From nude photos to racist emails, Hollywood came under cyber siege this year. Jennifer Lawrence launched legal action when explicit photos of her posing nude were stolen from her cell phone - labelling the act a sex crime. Meanwhile, some of Sony's top executives have been left red-faced and potentially out of a job after a string of embarrassing emails were leaked, revealing exactly what they think of Hollywood's A-List.
Sarah Koenig (left) with This American Life producer Ira Glass, and Serial co-executive producer Julie Snyder.
Like most of the world, we thought podcasts had died a certain death in 2006, until Serial appeared - and we were hooked. As of last month, the series had been downloaded more than five million times, setting a new record as the most downloaded podcast of all time. The story of real-life journalist Sarah Koenig's investigation into a 15-year-old murder case is compulsory listening - as are the endless conversations about who did it.
Jeremy Wells as Hosking
Since the earliest days of Newsboy, we've long been fans of Jeremy Wells. But this year, the Hauraki breakfast host went to the next level with his flawless impersonation of fellow broadcaster Mike Hosking. The premise was simple: Hauraki's breakfast show was the 13th most popular in New Zealand, Hosking was number one. To be more popular, they needed to be more "Like Mike". The segment peaked with Wells' fantastically droll election commentary, which often served up more sensible opinions than the Hosk proper.
The word "selfie" may have officially entered our lexicon last year - but 2014 saw the rise of the extreme selfie. Think Ellen and her star-studded, live-Oscar selfie. Our obsession with photographing ourselves - and dozens of others - has become so rampant, a special device was created to improve the selfie experience. The selfie-stick is officially the must-have gift of 2014 - even if it does make you look like a total dork.
This time last year, video-on-demand was largely a catch-up service offered by our free-to-air broadcasters. But Spark proved a gamechanger when it launched Lightbox in August - complete with $20 million-worth of programming. TVNZ responded with an onslaught of fast-tracked viewing, while Sky TV announced a rival service, Neon, would launch in December. Last month, global VOD giant Netflix entered the fray, with a launch planned for March. If you don't have unlimited broadband, now's the time to upgrade. You're going to need it.
From Broadchurch and True Detective to the homegrown Brokenwood Mysteries, this year has been dominated by the murder mystery. While some stuck to the straightforward guessing game approach, others subverted the system, telling the story from the killer's point of view (The Fall, Fargo). Either way, we were hooked.
It began with a burger and blossomed into a series of Instagram posts and tweets, dedicated to their undying friendship. Lorde and Taylor Swift led the charge of celebrity besties showing off their friendship on social media but they weren't the only ones. Seth Rogen and James Franco continued their bromance in full public view, while Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart posted an entire series of pics when they played tourists in New York in April.
Shoeshiner done good
Actor Chris Pratt.
Chris Pratt has come a long way, baby. The comical goofy interlude on Parks and Recreation has struck box office gold this year, voicing Emmett in The Lego Movie, and starring the lead in one of the year's biggest superhero blockbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy. Next year, we'll see him in the final season of Parks, and in the Jurassic Park remake, Jurassic World. No more shining shoes for you, buddy.
Sharing your stuff
Like that sunset in Grand Theft Auto V? Pull out your camera and take a picture. Enjoy dispatching that zombie in Last of Us Remastered? Take a snap and apply some grainy filters. Yes, 2014 was the year games went fully social, with fans devoting Facebook and Tumblr pages to their favourite gaming snapshots and videos. And with PlayStation 4's recent update, you could share games with your friends - even if they didn't own the thing.
Kiwis in Hollywood
We've always punched above our weight in Hollywood, but when Keisha Castle-Hughes showed up as an infected patient - and deadly zombie - in The Walking Dead, things suddenly got serious. Now Cliff Curtis has scored the lead role in a Walking Dead spin-off, while Castle-Hughes will next be seen in the fifth season of Game of Thrones. Let's hope she survives a little longer this time around.
Beyonce kicked this off with her surprise video album at the end of 2013, but the trend for multimedia releases continued in 2014 - and it didn't always pay off. U2 were widely derided for forcing Apple customers to own their new one, while the Foo Fighters delivered a better TV show than they did with their album, Sonic Highways. Our prize goes to Neil Young, who delivered his new album via Pono - his very own high-quality audio website.
A scene from the Star Wars teaser trailer.
Yes, getting a short teaser for an upcoming full-length trailer release for a movie that's more than a year away sure is maddening. But all quibbles about teaser trailers went out the window when the 88-second clip for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released on November 29. The force really did awaken, with the first look at J.J. Abrams' take on the Star Wars legacy getting a resounding thumbs up from some seriously passionate fans who spent weeks filling the internet with thoughts, memes, reaction vids - and even a shot-for-shot Lego version.
Redfoo, just ew
Rapper Eminem took aim at Lana Del Rey and Iggy Azalea with some awful, unrepeatable lyrics that he was rightly slammed for. But it was X Factor judge Redfoo who stole the misogyny show with his guest spot in Play-N-Skillz' single Literally, I Can't. The video features a group of girls being berated by drunk frat boys for refusing to drink. Boys, let's grab Robin Thicke and have a bit of a chat about manners, shall we?
NZ movie magic
It may have been a lacklustre year for Kiwi drama shows on TV, but we sure made up for it at the movies. New Zealand movie makers were so prolific in 2014 it felt like there was a local film option every time you went to the cinema. Just look at the list - Housebound, The Dark Horse, What We Do in the Shadows, The Dead Lands, The Last Saint - and try to remember a better year. You can't, can you?
Office lad grows up
Is Martin Freeman the most under-rated actor of the year? Let's look at the facts: he been a leading man in three roles, all of them completely different. Like Sherlock's uptight sidekick Watson, the third season of which aired here at the start of the year. Or Lester Nygaard, the slightly nervy but occasionally murdery star at the centre of Fargo's snowy thrills on Soho. Then there was Bilbo in Peter Jackson's final Hobbit film, The Battle of Five Armies. We rest our case.
LORDE, LORDE, LORDE
Lorde, Natalie Dormer, Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks at the Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 premiere. Photo / AP
We were going to try and do this page without mentioning Ella Yelich-O'Connor. But heck, what kind of year-ending list would this be without her? She's had quite the year, from winning two Grammy Awards, to performing dominating headlining slots at Lollapalooza and Coachella, as well as turning 18, giving New Zealand a long-awaited tour and hanging with her bestie, Taylor Swift. And she made quite a good soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part One which saw her nominated for a Golden Globe.
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