Hard to believe that we are halfway through 2016 already. In honor of this non-holiday, I’d like to rank my top 10 movies/tv shows/ etc. from the first half of 2016. Let this also be a reminder that you should get started on those resolutions. This is purely based off of what I have seen.
10. House of Cards Season 4
Image via Netflix
House of Cards season 4 premiered on Netflix in March. The highly anticipated fourth season could not come at a more appropriate time, as the country is currently going through its own election.
Season four was definitely an improvement over season three. There was a definite Sopranos influence this season. Kevin Spacey delivered as always. It will be interesting to see where they take the show and exactly how many more seasons it will last.
9. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Image via Warner Bros.
Admittedly, this movie was a steaming pile of garbage. Still, I felt it merited a place on my list. Not so much a stand-alone movie as it was a trailer for Justice Leage, there is one reason that this earned a spot on my list: Wonder Woman.
Gal Gadot shined through the clutter that was in this film. It was the live action debut of the character, and DC needed a solid performance in order to solidify the character’s silver screen status. Gadot performed; she has to give some credit to the writers for pretty muc leaving her out of the convoluted mess that was the plot of this film and for the fact that she was give the chance to shine in the final battle.
By introducing viewers to the rest of the Justice League cast members, DC did a good job at building buzz for their next installments. Personally, I’m extremely excited after Affleck’s promising performance of the Dark Knight, and very excited for his movie, not so much for the fact that he is directing but more so the fact that Zack Snyder isn’t.
8. X-Men: Apocalypse
Image Via 20th Century Fox
Not the strongest X-Men film made, but it was good enough to earn a spot on my list.
Brian Singer was back at it with a new cast of actors playing familiar characters. The characters themselves seem a bit tired, although the actors playing them were fantastic, especially Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler.
Oscar Isaac was good enough in his role; he has quickly become one of my favorite actors in the last couple of years and this performance wasn’t as strong as those he has given in the past. Nevertheless, this was still an entertaining film, and it got #8 on my list.
7. Fuller House
Image via Netflix
Fuller House accomplished what so many revivals fail to do. Bringing back the nostalgia while having a good story and progressing the characters forward isn’t always an easy task (see: Dumb and Dumber To). Fuller House, however, manages to do all of this, mainly due to the simplicity of the story and the openness of everyone from the original show’s schedule, except for the Oslen tiwns, who must think that they are better than everyone else.
Still, Fuller House modernized its story and placed enough nostalgia trips in to earn itself a second season. I watched all 13 episodes the day they were released, and I could not have been happier with the show. I was caught extremely off guard when they brought back Stephanie’s husband Harry, as well as a strange appearance from San Francisco Giant’s outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s no Sopranos, but then again, neither was the original.
6. Daredevil Season 2
Image via Marvel
What really got me excited about season two of Daredevil is the inclusion of more characters. Marvel finally started taking steps to make their Netflix series more like their cinematic universe (both of which share continuity). The best of these new characters was far and away the Punisher. The Punisher is a character that is seemingly made for Netflix. Jon Bernthal was awesome in the role, portraying the character’s brutality as well as his damaged side equally well.
The show’s original characters, or one of them, however, definitely hurt the ranking of this on my list. Foggy needs to go. That is all there is to it. He is as annoying as that kid in class who reminds the teacher to assign homework right before the bell rings.
Still, the action was fantastic, the plot was slightly confusing, but overall it was incredibly entertaining to see Daredevil take to the streets of Hell’s Kitchen for another season. I cannot wait for The Defenders.
5. Rogue One trailerImage via Disney
I know what you’re thinking. How can a trailer be on the list? When it is an extremely incredible trailer. There isn’t much detail yet about Rogue One, the first of three Star Wars spin-offs currently planned. However, this trailer set the internet ablaze with the new cast of characters, led by Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, who leads a mission to steal the Death Star plans intercepted by Luke in Star Wars.
Rogue One is a different kind of Star Wars movie; it is not about the typical light side vs. dark side battle. John Williams isn’t scoring the movie either, however. We get to see a different side of the Rebel alliance than we did in the original trilogy. Plus, we know in a very vague sense what the results of this film are, so it will be interesting to see where Disney takes us.
4. Orange Is the New Black Season 4
Image via Netflix
If you couldn’t tell already, I watch a lot of Netflix. My favorite Netflix show is Orange is the New Black. Season 4 was simply amazing. They dialed up the craziness in the prison to 11 this season.
What this show succeeds at is making their characters very human, which is something most dramas fail to do. Every character on the show showcases every emotion, and none of them are one dimensional. To see what else I have to say about the show, check out my first official review on it!
3. Captain America: Civil War
Image via Marvel
Years from now we will look back and say that this set the bar for ‘standalone’ superhero movies. I use the word ‘standalone’ in air quotes because while everyone ever is in this movie, it is still very much a Captain America movie.
The expectations were sky-high, and this lived up to every single one. The action, namely from the airport scene was captivating. The story was easy enough to understand if you were previously familiar with the other MCU and Captain America films. The new additions of Black Panther and Spider-Man to the MCU were incredible. This movie should have failed, if we learned anything from trying to over stuff a superhero movie from BvS :Dawn of Justice. But it succeeded in everything it set up to do, including scattering the Avengers and leaving Earth’s mightiest heroes in disarray before numerous solo films and Infinity War.
2. Better Call Saul season 2
Image via AMC
This is the one show on television that everyone should be watching. Nothing even comes close. I haven’t seen one frame of this show that I didn’t love. Do you remember how tightly scripted and written Breaking Bad was? This show is like that on steroids.
Led by Bob Odenkirk, the Breaking Bad prequel/spin-off is must see television every week. Everyone thinks that Vince Gilligan’s masterpiece is Breaking Bad; I tell them that Breaking Bad was just practice for Better Call Saul.
While not as obviously paced as some other television shows, the action is more subtle and requires more thinking on the part of the viewer; this , along with the stellar quality of the show, make Better Call Saul the most rewarding television experience currently on the air.
Image via 20th Century Fox
Ryan Reynolds didn’t have his mouth sewn shut, machetes put into his forearms and play Green Lantern not to become number one with Deadpool on my list. There has never been a more entertaining superhero movie ever made. It is really rare that a studio nails the correct amount of language, violence, and sex to put into a movie- but Fox gave the fans what we wanted and made the film representative of the comics.
Deadpool broke down barriers for comic books; more and more R-rated superhero movies are slated to come out now (including the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Special Edition and Wolverine 3). It could go down as the most influential superhero movie since Iron Man initiated a shared universe throughout the medium of film.
That wraps up the list. See something that you thought should be on the list but isn’t ? Disagree with me completely? Let me know in the comments.