Welcome friends to my Best of 2017 post! I will be writing about the best music, movies, television that uh… that happened/I watched in 2017.
First of all, look at my amazing graphic design skills. I really wanted to tie in NYE glitter and one of my good AMAs panoramic selfie. It looks better on Instagram, trust me.
Here are my top 2017s. I will most likely update this in the next few days.
- Lorde – Melodrama
- Harry Styles – Harry Styles
- Dua Lipa – Dua Lipa
- Fifth Harmony – Fifth Harmony
- Nervous System – Julia Michaels
- Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato
Let me just say that Dua Lipa took over my life after MTVU in Northern Lights played “Be the One” over and over and over. Then “New Rules” and her album came out during the summer and I was so obsessed that I watched the music video every night before I went to bed during the summer for about two weeks. I cannot wait to see her in concert this February.
Fifth Harmony has great music that I obsessively listened to every single day as I got ready to go to work and as I winded down my day. They make me feel empowered and emotional and I feel like they have a lot to offer musically than most people realize. My favorite songs from their latest album were “Down” and “Don’t Say You Love Me.” Honestly, I love all of the songs and my body activates muscle memory whenever an upbeat song comes on.
Lorde is my everything and the night Melodrama came out, I was packing up my dorm room and dancing to “Sober” at 4 am. Melodrama truly became the soundtrack to my summer and is still going strong as my go-to music for any occasion. I cannot wait to see this era come to life on the Melodrama tour this March. Anything Lorde creates is genuine, genius, and has that spark of teen angst and human emotion that makes me replay songs over because I need more of her carefully crafted lyrics and beats.
- Shawn Mendes at Theatre at Ace Hotel (MTV Unplugged)
- Harry Styles at Greek Theatre
- Shawn Mendes @ Staples Center
- Coldplay at the Rose Bowl
- The 1975 at the Greek Theater
If you have a television provider, you can watch the entire episode of Shawn’s MTV Unplugged performance. I can’t watch this because I don’t have a cable provider! But I was there in the fourth row and I got my hands on a vinyl of the live recording, so I don’t really need to watch this edited version (except I did, and I tried to see myself in the audience).
My life kind of came full-circle during this past fall quarter when I was sitting inside Northern Lights, trying to study for a midterm. I heard strumming on a guitar and screams that sounded so familiar, and I looked up at MTVU playing on the screen and realized it was “Don’t Be A Fool,” recorded at MTV Unplugged. I silently freaked out because I was watching something that I had been part of broadcasted as a music video in my cafe.
Here is a YouTube extra from that night:
You already know about my Shawn Mendes summer, but I had to list The 1975 concert as a top show because it was my first concert in Los Angeles ever (in college), and I went with two friends and it truly was an event that changed my life. I learned how to get to the Greek Theatre by taking the bus! And I’ve been a 1975 fan since I was about a freshman in high school, so it was really great to see them for the first time.
Best Binge Watches
- Mad Men
- The Get Down
- The Mindy Project
- Breaking Bad
- Dear White People
- Chewing Gum
- Master of None
- Thirteen Reasons Why
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
So many real-life events coincided with the shows I was binging over the past year. I finished Mad Men at the same time that I started taking a class called “Music and Media,” which was about the introduction of music as a commodity in America. The last lecture actually ended with Don Draper’s Coca-Cola commercial (which, that episode definitely did mess me up).
I was binge-watching Dear White People at the same time that there was the annual USAC election scandal. So many people I know talked about how exact Dear White People was in encapsulating the feelings of students of color on campus. And yes, the fact that Dear White People was filmed at UCLA was incredible to watch and relate to.
Master of None season two was so much better than season one. Especially the scene in the Uber. I felt like I was forcing myself to get through season one just because I wanted to support it, but season two had more emotional depth and a thicker plot.
I’m so horrible that I refuse to numerically order them:
Call Me By Your Name, Okja, Gaga: Five Foot Two, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Coco, What If, Dunkirk, La La Land, Moonlight
(Okay, so some of these did not come out in 2017 but I WATCHED them for the first time in 2017 and I loved them).
