As this very difficult year comes to a close, it's time to review the TV shows and movies that came out! Here are my thoughts on the ones that I viewed from 2017. There are a lot of them--I've gotten more involved in TV and movies since 2015, when I last did this kind of post. (Major spoilers are marked and hidden.)
*Long post ahoy*
Supergirl Season 2, Part 2 (TV-PG)
I've been a reluctant viewer of Supergirl ever since the show started. To me, it's always seemed clunky--I'm especially bothered by their excessive focus on Supergirl being a girl and by Kara's lack of journalistic skills. I also honestly don't like any of the characters, except for Lena Luthor. Martian Manhunter is one of my fave DC heroes, so I'm really saddened by my dislike for him in this show. Ultimately, this season of Supergirl, with all its focus on Mon-El, just didn't click with me. I ended up deciding not to continue watching Supergirl. A clear thumbs down for me. I didn't really enjoy any of the episodes.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, Part 2 (TV-14)
I dearly miss the original Legends team, most especially Leonard Snart, who is always and forever the best. During this season of Legends, I ended up hating Nate and desperately NoTPing him and Amaya, (spoilers, highlight to read) which did not turn out in my favor, unfortunately. However, the main plot wasn't too bad, and the characters from the original team were solid as ever. I was pretty ticked off about the mutilation of Snart's character in the last two episodes. All of this together adds up to a solid thumbs sideways. My favorite episode was "Raiders of the Lost Art."
Legends of Tomorrow Season 3, Part 1 (TV-14)
This season has held up pretty well so far, although we really could do with some more information about the main villain. I continue to hate Nate and feel very meh about Amaya and Zari, while adoring the original team members. Mick is my current fave, in Snart's absence. The episodes this season are vibrant, I'm glad that (spoilers, highlight to read) Nate and Amaya are no longer a thing, and Martin's death was a true heartbreaker. Hopefully, Jaxon won't be away for long, and hopefully Snart will return yet again--whether as his Earth X or Earth 1 version. So I'm giving this one a thumbs up. I really liked most of the episodes, but "Freakshow" and "Helen Hunt" were my favorites.
The Flash Season 3, Part 2 (TV-PG)
The Flash is the one DC show on air right now that I consistently adore. This season was no exception. Although there was a slight sense of wearing out with the concepts of the show, particularly Barry and Iris's relationship, on the whole it maintained its sense of excitement and heart. I really liked the conclusion, even though (spoiler, highlight to read) H.R., my favorite Wells iteration yet, died. It was a truly noble death! Thus, this season receives a thumbs up. My favorite episodes were "Into the Speed Force" and "The Once and Future Flash."
The Flash Season 4, Part 1 (TV-PG)
I felt that all was rejuvenated in this most recent season. Barry and Iris's wedding (despite the setbacks) was lovely, the characters were all on point, including the newest wannabe hero, and this season's villain presents an interesting new challenge. I do have some issues with The Thinker, primarily because I'm getting really sick of all the Flash's villains being disabled or disfigured. It's a problematic, ableist trope, and it especially bothers me with a villain whose motivation so far is... not really known? As far as I can tell, he and his wife became evil just because. And since this transition happened after he became disabled, there's really nothing to take the weight off of this idea of disabled = evil. The midseason finale was super strong, however, and I'm excited to see where they go from here. So it's a thumbs up. My favorite episodes were "Girls Night Out" and "Don't Run."
Supernatural Season 12, Part 2 (TV-14)
This was definitely a meh season. I almost quit watching Supernatural at the end of it. I just really didn't care for the whole British Men of Letters plot, and everything about the show seemed worn down and unoriginal, which has been a bit of a problem ever since season 5 (the best of the Supernatural seasons, in my opinion). Also, (spoilers, highlight to read) they killed off the witch twins and Eileen, both of whom I quite liked, and their deaths not only seemed unnecessary to me, but also premature. The writers could have done so much more with those characters! So ultimately, this season was a thumbs down, with no favorite episodes.
