Our Favourite Things of 2014

By The Hodderscape Team

Posted on December 12, 2014 in Books, Film, Television with tags

Aside from publishing a lot of awesome books in 2014, team Hodderscape found time to kick back with some awesome films, books, comics and games. Here are the things that kept us entertained in 2014.

Anne

Desperate Duchesses Taxi Driver The Good Wife

Book: Desperate Duchesses, by Eloisa James. I’m a gigantic fan of historical romance, particularly Regency romance, especially of the funny and/or clever variety. Wealthy single ladies in whalebone corsets matching wits with darkly handsome (and very rich) rogues? Sign me up. Eloisa James’ Desperate Duchesses series was an especially joyful discovery; it’s clever, funny, sexy, and there’s a sub-plot about chess that runs through all seven books. Begin with book 1, Desperate Duchesses, and don’t say I never give you anything.

Film: In March I rewatched Taxi Driver for the first time in close to two decades, and haven’t been able to get it out of my head since. Scorsese’s take on the rot at the core of the American dream is as resonant now as it was forty years ago. Equally violent and poetic and featuring a titanic performance from Robert De Niro, it was and remains a profoundly moving, profoundly disturbing film.

TV show: This was a good year for tv for me; I got Netflix and satisfied a heretofore unexpected desire to watch 90s romcoms. But I also got to try out a number of tv shows I’d heard good things about without having to commit to buying a box-set. Orange is the New Black was a lot of fun, but it couldn’t compare to The Good Wife, far and away my favourite show of 2014. I burned through the four seasons on Netflix in about two months and then immediately went out and bought season 5. It’s a brilliant legal drama about a woman reinventing herself after her husband, a mid-level politician, is revealed to be not only cheating on her but also super, duper corrupt, throwing everything she’s ever sacrificed herself for into question. Spoiler: she bounces back pretty well. The entire cast is spectacular but Julianna Margulies carries the show, consistently delivering a performance as passionate as it is controlled.

Random: Disney. 2014 was a great year for the venerable company: between Frozen and Maleficient, Disney demonstrated a commendable willingness to tackle the problematic tropes it built a fortune upon (and somehow make an even bigger fortune thereby); with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy, it solidified the very real power of the geek pound and made some really, really fun movies in the process. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand and with the promise of more films like Frozen and Maleficient already being acted upon (who has high hopes for Into the Woods? I do!) – oh, and there’s that little film thing going on right now – Space Wars? Something like that – the ninety-one-year-old company has gone from being a pop-culture powerhouse to being, pretty much, pop-culture itself. As long as it doesn’t depress you to walk into a Disney Store and see your entire childhood laid out for sale, you should be fine. Well played, Disney.

Fleur

The Wake Paul Kingsnorth Dark Souls II Saga Volume 3

Book: The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth knocked my socks off and instantly became one of my favourite books of all time. Kingsnorth’s reimaginging of early English was weird, enchanting and mind bogglingly original. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to read The Wake, but imagine a strange, sweary voice whispering dark prophecies in your ear across history – probably quite hard to imagine, best you go off and read it instead. I also really enjoyed Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach trilogy and Hild by Nicola Griffith.

Film:  The Rover was like The Road but with more sand and a soundtrack resembling the sound of a dying whale. In short: I loved it. I also really enjoyed Under The Skin for its 2001 homages and awkward alien sexual encounters. Honourable mentions also go to What We Do In The Shadows for making me laugh, and The Congress for, despite a bit of structural messiness, taking some major risks and featuring an awesome musical appearance from Robin Wright.

TV Show: Like approximately 50% of the population, True Detective rocked my world. The cinematography, the storytelling, the characters, the soundtrack, everything was dark, poetic perfection.

Comic: As the layers of the story build, Saga just keeps getting better and Volume 3 was awesome – even though I did get a few funny looks from people on the Tube who probably thought I was reading alien erotica. I’ve got volume 3 on pre-order and can’t wait to see where this galactic family drama goes next.

Game: Dark Souls II slays me (present progressive because I haven’t managed to complete it!), but I feel like I’m a better person for it.

 

Sharan

Red Rising by Pierce Brown Godzilla_(2014)_poster Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 10.54.23

Book: Red Rising
This ISN’T because it is one of ours – I’m not that guy. It is just a bloodydamn good book.

Film: Godzilla
Because fangirl.

TV Show: Arrow
It is always great, but THAT mid-season finale. Holy effing hell.

Random: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
It is my one true love. I have re-watched the entire series about 3 times this year, because I clearly have great taste and refuse to be confined by the parameters of time.

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