The Best Things of 2012

As it is end of the year list time, I struggled with how to make my contribution to the internet. I’m of the thought that a “Top Ten” list is only as valuable as the reader’s opinion of the publication or writer. This puts me at the bottom of the barrel. On the final 2012 episode of the podcast, “The Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show,” Rubin spent a couple of minutes asking former guests, “What was the best thing of 2012?” I’ve taken that approach and come up with a handful of my favorite pieces of pop culture from the past year. These aren’t in any order, they stick out to me as being a big part of my 2012

Halo 4 – I lost my job about a month before Halo 4 came out and it’s given me an outlet for competition that I’m average to good at. It also brought me and one of my roommates closer together. We play almost every night during the week. Also, Halo Reach came out back when I got out of college and it’s nice to see that Halo has always been there for me when I’ve been without work.

“Parenthood”- I love this show. Everything on the surface about it says I shouldn’t and that makes me like it even more. The core reason why TV nerds love shows like “Mad Men,” “Game of Thrones,” and “Breaking Bad,” is because the creators love the show and the characters as much as we do and they want to make shows they’d enjoy. That’s why Parenthood works. Producer Jason Katims brings his dedication to consistent charters from “Friday Night Lights,” to a traditional network melodrama with great actors.

Season one of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead: The Game – The near opposite of Halo 4 or Black Ops 2. Telltale’s episodic adventure isn’t about the action or even the plot as the game’s choices would initially have you believe. The game is about how your choices affect the relationships with the other characters in your group of survivors. This is easily one of the most moving pieces or art this year.

The climactic battle of The Avengers – It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest fan of the Marvel movies. I’ve always been more of a DC fan – read: Batman, like most who share this sentiment. The majority parts of the movie are pretty standard superhero fare but I couldn’t deny the joy in seeing The Avengers fight aliens together in downtown Manhattan.

The Japandroids’ Celebration RockCelebration Rock circles the top of many end of year lists and with good reason. It hasn’t been a great year for rock music so it’s no surprise that the best rock music captures the best of the genre. The best of The Gaslight Anthem’s Handwritten also capitalizes on this as well but there are a couple of duds among that album’s 14 tracks. Celebration Rock’s eight track entry bats 1.000.

The hype around The Master – Typically, hype is the symbol of failure, nothing ever lives up to it. Whether or not P.T. Anderson’s latest lived up to expectations is up for debate however the excitement around its release is one of the best things to happen to film all year. People were excited about art. The line for the 70 mm presentation in Chicago (above) and others around the country shows that. I still regret missing out on that screening. I’m hoping for an awards re-release later in the year so I can be surrounded by others who are excited to find something new in my current favorite film of the year.

Spotify – I’m terrible at keeping up with new music. I don’t listen to the radio and I don’t go to many concerts. Spotify has allowed me to catch up with new music and discover artists like the aforementioned Japandroids, Walk the Moon and come to the conclusion that “New God Flow” might be the best hip-hop song of the past few years. Rumor has it that Spotify doesn’t pull as much money as a Facebook feed might lead us to believe but I hope it sticks around for a long time.

What were your favorite things of 2012? Leave your thoughts in the comments down below and have a happy holiday.

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