The best of 2021, according to YP staff: From ‘Shang-Chi’ to Keung To and ‘Cruella’

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  • This year, the reporters and editors at YP watched Succession and WandaVision and streamed songs by Gareth. T and Olivia Rodrigo
  • They also reflect on what they learned over the last year and what they hope for in the new year (TRAVEL!)
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It’s been a year full of great films, music and TV shows, and it was hard for us to pick our favourites! Here’s what the staff at Young Post enjoyed most in 2021.

Phila, Deputy Editor

Best movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. I am not ashamed to say that I shed some tears seeing Tony Leung Chiu-wai and Fala Chen make it into a Hollywood blockbuster.

Best TV show: Cocomelon. I have had no choice but to watch it every day because my daughter loves it.

Best song: Every song from Tyson Yoshi and Terence Lam Ka-him.

Best book: None. I’ve been busy reading Young Post every day …

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Tyson Yoshi

Favourite pop culture moment: Kingmaker IV. Dare to disagree?

What did you learn from/in 2021?: I learned how to get my daughter to brush her teeth with promises of new toys.

What’s your hope for 2022?: Health, fortune and world peace?

The 29 best songs of 2021

Emily, Supervising Editor

Best movie: Drive My Car, directed by Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, based on the short story of the same name by Haruki Murakami

Best TV show: HBO’s Succession – Finally season three is here!

Best song: Serrini’s Don’t Text Him

Best book: Humankind: A Hopeful History. The author, Rutger Bregman is an overly optimistic person who strongly believes the human species is inherently good, instead of selfish and governed primarily by self-interest. The concept is perhaps one of the most contested since the existence of philosophy, but the book provides very strong arguments that have helped restore my belief in the inward goodness of humans.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Trial & Error – they are extremely talented in their live shows and new hit songs.

Favourite pop culture moment: When Keung To became the youngest person to win two coveted local prizes – My Favourite Male Singer and My Favourite Song – at Commercial Radio’s Ultimate Song Chart Awards Presentation.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: “For what matters in life is not whether we receive a round of applause; what matters is whether we have the courage to venture forth despite the uncertainty of acclaim.” From A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles.

What’s your hope for 2022?: For more of you to enjoy reading Young Post!

The 11 best books of 2021

Dannie, Production Editor

Best movie: The Mitchells vs the Machines was hilarious, and I liked finding all the hidden Easter eggs. I also really loved Birds of Prey because it was the perfect combination of action and comedy.

Best TV show: WandaVision. I’ve never been a huge Marvel fan, but this show really sucked me in. Who didn’t cry watching it? Elizabeth Olsen deserves all the Oscars.

Best song: Technically this came out in December 2020, but I’m still going to pick Our Love Will Change the World by Alice Cooper

Best book: Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty, the same woman who wrote Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: This is the year I became an Olivia Rodrigo fan.

Favourite pop culture moment: Big Bird running for Senate against Texas Republican Ted Cruz.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: I always had a really hard time admitting when I needed help and would stubbornly try to be independent and get things done on my own, but fracturing my foot, spending time in a cast and being unable to leave my house by myself forced me to learn it’s OK to ask for help when you need it, and that people who care about you are more than willing to help.

What’s your hope for 2022?: It might be too ambitious to say “for Covid to go away,” but I hope we can at least get it under control enough that I can go home for Christmas 2022. I haven’t been home in a few years!

Our favourite TV shows of 2021

Esther, Production Editor

Best movie: Cruella. As a kid, I watched 101 Dalmatians at least 50 times, if not more – my siblings and I would finish watching, rewind the videotape, and then rewatch it again. So I was really excited to see such a fun twist on a film that was such a big part of my childhood, and it did not disappoint – from its soundtrack to the fashion to the beloved characters.

Best TV show: Attack on Titan. Though I have a few gripes with the episodes that came out this year, it was fulfilling to see how everything in seasons 1 to 3 has built up to the grand reveals in this season. I’m looking forward to seeing how the final episodes wrap up the story in January!

Best song: transparent soul by Willow Smith

Best book: Technically not a book, but a short story: The Angel of Khan el-Khalili by P. Djèlí Clark (from Clockwork Cairo: Steampunk Tales of Egypt). I listened to it on my favourite podcast, LeVar Burton Reads. It’s a compelling tale involving a desperate sister, a mythical creature and a heartbreaking secret.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Lil Nas X

Favourite pop culture moment: When I saw everyone from old ladies to young school kids taking pictures next to the Mirror Calvin Klein ads

What did you learn from/in 2021?: I learned a lot from my colleagues here at YP :)

What’s your hope for 2022?: I want to run a half marathon! I injured myself at the start of this year and have been training to run long distances again. Hopefully, 2022 will be my year.

