Thursday, December 30, 2010

My 50 Favorite Pop Culture Artifacts of 2010

Like the movie list I used to do, but bigger and more demanding of your time.

50. Simon Cowell leaves American Idol
As soon as I saw this picture of the new Idol judges, I knew it would be pointless to watch the show ever again. I always ended up watching the damn show because I liked Simon Cowell. So thanks, pal, for freeing me from this idiotic time waster.

49. Moon8
Brad Smith created an 8-bit version of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album which makes a surprisingly great video game soundtrack. I played a huge chunk of Super Mario Galaxy while listening to it, and it was pretty trippy.

48. Dinosaur Ballet

47. Super Mario Crossover
I lost a whole afternoon to this game the day I discovered it.

46. Louie
For the first time, I show on FX I liked. Loved, even. I see this show getting kicked around a lot, but I thought it was one of the best shows I saw this year.

45. Joe Wight's Star Wars Alphabet
I've seen a number of these fan art projects--alphabets, specifically--but this was my favorite one by far. Those squat little caricatures are just so god damn cute that I can't resist them. You can check out the whole series on Geek Art.

44. Akihabara Majokko Princess
It just makes me smile, damn it. This like being totally rewarded for having been a Kirsten Dunst fan since Interview with the Vampire.

43. Wishful Drinking
I read Carrie Fisher's book of her stage show, and then saw the stage show on HBO--wonderful stuff. She's candid, she's feisty, she's absolutely hilarious.

42. The return of Elvira's Movie Macabre to television.
Oh, it does my heart good to see the Mistress of the Dark back on TV riffing on schlock cinema.

Somehow, a Marvel Comics employee blogging on Tumblr created a meme: comic book professionals drawing Marvel characters as cats. Given the sheer talent involved, it's not surprising that this was a wonderful effort, even if it did start out as a throwaway. I'd shell out for a collection of these, I really would.

40. Paint Chips
A very creative commercial for Sherwin-Williams that explores the possibility of color.

39. Sitcoms I can actually watch.
As others decline and others struggle with unevenness, I still get so much damn fun out of Party Down (sadly canceled), Modern Family, Cougar Town, The Big Bang Theory, and (in the first half of the year, at least) Parks & Recreation. And hey, after a year off there was even another season of The IT Crowd this year. I love comedy, and it's nice to see good comedy every so often...

38. Single-serving Tumblrs
There are a lot of great images whizzing past on Tumblr in a single day. Some of this come from blogs that only post once a day, but have a really funny or interesting concept. To name a few: Better Book Titles, Lovers, Dreamers and You, Movie Title Cards, Selleck Waterfall Sandwich, Nimoy Sunset Pie, Garfield Minus Garfield, Pretty Colors, Fake Criterions, and Scott Meets Family Circus. (I also hear this Godzilla Haiku site is pretty great, but I probably shouldn't say that.)

37. The Burlesque soundtrack
I haven't seen the movie yet, but the soundtrack is magnificently theatrical, and frankly, better than Christina Aguilera's new album.

36. Wisdom Teeth
Oh, I am so glad that Don Hertzfeldt is still out there making bizarre, hilarious cartoons.

35. LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
You all know how much I love the LEGO video games from Traveler's Tales. Since I still haven't gotten LEGO Indiana Jones 2 and LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars got pushed back to next year, this was the only new LEGO game I played this year--and the first one I played on the Wii. The controls are still smooth, and the game was just as fun and involving as all the rest were. I love these games and I hope they never stop making them.

34. Piranha 3D
As I said two days ago, the most fun horror flick I've seen in a long, long time for so, so many reasons. So, naturally, I've chosen to highlight the nudity. Hey, it's me. And speaking of casual, carefree nudity...

33. Sasha Gray's Playboy pictorial
This was the best thing in Playboy all year. (Followed closely by Kelly Brook's pictorial, but I already had the one nude picture of her on this list, so consider that inclusive.) Classic, elegant, and very sexy; I'm reminded here of the person who said that Sasha Grey has a comfortable seat wherever she chooses to sit down.

32. Kirby's Epic Yarn
Some of the most fun, relaxing, pleasant days I had this autumn were spent sitting with Becca while she was on vacation from work and playing this dreamlike little game.

