My 2022 End-of-the-Year List
I'm looking back at my 2022, even if some of the media I consumed isn't from the year.
Like many journalists, this is an end-of-the-year list. I love these lists from my favorite creators. I get recommendations about books, movies, and music. However, I don’t get to some of these things until the following year. If I were to write one of these lists, it would be filled with items from years past.
But you know what, I like these lists. I want to write a list. I’m not a journalist, so I don’t think I have to be timely. I can write a list of all the content I consumed in the past year, whether it be from my childhood or last week. So welcome to my list - even if I only watched six new-to-me movies and one of them was from 2019.
And remember - I’m keeping this positive. I leave negativity and disappointment in 2023 and I’m bringing the things I loved.
First of all, here’s a list of things I did this year that I want to take with me.
I posted more on my TikTok, and I have enjoyed making goofs and jokes about book covers.
I also started a YouTube page with videos of my podcast. It’s been interesting learning how to edit, as that’s a skill I never cultivated. It’s still pretty rudimentary, but it’s fun and, frankly, nothing I do is really meant to be taken too seriously.
My partner and I went to Disneyland in October. It was a blast as usual.
And finally, my sister, my partner, and I got to see one of my favorite groups, Dreamcatcher (more on them later), in San Francisco. I think everyone should go to a K-pop concert, if they aren’t a stan. People give out beautiful, homemade photocards. There's no opening act. The shows goes for about two hours. There are fan events. Everyone is dressed up. Light sticks. It's a good time.
This year, I discovered one of my favorite mangaka’s previous works, entitled Oresama Teacher by Izumi Tsubaki. It centers around a delinquent girl who is expelled and sent to a different school after fighting too much. This is a romance manga, I swear, but definitely from the same mind as the person who wrote Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun.
I finally read The Sawbones Book by Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy, based on the popular show from the McElroy Family of Products. If you like medical history or making fun of history (and you have a strong stomach), this is a good book to pick up.
How could I not love Xiran Jay Zhao’s The Iron Widow? Mechas, Chinese Mythology, Kaijus, and a woman going apeshit? Perfect. Buy their book.
For my true crime friends, Tinseltown by William J. Mann is the story of Hollywood’s early days, centering around the murder of director William Desmond Taylor.
I finished Lilith’s Brood, which is Octavia E. Butler’s Xenogenesis trilogy in one book. Like her other books, it’s amazing, but it’s a tough read. She doesn’t shy away from topics and while, overall, the book is about hope, it’s a bumpy, terrible road to get there.
Solutions and Other Problems is Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half. Her raw vulnerability, humor, and illustrations are laid bare on the page. I laughed and then teared up the same story. It took a while, but the book was worth the wait.
Finally, my favorite book from my childhood that I read this year was The Baby-Sitters Club #16: Jessi’s Secret Language. There are some things about the book that have not aged well, like calling American Sign Language by the term “Ameslan.” She also makes up her own ASL, which is a big problem. But overall, I thought the book was sweet and helped me find kinship with Jessi through a love of language.
Now it’s time for the movies that I saw that were new to me. They are in chronological order. Chronological to when I saw them.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie - It is a very cute movie that will please fans of the show. My only complaint is that it needed more songs. Just go full musical.
Everything Everywhere All At Once - If I were to rank these, this would be my favorite movie of the year. It should win every Oscar everywhere ever all at once.
Prey - I’m not a big Predator fan, but I am a fan of Amber Midthunder.
Hellraiser (2022) - It was fine. It was certainly better than every Hellraiser sequel except Hellbound: Hellraiser II. But I didn’t hate my time with it, unlike Hellraiser: Hellworld. The first two Hellraiser films are perfect and I think you should just rewatch those.
Smile - I’ve seen several TikToks equating this movie with Japanese horror. I understand the resemblance and I think that’s a compliment. It does suffer from what I call the “Third-Act Insidious Problem,” wherein a movie has a great monster but they show it too much in the third act.
The Booksellers - A great documentary if you like books, book collecting, or book culture.
Unfortunately, I don’t watch a lot of TV, but there are a few shows I’m attached to.
Bob’s Burgers - It’s always about this show with me.
Star Trek: Lower Decks - This is a really funny, underrated show that goes under everyone’s radar because it’s exclusive to Paramount+.
Abbott Elementary - How can I not love this show?
What We Do in the Shadows - Jackie Daytona. That is all.
Spy x Family - Everyone is great, but I love Anya’s expressive faces. Especially this one.
I mostly play Final Fantasy XIV all day, but here are some games I played for the first time this year.
Unpacking - This one may seem like a relaxing game about taking things out of boxes, but there’s a story here told in a unique way.
Dreamlight Valley - It’s like Animal Crossing if your tools didn’t break all the time and Goofy is fishing.
Pokemon Violet - The frame rates are garbage, I wish the gyms had any personality, you can’t decorate your dorm room, the catch rates are bad, they claim to give you freedom, but there really isn’t any, you need a guide to point you in the right direction, Pokemon Centers look like food trucks. That being said, I had so much fun in this game and I kind of loved the stories, especially Arven’s. And Larry forever.
I mostly listen to K-pop, so here are a few songs I really loved from this past year that I don’t think have enough attention. Sure, I liked “Elven” by IVE, but it has enough attnetion.
It was a big year for Dreamcatcher. They got their first music show win and completed a sold-out tour (which, if you remember, I attended). Here is their masterpiece from this year.
Billlie has a cool, unique sound in K-pop, and that needs to be celebrated.
Ghost went viral on TikTok this year, and I’m happy more people are paying attention to this band. I particularly enjoyed this song from their newest album.
This sounds like the future and the ‘90s to me, and that appeals to me.
This song should have come out in July, but I love everything Rolling Quartz does, and I think they deserve more attention.
Why is this the B-side and “Girls” is the release?
J-Hope is the most underrated member of BTS.
This group also needs more attention.
I love SNSD, and I loved “Forever 1,” but this song had me in its grip for a while.
ATEEZ brings everything they have with every track.
All my lists need to have Seventeen - it’s the rule.
Pale Waves appeals to the freshman in me who wishes I could sing and look like that.
They must be protected at all costs.
I looks like PIXY is leaving nugu-dom with this song and I’m ecstatic.
New boy band to stan alert.
They were only brought in for one more job, and they left us wanting more.
Jenny Nicholson put out a four hour video about a theme park I hadn’t heard of - and it’s a masterpiece.
Thanks for reading the list. I know this is outside my usual purview. But I wanted to do it and it made me happy, so I did it, which is the energy I’m bringing into 2023 and it’s the energy I hope for you. We deserve to be successful and happy and I want to make 2023 the year we all level up. So stay safe, read more book, and I’ll see you next time for my regularly scheduled content.
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