2017 was, to say the least, a hectic year. But in between all of the ridiculousness, I discovered some pretty amazing stuff. Without further ado, here are my top ten favourites across music, books and film/tv. 99% are 2017 releases.
Included in this post are affiliate links, should you wish to check out any of my recommendations! If you make a purchase via these links I may receive a small percentage of the sale, but this does not increase the price you pay.
2017 was a really great year for music, especially with lots of much-anticipated sophomore albums from artists I’ve loved for years. The second album/book/whatever is usually where artists falter a bit, but every second album I listened to was fantastic. Honourable mention goes to Gone Now by Bleachers. I’m surprised my CD hasn’t worn out yet, after playing this instant classic on repeat since June, and seeing Jack Antonoff live in October brought this album to life all over again for me in the last part of the year.
I also fell head over heels again with Lorde and Melodrama. I loved it so much, that after my first listen, I decided to use the album in my A Level Media portfolio. I’m currently in the editing phase for a Supercut music video! It’s so much fun, and even if I’ve now listened to that one song about seventy three billion times, I’m still not tired of it.
Another album that deserves a special shout out is About U by MUNA. A lot of Tegan and Sara fans have loved them since the album’s release, but I only purchased it just after Christmas. I’m so glad I finally did, because this is electropop at its finest. It’s hard to believe this is a debut album. It’s going to soundtrack the start of my 2018.
I had a totally weird year for books. Since the age of about twelve, I’ve been averaging 150-200 books a year. I practically ate them. But this year, AS Levels / general life stuff hit me hard and I had hardly any time to attack the towers of books-to-be-read in my room. But I started the year with possibly the most remarkable debut ever – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I cannot stress how important and incredible this is. It moved me beyond words and I’m really interested in seeing how it translates to film in 2018. You can also read my review of it here.
Despite reading comparatively less then ever before, in 2017 I delved into lots of 20th Century fiction, and political books (which aren’t included on this list because there’s a separate blog post in the works!). One favourite is Jeanette Winterson’s Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit. At first, I enjoyed its recently released companion novel more, but I’ve grown to adore this semi-autobiographical story of Jeanette. I’ve spent half of this year studying it for A Level, and with each lesson it’s grown on me. I can’t tell you how amazing it feels to be reading queer authors in class after years of (VERY HETERO) literature I’ve been unable to relate to.
I would do separate top tens for TV and Film, but a) we’d be here all day and b) I didn’t watch that many new films this year. But those I did, I adored. Obviously, The Last Jedi now holds a special place in my heart. It was badass. Up there with The Empire Strikes Back. I respect the writers for not erasing Carrie after she passed away, and she had a truly great portrayal in her final film. After Star Wars, I think Atomic Blonde has to be my second favourite film of the year. I went in with no expectations (literally just went because I saw it was a female fronted film) but I was pretty blown away. Epic neon visuals, unexpected romance, and a mind boggling ten minute long fight scene that was pretty much all filmed in one take. Ticks all the boxes.
Shout out to Loving Vincent – if you haven’t seen this film yet, please put it at the top of your to-watch list! It’s incredibly beautifully produced, with each frame hand-painted by teams of artists, and captures a really moving story of the lives impacted by Van Gogh’s death. I watched the film’s premiere via livestream in a local cinema, and it was fantastic.
Gotta love the LGBT representation I’ve seen on TV (well, Netflix) this year. I’ve fallen into true Drag Race obsession – it was a total distraction during exams – and the latest season was so much fun for me. Through watching the show I’ve gained such a greater appreciation for drag artists.
Orphan Black and Sense8 ended this year and I’m not really over it. Despite sense8 being unfairly cancelled, I think it is beautiful as a short drama – if it had been stretched out over many more seasons it might have lost its magic, but I am really looking forward to the grand finale! Also, Black Mirror blew my mind this year. I binge watched seasons 1 to 3 in a number of days and just started season 4. I need to write a whole separate thing about this ridiculous show.
I shall end it here before I ramble on too much. All in all, despite 2017 being a terrible year politically/environmentally/etc, at least we had some good entertainment to distract us from existential dread.