YEAR-END LIST: The Top Nerdy Things of 2015 – Superlatives
Every year the Nerdy Show crew mash our collective heads together to figure out the Top 20 Nerdy Things of the Year. Competition is always fierce and divisive. When you’re dealing with as subjective a quantifier as “nerdiness” things just don’t stack the same as your average “best of” lists. That why this year we’ve foregone the usual Honorable Mentions and created a series of superlatives to give due recognition to the more specific notes of nerd awesomeness that rocked us in the wily year of 2015.
Hear us go into greater detail on how these rad geeky ranked in our annual Final Boss podcast!
Nerdy Achievement Award: Gravity Falls
Put simply: Gravity Falls is one of the geekiest pieces of animated television ever. It’s an all-ages Twin Peaks swirled with X-Files, Kolchak, and every other paranormal/ sci-fi/ fantasy/ mystery in the pop culture zeitgeist. Created by Alex Hirsch, and inspired by his childhood, the series follows the summer vacation of Dipper and Mabel Pines as they stay at their conniving Great Uncle (“Grunkle”) Stan’s tourist trap, The Mystery Shack. After four years, summer has finally come to an end.
This isn’t Gravity Falls‘ first appearance on one of our year-end lists. Last year, a single episode of Gravity Falls ranked #14 in our Top 20 Nerdy Things with a horror anthology that brought together shades of Evil Dead, with Ray Harryhausen stop motion homages, and Neil deGrasse Tyson voicing a super-smart pig. Though rife with allusions to the media that inspired it, what makes Gravity Falls shine is its own unique narrative and wonderful characters. The colorful and hilarious monster of the week format keels to the expansion of plot lines, the pursuit of larger mysteries, and a powerfully rendered overlying theme of what it means to grow – for kids, teens, man children, and cranky silver foxes alike. It’s also a smart show – the kind of show that seeds background appearances from a time traveler for a whole season before he’s introduced as a character and ends every episode with ciphered text.
In spite of Disney pushing for a continuation of the hit show, Hirsch fought to conclude it. Mysteries have been answered, plot threads are tying up, and Gravity Falls has become a cryptid seldom seen in the world of young adult animation: a finite story with a beginning, middle, and end. We simply couldn’t let the series close without a formal salute to a job masterfully done – hence the Nerdy Achievement Award.
As per the show’s perpetually erratic release schedule, Gravity Falls‘ final, double-length finale has yet to air and is anticipated for a TBD date in early 2016. That gives you more than enough time to catch up:
Geek Film of the Year: Max Max: Fury Road
If you haven’t seen the summer’s biggest blockbuster, Mad Max: Fury Road – boy howdy are you missing out. Not only was this one of the most visually stunning movies of 2015, it’s also a social commentary on some of the most divisive issues of our time wrapped in a post-apocalyptic exterior. It’s no coincidence that every convention in the months that followed Fury Road‘s release featured legions of grease-smeared Furiosas and silver-sprayed War Boys.
Writer/ director George Miller has been trying to bring this vision to the screen for the better part of two decades. The waiting and perseverance paid off gloriously. It has to be seen to be believed. But don’t take our word for it – the movie also has an astounding 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Get yourself a copy and bear witness! (You could also pick it on on Blu-Ray, and support The Nerdy Show Network in the process.)
Nerdiest Music Video of the Year: “I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler” by YACHT
Exceptional Geek of the Year: Sam Cristoforetti
If you’re an astronaut, chances are good you’re already an exceptional geek – but this year, Italian astronaut Sam Cristoforetti soared to new heights of geekitude and boldly brewed where no one had brewed before.
In honor of Starfleet Captain, and black coffee enthusiast Kathryne Janeway of the USS Voyager, Cristoforetti donned her Starfleet uniform to welcome the Dragon capsule containing the first space espresso machine; tweeting, “‘There’s coffee in that nebula’… ehm, I mean… in that #Dragon.” She followed that tweet up with another of her savoring Janeway’s favorite brew in a zero-g cup. Cristoforetti also made headlines this year by setting new records: the most time in space on a single mission by a woman (199 days, 16 hours and 42 minutes) and the longest uninterrupted flight by an ESA astronaut.
Nerdy Remix of the Year: “Get Schwifty”
“Get Schwifty” was already the feel-good party song of 2015. I mean, it beat out countless other worlds and impressed the Cromulons. Those guys are tough judges, you know? But frankly, we hadn’t heard shit. Enter Andromulus‘ remix of “Get Schwifty” – THE ULTIMATE feel-good party song, the ultimate jam… of all time. Ever. Listen for yourself and then, if somehow you can suppress the urge to ever take “Get Schwifty” off repeat, check out his Bounty Hunter EP.