A Few of My Favourite Things

What would New Year’s be without me adding to the plethora of lists? So without further ado, here is my picks for the best in pop culture for 2006, in no particular order:

The most sci-fi show on network television since The X-Files is also the best show on TV this year, topping Prison Break and even Lost. Random people suddenly develop powers and must figure out how to handle and use them, for better or worse. It is the best comic-inspired work of fiction since Sin City, doling out plot developments at a furious pace.

Hiro Nakamura
Super Hiro is the heart and soul of Heroes and the one character who wholeheartedly embraces his newfound powers and sets out to do good with them. Also, as a Star Trek quoting Japanese nerd, he provides the show with comic relief.

Stephen Colbert was on a tear this year: he lambasted George Bush and the assembled media as a speaker at White House Correspondents' Association Dinner; he had his fans stuff the online ballot box to have a Hungarian bridge named after him; and the Merriam-Webster dictionary selected truthiness as its Word of the Year for 2006. The Colbert Report is spectacular satire.

I’d never heard of these guys until the day I got sent a link to a video for a catchy song – Here It Goes Again – and their treadmill-hoping, choreographic perfection. Then I watched it over and over and over again.

Royale With Cheese
After the unceremonious dumping of Pierce Brosnan as the agent with the licence to kill and years of speculation on who would fill the tux, Daniel Craig emerged as the new, hard-edged 007, reinvigorating the venerable franchise without abandoning its past.

The most thrilling movie chase of the year had no gadgets and no cars, just two people making their way though a construction site at a death-defying, breakneck speed. The opening sequence of Casino Royale showed a terrorist using the technique, also known as free running, to escape the pursuing James Bond. Pure adrenaline.

After 15 years, the Canadian power pop quartet refuses to phone it in, releasing the 30-song Never Hear the End of It and heading back out on tour. Much goodness to be had.

Toronto During TIFF
Visitors often complain that Torontonians are cold and aloof – and they aren’t wrong – but all of that changes during the Toronto Film Festival. Suddenly complete strangers are chatting with each other with ease while in lines and theatres. They compare notes, thoughts on films, celebs they’ve spotted and then as quickly as it began, it evaporates. I wish the city were like this year-round.

The Tick vs. Season One
The big blue bug of justice finally comes to DVD after 12 years and multiple fan requests. A parody of superheroes, The Tick is as dim as he is strong – neigh well invincible – as he battles bizarre villains alongside an equally bizarre cast of characters, including American Maid, Die Fledermaus and the Civic-Minded Five. I’m so thrilled, all I can say is spooooon!

Shut Up and Sing
I’m no Dixie Chicks fan, but the documentary on what the country stars went through after lead sing Natalie Maines said “Just so you know, we're ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas,” was a real eye-opener. Their statement is mild by today’s standards though it was almost a career killer a scant three years ago. I picked Fido as my top movie of the Toronto Film Festival, but months later, it’s the Chicks that I keep talking about.

S.O.A.P. Suds
Despite massive amounts of internet hype, Snakes on a Plane is grounded. Turns out all the bloggers saying “wouldn’t it be cool if they did…” never had any intention of going to see it. Best web hoax of the year!

Video Mashups
It was like the birth of a new art form as digital videos, YouTube and people with loads of free time collided to create some of the most hilarious web moments of the year, from Toy Story 2 recast in the Requiem for a Dream trailer to the Peanuts gang shakin’ like a Polaroid picture to Outkast’s Hey Ya. Absolute brilliance.

Britney Spears
While there are many pretenders to her throne, Spears is in a class of her own when it comes to young celebrity train wrecks. From questionable parenting (now where did I put Sean Preston?) to finally dumping her parasite impregnator Kevin Federline, and then partying harder than Paris Hilton in a one-week period, she bows down to none. Keep trying Lindsay and Nicole.

Not Ready for Prime Time Players
Saturday Night Live is hot this year, not so much the show, but the shows about the show. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip gives West Wing fans a taste of what they’re missing (even if it does take comedy writing far to seriously) and 30 Rock has all the laughs, especially with the sublime Alec Bladwin playing network blowhard Jack Donaghy. As for SNL itself, on the rare occasions it has a funny skit, I can watch it the next day on YouTube – see Lazy Sunday and Dick in a Box.

Yul & Ozzie
The top two finalists in Survivor: Cook Islands actually deserved to be there: Yul for his masterful playing of the game and controlling other contestants without it ever being obvious and Ozzie for being one of the most natural physical players ever to compete. The reality show granddaddy proved it still has chops.

For more lists than you can possibly imagine, be sure to check out Fimoculous' stunning list of lists, including such gems as the Best Re-cut Movie Trailers, the Top 10 Retro Gadgets, the Top 10 Sex Toys, the Top 5 Most Pretentious Looks and more music and film Top 10s than you will ever be able to read.


  1. These are some great rec's. I'm gonna check out Sloan. Also, you've inspired me to post a list of my own. Thanks a lot!

  2. What a fabulous list!

    Wishing you the very best for 2007!

  3. Loved reading your list.
    Your blog/work ethic is inspiring.

  4. Excellent list. I was happy to see parkour on your list though I must say that the opening sequence of District B13 was a much better representation of this style of action.

    As for OK Go, those guys are AWESOME. They're even better live!

    All the best for 2007!

  5. Good reading.

    I was totally addicted to Heroes (loved that Japanese nerd), LOVED LOVED LOVED the new Bond flick and dude... and TIFF, well I've never missed a year since starting SO many years ago. TIFF is fabulous. I was it TIFF at least 3 times a year. :)

  6. Glad I could be of some inspiration, Damien. Thanks to all for showing love for my list - it was a great year for pop culture.

    And Ms. Prince, thanks for the high praise. I've had some time for longer posts but now I have to take that work ethic back to work. And Agent Orange, stop sucking up to Ms. Prince. ;)

    Marina, I've never heard of District B13, but I'd love to see more of those natural stunts. Very cool.

    Fruityoaty - we'll have to compare out TIFF lists next year.