2017 Favorites: January

The first month of the new year is over—does that mean it’s officially no longer “the new year”?—and here is what I loved in January:

This Is Us

Though I started watching This Is Us late in 2016, I’m adding it to January’s favorites because it just returned this month from winter hiatus and it’s the first time actually watching while it aired. The show is about a family of three siblings set both in modern day and back to when they were kids, focusing on the parents. It’s one of the most emotional shows I’ve ever watched (I literally cry every episode) and it’s so well-acted and written and shot. It’s just great.

Ex Machina

One of the films I’ve watched so far this year came out last year, but since I just received it for Christmas, I watched it for the first time. Since seeing the trailer, I’ve wanted to watch this film but couldn’t because it never played in a theater near why I live. After finally seeing Ex Machina, it instantly became a favorite. The film is everything I’d want in a film about an AI. The performances by Alicia Vikander and Oscar Isaac are phenomenal and the plot of the film is, even if it is a little predictable, fantastic. It’s visually stunning, the effects are incredible and the set design is near perfect. The film is unnerving and like nothing I’ve seen before. One of the best films I’ve ever experienced.

Lady Macbeth

I often watch more trailers for films than I watch actual films. However, I know immediately that I will and need to see Lady Macbeth. In the trailer, it’s described “Imagine Alfred Hitchcock directing Wuthering Heights” and if that’s not the most spot on description of a genre perfect for me, I don’t know what is.

Say Hi

Say Hi is a band I heard a long time ago, while still in high school, and loved the songs “One, Two…One” and “Back Before We Were Brittle” but only this month have I bothered to listen to more. Current favorites are: “Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh,” “Northwestern Girls,” “Such a Drag,” and although the beginning is awful to listen to with headphones in: “November was White, December was Grey.”

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