The Manolith crew got together to run down our favorite things from the year that was. While you don’t get to go home with a buttload of swag after reading this article, like you would if this was Oprah’s Favorite Things, at least we won’t unleash a swarm of angry bees on you.
Favorite movie: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I haven’t even seen it yet, but it will be my favorite because I didn’t really like anything else this year, and I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Most hated movie: The Dark Knight Rises (You can read all about why I hated it here.)
Favorite song: I see Kanye West’s “Mercy” on every critic’s best-of 2012 list. It wasn’t even the stand-out song on Cruel Summer for me. I liked “New God Flow” more.
Most hated song: “Glad You Came” by The Wanted. Most forced innuendo ever.
Favorite TV show: Gotta break this one down into comedy and drama subcategories. Parks and Recreation and Game of Thrones, respectively.
Favorite sports moment: Manchester City’s two goals in injury time to win the Premiership. Still get chills thinking of it. I’m not even a big EPL fan, but I will forever be grateful that I got home from a Sunday morning workout in time to watch the second half of this game.
Favorite new gadget/app: I won’t pretend I didn’t get completely swept up in Draw Something madness back when it was cool. Evernote, Waze and DogCatcher have all made my life easier, too.
Favorite video game: Madden 13
Favorite YouTube clip: Two dudes singing Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long (All Night)” literally all night long.
Favorite meme: Grumpy Cat
Favorite new thing I ate: Pork buns at Momofuku Noodle Bar Toronto
Event I’d like to erase from 2012: It really sucks that the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship. The LeBron story would be so much more interesting if he never got a ring.
Favorite movie: Looper, surprisingly. In a “meh” year for movies, this punchy little time-travel mindbender was clever (but not too clever), exciting and twisty enough to keep you guessing. Jeff Daniels’ small-but-amazing role was the polar opposite of his part in Dumb & Dumber. Runner-up: Beasts of the Southern Wild, a dreamlike indie film set in a storm-ravaged Louisiana community featuring a five-year-old kid who should beat out all the grown-ups for the Best Actor Oscar.
Most hated movie: The Avengers. Finally got around to watching at the recommendation of friends whose opinions I no longer trust. Even the rat-a-tat of Tony Stark one-liners couldn’t make me enjoy this interminable mess of color and noise. Hated. It.
Favorite song: “Want it Back” by Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra (watch the awesome and slightly NSFW video). Amanda Palmer made history by launching the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever by a musician – she asked for $100,000 and raised $1.2 million. Although it hasn’t been without controversy, this song demonstrates the money was well spent.
Most hated song: “Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber. This shouldn’t require justification. “But,” one might protest, “it has 190 million views on YouTube! Can 190 million people be wrong? Yes. Yes they can.
Favorite TV show: Breaking Bad. Every moment that passes between the mid-season cliffhanger and next summer’s series conclusion is torture. This is what meth withdrawal must feel like.
Favorite sports moment: Oscar Pistorious, South African double-amputee, running in the men’s 400-metre race at the London Olympic Games. Yes, it was controversial, given the speculation that his prosthetic blades give him a leg-up (worst pun ever) over the competition. I don’t care. It was historic and captivating.
Favorite new gadget/app: Fatify. Take a picture of someone and the app turns them into a hideously obese, belching blob of blubber. Useful? No. Hilarious? Yup.
Favorite video game: UFC Undisputed 3 for PS3. After a long day, there’s no better way to unwind than pummeling Anderson Silva’s face into a bloody pulp and hearing Joe Rogan holler “what a knockout” during the slo-mo mouthguard-spewing replay.
Favorite YouTube clip: Although it’s not a new clip, it experienced a resurgence of popularity at the end of 2012, making the rounds of Facebook and Twitter once again. It’s a parrot singing “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”. It wins the Internet.
Favorite meme: Dogshaming. How can you stay mad at a disobedient dog when he looks at you with those baleful, apologetic eyes? Here’s how: you write down the dog’s indiscretion, hang the message around the dog’s neck in Scarlet Letter fashion, and take a picture for posterity. Bad dog! Good meme.
Favorite new thing I ate: Larb. Although it has a strangely unappealing name (say “larb” 10 times fast), larb is pure deliciousness. The national dish of Laos typically includes diced meat, vegetables, toasted rice for a fun crackle, and a sweet-spicy-salty mix of spices. Wrap it up in a crisp lettuce leaf and shovel it into your gaping maw for pure bliss.
Most hated trend: Trending. Just because everybody’s tweeting about something doesn’t necessarily make it important.
Event I’d like to erase from 2012: The three hours I waited in rapt boredom for that guy to skydive out of a space balloon. Three long hours of staring at a guy sitting in a tin can, with occasional glimpses of people sitting around mission control. Surely the deep-pocketed bigwigs at sponsor Red Bull could have orchestrated something to help us pass the time, like a phony UFO attack (it did happen above Roswell, after all) or a HAL-like voice calmly objecting to the whole endeavor.
Most hated movie: (Hate is strong, but…) The Bourne Legacy was a real disappointment.
Favorite song: “Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You” by Led Zeppelin. Just as good in 2012 as it was when it was released in 1970.
Most hated song: “Gangnam Style”
Favorite TV show: Toss-up between The Walking Dead & Parenthood
Favorite sports moment: I’ve been waiting all 2012 to see NFL commissioner Roger Goodell go to New Orleans for the Super Bowl in early 2013. Spiteful, I know. I have never liked that guy.
Favorite new gadget/app: Well… I got a smartphone. Pretty proud of myself. I put some apps on it. I rarely use them. Twitter tells me everything I need to know — even when to use the restroom.
Favorite video game: Modern Warfare sessions are family affairs in our household.
Favorite YouTube clip: Something with a cat?
Favorite meme: Smokin’ Jay Cutler
Favorite new thing I ate: Flash-fried rainbow chard
Most hated trend: Dudes in jeggings and/or skinny jeans. Seriously, stop it.
Event I’d like to erase from 2012: The 2012 U.S. Presidential campaigns.
Most hated movie: The Dark Knight Rises
Favorite song: “Titanium” by David Guetta
Most hated song: “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye
Favorite TV show: Louie
Favorite sports moment: Peyton Manning signed by the Broncos
Favorite new gadget/app: iPad Mini
Favorite video game: Halo 4
Favorite YouTube clip: Anything with Louis C.K.
Favorite meme: One Does Not Simply / Have Binders Full of Women
Favorite new thing I ate: Pizza
Most hated trend: Twitter
Event I’d like to erase from 2012: Summer Olympics