She Who Watches #2 – 2015 Favorites!

2015 was an epic year for film and television. For me personally it was a year of OMG’s, jumping up and down with excitement, squealing, crying, covering eyes in fear and total binge-watching. 2015 was a year of ALL THE FEELS! So I thought long and hard to come up with my 6 favorite television shows and 6 favorite films of 2015 (why 6, you ask? yeah I don’t really know either!).

2015 Favorites:

  • TV SHOWS:
  • Arrow
  • The Flash
  • New Girl
  • The 100
  • Jessica Jones
  • The Mindy Project

2015 was a brilliant year for TV with a record breaking 409 scripted shows on air! (SO MUCH TV, SO LITTLE TIME!) Arguably TV fared much better this year than film did and between cable, broadcast networks and streaming services there was an incredible amount of high quality content to chose from.

2015 more so than any year has become the year of the superhero television shows resurgence, my two favorites continuing to be The CW’s Arrow and  The Flash. I’ve been obsessed with Arrow from day one and after a slightly weaker (yet still awesome) third season, 2015 saw the start of season 4, the realization of years of sexual tension and chemistry between Oliver and Felicity (Olicity YASS), the introduction of a new big bad in the form of Damien Darhk and the resurrection and introduction of a few new characters. I am so incredibly excited to see what the rest of the season brings after that particularly heart-wrenching mid season finale! The Flash which has just started its second season is growing stronger week by week with high ratings recorded so far this season. The introduction of earth 2, Jay Garrick, Wally West, Patty Spivot (I am in love with this character and I hope we get to see more of her!) and other cool comic characters is keeping this season at a edge-of-your-seat-what-happens-next-level! The writers are doing a fantastic job at weaving together a range of character arcs and relationships whilst still keeping focused on Barry and his impending battle with Zoom. I cannot wait to see more!

A huge surprise superhero show that came out of nowhere towards the end of the year and blew everyone away was Netflix’s Jessica Jones. I couldn’t stop watching this gritty, dark, intense, powerful show and its ballsy, badass, flawed and compelling characters. Netflix has done fairly well with its original shows so far but they blew everything else out of the park with this one. I love a Netflix show release as it meant I could watch the whole season in one go rather than waiting each week! The show has set new standards for the exploration of rape, PTSD, abuse and mental illness on television and it’s focus on female relationships is fantastic (Jessica and Trish are friendship goals!) Lets hope its not too long before we get season 2!! I also cant wait to see how the show continues to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe – an appearance or crossover from Daredevil would be so cool!

Comedy wise this year I have enjoyed quite a few shows. My number one favorite continues to be Fox’s New Girl, just about to start it’s fifth season. This is another show I have adored since day one! It might be the only show I’ve ever watched that I can just re-watch and re-watch and still laugh hysterically. What I have been doing lately is just re-watching all the episodes and just paying attention to Jake Johnson’s facial expressions, he is so bloody hilarious! I’ll be interested to see what the first few episodes of season five featuring Megan Fox will be like! A new show I fell in love with (a little late to the party I know!) is Fox’s (Now Hulu’s!) The Mindy Project. Mindy Kaling is hilarious. I had the first two seasons on my hard drive and finally sat down to watch the first episode on semester break and well, I fell in love. This was definitely another binge-watch type of show, the episodes are so short so I just kept on watching to get more Mindy and Danny. Before long I had fallen in love with all the characters. Since the show has switched to Hulu (Shout out to Hulu for picking it up!) I haven’t watched any more as I can’t get access to Hulu here and have been too lazy to get round to finding the episodes online but I will at some point – I think I just added another new years resolution!

Finally my other favorite TV show of 2015 which again I was a little late to jump on the bandwagon with was the CW’s The 100 which I discovered on Netflix. After I watched the first season I just had one question… WHY DIDN’T I WATCH THIS SOONER!? As a lover of YA dystopian novels and films I was practically giddy watching this show. Before long it was the characters that had me completely hooked and I was telling everyone I knew about the show, it never really aired on TV here in NZ so it’s super underrated here. I just found out yesterday that season 2 is finally up on Netflix so I plan on binge watching it so I can be ready for when season 3 starts in the US in a few weeks! The stakes seems to be growing higher each episode,  i’m so excited and a little bit scared to see how things play out!

  • FILMS:
  • Cinderella
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Mockingjay Part 2
  • The One I Love
  • Birdman
  • The Woman in Gold

What a beautiful year it was to sit in the cinema! There were countless films I missed at the cinema this year due to a busy university and work schedule however I am making up for that by watching all the films I missed on DVD. Yet somehow it’s not quite the same experience? Five out of the six films above I went to the cinema to see and somehow I think the experience of seeing them on the big screen cemented my love for them a little more.

