Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 highlights

It's strange to think about but we only have one day left of 2014. This year has been a complete mixed bag of good and bad for me; without a doubt better than 2013, but I've got high hopes for next year to be a huge improvement. 2015 is going to be a year of progress for me - I'm leaving high school, leaving the place I've lived in all my life, making new friends and hopefully maintaining relationships that are the most important to me. But I didn't want to do that without reliving my personal best bits of this year - whether they be in pop culture or my own life. Get ready for a super long masterpost of 14 things that made my 2014.

Television in 2014

1. Sherlock - How It Was Done

I thought I had banished the fangirl side of me until this moment
Or to be more specific, this fucking kiss. If I'm being honest, I was much more impressed by the fan theories than Sherlock's real method. I'd been waiting for my explanation for 2 years but this kiss was better than anything. In typical Sherlock fashion the season was over before it had even begun, but what they did pack in was truly spectacular. Highlights for me have to be drug addict Sherlock, drunk Holmes/Watson, and of course any time Sherlock plays violin. My one true weakness. I'm still confused as to how I can love the writing of this show so much but have lost so much faith in Steven Moffat's other monster Doctor Who.

2. Great British Bake Off - #bingate

Was I the only one who shouted at the TV??? NO IAIN
I've always felt better about my passion for GBBO after going on twitter and seeing everyone on my timeline shamelessly loving it too, and this year was no different - especially after the most dramatic episode in the show's history. Usually this show is a cosy affair, the most risqué things being one of Mel and Sue's innuendos. But war was declared when Diana took Iain's ice cream out of the freezer, and on discovering the mess he promptly chucked it right in the bin. I have never seen my twitter timeline so angry and upset. The incident received almost an equal amount of complaints to the BBC as bias in the Israel/Palestine coverage. Although this might be slightly ridiculous, it still really showed how our nation will stand together in the face of injustice, even if it is just to start a hashtag.

3. Game of Thrones - The Children

As someone who is still to catch up on the books, the new season of Game Of Thrones was full of plot twists and shocks for me, and the final episode was no exception. I was so surprised by The Children, and by extension the whole season in general; usually the traumatic moments are revealed in episode 9 and the final episode gives us the aftermath effects. In season 4, the last three episodes just kept delivering, and we had developing plot lines right up to the last minute of episode 10. This season saw some incredible acting, the slow rise of my favourite character Sansa Stark, the scheming of many, the death of some of my most hated and most cherished (still not ready to talk about it) and what I believe to be the best monologue written for TV of the last few years. Watch it.

4. Supernatural - Fan Fiction

The 200th episode of Supernatural was entirely ridiculous, and everything I've ever wanted. It was truly an episode for the fans, bringing up moments from throughout the series and even bringing back a character from the dead (although if you watch this show, you'll know that nobody is ever really dead for long). It made me cry with direct quotes from the very first episode, and made me laugh with the writer's awareness of their own plotholes by making them the butt of jokes. And I'm not ashamed to say the original songs written for this episode were extremely catchy (A Single Man Tear, I'm looking at you.)

Films in 2014

possibly my favourite of the year - if only just for the stellar soundtrack
If I went through all my favourite films of this year individually we'd be here till 2015 so I'll just do a quick rundown in chronological order with some mercifully brief reviews. It's been a good year for movies.

  • Her                                                             - modern, beautiful, heartbreaking
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel                        - quirky, cute, goddamn aesthetically pleasing
  • Captain America - The Winter Soldier      - game changing, thrilling, representational
  • 22 Jump Street                                            - satirical, cheeky, hilarious
  • Guardians Of The Galaxy                           - delightful, kooky, stand-alone fantastic
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I    - tense, dramatic, a 2 1/2 hour long cliffhanger
  • The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies      - epic, life ruiner, stunning send off.

Events of 2014

12. Emma Watson's HeForShe Speech

If not me, who? If not now, when?
The first time I watched this, it blew my mind completely. Granted I began to see the flaws once I pushed my bias out of the way, but I stand my inclusion of this as a hugely important part of 2014, more for what it stands for. Along with the likes of Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and Beyonc√©, Emma's speech was a demonstration of female celebrities using their status to make a change in the world. If you know someone will listen to you, it's your responsibility to make a difference, to educate and combat ignorance. Myself included to a certain degree, many have argued that this 'brand' of feminism is wrong because it focuses to closely on men and their struggles. I see it in a slightly different light - for me, I think her words have helped some people realise what the word 'feminism' really means; the equality of all. There's always going to be the bronies that sit in their gamer chairs and haughtily say they prefer the word humanism, but they're becoming an endangered species. Thanks to things like this I can see feminism becoming more inclusive - the word is finally no longer taboo. 

13. Malala Yousafzai Wins The Nobel Peace Prize 

In my opinion it has truly been a transitional year for the feminist movement, a large part granted to the incredible Malala. Using her attack from the Taliban not as a source of pity, but as a jumping board to start a campaign to achieve her goal of education for all children, she is a truly remarkable young woman. Young girls have a role model that is of an age with them, a sweet and thoughtful person who is also completely fearless and determined - forcing through the message that femininity is not synonymous with fragility or complacency. As well as campaigning for education, she is also combatting the use of child brides in marriages in Nigeria and human trafficking/domestic labour in Pakistan. Thanks to the inspirational stories of people like Malala, we are becoming aware of problems in the wider world especially those caused by gender inequality, and in our knowledge of these issues, we are one step closer to defeating them. 

14. #BlackLivesMatter and combating Institutional Racism 

I'm aware that I don't have much of a right to talk about this with empathy, but if anything 2014 has proved, it's the importance of multiple voices and social media in that respect. Police brutality against black people is by no means a new occurrence in America, but this year has shown an uprise. People are no longer standing for blatant racism, and for the first time in a long time the murder cases of victims such as Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Antonio Martin are the subject of worldwide news thanks to protests and immense bravery from people of colour across the USA, but most notably in Ferguson. 2014 has showed us we have a long way to go until we have complete equality, but now we know what we have to do to change that.

PS. I may have glossed over a lot of important moments and facts especially in my last section, but it's just a blog post!!! And I wanna keep these things lighthearted. I hope you all have a wonderful New Year, and I'll see you in 2015 

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