2019 Year-End Reviews: Episodes

This isn’t a critical review of what makes an episode flawless, it’s a list of the TV episodes I found myself either revisiting after completion or the ones that I couldn’t look back on  that continued to haunt me long after the credits stopped rolling. These are the episodes that left me in complete and utter awe. They’re the episodes filled with the most evocative performances and the most beautifully moving moments that touched my heart in a way I won’t forget easily.

1. “Pandemonium”
The Good Place 

One year later, and I still think about this episode at least a few times a month. It is without a doubt my favorite episode of The Good Place and the one I could potentially write an entire thesis on. “Pandemonium”, and especially the final few moments of the episode were utter chaos. “Embrace the pandemonium, find happiness in the unique insanity of being here, now.” There’s a great amount of happening in this episode like Michael panicking and then freaking out when he sees the soul squad together. There’s beauty in the montage created for Chidi and Eleanor. There’s beauty in Jason promising he won’t let Eleanor down. There’s beauty in Eleanor taking charge even while she’s afraid.There’s beauty in Tahani realizing what she’ll have to do when face to face with the person who’ll bring out the worst in her. There’s beauty in the humanity that’s found its way into Janet’s life. And there’s beauty in Michael’s faith in his Soul Squad.

The episode is simply put, special. It forces us to look within ourselves and confront the whys. It forces us to question existence, life, and even the afterlife. But it’s the perfect, most unique way of saying, smile because it happened. And I feel it’s safe to assume that we all know that’s nearly impossible to do, anything but the words we actually want to hear in a moment of sheer of frustration; however, it is what it is. Life is pure, unbelievably unfair chaos sometimes, and the only way to get through it is to embrace what’s bound to make us better. As mere mortals who are incapable of understanding what the afterlife entails, it’s also easy to just believe that we’d grow just fine without trials in our life, but the reality is, we don’t know that. We don’t know why life has to be the way that it is, but we’re here because of it, and there’s a whole lot of beautiful in between those tragic moments, which The Good Place captures perfectly in “Pandemonium”. While it is without question one of the saddest episodes on The Good Place, it succeeds in also being the most hopeful.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Platonic Relationships

We celebrate the gifts that are our families and friends far too infrequently. There’s a specific day set in calendars for couples, and Leslie Knope coined the perfection that is Galentine’s Day (February 13), but even still, while it’s progressive and amazing, it’s just not enough. If a TV show or film doesn’t have a solid, incredible friendship or some sort of platonic relationship, I can’t get into it. As someone who’s so inspired by the people in her life, it’s the one thing I look for in the media I consume. It’s the one thing that keeps me engaged and invested. It’s the one thing that results in excellent character development.  And this year especially, I’m happy to report there were too many gorgeous relationships to choose from. I’d rather have too much than not enough to even fill this category, which is always a bummer. We are not created to be alone as human beings, it’s the relationships we form throughout our lives that effortlessly shape us into the people we become and when we’re surrounded by people who believe in us, there’s nothing we can’t do.

1. The Rose Family
Schitt’s Creek

rose family

When I first started Schitt’s Creek, I could have never imagined how much I’d adore this family and how far they’d come. The Roses are exceptional because they’re absolute weirdos in the most normal way in this ridiculous town, but they stand out because of the love that’s come into their hearts throughout their stay in Schitt’s Creek. This doesn’t just include the immediate Rose family, but Stevie, Ted, and Patrick, too. The family that once only wanted towels and a car out of this town have extended their hearts to the people around them, welcoming them with open arms and a promise to never abandon them. It’s Moira’s belief in Stevie as an unofficial second daughter. It’s the family’s undying love for Patrick and Ted. And it’s Alexis realizing just how much she’s grown to love spending time with them. The series wouldn’t be as brilliant if it weren’t for the family growing to appreciate one another without ever changing their outlandish dynamic and calling one another out on their craps.

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2019 Year-End Reviews: Performers

We don’t all agree on everything, but I feel it’s safe to assume that the majority of us in this community of writers are under the rightful belief that this has been a stupendous year for performances. Especially where limited series are concerned. Vulnerability isn’t an easy emotion to master when acting, but the people who’ve excelled this year mastered it with impeccable and inimitable nuances. Some of these names are familiar ones, but a large majority of the performers in this category are new faces to Marvelous Geeks. Their performances have stood out beautifully throughout the year making my absolute honor to write about them.

The Actresses

1. Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Fleabag

fleabag
I’ll be frank, I didn’t see the appeal in Fleabag while watching the first season, but the moment season two began, I was floored and ready to give every single award to Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Waller-Bridge is simply put, a mastermind — the brilliant meticulous decisions in her performances throughout the year have been strikingly moving and filled with flawless range. We see prodigious growth in Fleabag throughout the season, while Waller-Bridge ensures that her charm is stapled inflexibly and rightfully in every corner. The work she does in “Episode Four” alone is unparalleled and should stand as the very example of what it means to find the balance between comedy and drama. In Fleabag’s ways of breaking the fourth wall, Waller-Bridge enlightens viewers with brilliant ease that connects us further to the unbelievably relatable chaos inside her mind. It’s in her eccentric mannerisms and potent transparency that make her such a vulnerable character we’ve all found ways to connect to. Fleabag isn’t perfect, but Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performances surely are and her expressive features deserve a category on their own, for the breakdown of every compelling look could result in a full length novel. Waller-Bridge leads the audience towards captivating profundities and astonishing pinnacles throughout the course of six episodes, which alone deserves continuous praise for its exclusivity in the world of television.

