Stories are one of the things that I love the most. Although I have a special place in my heart for the written word, I sometimes just fancy sitting on the sofa to watch a great TV series or going to the cinema to watch a film. 2016 was the year of TV series for me, as I started watching many new ones and continued watching some of my old favourites. On the other hand, I didn’t watch as many films as I had done in previous years.
Game of Thrones strengthened its place as my favourite TV series of all time. This is quite a bold statement to make, but I’ve never enjoyed a show so much as I do Game of Thrones. Enjoy is probably not the most appropriate word to use when talking about such a show. So, let’s just say I have never been so enthralled and amazed by something on TV before. And season 6 was no exception!
Last year, I loved seeing on screen actions and revelations I was already expecting to happen, but also being surprised and heartbroken. The combination of great acting and directing created some of the greatest moments on television. As I am not a book purist (I don’t mind changes on adaptations, as different media require different elements to achieve a compelling story), I am fine with the majority of things that were changed from the books, written by George R.R. Martin, and how we are getting main plot points revealed before the last books are published. For more on my thoughts about Game of Thrones, you can read my post on why it is my favourite book-to-TV adaptation here.
2016 was also the year I discovered new shows. During the summer, I devoured the first three seasons of Black Sails. I always liked stories about pirates, but I had never watched anything that captured so well what must have been like to live life as a pirate. The story is set more or less two decades before the events of the book Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson and during the Golden Age of Piracy. The first season focuses on Captain Flint and his quest to hunt the Spanish treasure galleon Urca de Lima.
Another TV show I was also really hooked by was Westworld. Based on the film of the same name (which I haven’t watched), it takes place in a Wild-West-themed amusement park inhabited by androids called “hosts”. High-paying visitors go to Westworld to do whatever they want as the hosts don’t retaliate. More than a science fiction show, this is a great analysis on what it means to be human.
Stranger Things was another show I binge-watched last year. It is set in 1983 when 12-year-old Will Byers disappears mysteriously, and his friends discover a psychokinetic girl who claims to know where he is. At the same time, a government agency tries to keep its project a secret. It is a mix of science fiction and horror that is also a homage to the 1980s genre films.
As I haven’t watched that many films for the first time last year, I really don’t have strong favourites. But there were two films that got me more attached to the story than the others: The Danish Girl and Brooklyn. The Danish Girl, directed by Tom Hooper and starring Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander, is based on the novel of the same name. It is a heart-breaking story of a transgender pioneer with great performances by the actors involved. Brooklyn was the only film that made me cry last year. If I had watched more movies, it probably wouldn’t feature on a list of favourites. But the story of Eilis Lacey, a young Irish woman that moved to America, portrayed by Saoirse Ronan, got me really emotional. Directed by John Crowley, it is an adaptation of the novel with the same title by Colm Tóibín.
Do you have any favourite TV shows or films you think I should watch? Tell me in the comments!