Two Thousand Eight

I realize that year-end “best of” posts only make sense for bloggers who get paid by the post (and just barely even then), but it’s a good way to acknowledge that the year wasn’t all bad, and give a call out out to the stuff that was excellent. Plus, it gives me one more opportunity to spew my opinions onto the internet without having to go to the trouble of watching or reading new stuff.

Best Thing Right This Moment
The picture of the “How I Met Your Mother” cast as the Jonas Brothers in the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly.

Best Videogame
Fable 2, for reasons I went on about here, but mostly because it’s just fun. It’s been years since I’ve gotten completely absorbed by a game and just ran around for the hell of it. Runner-up is World of Goo, which is just a great game but I haven’t been that compelled to get back into it.

Best Videogame-Related Video
The trailer for Sam & Max: Moai Better Blues. Not cool to list stuff from the company you work for? Suck it. That ad rocks.

Best Movie
Iron Man. I didn’t enjoy it as much when I saw it a second time, so I don’t know if it has “staying power,” but the first was plenty good enough. I think they got the tone just exactly right for the movie; they were just treating it as a romantic comedy and having fun with it instead of falling over themselves to blow the audience away with Action Blockbuster Spectacle. And then they delivered the action blockbuster spectacle in three or four short scenes that were awesome.

Runners-up: Cloverfield, which is grossly under-rated genius; and Wall-E, which for the first 30 minutes is the best animated movie ever.

Best TV Series
This year, it was “How I Met Your Mother.” Last year had some of their funniest episodes, but this year they hit the right balance between soap opera, heartwarming sitcom, genuinely funny sitcom, romantic comedy, and detective story (what with the “who’s the mother?” question).

Runners-up: “30 Rock” may never be as brilliant as its second season, but it’s still the funniest show on TV. And “Lost” actually got really good again.

Best Batshit Insane Off-the-Rails Can’t Stop Watching Because It’s So Compellingly Awful Series
“Heroes”. Ever since the series started, I’ve watched it against my will, because it’s been awful but with one or two saving moments. But while everybody on the internet has been complaining that it’s “gone downhill” and lost viewers, I’ve never been more transfixed as I have this season. Because I’ve got to see just how terrible it can get — characters appear and disappear, characters are killed and resurrected and killed again within the space of a few minutes, entire plot lines are just dropped with no explanation. It makes about as much sense as a daytime soap opera, but better because it takes itself so seriously.

They fired two of the executive producers, apparently, and are bringing back the “Pushing Daisies” and “Dead Like Me” guy to make it good again. And I’m against that — if they actually start trying, it’s just sad how awful it is.

Best Music Video
A tie between Kyoteizinc by Omodaka, which is just a stunning fusion of music and image that might be my favorite music video ever; and Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It) by Beyonce, because daaaaaaaaammmmmmmn.

Best Album
Volume One by She & Him, because charm goes a long way, and “Sweet Darlin'” is a terrific song. Runner-up is the soundtrack to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which didn’t annoy me like the Buffy musical did, but still isn’t as good without the video.

6 thoughts on “Two Thousand Eight”

  1. I really wanted to like She & Him, to the point that I almost went to one of their concerts to try and figure out what I was missing. Something about the songs just doesn’t work for me.

    Also, it *really* saddens me that all of How I Met Your Mother isn’t online. Maybe I’ll just have to rent the damn dvds at some point.

  2. I only like about half the songs from the She & Him album, but I like those a good bit. I suspect at least 20% of the appeal of the record is leftover from having a huge crush on Zooey Deschanel ever since she sang “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in Elf.

    And you should buy “How I Met Your Mother,” so they don’t cancel it.

  3. Actually, the huge crush part is half of the reason I felt like I should like it, the other half is liking just about everything else she has ever sung, so I really think it is just the style of the songs more than anything else.

    And maybe it was stupid, but I impulse bought the first season on iTunes because I wanted something to do this weekend. The regret for not having it portable will have to be dealt with by Future Will.

  4. How I Met Your Mother didn’t really take off for me until the second season, in particular the episode “Slap Bet.” Until that point, I was mostly watching because Willow was in it.

    And if it’s not portable, maybe Future Will should buy an iPhone… you know you want to; everybody’s doing it!

  5. I really wanted to like She & Him too, because of Zooey. But I’ve found I can’t really listen to more than one song, because after one song, her voice starts to sound like an emotionless drone that just sucks the life out of me.

    But one song a day. That’s fun.

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