Supernatural Season 13, Part 1 (TV-14)
Like I said, I almost stopped watching, but they managed to reel me back in with one thing and one thing alone: Jack. Jack is the most preciousest, and I love him basically as much as I love Castiel, and I want both of them to be on the show fighting monsters and being adorable all the time. Also, the show moving into the multiverse promises something a little more original and interesting, which Supernatural desperately needs. As such, it has managed to win a thumbs up, although they really better keep it up, man. My favorite episodes were "Lost and Found" and "Advanced Thanatology."
Sherlock Series 4 (TV-14)
The always far too short Sherlock returned at the beginning of the year with three more episodes. This season was an interesting one, definitely not as young and lighthearted as in the past. However, it had a lot of great plot points. I'm not happy about what they did with Mary and Molly, but I really liked how they wrote Mrs. Hudson, and I very much enjoyed the overarching Eurus plot. Mycroft got a chance to shine, too, which was great. I'm disappointed (spoiler, highlight to read) that Moriarty is actually and officially gone, but I guess we saw that coming after last year's special. On the whole, not my favorite Sherlock season, but it still gets a thumbs up.
Doctor Who Series 10 (TV-PG)
Like Sherlock this year, this was not my favorite Doctor Who season. I like Twelve, but not as much as the other Doctors, and nothing else about this season really stood out for me. However, I did really like Bill as a companion, and I'm sad we only got the one season with her. I loved the way she managed to see through the facade of the Doctor and ask all the right questions--like why the TARDIS is named in English. A thumbs up for Bill and general Doctor Who-ness. My favorite episodes were "The Eaters of Light" and "World Enough and Time."
Stranger Things Season 2 (TV-14)
There's a lot of hype around this Netflix show, and I believe that this season lived up to that. All the characters were as awesome as ever, especially the ladies. El continues to be my fave. Even though she had a dark phase there (who doesn't, during middle school?), she rocked it. I love the line where Kali tells her that "[The others] can't save you," and El says, "No. But I can save them." The romance between El and Mike reminded me of my (non-)love story in eighth grade, which gave me lots of feels. I also really feel for Will, who, as usual, is at the center of all the horrific happenings in Hawkins. The plot itself was solid, with a bunch of new pairings exploring different dimensions of the story, as they did in the first season. The one thing that bothered me was the cat death, which I always struggle with in stories. But the rest of the show made up for that. Definitely a thumbs up. "Trick or Treat, Freak" and "The Gate" were my favorite episodes, although this is a show where you really have to watch all the episodes in order to get the story.
The Space Between Us (PG-13)
This isn't a great movie, and it was a little cheesy even for me, but there were a lot of interesting points and good characters. I really liked the main character, Gardner, who had that endearing quality of not-knowing-things-about-the-world that I love in so many other characters (i.e. Vision, Castiel, and others). The movie's focus on Gardner's health problems on Earth after growing up on Mars made me think that perhaps I would do better on Mars, LOL, and his line about gravity being heavy is one that I quote often now. So this movie is a thumbs sideways.
The Lego Batman Movie (PG)
I liked this movie quite a lot. It's a very energetic, child-friendly Batman parody that is sometimes a bit too over the top, but really made me laugh. Making fun of Batman's admittedly relatable antisocial tendencies is one of my favorite things. (I will never stop laughing about his "DARKNESS NO PARENTS" song in the original Lego Movie.) Robin, as his total opposite, was equally fantastic, and I liked the sweet ending. Thumbs up for this one.
Before I Fall (PG-13)
This movie is an adaptation of a YA book that I was pretty meh about, at least when I first read it. I liked this movie, though, and I cried a lot watching it. It's not super engaging, in my opinion, but it's definitely worth a watch, if you can handle a lot of crude language. Thumbs up.
