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Things I Enjoyed in 2021 That Weren’t Books

“The servants called them malenchki, little ghosts, because they were the smallest and the youngest, and because they haunted the Duke’s house like giggling phantoms, darting in and out of rooms, hiding in cupboards to eavesdrop, sneaking into the kitchen to steal the last of the summer peaches.”

First line in Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Since we’re not done with January yet, I’m still allowed to look back on 2021 so that’s what I’m doing. As the title suggests, this post isn’t going to be about books but about all the other things that made my life a little bit better in 2021. And that’s about all the introduction you’re gonna need, so let’s get into it.

Movies

  • The Green Knight. This was the first movie I went to the cinema to watch since the whole Covid-thing started and man, it was weird! In a good way, I should say. I’ve never seen a movie like that before and watching it in the cinema was an Experience.
  • Dune. Movie of the year. That was just amazing! The casting alone feels like a dream because how do you get so many great actors in the same movie? Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Jason Momoa. Even though the plot moves quite slowly, I think their performances just made sure I was so into it. I have re-watched it several times already, and have even doubted my decision to not read the book.
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home. What can I say? Dune might objectively have been a better movie, but No Way Home gave me the best movie-watching experience ever. I have always loved Spider-Man so if you’ve seen the movie, you know why I loved it. I can’t believe a movie like that even exists.
  • Eternals. I had absolutely no expecations for this and only watched it because it’s the MCU, and maybe that was why I really liked it. A lot of different characters that each were given their time to shine, and a plot that might not be the most unique thing but still managed to keep me hooked. And then those action scenes!! And the visuals!!

Honorable mentions: Tick, Tick… Boom! and Ron’s Gone Wrong

TV Series

  • It’s a Sin. A mini-series of only 5 episodes that made me ugly-cry like never before. It follows a group of friends during the HIV/AIDS epidemic in London, so I probably should have expected the ugly-crying, but the series just managed to do something different with this part of our history.
  • WandaVision. The show was just my thing and so well-made. So much of it was just making me think “WTF is going on?” and that is my favorite thing to watch/read. It became a very emotional show as well, and Wanda in the MCU became much more interesting because of it. I’m so excited to see her again.
  • Young Royals. A Netflix series I didn’t intend to watch because it’s Swedish, but then I couldn’t resist and now I’m desperate for season 2. It’s been compared to the Norwegian show Skam a lot because it portrays teenagers more accurately than most American shows, and I really love it for that. It’s also just nice seeing it set in Scandinavia because everything is suddenly much more relatable.
  • Smallville. This is an old one I’ve been re-watching because I was obsessed with it when I was younger. And apparently, still am. I had kind of expected my nostalgia to excuse a lot of its flaws but it’s actually a really good show. Despite being based on a very basic formula, the acting and the dialogue makes it very enjoyable to watch. Also, my teenage-crush on Tom Welling is definitely back.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Did I love this show because it gave us so many golden interview-moments between Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan? Maybe, but the show itself also became an obession of mine rather quickly. It was so emotional and so deep, and I just love that we got more of these two characters. I’m also still not over the opening to episode four, by the way.

Honorable mentions: Shadow and Bone, Y: The Last Man, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Love, Victor.

Sports

  • The European Football Championship this summer proved that I’m way too emotional and empathetic for my own good. I’ve never experienced anything so worhty of the term ’emotional rollarcoaster’ as that tournament which started with Christian Eriksen’s heart attack. It was truly horrifying to witness but then I’ve also never experienced anything as heartwarming as people’s reactions the days and weeks afterward. It was like it became our entire country’s mission to support the rest of the team and help them through that trauma. It carried them all the way to extended time in a semi-final where the referee decided they weren’t allowed in the final. Still, I’m never forgetting Euro 2020, and most importantly, Eriksen will return to playing football.
  • The absolutely insane Formula 1 season! I’ve casually been watching the sport since 2014 when Danish driver Kevin Magnussen got a seat, but even though he isn’t there anymore, I still kept half an eye on what was going on. I didn’t have any favorites besides thinking it would be great if someone other than Lewis Hamilton won. Cut to the last race of the season where I have anything but a normal heart rate because Hamilton and Verstappen go into that completely tied, and apparently, I’m a massive Formula 1 fan now. There was so much drama all season, legal and illegal, but ultimately, Verstappen won and I’m very happy about that.

