A Few of eCity’s Favorite Things: 2017 Edition

2017 was sort of a mixed bag. Between the divisive political climate, climate-driven natural disasters, and Carson Wentz’s devastating injury — this year left much to be desired on many fronts. However, to end the year on a positive note, we decided to write down a list of our favorite discoveries, moments, and memories from the past year. What follows is a list of the music, shows, books, podcasts, tech, and whatever else the eCity team couldn’t seem to get enough of in 2017. We hope you enjoy!

Music and Television

Lorde’s Melodrama was the album I couldn’t stop listening to in 2017. Every song on the album conveys such a distinct feeling through the lyrics and the music. I love that it’s an album you can dance to or cry to, depending on your mood. I can’t wait to hear it performed live in 2018.
Melissa Bischoff, Content Marketing Specialist

We’ve been living in a golden age of television for a few years now, but somehow, someway, HBO upped the ante in 2017 with their miniseries Big Little Lies. Gripping drama series are nothing new, but with Big Little Lies, HBO created something that felt innovative in so many ways. Big Little Lies was built almost exclusively on and around women. It also marked the first TV series that I can remember with so much star power previously only found on the big screen. Of course, the real question now is can they keep it up?
-Stephen App, Sr. Marketing Manager

I’ve always watched SNL skits here or there, but lately SNL has had a bit of a comeback. Granted, they really hit their stride during the 2016 campaign, but they’ve been able to hold on to that momentum in 2017 with skits throughout the current presidency. Alec Baldwin, Melissa McCarthy, and Kate McKinnon have all taken part in some very memorable skits, many of which are worthy of a few re-watches.
-Kate Fitzpatrick, Project Manager

My 2017 can pretty much be summed up in 2 words: Binge Watching. I had a pretty intimate relationship with my couch and Netflix over the past 12 months thanks to shows like Ozark, Mindhunter, and Alias Grace. Not to mention the sophomore seasons of Stranger Things, The Crown, Sense8, and my new obsession, Glitch, that equally consumed the majority of my free time.
-Kiersten Brinkos, Account Manager

I have really enjoyed following the next generation of European DJ’s – Martin Garrix, Kygo, and Alan Walker have all had prolific years. Falling down rabbit holes on Youtube is still my favorite pastime when it comes to TV. The Graham Norton Show, 70’s pop, Formula 1, Match of the Day and if you are feeling brave, search for Frankie Boyle!
-Kevin Renton, Managing Director


I haven’t officially started using MoviePass yet, but I’m already fantasizing about the money it’ll save me once it arrives. $10 a month and you can see unlimited movies in theatres. This is the gift I wish someone had given me for Christmas.
Melissa Bischoff, Content Marketing Specialist

ALEXA everything!! With Amazon prime getting more and more use in my house, the fact that ALEXA is now integrated into half of my devices — with the others coming soon — means that all of my outspoken wishes can now be made real by Amazon, and delivered within 2 days to boot.
Brian Osborn, Director of Technology

Virtual reality (VR) has hit a few great milestones this year. 1. Price drops for both the Oculus/Vive and new competition. Through Kickstarter, a new VR head-mounted display (HMD) called Pimax has been introduced with a wider 200-degree field of view and higher resolution panels. Its campaign was wildly successful, and shows that there is still great interest in the field of VR and that companies are actively pushing for technological advancements of HMDs. 2. Wireless transmission. One of the biggest annoyances with VR currently is being tethered to a computer. A company called TPcast has released the first wireless transmission device for the Vive/Oculus for the general public (I have a Chinese version, but the North American one gets released at the end of the year). 3. High-level professional content. This year also marks the first release of AAA VR games built from the ground up. This includes Skyrim VR, Fallout 4 VR, and LA Noire: Detective Cases by some of the biggest game publishers/developers. VR hasn’t shifted the paradigm in the way that many hoped, but it has become more normalized and offers another way to engage with media. For me personally, with this and the many hardware advancements in haptics, we are getting ever closer to achieving what the greatest science fiction writers imagined when speaking of the virtual world.
-Kenneth Oum, Web Developer

Bitcoin has blown the doors off the financial markets this year, but the underlying technology is just getting started. Will the Blockchain be Web 3.0? It feels like the web in the 90s, with everyone trying to get to grips with the real impact. I’m very interested to see what happens in 2018.

