End of the Year lists serve as a reminder of what transpired over the course of the previous 365 days. They’re fun, for sure, but they also become this agonizing exercise because in actuality there were plenty great movies released, terrific albums heard, breathtaking sports moments witnessed, and it’s basically impossible to narrow them down to an exact science. Earlier this month I listed the five movies that stuck with me the most in 2017, but this list deals with everything else. I’m talking podcast episode, album, television show and roommate (yes, roommate).
Like any other year, 2017 had its fair share of ups and downs from a personal and professional level. Mistakes were made, and that’s just apart of this human experience. I try to learn from mistakes, of course, but I also try to celebrate the good things that happened from beginning to end. Going through the endless amount of entertainment that plead for attention grew tiresome after a while before turning somewhat depressing realizing how often it was I turned to a screen for entertainment. I promise I read several books this year (including GEEK LOVE), although none of which were released in 2017, besides Chuck Klosterman’s “X”.
In the coming days a special documentary (I’m calling it a documentary because it makes me sound sophisticated and culturally conscious) will be released. It’s thanks to an mobile application titled “One Second Everyday.” Throughout the year I took a second of each day, turning it into a glorified trailer (including one moment where my annoyed brother says, “What are you taking a picture for?”) It most likely will turn out awful. It does include plenty seconds of television and movie watching, the five or six books I decided to read and low lights from a 2-17 kickball and basketball seasons. And how could a video leave out some team Planet Fitness shots? Some days, maybe three or four times, I completely forgot to film or screenshot a moment, so I went through the archives, posting something from college, including intramural head coach Dan Adrat. But the majority of seconds happened in 2017, and I’m waiting for Jan. 1 to share the video with the 400 or so Facebook friends.
Album – “Melodrama” by Lorde
In mid June, I woke up on a Friday morning to this lovely album waiting to download on Spotify. At the time I was in the process of a running streak. Every day from Memorial Day through Fourth of July I ran at least one mile per day. It was something I heard on a running-based podcast, so I decided to complete the challenge. That particular day, the one where “Melodrama” finally dropped, was mine and Tupac’s birthday. Before doing anything else, I began the album while going for a run. Of course I wanted to get the run out of the way since my mom and sister were coming up to visit after work. As I began the album, which kicks off with Green Light, I knew the run would be longer than usual. How could I possibly stop running with such an in-tune soundtrack vibrating each stride? There wasn’t an album released in 2017, including the beloved Haim sisters’ sophomore sensation, I listened to more often than New Zealand’s finest. Although DAMN. and american dream were up there, too, this was my favorite. The album takes an emotional yet exciting ride through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows from relationships, to breakups and everything in between. It’s a stunning sophomore album from Lorde. She killed in 2017.
Television Show – Crashing
Comedy shows about comedians can literally crash and burn in true awfulness, but there’s something so honest about Pete Holmes and the first season of Crashing that makes you want more. Holmes plays himself, a Christian who married his college sweetheart turned teacher, only to walk in on her naked with an elementary school art teacher. Holmes, who compares his wife supporting his life as a wannabe comedian to somebody supporting a significant other through medical school, encounters Artie Lange, TJ Miller and Sarah Silverman throughout the season, performing odd jobs as well as exploring New York City (even making a quick pit stop in Albany). The series has plenty of serious moments, but the humor gets better with each episode.
This year had endless amount of perfect television. My friend, Taylor, ranked his list right here. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen some of his favorites from this year, but other ones I really enjoyed were American Vandal, Stranger Things 2, Mindhunter and Master of None (seriously, an absolute flawless second season).
Sports Game – Super Bowl
It’s hard to fathom something better than a 28-3 comeback win on the biggest stage. New England forced overtime behind a ridiculous catch from Julian Edelman and finesse running by James White. Tom Brady secured his fourth Super Bowl MVP, cementing his status as one of the greatest to ever do it. On a local level, my favorite sports game of 2017 was TJ McConnell hitting a game-winner against the Knicks in January. The win came out of a nowhere as the 76ers trailed by double-digits with under four minutes remaining. Joel Embiid then happened with a little dosage of the YMCA McConnell.
Sports Play – William’s game winner
Podcast Episode — Learn True Health with Ashley James Episode 183: Living Life to the Fullest
It’s hard to put into words the impact this specific episode had on me. It’s a long one, but it’s well worth the listen.
Overall Podcast — Birds With Friends
The Athletic launched in Philadelphia in September, just in time for the Philadelphia Eagles. The coverage of the team has been terrific this year, only to be enhanced further with the bi-weekly podcast with Sheil Kapadia and Bo Wulf. The jokes are endless, the analysis on point and the quantity cannot be matched. There’s a pod waiting hours after each game. “LA Week” consisted of five straight days with an episode which they vowed to never do again, but I’d listen to Birds With Friends every day, even in the off-season. This Eagles season, no matter what happens in the playoffs, has been lots of fun. It’s been difficult to watch every game since I’ve had basketball games, work or prior engagements that have gotten in the way, but Sheil and Bo provide the insight necessary to always know what’s happening with the 53-man roster. I haven’t missed an episode, and I don’t anticipate doing so in the future.
Roommate of the Year
I had two roommates in 2017, and incidentally the first one, my cousin Chuck, happened over the first six months of the year, while the second, Craigslist Evan, has been ever since. Chuck can’t play ping pong to save his life. I’ve beaten Evan in darts several times. Evan made venison stew a couple times, but Chuck brought back his mom’s meatballs as well as buffalo chicken dip. Evan charges a bit more for rent. I slept on a blow-up air mattress in Chuck’s living room, while a queen-sized bed stretches across the finished basement’s floor at Evan’s. Chuck and I would get wings and beers on Friday’s every once in a while. Evan did treat me to pizza one time. This is truly a toss-up, but family over everything as an eight grader’s AIM profile used to say.