Best Films of 2014

2014 FILMS

2013 was a great year for film. We had ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ and ‘Before Midnight’.

The same goes to 2014. It was the year Marvel started making better films. It was the year Wes Anderson created another masterpiece. It was the year where we had a beautiful film about Legos. And much more.
I tried really hard to list my top fifteen (even twenty) films of 2014, but there were too many great films to list.


Favorite Films:

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Inherent Vice
  3. Under the Skin
  4. Only Lovers Left Alive
  5. Force Majeure
  6. The Tale of Princess Kaguya
  7. Nymphomaniac
  8. Stranger by the Lake
  9. Citizenfour
  10. The Double
  11. Gone Girl
  12. The Babadook
  13. We Are the Best!
  14. Ida
  15. The Immigrant
  16. Boyhood
  17. Listen Up Philip
  18. Mommy
  19. God Help the Girl
  20. Two Days, One Night
  21. Goodbye to Language
  22. Whiplash
  23. Timbuktu
  24. Snowpiercer
  25. Palo Alto
  26. Leviathan
  27. Starred Up
  28. Selma
  29. Nightcrawler
  30. Birdman
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Best TV shows of 2014

2014 TV SHOWS

I watched a lot of TV shows in 2014, and a many of these shows were great, so don’t expect me to be able to list only 10 of my favorites from this year. So, here are my favorite shows, alongside my favorite episode from each one:

