2017 was quite the year for entertainment, and for your reading pleasure, I’ve laid out my picks for the best in pop music, movies, TV, and books. Hope you enjoy!

Best 30 Pop Songs of the Year:

30. “Issues” – Julia Michaels

(Photo Credit: Republic)
One of pop music’s most recognizable songwriters ventured into her own solo career this year, releasing a strong debut single. Michaels’ debut EP was less than mediocre, but “Issues” is a good song. I don’t think it’s necessarily good enough to have been nominated for Song of the Year at the upcoming Grammys, but still good nonetheless.

29. “Chained to the Rhythm” – Katy Perry feat. Skip Marley

(Photo Credit: Capitol)
Literally everyone thought this song was a flop, and I actually didn’t hear until a few months after it came out, but I think it’s a super catchy jam from the good Katy Perry, as opposed to blonde pixie cut Katy Perry who puts out an electropop album that immaturely takes shots at Taylor Swift. The music video was weird, but the song is good.

28. “Malibu” – Miley Cyrus

(Photo Credit: RCA)
Miley definitely managed to put out the year’s best breezy summer tune. I want to skip merrily around on a beach while this song plays.

27. “It Ain’t Me” – Kygo & Selena Gomez

(Photo Credit: Sony)
Super catchy. I didn’t want to like it at first but it’s a total earworm, in a good way. Dare I say it invented stutter singing?

26. “Most Girls” – Hailee Steinfeld

(Photo Credit: Republic)
An empowering feminist anthem. Hailee’s right, I wanna be like most girls.

25. “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” – Shawn Mendes

(Photo Credit: Island)
Shawn Mendes is an unproblematic, talented angel and I love how he’s branching out from the pop rock sound of his first album and going into soft rock. It suits his voice very well.

24. “I Miss You” – Clean Bandit feat. Julia Michaels

(Photo Credit: Atlantic)
This song is better than pretty much everything on Julia Michaels’ debut EP from this year. I very much enjoy it.

23. “Life’s About to Get Good” – Shania Twain

(Photo Credit: Mercury Nashville)
Shania delivered with the lead single from her new album, Now. A summery bop.

22. “…Ready for It?” – Taylor Swift

(Photo Credit: Big Machine)
Pretty much everyone cringed when this single was first released ahead of her new album, myself included, because I hadn’t listened to it in full and didn’t understand what she was going for. But it’s actually very good and very good Taylor Swift, in a good way. I sing along to every single word now. JUDGE AWAY.

21. “Love So Soft” – Kelly Clarkson

(Photo Credit: Atlantic)
When I first heard this song, I was convinced Kelly Clarkson was trying to become Rihanna by putting out what I thought was an electro-R&B song, but this just goes to show that first impressions are often incorrect… “Love So Soft” is nothing like a Rihanna song and isn’t electro anything. It’s actually a soul-influenced bop that introduces us to a new, better Kelly Clarkson (more on that below).

20. “Home Now” – Shania Twain

(Photo Credit: Mercury Nashville)
2017 brought us Shania Twain’s first album in 15 years, and while it wasn’t mind-blowingly amazing (full review here), “Home Now” is really good, very Shania, and one of her best vocal performances on the new album. I recommend.

19. “Daddy Issues” – Demi Lovato

(Photo Credit: Island/Safehouse/Hollywood)
After addressing her issues with her father through more slower, serious pop ballads over the years, Demi decides to go for an uptempo pop bop with contagious high energy about having daddy issues. As Vanity Fair puts it, “That the track does psychodrama atop triumphant synthetic horns, shimmering major-key melodies and palpable delight at one’s shortcomings makes what could have been a maudlin overshare feel ebullient instead.”

18. “Save It Til Morning” – Fergie

(Photo Credit: Dutchess Music)
Fergie’s impeccably underrated solo comeback from this year brought in a few great songs, with this one definitely among them. This song is essentially the 2017 sequel to “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” Full review of her new album here.

17. “Lust for Life” – Lana Del Rey feat. The Weeknd

(Photo Credit: Polydor/Interscope)
Lana Del Rey’s first official song that features another artist is definitely among her best. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Lana Del Rey from her last few albums, but her latest album from this year (after which this song is named, Lust for Life) is the first I can say I’ve enjoyed since her 2012 debut, Born to Die. “Lust for Life” is a great somber tune like only Lana can make, and The Weeknd’s voice really compliments her own.

16. “Wolves” – Selena Gomez & Marshmello

(Photo Credit: Interscope)
“Wolves” is definitely the best of the few new singles Selena Gomez managed to release this year. I love it.

15. “What About Us” – P!nk

(Photo Credit: RCA)
P!nk’s subtle-yet-not-so-subtle protest song for everything that’s been going down in American politics this year is just so good you can’t help but stop and appreciate. Or, y’know, sing along.

