This post contains affiliate links, because I like money, but I s2g I wrote this post before adding the affiliate links and the monetization does not affect my opinions.
It’s been eons since I last made a blog post, and I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of recapping everything that’s happened since June, so instead, I will resurrect the spirit of 2016 me and list some things I liked in 2019. Here they are.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which, yeah, came out in late 2018, but I’m including it here because I didn’t watch it until this year. It was truly a delight for my eyeballs, and Miles Morales and his leap of faith got me right in the heart.
A Monster in Paris, a v. charming animated movie from 2011 that my partner and I randomly selected on Netflix one day. It was unexpectedly really, really funny, and I recommend it if you’re in the mood for something fun and a lil funky.
Murder on the Orient Express, the 1974 version with Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery, and Anthony Perkins. I tend not to watch a lot of movies made before the 90s, but the deliberate overacting and dry deliveries in this had me literally lol’ing.
Little Women, the Greta Gerwig version. It is visually gorgeous (whomst among us did not leave this film desperate for Jo’s entire wardrobe!!!), and the storytelling is so tender, with so much loving attention paid to the March sisters. Of Greta Gerwig’s films, I’ve only seen this and Ladybird, but the way she depicts her characters’ humanity, their imperfections and hopes and fears and their basic desires to be good people and feel loved – it all makes me so soft. I also really, really love that Little Women in particular is so effective at treating the ~little domesticities~ of being a woman with gravity.
Nailed It!, which is a very soothing combination of cringe-y scripted schticks, wholesome encouragement, and hysterically disastrous baking.
Travel the World on EXO’s Ladder, both seasons of which are sososo calming to watch, or as the EXOs would put it, Healing™. Basically, EXO goes on vacations and has to play games and complete missions to “earn” their food and spending money so they can buy souvenirs. It’s honestly kind of a joy to watch them all just… be together, messing around and amusing themselves and not being mobbed by fans.
100 Days My Prince, a Korean historical romcom series. I love it SO MUCH, and not just because EXO’s D.O. is in it. I guess I’m just a sucker for the fun combination of a fake marriage (and amnesia!) plotline + political intrigue.
Busted!, a Korean variety show that includes Sehun from EXO. (And Sejeong from gu9udan, whom I would like to be, and Park Minyoung, whom I would like to marry.) Basically, there’s an overarching plot involving implanted microchips and detectives and solving mysteries/crimes, and the cast members have to complete a series of absurd escape rooms, alternate reality games, and nonsense tasks to get the information they need. It’s so dumb, and I love it so much.
Know My Name by Chanel Miller. She’s a remarkable writer, but you probably already knew that if you read her victim impact statement on Buzzfeed back in 2016. Reading this book was so, so incredibly painful, but it felt like something I needed to do – to witness her.
Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. I’ve seen some reviewers call this book too idealistic or unrealistic, but, like, the premise is that the POTUS’ son and the Queen’s son fall in love and cause an international scandal, so, like, I don’t know what else you’d be expecting. This book is QUEER and SAD and FUNNY and I LOVED IT. Also, speaking as someone who was once pretty sure I was straight, Alex’s internal monologue when he goes running is TOO real, and, speaking as someone who lost a parent too young, the pie crust analogy about “when your brain isn’t even done fully cooking” broke me, in a very sad and very true way.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. This is a YA graphic novel with SUCH A BIG HEART. Basically, the prince secretly likes to wear dresses. I cried!
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. This was on my to-read list for ages. It’s a story about the apocalypse, but rather than glamorizing the destruction and violence that an apocalyptic event would doubtless bring about, it takes a look at the best parts of human nature and our tendency toward cooperation, ingenuity, and hope. It gets a little philosophical about humanity at times, but it seems only fitting for a story about surviving the apocalypse. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.