Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Juliette's Best of 2023

Being unusually patriotic for me on Coronation Day
This is my twelfth annual Best Of piece for Doux Reviews. Twelfth!!! I started in 2012! I barely have time to write for the site any more, but I still come back every year and do these, because I love this site, and I love doing them.

Also we got to watch an actual Coronation this year, so that was fun. I'm fairly ambivalent about the Royal Family, but I do love a bit of pomp and ceremony. And I had a big birthday, but maybe we won't talk about that one...!

Biggest Talking Point of the Year (apart from the strikes)

"Superhero fatigue", "MCU fatigue", "Disney failing" and so on and so forth. Honestly, the only thing fatiguing me is the endless gleeful discourse around the idea that the MCU is in some kind of downward spiral.

I still love the MCU. Yes, I agree, Secret Invasion wasn't great, but I still enjoyed watching it. I loved Loki Season 2, I liked Guardians of the Galaxy Volume III a lot, and I actually really enjoyed Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania as well. I also thought The Marvels was a good, fun trip to the cinema. It got a bit too silly for me in places – I love a bit of silly in my sci-fi, and in fact the deeply silly episodes of Star Trek are some of my favourites (we'll come back to that!), but elements of this did cross the line for a movie I'm supposed to take seriously, no matter how much I love cat-like creatures. But it was still a good movie and it doesn't deserve its spot at the bottom of the MCU box office pile.

I really hope that the MCU is able to get back on track in 2024. Feige, you need to re-cast or write out Kang, cut back on the volume of stuff so that you can focus on the quality and not overwork all your employees, and for the love of everything please don't assume The Marvels' poor box office performance has anything to do with the gender or race of its stars. One of the biggest movies of 2023 was a superhero movie based on a comic book, whose leads were a woman and a person of colour – the brilliant Spider-Man: Across the Spider-verse. Most audience members aren't tired of superhero movies or comic book movies, and they have nothing against women or people of colour (a vocal minority excepted). They just want to see good movies that they're excited about.

I'm not sorry to wave goodbye to the DCEU though. Sorry DCEU fans, but everything not headlined by Gal Gadot or Margot Robbie was just too miserable for me. (OK, Shazam was all right, and I haven't actually seen The Flash yet). Bring on the James Gunn era!

Getting back to the cinema

Appropriately dressed for Barbenheimer!
I still haven't fully recovered my pre-baby cinema habits, but I'm delighted to say that thanks to it happening during the university vacation season in the summer, I was able to fully participate in the cultural phenomenon that was Barbenheimer! My brother and I really enjoyed both movies. We saw Barbie first because of the way the cinema timings worked out – I wanted to do it the other way around so we would get a bit of a mood lift after Oppenheimer, but it worked that way as well and both movies were brilliant.

I even managed to see one film that was a totally original film not based on a book or franchise or toy line or even a biopic of a real person – Asteroid City. It was only OK, but it was honestly just so nice to go and see a movie that was just a movie. I love my franchises, but I love original movies too.

I also saw The Super Mario Bros. Movie when it came to streaming, and loved that one too. Which is lucky because I think my son must have watched it several hundred times by now!

Star Trek

I'm so happy Star Trek is still going so strong. Star Trek: Picard definitely went out with a bang, Patrick Stewart finally giving us all what we wanted and allowing them to do a (nearly) full cast reunion. (His memoir Making It So is a really good read by the way). Things looked a bit shaky there for a while when Star Trek: Prodigy was unceremoniously removed from Paramount Plus for depressing capitalist reasons. We pay a bunch of money we can barely afford for Paramount Plus specifically so that we can watch all of Star Trek, so we were deeply unimpressed with that.

Even more importantly, Prodigy Season 1 ended on a cliffhanger concerning my number one favourite relationship in Star Trek – Captain/Admiral Janeway and Commander/Captain Chakotay. We were denied seeing these two get together back when Voyager ended (we will not speak of that whole thing with putting Chakotay together with Seven of Nine. I have met only one Voyager fan in my life who likes that relationship, but who somehow persuaded me to marry him anyway). Then Prodigy dangles that particular carrot in front of us, only to threaten to take it away again! Thank goodness for Netflix, who will be showing not only Season 1, but the new Season 2 in 2024 as well. Huzzah!