14. “Heat” – Kelly Clarkson

(Photo Credit: Atlantic)
The best song from Kelly Clarkson’s new album. NEEDS to be a single LIKE NOW.

13. “Not My Ex” – Jessie J

(Photo Credit: Republic)
Jessie J is an amazing vocalist and I think this is one of her songs where she showcases it the most. If the rest of her upcoming new album is like “Not My Ex”, I’m super intrigued.

12. “Call It What You Want” – Taylor Swift

(Photo Credit: Big Machine)
I think this is my favorite song from Reputation. It’s one of the many instances where you can tell she is totally just flipping the bird to the media and the world, saying I am what I am—call it what you want, but Taylor can write a song.

11. “Flame” – Tinashe

(Photo Credit: RCA)
I’d never really listened to Tinashe before because I’m actually not a huge R&B person, but “Flame” is a damn good song. I could listen to it a zillion times in a row and not be sick of it.

10. “At My Best” – Machine Gun Kelly feat. Hailee Steinfeld

(Photo Credit: Interscope)
Based on this song alone, MGK and Hailee Steinfeld could be the next Eminem & Rihanna. Hailee’s vocals in this song ARE AMAZING.

9. “Younger Now” – Miley Cyrus

(Photo Credit: RCA)
Despite the fact that Miley’s new album from this year was the most boring and the biggest disappointment (we’ll get to that below too), “Younger Now” is probably one of her best songs.

8. “A Little Work” – Fergie

(Photo Credit: Dutchess Music)
Fergie’s depression and mental illness anthem deserved better. This song gives me chills.

7. “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore” – Demi Lovato

(Photo Credit: Island/Safehouse/Hollywood)
Apparently the rest of the world had been blissfully ignoring Demi Lovato and her insane talent until this year, when she put out some of the best vocal work of her career? Get out your best pair of headphones and take in this woman’s ability to sing on this song specifically. You will thank me.

6. “Let Me Go” – Hailee Steinfeld & Alesso feat. Florida Georgia Line & Watt

(Photo Credit: Republic)
A CERTIFIED BOP. Hailee Steinfeld is a great singer and, with the help of her long list of collaborators in this song, they’ve created something really catchy and good. If I haven’t said so before (spoiler alert: I have), Hailee Steinfeld better have an album coming soon or I will sue.

5. “Praying” – Kesha

(Photo Credit: Kemosabe/RCA)
Kesha’s comeback single, addressing a lot of what she’s been through in the past few years, deserves to be blasted non-stop so we can all collectively be in awe of this woman’s strength and perseverance.

4. “Cut to the Feeling” – Carly Rae Jepsen

(Photo Credit: 604/Interscope)
Carly Rae Jepsen’s (a.k.a. one of the most underrated artists in history) single from this year was one of the best I heard and it should have been a number one hit yet it wasn’t? Is there someone I should call? Like, it didn’t even chart anywhere except JAPAN. That’s a crime if I ever saw one.

3. “Stay” – Alessia Cara & Zedd

(Photo Credit: Interscope/Def Jam)
So good. So great. Alessia Cara is queen. I don’t know how else to describe how amazing “Stay” is. This is a song that definitely deserved its Grammy nomination for Song of the Year.

2. “Learn to Let Go” – Kesha

(Photo Credit: Kemosabe/RCA)
Kesha’s anxiety anthem of learning to let go of the past was blasted on repeat during many emergency dance parties of mine this year. Great message? Check. Amazing vocals? Check. Catchy as all hell? CHECK.

1. “New Rules” – Dua Lipa

(Photo Credit: Warner Bros.)
British pop singer Dua Lipa broke on the international scene with what would evidently become her breakout single (even though she’d released several others from her debut album before this one). This song in particular promotes not falling back in the arms of someone you know isn’t good for you and it seems that’s a real concern among pop music listeners because everyone fell in love with “New Rules” and Dua Lipa this year. And they should. She has a great voice, her album is a really impressive debut, and I hope the future holds big things for her.

Best 5 Pop Albums of the Year:

5. Kelly Clarkson – Meaning of Life

(Photo Credit: Atlantic)
Finally free from the record deal she won with American Idol, Clarkson delivers a soul and gospel influenced pop record that is so unlike anything she’s ever released before, in the best way possible. Full review here.

4. P!nk – Beautiful Trauma

(Photo Credit: RCA)
Coming five years after her last studio effort, P!nk puts out a stellar album like only she can—as one of the most consistent pop singers of the last two decades, P!nk has successfully transitioned from crazy party girl rebel to adult contemporary pop, now chronicling motherhood and married life, and is still killing the game (which, as Rolling Stone puts it, is a pretty incredible feat considering she originally came on the pop music scene as a counterpoint to pop stars like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera).

