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2022 rrround up: rrrevered and rrreviled

2022 is wrapping up, and it sure has been a year. We launched our new website, welcomed a bunch of new writers, illustrators and editors onto the team, and published over 40 rrreviews.


But there's no way we could cover everything that happened in a year packed to the brim with arts and culture things; so we asked some of the team to tell us about the releases they loved and hated in 2022 (with a couple from the end of 2021 for flavour). Hopefully the team can help you discover a hidden gem, or maybe they've simply slandered your faves.


rrramble readers welcome to 2022's rrrevered and rrreviled...


The album art for Fletcher's 'Girl of my Dreams' and a promotional image for She Hulk are set against an orange background.  The text "revered and reviled" is emblazoned over the images


A photo of Alec, staring at the camera with a small smile. He is wearing a blackt shirt, black jacket and a silver necklace

rrrevered:

Better Call Saul’s final season might cement it as my favourite TV show full stop. It left me white-knuckled, emotional, but ultimately very satisfied as a long time viewer of the series. I don’t think its masterful character development and story telling will be topped for a long time.


rrreviled:

For me, Robert Eggers’s The Northman was a real let down. I’m by no means a mega fan, but I like his use of esoteric details and atmospheric production design. For such a big, macho movie, it felt weirdly bereft of weight or characterisation. Not awful, just not memorable.



A young white woman with blonde short hair and pale brown glasses smiles at the camera. She is crouched down amongst many bright yellow daffodils which match the bright multicoloured dungarees she is wearing with a yellow jacket and teal coat.

rrrevered:

Cell Outs by Glasshouse Theatre. Oh good golly how this show packed a mighty punch - straight to my stomach and heart! Believe me when I tell you that tears were quite literally pouring out of my eyes. This is truly powerful, hilariously tragic, necessary theatre.


rrreviled:

Look - I know the songs are brilliant. I know that the characters were beautifully complex and real. But the plot didn't make sense!! I'm sorry Encanto.


Headshot of a young white woman with long blue hair, smiling at the camera. Her hands are knitted together under her chin. She is wearing a denim jacket with the sleeves rolled up past the elbow and silver hoop earrings. In the blurred background, there are signs of a city street and trees

rrrevered:

My favourite thing from this year was Fletcher's album Girl of my Dreams because it is the ultimate lesbian BOP!


rrreviled:

First Kill on Netflix. Maybe season 2 could be saved if they ditch the main couple and make the story all about the badass mums.






Gazal

rrrevered:

Beyoncé releasing her Renaissance album was single-handedly probably one of the greatest artistic things I’ve listened to this year. From the lyrics to the music it sampled many artists such as Donna Summer and made references to a lot of pop culture and ball culture too.


rrreviled:

I wasn't a fan of the Met Gala this year; the theme was "America: An Anthology of Fashion" and yet most (not all but most) of what the celebrities wore this year didn't impress me at all. A lot of people were not on theme or the designers/celebs themselves didn't put much effort into reflecting the theme through their garments.


A woman with long hair wearing a black top. Behind her is the beach

rrrevered:

Charlotte Wells’s Aftersun was a fantastically intimate (and devastating) portrayal of a father-daughter relationship. Many of us left the cinema with tear-stains on our cheeks, though we did not know why… Aftersun is the kind of film to leave you stuck with that feeling, long after you’ve left the theatre.


rrreviled:

I also watched Blonde in the cinema, and regretted every part of that decision. It seemed to take an almost gratuitous approach to Monroe’s pain, and the audience witnessed a foetus speaking to its mother from the womb, begging to live. It felt too much like a pro-life campaign.


A man in his mid-twenties with pale skin, red hair and glasses. He is wearing a denim shirt. In the background is green grass.

rrrevered:

I was super impressed by Spiritbox's Rotoscope EP. It's not just that it's a really solid EP by a great band (perhaps Canada's greatest contribution since Avril), but it showed them really innovating to transform their sound into something special.


rrreviled:

I feel bad because I really wanted to like it, but Wet Leg's self-titled albushould have been called damp squib. After all the hype this release failed to grab my attention. At it's best this album reminded me of other songs I'd rather be listening to.


A person with blue eyes and a green beard, wearing a white shirt and a backpack. In the background is a rock face.

rrrevered:

TJ's War - This book has by far been the highlight of my 2022, as someone who has a deep dislike of books glorifying World War 2, TJ's War is definitely an anti war novel that breaks the usual norm, while being a fascinating tale of a son recounting what he has discovered of his father's history and part in the war.


rrreviled:

She-Hulk - What is genuinely one of my top 10 favourite Marvel heroes ended in one my absolute worst viewing experiences this year. I was dissapointed with the handling of the character and the sitcom-esque feel of a show that could have been so much more.


An Asian girl with dark brown curly hair, a black and white beanie and red scarf, smiling at the camera on a sunny day

rrrevered:

My rrrevered release is Heartstopper on Netflix – the comic it’s based on is god-tier for me, and the show didn’t disappoint. I also loved finding new artists through the cast and soundtrack! An unexpected side bonus: hits on my 2020 blog post about a Heartstopper-related novella (Nick and Charlie) soared.


rrreviled:

I’ve developed a pet peeve this year: negative book reviews that are based on hearsay and out-of-context elements rather than actually reading the book. Accusations of discrimination are serious, so I’m thankful to still find reviews from people who have read the book, providing a more balanced perspective.


Wayne Savage, he / him, journalist, writer, looking off-camera, blank background

rrrevered:

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. A return to form for Marvel. More importantly, it's a moving study of grief. Of how pain comes quickly, savagely, and effortlessly. While acceptance and peace is slow, subtle, and requires work. Strong female leads too without it feeling tokenistic.


rrreviled:

Diana The Musical. This was almost my rrrevered pick because it's so convinced it's good you start to think maybe this is a work of genius. It goes from being so bad it's good to making you want to scrub your eyes and ears with a bleach-soaked copper wire brush. The mere sight of a bucking bronco brings out the sweats.

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