Jane the Virgin

Dynamite Review Best of 2018

Each year I try to make a list of all my favorites for the year. Most years I don’t see or read or play much that came out in the actual year, but for once I was able to make lists of stuff that exclusively came out in 2018.

Black Panther

Movies
I feel like I should place a warning here before anyone can read my list. It is going to be heavy on the Superhero films. I watched Hidden Figures and Girls Trip for the first time in 2018 and loved them, but because they didn’t come out in 2018 I decided not to include them. So I apologize for the following boring list of movies.
1. Black Panther
Holy shit I still love this movie. I watched it recently, wondering if it would hold up from my original viewing and it did. If anything I like it more than I did the first time around.
2. Deadpool 2
I really need to re-watch this. I was finally able to get ahold of the unrated cut and I haven’t yet watched it. Still, the first viewing was incredibly memorable and I’m looking forward to seeing what was added. Also, they fucking made a PG-13 version with a tie in to my favorite movie, The Princess Bride!
3. BlacKkKlansman
This movie stands out like a sore thumb on my list, but I can’t help it. It was a great movie and hit me right in the soul.
4. Ant-Man and the Wasp
I loved the Wasp, she was such a badass.
5. Avengers: Infinity War
I’m still not sure about this movie. It was great, hit all the right notes, and got me super excited for the 2019 Marvel movies, but my final opinion of it is not going to be settled until those come out.

Honorable Mentions
Incredible 2
Oceans 8
The Hurricane Heist

Magic Triumphs

Books
The wonderful Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is not on the list since it didn’t come out in 20118, but it is definitely one I loved reading. Sadly, this will also be the first time I’m not including a Patricia Briggs book on my list, Burn Bright just did not cut it for me. I debated whether or not I should add Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews to my list since it’s a novella, but ultimately decided I liked having a nice round number for my total.
Like my movie list, my book list is kind of heavy on one side, namely Ilona Andrews’s book. Often in the past I’ve just listed them as one entry, but I did not read much this year, and my list would be bare without them.
So without further ado, my best of 2018 books!
1. Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) By: Ilona Andrews
This was THE climactic conclusion of possibly my favorite series. It was well worth the wait.
2. A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) By: Alyssa Cole
This was my favorite find of the year. I freaking LOVED this book and I’m so excited for the books to come.
3. Ocean Light (Psy-Changling Trinity #2) By: Nalini Singh
Nalini Singh is such a great author and I was so happy to finally have a human love interest in this series. It was all so sweet.
4. Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacies #3.5) By: Ilona Andrews
This may have been a novella but it packed a lot into the limited pages. I’m beyond exited for the books coming up and looking forward to seeing more of Catalina.
5. Iron and Magic (The Iron Covenant #1) By: Ilona Andrews
Before I read this I was not excited that Hugh was getting his own series, but I have now been converted. I never should have doubted Ilona Andrews.

murphy-brown-season-11-cast-photo

TV Shows
I watch a LOT of TV. I also, rarely write reviews for what I watch. I try to do season recaps after I binge, and I succeed at that about fifty percent of the time. I do better reviewing pilot episodes.
Like everything else, I’m going to limit myself to seasons that aired in 2018, which means that one of my favorites, Dramaworld, won’t be on the list. I’ll also try and include shows that I wrote reviews for, but sadly I haven’t gotten around to writing a review for The Good Place and I have to include it on my list.
So here we go!
1. Murphy Brown
You have no idea how much I love this series. I honestly had no idea how much I loved it until it came back and I actually set my little rabbit ears up and watched it live. I know the likelihood that I’ll actually get another season is slim to none, but I can’t stop myself from hoping for more.
2. The Good Place
Holy shit this show does not fail to deliver. Every episode I have no idea what the fuck is going to happen and it does not disappoint. It’s one of the best TV shows I’ve ever watched.
3. Westworld
Just when I think I’ve got a handle on what’s going on I’m thrown for a loop. Then they have an episode that shows an entirely new side of the hosts and I learn even more. It’s an interesting and beautiful show.
4. Jane the Virgin
Apparently, I love twists. That’s what my list is teaching me this year. Jane the Virgin gave me the biggest twist of the year with the season finale and I’m still on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next.
5. 12 Monkeys
The final season wrapped up a complicated story very well. It gave me closure and had me guessing right up until the very end. It was a fitting conclusion to a great time travel sci-fi TV show.

