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Best and Worst of Entertainment 2019 Edition: The List Jedi

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I hope that pun subverted your expectations.

As the end of the year draws near, thought I’d go ahead and make the topic ten days early since I’ll be fairly busy over the next week.

You all should know the drill by now as to what this yearly topic is about.  But in case you don’t, this topic is a group project where you all write your best and worst of the year lists for any format of entertainment.  Whether it be movies, music, television, video games, albums, commercials...anything you want.  Hell its going to be a much busier list season than normal with the decade end one coinciding with the annual one. But juggling both will give me all the more to write about this year.

And just like last year, I’m just sticking to movies and music.  I was able to watch a little more television this year due to streaming becoming that much larger this year, but in all honesty, I just don’t want to go overboard with too many lists to write.  Hell I still need to finish my Best 2010s Television List.  Might make an abbreviated list with no descriptions for 2019, but we’ll see.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you all participating as always.  See you all soon with lists, lists, and even more lists.

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So I've been thinking about doing one of these again since its been three years since I last retrospected my previous year end lists.  What better time than now to go ahead and get a head start on that:

2016

 

Movies:

Jesus.  What a worst list.  Honestly, wouldn't touch that with a ten foot pole because everything on that list is practically perfect rankwise, although Suicide Squad would definitely be a super close number eleven.  Even Norm at number one.  Which has become a recurring meme from yours truly.  It's still the worst animated movie of the 2010s.  Yes, even worse than The Emoji Movie.

The best list on the other hand.  I know one change I would absolutely make.  Moana was at #10.  I still love Moana, don't get me wrong.  But one of my honorable mentions should have taken that spot instead.  And honestly, it should have been very high on my best list.  Like #4 if I could rerank it.  Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping.  What an amazing movie and honestly I like it more than This Is Spinal Tap in regards to music industry mockumentaries.  Check it out if you haven't yet.

 

TV:

Wouldn't change a thing about the rankings themselves, but note to self.  Never do a ranking with all GIFS ever again.  What an eye sore.

 

 

Music:

Saving the biggest thing I would redo for last.  Because good lord was I overly negative about 2016 in regards to hit music.  Like don't get me wrong.  This was a bad year.  But it was not nearly as bad as I made it out to be.  I'm not going to reveal where I would rank it in regards to the decade because I'm saving a decade end rankdown for movies and music for my decade end project.  But if you want what 2016 was in hindsight quality wise, except worse?  Well that was 2018 in a nutshell.  2016 didn't deserve the scathing torching demolition I gave it.  A 30 something long dishonorable mention list?  How over the top.

It was still one of the lower years of this decade quality wise though.  And honestly, the worst list needs a little revision:

10. One Call Away

9. Hide Away

8. Sit Still, Look Pretty

7. Just Like Fire

6. Pop Style

5. Unsteady

4. Lost Boy

3. i hate u i love u

2. Treat You Better

1. PILLOWTALK

So as you can see, number one and number two are still locked in place.  Honestly, those are two of the worst songs of this decade to me.  But everything else?  Absolutely different.  i hate u i love u is supremely insufferable.  Lost Boy has become more of a joke.  Unsteady and Just Like Fire still suck big fat ones.  And clearly, my thoughts on Daya's Hide Away are still bad, but Sit Still Look Pretty is the even more vapid song.  Hearing it at work more has done it no favors.  Such an obnoxiously insufferable song.

But man did I undersell how much I hated Pop Style in that thread.  My hatred goes far beyond that Chaining Tatum line.  It's just a monotonous bore of a song.  And Jay is barely given a damn thing to do and Kanye's guest verse SSSSUUUCCCCKKKKSSS.  And One Call Away is such an utter bore.  2016 may have been the year that Batman v Superman killed Superman's character, but at least he has character.  Unlike the joke that was Charlie Puth in 2016.  Such a hack of a song.

 

As for the best list?  Honestly, most of those rankings are still the same.  Maybe shuffle around a spot or two.  Although with one noticeable change, so here is that updated:

1. I Took a Pill in Ibiza

2. Stressed Out

3. Roses

4. Into You

5. Starboy

6. Can't Feel My Face

7. Closer

8. In the Night

9. Sorry (Beyonce)

10. Wildest Dreams

You read that right.  I've finally come fully around to embracing Closer.  All I needed was a few years away from the song to really embrace it for the slightly hacky, yet millenial anthem that it truly is.  Love the song.  The Chainsmokers fifteen seconds of fame may finally be over with all of their underperforming songs on the charts as of late, but they have undeniably three great songs to their names.