Beauty and the Beast (PG)
This live action rendition of Beauty and the Beast is good, but it doesn't really add anything, I think, to the original. So it's a thumbs sideways. I love the original Beauty and the Beast, and you might as well just go see that one, honestly.
This is a really lovely movie. It's pretty simple, but it has a lot of heart, and I love the two lead actors and their characters both. I really hope we see McKenna Grace in more stuff, because she seems like a girl after my own heart. Also, there's a one-eyed cat who does not die, which is a bit of a spoiler but also a very important fact, in my opinion. Yay for cats not dying! Thumbs up.
Wonder Woman (PG-13)
Wonder Woman is definitely a standout film of the year, and probably the best that DC will ever manage to do. It's also being heralded as a major feminist success, because it features many women in the production and on screen and because it has the rare quality of portraying a strong, well-rounded female character without paying any attention to the male gaze. So yay for that! Like many women, I cried at the No Man's Land scene. Now, Diana isn't necessarily my type of character, but she's so well-written with so many great qualities that I can't help but love her anyway. I liked the story a lot, too, with the Greek gods and Diana navigating 1910s Europe. There were some cheesy bits, and I'm really confused about where Diana was during WWII, but otherwise, this was great! It also features a good score, which is a major bonus for me. Thumbs up!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13)
As y'all know, I am a huge Avengers fan, and it would take some pretty bad badness to get me to dislike one of the films (although I am pretty meh about The Incredible Hulk, cuz it's clumsy and doesn't seem to have any actual bearing on the MCU). Still, I think this is objectively a pretty decent movie. Even though I'm a romantic sap, I liked seeing a Spiderman film where Peter was focused more on Avengers-ing than on girls. I also appreciate that the actor is actually young enough to be believed as a high school student. Spider-Man: Homecoming has all the usual Marvel funniness, as well as action scenes, and I really like both Ned and Michelle. I also think they did a great job with the villain on this one. The only thing that bothered me is how chill Tony Stark seems, even after the events of Civil War. I definitely expected a little more... I guess, sadness and seriousness from him. But all things considered, how could I give this anything but a thumbs up?
Thor: Ragnarok (PG-13)
This is one of the highest rated Marvel movies yet, and although I can't say it's my favorite, it is objectively the best. Watiti does such a great job with everything--the characters, the stakes, the humor--and even though he seems pretty dismissive of the franchise in interviews, he sets things up for the next film pretty well. I'm quite fond of Thor, personally, and I was glad to see Chris Hemsworth getting a chance to explore the humorous side of his character. (spoiler, highlight to read) (Thor's poor eye, though!) Also, Heimdall is forever and always legit. I'm glad that, despite the comedic nature of this film, it did touch on some deeper societal issues in terms of imperialism and refugees and such. And I will never ever get over the "Mblergh it's me!" story. Basically, this is a great movie. Thumbs up.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PG-13)
This is my new favorite Star Wars film. I loved this movie. It's fast-paced, cinematic, diverse, full of heart, and packed with strong women. It's also relevant to the times and hits all the right notes in terms of the current sociopolitical climate, which is something that Star Wars has always excelled at. While still maintaining the important parts of the Star Wars franchise, this movie goes in a new direction, with new concepts and powers both. Now, some of those powers stretch the limits of suspension of disbelief, but honestly, I would not be surprised if (spoilers, highlight to read) Carrie Fisher herself could have survived getting blown into outer space by somehow magicking herself back to safety. Like, Carrie and Leia both are the bomb, and no one can tell me otherwise. (RIP, love you forever, Carrie.) I really liked all the characters, most especially Finn, who is now my second favorite Star Wars character after Padme Amidala (who will always and forever be my fave, don't argue with me). Also, PORGS! Honestly, for me, even though I can name a few potential flaws, this movie was perfect. Double thumbs up!
So those are my thoughts on this year's TV and movies! Tell me what you think, unless it's about how you hated The Last Jedi, cuz I ain't ready for that yet. Have a merry Christmas, and come back next Tuesday for the best YA novels of 2017!
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