Friday, December 15, 2006

IMHO 2006

I was going to compile my annual list of favourite moments in TV/Books/Film/Music when I got back to Calgary, but I've been warned I'm booked for many a game of Carcassonne, so here it is now. (Previously, Parts I and II.)


I haven't written about The O.C. for a long time because season 3 was (sorry H) the worst load of continuing garbage since I can't recall when. Then suddenly, season 4 got all awesome again, thanks in no small part to every moment Taylor Townsend was on screen.

Another show that got better in its latest season was Ricky Gervais' Extras. It had better guest stars, notably Sir Ian McKellen with his acting acumen and Daniel Radcliffe calling for his mom, but special mention goes to Stephen Merchant as Talent Agent Darren Lamb and all of his romantic exploits. If there's a better wingman than Barry from Eastenders I haven't seen him.

Prison Mike.

I really got into Lost and Deadwood this year, but more special than any particular moment was immersing myself in them with the DVD's - these are two series that really benefit from back-to-back-to-back-ad-infinitum viewing. Also, from Lost, I now want this set of Dharma Initiative Notebooks, and from Deadwood, I want Al Swearengen's tolerance for whisky.


The sublime nerdiness of Superman Returns and Scoop's character's alter egos - Clark Kent and Sondra Pransky (both ace reporters) - was pitch perfect.

I laughed out loud when Jason Scwhartzman giggled during the most awkward marriage consummation ever in the underrated/overhated Marie Antoinette.

The Proposition was one of my favorite films of the year, but what impressed me the most was when I showed up to a screening expecting a handful of people interested in some indie cinema - and instead met a crowded theatre. This is yet another reason why I like Vancouver. You'd never see that turnout in Calgary (notwithstanding the fact it was an ultraviolent Western).


Speaking of ultraviolent Western's of the "neo-" variety, No Country For Old Men was my fave read of the year. I particularly liked the Cormac McCarthy reading bender that it inspired, finishing 6 of his books.

A close second was Scott Smith's The Ruins. It's hard to separate a best moment, namely because Smith purposefully avoids any chapter breaks - part of the reason why it's one of the freakiest books out there and the best reason to not go camping in Mexico.

Douglas Coupland published JPod this year, a hilarious book on videogames and Vancouver specifically. A lot of people find him uncool (especially here in town, which upsets me, because I'd expect that kind of local backlash from Torontonians), but damned if his grasp on how the internet really affects us isn't the most accurate yet.


Ryan Adams didn't release anything this year, so the music list is notably shorter. That said, I really got into Hot Chip this year. In particular, I liked the song "The Girl in Me," for how it typifies the band's 80's sound. The first thirty seconds sound like the score to Blade Runner, and then the rest sounds like a 1980's-era Rolling Stones slow jam.

Beck gave us the best reason to still buy physical albums - stickers! Oh and the CD is pretty damn awesome as well.

I almost forgot Neko Case. This singer and her latest album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, absolutely dominated my iTunes play count this year. In these days of the internet and impulse downloads, any musical discovery has a good chance of hitting the trash after a few spins. I'm positive Neko will be around well into the days when 20 gigabyte iPods are pennies a glass.

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