Scary croissants and other strange news stories from last year

Yanni, Reporter

Best movie: Spider-Man: No Way Home, I did put Cruella first – before I watched the Marvel masterpiece – but it’s just so good. I cried and oohed and awed with the whole cinema. I will reserve my comments till y’all watch it, well, no spoilers. But just so you know I’m planning to watch it again.

Best TV show: Believe it or not I’ve just started watching The Crown. And I just love Claire Foy as a young Queen Elizabeth II.

Best song: Ciao by RubberBand, a song all Hongkongers should resonate with.

Best book: The Hong Konger Anthology: a fun, satirical and very personal take of the author’s view of the city and its culture. The art inside delves into Hong Kong’s rich history and how the author’s sense of belonging intertwines with it.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Moon Tang, I love her dreamy voice.

Favourite pop culture moment: When Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes broke up. They should’ve done that sooner.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: To rest when you need it.

What’s your hope for 2022?: I really want to travel again, please.

The best movies of 2021

Sue, Reporter

Best movie: Anita. A touching biopic of Hong Kong’s diva Anita Mui Yim-fong! I cried a lot during the movie.

Best TV show: Hospital Playlist 2. Actually I like season 1 better as it focuses more on the friendship and doctors’ daily work, but I am happy to see all the couples get their happy ending in the new season!

Best song: I’m sorry by Angela Hui. I sang it a lot, especially at work. I would like to apologise to my coworkers.

Best book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This book was published in 2020 but I read it this year. It tells the story of a young woman who tries to commit suicide and wakes up in a library in a parallel universe, where she can make different choices, change her past and find a life she is comfortable with. It was a really inspiring and interesting read! Highly recommend:)

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Marf from King Maker 4. This was the only local TV show I watched in 2021 and 19-year-old Marf really impressed me with her performance and attitude.

Favourite pop culture moment: When my mum told me that she saw a lot of girls queued up to take pictures in front of a big advertisement in Mong Kok. Later I found out it was an advertisement with Keung To.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: Giving and going.

What’s your hope for 2022?: To be my best self and learn more at YP!

Cantonese slang phrases that totally describe 2021

Kelly, Reporter

Best movie: Tick, Tick … Boom!

Best TV show: The Underground Railroad

Best song: hyperromantic by Gareth. T / déjà vu by Olivia Rodrigo (Spotify told me I listened to it a lot)

Best book: Haruki Murakami’s Underground. It wasn’t published in 2021, but I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about journalism, and the Tokyo subway sarin attack that happened in 1995.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Room 307 – it’s transporting

Favourite pop culture moment: When Tom Holland paused an interview to see Zendaya arrive at the Spider-Man: No Way Home Premiere.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: How road surface markings are made. I stood at a crossroad with my friend to watch the whole process of making a yellow traffic line for 15 mins, and how it was ruined after a min or two.

What’s your hope for 2022?: I want to eat a plane meal.

A round-up of the best K-dramas of 2021

Doris, Multimedia Producer

Best movie: Cruella. Nothing beats seeing the underdog winning, especially when it’s Emma Stone (and the adorable Dalmatians). Also, this is the only film I watched in the theatre this year.

Best TV show: Hospital Playlist 2. Well actually, Hospital Playlist too because I re-binged the first season to prepare myself for Hospital Playlist 2. I really enjoy how the show explores the emotional side of doctors, which we rarely get to witness on screen. And of course it doesn’t hurt to see Jo Jung-Suk in every episode.

Best song: Cold Heart by Elton John and Dua Lipa. The groovy mash-up remix is incredibly catchy, with Lipa’s vocals layered on Elton’s classic hit. The music video is a joy to watch too, with an animated version of the singers and 3D characters dancing to bizarre, psychedelic backgrounds. This song is going to be in my head for “a long, long time”.

Best book: I recently finished Lonely Castle in the Mirror by Mizuki Tsujimura, a book about seven students meeting in a supernatural world and how they beat bullying, loneliness and depression. It was not the easiest read, but this introspective book sheds light on the mental health struggles faced by many in society today.

Favourite artist you discovered this year: Keung To. I must admit I was a little sceptical when some of my YP colleagues were going gaga over him. That said, Master Class and Atlantis quickly changed my mind about him and now, I’d like to think I’m a Keung To fan too!

Favourite pop culture moment: The much needed Friends reunion, and finding out Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had a crush on each other while filming the show.

What did you learn from/in 2021?: I finally found out how seasoning powder is made after a visit to a flavour company, and now I have a new-found appreciation for cup noodles.

What’s your hope for 2022?: It’s been on my list for a while, but I hope to pick up Korean in 2022 so I can multitask while watching K-dramas.

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