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

April 21-27
“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” | Game of Thrones

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Source: HBO

Sometimes a piece of fiction could be so achingly shocking it pulls you away while driving you into a state of rage and disgust. But other times, there are moments of rare passion — executed so beautifully, it takes your breath away. And on a show like Game of Thrones where quiet serenity is far and fleeting, there’s something so hauntingly poignant about this episode, appropriately titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”. The end that’s near is expected to be dark and devastating, but I can’t help but marvel in the conception that this episode is what the entire show has led up to. (And maybe one day time will permit me write about the entire thing.) All the pain and suffering, the losses and the seemingly endless winters has all led to this moment of exceptional warmth. An episode filled with interactions so moving, it kept me up all night, and at the top of those gorgeously touching intimate interactions, the one I can’t stop crying about hours days later is, Jaime Lannister knighting Brienne of Tarth.

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Game of Thrones Pre Final Season Thoughts ft. Elaina Clark

Game of Thrones Pre Final Season Thoughts ft. Elaina Clark

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Source: HBO.com

On this week’s episode of Marvelous Geeks, I sit down with one of my nerdiest friends/coworker to talk all things Game of Thrones before the final season aires. We get into our favorite characters, moments, quotes, and predictions. Listen to find out who we think will sit on the Iron Throne, who we want, who we absolutely don’t, and the characters we need to survive most.

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Christians vs. Media

Christians vs. Media ft. Meredith Loftus

On this week’s episode of Marvelous Geeks, I’m joined by Meredith Loftus, the delightful host of Fangirl Forum to discuss a topic that’s near and dear to both our hearts. We break down our Christian faith and the media we consume that we’ve often been judged for because of their fantastical elements. Join us to see our thoughts on why we appreciate these films and how we tie them to our Christian faith.

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2017 Year-End Reviews: 17 Little Gems

They are the scenes we watch over and over again — the scenes we can never seem to get enough of, and the scenes we remember for years to come. The Little Gems category was started last year for the moments that effortlessly became my favorites — the moments, which I found myself being moved by the most. While it was a little tough to choose them this year, we managed. And without further ado, our final installment of article for the year of 2017, our 17 favorite little gems.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute.

Best for last, don’t forget to check out what Heather (TV Examined) and Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) had to say about their favorites this year. The best part of our year-end reviews is sharing them with such incredible, perfectly gifted writers — always managing to convince me to watch whatever it is they’re writing about.

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2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Characters

A great story is easily driven by its complex, compelling, remarkably exquisite characters. Whether they’re heroes or villains or somewhere in between the spectrum, it’s their stories that make the series riveting — their journey, their life, their interactions. They are the reason a series is special. They are the heart. And while there are a number of wonderfully written characters on TV, these are my personal favorites.

Also, be sure to check out our Series of the Year | Stranger Things article, as the number one performances, characters, relationships, and moments are all featured there first. They deserved their own special tribute.

Plus, don’t forget to head on over to TVExamined and Nerdy Girl Notes to see what Heather and Katie had to say about their favorites this year.

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#100DaysofFanFavorites | Day 57

25 Inimitable Men 7/25 
Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

Episode 5 "Kill The Boy"

He knows things. He actually knows a lot. Jon Snow — the one Game of Thrones character I’m almost positive the entire world can agree on. He’s one of the good ones, the pure ones. The character you don’t expect to love so fervently when the series begins, but once his storylines begin to progress, Jon serves as the symbol of hope who’s consistently rooted for. Behind the kind, ruminating eyes is a man who’s seen too much not to care — in a world where the Iron Throne is all that matters, for Jon Snow, it’s the people, it’s honor, it’s dignity, it’s love. There aren’t many people in George R. R. Martin’s world that’d be steadfast to their word the way Jon Snow is. The innate kindness, sincerity, and astounding bravery not only make him worthy of a King’s title, but he stands as inspiration of the fact that a light in darkness and goodness amongst cruelty can be the most unexpected form of strength.

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This Week’s Most Exquisite TV Moment

August 20-27
“Beyond the Wall” | Game of Thrones

game-thrones-daenerys-and-jon-snow copy

Source: HBO

When 90% of the shows you watch are on hiatus in the summer, it’s series like Game of Thrones and Hallmark’s darling Chesapeake Shores that keep us sane. And though Chesapeake Shores has been superb lately, it’s Game of Thrones’ “Beyond the Wall” that we need to talk about.

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