I watch more shows on streaming sites than films, but lately I have been trying to watch more films. After my last final at UCLA this past fall quarter, I hurried back to my dorm room to drop off my backpack and then I Ubered to the Landmark to catch a 4 pm showing of Call Me By Your Name. I once read a review of Emma Stone in La La Land that praised how she used her entire face to convey emotion. I think that is true for the shorts-wearing Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name, only it is not just his face that conveys emotion, but his torso. The way he was posed and draped over so many surfaces in the film, whether that was hunched over the piano or sprawled across his bed writing in his notebook, it did resemble those Greek statues and tied into so many themes in the film. I immediately bought the book after I watched the film and it was like learning the sequel to the film. The book is Elio’s mind, and goes years beyond where the film ends. I encourage you to read the book and see the film.
I’m upset that I did not take myself to see Lady Bird, but seeing Call Me By Your Name was a decision I made at 3 AM the day of my last final and it was the last LA thing I could fit into my schedule before going home for the holidays. (They did not screen Call Me By Your Name in my hometown, and Lady Bird only played for about a week, so I knew I would not have the chance to see any indie film at home over the holidays.)
Best Books I Had To Read For Class
- Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare
- Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
- Shanghai Baby – Wei Hui
- The Hungry Tide – Amitav Ghosh
- Fun Home – Alison Bechdel
Writing final essays about Much Ado About Nothing has saved me twice. That’s all I’m going to say. Also, it’s a cute story.
I have a deeper appreciation for Leaves of Grass because John Cameron Mitchell always visits the New York City AIDS memorial where parts of Leaves of Grass is engraved at the bottom, and does a Reading of the Day on Instagram for different people or causes each time.
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2018
- Camila Cabello
I love “Havana,” I love “Crying In The Club,” I love her two new songs and I can’t wait for her album release and hopefully a tour! I wonder what touring production she has a contract with. Because I feel like she could play the Greek Theatre, but I wonder if she would tour smaller, like the Hollywood Palladium or something.
2. Charlie Puth
Charlie Puth has some really good songs, and although he recently announced he is delaying his album release, I think whatever he is working on is going to be better than what he has ever produced. His recently released single “How Long” is different and arguably better than anything on his album Nine Track Mind, and hopefully his new album is just as good. He is touring with Hailee Steinfeld this summer, who has created nothing but poppy dance numbers alongside big names in music, at his show at the Greek Theatre seems like it will be a really fun end-of-summer show.
3. Vance Joy
I am so sad that this summer I had to give up and resell my Vance Joy LA ticket because my work schedule and class schedule was too tight to see him and Coldplay back-to-back, but his new album “Nation of Two” is coming out two days after my birthday (Feb 23rd) and it’s available for preorder now! I love Vance Joy! His music is so calming and meaningful, and his music is actually used in many films that you have most likely seen!
4. Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour
I have been a Taylor Swift fan at heart since I was in 5th or 6th grade. I bought Fearless from Target around the time that it came out, and “You Belong With Me” really was the song of my life for so many years. I almost went to the 1989 Tour (and I would have seen baby Shawn Mendes as the opening act!!!) but the tickets were hundreds of dollars for far away seats at the Staples Center, and I decided that I didn’t want nosebleed seats as my high school graduation present. (Instead, I went to Disneyland.)
Red is her best album. It just is. I internalized all the songs from Red at a time in my life where I was maturing and my life was changing courses, and I will always hold “All Too Well” in my heart like it’s my story.
That being said, “I Did Something Bad,” “Delicate, “and “Dancing With Our Hands Tied” are my favorite songs from Reputation, and I also have recently gotten into “Endgame.” Overall, I am really excited to see her on her tour for the first time in my life, at 21 years old! When I started listening to her around 10 or 11 years old.
- A Wrinkle In Time
I should probably read this book since I did not have to read it in elementary school, but I am one of Mindy Kaling’s biggest fans and I can’t wait to see her and Oprah and Reese Witherspoon in this huge Disney film.
2. Ocean’s 8
Did I tell you I am one of Mindy Kaling’s biggest fans? Yes. This will be a fun post-finals treat after spring quarter.
3. The Incredibles 2
The Incredibles severely impacted my life when I was 9, in a good way! It was one of the best movies I had ever seen at that age. I had an Incredibiles-themed birthday and I had so many Incredibles toys and books. I think my entire family liked it and bought the special edition DVD because the story and their family structure was similar to ours. Also, Violet had really long black hair like I did. I can’t wait to see what kind of obstacles the family faces in the new film.