All The Things I Liked In 2017

By almost any reasonable measure 2017 was a terrible year. You wouldn't piss on 2017 if it was on fire. And it was on fire, for 12 straight months.

But 2017 was a good year for #content.

2017 was a year where I enjoyed a great many things. Here are some of them.


TV

Twin Peaks Season 3

I believe that Twin Peaks Season 3 was a miracle. A pure miracle.

Not only was someone brave enough to bankroll a Twin Peaks revival in 2017, they were mental enough to grant David Lynch full autonomy over the entire project. In a lot of ways I feel privileged just to be able to watch it.

Twin Peaks Season 3 is an explicit example of a creative force going buck wild, satisfying all their creative impulses and giving absolutely zero fucks about their audience. Which bizarrely is precisely what fans of David Lynch and and Twin Peaks wanted in the first place.

But by god did he push us to the edge. We didn't get to see our beloved Coop until three episodes before the end. Then there was the 'fuck you' of an ending.

And of course there was episode 8: an intense visual nightmare that's less an episode of TV, than a fucked up visceral art project. Something you'd watch in a dark room deep in a modern art exhibition — but cranked with the budget of a modern television show. It's the wildest shit I've ever seen in my life.

I could go on and on: there's Dougie, the greatest arm wrestling scene in history and — get this — Jim Belushi being fucking awesome. Twin Peaks Season 3 made Jim Belushi awesome.

That might be the highest compliment you could pay a TV show.

I also liked... The Sinner, Stranger Things Season 2


Video Games

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Image: Kotaku

I can already sense the opinion shift. The backlash is looming.

For about a month after its release, it seemed like everyone was gushing about Breath of the Wild. Now for some its greatness is like a fading dream you can't quite grasp at.

But guess what motherfuckers: I'm back to remind you that Breath of the Wild is almost certainly the best game of the last ten years.

I certainly can't remember being as enamoured with a video game as an adult.

Breath of the Wild is probably the purest expression of video game adventure I've ever interacted with. It redefines the open world video game by stripping it back. It removes the icons and the XP points and says "adventure is out there". I've never played a video game that was so comfortable and confident in its own systems. Breath of the Wild is a game that understands itself, is secure in the world it has built. It's a pleasure just to be in Breath of the Wild. A pleasure to explore it.

It's my favourite game ever.

I also liked... Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon: Zero Dawn


Music

Melodrama

You get the sense that Lorde's second album had about a million different ways it could have gone wrong, and only a handful of ways it could have gone right. Precocious young pop stars don't generally follow up critically acclaimed debuts with something better.

It's understandable. Their lives become unrelatable, a distance is created. Lorde gets around this by writing about the most relatable and human sensation of all: loneliness.

Melodrama really is an album about loneliness, and heartbreak, and trying to manage those feelings — sometimes unsuccessfully. It's incredible.

The production is top notch as well. Lorde's debut was all about hard hitting snares and basslines, Melodrama is more layered and delicate. There's some interesting sounds going on there — particularly in 'The Louvre', with its slow build walls of noise and tonal shifts. It's just an interesting song to listen to.

The whole album is consistent as hell.

I also liked... All this music!


Movies

Get Out

Depending on where you sit, making racism the central theme of a horror movie in 2017 is either risky, terrifying, or the worst idea this side of Battlefield Earth, but Get Out is so good, and so subtle that it elevates itself above practically every horror movie I've seen in the last ten years.

It made me feel uncomfortable. Not because it was scary or tense (it's all of those things) but because it made me question my own behaviour, and re-evaluate some of my own prejudices. As a white person trying his goddamn best not to be racist, it made me aware of the things I might be doing or saying that just... aren't quite right. Or make life difficult for minorities. It's a wake up call really, but also an honest evaluation of some truly in-built, difficult shit we all have to navigate every single day.

I don't want to say too much. But if you haven't seen Get Out, make sure you do. It's amazing. And brutally honest and real.

I also liked... Blade Runner 2049


What stuff did you like this year? Drop the knowledge in the comments below!


Comments

    Things I liked in 2017:

    TV: Master of None: Season 2, The Good Place, Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin

    Games: Same - BoTW, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon: Zero Dawn. Also PUBG!