Honorable Mentions

Timeless

Doctor Who
Anne with an E
Sense 8

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Games
I love playing games, but it is one of my hobbies that ends up getting pushed aside for other things, so I don’t play as much as I would like. I also, don’t review many games, but here’s a list of my 2018 favorites.
1. No Man’s Sky: Next (PC)
I’ve enjoyed No Man’s Sky since the beginning, but the Next expansion brought me back to the game. The added content was amazing, and was quickly followed by more expansive updates. I spent well over 100 hours playing it this year and had so much fun doing it.
2. Smash Bros Ultimate (Switch)
Smash Bros Ultimate just came out and I haven’t had much time to play it. I’ve definitely not beaten the “story mode” yet, but I’m having a blast. I haven’t liked a Smash game since the original on N64 and I’m so excited to finally be enjoying the franchise again. There is so much content that it’s going to take some time before I’m able to finish it, if I’m able too.
3. Splatoon 2: Octoling Expansion (Switch)
It honestly feels like this came out forever ago. I downloaded it day one and somehow ended up beating it. The Octoling Expansion felt like the story we should have gotten with Splatoon 2 originally. It was fun and creative, several times infuriating, and just an all-around pleasure to play.
4. Civilization VI (Switch)
I love the Civilization franchise. I’ve been asking for it to come back to consoles ever since I moved away from playing on the XBOX 360 and I finally got my wish this year. I’ve only had it for about a month, but I’ve already spent over 60 hours playing. It’s so easy to say just one more turn and since I can play in bed, instead of at the PC, I’m playing it more than ever. It doesn’t have as much as the PC version, but so far I’ve been incredible happy with all that’s been included and with how it runs. I tend toward the Standard map, so I’m not sure how well it goes on larger maps, though.
5. Overcooked 2 (Switch)
My husband and I beat the original Overcooked together and for Christmas we started the sequel. Overcooked 2 is everything that I love about the first, but with polish. It looks nicer, the mechanics are better, and it still has all the fun and frustration of the first. It’s been a great game to coop with my husband and we’ve both been enjoying it.

Jane the Virgin Season 4 (2014-?)


Jane the Virgin Season 4 (2014-?)

Network:

CW

Creator:

Jennie Snyder Urman

Starring:

Gina Rodriguez

Andrea Navedo

Yael Grobglas

Justin Baldoni

Ivonne Coll

Jaime Camil

Anthony Mendez

Brett Dier

Plot:

A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

Review:

I sobbed like a little baby in season 3 when Michael, Brett Dier, died. Gina Rodriguez’s gut wrenching scream/sob tore my heart. I took a while to warm up to Michael but once I did I was on board team Michael the entire time and then to have him die, it was horrible. I was so glad they did a time skip afterwards because I honestly don’t know if I could have handled the grief.

Anyway, the end of season 3 had Jane finding her first love and I immediately hated him. He would never be as good as Michael and he wasn’t, but I’d kind of warmed up to him and then he came out as Bi and I was really happy. Didn’t love him for her, but he was a good guy and I hoped he would at least stick around as a friend. We had a fairly good episode where he described what being Bi was and Jane realized she had an issue, but then came to terms with it. Next episode she’s deciding to tell him she loves him and he decides to leave for LA. I wasn’t a fan of the timing, it felt too much like bi-erasure, but I never wanted them to wind up together so I dealt with it.

Then Petra, Yael Grobglas, was revealed as Bi and things were fine. I loved that they never even really talked about it. She fell head over heels for Rosario Dawson, naturally, and apart from some surprise from Jane and Raf nothing was really said about it. It was great, she’s honestly one of the best characters, though, you never quite know if she’s telling the truth or not.

Jane moves on, things progress, tons happen, and naturally she winds back up in the arms of Rafael, Justin Baldoni, it was bound to happen, they’re always falling for each other at the worst times, but for once the stars aligned and things worked out. Not a huge fan of them together, but since Michael wasn’t around I was fine with it. They were happy, they have strengths and weaknesses that work together.

At the end of the season it’s revealed that Xo, Andrea Navedo, has breast cancer. It was rough. Those last few episodes I watched in terror of what they would do with her. The last episode I just kept waiting for something horrible to happen. Watching her and Rogelio, Jaime Camil, work on their marriage and become a strong couple has been wonderful to see. They work so well together and they seem solid which the series really needed.

The last episode was as climactic as I’ve come to expect. I actually screamed at the reveal and I never do that. My husband was laughing at me and I just kept screaming. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how they’re going to explain it or how the relationships are going to change or even if I want them to. I need answers!!

I don’t have cable and I hate watching CW shows on their app or website, it never seems to work correctly for me, so I end up waiting for it all to be on Netflix. During that wait I end up forgetting how much I love Jane the Virgin but I doubt I will this time. I might actually have to watch live when the new season starts because I have to know. I have to!!

5/5

Jane the Virgin Season 3 (2014-?)

Jane the Virgin Season 3 (2014-?)