31. Pixels
Patrick Jean's film is one of the best shorts I've ever seen.

30. Archie: The Complete Daily Newspaper Comics 1946-1948
What a joy it was to read this book! I've never been a huge Archie fan (though I love the Little Archie comics from the Bob Bolling era), but rediscovering Bob Montana's original strips really turned me around. The wonderful art, the story arcs, the humor that comes from the characters instead of gags, and how surprisingly sexy Betty and Veronica are. This is some of the best comic strip stuff I've ever read, and I really hope IDW keeps putting these out.

29. Unicorn Being a Jerk
Just one of the funniest things I've looked at all year long.

28. Old Spice's "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like" campaign
This year was a nice ride for the campaign, making a brief internet star out of Isaiah Mustafa and culminating in a nice parody starring Grover. Let's hope they don't belabor this bit of whimsy in the New Year.

27. Hellcats
All of the silly, soapy cattiness of Desperate Housewives spiced up with cheerleader routines featuring two of the sexiest girls I've ever lusted over... it's like this show was just made for me specifically.

26. The Pet Avengers
I haven't cared much about what the Marvel Universe is up to for the past several years, but the Pet Avengers are something I go out of my way to keep up with. This year, we got the Tails of the Pet Avengers, Lockjaw and the Pet Avengers Unleashed, and Avengers vs. Pet Avengers. And they also made a cameo in another incredibly fun Marvel miniseries, Thor and the Warriors Four. These guys are the kind of wonderful fun I used to see in comic books a lot more often, and a great antidote to the continuity-obsessed clusterfuck that is currently the Marvel Universe. I love these guys.

25. Katy Perry
As much as her first album irritated--even offended--me, that's how much I loved the new one. I'm sure it's the attention-baiting sexuality that got to me, but I did love "California Gurls" and the pretty "Teenage Dream." Throw in some fun award show performances this year and a number of sexy pictorials, and I'm a fan. It's nice having someone go full retard on the pop silliness without the pretentious, pseudo-artistic posturing.

24. Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
The DC Comics animated movies just get better and better. It's like they no longer have to apologize to Warner Bros for trying to get as close as they can to their source material, creating films that are much more visceral and involving than their live action counterparts. Apocalypse in particular took a comic book story that was all but unreadable and made it breathe. I really hope they've decided not to pull the plug on these things.

23. Steve Buscemi on Boardwalk Empire
Though I ultimately ended up loving Boardwalk Empire, the first few episodes were inconsistent enough that I almost gave up on the whole thing. What kept me coming back was Steve Buscemi's incredible, layered performance as Nucky Thompson. This is Buscemi's King Lear, and watching him play it is exciting in the way only great acting can be.

22. "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
My favorite single this year. Hey, listen, it's actual R&B for a change!

21. Hamlet
I'm always excited when a new adaptation of Hamlet appears, and this one really justified how excited I was. As with the best versions of the play, this one revealed a nuances and shades and possible meanings that I hadn't considered before--the result of great direction, interpretation, and acting. (For example, this is the only version I've seen where the dumb show before the play-within-the-play actually seemed to serve some purpose; I'm usually not a fan of this bit, and many versions omit it entirely). David Tennant was a wonderfully petulant Hamlet, and Patrick Stewart--one of my favorite actors ever--is a sympathetic Claudius. I'm so glad this production was filmed and shown on PBS.

20. An abundance of TV animation
In an era where some people tell me animation is a dying art, I've got The Venture Bros., Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Sym-Bionic Titan, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Phineas and Ferb, and the newly returned Futurama to prove otherwise. Too bad they're almost all on the same night, though...

19. Spartacus: Blood and Sand
I missed this when it originally aired (I didn't get Starz then, but I do now... they gave me more channels at a cheaper price when I threatened to downgrade my service... what is this shit actually worth, I ask you?), but I'm catching the rerun of the season now, and it is truly epic. A clash of emotions, sex and violence, done in a comic book style with grand flourishes, this is one of the most visceral shows about antiquity that I've ever seen.

