Year in review: My favorite stories of 2023

10. TIE – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem and Wonka

I know that it’s sort of cheating to do a tie, but I really enjoyed both these films and couldn’t bear to leave one off the list. I loved the animation style of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the fun interactions between the characters. Despite not having much previous familiarity with the Turtles franchise, I was fully invested in the story and want to see more done in this style. As for Wonka, I found this to be a delightfully charming, feel-good family film anchored by a wonderful performance from Timothée Chalamet.

9. Introduction of the new Doctor

Ncuti Gatwa may have just arrived on the scene as the brand new Doctor in command of the TARDIS, but I already have a good feeling about this. He brings a special energy and a sense of wonder, joy, and fun, and seeing him on screen as the Doctor just makes me smile. 

8. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Netflix’s Bridgerton period drama series is one of my favorite guilty pleasures, but the latest – a prequel series about Queen Charlotte – takes the story to a deeper and more emotional level. The relationship between Charlotte and King George is quite touching to see, as together they weather challenges. I also appreciated the show’s compassionate portrayal of mental illness and to see the love and support shown by the characters. 

7. Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

This movie was just so darn fun – like watching a live action D&D campaign with all your friends. I loved the cast of characters, particularly my guy Chris Pine, and how they form a lovingly dysfunctional team. There’s some magic, action, and plenty of humor. 

6. Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1

The recent Mission: Impossible movies have no right to be as great as they are. With jaw-dropping action sequences and intricately plotted espionage, these movies continue to be highly entertaining. I’m already excited for part 2!

5. The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

If you’d asked me if I wanted a prequel story about young President Snow, the primary villain of the original Hunger Games trilogy, I would have said something like, “What? No!” He’s a really, really bad guy, but the prequel movie (based on the book of the same name) gives him a complex, compelling backstory that’s a fascinating study on human nature and what happens when a person with promise chooses the dark instead of the light. 

4. Bodies

This Netflix series had me hooked from the minute I heard the concept: a time-jumping murder mystery set during four different historical periods, ranging from past, present, to future. Not only was the story suspenseful and compelling, the multi-layered characters give the series its soul. 

3. Oppenheimer

Christopher Nolan’s portrait of J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb, transcends the typical biopic tropes and brings us stunning cinematography, performances, and the history behind a complicated man and his complicated legacy. 

2. Picard: Season 3

This Star Trek series is nostalgia done right – bringing back beloved characters but challenging them and pushing them through meaningful character arcs. I was compelled from start to finish. 

1. Godzilla Minus One

This movie may not have been on my radar until I heard all the positive buzz, but I’m so glad I was able to catch it in theaters, because it turned out to be my favorite movie of the year. It’s always fun to see a monster movie on the big screen, but what makes this special is the care taken with the human characters in the story. 

ESO Network Sponsors


Support Us

A Dollar a month keeps us in orbit. Trust us it’s better that way.

Ways to Listen

Find Us Wherever Fine Podcasts are Found

Sign Up for the ESO Newsletter


ESO Network Archives


No matter where you go here you are

Follow the ESO Network

You didn't come this far to only come this far

Contact Us

    Remember any comment made today will be the tomorrow you worried about yesterday

    <-- see them in a pretty grid

    42 Cast
    The Best Saturdays of Our Lives
    Blurred Nerds
    But First, Let's Talk Nerdy
    Cigar Nerds
    The Con Guy

    Most Recent Episodes

    Cosmic Pizza
    Dragon Con Report
    Drinking with Authors

    Most Recent Episodes

    Earth Station DCU
    Earth Station One
    Earth Station Trek
    Earth Station Who
    Epsilon Three
    Metal Geeks
    Modern Musicology
    Monkeeing Around
    Monster Attack
    The Monster Scifi Show
    Soul Forge
    Thunder Talk
    The Watch-a-thon of Rassilon