Not even going to go over how so many of my honorable mentions don’t hold up three years later.  For example, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Side to Side” were on there in 2016.  Wouldn’t even come close if I completely redid it now.

 

Coming up next?  2017.  Stay tuned for that.

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2014

Music

Yeah, I'm going to do another retrospective on 2014, because even after revising my top/bottom 10 hit songs lists once, I still can't seem to agree with all of my picks. There are some particular songs from 2014's year-end list that either aged better for me (Please ignore that I put "Hey Brother" and Martin Garrix's "Animals" on my dishonorable mentions and on my bottom 10 respectively; other than those two, take songs like "Bailando" and "Shower" for example) and then there were some that aged like milk (take "Break Free" and my new bottom 10 addition for example) But hey, that's 2014's year-end list for you.

So, now let's compare and contrast my two older bottom 10s and my new bottom 10:

Spoiler

 

2014 and 2016:

10. "Animals" - Martin Garrix "Burnin' It Down" - Jason Aldean
9. "Blurred Lines" - Robin Thicke featuring Pharrell Williams and T.I. "Show Me" - Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown
8. "Na Na" - Trey Songz
7. "This is How We Roll" - Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
6. "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
5. "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus
4. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg
3. "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG
2. "Animals"(mals) - Maroon 5
1. "Trumpets" - Jason Derulo

Now:

10. "Burnin' It Down" - Jason Aldean
9. "Show Me" - Kid Ink featuring Chris Brown
8. "Na Na" - Trey Songz
7. "This is How We Roll" - Florida Georgia Line featuring Luke Bryan
6. "Say Something" - A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera
5. "Adore You" - Miley Cyrus "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg
4. "Wiggle" - Jason Derulo featuring Snoop Dogg "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG
3. "Don't Tell Em" - Jeremih featuring YG "Animals" (mals, BABY I'M-) - Maroon 5
2. "Animals" (AWOOO)" - Maroon 5 "Amnesia" - 5 Seconds of Summer
1. "Trumpets" - Jason Derulo

 

Numbers 10-6 and my #1 are stationary. I've gotten over "Adore You," which is why I decided to purge it. "Wiggle," a song that is still too stupid to hate while it is so mindnumbingly stupid at the same time, moved up a spot, as well as the other two below it. Yes, even a typical bad Maroon 5 song got beaten out of the #2 spot, and it's quite a surprising new addition to my personal bottom 10. When I decided to look back on "Amnesia," it was at that moment that it became one of my most hated songs from 2014's year-end list.

I didn't talk about "Amnesia" in-depth before, so here's my take on it: in a nutshell, for a ballad that's supposed to sound sweet and delicate, it is straight up manipulative once you dive deeper into the lyrics:

Are you somewhere feeling lonely even though he's right beside you?
When he says those words that hurt you, do you read the ones I wrote you?

If what we had was real, how could you be fine?
'Cause I'm not fine at all
 
If today I woke up with you right beside me
Like all of this was just some twisted dream
I'd hold you closer than I ever did before
And you'd never slip away
 
Finally, this is the line that pushes all my buttons:
 
It hurts to know you're happy, yeah, it hurts that you've moved on
 
Or in other words... "Screw you if you're happy! What about MY feelings!?" What makes the songwriting worse is the whole concept of amnesia, given the song's title. What they're actually saying, when they say they want to wake up with amnesia to forget about the stupid things that led to a break-up with this one particular girl, is that they want to experience total memory loss. They want to forget almost everything about themselves in the process.
 
"Amnesia" serves as an example as to why poorly written breakup songs/ballads are my kryptonite. This is the kind of garbage that shouldn't be overlooked, yet like amnesia, we forgot about it. Of course, there's also the distinction that 5SOS are just a group of young boys, so the song's other obvious problems have easily been ignored because of that, like how the song is basically a WGWAG song and it borrows a lot of elements from a far better Plain White T's song. But come on, at the very beginning, the singer talks about getting wasted, which is big boy stuff, and if they don't want to be treated like a boy band, I can and will treat them normally. "She's So Perfect" has some very corny lines, but at least that song is fun to listen to while "Amnesia" is a dull, slow, and manipulative all the way through. So therefore, this is my penultimate worst hit of 2014.
 