  • Adventure Time
    The show that never gets boring. Jake and Finn are always there to entertain me with their ten-minute adventures. Best Episode: Food Chain
  • Archer: Vice
    Archer is back! This season, ISIS turns into an international drug cartel, Pam becomes skinny, Lana is pregnant and Cheryl is a famous country singer. If you’ve never heard of this show, go watch it now! Best Episode: White Elephant
  • Boardwalk Empire
    The legacy of Nucky Thompson finally came to an end. Although the final season was short, it was extremely satisfying and it tied all the loose ends. As usual, the season had its fair share of plot twists, and it shines through its wonderful and talented cast. Can’t wait to see what’s next from Steve Buscemi. Best Episode(s): Devil You Know/Eldorado
  • Bob’s Burgers
    My favorite since its first season, Bob’s Burgers continues showing us new original and funny stories with each episode. Definitely one of my all time favorite animated shows. Best Episode: The Equestranauts
  • Broad City
    A new comedy based on the web series of the same name. Starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Broad City is one of the funniest shows in years! Best Episode: Apartment Hunters
  • Fargo
    Based on the Coen brothers’ film of the same name. Fargo is a great dark miniseries featuring a stellar cast and a great story. Not to mention the references to the movie. Best Episode: The Crocodile’s Dilemma
  • Game of Thrones
    The most satisfying season yet! The Purple Wedding was on of my most anticipated events for this show and it didn’t disappoint. Next season will introduce many of Oberyn’s family members, although we won’t be seeing Hodor for a while. Best Episode: The Children
  • Hannibal
    To be honest, I wasn’t a that much of a huge fan of the first season, but season two proved me wrong. The show was intense all season and the performances were all outstanding. And talk about the season’s cliffhanger! I can’t wait for season three. Best Episode: Mizumono
  • High Maintenance
    A great web-series starring Bob Sinclair as a weed dealer. Each episode is about one of his many clients. The show just started its fifth season with support and endorsement from Vimeo. The show is beautiful, well-written, and best of all, short. Best Episode: Qasim
  • Homeland
    After a lackluster season last year, Homeland came back and fixed all of its previous mistakes with a thrilling excellent season. Best Episode: From A to B and Back Again
  • House of Cards
    A season that starts the action from the very first episode. Last year’s critically acclaimed show continued to deliver with tremendous performances by the whole cast and much improved scenes. I was pleased and surprised by the events in the finale. I can’t wait to see what happens when the show returns early next year. Best Episode: Chapter 14
  • Jane the Virgin
    I have never thought I’d watch and love a CW show, especially one about a pregnant virgin, but there’s always a first time for everything. Jane the Virgin is beautiful and silly at the same time, it might look like a typical telenovela from the outside, but the performances are fantastic and the story is authentic, although a bit ridiculous, in a good way. Definitely one of the best surprises of this year. Best Episode: Chapter One
  • Key and Peele
    The great sketch comedy is back and kicking with this new season. This season introduces a new theme (inspired by True Detective) and a new segment where Key and Peele are driving on a country road and talking. The sketches are hilarious and nothing feels repetitive, plus we still get to see President Obama and his anger translator, not to mention Wendell and Meegan. Best Episode: Season Four, Episode Nine
  • Louie
    After a two-year hiatus, Louie is finally back. This season was full of story arcs, Louie with the non-English speaker Amia, Louie’s life as a thirteen-year-old, and Louie with Pamela again, not to mention the controversial “fat lady” episode. Louie proves that there’s still room for creativity in comedy television. The show is coming back in the spring of 2015. Best Episode: In the Woods
  • Mad Men
    The beginning of the end. Mad Men is one of the few shows out there that are still getting better with each season. Although this season was short (it was cut into two parts, just like Breaking Bad), it was still as good as the previous ones and even better. The finale was the cherry on top for this magnificent half-season. Best Episode: Waterloo
  • Masters of Sex
    My favorite show from last year is back with an even better season! This season, the show started to focus on other things other than the study, Bill’s relationship with wife Libby, Barton’s struggle with his homosexuality and his wife Margaret, and Virgina’s strained friendship with Dr. Lillian. This show is a great example of how period dramas should be. And the season’s best episode (Brave New World) was so good in speeding things up and taking the story to the next level. Best Episode: Brave New World
  • Nathan for You
    A hilarious docu-reality comedy starring Nathan Fielder as himself. In the show, he uses his business experience to help several people and businesses improve by giving them some of his crazy advices. The show is funny and you just can’t help but laugh at Nathan and his deadpan style. Best Episode: Dumb Starbucks
  • Review with Forrest MacNeil
    A painfully funny comedy starring Andy Daly as Forrest MacNeil, a TV host who reviews things suggested by his viewers, no matter how stupid or crazy they are! Best Episode: Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes
  • Orange Is the New Black
    I never knew what I was expecting after the end of the first season last year. I was extremely satisfied with the second season. The show kept exploring the pasts of various characters, new characters were introduced, and best of all, the show is still as funny as it was before, and even funnier. Overall, I think I like this season more than the first one. Best Episode: A Whole Other Hole
  • Over the Garden Wall
