I absorbed a lot of stuff in the year that was 2013. Below I break down my favourite entertainment things of the year in Television, Live Music, Videogames, Film, and Albums.
1. Breaking Bad - The Final Season
While The Wire remains my favourite piece of television ever, this one comes up #3, just edged out by Six Feet Under. 8 brilliant episodes including a fitting end.
2. The Killing - Season 3
One of the best things on television yet often over-looked, proven again by the fact that this series has been cancelled and revived twice, this time with the planned season 4 appearing exclusively on Netflix. Season 3 manages to outdo the previous two including multiple twists and a brilliant performance by Peter Sarsgaard.
3. Game of Thrones
I picked a good year to start watching. Having already had the end of season 1 spoiled, I was reluctant to jump into a series that I wasn't all that interested in due to the setting. The medieval fantasy motif generally doesn't do anything for me, but the focus on politics as opposed to action succeeds in fully engulfing me in this insane world.
1. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Confession time, this is the first Zelda game I've finished. Usually I get bored around the half-way point but this one managed to keep me playing and ended up being the game I had the most fun with in 2013.
2. The Last of Us
One of the more mature games to ever release. it's a story of a man and a girl that doesn't involve B00BZ - this one is a personal tale of family, loss, coming of age, and acceptance. Underneath all of that is a fantastic game.
Brilliant, beautiful, engaging, and an Ikea Monkey easter egg.
1. OVO Fest 2013 at Molson Amphitheatre
What began as an annual Drake concert with some guests has turned into THE worldwide hip-hop extravaganza. Not only did Drake welcome some of the biggest names right now (Kanye West, J. Cole, Miguel, and Lil Wayne for example) but also relived the 90s with TLC, Puff Daddy/P Diddy/Diddy and Ma$e. Oh yeah, and Drake also performed all of his hits. Insane.
2. Empire of the Sun at Danforth Music Hall
Just as entertaining as their first show in Toronto a few years ago, Empire of the Sun performed at the Danforth Music Hall a couple months after their fantastic 2nd album released.
3. fun. and Tegan & Sara - Downsview Park
Went in not expecting much from 'fun.' but was gleefully treated with a mesmerizing 10 minute fireworks show as they finished their set. And as expected, Tegan & Sara were as enjoyable as always.
As I tend to see television as the best format for story-telling (particularly as it relates to character development) I didn't catch many new films this year, but Gravity hit on everything that I like to get out of film - original, experimental, visually appealing, and artistic. And reading about all the special effect and editing work that went into it, I can't even imagine how this was accomplished in such a convincing way.
2. Don Jon
If I were to make a film it would be something like Don Jon - funny, dramatic, slightly satirical, and lots of masturbation Scarlett Johansson.
3. Fast and Furious 6
Loved this movie beyond belief. I generally don't enjoy popcorn action flicks, but man, VIN DIESEL CAUGHT A WOMAN IN MID-AIR BETWEEN TWO BRIDGES AFTER BEING FLUNG OUT OF A CAR AFTER HAVING ALREADY BEEN CHASED BY A TANK WHAT THE HELL.
1. The Bones of What You Believe - CHVRCHES
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My favourite album of the year comes out of nowhere. Unique sound, upbeat yet emotional, incredible vocal talent, excellently produced. Every song on this album is strong, and there's 16 of them.
2. Ice on the Dune - Empire of the Sun
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Expected this or Drake to make the top of my list, but Empire of the Sun comes up with a fantastic follow-up to their 2008 debut album. Doesn't have the legs I hoped it would, but DNA is an instant classic.
3. Nothing Was the Same - Drake
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A little more rap, a little less R&B, but still really enjoyable from beginning to end. Still discovering my love of certain tracks that I didn't like at first, but have managed to grow on me. Always the sign of a strong tune.