#AMonthofFaves 2019: My Top 5 Books, TV Shows, Movies, and Albums of 2019

All this month, I’m joining Tanya & Kimberly at Girlxoxo and Tamara at Traveling with T for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – a fun way to recap the year that was. They have a schedule of topics planned out for 14 days and while I don’t plan to have a post for each topic, I do plan on having a post for several of them. To see the entire list, visit #AMonthofFaves 2019 [Blog Event] Announcement. Today’s topic is the fifth for the month: On the Screen or in Your Ear – What did you watch this year that you absolutely loved and did you see any movies inspired by books you’ve read – what did you think? Or, what are some of your favorite podcasts, audiobooks or songs / albums that you listened to and have on repeat?

I already covered my top 5 books in a previous post for A Month of Faves on Popular Books Worth The Hype, but I thought I’d include them here since it made the graphic below symmetrical:

A few caveats and explanations:

  • On Sunday, I also made a list of My Top 60 Albums of the 2010s, with the four of the five albums from 2019 included in that list. The only one I didn’t, i,i by Bon Iver, is because I chose 22, A Million instead for the decade.
  • I discovered four of the five TV shows through Hulu and found The Brokenwood Mysteries through Hoopla at the Free Library of Philadelphia.
  • I have not seen Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, The Irishman or Marriage Story yet, but my wife and I both want to see all three in the near future. I have a feeling at least one, if not all three, will change this list or at least be added to the list of my top movies for this year.
  • Powder in Space is technically not an album but a DJ mixtape by the Japanese DJ Momoko Goto, who produces and performs under the name “Powder.”
  • I had all five of the albums on heavy rotation this year and I anticipate that I will have one released last month, MAGDALENE by FKA Twigs, on heavy rotation in the coming year.
  • Four of my top five albums are on the The 50 Best Albums of 2019 list from Pitchfork The Father of the Bride, No. 25; Homecoming, No, 14; i, i, No. 16; Norman F***ing Rockwell!, No. 1, and that last one rightly so at No. 1, in my and my wife’s opinion. I like several of the other albums on the list including especially the ones at No. 2, MAGDALENE; Big Thief’s U.F.O.F. at No. 3 and Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors at No. 4, but I really haven’t listened to them a lot…yet, but I anticipate I will.
  • For all you bookish folks, the one movie on my list you need to see is Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is based on the book of the same name by Lee Israel, portrayed brilliantly here by Melissa McCarthy. I have not read the book, but loved the movie (obviously, to include it in my top 5).

What were your favorite books read, TV shows and movies and/or albums read this year even if they weren’t released this year?

What We’re Watching Wednesday: The Short Season Shows, Part 2

Each Wednesday either my wife and/or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” Last week and this week, we are sharing our favorite short season shows (those shows with three or less seasons): me, last week; Kim, this week.

Spaced (1999-2001) dir. Edgar Wright

Tim (Simon Pegg) and Daisy (Jessica Hynes) meet by chance in a cafe and bond over their respective unsuccessful searches for an affordable flat. They find one advertised for a “professional couple” and decide to pose  as that perfect couple to grab the apartment. The lie has its inevitable complications. 

 If you are a fan of Edgar Wright ‘s films like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, or World’s End, Spaced will feel like an old friend, with the smash cuts and flashbacks he is known for, and many of the actors that appear in all of those films…Nick Frost, Mark Heap, and Peter Serafinowicz. It is a strange and funny series with a satisfying conclusion. The show can be found on both Hulu and Prime Video. The video is NSFW.

Gavin and Stacey (2007-2010) Written by James Corden and Ruth Jones

Gavin and Stacey “meet” on the phone through their jobs and strike up a friendship/romance online. They agree to meet for a weekend in London and each arrives with a friend in tow. There are immediate fireworks, complications, and some of my favorite characters ever to appear in a series.

