2018 Best of the Year Reviews: 10 Episodes

This is always the hardest category to write about but simultaneously my absolute favorite. The best part of it is remembering the very first time I watch the episode and think, “Yup, I need to talk about this for year-end reviews.” But it’s interesting because I was a little stumped this year. I didn’t want to repeat episodes from shows and I wanted a wide variety. We can thank Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place for making my choices so hard with a ton of amazing episodes. Oh how I adore the comedies on TV right now.

For more end of the year reviews, check out our Top 10 Performers, 10 Characters, and 10 Relationships.

  1. “Start”
    The Americans

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I don’t know how Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) would cover this show weekly because I could never find the right words. And I especially can’t find the words for “Start.” The final episode of The Americans needs to be seen by every single TV enthusiast in the world. I can understand that the genre may not be everyone’s cup of tea, in all honesty, at times, it was even too heavy for me, but I’m grateful to know that I’ve seen the best thing on TV. (This sentence was not meant to rhyme, but we’re sticking to it.) “Start” was the perfect conclusion. It wrapped the series up in the most finely crafted bow I’ve ever seen, tying loose ends so wondrously not many before it have mastered. It gave its audience some of the most haunting images to hold onto and I’m sure, without even trying, rendering many of us utterly speechless. Maybe eight years from now when I’m less distraught over “They’ll remember us. They’re not kids anymore.” I’ll be able to talk about just how encompassing “Start” was, but today’s not that day. Or maybe when I’ve finally gotten Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell’s meticulously somber expressions and the stoic, yet crumbling physicality out of my mind, I’ll be able to talk about it more. But for now, let this just serve as my plea to get you all to watch The Americans because it’s truly unmatched. There are no words that could rightfully encapsulate the magnitude of this finale’s greatness.

Continue reading

2018 Best of the Year Reviews: 10 Characters

For the past few years, this category’s been the most difficult — trying to pick through my favorites without too much repetition from past years and the desire to give other characters the opportunity to be on here as well. But my inability to choose could’ve been due to the fact that there just weren’t that many options in the first place. And this year’s special — in both the TV verse and cinematic. And these ten characters are ones I’m certain I could not love more even if I tried. Some old with exceptional growth and some new pushing me into a state of gratitude for just how great TV’s been this year.

For more end of the year reviews, check out our Top 10 Performers, 10 Relationships and 10 Episodes.

 

The Ladies

  1. Lucy Preston
    Timeless
Timeless - Season 2

Source: NBC

I don’t think there’s ever been a character as adored as quickly as Timeless’ Lucy Preston. And season two pulled the darling historian through the darkest of revelations only to have her come out of it even more generous than before. Lucy’s heart is inexpressible –there hasn’t been a character like her in a while, and it’s been a stunning ride watching her continuously open her heart despite the fact that the one person she trusted most in her life turned out to be the villain in her story. Whether it was fighting alongside the women who were to be executed during the Salem Witch Trials, standing with Suffragette Alice Paul, or welcoming Jessica to the team despite her feelings for Wyatt — Lucy’s benevolence is selflessness in its most evident form. She is nobility personified, for even when she could be choosing for herself, fighting for her own future, the other person’s effect is always taken into deep consideration, too. But the thing I appreciate most about Lucy is that even with all the compassion running in her veins, she’s not one to allow anyone to take advantage of her — she understands that goodness and naiveté aren’t the same thing. She’s fought back when she needs to. She’s cried when she’s been in pain. She’s doubted. She’s believed. She’s gotten excited. She’s shown viewers a wide range of emotions authenticating the fact that women are beautifully complex. She’s many things, but above all, she’s a woman who’s walked through fire and instead of letting it burn her, she’s used it to fuel the good fight instead. She’s walked out with the flames as phoenix feathers — stronger, wiser, and even more compassionate than before.

Continue reading

Holiday Favorites

2018 Holiday Favorites

To kickstart year-end reviews, we’ve got a brand new episode of Marvelous Geeks! On this week’s episode, I cover some Trader Joe’s favorites, Disney, beauty, skin care, and some miscellaneous goodies, too. I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all the support towards the podcast this year — it’s been so much fun, and I can’t wait for more next year. As promised, here’s a list of everything I could find online that was mentioned in the podcast. Be sure to come back next week for TV/film Best of the Year reviews. 

