2023 Media Review

And so we come to another look back on everything that I watched and read over the course of the last year. I reached my goal of 52 books again (21,154 pages), which made me happy. I also watched 23 television series in their entirety and 88 movies. That’s 4 fewer TV shows than last year, and 15 fewer movies, for reference. It’s definitely felt like I haven’t been watching as much, but I don’t think I need to set a goal for that or anything. (Though I would like to watch a bit more, just to stay up on what’s out there.)

And as I usually do, I present to you the highlights of the year:


I only gave one book a 10/10 this year: The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. A jaw-dropping memoir about growing up in extreme poverty. Very moving, and so well written. Definitely check it out.

I gave four books a 9.5/10:

  • Tress of the Emerald Sea: Unlike most other Brandon Sanderson books, but for some people that’s a good thing. It’s very readable and very approachable, and also works great as a standalone. Loved it.
  • Uncrowned, Wintersteel, and Bloodline: Three of Will Wight’s Unsouled series, which I read in its entirety, now that it’s finished. Are they the world’s finest literature? Nope. But they’re a whole lot of fun.

I gave 13 books a 9/10:

  • Well of Ascension, Hero of Ages, and The Lost Metal: All from Sanderson’s Mistborn series, which I also read in its entirety again.
  • The Frugal Wizard’s Handbook: Another Sanderson book. Not everyone’s favorite, but right up my alley.
  • Good Girl’s Guide to Murder: Really loved this YA murder mystery in first person.
  • The Institute: A Stephen King book that had a great beginning, middle, AND end? Sign me up.
  • Blackflame, Ghostwater, Underlord, Waybound: More of Will Wight’s series.
  • The Sunlit Man: Another Brandon Sanderson, this time written more in the vein of an adventure novel. Great fun.

See a theme? I read 12 Will Wight books, 11 Brandon Sanderson books, and 5 by Stephen King. Did I read anything lower than a 5/10? Nope. Just two 6/10’s. One of them was a lesser-known Michael Crichton, and the other was the third book in a very popular trilogy, which really disappointed me, but was still decent.


I only watched one season I gave a 10/10 to: Welcome to Wrexham season 2. If you haven’t seen this documentary focused around Ryan Reynolds buying a Welsh soccer team and doing his best to bring it back to its glory days, you are really missing out. Loved loved loved it.

I also gave only one 9.5/10, this one to the first season of Silo on AppleTV+. Great adaptation of Wool, by Hugh Howey.

Two shows got a 9/10 from me:

  • 1883: I love that they’re making new, quality Western TV series, even if they’re usually more along the lines of a mini-series
  • Yellowjackets: Take Lord of the Flies, gender swap it, and put it in the middle of a brutal winter. Also, cannibalism.


I gave four movies a 10/10, two new to me and two repeat watches:

  • Matilda: The Netflix adaptation of the Broadway musical was so, so good.
  • Tetris: If anyone had told me it was possible to make a fantastic movie about the making of Tetris, I’d have laughed in their face. I’d have been wrong, though.
  • Groundhog Day: Yes. It’s on here again. It will always be on here. Every. Single. Year. Deal with it.
  • White Christmas: The epitome of classic Christmas movies.

No movies got a 9.5/10 from me, but 30 got a 9/10:

  • Top Gun: Maverick: Loads of fun. Better than the original, easily.
  • The Menu: Horror and fine dining? Who knew?
  • 3:10 to Yuma: the Russel Crowe remake. Great western.
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once: A movie that sounds terrible when you try to describe it in detail, but somehow works beautifully.
  • The Prestige: A new classic.
  • The Edge of Tomorrow: An overlooked sci-fi gem
  • Paths of Glory: A war movie and a legal thriller. How many films can say that? (Sorry, A Few Good Men: you don’t count as a war movie.)
  • Grease: Classic
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox: Wes Anderson and claymation? Yes, please.
  • The Court Jester: Danny Kaye bliss, plus old school Angela Lansbury and Basil Rathbone? How can you go wrong?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 3: Such a relief to end the series on such a strong note. One of the last Marvel movies I’ve actually cared to watch.
  • The Darkest Hour: Churchill done by Gary Oldman? Fantastic.
  • Braveheart: Still works wonderfully.
  • One Two Three: Zany antics in black and white. You owe it to yourself to watch this one, if you haven’t seen it. Just give it time to really get going, and then step back and enjoy.
  • Dune: Seeing it a second time made a huge difference. Go figure.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Superb
  • How to Steal a Million: Another one that might have been missed by people who haven’t gone as far back in films as they ought to have. 🙂
  • Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris: Lovely, heartwarming film about fashion
  • Rudy: Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
  • Seabiscuit: Is there a better horse racing movie?
  • Bullets Over Broadway: One of my personal favorite Woody Allen movies.
  • A League of Their Own: There’s no crying in baseball!
  • Doctor Sleep: I was really impressed by how good this direct sequel to The Shining turned out to be.
  • Knives Out: Daniela will be so disappointed I didn’t give this one a 10/10. Still fantastic.
  • Planes Trains and Automobiles: The few. The proud. The Thanksgiving movies.
  • Elf: It’s gone on to be a great Christmas movie that stands up to repeat viewings
  • Christmas Vacation: See above.
  • Battle of the Five Armies, Fellowship of the Ring, and The Two Towers: It’s so hard for me to accurately gauge these movies any more. Ratings really don’t matter. I probably should have them higher. Certainly the LOTR series as a whole is a 10/10 for me.

What about the worst things I watched?

  • The Willow TV series got a 5/10. Some of my friends really liked it. I don’t understand why, but I respect that. I did not like it much at all.
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum was another 5/10. I’d never seen it. Now I know why.
  • Going in Style was also a 5/10. An old George Burns movie I took a chance on and then wished I hadn’t.
  • Picard season 2 got a 3/10. I hated it.
  • Meg 2 got a 5/10. I have no idea why I watched this movie. I think I was feeling brain dead?
  • Friday the 13th Part III was a 5/10 and made me comfortable not watching any more of that franchise.
  • Nightmare on Elm Street 2 managed to one up it, though, by getting a 3/10 and bringing that franchise to a close that much faster.

And there you have it. Any of you have anything you’d like to really recommend? (Or warn about?)

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