If you've been feeling down in the dumps about 2016, now's a good time to take a deep breath and remember that it's actually been a great year to enjoy some amazing art and culture. As bad as 2016 got, we had some amazing music and film and television to get us through it all — and it’s looking like 2017 could be even more artistically fertile.
Every week on my podcast The Sewers of Paris, I talk to gay men about entertainment that changed their lives. And for a special year-in-review episode, I asked some of my favorite gay podcasters what they loved this year. From Savage Lovecast’s Dan Savage to Feast of Fun’s Marc Felion they provided some fantastic recommendations for things you might have missed over this past year.
You can listen to the full episode featuring everyone’s recommendations at SewersOfParis.com. And I’ve rounded up a few highlights below.
Dan Savage chose Moonlight as his top pick. “Sitting there with my own gay white male biases and expectations,” he said, “I was forced to confront my own privilege and bias and expectations.”
Dave White and Alonso Duralde of Linoleum Knife had some movies to suggest: Dave liked Cemetery of Splendor, while Alonso liked Take me to the River. One is a story of soldiers who literally sleep through the horrors of war; and the other is a story of family secrets. Both are haunting.
From the Risk podcast, Kevin Allison loved this season of Game of Thrones for the escapism — and also showing him that a part of him relishes a revenge story.
From the podcast Bad Gay Movies, Bitchy Gay Men, Bil Antoniou chose Isabelle Huppert in Elle, and Daniel Krolik liked Season 2 of Difficult People. Daniel loved that the show portrays some realities of gay dating. “I think it’s the most truthful depiction of what it is for a gay man to be single,” he said.
Ryan O’Connor of the Ladywatch podcast had trouble choosing: he loved Lemonade, and also the movie Jackie, and also Sally Field in My Name is Doris.
But maybe Cody Melcher of Tomefoolery had the most surprising recommendation. In addition to watching a lot of British panel shows, he’s been catching up on Reba, the sitcom from the ‘90s. That’s because the show is comfort food for him, after a year that was particularly difficult. “I’ve been having a rough one since March,” he said. He had a breakup this year, and Reba felt more timely than ever — it’s about a woman who goes through a divorce and isn’t interested in diving back into dating. It’s about taking care of yourself. And in 2017, self-care is going to be more important than ever.
Get more recommendations and watch more clips from the Best of 2016 episode at SewersOfParis.com.