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Relationships

The story of Adam and Eve is probably one of my least favorites in the Bible; however, the factual idea behind it is something I could never let go of. It’s this idea that human beings aren’t designed to be alone. We aren’t meant to live alone — we are meant to interact, we are meant to grow, learn, laugh, cry, and love with other human beings who may either be just like us, or our complete opposites. And that’s why writing about relationships will always be my favorite topic as a writer — there’s something so marvelous and raw about the connections we have with other people — whether they’re platonic or romantic, they matter, and they shape us in ways we can never truly describe.

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. (There are a lot of things I appreciate about Stranger Things, but it’s the relationships, the pure, indescribable bonds that have profoundly resonated with me to core and have made me cry the happiest tears too many times. They’re now number one for me, of all time. Yes, of all time.)

As always, my beautiful, remarkably wise friends Katie (Nerdy Girl Notes) and Heather (TV Examined) have a number of phenomenal choices for their Best of 2017 reviews. Be sure to head on over there stat.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

2017 Year-End Reviews: 10 Performers

A character is only as good as the actor/actress who breathes life into them. The actor or actress who puts their blood, sweat, and tears into ensuring that we’re able to understand the deeper nuances, which make the character special. And these 10 performers weren’t difficult to single out this year as they made each of their characters unbelievably relatable, complex, and beautifully evocative.

(A special PSA, you will not see any performers, specifically Elizabeth Moss from The Handmaid’s Tale on this list because while I thought she was unbelievable, and definitely one of the strongest of the year, I couldn’t finish the show to properly write for it. And it’s because of the groundbreaking performances on that show that makes The Handmaid’s Tale too difficult for me personally to stomach. It makes it too real.) But do not fret, Heather over at TV Examined had a lot of amazing things to say.

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. Essentially, they deserved their own special tribute.

Continue reading

2017 Series of the Year | Stranger Things

ST BBS

Sometimes, a show is so good, you need to give it its own category because it’s  impossible and unfair to choose from the masterpiece that’s been presented to us. Stranger Things season two took the series to new heights with the most impeccable, unbeatable character development I’ve seen in recent years. It’s brought friendships to life in an organic, pure display of what it’s truly like to be love people beyond our wildest imaginations. It’s brought to life destruction and evil with the harrowing reminder that it isn’t easy to defeat, but through love and persistence, it will be. And dare I say, Stranger Things is the best thing I’ve seen on TV (or computer screen). In my personal book, it’s the Star Wars of television – legendary. It’s now raining on my face so I’ll try my absolute hardest to talk about this ridiculous, exquisite little show without drowning in the puddle my tears form.

Continue reading

2016 Year-End Reviews: 16 Little Gems

There are always scenes I’ll find myself replaying — scenes that either broke me or have somehow fixed me. Scenes that may not be thematic masterpieces but rather little moments that set everything in motion. In this final installment of our 2016 Year-End reviews, you’ll find the scenes that have left the biggest impact on me this year. The scenes that I’ve found myself wanting to talk about over and over and over again. The scenes that I considered the loveliest little gems.

And before we part ways until the new year, be sure to check out the incredible choices Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined have been writing about.

Continue reading

2016 Year-End Reviews: 16 Characters

There’s no feeling quite as indescribable as finding a fictional character to care deeply for. A character who we perhaps see ourselves in or a character who’s just so well written, it’s difficult to turn the other cheek. There are a number of fantastic TV characters — whether heroes or villains or somewhere in between, they’re so well written, they become a part of us. They become someone we cherish, someone we want the best for. They become someone we’re constantly in awe of. And 2016 has truly been one of the best years in the world of television. It’s been a strong, undeniably powerful year for complex, incredible characters.

And whatever you do, in order to get the best of Year-End reviews, you need to check out the beautiful work Nerdy Girl Notes and TV Examined are doing as well.

Continue reading