For great Bitcoin news, enter “Max Keiser, Bitcoin” in YouTube and enjoy.
Kevin Renton, Managing Director

Books and Podcasts

I don’t listen to too many podcasts, as I generally prefer to be glued to music all day, but one that I fell in love with earlier this year is I Hate It But I Love It. It’s a very funny pop culture podcast hosted by two smart, hilarious Canadian ladies in which they spend each episode breaking down a movie or tv show that they despise—but also really love at the same time. Having spent some time a few years back co-running a blog with a similar premise, this podcast feels like home to me.
-Matthew Edwards, Art Director

The KLF came out of retirement – sort of. No new music, but they did release a hilariously funny novel parodying every name relevant in the art world for the last 20 years (and a few not in the art world).
Brian Osborn, Director of Technology

After Serial ended, and let’s be honest, it was over after season one, I found myself trying to find a new True Crime podcast to keep me company on the long commutes home. My prayers were answered with the Charles Manson-inspired podcast Young Charlie. The format is awesome: no more than 45-50 minutes per episode, split between young Charles growing up in and out of institutions and the elder Charlie (and family) experiencing the fallout from the murders. The narrators can get a little dry, but the information and storytelling are top-notch. This is a must-listen for any fan of crime stories. Fun fact about me: my middle school principal threatened to suspend me when he caught me reading “Helter Skelter.” Oh how times have changed.
-Mike Quinn, Project Manager

I just discovered the Song Exploder podcast and it’s the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. In short episodes, artists deconstruct their songs and talk about the recording process. It’s awesome to hear the isolated tracks and stories behind the songs. Some great episodes from 2017 to start with include the Stranger Things Theme by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein and Sober by Lorde. The episode on Young Folks by Peter Bjorn and John is also very good.
-Rachael Ketterer, Designer

I’m currently reading The Silk Roads: A New History of The World, and need to get it finished in time for my family’s Xmas book club. It gives you a great perspective of history from an Asian and Middle Eastern perspective rather than the Roman and Anglo version that I have grown up with. It’s amazing to see how power, wealth, technology, populations, and fortunes have fluctuated over the years. My main takeaway so far is that empires that overstretch always collapse.
Kevin Renton, Managing Director


One the highlights of 2017 for me, bar none, was the solidification of Tom Brady as the Greatest Quarterback of all-time. *quickly ducks* In 2015, we watched Super Bowl XLIX with friends of ours who were also from New England, and thus decided to do the same for Super Bowl LI. Early on, that decision felt regrettable. At 28-3, all anyone wanted to do was turn off the game and go to bed. But TB12 showed once again why he is the GOAT, erasing a 25-point deficit and capturing his, and New England’s, fifth Super Bowl championship.
-Stephen App, Sr. Marketing Manager

^He’s only lost two Super Bowls actually. And can you believe that he lost to the SAME team twice?
Mike Quinn, New York Giants fan

This amazing news professional, because we all know those work-from-home days can be brutal:

Louis Miller, begrudgingly working-from-home over the holidays while school is out

My family, myself included, went nuts over Darrell Lea Soft Eating Liquorice. Who would have thought a new licorice could break through in this day and age? But here it is, the perfect amount of chewy softness and tasty sweet flavor. To boot, I love how easily these bags maintain freshness, rip open and seal back up.
-Dan Schwartz, President

Well, there you have it. A complete list of the books, shows, tv, tech, and wacky moments we thoroughly enjoyed in 2017. What was your favorite part of the past year? Or, if you don’t have one, that’s OK too. Give us a shout on Twitter @eCityInteract with your favorite finds or biggest gripes of 2017. We already can’t wait to see what awesome, weird, life-changing experiences 2018 will bring us.

Work at eCity Interactive