Hello, Mandaland! It’s the end of the year, which is absolutely awesome given how 2016 is gone but… I’ll admit to already being a little nostalgic. Some good stuff definitely happened, and I’m absolutely thankful for that.

The last few months were pretty busy for me, but let’s ring out the year with a bang yeah? Here’s my final favorites list for this year!!! I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear what media you’re enjoying currently as we bring the year to a close and get ready to celebrate the holiday season.


Hot Pot Master – Oh man this mobile game is both amazing and nervewracking. It’s just the right amount of challenge with the right amount of zen, which has made it the perfect game for me to just pick up for a few minutes here and there. A set of chopsticks moves around and you have to choose when to tap the screen to collect different ingredients, and that’s it. There’s no overly complicated instructions, no forced microtransactions. You just grab your ingredients and chill out, which has immediately bumped it to the top of my list this month.

FIFA Mobile – THERE IS LITERALLY A FIFA GAME FOR MY PHONE. This is the best, just the best. It’s certainly a little different from the FIFA you’re probably used to playing on consoles, but it’s still a nice fun and notably free game that lets me live out all of my international soccer team fantasies from the comfort of my bed, or couch, or the car on the way to the store. It’s great, and if you’re a fan of battery draining sports games that will distract you indefinitely, this is an excellent choice.


Dishonored – The Corroded Man – After I finished playing Dishonored, which I loved way more than I expected to, I was feeling a little lost… especially since I don’t have an Xbox One yet and can’t play the new game, which wasn’t even out yet when I finished it. You know, that empty feeling you get after leaving a fictional world and you absolutely have to go back right now or else? Luckily Adam Christopher came to the rescue with this tie-in novel that I haven’t finished yet, but thus far it’s pretty fantastic. Admittedly one of my favorite things about the novel so far is that it gives a lot of voice to female characters, which is something I’m really looking forward to having in the next game, and the ladies of the world of Dishonored still feel like well rounded, three dimensional characters rather than just a gimmick. This is pretty much all I’ve been reading lately, and I’m really excited to not only finish the book but also read the next two novels that are due to follow it. And play the new game. And I just love all things Dishonored, basically.

This interview with Tom Ford for GQ – First off, I’ll go ahead and tell you that it’s a little NSFW (it’s Tom Ford, what were you expecting?) but this interview was incredible to read. It’s not only interesting from the perspective of getting to know fashion mogul and acclaimed director Tom Ford and his family a little better, but the writing used in the exposition is just… it’s great. It’s incredibly well written, and this interview is everything I aspire to as a would-be journalist. You should read it for no other reason than that one, if you have no idea who Tom Ford is or just plain don’t care.


Speechless – A new show that’s on NBC this season, Speechless is absolutely the one I look forward to seeing new episodes of the most every week. It follows a pretty painfully average family as they just live their lives while also accommodating their disabled son…except unlike just about anything else I’ve ever seen with a disabled character, we don’t ever feel sorry for him because he’s disabled. We laugh with him, the jokes are smart and funny, and he’s just as interesting as every other member of the family. It’s a hilarious show that’s made ten times better by doing something that I can’t believe no one has really done on TV so well up until this point: just treating a disabled character like any other character. Oh, and did I mention that the actor is also disabled himself? No Glee-style throwing a non-disabled person in a wheelchair. It’s truly fantastic…and the show is laugh-until-you-cry funny, to boot. You can even watch the first episode for free on Amazon!

Pacific Heat – If you live in anywhere other than Australia (or New Zealand?) this show is brand new as a Netflix Original, and… I’m still out on how much I like it, but it’s been pretty entertaining so far. Pacific Heat uses the same animation and humor as Archer, it’s just… Australian. Very Australian. And the team of operatives is… well, saying they’re not great at their jobs is putting it mildly. On the flip side of the experience Speechless gives us, this show follows in the steps of its inspiration in being far from politically correct and sometimes borderline inappropriate (okay, and sometimes actually inappropriate) but if you liked Archer and need something to throw on while you’re bored, this is a pretty good pick.