It’s 2013, and the Mayan apocalypse didn’t happen, so we are going to have to think about other things than the world ending as we look back on 2012. Why not entertainment? 2012 saw a number of highly anticipated projects come to fruition. We were introduced to some great new creations and we said goodbye to some of the biggest and best commodities in history. Here, in no particular order, is the best in entertainment media from 2012.
The Avengers – Earth’s mightiest heroes assembled to take on a greater foe than the world had ever seen, and they did so in mind-blowing, super-power-owning, ass-kicking fashion. Arguably one of the best action movies ever.
Django Unchained – Tarantino’s signature wit and brutality is finally back in full force. The West is wild and the South sound doesn’t so great either.
This is 40 – An awkward, uncomfortable, wonderful look into the inner workings of marriage. A film that will make you shudder at the things life will throw at you while making you long for the comfort of having someone unconditionally watch your back.
The Secret World of Arriety – Breathtaking animation in yet another magnificent tale from Studio Ghibli. A wondrous peek into the world of the tiny beings known as Borrowers.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: The long awaited return to Middle-earth marks the beginning of a brand new trilogy full of elves, dwarves, wizards, and fantasy. The Pale Orc, Azog the Defiler, may have been the best villain all year.
Halo 4 – One of the world’s most popular franchises is reborn into a sleek, fast, class based shooter. The best-looking Xbox 360 game to date.
Journey – Remarkably beautiful game design meets emotion-evoking silent narrative in one of the most moving gaming experiences you may ever experience.
The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series – A game tailored around the choices you make. The horrible, haunting choices where nobody wins and no one forgets.
Mass Effect 3 – The first saga in the industry’s most detailed and expansive universe reaches its pinnacle. Every decision you make affects the ultimate fate of the galaxy, and it couldn’t be more fun.
Soul Calibur V – The ultimate in pick-up-and-play ease, combined with painstaking detail for those who wish to become competent. Thrilling swordplay without the usual blood and gore, Soul Calibur V’s accessibility for gamers of all types and ages is what makes it so fantastic.
The Heist by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Conscious rap at its very best. Tackling a variety of tough subjects, Macklemore never stumbles, and still drops unbelievable verses. Some of the best production value on a rap album seen in quite some time, thanks to Ryan Lewis’s unique ear and inclination towards instrumentals.
Celebration Rock by Japandroids – The Canadian duo’s signature style of rock just makes you feel happy. It is an energy infused ride that takes you high and then takes you higher. This is the kind of music you dance to when you think no one is watching.
Some Nights by Fun – Played to death on the radio but for understandable reasons. Fun’s second studio album makes you feel exuberant and inspired every time.
Red by Taylor Swift – Perhaps defying logic as to what makes a good album, this writer has seen more people lose their minds to Taylor Swift’s fourth studio effort than any album all year. People of all genders, ages, and creeds will jam out when it is playing and they will jam out hard, no matter the time, location, or their company. If that doesn’t make a good album then nothing does.
The Walking Dead – No show will imbue you with a more extreme sense of tension than the Walking Dead. Any character could die the most atrocious of deaths and any moment and it leaves viewers with mangled bitten nails while they teeter precariously on the edge of their seats.
Community – A massive fan favourite due to its grand-scale concepts within contained story arcs, Community didn’t miss a step in season three. Episodes “Remedial Chaos Theory” and “Digital Estate Planning” are two of the most brilliant half hours of comedy you may ever see.
New Girl – Zooey Deschanel brings her adorkable antics to the small screen and while it would be easy to dismiss the show as a run-of-the-mill sitcom trying to get by on the back of its big name star, New Girl is bolstered by its outstanding, hilarious writing and the fantastic chemistry of its incredibly likeable cast.
Breaking Bad – Walter White is evil now. Everyone is going to have to accept it. The meek high school chemistry teacher is now the biggest, baddest meth dealer on the block, and things are just starting to get interesting.
Game of Thrones– Everyone in Westeros is evil. Everyone. No, that guy is too. Yup, even him. Television’s best political thriller is a cacophony of clashing steel and dragon fire and it may just be the very best thing you can tune in to.
Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 18, January 22, 2013.