18. The Bird and the Bee, Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Hall & Oates
I'm surprised as hell that my favorite album of the year is a Hall & Oates tribute album, but here we are. I found The Bird and the Bee a couple years ago when their song "Fucking Boyfriend" showed up on the Forgetting Sarah Marshall soundtrack, and since then I've been devouring their work. Here, they do a wonderfully stripped-down album of covers of (I mean this) master pop craftsmen Darryl Hall & John Oates that reminds me not only of why the original music worked so damn well, but shows that it can be reinterpreted more softly and still maintain those elements. And their cover of "Rich Girl" is just stuck in my head. I love this album.

17. The Runaways live on!
Ultimately, I was disappointed in the fairytale film version of the Runaways, but thanks to the energetic and impassioned performances of Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart--blowing away everything they've ever done before--and the great music of the actual band, there's a whole generation of teenagers who have rediscovered the Runaways and claimed Cherie, Joan, Sandy, Lita and Jackie as their own. And I love that this band--a band which influenced so much of my take on music, pop culture and sexuality when I was just young enough to be influenced (even if they did break up when I was four, giving Joan Jett the glorious solo career that thrilled me when I was a lad)--is now all over the internet with fans hungry for information and lost music and, maybe one day, the box set that they freaking deserve. The film may not have done them all the justice they should've had, but it's warming to see the kids digging their vibe. I only wish poor Sandy West could've lived to see all of this.

16. Roger Ebert's Journal
Roger's unfortunate illnesses over the last few years have, if anything, made him more contemplative and more eager to examine the whole of human experience. He was always--always--an amazing writer. Since he's widened his scope to discuss an array of topics, he's only become more compelling.

15. Super Mario Galaxy 2
I love the first Super Mario Galaxy, but... well, this one has Yoshi. And yes, that's a big deal to me. It's everything I loved about the first game, but with Yoshi and the Faceship. I could--and did--sit and play this game for hours and hours.

14. My favorite film performances of the year (in alphabetical order by last name):
* Khalid Abdalla, Green Zone
* Russell Brand, Get Him to the Greek
* Michael Cera, Youth in Revolt
* Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
* Dakota Fanning, The Runaways
* Andrew Garfield, The Social Network
* Joey King, Ramona and Beezus
* Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass
* P. Diddy, Get Him to the Greek
* Mickey Rourke, The Expendables
* Amanda Seyfried, Chloe
* Michael Shannon, The Runaways
* Kristen Stewart, The Runaways
* Emma Stone, Easy A
* Justin Timberlake, The Social Network
* Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

13. Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy score
I try not to be one of those people who goes about lamenting that there aren't any good film scores anymore, but ever since Howard Shore's masterpiece Lord of the Rings scores, there haven't been that many that I've been excited about. This one, however... this is a tremendous score. I haven't seen the movie, but I've enjoyed the soundtrack very much.

12. The Muppet Show Comic Book
The regular series turned out to be just as strong and wonderful and hilarious and irreplaceable as the miniseries were. This year even saw the return of Skeeter to the comic books, and she's really a breath of fresh air that the Muppets need in their dynamic. (Come on, put her on the screen, too, and have Fran Brill perform her!) I am disappointed to hear that Roger Langridge is leaving the series--he really got the Muppet aesthetic, humor, and timing--but I'm curious to see what he does in the future (and how the comic does without him).

11. Sherlock
This series did Sherlock Holmes the way I didn't realize I always wanted to see him done: like a modern detective show (reminiscent of my beloved, canceled Wire in the Blood) , with the characters treated seriously, and their loyalty to one another apparent and understandable. Here we have a Holmes who is every bit the arrogant sociopath he should be, and his relationship with Watson--a tortured army doctor--is both strong and delicate. Two men, both of them removed from the world around them (one by social awkwardness, one by the fresh memories of terrible experiences), bound together by circumstance and mutual agreement... this show is perfection.

10. That Kiss

9. The Rauch Brothers
The Rauch Brothers and their StoryCorps films have been some of the best animation produced in the last year. They take simple conversations and animate them, telling, in a beautiful way, the stories of lifetimes. This film, Danny and Annie, is my favorite, but each and every one so far has been an absolute gem.

8. The final season of Lost.
A poetic ending to a series that was alternately gripping and frustrating.

7. Irrfan Khan on In Treatment
I'm always certain that I don't want to see any more of In Treatment, and every season shows me why this is one of my favorite shows of the past decade. This year, Irrfan Khan gave an excellent performance as an Indian widower adjusting to his son's family and life in America. There are whole episodes where you can get caught up just watching what he does with his hands. Great acting is truly exciting, and this was great acting.

