"Do not take for granted powers out there, don't step into the demon's lair." -Metallica, "The Small Hours"

What I Watched and Read in 2017

For the second year in a row, I maintained a list of everything I watched and read throughout the entire year. While you are welcome to read the entire list, I thought I would go back through the list and make some observations.

MOVIES

According to my list, I watched 125 movies in 2017. Of those, 20 were movies I had seen before (those are the titles that appear in italics on the list). I didn’t list any movies I didn’t watch from start to finish, and surely forgot to enter some, so the actual number is likely higher. Still, 125 movies is approximately one movie every three days. Of those 125 movies, I only saw three (Guardians of the Galaxy 2, It, and The Last Jedi) in a movie theater. The first movie I watched in 2017 was the 1992 drama Glengarry Glen Ross. The last movie I watched was 2017’s Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine. The oldest movie I watched this year was the Spencer Tracy/Mickey Rooney classic Boys Town, from 1938. The most recently released film I watched was The Last Jedi, which was released in December.

Skimming through the list, a few titles jump out. The Lobster, a movie about a couple’s resort where people have 45 days to find a mate or else they are magically turned into an animal and released into the woods, was definitely one of the strangest. Some classic films I watched for the first time this year were The Thing (1982); Die Hard (1988); Postcards from the Edge (1990); Easy Rider (1969); El Dorado (1969); American Beauty (1999); Victor/Victoria (1982); Lord of the Flies (1963); The Deer Hunter (1979); and Paper Moon (1973). I made a point this year of seeking out older films I had missed and watching them. I’d like to do more of that next year.

I intentionally watch a lot of bad movies. Some of the worst were Bigfoot Wars (2014); Mom, Can I Keep Her? (1998); Palmer’s Pick-up (1999); CaveGirl (1985); and The Beach Girls (1982). I also saw The Room (2003) this year, which has been lauded as one of the worst movies ever made. It’s spectacularly terrible.

Although I didn’t keep close details, it seems I watched more documentaries than anything else. Next year I plan on keeping more detailed notes.

TELEVISION

It would be impossible for me to track every television program I watched throughout an entire year, so I only tracked full seasons of television shows I watched. Because there were so few, it is easy for me to list them all: Black Mirror (seasons one and two), Hunted (season one), The Last Man on Earth (season one), Workaholics (season seven), Twin Peaks (season three), The Popcorn Kid (season one), Napoleon Dynamite: The Animated Series (season one), The Hunt for the Zodiac Killer (season one), and Stranger Things (season two).

I lost interest in Workaholics last season, and if this hadn’t been the final season I probably wouldn’t have watched it. My dad recommended Black Mirror to me; I barreled through the first two seasons, and am looking forward to watching the third. The Popcorn Kid and Napoleon Dynamite both only contained six episodes each and were quick to plow through. The most rewarding shows I watched this year were Stranger Things and Twin Peaks. Stranger Things may have been one of the most enjoyable television programs I’ve watched in a long time. Twin Peaks was as challenging as it was entertaining.

Although I didn’t watch an entire season’s worth, I watched an awful lot of Unsolved Mysteries this year after it finally appeared on Amazon video. I also re-watched over a dozen episodes of Lost after Mason discovered the show and watched to watch the entire series. I watched lots and lots of random episodes of other shows, but the ones listed above are the ones I actually focused on.

One thing I found myself doing frequently this year was vegetating in front of the television watching sports, mostly football and basketball games. Each game lasts over three hours, which is a lot of time that could be put toward other things. In 2018 I plan to cut way back on watching sports.

BOOKS

According to my list I read sixteen books last year, although I’m convinced I must have left a few off my list. Many of the books I read were “young adult” fiction novels for a class I took. Some older books I read this past year were Alas, Babylon; Caves of Steel; The Association; and The Amityville Horror. I only read two autobiographies this year, which is not very many for me: I’m the Man by Anthrax’s Scott Ian, and Extreme by Sharon Osbourne. For comparison, in 2016 I read six (auto)biographies.

I know that to be a successful writer I have to read more fiction. In 2017 I doubled the amount of books I read in 2016, but it’s still not enough. I’d like to double that number yet again next year.

SUMMARY

I’m pretty pleased with the number of movies I watched in 2017, and would like to shoot for at least 100 in 2018. Next year I plan to watch less sports, and would like to read at least 30 books.

If you want to skim through the entire list (complete with one-line reviews of each movie), you can find it here.

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