Mala’s Best of 2022 Pop Culture Round-Up

I feel like these year-end posts are the only thing I put on this blog anymore. Maybe I’ll make an effort to post more in 2023? (Ahahahaha. No.) So, let’s get to it! I watched approximately 55 TV/streaming shows this calendar year. And read 155 books. No, I did not plan for “55” to be a thing. And I kind of lost track of how many movies I saw.

So what did I learn from all of this pop culture consumption? Well, clearly that Disney/Marvel still has me by the throat—even though Disney+ is now in a dispute with Roku and I can’t even watch the app on my TV anymore. But I digress. I tried to break up with Netflix for a few months—they eventually got me back because their original movies are really good and so was 1899. There were two very different streaming projects called Wedding Season, and I loved them both. And I attempted to rewatch The X-Files on Hulu, but I quit halfway through season three. My Mulder-Scully loving heart just couldn’t deal with the parts that don’t hold up well. (Which is pretty much everything that isn’t Mulder and Scully.) On the bright side, I fell head-over-heels in love with Fringe, which probably wouldn’t exist were it not for forebears like X-Files. But enough of my mental meandering down television Memory Lane. Let’s just get to the lists!

Favorite Books
The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements and Onjuli Datta
Kamila Knows Best by Farah Heron
American Royalty by Tracey Livesay
Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel
Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn
What Souls Are Made Of by Tasha Suri

Favorite TV Shows
Bel-Air (Peacock)
Evil (Paramount+)
Interview With the Vampire (AMC+)
Minx (HBOMax)
Ms. Marvel (Disney+)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+)
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin (HBOMax)
Wedding Season (Hulu)

Memorable Movies
The Adam Project (Netflix)
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Do Revenge (Netflix)
Entergalactic (Netflix)
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Fire Island (Hulu)
Lady Chatterley’s Lover (Netflix)
Love and Leashes (Netflix)
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Violent Night
Wedding Season (Netflix)
Werewolf By Night (Disney+)

Best Ensembles: Everything Everywhere All at Once, Interview With the Vampire, Minx.

Favorite Lead Actresses (streaming): Iman Vellani, Ms. Marvel; Madhuri Dixit, The Fame Game; Queen Latifah, The Equalizer; Alisha Wainwright, Raising Dion; Katja Herbers, Evil.

IWTV‘s Reid, Anderson, & Bass, AMC+

Favorite Lead Actors (streaming): Jabari Banks, Bel-Air; Oscar Isaac, Moon Knight; Anson Mount, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; Tom Hiddleston, The Essex Serpent; Jacob Anderson, Interview With the Vampire.

Favorite Supporting Actors: Joe Keery, Stranger Things; Eric Bogosian, IWTV; Thomas Doherty, Gossip Girl; Ebon Moss-Bachrach, The Bear; Malcolm Goodwin, Reacher; Wilson Cruz, Star Trek: Discovery.

Favorite Supporting Actresses: Coco Jones, Bel-Air; Bailey Bass, IWTV; Zenobia Shroff, Ms. Marvel; Maya Hawke, Stranger Things; Liza Lapira, The Equalizer.

Favorite Scene Stealers: Vivien Lyra Blair as Leia on Obi-Wan Kenobi; Robert Sheehan as Klaus on The Umbrella Academy; Francesca Mills as Meldof on The Witcher: Blood Origin.

Best Villains: Sam Reid as Lestat in IWTV; Alison Pill as the Borg Queen/Borgnes, Star Trek: Picard; Olly Sholotan as Carlton**, Bel-Air.

Favorite ‘Ships: Dante & Robyn, The Equalizer; Arman & Thony, The Cleaning Lady; Eyk & Maura and Olek & Ling Yi, 1899; Peter & Olivia, Fringe; Davia & Dennis, Good Trouble; Rose & Dimitri, Vampire Academy.

Favorite Throwback Show: Fringe. I watched all five seasons in less than two weeks.

Best Pop Culture Surprises: little Leia being central to Obi-Wan Kenobi; Baby Yoda showing up in The Book of Boba Fett; THAT cameo in Wakanda Forever; Bo Brady coming back to life on Days: Beyond Salem.

Biggest Pop Culture Disappointments: The Batman, Andor, Bros.

Shows I DNFed/Ditched: Andor, Days of our Lives, General Hospital, Kung Fu, The Sandman, Willow.

Canceled Shows I’m Already Missing: 4400; Batwoman, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Raising Dion, Tom Swift, The Wilds.

2022’s Pop Culture Crushes: Oscar Isaac, Elliot Page, David Harbour, Jake Johnson.

Best Pop Culture Thing I Did This Year: I went to FanExpo Chicago and indulged my fangirling of Netflix’s The Punisher by getting a pic with Jon Bernthal and asking a question at his panel.

**Is Carlton Banks really a villain? Honestly, I don’t know. And that’s what’s great about how Sholotan plays the role. At times, he’s this super vulnerable young man and at others, I am dead certain he’s going to drown cousin Will in the pool. lol. And so, I think that merits villainous kudos.

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