Music

  • I might have listened to way too much Måneskin this year. At least, that’s what my Spotify Wrapped was trying to tell me, I think. They were my top artist of the year and my most listened song was Zitti E Buoni, their Eurovision-winning song. Other songs of theirs I listened to a lot were I Wanna be Your Slave, Torna a Casa, Immortale, and Mammamia.
  • With two songs in my top 10 of the year, Danish artist Christopher was also a big part of my 2021. I don’t think he has ever been my artist of the year but he has consistently been in my top 3 since 2016, so 2021 was nothing out of the ordinary on that front. My favorite songs were Just So You Know and If It Weren’t For You.
  • Because of the aforementioned Euro 2020, I also went a little crazy with the football songs in 2021. So much that two of them managed to sneak their way into my top 10 of most listened, which was the biggest surprise for me. But they’re also very catchy and comforting which was just what I needed this summer.

I guess I can’t exactly hide that I’m an MCU fan. But let me know what you enjoyed in 2021? Did you fangirl over some of the same stuff I did? Or are you sick of hearing people talk about Måneskin?

13 thoughts on “Things I Enjoyed in 2021 That Weren’t Books

    1. No Way Home was just amazing! And I did watch Loki, and while I thought it was good, it’s probably also my least favorite Marvel show of 2021. I wasn’t too on board with the romance, so I think that prevented me from really loving it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m not particularly surprised by any of this, but you’ve still made me even more excited to watch Dune and No Way Home! After my plan to give Dune to my brother so that I could read it before the movie came out failed spectacularly, I was afraid we were going to have another Stormlight Archive situation, but now the book is apparently available on Scribd 🤗 So you bet I am reading it in 2022 and watching the movie ASAP! And as for Spider-Man, the theaters here closed before I could watch it (thank you, covid 🙄), and now that they’re open again, my brother is studying abroad in India. And I obviously can’t watch a Marvel movie without one of my siblings! Since I am only a very mediocre MCU fan, my insanely obsessed brothers have always been the driving force behind this relationship, so I guess I’m waiting until he gets back so that all of us can watch it on DVD together 🤣

    And obviously, I completely agree with you about the Euros! I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a team that wasn’t Germany to win this badly, and yes that referee decision was utter rubbish 🙄 But we have a World Cup this year to make up for it!!!! (I still think Formula 1 is one of the dumbest sports ever, though. Sorry 😅).

    As for what I’ve become obsessed with in 2021 that wasn’t books? Not much. I’m boring, I guess 😅 Although I suppose my friends and I have developed an increasing passion for Escape Room board games! And my roommates forced me to watch a lot of German romcoms with them, and I’m afraid to say that I might actually be starting to like them… At least a little 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You need to come up with a better strategy for reading books you don’t want to buy yourself 😂 But thank god for Scribd coming through! I’m still curious whether you can convince me to read it too. And our movie theaters also closed down four days after the release of No Way Home, but luckily I watched it the day it premiered. I felt so bad for everyone who didn’t make it though because avoiding spoilers for so long must be a nightmare!

      YES, it’s World Cup year!! Unfortunately in November/December which I’m already dreading 😰 How could I possibly find the time to watch all those matches? But we’re going to have to set up an e-mail thread or maybe even a google doc for nostalgia so we can hate on England together when the time arrives 😁 And to the Formula 1 thing… can’t any sport be considered dumb if you think about it too hard? 😅 All I know is that that season is in my top 5 of most exciting sporting events I’ve ever witnessed.

      I’ve tried an Escape Room board game once and it was quite fun. Definitely cheaper than going to an actual one, and I can totally imagine you loving something like that. I might be passing on the German romcoms though 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Probably 🤣 It worked so well when we were younger that I just keep forgetting that borrowing books becomes a lot harder when you no longer live in the same city… But I’ll definitely keep you posted on my Dune thoughts once I get to it!

        And yeah, I’m not too thrilled about the November/December thing either, since this year, I will actually be working 😅 But we definitely need a google doc!! After all, I’m kind of an expert at setting them up now 😁

        And I suppose you’re right about Formula 1 😄 I’m just personally not a car fan in general – I hate driving and I also hate how bad it is for the environment – so I’m probably projecting my emotions onto the sport 😂 If it makes you feel any better, though, there are still sports that rank lower on my list. Like boxing – I am still permanently traumatized from being forced to watch a movie on it when I had an airplane seat right in front of the big cabin TV screen when I was about nine and we were visiting Germany from the US (this was before everyone had personal TVs on transatlantic flights) – there was sooo much blood!!! But the boxing fans and you do you, and I’m glad Formula 1 made your 2021 a little bit better! I’ll just take the German romcoms instead 😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t like boxing either, at least not as a competition. Punching a sandbag to get some frustration out of your system is a brilliant idea, though. My own lowest-ranked sport is golf but that more because I can do a long presentation on why it shouldn’t be considered a sport 😅 There’s barely any exercise involved!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You just reminded me I need to watch The Green Knight!! I read the poem last year and I’ve been dying to watch that film (especially since learning Dev Patel was the protagonist!).