6. How to Train Your Dragon
But you already knew that.

5. Kristen Bell
Yeah, she didn't make any good movies this year, but between her Twitter pictures and her appearance on Party Down, my Kristen Bell Mondays and every time she shows up on Craig Ferguson's show, I'm still in a Bell wonderland.

4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
A euphoric sugar rush of a movie.

3. Castle
As I've explained already, this is my favorite non-Doctor Who show on TV right now because it's the one network show that really feels like it's our show. Mine and Becca's that is. We just enjoy this show so damn much--I second Jaquandor's recent assessment that it's the most competent show on TV--and we enjoy it as a married couple. And I thank it for being that. And for being so damn fun.

2. Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway by Cherie Currie
A total rewrite of the earlier biography, which was aimed at young readers. This version is far more visceral, more genuine, and more emotionally honest. We can argue all day--as some have--about the veracity of whatever claims are made in the book. But what really hit me the most was a story (a story far more cinematic than the film we were given) about a girl with a deep need to be loved and to not be afraid, whose needs lead her into trouble, into tragedy, into terrible mistakes, and, ultimately, into an inner peace and full personality. Cherie Currie is more than just the lead singer of one of the great rock bands of all time. She is more than just an innovator for women in rock and roll. She is also a person, worthy of love, who took too long to realize that. And I thank her for having the bravery to be so painfully honest about it.

1. Doctor Who
After some early misgivings and some really bad trailers, the new series of Doctor Who turned out to be just what the show needed. I loved David Tennant, too, but it wasn't until Stephen Moffat took over the show and made it into a sort of fairytale that I realized just how much angst the show really needed to shed. I've talked at several points over the year about just how enjoyable Matt Smith has been and how much in love with the show I am. Well, it's still true.

And that was my year.


Tallulah Morehead said...

Patrick Stewart played Claudius on TV opposite Derek Jacobi about 30 years ago also. It can be Netflixed. Makes a fascinating comparison.

I don't get the Castle adoration. I enjoy the show, and usually watch it. It's okay, at least it's 100% Jim Belushi-free, but I don't see anything special about it. Just a silly whodunit, indistinguishable from The Mentalist. Really, they're almost the exact same show. Both are lightweight fun, but just not special or extraordinary, or remotely realistic. I keep wondering why Lenny Briscoe didn't go about trailed by a featherweight crime novelist who would solve his cases for him.

(A friend I've known intimately for 51 years was on The Mentalist's Christmas show, playing Bob the Racist Santa.)

I am, of course, a big Doctor who fan, and have been since before you were born. Tom Baker was my Doctor. I found Matt Smith's relentless forced-quirkiness and excessive twee-ness irritating after a while, bottoming out in The Lodger, where he's full-tilt annoying. It wasn't helped any by some very lame stories in the mix, like the aforementioned The Lodger, and that pointless Dalek episode. The excellent Christmas special just aired did win it some points back. And however annoying I'm finding Matt Smith as it goes along (as well as Amy Pond's inexplicable taste in men. Rory is someone you play darts with at the pub, not someone you shag.), he's still VASTLY better than Colin Baker was.

Speaking of St. Louis, 2011 is the "Vincentenniel," that is, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Vincent Price, and events are planned all year, especially in St. Louis, his home town. Celebrate the Vincentennial all year!

Oh, and if you haven't watched it, Netflix Walt and El Grupo, a fascinating documentary about Walt Disney's South American, counter-the-Nazi-influence, sojourn in 1941 that resulted in Saludos Amegos (the original theatrical release-version of which is included on the disc as an extra). Really essential for a Disney devotee like yourself.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Pt. 2. (My comments were "too large")

Can you be serious about Spartacus: Blood and Sand? I'm Netflixing my way through it slowly, because I have to force myself to watch it. Frankly, if it weren't for the penises and the soft-core porn, I wouldn't have made it to episode 2.

It's not the nudity. That's it's best aspect. It's not the cartoonish, over-the-top, faux-300 violence, where limbs lop off with such ease.

