mark Waid for years now, and at some point I’d expect the quality to fall off, but it’s consistently one of the best comics out there.
  4. Moon Knight, the tail end of Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s short run on the series, was excellent. The fifth issue was one of the best single issues I’ve read in a long time. Only this low because just 3 issues were Ellis/Shalvey, the rest were forgettable and I quit reading it.
  5. She-Hulk was sadly cancelled after 12 issues, which is a shame. It did the superhero/lawyer thing as well as any Daredevil series, and kept a fun light tone. The only real drawback was that I didn’t like the artist’s style.
  6. The Punisher has been written by Nathan Edmonson for over a year now, and he has done a lot of things I really like. He didn’t forget about Rachel Cole-Alves, he brought in the military to try to take down Frank, kept a serious tone while raising the stakes and still having Frank be obsessed with putting skull symbols on everything. It’s a quality series.
  7. Batman has still been good, but I didn’t really like the conclusion to Scott Snyder’s big Joker story arc.
  8. Batgirl, like Catwoman, had been pretty weak, but they revamped it, sending Barbara to college with a new costume redesign and moved away from the grim tone that had made the book kinda boring. And they had Black Canary around, who will be getting her own series in a bit.
  9. Mighty Avengers/Captain America and the Mighty Avengers is the Avengers team with Luke Cage, Monica Rambeau, Sam Wilson, the new Power Man and White Tiger, the Blue Marvel, and sometimes Spider-Man and She-Hulk and Jessica Jones and this wizard guy who’s name I always forget. It’s just a fun series. It was briefly derailed by Marvel’s really dumb Axis event where briefly (except for Iron Man, who remains Axis flipped) a bunch of heroes turned evil and villains turned good, so they had to deal with evil Sam Wilson FalconCap, but quickly returned to the quality it had before.
  10. Grayson spun out of some DC event where Dick “Nightwing” Grayon’s identity was revealed to the world and he “died.” In this series, Batman and Dick faked his death to have him infiltrate Spyral, an espionage group with questionable motives. Dick and his partner Helena Bertinelli do spy stuff, and he feeds intel back to Batman. Despite being really different, it remains unquestionably a Dick Grayson book, with all the acrobatics and wisecracking and stuff.

Missed the cut: Ant-Man, Black Widow, Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man, and Gotham Academy are all very good.

Not enough issues to make a call: Hawkeye (3 issues in a year, still waiting on the last one), Spider-Woman (it was an uninteresting book with a garbage artist until a creative team switch in March).

Non-superhero Comics:

saga

  1. Saga is still really good.
  2. Chew is sometimes troubled by an irregular shipping schedule. They seem to do between 6 and 10 issues a year. But they are always good issues, at least.
  3. Lumberjanes is weird in that I wouldn’t imagine myself enjoying a comic about adventures at a girls’ camp as much as I do, but this comic makes me laugh a lot.
  4. Trees is Warren Ellis’s scifi series about giant monolithic devices planted by aliens on earth that don’t seem to do anything. So far, it’s mostly a slice of life book about a world where people have gotten used to these “trees,” but the end of the first volume seems to promise some plot progression in interesting directions.
  5. Darth Vader is part of Marvel’s new Star Wars line, and it’s been surprisingly good. It helps that one of the characters is a hot/kinda evil lady Indiana Jones type, which… why isn’t that a thing more often?
  6. Stray Bullets, which took an almost 10 year hiatus before returning in March 2014, is somehow still a really interesting comic. It’s mostly a crime story that follows Virginia Applejack, who was a little kid when the series started, but I think she’s 20-ish now. But I keep hoping they’ll bring back Amy Racecar, the star of nihilist scifi/crime comics written and drawn by the character Virginia, who has appeared in several issues throughout the run.
  7. Lazarus had a big cliffhanger two issues ago, and then in the last issue detoured to totally unrelated events. Which is good writing but also a dick move, so I’m kinda pissed at Greg Rucka right now. But this is a quality series, and Michael Lark is the perfect artist for a dystopian future story about a badass woman.
  8. Revival is Fargo-meets-zombies sort of comic from the writer of Hack/Slash, which is consistently solid.
  9. Stumptown put out a five issue miniseries this year, and Greg Rucka can still write the hell out of a PI story.
  10. Private Eye, Brian K. Vaughan’s digital-only series, wrapped up this year. It wasn’t the greatest, but still interesting.

Missed the cut: Sex Criminals and Rat Queens are still very good, but their publishing schedule has slowed to a crawl. Atomic Robo finished a fairly lackluster last print volume, before moving 100% online, the beginning of the next volume is promising so far, but the last print one was the worst Robo to date.

Not enough issues: Fight Club 2, Injection, The Legacy of Luther Strode, and Red One.

Movies:

interstellar

  1. Interstellar wasn’t perfect, but I do love accessible big idea scifi that makes you think, especially when there’s time stuff going on.
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the most fun superhero movie so far.
  3. John Wick surprised the hell out of me with how good it was.
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road was weird as hell, I understood at most 2/3 of the dialogue, left the theater knowing like 3 character names, but it was still pretty great.
  5. Big Hero 6 had a solid story, good action, a quality sense of humor, and a pretty nice animation style.
  6. Gone Girl is clever as hell, but I still worry about douchebags getting the wrong idea from it.
  7. Avengers: Age of Ultron probably suffers from high expectations. Underwhelming for what it could have been.
  8. Edge of Tomorrow still has one of the worst titles of any movie ever, but it was highly enjoyable.
  9. Snowpiercer had some flaws, but it also had some really great parts.
  10. Birdman, I guess? I didn’t really love it, but it was impressive in a lot of respects.

Missed the cut: Kingsman, The Imitation Game, They Came Together were all fine too.

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