If, like me, you find James Corden a bit much, reserve judgement because he is perfect as Gavin’s childhood friend Smithy. Ruth Jones is Stacey’s best friend Nessa, and her deadpan delivery of some of the best lines in the series is reason alone to watch it. The show is available on Prime Video.

So how about you? Any favorite short season shows for you? Watching any good TV this past week? Movies you’d recommend? Next week, I (Kim) will be sharing my thoughts on the final season of Game of Thrones (spoiler alert!).

What We’re Watching Wednesday: The Short Season Shows, Part 1

Each Wednesday either my wife and/or I share what we are watching (either together or separately) in terms of movies and TV each week in a feature called “What We’re Watching Wednesday.” This week and next week, we are sharing our favorite short season shows (those shows with three or less seasons): me, this week; Kim next week.

The first one up for me is one that I’ve mentioned previously here: David & Olivia? Naked in Scotland. We saw a trailer for this and thought we definitely needed to watch this, so we did. We weren’t disappointed in the show itself, but unfortunately it’s only three episodes long. We almost wonder if the two creators, who also star in the show, aren’t hoping to sell the show to a larger network at some point. We sure hope someone picks it up, because it was, and is, really good. Edited one day later: Oops, the show just dropped a second season today on Amazon Prime Video. Edited one minute later (well, sort of, after looking at some reviews of the show online…not the show but on Amazon): There are two episodes missing of the second season. Looking up on IMDb, I see that’s true (averting eyes from seeing what the episodes are about…very, very carefully). Unfortunately, I still couldn’t find a trailer for this New Zealand show, but if you have Amazon Prime, definitely give the first season a try and we’ll hope Amazon Prime Video gets the last two episodes of the second season. Edited half an hour later: I did find this video that included clips of the show from the company, New Zealand Son Films, that produced the show.

The second one, Miranda, is both on Amazon Prime and Hulu. The show, only three seasons and 22 episodes, stars comedian Miranda Hart and is based on “her semi-autobiographical BBC Radio 2 comedy Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop (2008).” If you need joy, definitely try this one:

So how about you? Watching any good TV this past week? Movies you’d recommend?

#AMonthofFaves 2018: Favorite TV series and movies

Again today, I’m joining hosts  GirlxoxoTraveling with T and Estella’s Revenge for their annual #AMonthofFaves blog event – “a fun way to recap the year that was” with “every day of the event (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) planned out” and  a link-up on all their blogs. Today’s topic is 
 “On The Screen”.

Favorite TV series

These are some of my favorites, with some overlaps with my wife, but not all:

  • Aggretsuko
  • Alone Together
  • CSI
  • Father Ted
  • The Doctor Blake Mysteries
  • Kim’s Convenience
  • The Kominisky Method
  • Letterkenny
  • Miranda
  • Mozart in the Jungle (Season 4)
  • Psiconautas
  • Vicious

These are, or were, available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. The highlights for me were the two Canadian shows: Kim’s Convenience and Letterkenny. If you’re offended by language, skip Letterkenny. But if you’re not and like quirky and offbeat, then watch. Unfortunately, if you’re in America, only the first two seasons are available (so far) on Hulu. 
Also quirky and offbeat are Alone Together and  Psiconautas. The most joyous of all of them is Miranda and both Kim and I loved all of the episodes.

Favorite movies

These are our favorite movies from this year in alphabetical order:

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Black Panther
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Deadpool 2
  • Eighth Grade
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Love, Simon
  • Mission Impossible: Fallout
  • Paddington 2
  • A Star is Born
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The ones I enjoyed watching the most were Deadpool 2 and Paddington 2, two movies on the opposite end of the spectrum, highlighted by this exchange on Twitter:

The ones, though, that I think were the most important were BlacKkKlansman and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the latter of which my wife and I cried through most of. The former solidified my love of the actor Adam Driver, whom I loved in Logan Lucky, and introduced us to a new love of John David Washington, Denzel Washington’s son, a formidable actor on his own.

What were your favorite TV series and movies that you watched this year?