First up Cinderella (directed by Kenneth Brannagh). Now i’m a big Disney fan. I had a Mum who worked in a Disney store when I was young so I was practically raised on Disney. For some reason many people do not seem to be fans of Disney creating all these live action re-imaginings of the original cartoons. Me? I freaking love it. Cinderella was hands down the most beautiful film I saw all year. The cinematography and costuming and the attention to detail was STUNNING! Lily James was the perfect Cinderella, seeing her in this cemented her as one of my new favorite actresses to watch. I walked out of the cinema after this film with one clear thought it my nineteen year old mind… ‘I want to be a princess when I grow up’. In all honesty though whilst I may have been raised on the 1950’s cartoon can you imagine seeing this new live action film as a little girl today and what a magical experience it would be!? Shout out to CGI animation for continually expanding the boundaries of on-screen magic. This is a film I would happily re-watch again and again, it is so aesthetically pleasing it’s ridiculous!

Another cinematically epic film I saw this year was Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman. Initially I was invested in this film from a fangirl perspective because of Emma Stone who is my all time favorite actress but the more I read about this film leading up to it’s release the more I became invested in it from a film student perspective. I sat in the cinema and tried my damn hardest to pick out the rare cuts in the film but it was a struggle as I just got sucked in to the crazy lives of the films characters and the incredible one take feel of the film. The entire cast were incredible in their roles. I still think regularly about the films final scene. I spent a few hours reading critic and fan theories online when I got home from the cinema only to end up more confused. In the end I decided to enjoy the film for what it is – A piece of art. Those Academy Awards were incredibly well deserved.

While we are discussing cinematic epicness I had to include Mockingjay Part 2 (directed by Francis Lawrence) in my favorites list. What a phenomenal ending to a phenomenal franchise. I must be honest I was part of the group of people that groaned and rolled their eyes when it was first announced that the last book was to be split in two. However I quickly softened when I realized that one more film would mean another press tour aka more Jennifer Lawrence hilarity! Having seen both parts now I am so happy they split it into two films as it allowed they character arcs of the final book to be fully fleshed out and the deaths to be given proper weight.  It was an intense, heartfelt, epic, emotional and beautiful end to a series that I have been obsessed with since 2009. I can’t wait to complete my DVD collection and marathon them in all their glory!

Another sequel which I aca-adored in 2015 was Pitch Perfect 2 (directed by Elizabeth Banks). I’ve had the biggest girl crush on Anna Kendrick since forever and I LOVED Pitch Perfect  I mean a female led musical comedy  set in the world or university acapella? umm hell yeah! I have a huge poster of the first film on my wall, I could probably recite the soundtrack tracklist backwards and I learnt how to play the cup song… I was a serious aca-fan. So I could hardly wait for the sequel this time directed by the super talented Elizabeth Banks. It definitely delivered as well as a sequel to a film as good as Pitch Perfect could. I loved the addition of the also insanely talented Hailee Steinfeld, I loved all the fantastic Fat Amy one liners and I loved the exploration of Becca’s career. Kay Cannon’s writing as usual was hilarious, the plot was highly entertaining  and the musical numbers were wicked. Best song for me? The ‘Winter Wonderland/Here Comes Santa Claus’ mashup with Snoop Dogg and Anna – that was a Christmas song I never knew I needed until I heard it! It was my go to jam this past Christmas, so good! The open ending of the film already has me pumped for round three!

So far we’ve established I am a sucker for the superhero, musical, comedy and fantasy genres. I am also a sucker for historical drama’s. I went with my Mum to see Simon Curtis’ The Woman in Gold and it was a fantastic film. Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds were incredible as the main characters and I was so excited to see Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany (aka most talented yet underrated actress everrrr) on the big screen as the young version of Helen Mirren’s character. The films pace was incredible well created with the transition between present day and flashbacks flowing seamlessly. This film, like many of my favorite historical dramas (The Help, The Book Thief, Belle) definitely kept me thinking long after I left the cinema.

Finally, we come to the only film on this list which I didn’t see in the cinema, Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love starring Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass.  I got this DVD when I signed up to a really cool DVD hiring system called Fatso we have over here. I had stumbled across the trailer for this film on YouTube and automatically put it on my ‘To Watch’ list as the trailer is one of those frustratingly fantastic ones which teases you with just enough of the films plot to make you want to find out what actually happens. In the trailer one of the reviews states “”a romantic comedy with a real twist” -Evening Standard,” umm yeah just a bit of a twist!!! I won’t spoil it here as I want anyone reading this to go and watch it but I will say this much this is such a cool premise pulled off in such a subtle nuanced way it leaves you very confused and a little bit mind-blown. This is definitely one of the best, if not the best indie I saw all year.

That sums up a few of my favorites in what was an awesome year of film and television watching. I can’t wait to see what 2016 brings!

Adios Amigos – C x

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