Issue 10 : February 2018 '2017 memorable moments'
The voice of popular culture by young creatives
e. c n a u N d n A y t revi B d e d e e N 7 1 20 on. i t c A s d e e N 8 201
FILMS | PHOTOGRAPHY | BOOKS | MUSIC | POLITICS | TRAVEL | GAMING | AND MORE
contributors JAMES NORMAN – FEED editor
JORDAN MOLONEY Culture p20 Jordan is a banker in the city, working on his new found love for his start up website and writing.
LUKE ALEX DAVIS Politics p6
HANNAH MORSE Television p24 Part-time film reviewer Hannah is an avid collector of movie memorabilia and music – mostly vinyl, and her stack of DVDs is taller than she is.
JADE DAWSON Sport p10
JOSHUA WOOD Gaming p28 Joshua is an English Language graduate who divides his time between playing video games and moaning about them on the internet. He was once nearly eaten by a pack of wild dogs.
LUKE LUDBROOK Sport p12 Luke is a journalism student in his final year at university. Upon finishing, he'll stumble out into the world with crippling debt and attempt to make his way in the world of professional writing.
SOHAIL KHAN Gaming p28 A reader of books and watcher of sports, in his stop-start career as an amateur writer, Sohail has published mostly about sports but is soon to be a best-selling Times author for a pop culture book.
HANNAH BAYNHAM Food p16
PETE MORSE – FEED designer
A Maths graduate and writer with an affinity for both numbers and words, James writes novels and screenplays in his spare time and hopes to one day sell a story that someone will actually read.
Luke Alex Davis is a music producer and writer. In his spare time, he enjoys watching tennis, modernist architecture and playing Pokémon.
Jade has a love of travel and spends her free time watching sport (or Netflix).
A Media Studies graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Hannah is still trying to figure out life, but has a passion for food and a goal to achieve the world's crispiest roast potato.
GOT WHAT IT TAKES?.... Are you interested in becoming a contributor to FEED Magazine? We are always on the lookout for talented creative writers and photographers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Graphic designer, web designer, facilitator, musician and all round good guy!
................................................................................. 6 Don't just talk ...............................................................................10 Back to its best
...............................................................................16 Food as a coping mechanism
Feed Magazine is an outlet for young creatives to get their voices heard without distortion or pressure. We are always looking for new talented writers and photographers to join our team. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved.
...............................................................................20 A citizen's arrest
twitter.com/feedthemag facebook.com/feedthemag instagram.com/feedthemag
...............................................................................24 Best of the small screen
...............................................................................28 Games of the year
note from the
In this very space 12 months ago, after a string of celebrity funerals topped off by a celebrity inauguration, I wrote about how bad 2016 was. By comparison, 2017 seemed… less bad. Either that, or we’ve all just become so numb to the bad stuff that we’ve accepted it as normality. It seems that, as we’ve all found something to unite against, the common cultural consciousness is becoming more aware of important issues in race, religion and gender identity. And although there’s a long way to go in the fight, the conversation is well underway (page 6). Elsewhere, there was lots to be cheerful about in 2017 and within this issue we’ve tried to capture some of our favourite bits. With increasing interest, creativity and budgets, 2017 was a fantastic year for gaming (page 28) and television (p24). Sport was either a better-than-normal business-as-usual (page 10) or an almost cliched story of the underdog (page 12). Among all the celebrity, however, it was a man named Fergus Beesley who gave us the most memorable moment of 2017 (page 20).
JAMES NORMAN - Editor-in-chief
COVER FEATURE: See page 6 for the full story.
politics Don't just talk
2017 needed brevity and nuance. 2018 needs action.