It's the dialogue. It has the worst dialogue I've ever heard. When they're not spewing faux-DeMille pretentiousness ("Your words; my hands."), it's just cluttered with obscenities. Who knew that the Romans and the Thracians peppered their equivalents for "Fuck" and "Cunt" into every sentence they ever spoke?

How am I supposed to take seriously, or with a straight face such ludicrous dialogue as: "Where are the fucking Romans?" "Eat my cunting cock, you motherfucker!" or "So I got the fuck up this cunting morning. Took a shitting shower. Walked to the cunting store. Bought some motherfuckng eggs and some cocksucking milk, and came the cunt home, and fucking ate my asswipe dinner, you cunting cocksucker."?

Nice to see some dicks on TV though.

Tallulah Morehead said...

PS. I agree completely about Sherlock, but be aware: the shows as broadcast by PBS have about 10 minutes cut from every episode. If you want to see entire episodes, you have to watch the DVDs.

Hightower And Jones said...

You have to love a list with Sasha Grey, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Doctor Who and Hellcats on it, all of which made me happy through out the year.

I still need to hear The Bird and the Bee album. The only thing I have of theirs in the EP they made with How Deep Is Your Love on it which I enjoyed.

I loved Doctor Who so much this season and at first, I thought I would hate it but this season further showed how bad the Martha Jones season was.

Kal said...

I could go on and tell you what I thought of everthing you just said but I will limit myself to three. You showed me great stuff I just missed (ME? Miss shit? I know, scary) As usual your obsevations were spot on.

Pet Avengers is terrific. If I only could read one comic book all year it would be that one. They found room in the Marvel Universe to bring back one of their most high of high concepts - THROG THE THUNDER FROG. Instead of saying WTF when the Thunder Frog concept first appeared way back in the day, I embraced it and the payoff today for that was sweet. The sheer genius of having Lockjaw NOT TALK amoung all the pitch perfect characterizations was amazing storytelling. And how can you not love the relationshop between Miss Lion and Hairball?

Spartacus used the word 'cock' more times that I have ever experienced in an hour of always compelling and thrilling television. In the end I have to repeat what my friend said when I ask her if she was offended to hear it that much (she is kinda a 'swear' Nazi) and her response was gold - while looking at her menu she shrugged her shoulders and say, "Meh, I guess gladiators liked to talk about cock."

If ANYONE deserves to be rewarded for a decade of getting kicked around on every shitty show (and one really terrific show that was shit UPON) it's Nathan Fillion. Castle is genius because the characters are all great. He is my go to guy and he never has let me down. He is class and to get me to change my opinion that Beckett is really a cop despite the fact that the actress playing her is was once thought to be too stunningly beautiful to be convincing as one has got to be the turnaround of the year for me.

Thanks for your efforts all year. You never let me down or phone it in and that inspires me to put in the effort on my blog. If I am going to do I might as well do it great or better than great and I got that from reading you.

SamuraiFrog said...

Tallulah: I didn’t like Patrick Stewart in the earlier version as much the first time I saw it (back in high school; I saw a number of those BBC Shakespeares, of which I liked The Taming of the Shrew with John Cleese best). He was just this side of a cartoony Scottish king. It makes an interesting comparison with the new one, in which he’s much more of a business-oriented king (though ultimately, of course, not enough).

Castle is, admittedly, a very light and at times cheesy show. I think the actors and characters make it work even at its silliest. And as I’ve said, a big part of why I think the show is so special is that it’s something my wife and I enjoy together (she really doesn’t like about 95% of what we -- or, I guess, I -- watch on television). It also reminds me of a show from the 1980s, something I would have watched as a kid.

Tom Baker was the first Doctor I ever loved, but the first Doctor I ever saw was Paul McGann. I had a roommate in ’96 who was excited by the Fox movie that aired, then disappointed when he saw it, and then started showing me his VHS tapes. We started with the Key to Time. What a great place to start!

I like Matt Smith; I don’t find him forced, but I like the goofiness. He’s like a favorite immature uncle, or a kid who is precocious but still uncertain of how his limbs are supposed to work. Even if the story is a bit thin, I’m still enjoying him. (That said, Amy and Rory are both working my nerves… what I don’t understand is why we’re supposed to believe that Amy is worthy of Rory, to be honest. He sits outside the Pandorica for a thousand years, but she still wants to kiss the Doctor at her own wedding. Why is he married to her again?)

