The cast of 'Party Down'.

The cast of ‘Party Down’.

Here’s a list of all the films and TV series I watched in 2014. (r) indicates a repeat viewing. (*) indicates a movie or show that had an especial impact on me.

2014 wasn’t a great year in movies: as Mark Harris pointed out in his terrific piece for Grantland, the proliferation of comic book tentpoles and their sequels means that Hollywood is producing less original work with every passing year. My personal favourites (aside from Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which resembles The Tree of Life in its fascination with the fragmentary nature of memory but is altogether friendlier and more prosaic) were largely classics revisited or finally got around to. Videodrome achieves the same tone of queasy romance as Cronenberg’s later The Fly; in this age of streaming it also plays like a tribute to the physical qualities of videocassettes. Heat is as essential a document of 1990s masculinity as Kathryn Bigelow’s Point Break, with the difference that its danger-addicted men (Al Pacino and Robert De Niro) are middle aged rather than surfers in their prime, with the sense of disappointment and decay that implies. The Nun’s Story has an absolutely killer final scene: it uses a doorway to exclude its heroine in as brutal a fashion as The Godfather.

I spent much of the year catching up with some of the canonical TV dramas of the last decade. Some lived up to the hype (The Wire, Friday Night Lights); some I had reservations about (Deadwood, the final season of Breaking Bad). Some of the shows I liked best straddle the line between comedy and drama. Party Down is almost as good an ensemble comedy as Parks and Recreation at its peak. It’s about a group of Hollywood wannabes working at a catering company: each episode is set at a different function, which gives the show great flexibility in setting and tone. It’s more profane than Parks and Recreation and in the end much darker; the characters’ place in L.A. is much less secure than the gang’s in Pawnee. Josh Thomas made another terrific season of Please Like Me. And in its third season Adventure Time grew steadily darker and more emotional, with the loneliness of both Finn and the Ice King in their wonderland becoming ever more apparent.

Here are the films:

  1. Buena Vista Social Club
  2. Aparajito (*)
  3. Zero Dark Thirty
  4. Ghostbusters
  5. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  6. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (r)
  7. World War Z
  8. The Bling Ring
  9. Her
  10. Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
  11. The Iron Giant (r)
  12. Mean Girls (r)
  13. Baby Mama
  14. Dallas Buyers Club (*)
  15. Inception
  16. The Manchurian Candidate (1962) (r)
  17. Blue Is the Warmest Colour
  18. Bernie
  19. Casa de Mi Padre
  20. Nebraska
  21. Heat (*)
  22. The Nun’s Story
  23. All Is Lost
  24. The Hustler
  25. The Wind Rises
  26. Thor: The Dark World
  27. Captain Phillips
  28. Noah
  29. Masters of the Universe
  30. The Lego Movie
  31. The Quiet American (2002)
  32. Thieves Like Us (r)
  33. Housesitter
  34. Pacific Rim
  35. Places in the Heart
  36. Frozen
  37. Margaret
  38. Joe (2013)
  39. Boyhood (*)
  40. We Are the Best! (*)
  41. Superman II (r)
  42. California Split
  43. The Way, Way Back
  44. Big (r)
  45. Six Degrees of Separation (r)
  46. Husbands and Wives (r)
  47. The Misfits
  48. Mary Poppins (r)
  49. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (r)
  50. The Night, The Prowler
  51. Pretty Woman (r)
  52. Batman Returns (r)
  53. Guardians of the Galaxy
  54. Moscow on the Hudson (r)
  55. Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  56. Puberty Blues (*)
  57. Sense and Sensibility (r)
  58. Rosemary’s Baby (r)
  59. Olympus Has Fallen
  60. W.E.
  61. Little Women (1994) (r)
  62. Magic in the Moonlight
  63. Don Jon
  64. Gone Girl
  65. All Night Long (r)
  66. The Last Tycoon
  67. Shane
  68. El Cantante
  69. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  70. Clueless (r)
  71. Pain and Gain
  72. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  73. Point Break (r)
  74. Desperately Seeking Susan (r)
  75. Interstellar
  76. Videodrome (*)
  77. The Immigrant
  78. Lust, Caution (*)
  79. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  80. Murmur of the Heart (r)
  81. 22 Jump Street
  82. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  83. The Conformist (r)
  84. Maleficent
  85. Lucy (*)
  86. Creature from the Black Lagoon
  87. Mean Streets (r)
  88. Sirens
  89. Whiplash
  90. Two Days, One Night (*)
  91. The Godfather (r)
  92. The Godfather Part II (r)

And the TV series:

  1. Deadwood, Season 3
  2. 30 Rock, Season 6
  3. 30 Rock, Season 7
  4. The Wire, Season 4 (*)
  5. The Wire, Season 5
  6. Party Down, Season 1
  7. Party Down, Season 2 (*)
  8. Roseanne, Season 2
  9. Breaking Bad, Season 5
  10. Enlightened, Season 2
  11. Broadchurch
  12. Adventure Time, Season 2
  13. Six Feet Under, Season 1
  14. Please Like Me, Season 1 (*)
  15. Adventure Time, Season 3 (*)
  16. Masters of Sex, Season 1
  17. Friday Night Lights, Season 4
  18. Friday Night Lights, Season 5
  19. The Good Wife, Season 1
  20. The Good Wife, Season 2
  21. The Good Wife, Season 3
  22. The Good Wife, Season 4
  23. Parks and Recreation, Season 5
  24. The Good Wife, Season 5
  25. Please Like Me, Season 2
  26. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 1 (r)
  27. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 2 (r)
  28. The Fall, Season 1
  29. True Detective, Season 1
  30. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 3 (r)
  31. Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 1
  32. Happy Valley
  33. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 4 (r)
  34. Louie, Season 2