Top 20 of 2016, Part Two

More of what I was all about in 2016! Read the first part here.

15. The J.A.P. Rap Battle from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Like Lemonade, there are MANY things about Crazy Ex-Girlfriend I wanted to include here – but most of them debuted in 2015, I was just late to the party. The absolutely glorious rap battle between Rebecca and Audra, however, not only screened this year but was also one of the funniest, most intense and telling scenes from that show.

14. Supergirl, queer visibility, and President Lynda Carter
I have been enjoying Supergirl since it debuted, but this season has really outdone itself in terms of charm, storytelling, and character development. Alex’s story in particular has not only incorporated one of my favorite background characters from the DC universe (Maggie Sawyer!), but presented a really lovely coming-out narrative. If you have ever doubted the impact that visibility makes for the queer community, particularly people just figuring themselves out, I urge you to read this twitter thread posted by @sapphicgeek (and I dare you to not cry).

Additionally, Supergirl introduced us to the president of the United States, who in that universe is played by Lynda Carter, and if you don’t think that’s beautiful I’m not sure what to do for you. (She got a truly excellent invisible jet gag in, and please writers, more Wonder Woman jokes all day, every day.)

13.The kids from Stranger Things
I was not as deeply enthralled with Stranger Things as many people – I enjoyed it, and in fact watched it all in one sitting during a sick day, but it didn’t change my life or make me sweat for another season (I actually kind of wish the Duffer brothers were doing it anthology-style). I will admit, however, that the kids, particularly our five main heroes, were THE BEST (I’m including Noah Schnapp as Will Byers because he does just as good of a job with much less material as everyone else). Child actors can make or break a project by virtue of simply not being as experienced or focused as adults, and Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Caleb McLaughlin were magnetic to watch.

I’m giving Millie Bobby Brown her own mention because, seriously, for real. This girl is unreal. With barely six words of dialogue per episode, she lets you know exactly what’s going on inside of Eleven’s head – the combination of her facial acting and the way the narrative spins out creates such an elegant bait-and-switch. Eleven is so powerful, and so raw, that she could have been portrayed as a monster; she could have been Carrie White but ends up being Danny Torrance, someone you sympathize with and want to rescue rather than being afraid of.

12. This tweet from @KevinTPorter: “Adulthood is 70% getting yelled at, 25% nostalgia, and the other 5% is you get to rent a car I guess”
Kevin T. Porter is, of course, one of the estimable Gilmore Guys. I can’t find the link to the exact tweet anymore, I think it was from August, but follow him here. He’s pretty great.

11. The women of Ghostbusters
I enjoyed Ghostbusters – it wasn’t jaw-dropping, blow-me-away great like I really wanted it to be, but I found it charming, funny, and legitimately scary in some places (which I had not expected). Some of the jokes were clunkers, and I wish the final confrontation had involved more clever problem solving than brute force, but I found it an overall positive experience.

The one thing that I found unequivocally fantastic, though, was the cast, the chemistry they had with each other, and their portrayals on screen. What we are presented with are four women who are not Hollywood beautiful, who are powerful personalities with absolutely no shits to give about personal appearance or what other people think of them, who get dirty and eat pizza and wear canvas and love and support each other. Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones so clearly respect each other and had fun making this movie together that I cried just watching their friendships on screen grow throughout the movie.

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