    No Way Home was such an experience, my expectations were high and it still surpassed them. Although, I didn’t love Eternals as much. It was really interesting but it felt too long for me, mainly because of the drawn out romance scenes that often felt unnecessary.

    I also loved WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Young Royals, so we’re on the same page there hahah. Young Royals was especially interesting, as I went through a phase of watching teenage shows in the middle of the year heh

    As for music, Måneskin and Zitti e Buoni were also my top artist and song of the year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You do need to watch The Green Knight, it’s immaculate! I wasn’t familiar with the source material when I watched it but it definitely didn’t keep me from appreciating Dev Patel in that role 🥰

      And I would agree with you that Eternals feels quite long, but I really enjoyed the characters (also their romantic scenes) so it didn’t bother me as much, I think. Nothing beats No Way Home, though. I can’t believe one movie managed to do all that!

      I’m glad we loved so many of the same shows, especially that we have Young Royals in common because it feels a bit underrated and it shouldn’t be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m certain I will enjoy the film when I watch it, it sounds great!

        No Way Home was simply perfect, I don’t think there’s another way to describe it.

        I agree that Young Royals is underrated. It is a shame, because it’s a fantastic show that depicts teenager way better than other, more popular, ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s so nice that you had so many things to enjoy in the past year!

    You watched all the movies I’ve been wanting to watch but was too scared to go to the cinema for because of covid, so congrats on that! 😂 I’m glad you enjoyed them! I’ll take that as a sign that I’ll enjoy them, too.

    WandaVision was really good, even though the whole Pietro thing pissed me off. I had no idea what was going on half the time and that’s my favourite thing about it, too. And Smallville 😍. It’s one of my favourite shows, a comfort place in all its cheesiness, and it still holds up pretty well for what it is.

    That Euro was an experience for us all. That ref did you so dirty, but try to remember the good things: at the end of the tournament England lost! Gloriously! On a serious note, I’m so glad to hear Eriksen is returning to football. What happened to him was horrifying, but his team’s and your entire country’s reaction was so heartwarming. It’s great to see him make his way back to what he loves. He’s the true winner of the championship.

    As for your Spotify wrapped, are you me? As you know, Måneskin totally dominated my list, too. Their songs are so good, so easy to get obsessed with. I envy everyone who has had the chance to see them live. Plus, football songs are the best. Nothing makes me more hyped. I’d love to hear which made your top 10 of most listened!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you’ll love those movies when you watch them, although I guess my opinion on Eternals is a bit controversial.

      Yes, the Pietro thing in WandaVision was a little weird, but I’m still holding on to a tiny bit of hope of Marvel just messing with us and that there’s going to be a satisfying reveal at some point. It’s a small hope, I know, but I just loved the show too much to be mad at it because of that 😄 And yes, Smallville 😍 I don’t know why I thought I wouldn’t like it anymore because even with its cheesiness, it’s really good! I’ve gotten a new appreciation for now, especially with the dialogue. That you have characters who are/are going to be journalists and you actually give them lines that prove they have a way with words. It’s such a small detail but I just love it!

      Whenever I get too mad about England, I also replay the moment where Saka missed that penalty in my head so I feel better 😂 Still, I wouldn’t mind a more personal revenge. Just imagine if Denmark is the team to eliminate England at the World Cup, preferably early on. I desperately need that to happen 😄

      And with so many similar “likes” like Måneskin, we might actually be the same person 😂 But yes, I still feel I come across a song of theirs that I haven’t listened to much but then it’s suddenly a new obsession. And as for the football songs, they’re both Danish ones. An old one called “Re-Sepp-Ten” that is chock-full of bad references to Hans Christian Andersen fairytales, but it’s pretty much our national anthem at football games. The other is from last year and is called “Helt Sikkert” by Gulddreng, which is all a joke because it’s about how it was completely certain that we would win the Euros last year (we really don’t have that kind of confidence). If you want your serotonin, you don’t need to understand the lyrics to that one to achieve that 😄

      Like

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