As always though, I remained opinionated, though didn't get to immerse myself in as much media as I would like. However, some ideas about the best and worst of 2014 below, let me know what you think...
Though I'm yet to see some possible contenders (Interstellar, Nightcrawler, The Hobbit, Paddington), 2014 was a solid year for film. In fact, I'm willing to put money on it that I've not seen my film of the year yet. However, two big contenders occupy two very different categories. Inside Llewyn Davis was charming, and what a soundtrack! But 22 Jump Street was just hilarious. Like side-splitting funny. For now it will stand as film of the year, but I reserve the right to retract that once I've caught up...
Everyone's probably shouting 'Guardians of the Galaxy!' and don't get me wrong, it's bloody awesome. But on second viewings, I really thought Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the better film. A Cold War thriller that hits all of the right beats and had a real impact on the Marvel Cinematic universe.
Actually not a great year for music. Or I missed something excellent. Union Sound Set's To the Wolves gets a massive shout-out, though not quite as good as their 2011 outing, and Taking Back Sunday were back on form with Happiness Is. However, for the first time in a very long time (maybe The Matrix managed this) album of the year is a soundtrack album! Soundtrack to the summer of 2014, it's got to be Guardians of the Galaxy.
Disappointment of the Year
The Amazing Spider-man 2 deserves a mention here, but Peter Capaldi as the Doctor was always a a concern. He threw himself into the role and won us over (even if he isn't, and never will be, Matt Smith). The season as a whole was looking excellent, was a nice over-arching plot and some brilliant stand-alone episodes. But the finale. Oh the finale. What a disappointing bundle of mediocre-ness (yes that's a word.)
Character of the Year
Robin Lord Taylor's depiction of Penguin in Gotham is one of the best things about the program. Danny Pink in Doctor Who deserves a mention, as well as Kevin Durand as Daryl, sorry, Vasiliy in The Strain.
But the character that won everyone's hearts this year, no, not a talking tree, but a ripped, green fighting machine in the form of Dave Batista's Drax the Destroyer. Nothing goes over his head. His reflexes are too quick. He would catch it.
Blimey there was a lot of TV worth mentioning. I'll probably forget something, but most definite honourable mentions to Gotham, The Walking Dead, The Flash, Arrow, Sherlock, Hannibal, American Horror Story, the list goes on. We were truly spoilt.
The Strain almost take it for me. An excellent adaptation of Guillermo Del Toro's novels, it's Walking Dead not quite taking itself as seriously, and it rather brilliant.
However, I've got to split this into two categories....
Best Comedy Televsion
Brooklyn Nine Nine was just brilliant. Consistently hilarious and a awesome and varied cast. Has set the bar for comedy from now on.
Fargo. Not enough people saw it. It was stylish, witty, and completely gripping. Martin Freeman was at his very best.
I love Kevin Smith's Smodcast network, but the best edited and most informative and entertaining podcast of the year has to be WNYC's Radiolab. Brilliantly put together, engaging hosts, and made with real care and attention, it's essential listening.