2017 was a rough year for media and those who love fiction. Almost every major franchise underwent major polarizing events, from Harry Potter to Marvel to Star Wars and Star Trek, and that’s not to mention the changes to the landscape. The only thing I can say is that I hope it allows new creative voices to shine with less of the weight of what comes before them.
There was a lot to like this year though. I personally enjoyed Justice League and Wonder Woman and The Last Jedi and the new Thor movie. Coco was true to form for PIXAR, the new DuckTales is a phenomenal blend of Gravity Falls and the Donald Duck comics, and Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Stranger Things were incredibly bingable. Doing this blog is still fun (though apologies for another unintended hiatus!) and is definitely something I want to continue, though I might switch around the schedule and the way I plan out posts. We went to some stranger places, some academic places, and some downright obscure places, but I talked about the things I loved, and maybe some things that you love as well.
Here is a few of them.
I talked a lot more Disney this year, in part because my interest in the movies was rekindled and my interest in the fandom as well. Depending on where you go, it’s a nice place. On top of my Disney posts from last year (Beyond the Brand: Disney Princesses and Cultural Diffusion is still this blogs most popular post), here are a few of my posts about Disney properties.
As someone who is a big fan of Shakespeare and Shakespearean academics, I was already familiar with Machiavellian analysis of literature, but the through of applying it Disney films didn’t occur to me until I was thinking about Disney’s Robin Hood (in preparation for a potential post on various depictions of Robin Hood that may yet still happen) and how it’s the only Disney film to share a character with a Shakespeare play– that being King John of England. Of course, the post doesn’t stop there– there’s a fair bit about The Lion King as well, and brief character analyses of modern Disney heroes and how they fit with Shakespeare’s protagonist Machiavel archetype.
This is still intended to be an ongoing series, but the next era of Disney films is the Wartime era and will require more time to compile the list. (Translation: I know all the Golden Age films very well, but haven’t seen most of the Wartime Era’s films and need to actually sit down and watch them.) That being said, the process of going through the Disney Animated Canon is very interesting and leads to a lot of interesting discoveries, not just in the music, and was part of what lead to me thinking more about Disney this year.
I was not a Theater kid in high school, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a well-made stage show. I’ll probably write more about theater in the future (there’s a Shakespeare post that I’ve been sitting on that I haven’t quite gotten a thesis for yet…), but here’s what I did this year.
This post for Halloween was really fun to write, especially far a genre that doesn’t always get the spotlight, as it were, in theater. But it also showed me some of my weak spots in terms of the medium as well. There’s a lot of great theater out there aside from Musicals and Shakespeare– but that’s often where a lot of people start as well. I might go into some of the theater of the absurd in future posts (mostly because I really want to read Camus again now that I understand him better), but for now, I can try to represent what I know as best I can.
I have to say, it was really nice to watch the original Newsies again. A kind of a distilled shot of some very odd nostalgia. That being said, with adaptations becoming more and more prevalent, it’s interesting to watch one that does almost everything that people typically don’t like in adaptation and using it to be better than the original. But it’s an interesting case of the whole not always adding up to the sum of its parts– for the film, the whole is probably less than its parts, and for the show, the whole is definitely greater than the sum. Both are still worth watching, if only as an interesting bit of Disney apocrypha, but there are more movies that went to Broadway that are worth taking a look at. Even ones that aren’t Disney…
There isn’t really formal name for all of the creative endeavors that are put out on the web. But still, there’s something that binds these weird bits of imagination that are made available to the world at large through this strange series of tubes.
This post is either going to be incredibly apt or immensely outdated very soon, as FX is going to be doing a TV show based off of Welcome to Night Vale with creators Joseph Fink and Jeremy Cranor as Executive producers. I maintain that part of the reason that Night Vale is such a success is due to it being created for a non-visual medium. I want the TV show to do well, because I want people to branch out and listen to this amazing podcast that I’ve grown to love, but I’m worried that the concept and atmosphere won’t translate to a different medium.
As I said in the article, the internet can introduce you to some strange and wonderful things. I actually meant for the post to be a more direct comparison of No Evil to NBC’s Grimm and ABC’s Once Upon a Time, but I realized that even though I had watched several seasons of both of those shows, I could barely remember what happened in them. Just go watch No Evil, it’s really good.
And the top posts of 2017 were as follows:
A more experimental post, attempting to imitate Lemony Snicket’s distinct writing style. I felt like I did an okay job at it.
Despite everything, I still love the Harry Potter books, and I’d say they’d be worth taking a step up from popular culture to literature if I thought that it was any shame for it to be pop culture.
A continuation of a post from last year about the man himself, I found it interesting to consider what a John Williams moment would look like when done by someone who isn’t John WIlliams.
This was actually a pretty good year for female leads, between Wonder Woman and The Last Jedi. I talked about Rey in my post on women of prophesy, and it was interesting to see how she developed in the new film as a protagonist.
More Disney, Star Wars, and Harry Potter of course. Some more posts about writing and the creative process (like What is Character Agency? and What is Worldbuilding?). Maybe some about older shows and films I’ve been watching and thinking about.
And hopefully fewer hiatuses. ;)
What posts did you like this year? Anything you’d like me to look at in the future? Let me know in the comments! Also like if you can, and subscribe so you can fulfill your 2018 resolution to read more by reading my blog! Happy New Year!