Network:

CW

Creator:

Jennie Snyder Urman

Starring:

Gina Rodriguez

Andrea Navedo

Yael Grobglas

Plot:

A young, devout Catholic woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

Review:

So the end of last season left me desperate to find out what happened. I was so excited to finally see Jane and Michael together and then, oh my god. I think the last time I cried that much was when Buffy’s mom died in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Holy shit it destroyed me, Jane’s sobbing tore at my soul.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the show anymore. I don’t think I was angry just concerned. I liked that they skipped ahead a few years, I don’t think I could have handled the grief and if they didn’t properly mourn long enough I would have been mad, because of the time skip we bypassed all that which was nice.

I enjoyed the second half of the season, maybe not as much as the first, but I still really liked it. However, I’m not sure what I feel about that ending. I think I would have preferred she got together with someone she’d never known before, I don’t know if I want a past love showing up. We’ll see what happens.

4/5

My 2015 Favorites

Movies:

2015 was not a good year for movies, for me at least. Of course, I’ve yet to see Star Wars so that could certainly change. I gave only two movies 5 stars, Tomorrowland and Mockingjay. I had several 4 stars that I remember very fondly though. Anyway, the following is a list of the movies I enjoyed the most, star ranking be damned.

    1. Tomorrowland– I was not expecting to love this movie as much as I did and I’m so thankful that I rented it. Literally the day after I watched it I went out, bought it, and watched it again. I have it downloaded on all of my devices and will just randomly watch parts of it. I love it and I could easily see this movie becoming one of my all-time favorites
    2. Jurassic World– This movie is another one that I bought, but I haven’t actually watched it yet. Thinking back to the theater I really loved it and I’m excited for more in the franchise like this. Also, Chris Pratt is awesome.
    3. Kingsman: The Secret Service– I think this movie was so great because I wasn’t expecting it. I went in with very little expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
    4. Parallels– I hesitate listing this because, while I liked it, it doesn’t feel complete. I really hope there’s more to come because the world created was very interesting.This was the year of books. I read over 100 books and so many of them were good. I did of course read a couple I absolutely loathed (I’m looking at you Fable: Edge of the World and Murder is Binding) but the majority of what I read I really enjoyed.

Books:

 

    1. Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond– I gave this as a Christmas present, that should really tell you how much I enjoyed it. I can easily see this being the first book in a series I absolutely adore.
    2. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet– This is the first book in the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series and one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Great series and I’m looking forward to reading the most recent installment.
    3. Anything by Jenn McKinlay- I read several McKinlay books this year and I loved almost all of them and the one I didn’t love I still liked. If you’re looking for a cozy mystery I highly recommend anything she’s done. She writes great characters and her stories are light and fairly believable.
    4. Clariel by Garth Nix- Even after all this time Nix stayed true to the world and showed us a great character.
    5. Magic Breaks & Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews- It’s Ilona Andrews, of course these books were amazing.
    6. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs- Just like Ilona Andrews, Briggs never fails to give me a book I love.
    7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Really liked the unique take on fairy tales this series has brought. I haven’t yet read the final installment, but I’m looking forward to it.

TV:

 

I don’t write as many TV blog posts as I should, probably because I watch too much damn TV, but here’s a list of my favorites for the year.

    1. Sense 8 on Netflix– This show suffered some pacing issues, but it didn’t affect how much I loved it. Season 2 can’t come out fast enough.
    2. Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC– Loved this show. Really loved this show. I want to be Agent Carter when/if I grow up. She’s such a great character and I’m really looking forward to season 2 which starts in January.
    3. Jane the Virgin on CW– When I’m watching this show I’m in freakin love. When I’m not watching this show I can’t really understand why I liked it so much because it sounds so crazy. Every episode delivers and it has continued into the second season, there has been no dip in quality. Highly recommend, more people should be watching this.
    4. Daredevil on Netflix– Episode two has one of the best fight scenes of the year from movies or TV, it was that good.
    5. Jessica Jones on Netflix– I didn’t think it was possible, but this was darker than Daredevil. Not really a huge fan of dark, but they did this very well. I thought Jessica Jones was a realistic portrayal of an abuse victim that happens to have some superpowers. She was rarely likable, but I never hated her, you could always understand why she acted the way she did. Actors were spot on as well, it was freaky seeing Tennant be so evil.
    6. Dark Matter on SyFy– I found this show on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. It takes a couple episodes to gather steam but when it does it becomes an interesting Sci-Fi tv show. Nice female lead and an interesting story.

 

This has been my 2015 year in review. What did you enjoy most this year?

Jane the Virgin (2014-?)

Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin (2014-?)

Network:

CW

Starring:

Anthony Mendez

Camille Collard

Andrea Navedo

Gina Rodriguez

Plot:

A young, devout woman discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated.

Review:

Wow was not expecting to like this show. The premise is so out there, very much like the telenovela that is depicted in the show. The amount that happens in the first episode is more than some series do in an entire season. I’m really curious to see if they’re going to be able to keep that pace up. Also I think I might want to try watching a Telenovela, maybe I will learn Spanish that way.