Thursday, January 10, 2013

2012 Year in Review: Looking Back on 'What I'm Looking Forward to in 2012'

I don't know about you, but 2012 went by in a flash, especially the last half of the year. Last I checked, we were deep in the middle of a presidential election, and now we're approaching inauguration day in a couple of weeks. See what I mean? Went by fast. But I'm not here to talk politics.'s time to do a 2012 Year in Review and also compile my top recommendations of the past year.

On January 1, 2012, which was the day I launched this blog, I posted '2012: What I'm Looking Forward to This Year.' I want to review what I listed in that post and give my thoughts. Under the Movies headline, I listed: The Hunger Games, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Artist, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (& Swedish versions), Titanic 3D, Hugo, The Adventures of Tintin, The Muppets and Finding Nemo 3D. I ended up recommending Hunger Games, The Hobbit, The Artist, Spider-Man, some of the Dragon Tattoo films, Hugo and Tintin (with many of them receiving #1 Recommendations). They definitely lived up to my expectations and, in some cases, exceeded them.

While I didn't review it, since it's a movie that's been out for years, I really enjoyed seeing Titanic in 3D, especially the experience of seeing it in a movie theater again. I also saw The Muppets, but I didn't talk about it because I wouldn't say I was blown away by it, even though it was fun to watch. And unfortunately, I never ended up making the time to see Finding Nemo 3D. I've, of course, seen it a million times at home, and maybe that's why.

On the TV side, these were the shows I was anticipating most coming into 2012: Smash ("the one I have been most looking forward to"), American Idol 10 (with such singers as Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez, it was a strong year), Alcatraz and American Horror Story. I was instantly hooked to Glee when the hit FOX musical first premiered, and I've been watching and singing along ever since. Could that happen again with another musical? For Smash, it certainly did. My favorite episodes are probably the pilot and the finale. And I love how much original songs are used. You've got tunes like "Let Me Be Your Star," "The 20th Century Fox Mambo," "Let's Be Bad" and many more. I know that critics have cooled to the show as the season progressed, but I haven't lost any interest.

I was kinda wary coming into Alcatraz, mainly because of the crime drama aspect. And as I said in my review of the show, I wasn't on board 100%, but there's a lot of potential here. And as we got closer and closer to the finale, I found myself anticipating each episode. Unfortunately, FOX cancelled it, and the closing scene left us with our main character shot, so we never got to see how that worked out.

Could Ryan Murphy top what he created with American Horror Story season 1? You bet he did. AHS: Asylum, in an entirely new setting and time period, with some returning actors, is pure mad genius. It's even creepier than before. And it's extremely disturbing to watch at times, but somehow I can't take my eyes away.

When it comes to Books, I was looking forward to reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Room and The Night Circus. I ended up getting to only one of these stories: Will Grayson, Will Grayson. It was enjoyable to read, but with the level of hype that I had heard online, I was expecting more. I didn't dislike it in any way, though. As far as the other ones are concerned, I'm planning on getting to those in the first half of this year.

Going to Music now, I listed to Adam Lambert's Trespassing. I don't own a copy at the moment, though I did listen to it on a free online stream around the time of its release. And if I'm remembering correctly, I think I did enjoy it. I do plan on buying it soon. But while we're on the subject of music, probably my favorite CD from last year may be Taylor Swift's Red.

I also was looking forward to the continuation of Pottermore. I'm a little behind at the moment. But I have a list of things I'm trying to get through in the upcoming weeks, and I'm getting closer to catching up on Pottermore. I know fans have been giving the site a hard time, but I don't know what they were expecting. The whole point of the website is for J.K. Rowling to provide new material about the world of Harry Potter, and she's delivered on that front. It seems that fans have been expecting a more interactive experience than they've gotten so far, but I think they're all being ridiculous, to be honest.

This has been Part 1 of my 2012 Year in Review. In Part 2, I will compile a list of all my 2012 Recommendations and rank them.

Part 2: My Top Recommendations of the Year >>>

Check out my Goodreads page to follow along what I'm reading and what I plan on reading in 2013.

Follow me on Twitter @TheJeffDodge. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to tweet me, e-mail me or leave a comment below.

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