2014 was just okay.
I'm totally kidding, of course. It was a solid year stacked with great TV shows to binge watch, a slew of great movies; a fair amount of good, bad, and amusing moments in pop culture; and a lot of new tunes to listen to.
As I put 2014 behind me and look forward to a new year, I reflected back to pick out a few of the best moments, and a couple of the worst moments to share.
Best TV moments: Literally take any moment from the fourth season of "Louie." Anything. To be more specific, however, the astounding six-minute long tracking shot in the episode "Who Goes There" in HBO's "True Detective" shows what television is capable of when in the hands of superb talent. The scene was particularly intense, giving one like me no reason at all to peel my eyes away from the screen.
Other great TV moments include the reveal of Morello's backstory in the second season of Netflix's "Orange is the New Black." The scene revealed her character to be much more dimensional than she initially appeared, going from someone who was seemingly a harmless romantic to being a psychotic stalker. Nonetheless, this reveal proved to be heartbreaking. Finally, the fifth season premiere of AMC's "The Walking Dead" was exhilarating, especially when Carol (Melissa McBride) splashes zombie guts on herself and saves the gang from being slaughtered like cattle inside of the sinister Terminus.
Best pop culture moments: Here we go. There are way too many to list and that's a good and bad thing. Good thing because at least these moments made 2014 a bit more interesting, but bad because I could go on and on about a lot of these, so I'll just stick with a few.
First, going back to the Oscars earlier this year, a funny – and a wee bit awkward – moment is Ellen's selfie with a small selection of familiar faces like Bradley Cooper (who's practically hogging the picture), Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, a stoned Kevin Spacey, Brangelina, and Steve Urkel – err, I mean Lupita Nyong'o's brother – just to name a few. It was a nice moment and the photo itself temporarily broke Twitter. So that's something.
I feel compelled to reveal one of the best pop culture moments of the year: the unexpected, bizarre and hilarious "Too Many Cooks," which originally aired at 4 a.m. on Adult Swim and has since became a viral video that has captured attention because its strangeness. You simply have to watch it to believe it.
Worst pop culture moments: Sorry, Kim Kardashian, but even your greased up, freakishly large backside could not, and should not, break the Internet. In fact, I think the less attention we could give her and the rest of the Kardashian clan, the better we'll be as human beings. This very moment is the last that you'll hopefully see me write about anyone with the last name of Kardashian. Unless they really make me angry and I feel compelled to write something incredibly mean.
Oh, and while I'm writing about people who shouldn't be as famous as they are, what's with this Alex from Target? When I saw countless articles about him and his appearance on Ellen, this is the moment when it truly sunk in that anyone can be famous for any ridiculously asinine reason. If you don't know who I'm referring to, Alex is some teenage Target employee who some girl thought was attractive. She took his photo, posted it on Twitter with the hashtag "AlexFromTarget" and the rest is (hopefully) short-lived history ... until he inevitably gets his own reality show.
I could really go on and write about more worst pop culture moments such as Gamergate, which revealed to the mass public what I've known for a long time: a lot of gamers are vile, misogynistic, unsharpened tools who would rather post disgusting comments towards prominent women in the gaming industry. To keep the conversation going, reach out to me on Twitter and let's chat.
Best concert: Back in October, I finally got the chance to see Pearl Jam in concert when they stopped at the BMO Harris Bradley Center as part of their fall tour. It wasn't only the best concert of the year, but it was one of the best ever. Growing up, my parents – who are huge fans as this can be proven by their CD collection, my father's grungy band T-shirt and my mother's Pearl Jam tattoo – used to put in the band's CD's in the car for my sister and I's enjoyment. In fact, I jammed out to Pearl Jam's albums "Ten" and "Vs." while most kids my age at the time were listening to ... well, whatever kids listen to.
While my parents have attended Pearl Jam concerts before, for whatever reason, my sister and I have never been to one before October. So my mom took my sister and I to see them and it was such an amazing experience. I've heard for many years how incredible they are in concert, but I would always nod and just take their word. Now I can rightfully say that were not lying. Not in the very least. The concert was stacked with powerful lyricism, instrumentation, and stirring energy.
Best albums: Since their release, I've been listening to "So Long, See You Tomorrow" by English indie rock band Bombay Bicycle Club and "Atlas" by Real Estate non-stop. Whether I'm on my way to class, writing, or staying up late studying and working on an endless amount of homework, I always retread back to these two albums by two fantastic bands. "So Long, See You Tomorrow" is Bombay Bicycle Club's fourth and features songs such as the superbly catchy "Carry Me," "Luna," "Feel," "Come To," to the still-catchy, but slower paced "Home By Now."
Earlier this year, I discovered the band Real Estate for the first time and I've been replaying the band's albums over and over and over, but yet I'm far from sick of them. Luckily for me, I discovered them right around the time when the band's third and latest album, "Atlas," was released this past March. The album, with songs like "Crime," "Talking Backwards," and "Had To Hear," gives a sense that the band isn't necessarily progressing in its sound, but rather it gives a sense that this is their first album that slowly creeps up on you with its sadness and subtlety.
Best movie moments: I'm still sweating after the last 20 minutes of "Whiplash." From the music to the precise editing to the overall intensity of the scene, it's a remarkable conclusion to a remarkable film. Besides that, I'd say the opening credits of Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is a wonderful scene accompanied with Redbone's "Come Get Your Love" that perfectly sets up the tone of the film, which itself is an absolute blast.
Worst movie moment: Pick and choose any scene from "Transformers: Age of Extinction."
Colton Dunham's passion for movies began back as far as he can remember. Before he reached double digits in age, he stayed up on Saturday nights and watched numerous classic horror movies with his grandfather. Eventually, he branched out to other genres and the passion grew to what it is today.
Only this time, he's writing about his response to each movie he sees, whether it's a review for a website, or a short, 140-character review on Twitter. When he's not inside of a movie theater, at home binge watching a television show, or bragging that he's a published author, he's pursuing to keep movies a huge part of his life, whether it's as a journalist/critic or, ahem, a screenwriter.