3. Demi Lovato – Tell Me You Love Me

(Photo Credit: Island/Safehouse/Hollywood)
Demi never fails to disappoint, but with her sixth studio album Tell Me You Love Me, she puts out possibly her most vocally and lyrically focused pop record ever. You can practically feel the enthusiasm radiating off her in every song. Highly recommend.

2. Taylor Swift – Reputation

(Photo Credit: Big Machine)
After catching shit from the media for pretty much every move she makes—whether it be singing only about boy problems, her drama with Kim and Kanye, suing a man for only $1 to make a point, or inciting a widespread rage on social media for writing that she had a good year (???)—Taylor Swift throws caution to the wind and sings from a place we’ve never heard before, simultaneously introducing us to a new T. Swift we’ve never met before and putting out one of the year’s most cohesive and impressive pop albums. Indeed, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because she is dead. Full review here.

1. Kesha – Rainbow

(Photo Credit: Kemosabe/RCA)
After spending the last year in the spotlight for less than pleasant reasons—suing her former producer Dr. Luke for sexual, physical and emotional abuse only to have a judge reject her claims—Kesha was finally able to release the album she had poured her heart and soul into during her personal struggles over the past few years, which in addition to the highly publicized lawsuit included a stint in a treatment centre for an eating disorder and emotional issues. Rainbow introduces us to a new Kesha, quite possibly the real Kesha, and I’m so glad we got to meet her. Not only is she insanely talented (those vocals!), but her ability to interweave different influences from different genres of music on her album is more than impressive (pop rock to glam rock to country pop? Kesha is certainly a coat of many colors in many different ways). To think that people once questioned Kesha’s ability to sing because her previous music was all electropop is truly sad. I hope those poor, unfortunate souls have since seen the light.

Most Disappointing Pop Album of the Year:

Miley Cyrus – Younger Now

(Photo Credit: RCA)
After releasing two very promising and genuinely GOOD new singles (“Malibu” and “Younger Now”), I for one was very excited for Miley’s new album, her first mainstream studio release since 2013’s Bangerz, an era that saw her licking sledgehammers and inventing an inappropriate dance move that has since become a pop culture phenomenon. Unfortunately, the end result turned out to be nothing more than a stink bomb—Younger Now is a country pop album, something I don’t think anyone was truly expecting, and not the Shania Twain country pop that springs to mind when you mention that genre. Like Dolly Parton jukebox country pop (she accompanies her goddaughter in a guest appearance on the track “Rainbowland”, which is cute, but ultimately still contributes to the oddball and frankly downright boring nature of the album). “Malibu” and “Younger Now” are honestly the only two songs that stand out at all on Younger Now, and they don’t really fit in whatsoever with the rest of the album. In a year where so many great artists were releasing new albums, Miley had the opportunity to release something different and stand out, but wasted the chance completely and put out the year’s most underwhelming, boring and disappointing pop record.

Best 5 Films of the Year:

5. Snatched

(Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s adventure comedy about a mother-daughter vacation in South America gone wrong was really hilarious and well done, even though you probably won’t want to see it because you think Amy Schumer is too vulgar or too raunchy or she’s fat and should stop talking. Snatched was also Goldie Hawn’s first movie in 15 years and I feel like we didn’t talk about how awesome she is in this enough.

4. Lady Bird

(Photo Credit: Focus Features)
Greta Gerwig’s poignant coming-of-age tale provided Saoirse Ronan with some great material to give one of the best performances of her career so far.

3. Beauty and the Beast

(Photo Credit: Disney)
Disney’s live-action remake of their 1991 animated classic did not disappoint, and I did not think for a second that it would. I appreciate it more every time I watch it. Emma Watson was the perfect Belle, despite what some critics said. The person who came up with the idea of making live-action remakes of Disney animated classics is probably sitting in their mansion counting their millions as we speak.

2. Battle of the Sexes

(Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight)
Emma Stone and Steve Carrell’s turns as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs recreating the famous 1973 tennis match that broke down gender barriers in competitive sports is hands down the most underrated movie of 2017. I’m the furthest you can get from a sports person and I made a point of going to the theatre to see Battle of the Sexes, mostly because I wanted to see Emma Stone nail Billie Jean, but I ended up really enjoying the rich history of gender politics, women’s liberation and the ever-present misogyny in male-dominated industries like sports. It’s a damn shame that Emma Stone will be remembered for winning an Oscar for a clichéd load of crap where she and Ryan Gosling sing through the streets and spontaneously fly through the air when she should be winning an Oscar for an extremely important and relevant movie like Battle of the Sexes.