    A new great miniseries by Cartoon Network based on the short film “Tome of the Unknown” and starring Elijah Wood, Collin Dean, and Melanie Lynskey. The show is about two brothers, Wirt and Greg, who are lost in a creepy forest and are trying to find their way home. I’m sure this show will have its own cultural impact just like Adventure Time. Best Episode: Into the Unknown
  • Rick and Morty
    I’ve never had this much fun watching an animated series since Adventure Time. A great show from Community’s mastermind Dan Harmon. Best Episode: Rixty Minutes
  • Shameless
    Shameless had its best season this year since its debut. The story was great. The whole cast was perfect (hat tip to Emmy Rossum). The scenes of Fiona at the prison were moving. The worst thing is that Emmy’s performance was snubbed at the Emmy’s. Best Episode: Iron City
  • Silicon Valley
    As a tech geek, I was so happy when I heard that HBO was developing a show about a tech startup set in Silicon Valley. The story follows how six men found a startup, and their struggle in finding a name, and protecting their products from being copied by Hooli (which is just like Google). In my opinion, Silicon Valley is the best geeky comedy out there (sorry Big Bang Theory). Best Episode: Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency
  • The Affair
    Another great show from Showtime. The Affair tells the story of an affair between a teacher/author who is spending summer vacation with his family at his father-in-law’s house and how he meets and falls in love with a waitress. Each episode is split into two parts, each part represents the view of point of one of the main characters (Noah and Allison). The show is great and the performances are stellar, not to mention the a great theme song by Fiona Apple. Best Episode: Pilot
  • The Americans
    Last year’s fantastic espionage drama is back! The show keeps getting better (not that it was bad in the first season) with each episode. In this season, new characters were introduced and some side plots were finally concluded. The season ends with a twist that I didn’t see coming. Best Episode: Echo
  • The Comeback
    This year, The Comeback came back from the dead! This amazing sitcom show first aired in 2005 was revived for a second season this year and I couldn’t be happier. Simply put, if you didn’t watch the first season, go watch it now! Lisa Kurdow is just amazing. Best Episode: Valerie Is Brought To Her Knees
  • The Good Wife
    The Good Wife was on fire in both seasons 5 and 6. **SPOILER** With many events, Alicia and Cary leaving Lockhart and Gardner to start their own firm, the death of Will Gardner, the introduction of Finn Polmar, the trial of Cary, and most importantly, Alicia running for state’s attorney **END OF SPOILER**. This show proves that network shows can still be good. I honestly can’t wait for the show’s return in January. Best Episode: Hitting the Fan
  • The Honourable Woman
    A new spy-thriller miniseries starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. The show is about Nessa Stein, who, eight years ago, took over her brother as the head of her family’s company. Nessa is committed to the peace in the Middle East, specifically in Palestine. Throughout the show, we see events from the past explaining what is happening now. A great show with a powerful performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal. Best Episode: The Hollow Wall
  • The Knick
    A new medical drama directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen. The show follows Dr. John W. Thackery and the staff at the Knick hospital. As the cast deals with many issues, new pandemics, racism, and cocaine addiction. The show is great and wonderfully shot. Best Episode: Get the Rope/Crutchfield
  • The Leftovers
    When I first heard that Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost) was making a new show, I was super excited. The show’s premise is very interesting: the lives of the people in a small town dealing with their lives after the sudden disappearance of about 2% of the world’s population. The show is exhilarating and moving. It reminds me of Lost the way it shows us glimpses of each character’s history. I am glad the show was renewed for a second season. Best Episode(s): Guest/The Garveys At Their Best
  • Transparent
    Looks like Amazon finally found its niche in the TV shows biz. Transparent is a hilarious dramedy with a talented cast. This is Amazon’s ‘House of Cards’. The story is beautiful, not to mention the magnificent theme. I think that this show is my favorite from this year. Best Episode: Moppa
  • True Detective
    It certainly isn’t the best show of the year, but it was definitely good. The show shines through the performances of its cast. I just hope that the next season’s characters and stories are as good or better than this season. Best Episode: Who Goes There
  • Utopia
    Last year, I fell in love with this wonderful conspiracy thriller, and my love continued to grow with the second (and sadly the last) season this year. The story continued this season with the group trying to stop the launch of Janus, and succeeding, for a brief moment in doing so. Although I’m sad that it was cancelled, the last episode was the best closure I could ask for as a fan. It’s worth mentioning that HBO is working on an American adaptation of the show directed by the great David Fincher and written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do with it. Best Episode: Episode 1
  • Veep
    Vice President Selina Meyer is back again! This time she is running for president (and unexpectedly becomes one while running). The third season is by far the best in the series by a huge margin. Julia Louis-Dreyfus definitely nailed her performance and she deserved every award and nomination for it. Can’t wait for its comeback in early 2015. Best Episode: Debate
  • You’re the Worst
    A new comedy from FX. The show is about two awful people: Jimmy, a selfish writer, and Gretchen, a self-destructive PR executive and how they both try to make their toxic relationship succeed. The show shines with its story and the cast, not to mention the amazing supporting characters, Edgar (Jimmy’s best friend who is also a war veteran suffering from PTSD) and Lindsay (Gretchen’s best friend who is unhappy with her marriage). Best Episode: Fists and Feet and Stuff

