Many of you know that 2015 was a year that was filled with huge scandals, good entertainment, and surprising comebacks from some of our favorite musicians and franchises. There was high anticipation for movies like Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Inside Out; and disappointment with movies such as Fantastic Four, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Taken 3. However, I think we can all agree that 2015 had a lasting impact on the world of entertainment.
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
There was high anticipation for the reboot of this cult-classic favorite, and this movie did not disappoint. Mad Max: Fury Road was filled with live action, good music, and impressive visual effects. The characters were memorable and well developed, literally leaving me on the edge of my seat throughout the film. Overall, Mad Max: Fury Road is the winner of best movie because it had a well-developed plot, well-developed characters, and incredible live action sequence that made the audience feel immersed in the world of Mad Max.
First Runner-up: Spotlight
Spotlight was also one of the most impressive movies of 2015. Based on true events, it is a journey in investigative journalism that takes the viewer along for the ride. Spotlight is a great movie because it tells you a story from a unique perspective, with well-developed characters that you can get attached to. It had one of the best ensemble casts I have experienced in a single film.
Second Runner-up: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
As the most anticipated movie of 2015, J. J. Abrams gave us everything that we were looking for from the original Star Wars trilogy, while also giving us a more modern film that can be enjoyed by my generation.
Best Television Shows
Winner: Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Netflix brought us yet another great comic book adaptation in 2015. While everyone loved Daredevil, Jessica Jones took home the trophy for having the best character development of any show. It is the winner of best show because it gave us a comic book hero that wasn’t like other TV comic book heroes. Instead, it gave us a realistic protagonist that has relatable problems (with the added benefit of being able to kick ass).
First Runner-up: Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is always a fan favorite. This year the show gave us a lot of WTF moments through every episode of the season, while also giving the fans what they want from a typical episode. Everyone knows that Game of Thrones is a “shocker,” but this season took everyone (including book readers!) by surprise. Although it was a great season, it is the runner up because it failed to give us as much character development as it has in past years.
Second Runner-up: Justified
As someone who doesn’t like western movies, I loved Justified regardless of my previous reservation. Its final season finished in 2015 with a surprise ending. I ranked it third on this list because it gave us one of the most thrilling final seasons in TV, while also giving us a shocking final episode that left most fans satisfied.
By: Taylor Swift
Even if you don’t like Taylor Swift, you are probably guilty of singing one of her songs this year. I can’t stop singing “Shake It Off” and “Out of the Woods.” There were a lot of impressive albums that came out this year, but 1989 was by far the most successful of 2015. This album takes first place because it gave us great songs that have been sung and heard about a billion times, and every song on the album takes us through Swift’s journey through different situations.
First Runner-up: To Pimp a Butterfly
By: Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is a great hip-hop artist. His new album, To Pimp a Butterfly, showcases his talent through songs like “The Blacker the Berry” and “King Kunta.” Since its release, the album has become one of the most streamed albums on Spotify. I gave it the runner up position because it was a great album that gave us a look at Lamar’s growing talent.
Second Runner-up: 25
Adele is amazing. In November of 2015, she dropped her third album, 25, with the first single “Hello.” Within the last two months, the song has been covered thousands of times and in many different languages. Adele’s lyrics have even trended as a conversation starter (I know I have answered the phone saying “Hello, can you hear me…”). This album ranks third because of how recently the album dropped. 25’s hits are still to come in 2016.
Song of the Year
Winner: Uptown Funk
By: Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
“Uptown funk you up, uptown funk you up…” I’m sure by now you are singing the song either in your head or out loud. Uptown Funk was the played everywhere in 2015. Even Michelle Obama danced to it for her charity initiative. On YouTube, the song has over a billion views, and has been covered, danced to, and parodied. Uptown Funk wins first place because it is an upbeat song that is still continuously sung even in 2016.
First Runner-up: See You Again
By: Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth
“See You Again” was a tribute to the late Paul Walker. This song from Furious 7 is so moving that it will make you cry. I gave it runner up on this list because it not only glorifies friendship, but also honors the memory of Paul Walker.
Second Runner-up: Lean On
By: Major Lazer & DJ Snake ft. MØ
“Focus, fire gun.” Lean on me is a song that makes you want to stand up and dance. The music video is unique, fun, and flavorful; it gets you dancing. Major Lazer has been making music for a long time, but this song put them on the international map. Lean On is third on my list because it not only has a great message, but a lasting impact all over the world.