2015 picks: Matt Mueller
It's time to say goodbye to 2015 and ring in the new year. But before we do, here are the best and worst of what 2015 had to offer, according to OnMilwaukee pop culture editor Matt Mueller.
Best sports moment: Between the Game 6 where everything went wrong and the beginning of the 2015-16 season, there hasn't been a ton of great stuff to say about the Milwaukee Bucks on the court. Off the court, sure; they officially are staying here after the arena passed, and their renovated new logos and uniforms are total winners, easily a top look in the league. But the actual basketball has been kind of rough, as the Bucks currently have the season they were supposed to have last year: promising but young and inconsistent.
But just before then, we do have Jerryd Bayless' game-winner in Game 4 at a raucous BMO Harris Bradley Center. What an incredibly joyful – not to mention incredibly tense – moment. They didn't win the series – and, heck, it's just one first-round playoff victory – but man, it felt like the world, the perfect capper for a pleasant surprise of a season.
Second place goes to the MLB playoffs this year, which not only supplied a constant supply of fun exciting games with fun exciting teams and instant highlights – Jose Bautista's bat flip, for one – but also gave me the beautiful sight of an early St. Louis Cardinals playoff exit.
Worst sports moment: The entire 2015 Milwaukee Brewers season seemed like a given for this spot, but I think the winner has to be the Packers-Bears game on Thanksgiving. On such a momentous night – and against their most bitter rival – I thought there was no way Green Bay wouldn't end the night with a W. But when the clock struck zero, that W ended up standing for "WRONG." The Packers have to be the worst 10-5 team in NFL history; I just need to get the stats to prove it.
Best (on-screen) movie moment: There's really no such thing as a bad year for movies (good ones are always out there; you just need to look sometimes), and 2015 was no different, supplying some tremendous moments. The border crossing from "Sicario." The three shots of Charlize Theron's Furiosa screaming into the sand dunes in "Mad Max: Fury Road." Vision picking up Thor's hammer in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." All of the times I absolutely sobbed in "Inside Out."
I think the moment that really hit the deepest though was watching "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" right as the classic opening fanfare hit, the text crawl started going and I realized, "Holy crap! This is an actual new Star Wars!" Say what you will about the rest of the movie, that feeling of nostalgic recognition mixed the hope of the new was something few other films could even dream of inspiring.
Best (off-screen) movie moment: I'm going to Sundance! For the first time, I'll be heading out to Park City to check out one of the country's most famous film festivals, and I can't wait. But I guess since that probably is more a moment for 2016, I'll pick the various GIFs and videos of "Star Wars" stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac – whether they're visiting screenings of "The Force Awakens," just being charming as hell on talk shows or turning doll heads to pay closer attention to their fellow stars. Give me another movie with those three in it, please. And then another one. And probably 75 more.
Here's a gif of Lupita talking and Oscar making sure his figurine is paying attention too pic.twitter.com/ABxdavA9Gv— Allison Kilkenny (@allisonkilkenny) December 28, 2015
Best TV: I unfortunately don't get to watch as much television as I wish (there's just so much; how do all of you keep up with it all!?). I did, however, start "Hannibal" this year, which has got to be the most violent – and most beautiful – show to ever air on television. I haven't quite finished it yet, but it's crazy something that artistic – and that gory – ever made it to TV, much less network TV.
And now for something completely different from "Hannibal," "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" charmed the jeepers out of me, and I can't wait to see what season two will have to offer. We at least know one thing: elf suit!
Worst TV: Woof, "True Detective" season two. Just ... just woof. After all the raves and excitement of season one, take two was such a bomb. Between the mopiest pool hall singer in recorded history, Colin Farrell yelling at kids about pooping in shoes and episode two cliffhanger that basically decided, "Eh, never mind," attempt number two played like a self-serious parody of season one. After eagerly awaiting the premiere and trying to keep my hopes up through the next few episodes, I eventually had to bail on it. This is my least favorite life, indeed, depressed pool hall singer lady.
Best concert: While the obvious answer would be the magnum opus that was DJ P Hilty at Summerfest, I think I'm going to have to go with the Imagine Dragons BMO Harris Bradley Center show from back in June. I never would've thought I'd pick the alt rockers as my favorite concert of the year – truth be told, I'm not a huge fan – but there's something really satisfying about going to something expecting little and walking out being rather impressed. The Las Vegas-based rockers put on quite the show, and while I didn't walk out of the show a converted fan, I walked out totally getting why somebody would be.
Best music: New CHVRCHES album? New CHVRCHES album.
Best Milwaukee story: While the Milwaukee lion story is definitely the most baffling Milwaukee story of 2015, the best Milwaukee story has to be some combination of the passing of both the streetcar and the arena. I got very down on Milwaukee when it came to these developments; I was convinced that one, or probably both, would be shot down, leaving Milwaukee in the past because of shortsightedness and an inability to look at the world through any perspective other than one's own.
But I was proven wrong. Oh so wonderfully wrong. And here's to more of that pessimistic cynicism being proven wrong in 2016.
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