Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017

I consume copious quantities of culture. Here are my favorites works of the year:

Best TV Show -- "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" (2017) -- This show, made by the witty creator of the "Gilmore Girls", centers on the struggles of a young woman in the 1950's. When her marriage falls apart, she finds herself trying stand-up comedy, succeeding and, along the way, befriending Lenny Bruce (a famous, real-life comedian). The dialogue is funny and the fashion -- oh my God, the fashion! -- is amazing. I swoon at every outfit Midge wears.

Best Old Film -- "Smiles of a Summer_Night" (1955) -- A comedic examination of men, women and love by the greatest filmmaker of all time, Ingmar Bergman. Some of the lines in this film are hilarious, like these:

      "For once, I was truly innocent."
      "It must have been early in the evening."

      "Why don't you write your memoirs?"
      "My dear daughter, I was given this estate for promising not to write my memoirs."

     "Men are horrible, vain and conceited. And they have hair all over their bodies."

      "I hit him on the head with the poker."
      "What did the Count say then?"
      "We elected to part amicably."

Best New Film -- "Lady Bird" (2017) starring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. This film proves that handing power to women in Hollywood is important. Only a woman could have written and directed this story which authentically depicts a teenage girl's life and troubles.

Best Documentary -- "I Am Not Your Negro" which presents words written half a century ago by brilliant social critic James Baldwin. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. The film is full of insights into the deplorable conditions on race in America which continue to this day.

Best Novel -- "Made For Love" by talented author Alissa Nutting. I love this book and blogged about it. The story, clever writing and smart wit entertain and amuse. Since publication, the book's rights were sold and the author is now working on turning the book into a television show. Let's wish her well.

Best Theatrical Play -- "The Terms Of My Surrender" by political activist Michael Moore. I approached this Broadway play with much apprehension but was pleasantly surprised by its humor and intelligence. As divisive as Moore is, his compassionate voice is needed in the current political climate.

What are your favorite works?


  1. I just saw Lady Bird and thought it was quirky and authentic.

    I can highly recommend Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.

    I am going to seek out The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and Smiles of a Summer Night.

    I hope you are having a wonderful time on your trip!


    1. Thanks, buddy, and thanks for your recommendation.

  2. I've not heard of any of these but generally I'm always behind on things like this as I don't tend to do lots of exploration of thus type of thing. I'm looking forward to going to see a relatively new ballet for my birthday in February at the Royal Opera House which is being conducted by the conductor of my orchestra, it is pretty exciting as I don't do that type of thing often . Happy new year to you Ally.x

  3. Replies
    1. And they are a small sample of the many hilarious ones.

  4. Out of all your choices, I'd only heard of Ladybird, although I haven't seen it yet. I'd love to see the James Baldwin documentary as I have read some of his books. xxx

  5. Thanks for the recommendations. Will look out for them!
    We are behind the times over here, so may take a while ;-)
    I live in a bubble of kids and boys, so have seen many action movies lately. Dunkirk the latest which I struggled to stay in due to the tension...but really well done. I look forward to your picks. We are also waiting to see Atomic Blonde when it comes onto youtube after Suzanne's recommendation. Happy New Year from New Year's Eve in Australia...not behind the times now! xo Jazzy Jack

  6. Thank you for sharing this Ally!
    I have been looking for a new TV show and I appreciate that reccomedation.
    I recently saw the Shape of Water and found it excellent.
    I can no longer read comfortably, but I listen to audiobooks with great enthusiasm. My recent favs are:
    The Sea of Tranquility By Katya Millay
    Still Alive by Lisa Genova, and Spilled Milk by K.L Randis.
    I love to read the NY Times and the readers comments, I get a great mix of excellent opinions of new events that way.
    Two months ago I saw a opera by a small company via a recommendation from a friend, and it was excellent. Very little fanfare, excellent production.
    Also loved Three Billboards..
    Happy NYE!
    I wish you all the best for 2018.
    xoxo, Elle

  7. Thank you for so many recommendations. I have only seen Lady Bird from this post.


  8. I'v never heard of any of this. I'll be on the look out.

  9. I have also not heard of these works but will look out for them.