Honorable Mentions:

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (The Pontiac Bandit Returns)
  • Community (Cooperative Polygraphy)
  • Girls (Beach House)
  • Happy Valley (Episode 4)
  • Inside No. 9 (A Quiet Night In)
  • Looking (Looking For The Future)
  • Orphan Black (Governed As It Were By Chance)
  • Outlander (Both Sides Now)
  • Parks and Recreation (Moving Up)
  • Please Like Me (Sausage Sizzle)

Best Video Games of 2014

2014 VIDEO GAMES

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition 
    I never that I would love an action RPG the same way I loved Skyrim. Inquisition is an amazing game that provides days of fun. The game has it all. You can play with up to four characters. You can level up and upgrade your party. And you have all the time in the world to explore the vast open-world maps. Dragon Age: Inquisition is worthy of becoming a match to Skyrim.
  • Far Cry 4 
    When I first saw the gameplay trailer for Far Cry 4, I was jumping on my seat. I couldn’t believe that the follow up to one of my favorite games of 2012 was finally coming. Far Cry 4, feels new and similar at the same time. It has all what made Far Cry 3 special, the outposts, hunting animals, the variety of missions, and the assortment of weapons. What’s new in Far Cry 4 is that the setting is now in Kyrat. The game introduces many great and funny characters. Not to mention to great new tools, the Buzzer and the grappling hook. Far Cry 4 will definitely keep you entertained for days, even after you finish the story, you’ll still have a lot of places to discover and go to.
  • Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor 
    One of the best games I’ve played in a while. ‘Shadow of Mordor’ is the game J.R. Tolkein’s franchise deserves. The Nemesis system and the combat stand out in the game.
  • Super Smash Bros.
    I actually bought the Wii U just to play this game! Another game that shows how entertaining couch-coop can be. The game is so good and it features a fantastic ensemble of characters to choose from. This game will definitely keep you entertained, whether you’re playing it on your Wii U or your 3DS.
  • Monument Valley
    Beautiful, simple, and enchanting. I fell in love with the adventure of Ida and Totem.
  • Rayman Legends
    Fun fun fun. Rayman is back again and it’s better than ever. Rayman Legends is one of best platformers I’ve played in years! Playing this game with friends is fun and rewarding.
  • Shovel Knight
    The most amazing NES-like game ever. Insanely addictive and ridiculously fun.
  • TowerFall: Ascension 
    Pure awesomeness. One of the most entertaining games for co-op play. Unlocking every character in this game is really challenging.
  • Transistor
    Another gem from the studio that created ‘Bastion’. The game’s soundtrack is mesmerizing and the graphics are just beautiful.
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order 
    Wolfenstein is back! Kill all the Nazis! The New Order is just amazing and satisfying. The story is captivating and I love the twist on World War II. Not to mention the awesome stealth techniques (I’m a huge stealth fan). I’m glad I played this wonderful game.
  • 80 Days
    A beautiful adventure. 80 Days is not a game as much as it it’s an experience. You can make your own choices in this game, travel to the cities you choose. And depending on your choices, you will travel around the world in 80 days, more or less.
  • Alien: Isolation
    An amazing scary, horror survival game. It’s like reliving the movie all over again. AI is a beautiful work of art that tests the limits of your fear and courage.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft 
    The best digital card game experience. Hearthstone is wonderful, with its vast collection of cards and the diverse selection of opponents. It will definitely entertain you.
  • Mario Kart 8
    Another wonderful gem by Nintendo. Proving that the Wii U is still a major player in gaming. Mario Kart 8 is super fun. Providing hours of entertainment. Not to mention Luigi’s famous death stare.

Honorable Mentions:

  • InFamous: Second Son 
    My first PS4 title. I actually liked this game more than InFamous 2. Second Son’s graphics are insanely good and the fact that it has more than one power (four to be specific) is great.
  • Velocity 2X
    Intense. Fast paced. Endless fun. Velocity 2X is a great platformer that provides endless levels of fun.
  • Threes!
    An addictive puzzler that inspired a myriad of clones.
  • Wayward Souls
    The latest gem from the makers of ‘Hook Champ’, ‘Mage Gauntlet’, and ‘Punch Quest’.
  • The Sailor’s Dream
    The last entry in Simogo’s experience games suite. Can’t wait for their next one!

Disappointments:

  • Watch Dogs
    It wasn’t that bad, the idea was original, but it didn’t meet my expectations.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity 
    Although it introduced new features and mechanics (parkour, co-op, etc.), the story was weak and short, plus the game was full of bugs.
  • Destiny 
    Hyped up and heavily promoted, Bungie’s new game after the Halo series was really disappointing and it didn’t live up to the hype. Repetitive and boring. Not to mention the weak story.

Game I want to play:

  • Mario Kart 8
  • Bayonetta 2
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • Super Time Force Ultra
  • Dark Souls II

Best TV Shows of 2014, So Far

New:

  • Broad City
  • Fargo
  • Review with Forrest MacNeil
  • Rick and Morty
  • True Detective

Returning:

  • The Americans
  • Archer: Vice
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Good Wife
  • Hannibal
  • House of Cards
  • Inside Amy Schumer
  • Louie
  • Mad Men
  • Shameless

Now that I’ve posted the list, I’ll start watching the new season of Orange Is the New Black, adios!

Best Films of 2013

Best Films of 2013

Favorite Films:

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • A Touch of Sin
  • At Berkeley
  • Before Midnight
  • Berberian Sound Studio
  • Beyond the Hills
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Computer Chess
  • Frances Ha
  • Her
  • Insider Llewyn Davis
  • It’s a Disaster
  • Laurence Anyways
  • Leviathan
  • Museum Hours
  • Nebraska
  • Post Tenebras Lux
  • Side Effects
  • Spring Breakers
  • Stoker
  • Stories We Tell
  • The Act of Killing
  • The Bling Ring
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Wind Rises
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
  • The World’s End
  • Upstream Color

Best TV Shows of 2013

tv

Best of TV

“The year of hellos and goodbyes”, “The year of Netflix”. That’s what comes to my mind when I think about TV shows in 2013. 2013 was a great year for TV, it proved that we indeed do live in the golden age of TV. In this list I’ll talk about my favorite shows of this year (new and old). Let’s begin.