To this day, I’ve still never seen an entire Colin Baker episode.

I’ve got the Disney documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty coming in the mail in the next few days. When it gets here, we can stream Walt and El Grupo and The Boys, the one about the Sherman Brothers, so it’ll be an afternoon of Disney documentaries. I’m really looking forward to that.

I do love Spartacus, because of how ridiculous it is. All of its worst excesses make it more enjoyable to me. It’s like the biggest, dumbest, pulpiest, goofiest comic book ever written. (And probably by Frank “I’m the goddamn Batman” Miller, at that.) And it is nice to see some dicks on television. I keep hoping they’re going to get that big diaper off of Varo.

Thanks for the heads up on the Sherlock cuts. It’s the same reason I’m wary of Doctor Who on BBC America; always little cuts here and there, whatever they actually claim.

Hightower and Jones: Thanks! And yeah, that Martha Jones season was tough to get through. Especially in the middle, when 42 (the worst episode since the revival) was just stinking up the place. The last few episodes were good, thanks to Captain Jack and the Master, but most of that season was just a write-off.

Kal: I LOVE THROG. One of my favorite Marvel characters ever, definitely in my top 5 with Spidey and the Hulk. When I first saw pictures of him, I thought they’d turned Thor back into a frog. This is even better.

(Great moment in Avengers vs. Pet Avengers when Thor, Captain America, and Iron Man get turned into frogs by Fin Fang Foom -- Thor: “Not again.” Iron Man: “Again?!”)

And Lockjaw… always a favorite of mine, and I’m glad he doesn’t talk, talking would ruin the whole thing. And I love how no one can understand any of them except for Throg.

Nathan Fillion is just so cool and fun on Castle; it really makes the whole show for me, the interplay between Castle and Beckett. Becca got some $20 off coupons for Best Buy and bought the first two seasons on DVD last week, and they hold up surprisingly well. It’s breezy, but rewatchable. I enjoy the hell out of it.

Thanks for the kind words and all of the blogging that you do, man.

SamuraiFrog said...

By the way, Tallulah, in reference to Disney, my word verification for the above comment was "Perce."

Kal said...

I posted my favorite THROG page awhile back where he orders Zabu to do something with his hands of his hips in his Asgard Frog 'no nonesense do what I tell you now because you know I am right and best that I don't have to bring the incident up at a later time because I will and you know it - pose - then two panels of Zabu briefly realizing he should give in and doing what he is told humbly. It wasn't a frog/sabertooth tiger thing it was a hero/hero thing like Captain American telling Hawkeye to do something. Brilliant. I aslo loved those issues you mentioned where Iron Man totally lost his ability to cope after being turned into a frog. His questions were always too stops behind the situation he was in.

This is going to blow everyone's mind but I must be the only person on the planet who doesn't think of Dr. Who when someone says his name. He was also the evil Prince Koura in 'Golden Voyage of Sinbad' - one of the coolest movie villains ever.

Kal said...

Of course I meant Tom Bakers name.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I cold watch that Hellcats GIF forever.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I was quite disappointed by John Cleese's Petruchio in SHREW. Seemed very low energy. There is available on DVD, easily Netfixed, an American Conservatory theater stage production of SHREW from the mid-1970s that starred Marc Singer, before he was famous, that staged it in they style of Commedia Del' Arte, that is GREAT! And VERY sexy! Full of AMAZING physical humor, amazing because they did these incredible stunts live onstage every night. Singer, in tights, no shirt, and a codpiece the size of Rhode Island, picks Kate up and HURLS her about the stage, and she gives back pretty damn good. And the best moment is when Kate first sees Petruchio, because she takes one look, clearly thinks "Yummy! Me wants some!", but then pulls in her expression again, as she starts the biggest game of "Hard to Get" of all time. After that spectacular production (I own the DVD), Cleese's just sort of limped across the stage to me. (I have a friend, Ron Boussoum, in it)

Again, I'm not saying CASTLE is a bad show; just that it's silly fluff no better nor worse than a lot of other shows . The primary difference from THE MENATALIST that I can see is that one stars a blond and the other a brunette. I admit that, watching it, I always think my mother would have loved it. Cheesy, light whodunits were what she loved most.