January 2017 was the start of a hellish period for me. I've come through with more knowledge about myself and those around me and part of that transition involved coming to terms with my racial and personal identity. To reflect those ideas, I wrote an article called "2017 Needed Brevity And Nuance". We live in an advanced digital information age. Larger outlets chronicle this data and package it as ‘news’. ‘Breaking news’ is a descriptor for both Kardashian updates and earthquakes in the Far East. 6
Influential figures make comments about serious issues on Twitter with little regard for perception or about whether it's the best platform to discuss these matters. Inversely, politicians and other public figures say a lot without meaning very much in a bid to persuade listeners into believing their competence. I believed succinctness and nuance were the way forward. I still believe that. But now it's time for action. Some may say I'm too cynical for my age. But I see a lot of things around me that don't make sense. In the past, they've followed patterns of facades and deception and familiarity kicks in. The media talk about black football players' "strength and athleticism" but rarely their intelligence. The "taking our country back" rhetoric of Brexit isn't about bureaucracy, it's about hatred towards immigrants. When people air these issues, many shrug them off. They say "there was no malicious intent" or "you're reading too much into it". This enables further comments and actions. Influential figures discriminate against marginalised groups and attacks ensue. But rather than taking action against them, there's more discourse. Here's what we are GOING to do. Announcements about further announcements with no end goal in sight. U-turns and readdressing. And while everyone talks about talking, the hateful take actions into their own hands. When I speak of action, I don't mean violence (although that is an inevitable result of revolution). And I don't mean an end to all discussion. The question to ask is "will my words help this cause on their own or is there something I can do?" And it doesn't have to be something ‘physical’ as that isn't a viable option for everyone. Donating to affirmative charities is as worthwhile as, say, volunteering or protesting. It's also important that your action doesn't exclude. For example, if you're looking to contribute to women's rights, don't exclude trans women. As we start to redress the balance, we'll start to see change. As funny and cathartic satire can be, I find it boring after a while. Making fun of Trump or saying things like "did he really say that?" can
only go so far after a while. Yes, he did say that and he's been saying that in different forms for decades. Staying shocked won't get us very far. But this is all easier said than done. The fug of political discourse from all sides forced me to take a couple of Twitter breaks last year. Elitism reigned supreme and I'm getting a headache thinking about it all now. I sit in the UK with anxiety over the US political climate having no idea how it must feel for those in the epicentre. Threats of deportation. No Medicare. Low paying job or no work at all. Food stamps. I know I have that privilege and I'd never tell those in the eye of the storm to get up and do something. Positive thinking won't help either (and something I don't prescribe to anyway). That's why it's up to us to try and lift those very people. Many of us have a level of privilege but rather than cry about the injustice we cause, we can use it to bring about change. As I look to conclude this ‘manifesto’ (without needing to rewrite it), I look ahead to the rest of 2018. I ponder the list of ‘life goals’ I set myself last month and how and when I'll achieve any of them. That's a personal thing that requires my action. Other people will have done the same in the form of resolutions. The gym will be on the top of many lists. We'll have the best intentions and falter on some things by the middle of the year. It'll happen... we're only human. But applying self-pressure only exacerbates the negative thoughts about ourselves. We tell ourselves we'll never reach the heights we want to reach, or see the things we want to see. But we can. So if someone you know needs help to take action, for themselves or a wider community, be there for them. Your action can blossom into further action. From the smallest of moves, like listening or going with a friend to a meeting of some kind, it all builds up. We need to show that love and compassion in contrast to those at the top of the political tree. Michael Jackson once sang ‘They Don't Care About Us’ with vigour and passion. Let's all show them we can move with that same power. LUKE ALEX DAVIS
SPORT Back to its best
Record Breaking and Entertaining. Vettel wasn't the only driver that looked competitive this season. He wasn't the only driver who looked like he wanted to make Hamilton sweat.
In many ways, 2017 was just another year, a fact that for the most part can be said to be true for the Formula One season too. I mean, not only did Mercedes win the team championship but a Mercedes driver won the championship (shocking, I know). So why would I choose it as a memorable thing to write about? It was just… better this year. It was more competitive, it was more exciting and it was just… better. The season was a record breaker. Lewis Hamilton alone broke records for most pole positions, most wins from pole as well as most consecutive starts on his way to winning the championship. A championship that looked a lot more competitive than it ended up being thanks to Sebastian Vettel's season going to pot at Singapore when Max Verstappen ended up as the filling of a Ferrari sandwich. Williams’ rookie driver Lance Stroll also broke a record by becoming the youngest driver to finish on the podium in their first season and second youngest overall.
As I suggested, the Red Bull cars this season were absolutely pathetic at best this year, a factor that not just hindered their Team Championship hopes but also the Driver Championship hopes of both Ricciardo and Verstappen. This season proved what we already know about Ricciardo; he can overtake in situations that no one would ever imagine. Verstappen is a whole different story, at just 20 years old he is proving that he’ll be a major player in the future of Formula One and it would be very sensible for Red Bull to try and keep him in their team for as long as they possibly can.
Vettel wasn't the only driver that looked competitive this season either. He wasn't the only driver who looked like he wanted to make Hamilton sweat. Vettel’s teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, as well as Hamilton's, Valterri Bottas, both drove at the standard we all expect from them. But both Daniel Ricciardo and Verstappen of Red Bull drove exceptionally well and that also made this season a lot more challenging... when their cars allowed them.
