CONTROVERSIAL CHOICES

Can you still watch House of Cards with a clear conscience? What about Louie? Any film ever made by The Weinstein Company? Like many of the questions surrounding Hollywood's sexual harassment scandal, the answer is complicated. Either way, this was the year your viewing choices got political. Like bacon and eggs, you had to make sure your entertainment was ethically sourced.

SHORTY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

Former Shorty stars Beulah Koale, Frankie Adams and KJ Apa have all found success in America.
Former Shorty stars Beulah Koale, Frankie Adams and KJ Apa have all found success in America.

Martin Henderson ditched Hollywood to make a surprise return to Ferndale for Shortland Street's 25th anniversary in May – but he's not the only former Street star lapping up the Californian sun these days. Frankie Adams, Beulah Koale and KJ Apa have all taken Tinseltown by storm, with Adams hitting screens in the US sci-fi series The Expanse in February. Elsewhere, her good pal Apa continued to set hearts aflutter as Archie Andrews in the Netflix hit Riverdale and made his feature film debut in A Dog's Purpose. Meanwhile, Koale made a name for himself starring in the detective series Hawaii Five-O and appeared opposite Miles Teller and Amy Schumer in the war drama Thank You For Your Service. Go team!

MULTIPLE STREAMING SERVICES

Was this the year you got rid of your television? No one would blame you because 2017 was the year of multiple streaming platforms. Game of Thrones? That's Neon. Better Call Saul? That's Lightbox. American Gods? That's Amazon Prime. Stranger Things, The Crown or Narcos? That's Netflix. Don't forget live streaming My Kitchen Rules on TVNZ OnDemand, or MAFS on ThreeNow. Add music streaming services - Spotify, Apple Music or Tidal - into the mix, and you need a web browser open and a mouse at the ready. Goodbye television, hello laptop.

MARK RICHARDSON

How much Mark Richardson is too much Mark Richardson? 2017 was the year we found out.
How much Mark Richardson is too much Mark Richardson? 2017 was the year we found out.

It's hard to believe there was a time, not so long ago, when Mark Richardson wasn't all over our telly. Sure, he'd pop up on The Block for a few weeks each year, but the rest of the time, he was safely hidden away on Prime where most of us never saw him. Then some wise guys at Three decided we needed more Rigor in our lives and put him, well, everywhere. At one point, Richardson was on screen for more than four hours a day, popping up on The AM Show, The Project AND The Block. That's more Richardson than can possibly be healthy - for him or for us.

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PODCAST ADDICTIONS

Podcasts were already making a comeback, but 2017 was the year they hit in full force. I found myself walking home listening to the antics of a dodgy fraudster in Dirty John, the incredible life story of John B. McLemore in S-Town, or the amazing stories of Crimetown. Even TimeOut got in on the action, launching the Worst Game of Thrones Podcast in the World, then following it up with TimeOut Talks. Haven't heard them? Find us in iTunes.

TAIKA WAITITI

Me and some wannabeme's. #sdcc2017 #latimes #Ragnarok

A post shared by Taika Waititi (@taikawaititi) on

This guy has been everywhere this year after directing Marvel's hugely successful Thor: Ragnarok. It was New Zealand's top-ranking film of 2017 and one of Marvel's most successful yet. Plus, Taika's take on the characters and uniquely Kiwi humour made it so lovable he's now been shoulder-tapped to direct a Star Wars film off the back of it. And if that weren't enough, his and Jemaine Clement's What We Do in the Shadows spin-off, Wellington Paranormal, has recently kicked off filming too. We're going to be seeing a lot more of Taika from now on, and rightfully so.

ED SHEERAN

What hasn't Ed Sheeran done this year? The pop star announced a massive six-show New Zealand stadium tour, hogged 16 of the Top 20 spots on the UK charts at once, was the world's most-streamed artist on Spotify and our second most-watched on YouTube. He also released his hit album Divide and guest-featured on seemingly every other album released this year, collaborating with everyone from Taylor Swift to Beyonce to Eminem. He even somehow managed to nab a guest cameo on the biggest TV show on the planet, Game of Thrones. He'll be here in March, so prepare yourselves for Ed-mania.

BOX OFFICE BOMBS

What a year of stinkers. It was one big budget blowout after another. Some films were obviously destined for failure, Guy Ritchie's King Arthur reboot and Tom Cruise's reinvention of The Mummy spring to mind, while others found failure in a sure bet, like Scarlett Johansson's Ghost in the Shell remake or the superhero superflop Justice League.
New franchises, such as Luc Besson's family-friendly sci-fi Valerian, failed to fire and former fanboy faves like Alien: Covenant didn't do the business either. There was so much potential, so much promise but ultimately, 2017 delivered so much garbage.

LORDE

Everyone said it in 2013, and this year we said it again: 2017 was The Year of our Lorde. After an extended wait, Lorde blitzed all expectations in June by releasing her second album, Melodrama, a masterwork of modern pop, which some are now declaring as album of the year. Despite forgoing singing for interpretive dance at the VMAs, she pulled out all the stops for the Melodrama tour, which granted the Powerstation one of the most viscerally emotional shows it's ever seen. Oh, and she also had time to review onion rings on Instagram. Lorde save us.

LIVE MUSIC MANIA

Justin Bieber performing at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, in March 2017. Photo / Chris Loufte
Justin Bieber performing at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, in March 2017. Photo / Chris Loufte

Adele's Mount Smart shows earlier this year were an insane stadium experience, the likes of which Auckland had not seen for a while - and they kicked off a year of live music mania. Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Stevie Nicks and Harry Styles were just some of the other heavyweight artists to bring their colossal shows Downunder this year; on top of that, the upcoming summer is becoming our biggest ever, with one major gig every two days. With the likes of Pink and Taylor Swift heading here next year, it doesn't look like that momentum is slowing anytime soon.

TUNING INTO TRUMP

Is anyone not tuning into America right now? Donald Trump has successfully turned the American presidency into the most compelling reality show the world's ever seen.
There's constant drama, conflict and chaos coming out of the White House as he agitates his allies and enemies and alike. His approval levels are plummeting but his entertainment ratings are through the roof.
If only the stakes weren't so damn high America would be utterly entertaining viewing, instead of jaw droppingly horrifying.