So looking back there are a LOT of things I adored in 2015, and surprisingly (or maybe not), not all of them were books! So I present to you my top ten non-bookish things I absolutely adored in 2015.
What Is It?: Podcast
Where Can I Listen: iTunes, or lorepodcast.com
One thing I wanted to do more of in 2015 was listen to podcasts; I like them when I’m at the gym or driving, and was hoping to find something to fill the Serial-shaped hole in my heart. I found Lore browsing iTunes, and it’s one of my new favorites–historical facts of urban legends and spooky creatures, tied in with the history behind each and told in Aaron Mahnke’s soothing voice. If you’re a fan of urban legends, The X-Files, or ghost stories, definitely check this out.
What Is It? Video Game
How Can I Play It? Through Steam, or the Humble Bundle Store.
Who knew an 8-bit RPG about humans and monsters could make me feel so many things? My girlfriend kept pressuring me to play this after she finished hers, and I finally bought it on Steam and played it in a whirlwind eight hours. It’s a beautiful throwback to classic games, though even if you didn’t play those (I didn’t,) it’s still a gorgeous story that changes every time you play it. Without spoiling too much, I do want to say play this if you have the chance, but be wary of the choices you make.
3.) The X-Files
What Is It? Sci-fi TV Show
Where Can I Watch It? US Netflix currently has all nine seasons streaming.
Okay I’m late to the party, but with the revival happening this year and the fact I was a baby when the show originally aired means there’s no time like the present for me to start watching The X-Files, the classic ’90s sci-fi show starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Varying between classic monster-of-the-week episodes and an overarching mythology about conspiracies and what exactly our government is hiding from us, The X-Files feels even more relevant today. But though the monsters and stories are great, it’s the relationship between Mulder and Scully that keeps me watching (that and Gillian Anderson’s gorgeous face), so if you have any interest in character-driven amazing sci-fi and you haven’t started this series yet, give it a go.
What Is It? Movie starring Saoirse Ronan as an Irish immigrant in the 1950s
Where Can I Watch It? Might have to wait until it comes out on DVD, though it’s playing in some theaters still.
A lot of movie critics have been raving over this movie and it’s easy to see why. Saoirse Ronan’s turn as an Irish immigrant in early America is beautiful and moving without being too heavy-handed, and the story is complex and beautifully paced, not to mention gorgeous on its own.
5.) The Shootist
What Is It? John Wayne’s final movie.
Where Can I Watch It? Buy the DVD from Amazon
My dad loves Westerns. I love Westerns because of my dad, and John Wayne’s last movie before he died of cancer—about an old gunslinger also dying of cancer—makes me cry every time I watch it. With Lauren Bacall and Ronnie Howard rounding out the supporting cast, it feels as much of a sendoff and tribute to Wayne as it does to his character J. B. Brooks.
6.) Alan Wake
What Is It? Video Game
How Can I Play It? XBox, PC
I honestly have no idea why my writer friends who play video games aren’t talking more about this (thank you, Courtney Summers for reintroducing me to this game). It’s a third-person horror-but-not-horror game where you play as thriller writer Alan Wake, whose wife has gone missing under mysterious circumstances, and a horror story you wrote is coming true and may be the cause of her disappearance. Armed with a flashlight and a gun, you go in search of your missing wife. The game is atmospheric, but other than that, it’s got one of the best stories in a shooter I’ve played in a long time.
7.) Fun Home
What Is It? Musical based off of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir.
Where Can I Listen? You can stream the OCR here. Best way to listen is to sit there for a full two hours and listen all the way through, preferably with a box of tissues.
I know the big show this year was Hamilton, but I had the privilege of seeing Fun Home on Broadway this year and Alison Bechdel’s graphic-memoir-turned-musical was the first time I saw myself as a queer woman onstage. The music is absolutely gorgeous, and the last half of the show—in the round, with no intermission—is an emotional roller coaster that absolutely isn’t to be missed.
8.) Mozart in the Jungle
What Is It? TV Show
Where Can I Watch It? Amazon Prime, or you can find it streaming.
Amazon Prime’s fun new show about the scandal behind the scenes in classical music is absolutely delightful (and season 2 just premiered, so if you need me I’ll be watching that). Based on Blair Tindall’s memoir (I’m sure we’re related somewhere since she’s also from NC) of the same name, it’s a fun, debauchery-filled romp backstage in the classical music world. If you like Smash or Flesh & Bone, it’s a better version of the former and a (much) lighter version of the latter.
9.) Life is Strange
What Is It? Video Game
How Can I Play It? PC, XBox, PlayStation
Square Enix’s story-based episodic game concluded this year, and reads like a beautiful, darkly paranormal YA novel. While I have a lot of feelings about the ending (and they aren’t always positive), Max’s journey of discovering she has the power to rewind time and change the course of her actions was a beautiful, powerful one that tested the choices we make and how they can affect everyone else.
10.) Jessica Jones
What Is It? Marvel TV Show
Where Can I Watch It? Netflix
I know everyone else is talking about Jessica Jones but HOLY SHIT y’all Jessica Jones. Everything I never knew I wanted from marvel in a glorious, twisted, female-centric TV show. In the male-dominated world of comic books this noir thriller stands out and Krysten Ritter is an absolute gem. While it’s not perfect, if this is the direction Marvel is heading, sign me up.
That about wraps it up! I’m so excited for new media to devour and love in 2016 (and, obviously, the revival of The X-Files). If there was a piece of non-bookish media you loved in 2015, OR if you have strong-but-non-spoilery feelings about Mulder and Scully, OR a weird urban legend to share, please share them with me!