Ed Gutman Has Thoughts
January 2, 2016 — By Ed

Media Favs From 2015

The things I consumed and absolutely loved in 2015.

Music

  1. Taylor Swift’s 1989: Deluxe Edition. While this came out in 2014, 1989 had 2015 all over it or, more accurately, 2015 had 1989 all over it. Target Deluxe Edition FTW, which includes the generational anthem “New Romantics.” Favorite track: New Romantics
  2. Alison Wonderland’s RunRun was the one album that made me leap off my feet every time I heard it, and I mean every time, even while sitting in a car. Favorite track: Run
  3. Big Grams’ Big Grams. What seems like a eye-brow raising mashup turns out to be a killer dance album that grows on you with each re-play. Favorite track: Drum Machine
  4. Noveller’s Fantastic Planet. Every Noveller album feels like some kind of electric daydream, and her latest one doesn’t disappoint. Favorite track: Concrete Dreams
  5. Ta-ku’s Songs To Make Up To. An appropros mellow follow up to Ta-ku’s last LP, Songs To Break Up ToFavorite track: Love Again

Television

  1. Fargo (Season 2). Where one show disappointed in its sophomore effort, this one greatly exceeded expectations, and then some. Favorite episode: Rhinoceros
  2. Better Call Saul (Season 1). A remedy for your Breaking Bad withdrawal symptoms, without pandering to its predecessor’s story. Favorite episode: Pimento/Marco (tie)
  3. Mad Men (Season 7, Part 2). Kudos to Mad Men’s curtain call, and more than anything, kudos to Peggy’s gif-able BAMF stroll through the halls of McCann-Erickson. Favorite episode: Lost Horizon
  4. You’re the Worst (Season 2). Television-depicted depression never seemed so real, yet so funny at the same time. Favorite episode: LCD Soundsystem.
  5. Master of None (Season 1). Aziz turns his entire standup set into an incredibly thoughful television series about dating, family, and not-being-white in America. Favorite episode: Old People.

Movies

  1. The Martian. It didn’t have every technical minutiae of Andy Weir’s incredible, self-published novel, but it more than makes up for it with a be-all and end-all Matt Damon saving (again) adventure.
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road. Imperator Furiosa might be the coolest title ever, appropriately given to one of the best written characters of the year.
  3. Inside Out. Doesn’t it seem like every year Pixar releases two films? First, a varsity tear-jerker and second, the JV effort that no one remembers?
  4. Meru. You could watch Everest, a Hollywood over-dramatization loosely based on a true climbing story, or, you could watch this documentary featuring actual climbers, genuine perseverance, and gorgeous cinematography.
  5. Ex-Machina. That awkward/awesome Oscar Isaac disco dancing routine, tho.

Video Games

  1. Fallout 4. If there was ever a video game version of Hoarders: Buried Alive, this would be it. Finding digital junk in this game is simultaneously the worst and the best feeling.
  2. Her Story. The gameplay is ridiculously simple: text search for videos on a police computer terminal, but the nonlinear narrative that unravels is incredibly deep.
  3. Downwell. This cute, but insanely (I can’t emphasize this enough) difficult 8-bit style platformer is really all about finesse. It’s the only game I play on my iPhone these days.
  4. The Witcher 3. If CD Projekt Red made a Witcher game of just fulfilling monster contracts in an open world, I would probably be content with that. Oh wait, isn’t that Bloodborne?
  5. Undertale. A great counter to the violence of The Witcher 3, this Earthbound-inspired 16-bit style RPG encourages you to take the non-violent path in resolving encounters with its lovable monsters.

Literature

  1. Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman: Overture. Gaiman weaves together stories like no other. If you haven’t read the entirety of the series, check out the Omnibus editions, vol. I and vol. II to read a masterwork of modern American literature.
  2. Lisa Jakub’s You Look Like That Girl. The entertaining tales of a former child actor indulges the 13 year-old me that had the biggest crush on the teenage daughter from Mrs. Doubtfire.
  3. Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. The court of public opinion is on social media, and it doles out justice faster than you can tweet, but is that a good thing? Also read his related article in the NY Times.
  4. Emily St. Mandel’s Station Eleven. Yeah, this one is technically a 2014 book, but definitely the best science fiction novel I read in 2015.
  5. Brian K. Vaughn’s Saga vol. 5Not as strong as the four volumes before it, but still a fun read.

Articles

  1. I, Racist by John Metta
  2. The Passion of Nicki Minaj by Vanessa Grigoriadis
  3. Running on Empty by Meaghen Brown
  4. Games Have Huge Accessibility Problems (That We Celebrate) by Daniel Starkey
  5. The Impossible Physiology of the Free Diver by Adam Piore

Podcast Episodes

  1. The Living Room from Love + Radio
  2. Antibodies Part 1: CRISPR from Radiolab
  3. No. 116,842 from The Memory Palace
  4. Mystery House from 99% Invisible
  5. Entanglement from Invisiblia

Youtube Clips

  1. Cascadia featuring Danny MacAskill by GoPro
  2. A New Level of Archery by Lars Andersen
  3. Kroger’s Canteen by Saloman Running
  4. Bryan Cranston Performs Drake’s “Hotline Bling” by W Magazine
  5. The Surface Changes by Kaki King