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.