inevitably means they may be quite boring categories!
I keep detailed records of all the films I see at the cinema, but not of all the TV shows I watch, so there may be a tendency for more detail in the Film categories. I've also watched surprisingly little TV this year, comparatively speaking, but hey ho, quality over quantity!
Binge-watch of the Year
Having commissioned a new four-part special to continue the story/provide the ending Amy Sherman-Palladino had originally intended for Gilmore Girls, Netflix very sensibly put the whole series on a few months beforehand. I know I was not the only person who responded by binge-watching the entire series from beginning to end in time to watch the new episodes along with everyone else - which meant, unusually, it was possible to watch an old series along with quite a few other people! Gilmore Girls is a good show for a binge-watch, partly thanks to the slow burn nature of the stories and the appeal of the show being mostly to do with wanting to spend time with the characters, but also partly because Sherman-Palladino had a habit of finishing seasons on really depressing episodes. Aside from the series finale, which was written and produced by others, only season 3 has an actual, happy, satisfying season finale - the others are all miserable. I'm very glad I didn't watch it as it aired, ending on such a downer every year!
Sadly missed TV shows of the Year
No Doctor Who until Christmas Day and no Downton Abbey at all. Sniff.
Inspired Casting of the Year
Phoebe Buffay as Kimmy Schmidt's flakey mom in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Yes, I know she is an actress and her name is Lisa Kudrow. But let's face it - this was Phoebe Buffay appearing as Kimmy Schmidt's mom. And it was brilliant.
Best Tribute to a Fallen Colleague
These were sadly prevalent this year - I felt particularly for the makers of Star Trek Beyond, who had worked hard to include a thoughtful tribute to Leonard Nimoy woven into the plot of their film, only to be hit by the death of Anton Yelchin weeks before release. The careful re-editing of the scene in which the crew toast absent friends to include a shot of Yelchin was very nicely done. However, my favourite tribute this year was the giant portrait of Edward Herrman that hung, literally and figuratively, across the whole of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, observing everything with a perfectly captured kind if weary eye.
Re-boot/Belated Revival of the Year
The X-Files, Season 10
Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life
Bridget Jones's Baby
Independence Day: Resurgence
I really like Ghostbusters, which I am aware is a controversial viewpoint - even more controversially, I don't like the original film all that much, and I think the new one is funnier. However good that and A Year in the Life were, though, for me, this category has to go to Bridget Jones's Baby. Not a perfect film by any means, but it was funny, heartfelt and satisfying, avoiding all the problems that befell some of the other nominees.
Not a Reboot or Revival of the Year
Amazon's new car show, fronted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, is not Top Gear. It is not a reboot of Top Gear, or a new series of it, or a re-vamping of it. Top Gear, indeed, still exists as a show on BBC2 with an array of presenters (which was all right, really, if not great). The Grand Tour, however, is Not Top Gear. It is just as infuriatingly sexist, cheeky, funny, engaging, silly and appealing as Top Gear has been over the last 14 years or so, but it is Not Top Gear.
It's so nice to have (Not) Top Gear back!
Original Film of the Year
I saw 32 films at the cinema this year. Here is a complete list of those not based on a true story (including documentaries), a sequel, spun off from or continuing a pre-existing franchise, re-making an older film, based on a book, short story, comic or other literature, or any combination of the above:
Eye in the Sky
The Secret Life of Pets
Fun as Zootropolis and Hail Caesar! were, The Witch and Eye in the Sky are the clear stand-outs here, and Eye in the Sky is one of my films of the year - a brilliant, heart-breaking, intense story and a great swansong for the much-missed Alan Rickman.
TV Episodes of the Year
10. The Last Leg: Election Special
9. New Girl: Road Trip
8. War and Peace: Episode 1
7. The Crown: Hyde Park Corner
6. Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Bureau
5. The Grand Tour: The Holy Trinity
4. Gilmore Girls: Winter
3. Game of Thrones: The Winds of Winter
2. Orange is the New Black: Toast Can't Never Be Bread Again
1. Supernatural: Don't Call Me Shurley
I haven't seen any of season 12 of Supernatural yet, but 'Don't Call Me Shurley' somehow managed to pull off the impossible feat of covering an event hinted at, longed for and avoided for 11 years, and doing so in a satisfactory way, which is a miracle all of its own.
There's a weight of expectation around the ninth episode of each series of Game of Thrones, which is of a problem, as it is impossible to meet. That's why the best episode last year was the eighth, and the best episode this year was the tenth, in which the plot finally kicked into gear for its final act. And possibly also why the producers have decided to sidestep the problem all together by never having an Episode 9 again.
Films of the Year
10. Bridget Jones's Baby
9. Dr Strange
7. Captain America: Civil War
6. Eye in the Sky
5. Deepwater Horizon
3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. Star Trek Beyond
1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Deepwater Horizon was a extraordinary film in some ways, a real life disaster movie complete with fire, explosions and so on, while staying respectful of real people who lost their lives in the disaster on the titular oil rig. But my film of the year is easily Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a magical, thrilling, captivating and really fun entry into the Harry Potter universe, and the first time I've ever gone to see a Harry Potter film without knowing the ending in advance. Loved it!
Juliette Harrisson will be spending Christmas trying to catch up on all the things she hasn't got around to watching, and failing, and watching her new complete collection of 'Allo! 'Allo! on DVD instead.