    Movies: Spiderman Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, War For the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Logan, Kong: Skull Island

      Cor Master Of None S2 was a top piece of stuff wasn't it? So beautifully done, the entire season was an absolute delight of film making. Funny, affecting, and incredibly honest. Really amazing work all round.

      Just started watching The Good Place last week, at the risk of sounding redundant, it's good! Can't believe i'm a year late to this one, but better late than never.

    Throwing my 2 cents in-
    Just got my Switch, so happy to finally get immersed in BOTW.
    Get Out - Man that 3rd act was just weak. For a film about black empowerment, why include nothing but caricatures? American Gods handled this theme so much better (IMHO).
    Blade Runner 2049 - Loved it, but curious why Ryan Gosling likes to ambiguously die at the end of his films stabbed and bleeding out (Drive).
    Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spiderman: Homecoming and Logan - Some love here.
    The Yakuza games finally getting some localisations.
    That's all I got.

      Should probably put the BR stuff under a spoiler tag.
      Cheers

        My bad. Sorry guys.
        Probably not going to mean much now, but the film is no less powerful for it.

      Not cool, man, some of us were waiting to see Blade Runner 2049 on blu-ray.

        Totally understand. My apologies.
        It's a shame not more fans supported it at cinema as it didn't even break even. Even still, sorry for the spoiler. I have no doubt you'll enjoy it for the other surprises in store.

    How can BOTW be the best game of the last 10 years when Red Dead Redemption is from 2010?

    It just doesn't make any sense!

    Was looking fwd to the book section but none. No good books you came across this year?

    Music:
    The Great Fish by Squalus
    A progressive punk/sludge concept album from members Giant Squid and influenced by Spielberg's Jaws. It's a brilliantly composed homage that isn't afraid to make space and time within the music for the story to shine.
    Favourite tracks: "Eating Machine in the Pond" and "The USS Indianapolis"

    Terra Damnata by Nightbringer
    2017 has been phenomenal for atmospheric black metal releases that retain a sharp core without reaching to far into post territory. EOD: A Tale of Dark Legacy by The Great Old Ones and Finisterre by Der Weg Einer Freiheit are notable releases. Yet the atonal-leaning leads and enveloping atmosphere of Terra Damnata keep drawing me back.
    Favourite tracks: "As Wolves Amongst Ruins" and "Serpent Sun"

    Worth noting that the track "Hellmouth" by Bestia Arcana is a tremendous piece of layered black metal.

    My best of the year:
    Games:
    Elite Dangerous (PS4). Taken me back to my Amiga days. Moved on from it now, but for 100 hours it was a sublime space trucking dream.

    Books:
    The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver. Ok, from 2016 but a wonderful satirical look at the USA in another great depression.

    Movies:
    Dunkirk. Was breathless for nearly the whole film. A masterpiece.

    Board games:
    Nothing from 2017 but Dead Last, the party game take on the prisoner's dilemma is great in a group, plus I still can't go past Splendor for it's purity.

      Can I have a brief whinge about Elite? I too loved it but damn that docking animation gets old quickly. I mean, I get Elite is meant be a “realistic” space combat sim (to the extent that’s even a thing) but sitting through the same freakin’ sequence for minutes at a time with the same classical track (yes yes I get that it’s an homage to 2001) is just unnecessarily punishing. Take a leaf out of NMS (something it did right!) and get that shit over quickly and let me play the damn game.
      Having said that I will be playing Elite again these holidays, I loves me some systems-tinkering on the ole Anaconda (which is in no way an inappropriate comment).

        Funny. I usually just put the docking on automatic and tried to get a good screenshot. Yes, I don't think a few additional animations or docking tunes wouldn't have gone amiss (or a fast forward). The warping loading screen on the other hand. On my long trip to Colonia I swear I was actually going mad starting at those screens.

        You play with your Anaconda, I'll stick with my Python...

        but sitting through the same freakin’ sequence for minutes at a time with the same classical track (yes yes I get that it’s an homage to 2001) is just unnecessarily punishing.

        You do know you can remove the auto docking module and dock manually?

