With the end of 2017 came a whole lot of retrospective “best of” articles for the year (and here comes yet another one). While there were quite a few quality lists, two of them stood out to me.

The first was Patrick Willems’ “MY TOP 50 OF 2017” video. I enjoyed Patrick’s choice not to focus on any one medium and how he didn’t try to put his picks in any sort of order (this isn’t exceptionally original, but I enjoyed his take on the format). Second was FiveThirtyEight’s “Damn, We Wish We’d Done These 11 Stories.” For this piece, I appreciated how the FiveThirtyEight team were open with their admiration and jealousy for the work of their peers.

These pieces have in turn inspired me to look back on my own favorite things from 2017. What came about was a mix of my favorite movies, videos, music, TV, and articles. I admire all of them and more than a few of them have made me think “damn, I wish I had made that.” Putting the list together was a nice walk through the year and it has sparked my excitement to read, watch, and (hopefully) make great content in the year to come. To slightly rephrase FiveThirtyEight, hopefully my jealousy will lead to discovery and inspiration.

Without further ado, in no particular order, my top 50 for 2017 -

  1. The Little of Visualisation Design

    Article series from Andy Kirk

  2. No Burden

    Album from Lucy Dacus

  3. The Unlikley Odds of Making It Big

    Article from The Pudding · This was my introduction to the awesome work from The Pudding. The team over there are writing great pieces with great visualizations. There's a reason this isn't the only piece from them on this list.

  4. Slate Political Gabfest

    Podcast from Slate

  5. Black Panther Teaser and Theatrical Trailers

    Videos from Marvel · These trailers have made me so excited for Black Panther. Marvel seems to know what they're doing. I loved the minimal but effective use of Run The Jewels.

  6. Get Out


  7. 7 Ways to Maximize Misery

    Video from CGP Grey

  8. Black Mirror

    TV series

  9. Hot Ones

    Video series from First We Feast

  10. Coco


  11. ShortSided

    Video series from Brett Novak · Brett has been putting out awesome videos for years and this year was no exception. To best sum up the series, check out the 100th episode video.

  12. Stanley Cup Playoffs Ad

    Video from the NHL

  13. We asked 8 Senate Republicans to explain what their health bill is trying to do

    Article from Vox · This was one of many pieces that Vox put out in this style. They were all fascinating and generally not in the most encouraging way.

  14. Strikethrough

    Video series from Vox · Carlos's series has been a very interesting and necessary critique of the media, especially given the events and coverage of the year.

  15. Visual Trumpery

    Lecture from Alberto Cairo

  16. No Devil

    Single from San Fermin

  17. Born A Crime

    Book from Trevor Noah · I would highly recommend listening to the audiobook for this with Trevor reading it himself. It ends up being Trevor just sharing his own life story.

  18. District

    Article from Polytrope

  19. Dunkirk

    Film · Watch this with the best sound system you can find.

  20. 100 Days

    Video series from John Green and Chris Waters

  21. Falling is Learning

    Article from Nathan Yau

  22. Saturday Night Live

    TV series · The crew over at 30 Rock churned out gem after gem in 2017. Examples include "Pepsi Commercial", "Guy Who Bought A Boat", "Welcome Video", "Papyrus", "Meet Cute", and all of Pete Davidson's stuff.

  23. Datasaurs

    Twitter account

  24. Promise Me, Dad

    Book from Joe Biden

  25. La La Land Mia & Sebastian's Theme Guitar Cover

    Video from AcousticTrench · This was one of the most calming videos I watched this year. The cute dog definitely helped.

  26. Primitive Technology

    YouTube channel

  27. The Weatherman

    Album from Gregory Alan Isakov · I know this didn't technically come out in 2017, but this was for sure my album of the year.

  28. Binging with Babish

    Video series from Andrew Rea

  29. La La Land

    Film · I know it's now kind of a faux pas to like this movie (I liked Moonlight also), but I couldn't help it. I admit it lacked originality in the story side, but I don't think anyone can deny it's style and production value, which is 100% what did it for me.

  30. Fatal Force

    Article from the Washington Post · With the continued gun violence in 2017, there was (unfortunately) a lot of stellar coverage to highlight the violence, this being one of the best. See also this piece from Axios.

  31. Why You Shouldn't Be An Artist

    Video from Simon Cade

  32. Max Joseph's Videos

    YouTube channel · Max made some great content in 2017, including (but not limited to) "What Makes Us American", "From Dream to Reality", and "DICKS" (don't worry, that last one is SFW).

  33. The Incredible True Story

    Album from Logic