Masters of Sex (Showtime): A show about the lives of Dr. William Masters (Michael Sheen) and Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) who are considered to be pioneers in human sexuality, and the issues and difficulties that they met during their researches. Masters of Sex delivers powerful performances and a smart plot with every episode. The show is beautiful from the beginning to the end, not to mention its intro theme (my favorite). Let’s hope it stays good, after all, Showtime has a tendency to ruin good shows, e.g: Dexter, Homeland.

Hello Ladies (HBO): A brilliant comedy created by the hilarious Stephen Merchant who is also the star of the show. The show follows the lives of Stuart (Merchant), a web designer looking for the love of his life (a model on a billboard), and his roommate Jessica (Christine Woods), an actress who is trying to land the role that will change her life. Let’s hope it gets picked up for a second season.

Orange Is the New Black (Netflix): OITNB tells the story of Piper Chapman, a woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a federal prison. The show follows the life of Piper as she tries to find her place in the prison while she deals with the inmates and explores her sexuality.. The show is based on a true story, and it’s filled with funny (and emotional) scenes. My favorite show from Netflix, so far.

Les Revenants (The Returned) [Canal+]: In a small french town, a group of dead people (with different times of deaths) mysteriously come back to live with no memory of what happened to them before their deaths. The show is not about zombies, in fact, I’m not sure what it is that made those people come back to life, and that’s part of what makes The Returned a great show. The Returned doesn’t focus on one character. In each episode, it tells the story of one of the returned and how they died. The show’s creepy story is really good, although it ends with a cliffhanger. The second season is coming in 2014, with all the answers we need.

The Americans (FX): A new period/spy drama about a two KGB agents (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) who are living in the US (during the presidency of Ronald Regan) as a normal married couple with their children. Their neighbor (Noah Emmerich) is (coincidentally) an FBI agent. Margo Martindale guest stars as the couple’s KGB supervisor. The show follows their lives as they deal with their assignments, their past, and their marriage. A great new thrilling show that you should definitely see. The show will return for a second season in January 2014.

Broadchurch (ITV): A British crime drama revolving about the murder of a young boy in a quiet town. The series follows the story of DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant of Doctor Who), a talented detective followed by his past who recently moved to Broadchurch, and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Coleman), who recently lost a new job position to DI Hardy, she is connected to the family of the murdered boy. The show is beautiful, the story is great and filled with emotional moments. Broadchurch will return for its second season next year. It’s worth mentioning that FOX will remake this show (for no obvious reasons). David Tennant will reprise his role as DS Hardy in the remake. The remake will also star the great Anna Gunn, and Jacki Weaver. The US version will be called ‘Gracepoint’.

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (FX): Everybody’s favorite gang is back with its best season yet! Every episode in this season is great. The chemistry between the gang is still as strong as ever. The show, surprisingly, never feels boring or repetitive. Charlie is still trying to be with the waitress, and Dee is still trying to get famous. Always Sunny is one of my all time favorite shows, and to be honest, your life is pointless if you’re not watching it (it’s that good!).

Black Mirror (Channel 4): Black Mirror has been called the modern Twilight Zone by many critics. It discusses the side effects of technology using satire and drama. Every episode has a different story. Although this season wasn’t as good as the previous one, it still is much better than other shows.

Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central): A sketch comedy show by my new favorite comedian, Amy Schumer. The show is full with hilarious stand-ups, interviews, and sketches. Amy’s jokes and topics include: racism, sex, awkward situations, relationships, porn, and sex again. Which is something I’ve never seen a female comedian do before, and that’s why I like this show. Inside Amy Schumer is a great comedy show that will surely make you laugh a lot.

Getting On (HBO): HBO’s newest show. This dark comedy is based on a British series of the same name. The show is set in a hospital’s geriatric ward. It follows the day-to-day lives of the staff  (a doctor, two nurses, and a supervising nurse), and of course, the patients. Although the show only started two weeks ago, I didn’t think twice about putting it on this list because it made me laugh more than most of this year’s show ever did. Getting On looks promising and is definitely getting better with each episode. The first season is really short (six episodes), but remember, it’s all about quality, not quantity.