That said, as bad as the season was for Red Bull and their drivers, there was one person it was definitely worse for; Daniil Kyvat. After his Red Bull dreams were shattered and he was made to drive for their sister team (baby sister at that), Toro Rosso, they then dropped him and replaced him with Brendon Hartley.
Force India's Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon also looked hungry for some action and were impressive to watch, despite their cars not being of the same standard as the driver's in the bigger teams.
All in all, 2017 was a season that brought some of the light that had been missing in recent seasons back and with it came the competitiveness and excitement that we've all been craving for a few years. It was a season that showed us that what we've been missing is on its way back and the future of Formula One has a lot for us to look forward too. JADE DAWSON
2017: The Year of the Disenfranchised Quarterback
2017: The Year of the Disenfranchised Quarterback
It’s cliché to say that ‘everyone loves an underdog’, and it somehow feels even more cliché when an underdog manages to defy all odds. Either way, it’s hard not to buy into the narrative when it happens. This is my favourite story of 2017. I’m writing this two weeks before Super Bowl 52 in Minnesota. The Conference Championship games happened just yesterday and shining through the general play-off buzz before the games, one talking point really stood out – the four starting quarterbacks. Starring alongside the timeless, ball-slinging terminator that is New England’s Tom Brady were Nick Foles, the second string at the Philadelphia Eagles, Case Keenum, the Minnesota Vikings’ third pick for that position, and Blake Bortles, who is admittedly the starter at the Jacksonville Jaguars. While Bortles is a starting QB, he’s fairly notorious as one of the more meme-able players in the league (@BortlesFacts is a dedicated Twitter account, made to defend his rightful honour). He’s never really been touted as a phenom, or even a remotely solid pick. This season, however, Jacksonville’s defence was developed into a monstrous unit from which no opposing
quarterback was safe. When paired as a deadly one-two punch with their flourishing rookie running-back Leonard Fournette, Blake’s ability to play just well enough and avoid too many costly interceptions saw the team soar to remarkable new heights. They almost (almost!) toppled Belichick and Brady’s Patriots and booked a ticket to Minneapolis, but fell just short in the fourth quarter. Foles has had a chequered career, with a peak that saw him reach the pro-bowl in 2013. However, he’d been passed around the league since then, before coming back to Philly in 2017 for his second stint with the Eagles. Philadelphia’s starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, was in his sophomore season. He was looking to break out even further, and build on a sturdy platform that he established in his rookie year. Boy, did he build.
Coming into week 14 at the tail-end of a blistering season, the Eagles had the best record in the league and a Quarterback on-course to win MVP in his second year. During their game against the Rams he ruptured his ACL, forcing him to miss the remainder of the season. This included the playoffs just around the corner. Foles came in and put in some solid performances for the last three games, coming away with two wins and a loss. However, going into the playoff picture postWentz injury meant that they went from the firstseed in their conference and favourites to make the Super Bowl, to bottom of the pile ahead of a match-up against Atlanta in the divisional game. They managed to keep the Falcons at bay, setting up a showdown against Case Keenum and the Vikings. The curious Case of Keenum? The curious case of Case Keenum? There’s a solid pun in there somewhere. His last two seasons have been a movie-level journey, typifying the kind of underdog that we can’t help but root for. Last year, he was the starting quarterback of the LA Rams for just over half of the campaign, where they finished with a 4-12 record. That’s four wins, and twelve losses. Their head coach was fired before the end of the season. With Los Angeles swapping him out for their new hot property, first overall 2016 draft pick Jared Goff, halfway through the 2016-17 season, Keenum’s contract expired in the offseason. He was brought in by the Vikings as the third option in his position, behind Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford. Bridgewater, however, was suffering with a long-term injury, so that boosted Case up a position by default. Week one of the 2017-18 season saw Bradford also pick up an injury. Step forward, Mister Keenum. An undrafted and unspectacular 29-year-old quarterback who’d bounced back and forth between the Texans and the Rams since 2012, he was brought in for cover whilst Bradford recovered, but he took Minnesota on a tear that saw them clinch their division with a 13-3 record,
and saw him retain his starting spot going into their divisional championship game against the New Orleans Saints. The last two minutes of the game saw the teams exchange field goals, with the Saints holding a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds left on the game clock. The Vikings had one timeout left, and one final chance to drive down the field. Case Keenum manages to make twenty yards on a throw, but the receiver is in-bounds and thus the clock will continue to run. Minnesota are forced to use their final timeout. Keenum needs to find around another 20 yards and hope that they can get out-of-bounds to stop the clock, which would allow them to kick a game-winning field goal. There’s ten seconds on the clock. The play starts. Keenum receives the ball, drifts back into the pocket and scans down-field. He holds onto the ball for four seconds, and slings it down-field toward the team’s best receiver, Stefon Diggs. Diggs jumps up to catch, as a New Orleans defender is attempting a tackle from behind. As he nails his landing, ball in hand, the Saints defender whiffs the tackle by diving too far to the left. In a split second Diggs comes down, looks around with the awareness to realise that there’s nothing between him and the end-zone but open field, pivots on the sideline with his feet still in-bounds, and takes off for the last 30 yards. 30. 20. 10. Game over. Minnesota still didn’t complete their homecoming fairy-tale ending, after Nick Foles’ Eagles beat them in the next round to secure their spot at the Super bowl. 2017 was a difficult year for the NFL, and two of the underdogs went home with nothing but a good story to tell, of remarkable benchmark seasons. But it was the year of the underdog, and something refreshingly positive after a difficult 12 months. LUKE LUDBROOK
FOOD Food as a coping mechanism
From chicken nuggets to sushi... 2017 had it all This time last year we were all commenting on how bad 2016 was, and lets be honest 2017 wasn’t much better. Many awful events happened around the world and let’s not even mention ‘he who shall not be named’ coming into power.
