The 6th year of my blog. Also, more importantly, Happy Mothers Day! My mum loves flowers, so she gets a lot of those on Mother’s Day from me and my siblings.
Here’s how the blog fared in its 6th year.
Special Mention – The Secret Life Of The Zoo (Series 2)
OK, technically this isn’t in the time period, but it gained a lot of views during this ‘year’. And the most viewed in the time period is:
The documentary series about Chester Zoo, the stars of series 3 included a “penguin pop band” with each member named after crisp brands. Munch featured prominently in series 2, the penguin chick who featured mostly in this series was Squares.
Series 3 also featured a butterfly fish named after The Doctor in Doctor Who, with his own TARDIS (well, a bucket that takes him from tank to tank) and fights alien invaders (sea anemones).
The Hi Way elephant family featured strongly in both series, with two new calves born in series 3.
Just as ‘The 12 Days Of Christine’ was generally the most popular episode of series 2 and the most viewed on the blog, once again ‘The Riddle of The Sphinx’ was the most popular
episode generally in series 3 and the most viewed on the blog. ‘The Riddle Of The Sphinx’ was DARK, even by Inside No. 9‘s standards. It starts off being about cryptic crosswords,
but let’s just say things take a disturbing turn and just get more horrific from then on.
Last year’s Eurovision was alright. The winner (Portugal, represented by Salvador Sobral with ‘Amar Pelos Dois’), was a different sort of song for a Eurovision winner, and the first time Portugal have won.
The UK’s entrant was Lucie Jones, and we did slightly better than we have done in recent years. (Though admittedly, not that much better).
I was quite pleased the two laziest entries (Germany with a rip-off of David Guetta & Sia – ‘Titanium’, and Spain with a repetitive tuneless mess) were the bottom 2, and also that Italy’s smug, pretentious entry ‘Occidentali’s Karma’ underperformed despite being the favourite to win.
My initial favourite was Austria’s entry, Nathan Trent – ‘Running On Air’, I suppose because he’s really nice and pretty, and the song’s really nice and pretty. In the long run, Norway’s entry, JOWST – ‘Grab The Moment’, was the song I listened to the most after the contest was over.
But for being perhaps the most “Eurovision”, I have to give a shout out to Romania’s entry, Ilinca feat. Alex Florea – ‘Yodel It’. Rap and yodeling!
I’m quite proud of this one actually, of how well it turned out, as I was in two minds about doing it at all, but it turned out to be a lot of fun writing it, and the end result was a lot better than I imagined.
Justin Myers/the guyliner posted a link to this from his Twitter account, mainly due to learning that Earth Wind and Fire had a Christmas remix of ‘September’ called ‘December’, and he said the blog was “really great”. He is someone I have admired for a long time, so that was amazing.
This was my personal favourite episode of series 3 of Inside No. 9. Empty Orchestra is the literal translation from Japanese of “karaoke”, and fittingly it takes place in a karaoke booth, and it’s also a fancy dress party so there’s a lot to enjoy here. Also one of the very few Inside No. 9 episodes to get a happy ending!
I’ve been watching Eurovision since 1997, making 2017 20 years, so I did a ranking post of the winners in that time.
The second series, which was mostly enjoyable but infamously had a bit of a downer ending but there is supposed to be a special happening later this year, which really will be the final ever episode.
The franchise is on its last legs isn’t it? Actually, it might even be crawling on its belly now. Anyway, this wasn’t a bad series per se, the changes made (can perform their own self-written songs, elimination decided by public vote only) were fine, but honestly can anyone remember much of anything from this series? It feels like it happened years ago, not months ago. Which doesn’t bode well for winners Rak-Su and runner-up Grace, let alone any of the other contestants, but I guess we’ll see.
A murder mystery set in an art gallery!
This was about a lost shoe, but being ‘Inside No. 9’ there was a lot more to it than seems at first….
Blog posts about The Secret Life Of The Zoo were my top most viewed, but overall, Inside No. 9 was the biggest show here, every episode in the time period is in the top 10! For year 6 of the blog the screw has fallen off the 6 and become a number 9! It is probably the best show on TV at the moment, IMO. (And yes, I have been watching series 4, I have been reviewing it, but it’s quite a complex show and I want the posts on it to be as good as they can be, so they’ll appear on the blog when they’re ready).
Another Special Mention:
This wasn’t “liked” by other bloggers, but it was VERY close to being in the top 10 most viewed and was actually the most viewed out of all the three Nows, so I have to include it really. This had no less than 4 songs which made it into my top ten songs of 2017!
These posts were all ‘liked’ by other bloggers:
In hindsight, this was better than I thought at the time, quite a few tracks on here have
grown on me, most notably ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ by Sigrid, which also ended up in my top ten songs of the year.
Personally, I think this was the best of my Now reviews this year in terms of how it turned out.
