Best of 2011

This has been a big year for me.  I moved to a new city and started going to to a new school.  Big.  Now, join me as I let you know some of the other things that defined this year for me.

Music

21 – Adele. Sure, some of the singles on this album might have been over-rotated on radio and moments on television where something sad is about to happen.  However, it is undeniable that this album is genius.  This is an example of an artist taking their own experiences – both good and bad – and translating it in a way that other people can connect and identify with which is a beautiful thing.

Mylo Xyloto – Coldplay. Anyone who knows much about me knows that I love Coldplay.  I remember dancing to “Yellow” with my grade six boyfriend.  Listening to anything from Rush of Blood to the Head with my dear friend Katelyn in junior high.  I remember nights in the summer with “Lovers in Japan / Reign of Love” on the headphones.  And now I’ll remember spending my first autumn in Vancouver whenever I hear “Paradise”.

Ceremonials – Florence + the Machine. I had known that Ceremonials was already out but just hadn’t found the time to listen to it.  Then, on November 19th, while watching the Jason Segel episode of SNL they performed “Shake it Out”.  The show very well could have ended there and I would have been happy. It was magic.

Bon Iver – Bon Iver. The first time I listened to this album, I pressed play and went about cleaning my room.  I don’t think I finished cleaning my room.  This album will chill your bones on a hot summer day and bring a little light into a foggy, costal morning.

CAMP – Childish Gambino. Truth, I only listened to this album because I love Troy Barnes.  But who knew that the same person who uttered my favorite line of television all year (“Did you know that go-gurt is just yogurt?”) could also deliver such a cleverly-written album full of neuroses and honesty?  As the great Magnitude says, “Pop pop!”

Web Videos

Two little kids with some sick moves.

Cutest, sleepiest baby.

Some extremely clever writing with a cameo by Danny Pudi.

This one is pretty recent and it’s also pretty scarily accurate.

Coldplay covers Rihanna.

Television

Community
Community
Community
How I Met Your Mother.
  Very specifically, the last episode before they went on holiday break this season when SPOILER ALERT Robin finds out she isn’t pregnant with Barney’s child because she can’t have kids at all. Really well developed work.  Now, if they can just get back on track and give us the Mother and make it worth all this waiting, this show will live on forever.
and Community.
I don’t know what the hell NBC is thinking by putting this show on hiatus.  Will this become NBC’s version of Arrested Development? I hope not.  Regardless, this is the cleverest show on television.  When I recommend this show to friends I always urge them to stick it out through the first semi-awkward expository episodes because at some point during season one you’re suddenly in the middle of an inside joke that you actually get.  And once you’re in, you’re in.  It’s a show where incidental characters show up again when you least expect it (Rich, Quendra, the list goes on), gags return (“Troy and Abed in the mooorning!”), and meta is the icing on the cake (Cougartown, My Dinner with Andre, pretty much anything Abed does).  I’ll always thank my brief love affair with Netflix for encouraging me to watch this show.  My parents should be thankful Greendale doesn’t actually exist or I’d be dropping out of UBC to go there in a heartbeat.

Movies

Sure, there were some truly great movies this year.  Kristen Wiig et al. knocked it out of the park with Bridesmaids which revolutionized the female comedy.  I dug Midnight in Paris and fell in love with Dakota’s little sister Elle in Super 8.  Not to mention the 118 minute drool-fest that was Crazy, Stupid, Love.  However, this year marked the end of a long-running saga that I’ve been following for the past ten years.  Yes, Harry Potter.  People like to make a pastime of criticizing Harry Potter for being, in their eyes, a shitty LOTR knockoff.  I just think that’s a lazy criticism.  What is wrong with giving people, especially children, another lesson in good triumphing over evil?  Harry Potter is about standing up to evil and serves as a powerful holocaust/genocide parable near the end.  It’s a story worth telling and it came to a pitch-perfect conclusion this year.  I spent the entire runtime either crying or comforting my friend Kristin as she cried.  It was cathartic, to say the least. And for that, it lives on this year’s list by itself.

Timewasters

StumbleUpon.

Free Who’s Line is it Anyway episodes online.

The video section of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon website.

Twitter.

Project Free TV.

Things I Learned

Don’t live in Richmond. It was built on an area of loose sediment that, if there is a sizable earthquake, will separate the sand from the water and simply wash away. It’s also Richmond, and according to the way I’ve heard it referenced it’s like Edmonton to Calgarians. Shitty.

There was room in my heart for fifteen new friends.  Any fears about not making new friends in Vancouver vanished the first day I stepped in to my BFA classes at UBC.

Le français.  Kinda.

I can do a pushup.  Kinda.

Moving to Vancouver was a wonderful decision.  It’s revolutionized my whole life for the better.  I feel freer, happier and open to even more new things.  The coast agrees with me and a happy byproduct has also been that it’s helped me learn to appreciate home.  Love life.

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About Nicole

Night owl, pop culture enthusiast and independent young lady with theatrical tendencies. In a long-distance relationship with New York City.
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