Best Movie: I’ll be the first to admit that a good drama is usually better than a good comedy, but while I loved The Departed (mostly for the acting and writing) I have to say that my favorite movie this year was Little Miss Sunshine. Maybe it was the timing, and seeing a funny movie about death and depression and the failure of ones dreams was exactly what I needed.
Worst Movie: Typically I don’t see bad movies, but I’m going to guess that it was Wicker Man because I remember seeing the trailer in the theater and immediately thinking, “You know how horror movies are usually good for the first 10 minutes? And then they begin to trail off? And then there’s that chunk of about 40 minutes halfway through where things get weird as they try to advance the plot and it usually involves ancient rituals or something and it’s always awful? Well this seems like an entire movie of that 40 minutes.” Or Basic Instinct 2 because how dare you disgrace Basic Instinct 1.
Best Album: I didn’t buy too many albums this year, but of the ones I did buy I’m going to have to say that my favorite was Regina Spektor’s Begin to Hope. Choice tracks include “Better” and Fidelity.” Proof that the music really is good: Even after I found out that her voice belies her face and she is mostly unattractive, I still listened to the album.
Best Song: “Mr. Tough” by Yo La Tengo. That’s fun stuff right there. (Even though I’m pretty sure this is what they’re talking about when they say “stealing bandwith,” thanks to I Am Fuel, You Are Friends – a great music blog for anyone interested.)
Worst New TV Show: Of the bad ones I never watched but saw commercials for and said, “HOW?” I have to say that “Til Death” takes the cake. It’s like the script is a modified version of some off-the-strip Vegas lounge act. Fox advertised the hell out of this and every commercial contained some of the unfunniest material I’ve ever seen. And if you can’t even make a 30 second commercial funny
Best New TV Show: From what I hear, “Heroes” is the best new TV show of 2006. Unfortunately, I never really got into it, probably because it’s been my dream since I was young to wake up one morning with a super power (invisibility) and watching it happen to real live (fictitious) people on TV is too much to bear. So instead I’m going with “Studio 60.” I don’t care what anyone says about “predictability” and “sentimentality” and “politicizing”; it’s smart and it’s well written – two things I at least have a shot at, unlike invisibility.
Best Technology: I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Slingbox. I won’t get into the technicalities of it, but basically with this and TiVo, we’re one step closer to my utopia where I can watch TV “24” while sitting on the toilet at work.
(Readers: The editor would love to assay on things like Best New Book and Best Blog, but the editor doesn’t read much. Plus the editor is late for sex. So the editor asks you to fill in those and any other remaining blanks, because if there’s two things the editor loves it’s sex and good recommendations.)