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The Guardian’s 2023 Favorites

Guardian Staff | Photo by Bethany Althauser | The Wright State Guardian

From old classics to new gems, here are the favorite films, TV shows, music and books from the Wright State Guardian team.


“Barbie” | Greta Gerwig

Hey, Barbie! This film took the nation, and the Guardian newsroom, by storm with its colorful whimsy matched with its nuanced take on what it means to be a woman. With Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as the perfect Barbie and Ken, this summer hit provided viewers with an amazing soundtrack, beautiful worlds and struggles that mirror those of our own.

“Oppenheimer” | Christopher Nolan

In this thrilling and dramatic telling of the “father of the atomic bomb,” Cillian Murphy teams up with Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt and Matt Damon to share the intricacies of one of America’s most pivotal people and times in history. From the development to the dropping of the atomic bomb, this film takes viewers on a journey in the mind of a complicated, cherished physicist.

“Saltburn” | Emerald Fennell

Jacob Elordi, famous for his roles in “Euphoria” and “The Kissing Booth” series, and Barry Keoghan play two classmates who end up experiencing horrific events during an unforgettable summer. Rotten Tomatoes describes this film as “a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire.”

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” | Francis Lawrence

Welcome to the Tenth Annual Hunger Games! Back into the arena we go, meeting new faces and learning more about Coriolanus Snow, whom readers and viewers may know from the original trilogy, and his experiences mentoring in the Hunger Games. For action paired with romance and commentary on the human condition, this film does not disappoint. 

May the odds be ever in your favor.

“The Princess Bride” | Rob Reiner

We had to include a classic on the list. This whimsical tale of love and adventure follows the classic “one true love” arc with the Princess’s one true love having to find her and save her. Viewers join Cary Elwes through the mythical kingdom of Florin in an immersive and comedic classic. 

TV Shows

“Love & Death”

This crime drama follows the main character, Candy, who has an affair with her neighbor. When the neighbor’s wife is found dead, Candy suddenly turns from lover to suspect. The miniseries is available for streaming on HBOMax.

“Ted Lasso”

In this heartwarming and uplifting Apple TV+ show, American football coach Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) takes on the role of coaching another type of football: British soccer. While lacking experience in soccer, Ted is able to meet the task with optimism and compassion, winning the hearts of the team and viewers alike.

“The Rookie”

Nathan Fillion stars as John Nolan, a 40-year-old man chasing his dreams of becoming an LAPD officer, in this ABC show. 

“He must navigate the dangerous, humorous, unpredictable world of a “young” cop, determined to make his second shot at life count,” the IMDb description of the show reads. 

“Physical: 100”

In this fitness challenge show, 100 contestants compete in a series of physical challenges to win a cash reward and title as the last one standing. The original language is Korean, with creator Jang Ho-gi making the variety show. 


“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” | Taylor Swift

An overwhelming favorite among the Guardian team, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” featured some old favorites and new gems, including the poppy “Now That We Don’t Talk” and the sultry, sassy “Is It Over Now?” 

Despite some negative feedback about this re-release, Taylor did not disappoint us.

“the record” | boygenius

Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus teamed up for the first boygenius full-length album, which brought listeners nostalgic and sentimental hits. The indie group combined all of their individual styles to make a melancholy and lyrical record. 

“Scarlet” | Doja Cat

Doja Cat did not come to play with her 2023 release, which featured eclectic and rocking songs, including “Paint The Town Red” and “Demons.” Doja Cat shifted from the style of her previous albums with this release, proving that she is a multi-faceted and ever-changing artist. 

“Wasteland” | Hippo Campus

Indie-rock group Hippo Campus released this EP with songs ranging from upbeat, pop, pluralistic beats to slow, vibey love songs. For a perfect sound to listen to in the spring and summer months, check out Hippo Campus.


“A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” | Holly Jackson

The first in a three-novel and one novella series, “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” is a young adult mystery that follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi, who is not so sure that the case of murdered schoolgirl Andie Bell is really solved. Pippa must find out if the real killer is still out there and how much she is willing to risk to find out. 

“American Prometheus” | Kai Bird, Martin Sherwin

This biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer follows his turbulent life from his early childhood to college years and finally to his work on the atomic bomb. This book provides a deeply sentimental and close reading of Oppenheimer’s triumphs and tragedies, making this myth of a man seem more relatable than originally perceived.

“Fourth Wing” | Rebecca Yarros

This story follows 20-year-old Violet Sorrengail as she attends a prestigious and elite school to become a dragon rider in Navarre. 

“Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die,” the synopsis of the book reads.

“Today, Tonight, Tomorrow” | Rachel Lynn Solomon

Enemies to lovers set in Seattle over the course of one day. What more could you ask for? Rowan and Neil have been academic rivals since the beginning. The two have been fighting for valedictorian, but they have also been wrestling with newfound feelings that have crept into their hearts. 

Alexis Lewis


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