Elsewhere in Star Trek Stuff, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is still my favourite current show and I loved the musical, as absolutely ridiculous as the technobabble excuse they gave for it was. The Marvels' idea about a culture that communicates through song was much better and made a lot more sense. And Star Trek: Lower Decks is still great fun as well, so their crossover was a real high point. I loved Strange New Worlds' time travel episode with Kirk and La'an as well. I feel like most of my favourite shows put out seasons that were really good, but not quite their absolute best this year – Strange New Worlds was the exception, it is hitting some real highs.

Revivals, revivals everywhere...

The Powers That Be in television are still as enthusiastic as ever about digging up their old franchises and lightning-striking them into new life, and I'm really looking forward to the Daredevil reboot next year. In the meantime, the new Frasier is actually pretty good, and features some lovely tributes to actors from the original who have passed away. Having already named David Crane after a producer who was killed on 9/11, the new baby has been named John after the late John Mahoney, who played Frasier's father Martin (and the bar is named Mahoney's), and one of Freddy's co-workers is nick-named Moose, after the dog who played Eddie! I am very mad at them for re-casting Frasier's son Freddy, though. Nothing against the new actor Jack Cutmore-Scott, but original actor Trevor Einhorn was great in The Magicians and I don't see why he had to be replaced.

Spooky Stuff

I love spooky shows, and there have been some good ones this year. We got the penultimate season of Inside No 9 and the last season of Ghosts – those two shows are going to leave a really big hole in the schedules for fun and slightly creepy (Ghosts) or really creepy (Inside No 9) series. I also really enjoyed The Fall of the House of Usher, though I admit there were parts where I had to look away (I have a terror of acid).

Black Mirror dipped its toe into the spooky well this year as well. I think I would have preferred to have the horror-fantasy episodes clearly labelled as "Red Mirror", as I think Charlie Brooker originally intended – suddenly finding yourself in horror instead of sci-fi is a bit jarring. It was still a good series though, and I was glad to see it, as I had started to think the show was never coming back!

The Longest-Running SFF show of all time

Doctor Who has just aired its three 60th anniversary special episodes and they were... OK. Pretty good. I mean, they were totally fine and enjoyable episodes of Doctor Who, but to be honest, they felt more like a short version of Season 4 than anniversary specials. In fact, the last two episodes of Season 4 feel more celebratory than these ones. And the callbacks to Russell T Davies' own era perhaps inevitably outnumbered the callbacks to the other 55 years of the show's history. Steven Moffat's 50th anniversary special, which is quite possibly my favourite episode of Doctor Who ever, did a much better job of celebrating both the character and the show. But I still really enjoyed seeing David Tennant and Catherine Tate back again, and Neil Patrick Harris was brilliant as the Toymaker.

I also loved Ncuti's Gatwa's take on the Doctor, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him at Christmas. Speaking of which...

In 2024, I'm looking forward to...

Doctor Who, obviously.

Lots more Star Trek!

House of the Dragon – I have read the book now, I read it this year, and there are scenes I definitely won't actually be watching (Blood and Cheese), but I am looking forward to it nonetheless.

Outlander – I haven't read all of the book in this case (I've read Book 7 but not Book 8, and it will cover bits of both), which makes me nervous as I like to know about Outlander's all-too-regular assault scenes in advance, but I do know how it's going to end (oops online spoilers) so I'm looking forward to seeing it get there.

Rings of Power – the first season was flawed but not terrible. The internet has a real problem understanding that a lot of things are 3 stars out of 5 – not great, not awful. That is Rings of Power in a nutshell, it had its good points and its bad points. Just because something isn't amazing, or isn't as amazing as its predecessors, doesn't make it rubbish.