Mad Men (AMC): Everyone’s favorite period drama is back. This season, Don got back to his old games, sorry Megan. Joan became a partner. SCDP merged with CGC, which means that Peggy is back to her old firm, sort of. And most importantly, Don takes a mandatory leave of absence. The season was great as usual. Sadly, AMC announced that the next season is the final season, but with a twist. The final season will be split into two parts, the first will air in 2014, the second one will air in 2015. It seems like AMC is planning on making the final season of Mad Men as good as Breaking Bad’s.

American Horror Story – Asylum (FX): The creepiest show ever is back. In the second season, the story is set in 1964 at the Briarcliff Mental Institution. This season we saw all kinds of crazy stuff, aliens, exorcism, a Nazi, a serial killer, Anne Frank, and more. The cast this season was wonderful. It included Jessica Lange, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, James Cromwell, and Zachary Quinto. In my opinion, AHS Asylum is much better than the currently airing AHS Coven. Don’t get me wrong, Coven is not bad, it is just that it isn’t as thrilling as Asylum. My favorite episode was ‘The Name Game’.

Please Like Me (ABC2): One of my favorite new comedies. A new Australian show created by and starring the comedian, Josh Thomas. The show is about a 20 years old guy who discovers that he’s gay after getting dumped by his girlfriend. Josh goes through many awkward and hilarious situations in the show. The show’s first season is only six episodes long, so you have no excuse for not watching it.

House of Cards (Netflix): Netflix’s first original program. When I first heard that the great Kevin Spacey is starring in this show, I immediately started watching it. Spacey plays a congressman who helped in the election of the president and was later promised to be appointed as Secretary of State, but then he discovers that the president broke his promise and that he won’t appoint him. That’s when he starts planning for his revenge. The show stars Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, alongside Robin Wright as Francis’s wife, and Kate Mara as a reporter that Francis uses to leak news and scandals, and for a brief while, his lover.

Derek (ITV): Ricky Gervais’s latest work of art. In the show, Ricky Gervais plays Derek, an (autistic?) man who is working as a care taker in an eldercare facility. Derek is shown as a kind, innocent man who is just trying to help people as much as he can. The show is funny, but it’s also emotional at some points. The first season is seven-episodes long.

Other great shows: 

New: Moone Boy, Hannibal, Top of the Lake, The Bridge, Orphan Black, Utopia

Returning: Archer, Scandal, The Good Wife, A Young Doctor’s Notebook, Game of Thrones, Veep, Girls, Boardwalk Empire

Finished/Cancelled shows:

TV CF

30 Rock (NBC):  I’ve never seen so many A-list actors guest starring in any show more than 30 Rock. A funny show about the lives of the writers and the actors of a sketch comedy show on NBC. Although the final season was short, it was more than what I could ever ask for. Now we’ll have to wait to see what’s next from the amazing Tina Fey. TGS no more.

Breaking Bad (AMC): All hail the king. Breaking Bad lived up to the hype and delivered its best season. With great performances by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gun, and the rest of the talented cast. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the whole season. Although the finale wasn’t what I hoped for, it was satisfying nonetheless. The question remains, was Walt dreaming in the car outside the bar? or did he really execute his revenge plan? I guess we’ll never know.

Dexter (Showtime): I don’t have a lot to say about Dexter. All I can say is that this once great show finished its eight-season run with what I consider to be one of the most disappointing seasons ever.

Eastbound & Down (HBO): Goodbye to Kenny Powers. The awesome, super smart, never-wrong, always-right, baseball star. Not to mention Stevie, the loyal assistant.

Enlightened (HBO): Definitely one of my favorites of the year. Starring the wonderful Laura Dern, Luke Wilson and Mike White. The show (co-created by Dern and White), is one of the most underrated shows ever. It’s a great show with a moving story and terrific performances. The show was planned to have three seasons, but sadly, HBO cancelled it after the second season due to low ratings.

Fringe (FOX): One of the best sci-fi shows finally came to an end. The last season of Fringe wasn’t, surprisingly, as bad as I thought it would be. The final episodes were obviously made for the fans. The show tied up all the loose ends and finally put an end to the multi-dimensional story. I can’t wait to see the cast and their future projects.

Futurama (Comedy Central): One of the greatest and funniest animated comedies of all time aired its last episode (Again) this year. I really hope it’ll get picked up by another network.

The Killing (AMC): Yes, I know that the show was revived (AGAIN!), but I still think that I should put on this list. I honestly never knew what would happen in the third season, mainly because the show’s first two seasons were focused on one story, the murder of Rosie Larsen. I was surprised by this season’s story. It was great and it served as a conclusion to the series (even before the show was officially cancelled). Let’s hope that the upcoming (Netflix-only) final season is as good as the previous ones.