          Yeah, but that’s worse IMO. I can barely fit my ship through the station entry ????. I accept that I may be a fairly crap pilot.

          Look, it’s just frustrating that Elite gets so many things right, and some things wrong (repeatedly hauling tons of gear for poweplay rep grinding, with no other real options for rep? No thanks). But that’s games generally I guess. Why can’t they all be perfect dammit!

            I mean thats what you have to put up with owning such a huge ship. I mean its like owning a car and owning a truck.

        To add to my comment so i dont get auto moderated. Try loading up a livestream of the ISS audio. having that running in the background adds a bit of realism to the game because it makes it feel like you are listening to space transmissions. Its only a little thing but ive found it adds to the experience.

    I've come to notice every year is the worst year according to some articles on here. I think some people may benefit from at least some counselling.

    Show of the year for me is by far American Gods..

    Last edited 04/12/17 5:04 pm

    Everyone is sleeping on Mr Robot.

      I'll go in early to day this has been the best season of Mr Robot and back them not to screw it up with the last few episodes. It has been a strong year of television but my favorite was probably Legion

        Is it worth coming back to? i sought of gave up the show about halfway through season 2 because it got boring.

          s2 was definitely a lower point for the series but s3 has more then made up for it. no unearned twists and all quality episodes. Plus they did a whole freaking episode as a birdman-esque one shot, which didn't get anywhere close to the recognition it deserved. if you liked s1 then power through the rest of s2 for the good stuff

    I liked that people are feeling empowered to come forward with their stories of abuse in the entertainment industry.
    (Even if I disliked finding out that so much of the industry is pure scum.)

    Content was AMAZEBALLS this year.

    Yakuza 0, Tales of Berseria, Nioh + fucktonnes of DLC, Berserk & Band of the Hawk, Horizon Zero dawn, Torment Numenera, Zelda, Nier, Wildlands, Mass Effect, Persona 5, Prey, The Surge, Harvest Moon & Skyrim making it to the Switch, Tokyo 42, FF14's Stormblood expansion, GW2's Path of Fire expansion, Hellblade, Agents of Mayhem, Total Warhammer 2, Battlechasers, Shadow of War, South Park, Hidden Agenda, AC: Origins, Wolfenstein 2, Hand of Fate 2, Dragon's Dogma PS4 remaster...

    And that's just the stuff I played/was excited about! I KNOW friends and others were super hyped about shit I don't care about or stuff I've put on my wishlist:

    Yooka-Laylee, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Little Witch Academia, Battlefront, Sims 4 expansions, Ultra Sun & Moon, Tokyo Tattoo Girls, Rime, LA Noire remaster, Ittle Dew 2, Telltale Batman and Guardians, Doom on the switch, .hack, Mario Odyssey, Yomawari, This Is The Police, Destiny 2, Fire Emblem Warriors, Life is Strange 2, Rogue Trooper redux, Elex, Evil Within 2, Cuphead, Steamworld Dig 2, Senran Kagura, Hob, Metroid, Dishonoured Outsider expansion, Divinity Original Sin 2, Ys (howevermany of them), Destiny 2, Knack 2 (actually good?!), Absolver, Uncharted, Sonic Mania, Pyre, Splatoon 2, FF 12 remaster, Farming Simulator 18, Star Trek Bridge Crew, Farpoint, Akiba's Beat, Strafe, Dreamfall Chapters, Mario Kart 8 on switch, Dawn of War 3, Edith Finch, Wonder Boy, Full Throttle remaster, Sexy Brutale...

    SO MUCH GAMING TO DO, 2017. SO MUCH.

      Yeah man, even the "bad" games were mostly pretty good haha

      Yes, EA being finally called out on their bullshit tactics on a wide scale is the best thing that has happened this year.

    TV: GLOW, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Place, Game of Thrones.

    Movies: Thor: Ragnarok, Logan, GotG Vol. 2, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Also gonna throw The Disaster Artist in even though I haven’t seen it yet because I’m proper obsessed with The Room and there’s no way it wouldn’t make the list.

    Games: Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild, Danganronpa V3 although that ending still dicks me off.

    Music: With you on the Melodrama front there. Also Ed Sheeran and Lana Del Rey.

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