Poptic Nerve's Best and Worst of 2019!




2019 will be remembered as a mostly fun year in Pop Culture with a few lulls. Here are my picks and pans for 2019!



Best New Television series:


The Watchmen

Godfather of Harlem

Warrior


The Mandalorian

Swamp Thing


Dead to Me


Worst New Television series:

Batwoman

Whaddaya know, another Greg Berlanti project, but this time, it's more catered to the LGBTQ demographic and while understandably so, because representation is key, this series fails to impress. Although Kate's backstory involving a tragic accident that involves, the Dark Knight himself, is intriguing, the lame jump cut fight scenes along with a dull cast of characters and Ruby Rose's acting or lack thereof, says avoid at all costs!! Beh, I'm done with the Arrowverse anyways.





Best Recurring Television Season:

Power

Castle Rock Season 2

MC Mayans Season 2

Frankie and Grace



Time to pull the plug:These shows not only run on autopilot, but now has ran its course!


Ray Donovan

The Walking Dead

DC's Titans




On the Chopping Block: Farewell to a few beloved shows:

Orange is the New Black

The Deuce

Game of Thrones

Swamp Thing (DC Universe)

Fleabag

Arrow (It's about goddamn time!!)

Punisher and Jessica Jones (Netflix)


While Swampy had a bunch of unresolved loose ends due to its preemptive cancellation, Fleabag, while enjoyable, was just a continuation from its previous season that was three years ago, and with Game of Throne's being nothing more than a faux pas, HBO's The Deuce,  had one of the best finales I have seen in a tv series!
An aged Vincent Martino, (James Franco) sees the "ghosts" of his friends while walking through Hell's Kitchen for possibly, the last time. It was bittersweet, poignant and passing reminder of an infamous era, a long time ago.

Props to David Simon and George Pelecanos for closing this out after three seasons.


Rest in Power: Deaths of fictional characters that no one saw coming!
Um, "Spoiler alert "!

Tony Stark/Iron Man
Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
(Avengers Endgame)
Keesha and Ghost?!!? : Power
Half the remaining cast from Game of Thrones!
Wonder Girl (Titans)
A good chunk of the main cast from The Walking Dead
Frank Martino (HBO's The Deuce)

If 2016 was remembered for the passing of so many actors, musicians and pop culture icons, 2019 serves as the bloody year where in certain cases, major series are axed, thus giving showrunners creative freedom to clean house. I can understand Wonder Girl sacrificing herself to save others, but it’s a predictable trope unlike killing off your main protagonist mid-season! Has Ghost been officially, "ghosted" or is this another "Who shot JR" storyline?

"Heads, u lose.
As for the Walking Dead, well there's that one episode that brought in the
highest ratings from that season.
Although it was considered shocking, I found myself desensitized, not because of the violence, but the series losing its magic. And with that said, it needs to disappear altogether.




Best Film:

Joker
Avengers Endgame
SHAZAM
The Irishman
Dolemite is my Name
John Wick Chapter 3

Shoutout: Joker!

While Endgame delivered the goods with a cathartic finale and copious amounts of fan service, the 3-hour conclusion of the Phase 1 saga, suffered from a few lulls within the story and not to mention, a bit of plausibility.  (Natasha's sacrifice and reactions, ring a bell?)
Joker, didn't rely on special effects or multimillion production budgets, instead, a cerebral albeit nihilistic retelling of the Joker's origin. 

Also, Joaquim Phoenix delivered an exceptional performance!
For the record, as much praise as I had given SHAZAM, for being a more lighthearted Comicbook movie, that went against the previous convention of Zac Snyder's  nihilist DC adaptations, the "Marvel Family" scene wasn't required in order to carry this film to Superhero greatness.
I enjoyed The Irishman but it's nowhere as good as Scorsese's other Mobbed up movies such as The Departed or especially Goodfellas.Great use of CGI de-aging techniques and to top it off with solid acting by DeNiro and Pacino.





Worst Film:

The Kitchen
Okay, I’m no big fan of that walking "Menstrual Act", that is Tiffany Haddish, I thought she was legit in the Kitchen, based on a DC Comics Graphic Novel, this adaptation was a bit janky when it came to the storyline and pacing, what's even worse, that rushed copout of a ending!

No, scratch that! These entries vie for the worst film of the 2019, instead!

Gemini Man
Will Smith vs Will Smith! No, it’s not a rap battle, but a dumbed down action film, where he plays an assassin, being pursued by a younger version of himself. While the CGI reverse aging, works, the plot, pacing and action scenes fall way below expectations.

X-Men Dark Phoenix
More reason why Disney’s accusation of FOX is justifiable.

Rambo. Last Blood
Not only should this be the last Rambo film, but also Stallone’s. God forbid if he brings back Cobra!

Harriet
When you have a fictional Black Bounty Hunter who kills runaway slaves, while having the White slavemaster as the “hero” in the end, is more than enough reason for placing this revisionist history bullshit in the dumpster fire! The real Harriet Tubman is spinning in her grave at this moment.

