Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Time Top 10 Lists

Time Magazine announced its Top Ten Everything of 2008 lists this week. Several of the books, movies, TV, people, etc. are things I have discussed or want to discuss, so I thought I would write a post about it.

TV Episodes:
1) Lost, "The Constant"
2) The Shield, "Family Meeting"
3) The Wire, "Late Editions"
4) In Treatment, "Alex - Week Eight"
5) Breaking Bad, "Pilot"
6) Battlestar Galactica, "Revelations"
7) The Colbert Report, Jan. 22 Episode
8) 30 Rock, "Cooter"
9) Mad Men, "A Night to Remember"
10) You Suck at Photoshop, "Distort, Warp, and Layer Effects"

I decided to write this post upon seeing number one on the TV episodes list. And it was the first item in the first list I looked at. But I was so excited to see "The Constant" on there. It is my favorite episode of the season as well, and my favorite episode of Lost to date. It really made me think, it involved a love story, it was shocking. It was everything I needed to be entertained. Plus, I love me some Desmond.

I'm also happy to see BSG getting some more attention. While the Emmys seem completely blind to the amazingness that is Battlestar Galactica, the rest of the world has taken notice. This show deserves all the credit it gets, and more. And this episode was shocking and tragic. And left us all wondering, "What now?"

I only sort of regret giving up Mad Men halfway through the first season, based on all the hype it continually gets. Maybe I will watch it on DVD some time. In the meantime, my new TV addiction is 30 Rock, and while I haven't seen "Cooter," I think I will carve out sometime to do so, since it is on this list.

TV Series:
1) The Shield
2) Mad Men
3) The Presidential Election
4) Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
5) The Wire
6) Breaking Bad
7) Lost
8) Battlestar Galactica
9) Architecture School
10) Chuck

Based on the TV Episodes list, I was not surprised to find Lost and Battlestar Galactica on the TV Shows list. Yea! But I was surprised by a couple of other goodies: Dr. Horrible and Chuck! Two of my current faves. Dr. Horrible has done amazingly well, especially given that it is really a web series and not a TV show. And Joss Whedon knows how to create something out of dire circumstances (since the web series was created and executed during the WGA strike). Chuck has been so great this season, and while it may not be getting the viewership it deserves, I am relieved to see it is at least getting some critical praise.

1) Kanye West, Love Lockdown
2) Pink, So What
3) Ida Maria, Oh My God
4) Lil Wayne, A Milli
5) Fleet Foxes, White Winter Hymnal
6) Jonas Brothers, Burnin' Up
7) Beyonce, Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)
8) MGMT, Time to Pretend
9) Duffy, Rockferry
10) Gnarls Barkley, Going On

I can't listen to "Single Ladies" without thinking of those 3 guys dancing to it on SNL. (Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) But it made it memorable to me and now I kind of enjoy it. Sometimes I tell Sean that if he likes it he should have put a ring on it. He doesn't like it anymore...

I don't like Lil Wayne and haven't heard of a couple of these, but I am glad to see the Jonas Brothers, MGMT and Pink getting a shout out.

Fiction Books
1) 2666, Roberto Bolano
2) Lush Life, Richard Price
3) American Wife, Curtis Sittenfeld
4) Anathem, Neal Stephenson
5) Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
6) Personal Days, Ed Park
7) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
8) When Will There Be Good News?, Kate Atkinson
9) The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
10) The Widows of Eastwick, John Updike

I've not read one of these books. But I have had American Wife sitting by my bed for months and hadn't thought anything of it. Now I feel motivated to read it. This list also interested me in The Graveyard Book and When Will There Be Good News? And if I decided to read Anathem, I won't order from Tower.com like Stella.

2) Synecdoche, New York
3) My Winnipeg
4) 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
5) Milk
6) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
7) Slumdog Millionaire
8) Iron Man
9) Speed Racer
10) Encounters at the End of the World

Is anyone else confused at seeing Speed Racer on this list? Didn't it pretty much get panned by critics and bomb at the box office? I don't know if I would call that the future of cinema. I am not surprised, however, at Iron Man and WALL-E making the list, and am ecstatic at seeing Slumdog MIllionaire continue to get attention. Go see Slumdog Millionaire!!

Best Performances:
1) Kate Winslet, Hannah Schmidtz, The Reader
2) Viola Davis, Mrs. Muller, Doubt
3) Dakota Fanning, Lily Owens, The Secret Life of Bees
4) Kimberly Rivers Roberts, Herself, Trouble the Water
5) Angelina Jolie, Fox, Wanted
1) Heath Ledger, The Joker, The Dark Knight
2) Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jean-Claude Van Damme, JCVD
3) Vlad Ivanov, Mr. Bebe, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days
4) Brandon Walters, Nullah, Australia
5) Ben Burtt, WALL-E, WALL-E

When I heard Dakota Fanning would play Lily in The Secret Life of Bees, I was concerned. She is an excellent actress, but this was a more mature part than I had seen her play. I haven't caught the film yet myself, but looks like she did a great job. I teared up at one part just in the trailer.

Heath Ledger gets a spot, of course, as it is deserved. His performance as The Joker was disturbing in various ways. I need to see The Dark Knight again and see if he is as creepy in it the second time around. I'm also intrigued to see Jean-Claude Van Damme take on a different type of role, playing an odd version of himself in JCVD.


Emily said...

Wow - I feel totally out of the loop. I used to be well versed on the entertainment world, but I hardly recognized any of the books and songs in these top ten lists!

So thanks, for being my connection to the outside world.

I simply must make time to watch Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. I've seen everything else Joss Whedon has done, and I've only heard good things about it.

I really enjoyed the book Secret Life of Bees, so I plan to watch the movie and hope it does the book justice.

I, too, was happy to see Lost, BSG, and 30 Rock be recognized, and am sure that the top ten movies are mostly worth watching.

My main issue is with the top ten songs. Is there really nothing better than Lil Wayne, Duffy, Pink? What was Time evaluating these songs based on? How much money they made, or how "good" they actually are?

Linz McC said...

I agree with you on the songs. I should have posted the link so you could see their explanations on their picks. I think I will go add that. What is with the Lil Wayne obsession?? And I don't even know that Kanye song... I am OK with the Duffy pick, but I can think of several songs that I think should have made this list that didn't.

Vance said...

There's always one dubious pick. In the musicals, I think they chose The Little Mermaid which had been widely panned.

But Speed Racer? I laughed.

Linz McC said...

I skipped the Plays/Musicals on my list because I hadn't seen any of them. But I thought the exact same thing about The Little Mermaid when I first read it.

Stella Louise said...

Confession time: I ordered from Tower.com again. They were one of the few places that has a rare CD that my bro wants for Xmas at a reasonable price.

I paid for expedited shipping. It'd better get here by Xmas or heads will roll!

Hollie Nell said...

I'm actually super excited about American Wife. I literally just got it for my birthday. Of course, I don't know when I'll have time to read it. But I loved Prep so this has to be good.

Esther said...

Yeah, I'm kind of interested in American Wife, too, although some of the reviews were mixed. I think one reviewer said it was a not so thinly veiled political screed. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!) And I loved Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake.

My Winnipeg is supposed to be strange but interesting. I can't wait to see Milk, which probably won't come near me until next month. And I loved WALL-E. What a sweet story, and a cautionary tale, too.