totally top five 2k15: watching

5. We saw Guardians of the Galaxy in the fanciest theater I have set foot in since moving to North Dakota — leather seats that slightly reclined, an actually huge screen, the whole deal — and it was packed with excited people, which is always the best way to see any movie. It was a super responsive crowd from the start, so I knew we were going to have a good time and we did! We laughed and we gasped and we cried. No, like, cried a lot because despite some issues, it was a really good, well-paced package with a lot of heart. I was crying into my popcorn because GROOT, of course, and heard heavy sniffing behind me and turned to find the three teenage boys behind us fully wet-faced. Such a joy. I loved everyone in this and I really appreciated its existence as more of a standalone from The Avengers. Well, I’m also excited to see all the connections play out, but I would have loved it even if it were a truly separate universe. So fun and so good-looking and exciting and fun and funny.

4. I’m, like, 99% certain that the only reason Dope is this far down the list is because I only watched it a couple of days ago. Dope was so, so good. Crystal and I both thought it was a 90s period piece (Can you say period piece when it’s not set in like, 1863 or whatever?) until we actually started watching it and at first I thought I wouldn’t like that as much, but I ended up loving that they were able to do things with nostalgia for things from my childhood (I’m a sucker!) while also integrating new technology and the complexities of high school life in 2015. All these youths were so good! And the story was engaging and hard without being miserable. The image of Malcolm holding a gun in his shaking hands is going to stay with me for a long, long time (Give Shameik Moore 1000000000 awards!!!) but so is “How am I supposed to eat my pound cake?” Also, the music is SO GOOD. The 90s hip hop is great, but the songs from the in-movie band Awreeoh are AMAZING. Like, have been on repeat since I watched amazing. Can’t decide between sharing “It’s My Turn Now” and “Don’t Get Deleted” because they’re TOO GOOD.

3. I also saw Spy in a nice, packed theater full of responsive, laughing people and it was so fun and so entertaining, but I also rewatched it just about a week ago and it was just as funny and I loved it just as much. I love Melissa McCarthy so, so much and she and Paul Feig have really found a good rhythm together and I think their comedies are a nice mix of smart and stupid comedy. I love her physical humor, especially because it exploits her weight rather than blames it, and her delivery of those long, expletive-filled diatribes is always so damn on point. I was so excited to see Miranda Hart in a big movie and I really liked Rose Byrne a lot too. No one in this was disappointing and I laughed a lot through the entire movie, even when I was frustrated for Susan, which can be suuuuuch a hard line to walk. And, not only was it funny, but it was a good-ass action movie too!

2. 20 Feet from Stardom was recommended in one of Kimmie’s documentary round-up posts and it’s the first documentary I’ve really enjoyed in years. Some of the stories were heartbreaking, some delightful, and all of them were actually interesting enough to merit their inclusion in a documentary. I’ve loved Darlene Love for a long time and it was nice to hear her tell her own story. I was also SO GLAD to hear so much of the music they were talking about, including some of the raw session recordings. Have you ever watched a music documentary that couldn’t get music clearances? I have and it’s hell. This is the documentary that convinced me that I could watch documentaries and enjoy them, which I didn’t really think was possible.

1. Grace & Frankie was pretty much the only new TV I watched this year and I am so, so glad that we made the time for it because it is funny and adorable and moving and I cannot wait for the next season. I love both Grace and Frankie and their husbands and kids. I like that the characters make mistakes and bad decisions. I like that the leads are Older! Women! And that they address age! I will admit to being bored of rich white people stories in general, but I still really like this one, partially because I love all of the actors involved (Sam Waterston! Lily Tomlin! Jane Fonda! Martin Sheen! Ethan Embry! June Diane Raphael! Ernie Hudson!) and partially because I feel like the people in the story care about each other and the life they share and that’s extremely important to me. And also it’s funny and makes me laugh a lot.

Honorable Mentions: Mad Max: Fury Road | My Big Fat Greek Wedding | Whiplash

Totally Top Five 2K15: Listening | Reading | Stuff & Things