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Mark's Best of 2023

My typically rambling, nonsensical look back at the last year in entertainment.

Most Unforgettable All You Can Eat Buffet – Snackie (Yellowjackets)
Even before she froze to death in the season one finale, everyone put bets on team captain Jackie being the first member of the stranded soccer team to be put on the menu. And sure enough, after one botched cremation, her starving teammates munch down on her with gusto, much to the horror of Coach Ben.

The “Should've Been the Headliner” Award – Sabine Wren (Ahsoka)
The biggest problem with Ahsoka was the title character, or at least Rosario Dawson's performance, which was often way too stoic for its own good. Far more compelling was Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine. Not only did she have the stronger character arc, she had the best chemistry with her co-stars, and a fun rivalry with Ivanna Sakhno's Shin Hati.

Best Family Vacation – The Cruise Arc (Spy x Family)
Spy x Family is a show with a truly bonkers premise (superspy creates a fake family for a mission unaware the daughter is a telepath, the wife is an assassin, and the dog can see the future), but it's just so fun and heart-warming it became my go-to comfort show. Season two got off to an uneven start, but quickly recovered thanks to the Cruise Arc, which provided some much needed focus on Yor as she battled a seemingly endless stream of rival assassins to protect a mother and her child.

Best Carpet – The Bridge of the Enterprise D (Star Trek: Picard)
Yeah, it was all such blatant fanservice, but damn if I didn't get all misty eyed seeing those characters set foot on that bridge again after all these decades.

The “Should Really Know Better By Now” Award – Frieren and Mimics (Frieren: Beyond Journey's End)
You'd think after living thousands of years, studying so much magic, and having so many adventures, Frieren would know at this point not to get fooled by mimics. You'd think.

Best Magical Girl – Superman (My Adventures with Superman)
After wasting a decade trying to reinvent Superman to be more like Batman, DC finally realised that the best way to make Superman relatable to modern audiences is to just make him a pure hearted dork who wants to help people and fall in love with a Lois Lane who is a little bit insane. Oh, and have him transform into the super suit like he's freakin' Sailor Moon.

Best Overreaction – Local News (What We Do In The Shadows)
This is why Guillermo should never let the vampires out unsupervised. Leave Nandor to his own devices and he'll wander off into the street, get interviewed by local news reporter Joanna Roscoe about a burst water main, let slip that he's immortal, not get that she thought he was joking, then rush home telling all the other vampires he exposed them to the world and they must now kill Joanna Roscoe.

Best Hats – The Three Musketeers: D'Artagnan
If there was one thing that sets Martin Bourboulon's adaption of Alexander Dumas' classic swashbuckling novel apart from the many, many, many others, it would be the all the great (and wide) hats the cast were sporting.

Most Well Deserved Stomping – Emperor Belos (The Owl House)
Sometimes villains go down in grand style, battling the hero in some epic one-on-one duel that determined the fate of the universe. But sometimes your villain is such a pathetic P.O.S. that they deserve nothing more than to be reduced to a slimy puddle and stomped out of existence.

Best Lip Sync Battle – Spice Up Your Life (Doctor Who)

You just know Russell T. Davies is writing Doctor Who again when the story's main villain (played by Neil Patrick Harris) bursts into UNIT HQ dressed as the leader of a marching band, lip syncing to 'Spice Up Your Life', turning red shirts into bouncing balls, all while the Doctor looks on in absolute horror.

The Gendo Ikari Award for Parenting – Prospera Mercury (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury)
There are two things you are almost certainly going to see in every Gundam show: traumatised teenagers being forced to pilot giant robots to fight an interplanetary war, and a Machiavellian villain in a mask plotting revenge. Of all the Char Clones we've seen over the decades, Prospera is certainly the best (better than the original, in fact), but the shocking way she treated poor Suletta means she ain't gonna be winning Mother of the Year any time soon.

The “Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss” Award – Lanfear (The Wheel of Time)
Season two wasn't a good time for anyone (especially Egwene) with the obvious exception of the physicist formerly known as Mierin Eronaile. Despite all the primitive technology in this age (ugh, horses), Lanfear was having a blast (sometimes literally). Not only did she get to toss around the Amaylin Seat, make Rand her boy toy, set a city on fire, and reintroduce the pant suit to civilisation, she also got to manipulate all her enemies into killing Ishamael, her main rival for the job of the Dark One's top lackey.

Best Substitute – Ludwig Göransson (Oppenheimer)
After having worked together since Batman Begins in 2005, Hans Zimmer bowed out as Christopher Nolan's regular composer to work on the Dune films. Fortunately, Nolan found another astonishing musical collaborator in Göransson. The existential dread of impending nuclear annihilation has never sounded so good.

Much Needed Game Changer – “Good Morning” (Demon Slayer)
I had the same issue with season four of Demon Slayer that I had with seasons two and three, finding it to be just one drawn out fight scene as the heroes all struggled for episode after episode to kill one upper rank demon. At first it look like this battle was going to cost Tanjiro dearly when his sister Nezuko, who was turned into a demon at the start of the series, was caught out in the open at daybreak. But heartache quickly turned to joy when it was revealed that Nezuko is the one demon immune to sunlight, the very ability demon boss Muzan has been desperately seeking for centuries.

Best Bad Influence – Damian Wayne (Wonder Woman)
I'm still not entirely sold on the idea of giving Wonder Woman a daughter, but I'm happy to go along with whatever Tom King has planned so long as we get more of Damian as Lizzie's potty mouthed babysitter.

Most Bone-breaking Commute – John Wick: Chapter 4
Commuting is always a pain, but it's even worse when you've got every assassin in Paris trying to stop you making it to the church on time. And then, just when you think it might finally be over, you have to make one last bruising trip up the seemingly endless stairs to Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Twice!!!

Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011 More Mark Greig


  1. Mark, I always enjoy your rambling. :) Best Carpet, indeed. As you said, it was outright fan service, but that last season of Picard was something I didn't realize I needed.

  2. I totally agree Sabine felt like the main character most of the time. Her arc was strong and she had great chemistry with everyone. I liked Ashoka once she donned white, before she was a little dull.

    The Enterprise D reveal made me cry.

    Neil Patrick Harris was amazing in that episode. From what I understand the Toymaker is basically unknown since that original episode is lost. I hope to see him again.

    Also, Ncuti is fabulous as the new Doctor

  3. The fourth John Wick was both amazing and hilarious. The extended scene on the big staircase had me both laughing and cringing.


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