Misfits (Channel 4): What show on earth would conclude its 5-season run with a hilarious sky sex scene other than Misfits?

The Office (NBC): The final season of The Office was made for the fans. The finale was satisfying, not to mention that it featured Steve Carell! Dunder Mifflin and all its employees will surely be missed.  THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!

Best Video Games of 2013

games

It’s that time of year again. The time where everybody talks about the best of the year. 2013 was definitely one of the best years for gaming. With a lot of great titles, both indie and AAA games. Not to mention it was the last year for the seventh generation consoles. It’s also the year Simogo blessed us with not one, but two video games. So, here is my list for the best games of 2013. In no particular order. I’m sure you’ll find some very obvious choices in my list. Here we go:

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Guacamelee! (PS3 – PSN only): An amazing platformer (Metroidvania) and definitely one of my favorite PSN titles. You play as a Mexican wrestler who is trying to save a girl that he loves and save the world. You can swap between dimensions among other great features.

Grand Theft Auto V (PS3, Xbox 360): I think that this one is obvious. One of the most anticipated games ever. The classic open-world sandbox GTA is back and kicking with the best game in the series yet. With  new features like the ability to play with three different characters and switch between them anytime, and new types of levels like heists. GTA V will surely keep you entertained with its 30+ hours story.

The Last of Us (PS3): The game of the year (a tie with BioShock Infinite). Naughty Games did and impressive job once again with this game. Proving that it really is one of the best game studios in the world. This game exceeded my expectations and is definitely worth every penny. A new take on post-apocalyptic stories. With a perfect story and great acting.

BioShock Infinite (PS3, Xbox 360, Mac, PC): The game of the year (a tie with The Last of Us). Although I’m not a fan of first-person shooters, this game was surprisingly good. You play as Booker DeWitt, who is on  a mission to rescue a girl, Elizabeth, to get rid of all his debts. Its one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played. With stunning graphics and a full-of-twists story.

Beyond – Two Souls (PS3): An amazing interactive game by the makers of Heavy Rain. It is probably one of the most underrated titles of 2013. You play as Jodie, a girl who was connected since birth to an entity named Aiden. Although the story is somewhat lacking at some points and the controls are a bit confusing at first, the game is a work of art nonetheless. With great moving performances by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.

Animal Crossing – New Leaf (3DS):  One of the most addictive, time-consuming games ever! It will keep you entertained as you attend to your daily mayoral duties. Catch bugs, go fishing, collect some gemstones, build public projects, and travel to an island  to play some minigames or just relax. AC is great game that will provide weeks of fun gameplay and endless opportunities. Not to mention the option to play multiplayer with your friends. Once you get hooked on the game, you’ll play it for at least an hour every day.

Pokémon X/Y (3DS): The much anticipated latest installment in the Pokémon series. X/Y is the best Pokémon game yet. It looks amazing with the 3D graphics (a first for the series). The games takes place in the Kalos Region with Lumiose City (Paris) at the center. X/Y introduces over 100 new Pokémon and a new set of starter Pokémon. My favorite new feature is the updated EXP Share which gives each Pokémon you own %50 percent of the experience you get during battles. The game is a fresh breath of air to the series.

Ridiculous Fishing – A Tale of Redemption (iOS): Who would have ever though that a fishing game could be so addictive? Ridiculous Fishing is definitely my choice as the best mobile game of 2013. You play as Billy the fisherman. The game is extremely addicting and once you start playing it you won’t put it down until you’ve caught every fish in the game. Also, the game has its own social network, Byrdr!

Device 6 (iOS): Simogo, one of my favorite indie developers, released two beautiful masterpieces this year. Device 6 is an interactive thriller novel. So it isn’t just one my favorite games of 2013, it’s also one of my favorite books of 2013. The game is a visual feast. It’s full of smart puzzles. The story is truly great, you need to focus on both the audio and the visuals to solve some of the puzzles. Device 6 is a work of art and I can’t wait to see what will Simogo do in 2014.

Year Walk (iOS): Another great puzzle/adventure game by Simogo (Bumpy Road, Beat Sneak Bandit). This mythical adventure is inspired by Swedish folklore. The game is extremely polished and the soundtrack is beautiful. A separate, well-crafted companion app (Year Walk Companion) was also released with the game with background information about the locations and the creatures. The game may be short, but it truly is one of the best iOS games I’ve ever played. The game will be released on Steam in 2014.