Still can't stand "Animals" as it lacks any self-awareness or hilarity value to me to escape from my bottom five while "Trumpets" remains as my #1 worst hit of 2014. This is not just because of Jason Derulo and his poor vocal delivery, this is also on Jon Bellion. Jon Bellion is one of my favorite indie pop acts to come out over the course of the decade and seeing his very poor execution in the song's production (preferably the overproduction in the final chorus) and songwriting... (Take note of the Kanye and Coldplay name drops. Bellion has cited both artists as his own influences so whoever penned these "is it weird that your X reminds me a [Singer's name] song?" lines, I don't think it could only come from the mind of Derulo.) it hurts. He can do so much better and he has done better.
 
Now let's move on to my old top 10s and my newer top 10:
Spoiler

 

2014 and 2016:
 
10. "Leave the Night On" - Sam Hunt "Drunk on a Plane" - Dierks Bentley 
9. "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo "Happy" - Pharrell Williams
8. "Royals" - Lorde "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic
7. "Love Runs Out" - OneRepubic "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo
6. "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS
5. "Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly
4. "Don't" - Ed Sheeran
3. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
2. "Ain't It Fun" - Paramore
1. "Chandelier" - Sia
 
Now:
 
10. "Drunk on a Plane" - Dierks Bentley
9. "Happy" - Pharrell Williams "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic
8. "Love Runs Out" - OneRepublic "Let It Go" - Idina Menzel
7. "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo "Happy" - Pharrell Williams
6. "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS "Habits (Stay High)" - Tove Lo
5. "Do What U Want" - Lady Gaga featuring R. Kelly "Come With Me Now" - KONGOS
4. "Don't" - Ed Sheeran
3. "Rather Be" - Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne
2. "Ain't It Fun" - Paramore
1. "Chandelier" - Sia

 

In a not-so shocking turn of events, I've decided to purge "Do What U Want." What hinders it from staying in my personal top ten is not the obvious fact that R. Kelly features in it, but because Lady Gaga has disowned it so much to the point where she's trying to make it so that the collaboration never really existed. Because of that, some subtext that justifies R. Kelly's appearance on there is gone. In addition, I wouldn't go as far as to call this one of Lady Gaga's best. It is still a genuinely good song though, so it's now my #11, but it's no longer on the list. Therefore, the Tove Lo song and the KONGOS song both move up  a spot, with the latter entering my top five.

 
As another surprise, I've decided to have "Let It Go" take the place of "Do What U Want." I know it doesn't qualify as much as a pop song, but "Happy" is also from an animated feature and it was on my first revised list, so why shouldn't I include this? It is genuinely one of my favorite songs of the year, so I've taken the courage to put it in my top ten. And hey, if you have a problem with the song's placement on my top ten, then I say you can just...let it go. Between the two popular animated feature songs, "Happy" is the better one, which is why I put it above "Let It Go."
 
The rest of my top ten is stationary and I shouldn't have any plans whatsoever to change the other placements. With all's said and done, I can finally say that my top/bottom 10 for 2014 is final.
 
 
Animation
 
For those who weren't aware, I actually did finish my review for the best of 2014 in the animation medium by the start of 2019. It was on my old blog, so it's not there now, but I will re-post my review later this year so you guys will at least have an animation list from me this year while I continue to take my time with my 2018, 2019, and decade-end lists.
 
Of course, my points still stand when it comes to animation in 2014. It is still the best year for animation in recent memory and I would not change a single thing about my top ten. For those who never caught it, here's a small recap of what my top ten is for the year:
 
Spoiler

 

10. The Book of Life
9. Space Dandy
8. Bear Story
7. The Legend of Korra
6. The LEGO Movie
5. Wander Over Yonder
4. Over the Garden Wall
3. BoJack Horseman
2. Rick and Morty
1. Song of the Sea

 

Will do a retrospective on 2015-2017 at some later point.

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May as well speak my thoughts about the 2015 music lists I did (one year later but whatever):

 

Worst List

A lot of my opinions on this list still remain unchanged, except for two:

  • I was a little too hard on "Hotline Bling". I still think it's not that good and completely overrated but after hearing "Thinking Out Loud" too many damn times at work, it's starting to grate on my ears and I just wanna punch Ed Sheeran every time he tries to belt out "THINKING OUT" like he's trying to make the song more meaningful when it still sounds irritating as hell. Consider both the songs positions changed.
  • Meanwhile, I regret not placing the other Ed Sheeran as the worst song of 2015. No, not this guy. I'm talking about the other other Ed Sheeran of the year: Charlie Puth. "Marvin Gaye" more than deserved to be my #1 worst of the year and that's not even my Todd bias talking. In fact, it was my Todd bias that I was trying to avoid because both his #1's of 2015 (That's right, Style is still my favorite song of the year.) were exactly the same as mine. To avoid this, I placed "Watch Me" as my #1 but as time passes on, I realize that in retrospect, "Marvin Gaye" is loads worse than "Watch Me". Though choosing which song is worse is the equivalent of choosing between Soulja Boy or Captain & Tenille as your least favorite artist. Still, I believe that "Marvin Gaye" is the worst hit song, Todd bias be damned.