Best Reunion

Nominees: Riker and Troi (Star Trek: Picard), Picard and Crusher (Star Trek: Picard), Frasier and Roz (Frasier)

Winner: Frasier and Lilith (Frasier)

Best Song and Dance Scene

Nominees: Welcome scene on Aladna (The Marvels), the whole cast singing the musical episode's finale (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), Kylie singing 'I Should Be So Lucky' (Ghosts Comic Relief skit), Bryn Terfel at the King's Coronation (OK, there wasn't much dancing in that one)

Winner: The Toymaker lip-synching to 'Spice Up Your Life' (Doctor Who)

Best Captain

Nominees: Captain Pike (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds), Captain Freeman (Star Trek: Lower Decks), Captain Shaw (Star Trek: Picard), Captain Seven of Nine (Star Trek: Picard)

Winner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine may not have been on for a few years, but this has to go to Andre Braugher, in memoriam

Most Treasured Chandler Bing one-liners

On the subject of actors who have left us too soon this year, a small memoriam to Matthew Perry's most famous role as an actor (in addition to his fantastic work helping people suffering with addition).

Nominees: "I rued the day once. Didn't get a whole lot done" (TOW Rachel Smokes), "I'm hopeless and awkward and desperate for love!" (TOW the Metaphorical Tunnel), "Pressing my third nipple opens the delivery entrance to the magical land of Narnia" (TOW Phoebe's Husband), "I'm not great at the advice, can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" (TOW the Tea Leaves)

Winner: "Goodbye Mr Heckles. We'll try to keep it down" (TOW Heckles Dies)

Best Cave:

Nominees: The Spaniard's Cave (Outlander), Balkus 9 caves (Lower Decks)

Winner: Grottonos caves (Lower Decks)

Best Example of Falling With Style

Nominees: Ravonna Renslayer and Ms Minutes falling down a waterfall (Loki), Mario and Donkey Kong falling off the Rainbow Road (The Super Mario Bros. Movie), Kamala Khan yelling "I can't fly!" (The Marvels)

Winner: Barbie floating down from her upstairs bedroom (Barbie)

Top Ten TV Episodes of the Year

10. Black Mirror, 'Joan is Awful'
9. Inside No 9, '3x3'
8. Ghosts, 'Carpe Diem'
7. Outlander, 'A Practical Guide For Time Travellers"
6. Star Trek: Picard, 'Seventeen Seconds'
5. Doctor Who, 'The Giggle'
4. Star Trek: Lower Decks, 'Caves'
3. Frasier, 'Reindeer Games'
2. Loki, 'Heart of the TVA'
1. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, 'Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow'

Juliette is an historian, writer and Trekkie. Check out her YouTube channel Classical JG for myth, legend, folklore, religion, ghost stories and weird and wonderful world history in general.


  1. Juliette, twelve years!!! Here's to twelve more. :) Much agreement on all the Star Trek. It's been amazing. And I finally saw Barbie last night and loved it.

    1. It was so good! And I loved seeing so many great actors in it too, it was quite a cast!

    2. That was me Juliette by the way, I keep not signing in!

  2. Juliette, I had no idea that Black Mirror did a horror episode! I might give that a try. I've been off of Black Mirror for a few seasons (I don't like feeling dirty after watching TV), but horror-fantasy might be a fun twist.

    1. There’s two but one is a surprise! That’s a bit tricky though as it comes right out of left field and it didn’t go down too well. The last episode, Demon 74, which is clearly labelled Red Mirror, went down better (this is me Juliette by the way)

    2. There’s two but one is a surprise! That’s a bit tricky though as it comes right out of left field and it didn’t go down too well. The last episode, Demon 74, which is clearly labelled Red Mirror, went down better (this is me Juliette by the way)

  3. How nice to see you, Juliette! So many good shows that I have not yet watched! I trust your recommendations, so there's lots to look forward to! And thanks for the tribute to Andre Braugher. I was stunned when he died.

    1. Me too, it was so sad :( (this is me, still struggling to log in!)


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.