Paul McGann's DOCTOR WHO movie was awful. It's about to be released in America on DVD. I won't be getting it. No reason to bother watching any Colin Baker shows.

THE PIRATE PLANET and the last story in THE KEY TO TIME were great (Although the Pirate Captain overacts too broadly. Douglas Adams was not happy with him), but the other stories in THE KEY TO TIME were very disappointing to me. Now CITY OF DEATH is my all-time favorite classic DOCTOR WHO story.

I should be seeing WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY next week.

Happy Vincentenniel Eve. Tomorrow is 1/1/11, so this year may be the one.

Tallulah Morehead said...

Kal, there's a DOCTOR WHO, namely Patrick Troughton, in SINBAD AND THE EYE OF THE TIGER also.

When Tom Baker was up for the role of The Doctor, he was working on a construction site. At the interview, they asked if they could see some film on him, and he said: "I'm in a movie that's out right now. It's playing around the corner. So the producers trotted off and watched THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD, and decided "That's the guy we want."

Kal said...

Tallulah, that is just about the greatest story I have ever heard about BOTH 'Dr. Who' and 'Golden Voyage of Sinbad' (my all time favorite movie as a child) Sorry again Samurai Frog for jumping your comments but I had to.

Bob said...

Great list, and I especially agree with both Sherlock and the newest Doctor.

I've had the Tennant Hamlet on my hard drive for about six months and have yet to watch it. Hopefully I can correct that in the next few days.

SamuraiFrog said...

Kal: Another great moment of Throg's: in Thor and the Warriors Four, there's a bit where our heroes (Power Pack, in this case) are joined by Asgardians to fight Loki. There's a frosty little moment when Throg and Beta Ray Bill just icily greet each other. "Throg." "Thorse."

Dr. Monkey: It is diverting...

Tallulah: I liked Cleese because he was so laid back and distracted; it was quite a different take than expected. I'll check out the version you recommend. Looking now, I don't see it on Netflix, but maybe my library can get it.

I thought Tom Baker was rather dashing in The Androids of Tara. I think my favorite Doctor Who is Genesis of the Daleks, but I'm a Dalek nerd. I love them even when the story's... well, the one with Matt Smith. City of Death is GREAT.

Bob: Hamlet is really worth it, but my Patrick Stewart bias is strong.

Lee said...

Okay, way too much to comment on!!!

But I have to thank you because I'd only seen Katie Cook's MRVLCATS and did not realise there was a greater world of them.

Otherwise I'll just say that this year (ummm last year) I agree with more than disagree ;)

Tallulah Morehead said...

I checked Netflix, and didn't see it either. Don't know why. Here's what you'd be looking for:

Kal said...

I saw Colm Feore play the lead role in that play in Stratford Ontario one summer. We were front row center. I think of that everytime I see him in anything from '24' to 'Chronicles of Riddick' that he was in.

The set design was very Dada-inspired moderness and wacky as hell. I should scan pages of the program for you if you are interested SF. One of my favorite Shake 'n Bake plays.

Jaquandor said...

I like "Castle" precisely because it's not grim and depressing; it's been a long time since there was anything on teevee to indicate that yes, the murder-mystery genre need not be unrelenting grimness that seems to have taken over. I watch "The Mentalist" too, and that one is nowhere near as fun as Castle; it strives for humor in a way, but the humor on that show is constantly dark-edged, especially with the ongoing "Red John" storyline. "Castle" is entertaining, in a way that many, many other shows in the murder mystery genre are not.

As for American Idol, yes, last season gave me some serious pause about the show's future, but frankly...after the travesty that the judges allowed to unfold last year, I'm actually excited to see new judging on the show -- especially since now the judges are all musicians themselves, so hopefully we're spared the "producer" take on things. Simon Cowell was so clearly unengaged last year, I wondered why he didn't quit a year or two earlier, and the way he, Kara, Ellen and Randy basically tongue-bathed Lee DeWyze each and every week when the kid never really rose above "Meh" made me sick. SO yeah, I'll give the new season a shot. (Besides, it's not like I watch anything else on Tuesday nights!)

Ricky Shambles said...

I somehow missed both you and a couple of these artifacts in 2010. Way to start 2011 (F'ing Mario Crossover timeeater). Nice place you've got here :)