These Are A Few of My Favourite Things

No list, just a few of my pop culture faves from the year that was. Happy New Year everyone, hope it brings you something entertaining...

The computer-geek turned secret agent series is the true heir to Alias’ average-joe spy mantle (if not necessarily the action component). The creators must have watched Jennifer Garner’s cancelled series and wondered how it would play as a comedy. Just fine, as it turns out. Zachary Levi plays Chuck Bartowski with a balance of befuddlement, charm and intelligence and appears both genuinely amazed and terrified at his head full of highly classified national intelligence. Favourite new show of the year.

Tonight we will film in BLUESCREEN! If this is the future of CGI and digital backlots, then I say viva technology! It was visually stunning, creating a world that couldn’t otherwise exist on screen and the most unique film experience of the year for me. While the historical veracity ( of the depiction of the Battle of Themopayle has been questioned, that seems an unfair load for a comic book adaptation to bear. It is there for entertainment (and for me to make Spartan Babies!)

Amy Winehouse
One of my favourite performances of the year was by Amy Winehouse. Back in the summer, before she spiraled out of control, she came into Sympatico’s Orange Lounge and just tore off four, stripped down versions of her songs. It was brilliant — with a simple backing her lyrics and voice shone through. Check out You Know I’m No Good. (And c'mon Sympatico, when are you going to allow embeding of videos?)

Last Suppers
One of my favourite posts of the year started on a whim and snowballed from there. In writing about McDonalds I found a parody of The Last Supper with Ronald as Christ. From there I know have 35 versions, covering everything from Star Wars to Sopranos and I have another dozen waiting in the wings for some elusive downtime.

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
With the completion of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel, J.K. Rowling closed the book on the boy wizard and a pop culture phenomenon. A fine ending to the series, but it turns out it may not be the end of that world. Here’s hoping.

Eastern Promises
Director David Cronenberg Russian mob drama was part Donnie Brasoco, part Sopranos and grittier than both of them. Made me wish it was an ongoing series.

The Writers Strike
Who knew labour disruptions, union negotiations and picket lines could be so entertaining? The scribes who pen the tube’s best and worst shows have be on strike since early November, mostly over residual rights for web broadcasts. The first casualties were the late-night talk shows, which were off the air immediately, but they will all be returning within days, but only David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants production company has signed a deal to use writers. That should be tough on Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and the like. Hopefully it won’t harm Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert (the only shows I can handle), but even they are allowed to write, as they are part of the Writers Guild. Too bad anyone has come back before the strike was settled, but the Letterman side deal is a brilliant tactic. As for the rest of the shows, most made it through to the Christmas break without difficulty, but January will show the strikes real impact. Except on me. My DVR still has the full seasons of Dirty Sexy Money, Reaper and Pushing Daisies waiting for me. So stay strong, strikers!

My Name Is Earl
Earl shook up their format this year by sending Earl to prison in what turned into a parody of Prison Break. While the grim Burrows brothers of Prison Break spiraled deeper into a moral morass, the Hickey’s are sprucing up the prison and helping gang members find love. Hmm, it’s better than I make it sound.

30-Second Bunnies
Don’t have time to actually see a film? There are always the bunnies. The occasional mini-reenactments always leave me happy and hoppy. The James Bond medley broke the 30-second rule, but was worth the whole minute-plus runtime.

30 Rock
Pure comedic genius that consistently makes me laugh out loud. I’m glad Alec Baldwin didn’t leave the show and that Tina Fey buried Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

As alway, check out the fabulous lists of list at Fimoculous, everything from the Top 10 List of Reputations in Crisis to the Top 10 Sexy Geeks. You'll be there for hours.


  1. Chuck, 300, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the Writers Strike, the 30 Second Bunnies, and 30 Rock would definitely make my list.

  2. I still love Amy Winehouse. I know she is a car wreck but god damn that album is so good!

    The writers strike has not had much impact on my tv viewing.

    Oh and happy new year to you too! :)

  3. I agree, Chuck is awesome (well written, great characters)

    Pushing Daisies was also a pleasant surprise, though I wonder of it is too quirky to survive?

  4. I love Pushing Daisies. And it has been getting good ratings. The only question for me is whether it can survive the writers' strike.

  5. Mercurie - I'm not surprised to see our tastes dovetailing. It gives me extra hope for Pushing Daises, which I suspect we may finally crack open this week.

    I am amazed that the networks can cancel anything with nothing new coming down the tube, but it was correctly pointed out to me that reruns of a popular show can draw in more advertising dollars than a new show.

    And happy new year to you all. How's it working out so far?