SteamWorld Dig – A Fistful of Dirt (3DS – eShop only): A surprisingly great platform mining game. The game is insanely addictive and fun, although a bit hard at some points. In the game, you play as a robot who explores the mines and fights enemies with his pickaxe. You can upgrade your tools and powers as you progress in the game. The deeper you dig, the harder it gets.

Ni no Kuni – Wrath of the White Witch (PS3): I’m not a fan of RPGs, but the reason I got this game is mainly because of its developer, Studio Ghibli. When I heard that my favorite anime studio co-developed the game, I immediately went out and bough it. The game is beautiful with a great story and a lot of cutscenes made by SG. In the game, you play as Oliver, a boy who travels to the other world in hopes of saving his mother, and the world as well. The game is a classic Japanese-style RPG that will keep you entertained.

Tomb Raider (PS3, Xbox 360, PC): The Long awaited reboot to the hit series was finally released this year. The game serves as an origin story for Lara Croft. It’s great to see Lara Croft  from a whole new point of view. The game follows the same game style of previous Tomb Raider, while introducing a lot of new techniques and weapons. Let’s hope that the next game is as good as this one.

Rain (PS3 – PSN only): Another great PSN title. The game is about a boy who sees a silhouette of a girl running in the street followed by a mysterious creature, so he decides to follow her and save her, while following her, he becomes invisible as well. Rain is a great adventure game even though it is difficult at some points mainly because of the invisible enemies.

Spelunky (PS3 – PSN only): Yes, another underground exploring game, but this one is different. Digging is not the main focus of the game. In Spelunky, you play as the spelunker, equipped with bombs, a whip, and some ropes, he is exploring the undergrounds trying to collect treasures, while avoiding enemies, dodging traps, and of course, saving foxy ladies. The game several modes, single player, multiplayer, local co-op, and the daily challenge mode.

The Legend of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS): I honestly never thought that I would find any great game after October, but the new Zelda game proved me wrong. The game is an example of how sequels should be. It still has the same great features and gameplay style that the series excelled at. Except that this time, it managed to keep all the great features while creating a beautiful visual feast that will keep you entertained for days, yes, days. Although a lot of the elements and the environment in the game look a lot like ‘A Link to the Past’, the game features a lot of new different features, missions and dungeons. ‘A Link Between’ Worlds is another reason why you should get a 3DS.

Papers, Please (Mac, PC): One of my latest favorites. I’ve been procrastinating playing this game for a while, but now I finally did. Papers, Please is an amazing game by the talented Lucas Pope. The game is set in the fictional communist country of Arstotzka. You play as an inspector at a border checkpoint. Which means you’ll have to decide whom to let in and whom to keep out by approving (or denying) the visitors’ passports. You need to work hard so you can provide medicine and food for your family while also paying rent. Most of your decisions in the game are based on emotions.

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons (PS3, Xbox 360, PC): Starbreeze’s latest invention has got to be one of my favorites of this year. The game is, simply put, a game that requires both of your hands. I have never played a game where I have to control two characters at the same time before (you control each character with an analog stick). The game’s dynamics and great puzzles will certainly keep you entertained throughout the whole game.

Fire Emblem – Awakening (3DS): As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’m not a fan of RPGs, but Fire Emblem kept me playing for hours. The game features a plethora of characters (about 50). One of the best things about the game is its beautiful cutscenes. FE is a great game that requires a lot of strategic thinking. I can’t wait to see what’s coming next in this great franchise.

Gone Home (Mac, PC): A first-person interactive game where you play as a woman who came back to her house and found that all of her family is gone. This game can’t be described, you’ll have to play it by yourself.

The Stanley Parable (Mac, PC): Another first-person interactive game. You play as Stanley. A guy who works at an office with his daily boring routines, who suddenly, finds that everyone in the building is gone.

Note: I don’t a own a PS Vita or a Wii U (yet!). But from all the trailers and gameplay videos I’ve seen, I do recommend playing these two games: Tearaway (PS Vita) and Super Mario 3D World (Wii U). I’m considering getting the Wii U and the Vita just to play them.

Honorable Mentions: 

PS3:-  Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Batman: Arkham Origins, Minecraft

iOS:-  Hundreds, Star Command, BADLAND, CRABITRON, Kami

3DS:- Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

PC:-  Civilization V: Brave New World, SimCity, DOTA 2