Personally, 2017 was a mixed year for me. It was equally the best and worst year of my life. However, instead of focusing on all the doom and gloom in the world, I want to reflect on all the good that happened in 2017. Prince Harry got engaged to Meghan Markle, Israeli scientists announced a new treatment for Lou Gehrig's disease, a man in America got free chicken nuggets for a year for reaching 18 million retweets and Southwest Airlines rescued a plane full of puppies from Hurricane Harvey. Perhaps most importantly, I finally got to live my dream of eating sushi in Tokyo’s famous fish market. Food has evolved massively over the years and especially in 2017 with close to 40,000 restaurants in London there is a cuisine to suit everyone; from Chinese to Jamaican, steakhouses to vegan, fastfood to fine dining. If you fancy it, there will be a restaurant to cater to it. There’s also been a massive growth in cooking tutorials on social media. It’s almost impossible to scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing at least one tutorial on how to make chicken alfredo.
So there’s almost no excuse to run out of places to eat or new recipes to try (even if you are on a budget). As a result of this I ate some amazing food last year, and I would much rather remember 2017 for the wonderful flavours I tasted than the mess the government made or the loss of the beloved Mary Berry on Great British Bake Off. It would be extremely hard for me to pick my all time favourite restaurant, as it changes depending on my mood, what I fancy and my budget! However, I definitely have a favourite of 2017. One restaurant I visited many times, much to my bank account’s despair, was Rios Brazil Churrascaria in Swindon. As you may have guessed, it’s a Brazilian restaurant, but more importantly it’s also all you can eat. Usually when I think of all you can eat restaurants I envision a big room similar to a massive noisy canteen, with somehow next to
no atmosphere, kids running around and noodles spilling over the side of the food counter. Rio’s could not be more different. It’s a quaint place that seats, at a guess, no more than 40 people, with a relaxed atmosphere. Even though they have a help yourself salad bar with a wide range of fresh salads, pastas and rice, what makes this restaurant unique is they have 12 different cuts of meat which bring directly to your table and carve fresh in front of you. Including many different steak cuts and even chicken hearts, which I highly recommend.
meat is cooked to perfection I gorge myself till I am unable to fit another mouthful in. I can easily give this place five stars and in 2017 it’s been at the top of my list to go for any celebration. Surviving the week till Friday counts as a celebration, right? The mark of a great restaurant is when you genuinely get excited to eat there, and with Rio’s I most certainly do. HANNAH BAYNHAM
On your table you have a wooden block with one side green and the other red. Green facing up means “bring me more meat” and just flip it to red when you feel the meat sweats coming on. However, nothing is stopping you from turning the block back to green if you are ready to go again. They offer a dessert menu, but I’ll be honest I’ve never made it that far as each cut of
CULTURE A citizen's arrest
"I do want you to die. You are under citizen’s arrest! You are under citizen’s arrest! Put your hands on the car and prepare to die." Fergus Beesley, 2017
Observations from My Moment of the Year 2017 My favourite moment of 2017 was Fergus Beesley telling an entire family that they were under citizen’s arrest and that they should prepare to die.