Previous list:

Spoiler

10. “Hit the Quan” – iLoveMemphis
9. “Nasty Freestyle” – T-Wayne
8. “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
7. “Hotline Bling” – Drake
6. “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink
5. “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
4. “Dear Future Husband” – Meghan Trainor
3. “Only” - Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown
2. “Marvin Gaye” – Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor
1. “Watch Me” - Silentó

Revised list:

Spoiler

10. “Hit the Quan” – iLoveMemphis
9. “Nasty Freestyle” – T-Wayne
8. “Bad Blood” – Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
7. “Thinking Out Loud" - Ed Sheeran
6. “Worth It” – Fifth Harmony featuring Kid Ink
5. “Fight Song” – Rachel Platten
4. “Dear Future Husband” – Meghan Trainor
3. “Only” - Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne, and Chris Brown
2. “Watch Me” - Silentó
1. “Marvin Gaye” – Charlie Puth featuring Meghan Trainor

 

Best List

On the other hand, I have no major complaints about this list. Though if I had to make one small change, I would exchange "Blank Space" for "Ex's and Oh's". Don't get me wrong, I love "Blank Space" and really, any song that makes my Top 20 is really doing something right but I'm starting to love "Ex's and Oh's" even more than that song. Every other choice is still perfect though.

 

Previous list:

Spoiler

1. “Style” – Taylor Swift
2. “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
3. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
4. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
5. “Cool for the Summer” – Demi Lovato
6. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
7. “Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy
8. “Time of Our Lives” – Pitbull and Ne-Yo
9. “Blank Space” – Taylor Swift
10. “FourFiveSeconds” – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

Revised list:

Spoiler

1. “Style” – Taylor Swift
2. “Uptown Funk” – Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
3. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk the Moon
4. “Can’t Feel My Face” – The Weeknd
5. “Cool for the Summer” – Demi Lovato
6. “Wildest Dreams” – Taylor Swift
7. “Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy
8. “Time of Our Lives” – Pitbull and Ne-Yo
9. “Ex's and Oh's" - Elle King
10. “FourFiveSeconds” – Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney

 

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2017

For the record, this is the last of these I'll be doing.  I'm going to let my thoughts on 2018 simmer a little longer so I can really see how well that list will last the test of time.

TV:

Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing except switching up my writing style.  My television lists will always be the most self-critical just because I always feel like what I write isn't good enough.  That's another reason why I don't do yearly television write ups.  Just because I know I'll nitpick them to hell even if everyone else enjoys them.  That being said, doing these decade end retrospectives really made me realize I only want to write about shows that have had enough seasons to really judge it as a whole instead of doing season by season.  That's why binge-watching is really the right way to go about doing television write-ups.  Just because analyzing episode by episode leaves you knowing at least half the picture.

Music:

Honestly, my worst list is good.  For the longest time, I thought to myself that "Strip That Down" would be the one song I'd place on there in hindsight.  But now that hindsight is long enough, I wouldn't.  "Strip That Down" is the new number eleven though.  But as for the list itself, I would just make a couple changes:

10. Look At Me!

9. Look What You Made Me Do

8. Body Like a Back Road

7. Mi Gente

6. Rake It Up

5. I Don't Wanna Live Forever

4. Believer

3. Tunnel Vision

2. Treat You Better

1. Issues

So yeah, for starters, I'm starting to soften a tad on Look What You Made Me Do and Body Like a Back Road.  Two of the biggest punching bags for everybody from this year.  I'm starting to get a slight admiration for LWYMMD because Taylor really put herself out there with this trainwreck.  And Body Like a Back Road is the sort of mind numbing awful levels of stupidity that I'm really starting to miss in a music climate where a lot of the songs are starting to sound the same.  Both songs are still terrible enough to make my worst list, but god bless they at least stuck out.

Meanwhile, that ZAYN song has only gotten worse in two years to leapfrog four songs.  Didn't expect it to be a career killer for him as his career has practically flopped.  And that Kodak Black song has also leapfroged a couple songs because seriously fuck this guy.  I can only hope that his career sputters out real soon because he is toxic garbage.

