24th Birthday Blog

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I'm twenty-four years old today! Yippee! In honor of this feat, I'm here to gift you with my list of 24 entertainment favorites, from film to music to podcasts. *Disclaimer: As it is my birthday, I'm allowed to have 2 favorites for certain categories. Don't @ me. 

My Favorite:

  1. Action Film: Mission: Impossible (1996) | Truly, I have a soft spot for Tom Cruise. He plays "Tom Cruise" better than anyone, and Ethan Hunt is still one of the best action heroes to date.

  2. Superhero Film: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) | Oh, Chris Evans. Marvel has developed its Avengers army with great origin stories, and Steve Rogers is leading the front lines.

  3. Scary/Thriller Film: The Purge (2013) | The scariest thing about this film is how likely it is to happen in real life... one of Ethan Hawke's best. The sequels are great too. 

  4. Drama Film: Zero Dark Thirty (2012) | I'm still mad that the Oscar was stolen from this epic and sweltering drama about the people who helped take down Bin-Laden. Jessica Chastain's performance as Maya gripped us with solidarity and a brimming fire.  

  5. Film (0f 2017 so far): mother!  | Darren Aronofsky's latest arthouse thriller; you will either LOVE this or HATE this, to read more, check out my review here.

  6. Movie I've Memorized: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) | Having already been a Depp fan pre-POTC, I fell head over heels for his portrayal of Captain Jack and his swash-buckling adventure. (P.S. if you like Elizabeth Swann, I did a feature piece on her right here)

  7. Guilty Pleasure: DragonHeart (1996) | Sean Connery and Dennis Quaid pulled my heartstrings in this story of two misfit friends (the last living dragon and his dragonslayer) who unite to defeat a greater evil— the King. 

  8. Director: Quentin Tarantino | Sure, it takes the guy years to release a film, but when he does, it's a slow-burning explosion of expression (both violent and emotional).

  9. Actor: Tom Hardy | He's got range. I love him. Be on the look-out for a Hardy ranking soon, but check out my review of 2012's Lawless here.

  10. Actress: Jennifer Lawrence OR Audrey Hepburn | This one was just too hard. Hepburn paved the way for so many, and she's been my inspiration for years. Jennifer Lawrence is me. 

  11. Animated TV Character: Kim Possible, Kim Possible (2002-2007) | KP was exactly the strong female role model we all needed; she skipped school a lot, but it was for a good cause, so that's good, right?

  12. Animated Film Character: Marie, The Aristocats (1970) | She never forgot her worth. You go, Marie. 

  13. Disney Channel Original Movie: Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999) | Zenon Kar was everything I wanted to be at six years old— she was spunky, original, and daring. Sure, she ended up being grounded on Earth, but she even made the most of that, and saved the world while she was at it. Plus, baby Raven-Symoné is always a good thing.

  14. TV Show (of 2017): HBO's Game of Thrones (2011-present) | Yes, I was very late to the throne on this one. However, I sped through all six seasons with plenty of time to spare before the penultimate season seven began. Boy, have I been changed. Once you start this, there's no going back. Your standards for primetime television will be stacked high; you will become a royal snob all thanks to HBO, and you won't be the least bit sorry. 

  15. TV Show (of all time): WB's Supernatural (2005-present) | Alright, you caught me. I'm a loyal and obsessed fan of Dean and Sam's demon-hunting road trip since September 13th, 2005. That's twelve years of love and the longest relationship I've had with anything, ever. It's become a cult-favorite nighttime soap featuring family drama and an overarching supernatural plot. Stay tuned for an #SPN 72 Hour Recap series coming soon for lucky season 13.

  16. TV Show (to binge): WB's Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) | I'm not sure if there's anything better than a cup of hot chocolate and 6-10 straight hours of Rory Gilmore and all her love interests (#TeamJess forever).

  17. Music (of all time): The Killers | Ever since their 2003 music video release of "Mr. Brightside," I've been a Brandon Flowers groupie. All their albums, nearly all their songs, I can sing over and over again. They're everything I want in a band: electric, witty, brooding, satirical. 

  18. Music (of 2017): Mignon | Mignon's newest EP Five is irreplaceable. She'll convert even the most country-pop hater to a lover with piping hot vocals and delectable lyrics. 

  19. Musical: Hamilton | Lin-Manuel Miranda's second musical endeavor is addicting and hard to let go of; I haven't even seen this production on a stage yet (that'll change soon), but the music & lyrics are so mesmerizing that I had to include this in my favorites list. 

  20. Play: The Laramie Project | This docu-drama was built from over 200 interviews after a gay hate crime killed Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming in 1998. It's powerful and silencing. Buy the script or check out a performance near you.  

  21. Podcast: Serial | Podcasts aren't for everyone, but if you've got a long flight or work commute coming up, this investigative reporting will keep you on your toes. 

  22. Book: Gone Girl | I love all of Gillian Flynn's books; she writes unapologetic and multi-dimensional female characters that you hate to love and love to hate. New York Times Best-selling Gone Girl is stirring and magnetic until the last page. 

  23. Quote— Game of Thrones, Lady Olenna to Dany Targaryen: "Are you a sheep? No. You're a dragon. Be a dragon." 

  24. Overall Favorite Piece o' Entertainment: La La Land (2016) | Every time I watch Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dance around Los Angeles, my creative spirits are renewed. It's already a classic in my book. 

Honorable Mentions:

FILM

Hidden Figures (2016) | The story of the women behind the men of NASA, specifically, the amazing team of African-American mathematicians who helped us get into space. Powerful performances and strong writing make this a real gem. 

Johnny Tsunami (1999) | Who doesn't love good ole' Disney Originals? There's a special place in my heart for this particular story of a boy who makes do with his new surroundings, from surfing in Hawaii to snowboarding in Vermont. If he can do it, anyone can! 

Get Out (2017) | Unsettling and downright haunting, this look at America's racist underbelly will leave you changed.  

TELEVISION

Narcos (2015-present) | Raw, gritty, and binge-worthy, I sped through all three seasons of this drug-cyclopedia. I learned more Spanish from Netflix than I did from two years of high school classes. Highly recommend, especially if you're a fan of Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell, anyone?)

This Is Us (2016-present) | Feel-good, tear-jerker, genuine... these are all guarantees with NBC's award-winning new family drama. 

Taboo (2017- ?) | Helmed by Tom Hardy (See above), this show is spooky, sexy, and full of historic easter-eggs. I'm praying season two comes quick, because Hardy's portrayal of mysterious and dangerous James Delaney is too delicious not to eat twice. 

MUSIC

Camila Cabello (Havana) | I discovered Cabello after a night of surfing Jimmy Fallon's youtube page, and her performance of Havana trapped me. She's feisty and soothing, all at once. 

Miley Cyrus (Younger Now) | I have followed Cyrus' transformations from day one, and with each transition, I love her more. Her newest album is rockabilly fun and full of heart.