Sometimes in life you meet the underdog, the David, the dark horse. This masterpiece, which spanned across 2 minutes 37 glorious seconds, may not be your Oprah or your Obama, your Premier League Winners or even your GoggleBox Reactions™ – but I’d back Fergus Beesley to scoop up at every Moment of the Year event across the globe. 1) Is this the most Yer Da moment of all time? Question: what angers your Dad? Immigrants, obviously. Being on a train and hearing Romanians talking? Sure. Europe trying to take our sovereignty? (Whatever the fuck that is, like, make a brew, relax your feet and ask a Brexiteer if they actually know what ‘our’ sovereignty is). And that’s what’s so beautiful about your average ‘Dad’ becoming ‘Yer Da’ – it’s an evolutionary step from one stage of life to another; like a racist caterpillar crystallising and emerging as an even more racist butterfly.
‘Yer Da’ isn’t a stage, or a phase, or even something that triggers after a certain age. ‘Yer Da’ can only be achieved once you’ve gone through your life in all of your previous forms – when you come home from work and the only source of truth is The Sun newspaper, when you’re driving on the motorway and someone doesn’t indicate, so your mind cracks neatly in two and you absolutely fucking lose your head and start threatening to arrest 11 year old children: Answer: This is the most Yer Da moment of all time. NB: When you reach this critical step in the cycle of your life, there is no turning back. You cannot turn the clock and become an average Dad again. It would be like trying to force a new-born baby back in. This is it. Soak it in. 2) That moment where he transcends the usual conventions of being angry Think of the angriest you have ever been. I mean blind, spitting, primal rage. Those moments you dump any logical thought and embrace the reptile brain. Do you remember? It’s embarrassing, isn’t it? Anger is the most embarrassing emotion. There is no grace in anger. Think of fully grown men angrily arguing after a football match, angrily shoving each other, before angrily punching each other in their angry faces. Think of the fully grown man who angrily punched a horse after a Newcastle loss*. Think how angry and disconnected you are from your surroundings, that you square up to, and punch, a police horse. Instances such as these are good examples of being very angry and losing your shit. However, there is a moment where our good old chap Fergus Beesley transcends ‘very angry’, where he defies the usual chemical reactions that occur in the human brain in a hostile situation.
Have you ever been that angry you roar ‘I DO WANT YOU TO DIE, RIGHT NOW, HANDS ON THE CAR, YOU’RE UNDER CITIZENS ARREST’. I think not. 3) Does this signify the dawn of a new generation? I have no doubt in my mind Fergus Beesley hates millennials. ‘Those ruddy millennials with their lack of work ethic! You can’t just have everything handed to you on a plate!’ he roars at the yearly family Christmas party. The children are looking. People are leaving. Yes, all those millennials with all those houses that have gone up in price by 514%. All those millennials with their alternative lifestyles and diets and rented accommodation, which are governed by satanic landlords who charge you £1300PCM to reside in a kitchen drawer in Old Street. There’s something strangely beautiful and ironic about Fergus losing his marbles on a quaint Sunday afternoon because someone forgot to indicate on the A13. You could say he was triggered – because ‘put your hands on the car and prepare to die!’ has to be one of the most mental things I have ever heard. It clearly demonstrates that he has no idea on the legal definition of a citizen’s arrest, but instead chooses to hurl it around like a flamethrower on young, unwitting children. It shows that beneath the surface of David Attenborough’s ex-producer, there is a man who doesn’t understand the way things work. Perhaps this fit of fury is a lifeboat he is clinging to in an ocean of other overtly angry, feral Dads, holding on to their rage as the new wave of millennials come. We millennials with our gluten free Starbucks, our many gender roles, our University degrees and our fancy high res iPhones should put our hands on the car and prepare to die. Apparently. JORDAN MOLONEY
In the moment the southern Mothers repeat his allegation back to him ‘you said you want us to die?’ surely, SURELY in this moment a sane man would recount his actions. Fergus did not. Think of all the times you have been raging and feral. Think angrier. *Aforementioned Newcastle fan squaring up to a horse
N O I S I V E L E T Best of the small screen
By 2017, television shows have become an unstoppable tour de force in the entertainment world, and quite frankly, my life. Who doesn’t enjoy the exciting prospect of 10 hours of TV ready to binge, and laughing at Netflix when it asks you – “Are you sure you want to continue watching Black Mirror?” when you’re 10 hours deep in a session? With cinema ticket prices on the rise, and our pockets getting ever tighter, TV is the ultimate home comfort – easy to access and providing
Peaky Blinders (Series 4, BBC)
Set in the grimy streets of Small Heath, Birmingham in 1924 – Peaky Blinders follows the Shelby family. They are a family of grass roots gangsters, having climbed the ladder of success and wealth, but still getting caught in many pitfalls along the way. In Series 4, the Shelbys soon discover that they still have nasty business left with the infamous Changretta Italian gang, and as ever, violence and dodgy dealings ensue. Adrien Brody makes a surprise turn as Luca Changretta, a venomous man full of hate and on a mission that will not cease until every Shelby is dead on his vengeance list. After what many called a very wobbly season three, this fourth series is more confident and simplistic to it’s benefit, but with more clear direction and pacing like no other. They pack so much into each hour long episode, yet it never feels rushed. This BBC drama shines brightest in its costumes, music and sets, but highest of all for the superb acting, most notably from Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, the family matriarch with nine lives – his eyes alone can tell a thousand tales from one shot.
