'Game Of Thrones' And More I'm Thankful For From 2019

Game of Thrones Sansa Stark Sophie Turner HBO
Yes, another year is about over, which means it is time to reflect and give thanks for shows like “Game of Thrones.” As a person in constant pursuit of hearing, seeing, and overall experiencing the next great creative endeavor, 2019 has provided an excessive trove of riches. Albeit, not where they were once so abundant (movies I am looking at you).

It was a year that made people say a bittersweet goodbye to “Game of Thrones,” Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue's skating career, and many more things. To say 2019 was rough and rewarding would be a fair assessment. Thankfully, there continues to be a lot to celebrate.


There is a lot to be thankful for because so many parts of pop culture stepped up to the plate to hit a homer. Overall, streaming platforms continue to get my vote for MVP. These are the seven things I am thankful for entertaining and enriching my human experience this year.

Unauthorized Living Vivir sin permiso Carlos Bandeira Àlex Monner
Image by Telecinco

Netflix

Thanks to the streaming giant's incredible supply of non-English language TV shows and movies, yours truly has remained enthrallingly entertained. The Spanish-language series, “Money Heist” and “Unauthorized Living” (pictured above) will easily earn a spot among the year's best on Eclectic Pop. They will not be the only non-English-language shows to garner a nod, either. Netflix’s assortment of worldly riches puts it ahead of its rivals and keeps me rooting for it to succeed as Disney+ enters the scene.

“The Little Women” Remake

The innate drama surrounding sisters, the quirky Greta Gerwig, incomparable Saoirse Ronan, and “Little Women.” Another adaptation was not exactly at the top of my wishlist, but when you take into account the ingredients 2019's version has put together, it is a no-brainer. “Little Women” comes out this Christmas and the trailer has succeeded in selling it as a must-see. It is Ronan and Gerwig's first re-team since their charming collaboration “Lady Bird” and it is worth being thankful for.

Taylor Swift Lover
Valheria Rocha / Republic Records

Taylor Swift's ‘Lover’

It is not breaking news that I loved ‘Lover.’ Months after its release, songs from the latest Taylor Swift album continue to play a prominent role in playlist crafting. “London Boy” and the title track still run on consistent repeat. There is something so different and addictive about both of them. Having contributed an array of beloved hits before ‘Lover,’ Taylor Swift continues to prove her hot streak is in no danger of cooling down.

Podcasts

In the last year, personal listening of podcasts skyrocketed following a slow build. Without getting into which ones have caught my ear, it is worth mentioning their impact. The best come across as audio books without the scripted feel. Podcasts have proven to be an extension of existing interests. Giving you the chance to brush up on your Queen Victoria knowledge or listen to an in-depth interview while you do the laundry.

My Christmas Love Gregory Harrison Tom Meredith Hagner Cynthia Megan Park Janet Hallmark
Image by Fred Hayes / Crown Media 

Hallmark Movies

What would any of us do without them? Stress is gently soaked away with every moment that is spent in the tender surroundings of a Hallmark movie, be it Christmas (“My Christmas Love”) or non-Christmas. They make me happy, and thanks to their prolific production, I never have to worry about hitting a dry spell. Plus, they are the best spot to see your favorite actors in a sweet story, until that pesky misunderstanding takes root.

Figure Skating

Madison Chock and Evan Bates are steaming up ice dance, while pairs skating has gotten a steady dose of awesome in the form of Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii. Meanwhile, single skating continues breaking new ground. Figure skating has always been a point of personal interest. Over the last decade, it has become a passion. Like “Dancing with the Stars,” the judging can be perplexing. However, you cannot take the joy out of seeing Chock and Bates (among others) take the ice.

The Last Kingdom Uhtred Alexander Dreymon Ian Hart Beocca Eva Birthistle Hild Netflix
Image by Des Willie / Netflix

Costume Dramas

The Last Kingdom” and “Medici.” What do they have in common? They are two costume dramas that yours truly is anxiously awaiting the return of. Costume dramas take out the clarity technology has wrought on miscommunication-driven storylines or a good love letter. Embracing stories free from these limitations actually opens up a whole new world. Thank you for the reminder, “Gran Hotel”! Yes, you should stream it on Netflix, which is also home to the shows mentioned above.

Amazon Prime Video

It may not get a lot of the headlines, but I love you, Amazon Prime Video. You gave the world the exceptional second season of “Absentia” and access to a bunch of Russian-language movies and television shows. Your library is extensive, and this subscriber is forever thankful for it. Keep it coming in 2020! Preferably with the addition of more throwback 90’s thrillers that hit the guilty pleasure hot spot. You gave subscribers “Hider in the House.” Thank you!

Game of Thrones Tormund Giantsbane Kristofer Hivju Jon Snow Kit Harington Daenerys Targaryen Emilia Clarke HBO
Image by Helen Sloan / HBO

“Game of Thrones

What is it they say about it having been better to loved and lost? “Game of Thrones” taught that lesson big time as it wrapped its epic run in early 2019. The show may not have ended like many may have thought or hoped it would. However, I still miss it and have no regrets in taking the plunge. It was a once in a lifetime experience, I am thankful for having. “Game of Thrones” brought up emotions few others ever will.

In Conclusion

As I wrote this, I was reminded of Jimmy Fallon's Thank You Notes segment on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” To which, I have to add that I continue being thankful for the stellar content and delightful interviews that Fallon keeps putting out. His positively infectious energy continues to make Fallon my favorite late-night host!

Yes, 2019 has blown by! It has been in the company of some fantastic characters. Thank you to all of the showrunners, directors, writers, actors, and producers, who have contributed to an entertaining 2019. How much thought and effort goes into making these imaginings come to life is not lost on this viewer. Thanks for sharing your magic with the rest of us!

[Featured Image by Helen Sloan / HBO]

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