29 December, 2006

Best And Worst of 2006

I now know why magazines and TV shows do "best of" compilations at the end of the year....sheer laziness and a lack of interest in writing anything new. Seeing as how at least 55% of me is still on vacation, I've decided to do my own "Best and Worst" list. Everything on the list is something I first experienced during 2006, so even though it's on my list for this year it may have come out years ago.

Best Book of 2006

I had a light reading year this year; I've lost count but I think I'm at under 250 books for the year. If I made it over 250 I'd be surprised. I think I'll blame the surgeries, as there were long stretches where I didn't read that much. In any case, the best book I read this year would probably have to be

Ireland by Frank Delany.

It's a fanciful history of Ireland told through the eyes of an aging Seanachie. I really enjoyed it a great deal.

Worst Book of 2006

Turning Angel by Greg Iles.

I already went into great detail about why I hated this book. I don't know if I would have been less hard on it if it were by another author--I suspect so. Regardless, this was a thinly-veiled piece of child porn, wholly populated with unsympathetic characters who acted completely unrealistically. I loathed this book.

Best TV Show of 2006

The Wire.

You knew I was going to say this. You saw it coming. I cannot heap enough praise on this show--it's exactly what television should be.

Worst TV Show of 2006

Picking a "worst" tv show is shooting fish in a barrel. There are sooo many bad offerings out there, from unfunny 'sitcoms' to flat 'dramas' with a few messy entrants into the Sci Fi category thrown in for good measure. I think that to my mind there's a tie for this category.

Prime-Time Game Shows
The Gilmore Girls

Game shows are daytime tv. They are what you watch when you're home sick from school, when you work the night shift and when you have a few minutes to yourself after putting the kids down for their naps. They're what's constantly playing on the TVs in nursing homes and psych wards. They are marginal tv designed to fill the off-hours while you wait for the good stuff. Having game shows air in the prime tv hours is like having cereal for supper. It's a poor use of time and a cheap manoevre.

The only thing worse than peppering your prime network slots with old-lady insane tv is having a formerly-well done show visibly rot before the eyes of its loyal viewers. Hence GG and Lost. Watching these shows is like having an alcoholic grandparent. You eagerly wait for them to show up, only to have them be stinky and confusing once they get there.

Best Movie of 2006

The Prestige

It does what movies are supposed to do--entertain--while being both literate and moving.

Worst Movie of 2006

Talledega Nights

I thought I would like this, and when we initially saw it with friends I didn't think it was too bad. But the more I reflect on it the more I feel like I paid $8.50 to watch a minstrel show. I'm neither a native southerner nor a NASCAR fan, and I've lived in the South long enough to have met more than a few of both. The movie's jabs at NASCAR, Bible-belt Christianity, Southern culture and straight male friendships were too loud and too long and not nearly as funny as the movie's stars seemed to think. It was a nasty piece of work. Even beyond the nastiness was the fact that the few funny moments had already been spoiled by the film's trailers. That's always a cheap trick.


At 11:47 AM, December 29, 2006, Blogger Lee said...

I thought I was the only one on Talladega Nights.

Some scenes were funny and some weren't. But by the end of the movie, and especially a couple of days later upon reflection, I came to the conclusion that many of what I initially thought of as loving jabs in the film really weren't loving.

Just mean-spirited.

At 12:25 PM, December 29, 2006, Anonymous Lesley said...

That's a good assessment of Talladega Nights. I thought I was just in a bad mood that night since when I posted about it on NiT several bloggers said they really liked it. Best Friend even bought it on DVD. Boggles the mind.

At 12:37 PM, December 29, 2006, Blogger P. K. Nail said...

Man, I loved The Prestige. I think it's fighting with Children of Men to be my favorite of the year. (And both feature Michael Caine - coincidence?)

At 1:27 PM, December 29, 2006, Blogger Southern Girl said...

250 books in one year?! Dang...and here I was feeling proud of my 70 books. *g* Good for you!

At 3:23 PM, December 29, 2006, Anonymous Sis said...

Biggest jerks of the year:
Network executives.
They cancelled Arrested Development and The Nine (I am obviously less distressed by them cancelling The Nine, but it was a good, interesting, different show.)

At 10:38 PM, December 29, 2006, Blogger Patrick said...

Kat Coble is not a driver,
Kat Coble is a thinker!

At 8:08 AM, December 31, 2006, Blogger newscoma said...

As you know,I'm still digging Lost but I agree about Talladega Nights. I tried to get into the fact that it was supposed to be a dumb movie (and it was.)
Didn't dig it and with you on that one.

At 5:20 PM, January 01, 2007, Blogger Sonia said...

Lost is one of the worst? Yikes...that's my favorite show on tv. LOL.

I'm amazed at the number of books you read. WOW>

At 12:00 PM, January 02, 2007, Blogger Michael said...

I think you should give the Iles book another chance..I read and loved it. His new one left me cold, though.

As for Lost, we disagree. I am excited for the return.


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