Shaft
John Singleton is also spinning in his grave after this laughable “sequoot”!




"Don't believe the Hype":
Overrated films and Television shows.

Captain Marvel

Euphoria (HBO)

Once upon a time in Hollywood

The Umbrella Academy (Netflix)

Us



Tarantino’s Magnum Opus fell short of expectations.  Dull story, oft pacing and a less than flattering fight scene which involves Martial arts legend, Bruce Lee, didn't make Once, appear on my top favorite QT films. One's mileage may vary but excuse me while I throw this in the same undeserving of hyperbole pile alongside Death Proof!



Most Annoying Song: Lover (Taylor Swift) and anything from Cardi B
And just when you thought Adele’s “Hello” was cringe inducing..!





Best Special or Miniseries:

When They See Us (Netfix) 

Dave Chappelle. Sticks and Stones (Netflix)

The Act (Hulu)

Dororo (Amazon Prime)

The Loudest Voice (Showtime)

Chernobyl (HBO)

Man, I cannot stress how 2019 was yet, another year for groundbreaking Television!
Especially since none of these entries disappointed me. The Act, based on a true story, had amazing performances mostly, thanks to Patricia Arquette who plays the unscrupulous Mother who exploits her "handicapped " daughter for notoriety and of course, profit.
But eventually repercussions happen as the Act turns into a murder mystery.  Speaking of mysteries, When They See Us, loosely based on Ken Burns' documentary about the infamous Central Park Jogger case, brings otherwise faceless defendant's to life as you become immersed in their situation. Also, the fact that some opportunist District Attorney Linda Fairstein and some uncaring parent, coerced innocent Teenagers into serving time via pleading guilty.

Director Ava Duvernay brings the impact courtesy of heartbreaking performances from the main cast.
This miniseries challenges the many pitfalls of a broken judicial system and how the innocent is harshly judged and exploited through the media and public perception.

Dave Chapelle's Sticks and Stones
Is a breath of fresh air, especially when the legendary comedian tackles the annoying cancel culture as well as call out Michael Jackson's "accusers". It's Dave at his best and damn the easily offended!
Comedy is perhaps the last bastion of free speech. Take that away and what do we got? A totalitarian society! Which ironically, is through the fault of the Lefties. Plus, there’s “Juicy Smollett” !

The Loudest Voice
Say what you will about Russel Crowe past controversies, but this actor is like a chameleon, he’s versatile and like the excellent Denzel Washington, Crowe has an impressive range of portrayals, one as of recent is, the notorious PIG as in Fox News creator and Media mogul, Roger Aiels , who is not only infamous for pushing hate filled rhetoric via network, but forces himself upon his weak willed employees, until certain bimbos had the conviction to stand up against him. Shoutout to Seth MacFarlane who played against type as Aiels flunky, Brian. I would go with the Loudest Voice as opposed to that silly movie Bombshell that lionizes the racist harpies who served Fox News until it no longer served their purposes. Showtime’s Loudest Voice is a more “Fair and Balanced” biopic.




Best Videogame:

Mortal Kombat 11
Sekrio Shadows Die Twice
Modern Warfare
Jedi Fallen Order
Gears of War 5
Devil May Cry 5
Resident Evil 2


Jedi Fallen Order

What do ya know? A great Star Wars game, and from Electronic Arts, at that! Fallen Order may have cribbed a few gameplay elements from other titles, (Think Dark Souls meets Uncharted) but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The story and breaks of exploration add more variety than some mundane hack and slash game. Not to mention, how the production value and set pieces breathes more "Star Wars" than the recent crop of SW Disney films. Jus sayin.

Modern Warfare, wins for its compelling campaign mode alone! Despite the name "Modern Warfare", it’s not to be confused as another sequel, since the game's premise is a reboot of the first Modern Warfare game over a decade ago. The multiplayer is a welcomed addition that forgoes the farfetched science fiction settings, supersuits or jump packs from the previous titles. Instead, the combat is more boots on the ground oriented, and it's long overdue! Thank gawd, Activision finally ditched the horrific lootbox system which technically, was gambling!

.

Sekrio: Shadows Die Twice:

From the makers of the sadistic Dark Souls series, comes the brilliant new ip, that's innovative if not original!The ability to transverse out of danger adds new gameplay elements than your typical hack and slashy.But as with all Soulsesque games, the brutal difficulty may dissuade casual gamers, prepare to lunge your game controller toward the screen!



"Could've been a contender " Games that should have been good but sucked!

Anthem
Contra Rogue Corps
Crackdown 3
Left Alive

For the most part, 
I was lucky to dodge those dumpster fires which under-performed...
very badly!! But here a few much better titles that were overlooked by the mainstream gamer.👇






Hidden Gems: Games you overlooked, when you shouldn’t have.
Surge 2
Days Gone
World War Z


So these are my picks that I highly recommend. Happy 2020!
Stalks, out!


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