hour-long episodes to watch in between doing the laundry. The small screen these days lets us enter all sorts of different worlds and sagas. It drags us in with twisty storylines, and huge special effects, not to mention big budgets. Here I plan to talk about my personal highlights of 2017 television, some that everyone talks about (for good reason), and some more obscure. Some you may disagree with and some may intrigue… either way, get to your television pronto and explore!
Preacher (Series 2, Amazon Prime)
Co-created by comedy duo Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Preacher is anarchic, bizarre and bloody fantastic! Irreverent to its core, you won’t see another show like this. Based on the comic book of the same name, Preacher follows Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) on a mission to (quite literally) find God after being gifted with the power called Genesis, which allows the beholder to compel anyone to do anything they want. Series two picks up with Jesse and his two best pals, Tulip – Jesses’ on-off girlfriend and ex-con (played by Ruth Negga) and Irish vampire Cassidy (played by the fantastic Joseph Gilgun) on a cross-country road trip. This motley trio are on the run after causing all out chaos in Jesse’s hometown in Series 1. God is still missing so Jesse heads to Vegas, then New Orleans to find him. Snappy editing, love triangles, demons sent from hell and crazy soul removers – Preacher has it all in droves. It feels like a manic, beautifully put together ride, helmed by the three main actors (all Brits too) who shine and their performances are refreshingly free and rebellious. Please keep writing this gem, Rogen and co!
This Is Us (Series 1, Channel 4)
This Is Us was a surprise hit of 2017. Based around the lives of three siblings – Kevin, Kate and Randall Pearson – the show follows the trials and tribulations of their lives in the present day, but also at the start of their lives when they were raised by parents Jack and Rebecca in the late 70s. It sounds simple, and indeed on some levels it is, however the way the stories weave around each other both past and present makes for elegant and addictive television. Be warned though, This Is Us may require a tissue or two for some, as every episode left me on the brink of an emotional breakdown due to a poignant or even happy moment. It works so well due to some fabulous acting from the entire cast, especially from Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore, who play the Pearson parents struggling after the birth of their triplets. The characters are all flawed and sometimes make stupid decisions, something that we can all relate to. Randall is a perfectionist, for example, and constantly expects too much, Kevin is a famous TV star trying to be taken seriously but he can’t shake the fame from his start up on TV show ‘The Manny’. If you enjoy something a little different from all-out CGI or action fest based shows, This Is Us may be perfect for you. A family drama show with an added twist of timelines and extra schmaltz – it pulls it off and will leave you wanting to see more.
