as decided by me: Grimwoode
2019 is nearing its end, which means you’re going to get bombarded with all these “Best of 2019” lists all over the place, so I’m going to jump right in and say that this list is completely and subjectively my personal opinion of what shows and movies are worth watching coming out of 2019. Some of them are predictable, and others… not so much.
Russian Doll (2019-ongoing)
A cynical young woman in New York City keeps dying and returning to the party that’s being thrown in her honor on that same evening. She tries to find a way out of this strange time loop.
This one is fresh out of Netflix. It started airing in February 2019 and wrapped up its first season with 16 episodes, starring one of my favorite actresses (she’s completely recognizable from Orange is the New Black). Although alternate timelines is an age-old trope for modern audiences, I liked how Russian Doll delivered and kept my interest going one episode after another.
If you’re into drama and psychological thrillers, you’ll definitely love this show. Big thumbs up from me!
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)
When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first.
I know that I’m an adult and I’m supposed to only enjoy adult things, but adults are flawed too and I loved this family-friendly tear jerker to bits. Seeing little baby Night Furies was the highlight of my month–I swear, they’re cuter than kittens and puppies combined. I think I actually cried at the end and my wife totally didn’t judge me for it (she was crying too, who is she kidding?) This is the feel good movie of the year, folks!
The Good Place (2016-ongoing)
Four people and their otherworldly frienemy struggle in the afterlife to define what it means to be good.
Smack in the middle of season 4 right now, this show was funny, inspiring, simple, and yet it had a unique and well-developed plot! When I started this series, I honestly expected something feel good with easy laughs but it actually had some very moving scenes and compelling arguments regarding moral philosophy and what makes a person “good” or “bad”. Defining these two words is what this show is really all about, and it was actually really refreshing having this philosophical aspect on a light comedy.
Stranger Things (2016-ongoing)
When a young boy disappears, his mother, a police chief, and his friends must confront terrifying supernatural forces in order to get him back.
I’m sure that many of you have already heard of this show. It wrapped up its fourth season this year, and it’s a series that’s basically about aliens, but not really, and it’s basically a weird hodgepodge of 80s aesthetics and 21st century ideas, values, and conflicts.
If you like weird, and slow building plots, this is the series for you!
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-ongoing)
Jake Peralta, an immature, but talented N.Y.P.D. detective in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt.
This year wrapped up the sixth season of this well-loved, soon to be cult-classic. It’s a lighthearted comedy that is chock full of cliches of all kinds, as well as some much appreciated breaking out of others. The characters are lovable, evolving, growing, and you can’t help but find yourself growing with them. It’s no wonder that this series has been running for 6 years and already has seasons 7 and 8 planned so far, too!
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos’ actions and restore balance to the universe.
This one is another tear jerker, and not in a good way like How to Train Your Dragon. While Infinity War was entirely devoted to destroying the world, Endgame is all about undoing everything that happened in its prequel. Although there were quite a few golden moments in the movie where the relationships between characters come together, I do think that this is the end for the Avengers (since continuing after this long is just beating a dead horse.) This series had reached its peak 2 movies ago and if they come out with another one ever again, it will only continue to decline in popularity. Like Stan Lee, let it rest in peace, already!
So goodbye, Avengers. You have almost single-handedly taken a genre that was originally just for nerds and turned it into a highly popular and oversaturated one. Still, though, it’s on this list because it is still a well-loved movie.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
What I love about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is that he actually behaves like a teenager, making this Marvel mini movie series more family friendly than a lot of superhero movies. It’s lighthearted and goofy, and it’s generally hard to hate his puppy-like characterization of a well-loved Marvel classic.
However, it runs less like a Spider-Man movie and more like an epilogue for Endgame. Making another Avengers movie would be too much, right? So let’s take our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man and fly him to Europe instead! He is far from home indeed, and not for an educational school trip as the plot seems to think. Nah, he’s just thrust into the aftermath of Endgame with a handful of two dimensional characters we’re not given an opportunity to like.
The Mandalorian (2019-ongoing)
The travails of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
The show with the Baby Yoda.
Star Wars fans rejoice! Disney came out with the new series called The Mandalorian and typical of LucasFilms, it has a very promising plot. The show is still extremely new so I dare not say too much about it.
In Gotham City, mentally troubled comedian Arthur Fleck is disregarded and mistreated by society. He then embarks on a downward spiral of revolution and bloody crime. This path brings him face-to-face with his alter-ego: the Joker.
If you’re looking for another Batman movie, keep looking.
This is a story of a mentally ill man that has hit rock bottom and yet continues to be pushed further and further down until there is no looking back anymore. It’s a tragic, edgy story that will drive you into sympathizing with the iconically unforgivable villain, until he makes those unforgivable mistakes all over again and you’re reminded why he’s the villain in the first place.
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019)
A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.
This one is labelled a comedy, although it shouldn’t be in my opinion. (It’s about as funny as The Wolf of Wall Street.) That being said, it’s a movie that celebrates the relationship between two best friends, “something more than brothers, but a little less than a wife.” The plot is heavily understated, however, which was the main turn off for me.
Honourable Mention: Game of Thrones
Because although it lead a literal empire of high fantasy for nearly a decade. The last season just wrapped up this year. Farewell, Game of Thrones. You will be missed.