 

As for the best list, that's where I would easily make the most changes.  Not like it's all bad or anything, but a lot of the hits from this year have just aged better.  So here's my updated best list.

1. Bounce Back

2. DNA

3. Starboy

4. 24K Magic

5. Sign of the Times

6. Closer

7. Water Under the Bridge

8. Caroline

9. Congratulations

10. Something Just Like This

So where do I start with these changes?  My thoughts on Starboy and Closer aging as greatly as they have are well documented.  Nothing against Water Under the Bridge, which doesn't hold up as a top level Adele song like I once called it.  But I do stand with me still liking 25 better than 21.  Caroline really is a great song that I still appreciate two years later.  And then we have the two new entries to this list.  Congratulations is the song that made me finally get Post Malone.  I love it.  One of the best songs of his career.  And then there is the third great Chainsmokers song that I mentioned previously.  Yes it rips off the drop from Roses.  So what?  I like ripoffs depending on the circumstances.   Yes Chris Martin's lyrics don't make any damn sense. So what?  I love the utter ridiculousness of Batman and his fists and Spider-Man's control.  But Jesus does the whole song come together towards the end with that drop and guitar solo.  Seriously one of the most underrated moments in a pop song this decade.  It's one of the weirdest collaborations of this decade and yet somehow they bring out the best in each other.

 

Movies:

And the last round of major changes I would make.  Like I said last post with doing a rankdown for music years, I'm doing the same with movies.  But early spoiler, I was way too hard on this year.  Mostly with the best list.  That best list I wouldn't change a damn thing except pointing out that this is one of the better best lists of this decade.  So no need to redo it.  However, that worst list though.  It's beautifully written yes, I'm quite proud of how much hard work I put into it and how great my points were.  But there is some re-ranking that must be done.

1. Flatliners

2. The Emoji Movie

3. The Snowman

4. The Dark Tower

5. The Mummy

6. Death Note

7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

8. The Greatest Showman

9. Justice League

10. Fifty Shades Darker

 

So yeah, the top five isn't changing.  But the more I recollect my thoughts, Death Note deserves to be on this list proper.  What a god awful adaptation of my favorite anime.  Fuck you Netflix.  And fuck you again for still going forward with a sequel.  You've already hurt me enough with the terrible original.  Pirates 5 sucks hard.  Move it up another spot.  Fifty Shades Darker still deserves to be on this list because it's a part of probably the worst trilogy of the 2010s.

The Greatest Showman is a weird pick for this list, but the huger it becomes, the more I can't ignore it any longer.  It's a terrible piece of manipulative cinema that paints one of the lowkey scum entertainers of the world as a great person, even though that same guy highlights people with abnormalities for money.  The songs are overrated more so than Frozen.  Hugh Jackman isn't as good as people make him out to be.  The only slight positive is that Zac Efron and Zendaya have lowkey good chemistry together, but they both deserve better than this movie.

And Justice League makes this list because I rewatched it a few months ago and it really doesn't hold up.  At all.  I remember @Dr. WhoBob saying not too long after I posted that 2017 worst list that he was happy to see Justice League not mentioned on there because it wasn't all that bad.  And to that I say, rewatch it again like I did.  The production problems that this movie went through really stand out harder.  There are two polar opposite direction styles that clash with each other terribly.  What we end up getting is DC trying to make a Marvel movie and it becomes all the more apparent after rewatching.  The comedy is bad.  The Flash is annoying.  Superman is not as interesting as this movie so badly wants to make him out to be.  Steppenwolf is one of the worst/most forgettable villains in any superhero movie ever.  I'm glad DC has turned the corner these last two years (and with Wonder Woman the year prior), but seriously rewatch Justice League again. I think we were trying way too hard to paint a positive picture for a movie that honestly deserves to be scorned more than Batman v Superman (not more than Suicide Squad, which is the worst DCEU movie.  Period.).

 

And that puts an end to my revisits of 2016 and 2017.  I'll see you all in a few weeks with the Worst Hit Songs of 2019; whenever Billboard gets around to posting that year end list will play the key factor as to when that list goes up.  So until then, thanks for reading and I'll see you guys soon.

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https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2019/hot-100-songs

It's time.

The list itself has its share of glaring inaccuracies since the YE tracking for 2019 ended on the week of November 16, 2019 (Why is a bit of a long, complicated story), so while I would advise anyone to do their lists differently, I will stick to what's on Billboard's list.

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