Game of Thrones (Series 7, Sky Atlantic)
How can I not mention this show? Surpassing all previous budgets and effects, GOT upped the ante once more in its penultimate series. Westeros is getting colder and colder, with the threat of the dark night upon them, AKA an army of undead White Walkers. The main players are trying to join forces to save themselves, and the whole kingdom. After surpassing the book content, the show is on free reign now to do as it pleases. In the case of season seven this means some pretty escalated situations that we have not experienced in GOT before. Queen Dany, Mother of Dragons, is trying to take over the land she feels is rightfully hers and when she meets Jon Snow she fears she has met her match. Jon is an honourable man however, who wants nothing more than to stop the White Walker army from destroying everything in sight. This series for real fans and casual viewers alike was a white knuckle ride, bursting at the seams with dragons, zombies and the usual supply of nudity and gore that has made Game of Thrones so famous! The set design, acting and special effects are glorious, producing the expected edge of seat nail biting drama. Now we must patiently wait for what is sure to be an epic finale! Please remember this is only a snapshot of the quality programming 2017 brought us. Honourable mentions include The Handmaid’s Tale (Series 1 – delicious dystopian thriller) Black Mirror (Series 4 – clever technological mind fuck), Stranger Things (Series 2 – 80s joyous alien hunting), American Gods (Series 1 – bonkers cinematic comi-drama), Broadchurch (Series 3 – British whodunit at it’s finest) and Orange is The New Black (Series 5 – all out female politically charged US commentary). HANNAH MORSE
GAMING Games of the year
Feed writers Joshua Wood and Sohail Khan team up to review one of the best recent years for gamers. JOSHUA WOOD: Fucking hell, what a year. I usually begin my articles with a reminder that the world is a total and irrevocable shitshow but, whilst this is still the case, 2017 was at least a brilliant year for video games. Typically, the gaming calendar is broken up into a few different sections and you know what to expect in terms of quality of release, but this year wasn’t having any of that nonsense. It was by no means perfect and there were a couple of missteps as we’ll see but on balance this has been the best year for games in a long time. SOHAIL KHAN: In years to come, we will look back at 2017 and wonder how so many great games were stuffed into such a short amount of time. The Nintendo Switch was released and was an instant winner, coming out the gates with household titles such as Zelda and Super Mario Odyssey. The global success of much-loved PC game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (aka PUBG) demonstrated that
huge marketing campaigns and fancy E3 trailers (or even a complete game) are not the only ways to succeed. Not to forget the countless indie titles, as well as multiple Triple A masterclasses with Horizon Zero Dawn, Yakuza 0, and the return of the Assassin’s Creed franchise after a year-long sabbatical. So, yeah, you could say 2017 was a great year for gamers.
Spring releases JW: Ordinarily the dust settles from Christmas and the New Year is quiet; everyone is still playing the games they found under the tree and the spectre of returning to work looms large with free time at a premium. 2017 though, in all its maverick glory decided this year was going to start with the triumphant return of Resident Evil. With the focus back on horror and away from being absolutely terrible, Resident Evil 7 both delighted and terrified in equal measure. As a young boy I grew up playing this series and I was overjoyed that the developers at Capcom went
Resident Evil 7
back to its roots to recreate the unique brand of horror which scared me so much as a kid.
promise of allowing players to enjoy the very highest calibre of games on the move.
Then March rolls around, announcing the start of gaming’s equivalent to ‘Oscar Season’ as a handful of innovative, original concept efforts hit the shelves. They are inevitably met with overwhelming critical praise amid lukewarm commercial interest (because all gamers are braindead troglodytes who are only satisfied playing the same shite over and over). This period exists so that po-faced gaming journalists everywhere can assert that ‘games are art’ with a modicum of credibility.
SK: Imagine how odd this sounds: an openworld RPG set in a post-apocalyptic future filled with robot dinosaurs and tribes. On the surface Horizon Zero Dawn seems pretty weird and appears like it’s just a jumble box of different ideas, but it works. Plus, it has one of the prettiest video game environment I have ever seen. The world is composed of forest, jungle, desert, and snowy mountain regions, whilst featuring a day-night cycle and a dynamic weather system which can be seamlessly explored. It’s a work of art.
There were a few examples of this nonsense, chief perpetrator of which is Nier: Automata. Critics lavished praise on this without ever once stopping to explain what it actually is, and I have surmised that is because it is physically impossible to do so. This year though, March heralded the biggest release of the year, and arguably the decade. Zelda: Breath of the Wild was an incredible success resonating both with consumers and critics in a way we haven’t seen for a very long time. This game fulfilled the Nintendo Switch’s
Horizon Zero Dawn delivers a compelling story that touches on surprisingly profound themes and it makes for a great excuse to destroy robots that are ten times bigger than you. A sense of urgency is recognised from the getgo, as Horizon’s foundation is built on a big mystery that the main protagonist, Aloy, needs to unravel. Aloy’s persona helped me care about her journey on a more personal level, she’s a fascinating character to watch and play as because of the people around her aggravating her good-natured heroism.
Forza Motorsport 7
Combat is satisfying and varied, there are a bunch of collectables to find and there’s also a really good photo mode feature. In recent years, as open-world games seemed to become overpopulated, developers felt like they had to follow a GTA style world which let the player explore more. This would be great if most of these games weren’t just empty worlds which lacked purpose. Horizon Zero Dawn assuredly carves out an identity of its own, features a genuinely moving conclusion, and is, therefore, my favourite video game of 2017.
