Media Diary: June 2016

As noted earlier this year, I’m keeping a media diary for 2016. Here is what I track:

  • Film: each first viewing or second viewing
  • Books: each new book completed
  • Television: each new series or season (must watch 3-4 episodes before I can enter it)
  • Music: must give two complete listens to a new album before I can enter it
  • Theater: each play I see

These are my June findings:

  • In June, I rated 18 films, 2 books, 2 plays, 4 seasons of television, and 12 albums.
  • The average rating (out of 5) is 3.65, which is the highest month in 2016 to date.
  • By medium, theater, music, and books have the highest rating (3.75), although that’s due to small sample size.
  • The best of the month:
    • Film: (Tied) Zero DaysOJ: Made in America
    • Book: “Washington Square” by Henry James
    • Music: (Tied) “Light Upon the Lake” by Whitney, “Slow” by Starflyer 59, Dorthia Cottrell (self-titled)
    • TV: Orange is the New Black, Season 4
    • Play: Fun Home

I also watched a lot of films in June, and that’s due primarily to AFI Docs, a documentary film festival that I covered for The Washington Post, The Washington City Paper, and Brightest Young Things. Many of my favorites in television and film are documentaries, while fiction film has been lacking (many critics note how this summer is shaping up to be rerrible for blockbusters). Since there’s no impulse to make a documentary broadly appealing, I guess it means creators have relatively more freedom to pursue the stories they want.

Year to date totals:

  • 90 films, 17 books, 36 seasons of television, 62 albums, and 5 plays
  • Total average: 3.46
  • Averages by medium:
    • Films: 3.43
    • Books 3.34
    • Music: 3.47
    • TV: 3.65
    • Theater: 4.2

Best of the year (so far):


  1. Green Room
  2. The Witch
  3. OJ: Made in America
  4. The Fits
  5. Love and Friendship


  1. “Black Star” by David Bowie
  2. “ANTI” by Rihanna
  3. “Light Upon the Lake” by Whitney
  4. “Grandfathered” by Pinkshinyultrablast
  5. “Oh No” by Jessy Lanza


  1. The Americans, Season 5
  2. Catastrophe, Season 2
  3. Making a Murderer
  4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 1
  5. The People vs. OJ Simpson


  1. “Silence” by Shusaku Endo
  2. “The Sympathizer” by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  3. “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara
  4. “Annihilation” by Jeff VanderMeer
  5. “Washington Square” by Henry James


  1. The Flick
  2. The Nether
  3. Disgraced