I’m a lover of all things entertainment.
Whether it’s music, movies, TV, books, magazines, tractor pulls, hot-dog eating contents, or live arm wrestling, I can’t get enough.
Entertainment, in all of its forms, is an amazing opportunity to spend time with family and friends, enjoying the things that make our hearts beat and toes tap.
Knowing that I’m sure to forget a few, here are a few of my favorite things in mainstream entertainment in 2014.
Jimmy Fallon changing late night television ... but, not really
Jimmy Fallon made his debut on “The Tonight Show” on Feb. 17, taking over for longtime host Jay Leno. He hasn’t looked back since. He’s lied about things in boxes with Channing Tatum. He’s been gut-bustingly silly a handful of times with Justin Timberlake. The guy threw a ball at Julia Roberts’ face ... more than once!
He’s returned late night television to something more like a variety show. It turns out people enjoy seeing celebrities loosen up and act more like normal folks. Who knew?
Don’t believe me? Go look at the view counts for the show’s countless YouTube videos. Fallon has used the medium to connect to an audience who isn’t always home when the show airs.
What Fallon lacks in his interview style, he has more than made up for with all the new things he’s brought to the show. And you watch, he’ll get better in time with the interviews.
Bruno Mars kills it at Super Bowl XLVIII
Bruno Mars is an entertainer, in every sense of the word. He proved that to the world when he rocked the Super Bowl XLVIII halftime show stage Feb. 2 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
His vocals were impressive. His dancing was impressive. He made you feel like you were watching him in concert as you sat on your couch and dipped your last, lonely tortilla chip into that glorious cheese dip.
The only knock on the performance has nothing to do with Mars. Red Hot Chili Peppers joined him on stage, and it just didn’t work.
It should have been clear to the suits that Mars didn’t need to share the stage with anyone. Judging by the positive reviews of his performance, it was clear to most of the rest of us.
got a little jolt
Good music found a home on the radio again this year.
Artists like Bastille, Hozier, Vance Joy, and Imagine Dragons provided something different than the typical EDM tunes that have become the norm on Top 40 radio.
Ed Sheeran released “X,” one of the best pop albums I’ve heard in the past few years. Iggy Azalea stormed onto the scene and released “The New Classic,” an pop-friendly breath of fresh air in the world of hip hop. Sam Smith pulled on everyone’s heartstrings when “Stay With Me” came out. Good stuff, all around.
I liked the typical poppy stuff, too
I’m going to be honest. I enjoyed quite a bit of no-doubt-about-it pop songs this year. Look below to see where I ranked the year’s best pop songs.
Outpouring of love for Robin Williams
There have not been many deaths in my lifetime that I can remember affecting people like the passing of Robin Williams on Aug. 11. It seemed like everyone loved him.
And I was no different. Williams had a hand in some of my favorite movies, including my favorite of all-time, “Good Will Hunting.” He was one of my favorite humans on the planet.
Critics slam “Patch Adams” all the time. That’s my jam. I love that movie. But, it is so hard to watch now, because Robin was a lot like Patch – funny and kind-hearted, yet troubled.
Having dealt with suicide on a very personal level, it truly cut me deep.
But, the outpouring of love from other comedians, actors, and artists was something special to watch.
Tears may have been flowing watching the montages of his best work. But, we were still laughing. We were still laughing.