1. Goodbye Christopher Robin

(Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight)
Simon Curtis’ movie about the lives of A.A. Milne, his wife and their son Christopher Robin and what came to inspire quite possibly the most celebrated children’s books of all-time, Winnie-the-Pooh, will ABSOLUTELY BREAK YOUR HEART. But in a good way. Sort of. Not really, actually. But it’s still really good and worth seeing, especially if you grew up with Pooh and the One Hundred Acre Wood, which I’m going to assume everyone did, because I don’t want to live in a world where children don’t grow up with Pooh.

Best 5 TV Series of the Year:

5. The Great Canadian Baking Show, CBC

(Photo Credit: CBC)
CBC’s Canadian adaptation of The Great British Baking Show that debuted in November was surprisingly enjoyable. I actually only recorded it at first because Dan Levy was one of the hosts (a.k.a. David Rose on Schitt’s Creek, one of the best comedies on television) but I kept watching it because I like baking as much as the next person and not only was it something fun to watch but I was also impressed with the laid back environment of the competition, possibly because no outrageous cash prizes were involved. I think it’s due back for a second season next year (I’m not sure; don’t quote me on that) so I recommend!

4. When We Rise, ABC

(Photo Credit: ABC)
ABC’s miniseries about the gay rights movement from its inception in the 1970s to the present day that aired in February and March was absolutely PHENEMONAL and left me bawling. I was expecting it to get some Primetime Emmy nominations in the miniseries categories but it received ZERO nominations which is frankly insulting because why should we recognize a politically and socially relevant miniseries about LGBT history when Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman played desperate housewives on Big Little Lies?

3. Raven’s Home, Disney Channel

(Photo Credit: Disney Channel)
Disney’s new That’s So Raven spin-off is so great, you guys. I watched it solely because I grew up with That’s So Raven but I kept watching because it’s actually really funny and well written; it’s not just preteen humor like most Disney teen sitcoms. The sense of humor is pretty progressive as is the premise (Raven and her best friend Chelsea are now single moms raising their kids together in one apartment to save money). It’s really good. Recommend.

2. Orphan Black, Space/BBC America

(Photo Credit: Space/BBC America)
After five action-packed seasons, Orphan Black said farewell this summer, giving everyone a somewhat happy ending. And now is good a time as any to tell all of you to go start watching Orphan Black from the beginning, which I’m assuming you haven’t, because it’s incredibly underrated. Go. Start watching right now. I’m waiting.

1. Will & Grace, NBC

(Photo Credit: NBC)
The fact that Will & Grace, one of the best and gayest sitcoms in history, returned to television when we needed it most is groundbreaking. I’ve loved every episode so far. It has also seemed to spark a movement in network TV of reviving past popular series and bringing them back for new seasons, which has been both a good and bad thing, but Will & Grace being back on my screen all these years later can only be a good thing so we’re focusing on the positives.

Best 5 Books of the Year:

5. This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)
An incredibly important and relevant family drama about a young boy wanting to become a young girl, I recommend to anyone and everyone who understands the importance of shifting ideals of what it means to be normal, especially as a child growing up in a narrow world. Full review here.

4. When We Rise: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)
The memoir that partially inspired ABC’s miniseries of the same name, Cleve Jones’ account of what it was like to be part of the gay rights movement from the beginning as well as working with Harvey Milk in the 1970s and continuing the fight today is very inspiring. Full review here.

3. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)
Probably the best YA book published this year, Eliza and Her Monsters is great for lovers of geeky fandom things, but also brings up larger, deeper themes of what it’s like to be an artist who creates something and the relationship therein between an artist and their fans. Full review here.

2. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks by Annie Spence

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)
A great read for any bookworm who has ever found themselves relating a book to a specific time in their lives, or trying to recommend the right book to a friend or family member. Annie Spence is a librarian from Michigan who has spent her career trying to recommend the right book to the people who come to her for them, and based on Dear Fahrenheit 451, she has got everyone covered. Full review here.

1. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies by Michael Ausiello

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)
For TV fans near and far, you know Michael Ausiello as one of the top TV journalists in the business who has been relied on for years to give us the inside scoop on all of our favorite series. But little did we know that in 2014, his longtime boyfriend Kit was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and ultimately succumbed to the illness after a grueling eleven-month battle. I’ve followed Ausiello’s TV work for years, always trusting his TV news and scoop when we need it most, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he is a very gifted writer not only in the journalistic sense: his memoir is written in grade A+ prose, which made it all the more enjoyable and utterly heartbreaking. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies chronicles Kit’s diagnosis to his passing, interlaced with chapters in between with anecdotes and stories from Michael and Kit’s relationship in earlier years that help you better understand them as people. I loved it so much that I didn’t want it to end. Hands down the best book I’ve read this year.