2015 Pop Culture Highlights

We give you the best of 2015 pop culture!

Clara Grace Walker

Every year brings us a new crop of artistic offerings: films, TV shows, music, etc. Some will be great works that render you speechless, fill you with emotion, and linger forever after. Others, not so much. 2015 is like every other year in this respect, and I’ve been asked to weigh in on what constitutes the best. Yes, my list is subjective…and yes, some of you are bound to think, “Well, what about ___?” I make no guarantees you’ll agree with me. But hey, I have watched a few movies and TV shows, and listened to some music. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my not-so-definitive list of the best 2015 had to offer.


Best Movie of 2015

Here’s the thing:  I’m a geek. A complete, total, die-hard geek. My pick for best movie is Star Wars. Yeah, yeah, I know. It hasn’t come out yet. Doesn’t matter. I’ve seen the trailers (all of them) and I’m certain it’s going to be the best. It’s Star Wars after all. Plus, it boasts the talents of JJ Abrams, the same guy who brought Star Trek into the twenty-first century. Go to the theater on Christmas Day and see it when it comes out. I won’t be wrong.


Best TV Show of 2015

This one is actually a tie. Summer brought us AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, a spin-off of its wildly successful show, The Walking Dead. For many, the question was whether they'd enjoy the prequel as much as the original series. I did. The pacing of this show had just the right balance of build-up, character development, and zombie guts. Seeing the zombie apocalypse unfold in this show was pretty much what I’d expect to happen in real life: despite literally decades of watching dead, staggering mounds of flesh tear into living beings on TV, no one believed it could really happen. Fear the Walking Dead nails this sense of disbelief perfectly. Not only that, it captures perhaps the best performance of an addict I’ve ever seen in Frank Dillane’s portrayal of Nick Clark.

Not to be outdone, however, is Amazon’s new rendering of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle.  I thought I’d try out the first episode of this show the other night, and I ended up binging five episodes. The quiet intensity of this show draws you in. With great writing, great directing, and great performances, what’s not to love? If you haven’t given this one a try, I recommend you do.


Best Song of 2015

One song managed to worm its way into my heart. Raleigh Ritchie’s "Bloodsport '15," a single released this year, had me sitting up and taking notice. I love its dark, moody feel and passionate lyrics.


Best Podcast of 2015

I have to give this one to Nick and Charlie of The Flash Diaries. Whether chatting about the CW show, The Flash, the now-discontinued dystopian TV show Revolution, or anything sci-fi, these two guys are genuinely entertaining.  Tangents are taken, technical theories are debated, and a bit of good-hearted ribbing frequently takes place. They make me laugh in every episode, and I rate listening to their banter in The Flash Diaries as “Not to be missed.”


Best Reconciliation of 2015

I write romantic suspense novels for a living, and sooner or later, I was bound to move into romance-territory.  Rather than pick the “Best Couple,” here’s a category not often mentioned. My vote for the best onscreen reconciliation of two characters headed for divorce goes to Anne Hathaway and Anders Holm in the 2015 film, The Intern. Anne Hathaway's Jules and Anders Holm's Matt brought me to tears. Although, in all honesty, even though the actor was so strong, I had to look up Anders Holm's name. But really, he was onscreen with Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro. What did he expect? 


Most Anticipated Kiss of 2015

If we could just rewind this and go back a few years, I’d say that first kiss between Beckett and Castle on ABC’s show, Castle. Since we can’t, I’m going with the kiss between Rick Grimes and Jessie on The Walking Dead.  Rick has been put through the wringer since waking up from a coma into a zombie-infested world. I think he had this one coming.


Most Ingenious Survival Methods Employed in Fiction of 2015

Survival shows and movies stimulate creative thinking and allows one to test oneself… without having to go through the arduous work of actually testing oneself. In terms of just flat-out MacGyver-like survival, I’ve got to give it up to my man Matt Damon in this year’s movie The Martian. The brain power he employed in surviving to the end of that movie and getting back home to Earth had me seriously considering pursuing a degree in botany… just in case.


Best "Aww" Moment of 2015

Every cat video on the internet. With approximately 4.5 billion cat videos currently posted online, there’s a whole lot of cuteness out there to choose from. If you need help getting started, The Daily has a Best of 2015 list of their own on YouTube, counting down their Top 10. 

Now get out there, have some fun, and see you in 2016!


Clara Grace Walker is a romance author, who currently has 3 published novels. Her new novel, Exploits, will be available in early 2016. You can learn more about Clara Grace Walker on her website.