Summer releases JW: Every year Summer rocks up and fuck all happens. Everyone’s too busy going outside, it’s awful. Understandably reticent to compete with Nintendo’s Switch-shaped juggernaut and with the summer lull fast approaching, there were few big game releases leading up to June. Instead, it was like video games took one of those banal ‘Only 90s Kids Will Remember’ lists and turned it into a release schedule. We got updates and remasters of Pappa The Rappa, Ultra Street Fighter 2 and Crash Bandicoot amongst others. A Crash Bandicoot release has been on the cards for quite some time and the nostalgia-o-metre went off the chart when this reboot landed. By the way, if you’ve no idea what a bandicoot is supposed to look like then it’s worth googling. Then, draft a letter to developers Naughty Dog asking precisely how much artistic licence went into the design of that character.
Autumn releases JW: These days it appears that Christmas begins in mid-September and video games are very much in on this. You’ll usually see one giant release around the end of Autumn to kickstart the festive bonanza. It’s ordinarily a ‘hugely anticipated’ sequel of some description and this year’s offering was no exception. Destiny 2 was released off the back of a typically ludicrous marketing blitzkrieg and, admittedly, the game was a great deal better than most people had believed possible. It seemed the lessons of the first iteration had been learnt as the core game was improved dramatically, the plot was tighter, and the progression system made at least a miniscule amount of sense, in stark contrast with its predecessor. SK: The Lost Legacy, the latest product of the Uncharted franchise was released in August. I loved Uncharted 4. It was probably my favourite video game of 2016. So, when Naughty Dog announced a standalone spin-off starring new main characters, I was excited with what the Uncharted universe had to offer, ignoring the possibility that it might not be as great as the full-fledged editions but... whatever. The story was a typical, solid Uncharted script, the gameplay was more of the same, and the cutscenes and cinematography were as spectacular as ever. Was it a new and super innovative game? No. Did I enjoy it? Yes, quite a lot. Was I glad I got to see one of my favourite video game series with a fresh set of characters? Hell yeah.
The main feature that motivated me to go ahead and complete this adventure was the awesome chemistry between Chloe and Nadine. It was brave of Naughty Dog to get rid of Nathan Drake and put two side characters from previous games right at the centre of the game, but it paid off. Being able to investigate their stories and backgrounds, and watch them grow was simply great. It’s noteworthy how well the two went from really serious “holy shit, we might die” moments to comedic intermissions. I guess the biggest compliment I can pay to the characters is that not once did I think, “This would be better with Nathan and Sully.”
Winter releases JW: The Christmas run was relentless and as things got spooky around October, Nintendo released their second massive game of the year; Super Mario Odyssey. But I’ll leave that review to Sohail... Around the time that everyone was gearing up to remember-remember the 5th of November, Microsoft were preparing to release the latest iteration of their Xbox consoles. The Xbox One X was not a true generational successor, but instead an overall upgrade on the existing software.
The Xbox One X was a curious beast, and I remember feeling quite unsure exactly who the console was aimed at. It boasted 4K resolutions and High Dynamic Range but there was a problem; an apparent lack of supporting software to accompany the launch. Microsoft could only truly point to Forza Motorsport 7 as the flag-bearer for the new console, but racing games are boring, everyone knows that. The console sold well as the hype machine had done its job, yet I felt and still feel that this experiment in incremental improvement will live or die by the games released in the next 12 months. SK: Super Mario Odyssey... I straight up bought a Nintendo Switch because of how fun this game looked (and also because of Nintendo’s marketing for this hybrid console but... never mind). Odyssey’s setting is still based on the super original Super Mario story of Princess Peach being kidnapped by Bowser (come on, it’s 2018) with Mario being tasked to rescue her. But, that’s where the similarities stop between this Mario journey and his previous ones. The rest is a refreshing and brand new adventure to explore. The gameplay sees Mario travel to various ‘Kingdoms’, each featuring unique level designs varying from photo-realistic cities to more fantasybased planets, where the player can free-roam, explore, and collect the ever-so-addictive ‘power moons’. On his journey Mario is accompanied by Cappy, a ghostly hat who opens up an excess amount of new possibilities and can be used as a secondary character. The range of colours, level design and enjoyment factor is confirmation that Nintendo is still the king at creating sheer joy from video games. That was it for 2017. There were so many great games that we’ve not had a chance to mention including a re-energised entry into the Assassin's Creed series and the ridiculously fun Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus that we implore you to play if you get a chance. Also, final shout-out to the maverick bastards who made Style Savvy: Styling Star and released it on Christmas Day. JOSHUA WOOD and SOHAIL KHAN
The voice of popular culture by young creatives
email@example.com www.feedthemag.co.uk ÂŠ2018 JACN
2017 memorable moments