This was my first attempt at a different country’s Now compilation and of a retro Now album. I did this one because I bought it in America ten years before the time I wrote that blog post. What I did like about this was that as U.S. Now albums are only one CD rather than two I was able to talk about every single track without it getting too long.
Well, you can probably guess what this is.
This is similar, but a top 5 list of tracks which I liked in 2017 but were technically from 2016.
Jack Whitehall did a decent job of presenting, and the most notable thing with the ceremony was Stormzy winning British Male Solo Artist and British Album Of The Year, and in his great closing performance brought up the Grenfell Tower disaster and slated the Tories and The Daily Mail, but also expressed happiness at the recent success of other black British people, such as Daniel Kaluuya winning a BAFTA.
This was actually the most viewed of my Doctor Who posts, which is a little strange, as this wasn’t one of the better or even most memorable episodes, but there you go. It was about a Celtic tribe versus a Roman legion and featured a mysterious alien beast. Crows are prominent, too.
This was a brilliant opening episode, and could have been one for a whole new era of the show, the only unusual thing was that it was representing the end of an era. It was a great introduction to the new companion Bill Potts (played by Pearl Mackie), and it had an intriguing antagonist in Heather (played by Stephanie Hyam), which also had a love story element, that would come back in the series finale.
The one with the Emojibots.
This was interesting, set in Regency England during the last Frost Fair, and brought up topics such as how there was more diversity than is often believed, and also how to cope with the reality of loss of life in certain jobs, and visually the episode looked great, perhaps let down by generally flat guest characters and a cartoonish villain.
Zombies in space (sort of). I really liked this one, it had satire of capitalism could be if applied ruthlessly in the far future and I felt it was similar to Red Dwarf in that way, in fact the new series of Red Dwarf had quite a similar episode.
Speaking of the new series of Red Dwarf…
Very much a series of two halves, an average first half, but an excellent second half. But overall, things that happen in this series include Lister, Rimmer and Cat all getting converted into mechanoids, Rimmer and Kryten competing in an election, a very evil corporation taking over Red Dwarf, and Rimmer travelling the multiverse.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the sci-fi sitcom, I did a series ranking post.
Blue Planent II, presented by David Attenborough, was a majestic series, the biggest show of 2017. It has put environmental issues into mainstream culture and politics, showing the impact we humans are having on our planet.
Blue Planet II – ‘One Ocean’ was a great opening episode, an introduction to all the elements of the series.
Blue Planet II – ‘The Deep’ was going into the furthest depths of the ocean, showing some truly awe-inspiring footage, some of which had never been filmed before.
Blue Planet II – ‘Coral Reefs’ (the most viewed of my Blue Planet II posts) had some of the most beautiful sights in the series, but ended on a heartbreaking note that many coral reefs are dying due to global warming.
Blue Planet II – ‘Big Blue’ was on the vastness of the open ocean and featuring creatures such as the very peculiar Portuguese man-o-war, but the ending showed how plastic that is dumped into the oceans is literally poisoning it and the animals that live there.
Blue Planet II – ‘Our Blue Planet’ directly focused on how us humans are affecting the oceans, through overfishing, dumping waste (not just into the ocean!), and global warming, but crucially it also showed successful attempts at improving the situation, to protect species and areas and to reduce the waste we put out, that it can be done and does make a difference.
David Attenborough also made another documentary, Attenborough and the Giant Elephant about the interesting, but tragic life of Jumbo, probably the most famous elephant who ever lived.
By far the most, er, pointless blog post I’ve ever done. It was basically me talking about how when Owen Jones and Mark Watson won Pointless Celebrities: Writers Special, and
that I kind of fancy them both a bit and in another universe they’d make a great couple. And that’s pretty much the entire post, but someone liked it, so here it is.
A mediocre series of The Apprentice. It ended with joint winners for the first time ever, but seriously, who cares? The star of this series was Elizabeth McKenna. Running a tourist task like a headmistress on a school trip, on the same task shouting “To infinity and beyond!” on a Segway, chasing chickens and turkeys around, giving herself the lead role and taking over editing of an advert in a task where she wasn’t even the project manager, spending a whole task using a tape measure and still getting the measurements wrong. But the thing is, it would be a mistake to just view her as a joke contestant, she was genuinely one of the best performance wise, she was very organised and efficient, and was a key feature of her teams winning the tasks.
That said, Anisa Topan was probably my favourite contestant, as she seemed lovely.
Another contestant Andrew Brady would then go on to appear in….
This was a great series! Deliberately going for depth, they had only women in first, then men a few days later, and lots of important issues ended up being discussed, such as equal opportunities, LGBT+, racism, gender equality. It was won by drag queen Courtney Act (real name Shane Jenek), one of the best winners ever. Shane J/Courtney is very informed on a lot of LGBT+, specifically drag and gender identity, and health related issues, and was also very nice and polite too.
I also quite liked glamour model Jess Impiazzi, who turned out to be a lot smarter than she thought she was.
I think it was a very, very good year for the blog. Here’s to the next year!