I now know why magazines and TV shows do “best of” compilations at the end of the year….sheer laziness and a lack of interest in writing anything new. Seeing as how at least 55% of me is still on vacation, I’ve decided to do my own “Best and Worst” list. Everything on the list is something I first experienced during 2006, so even though it’s on my list for this year it may have come out years ago.
Best Book of 2006
I had a light reading year this year; I’ve lost count but I think I’m at under 250 books for the year. If I made it over 250 I’d be surprised. I think I’ll blame the surgeries, as there were long stretches where I didn’t read that much. In any case, the best book I read this year would probably have to be
Ireland by Frank Delany.
It’s a fanciful history of Ireland told through the eyes of an aging Seanachie. I really enjoyed it a great deal.
Worst Book of 2006
Turning Angel by Greg Iles.
I already went into great detail about why I hated this book. I don’t know if I would have been less hard on it if it were by another author–I suspect so. Regardless, this was a thinly-veiled piece of child porn, wholly populated with unsympathetic characters who acted completely unrealistically. I loathed this book.
Best TV Show of 2006
You knew I was going to say this. You saw it coming. I cannot heap enough praise on this show–it’s exactly what television should be.
Worst TV Show of 2006
Picking a “worst” tv show is shooting fish in a barrel. There are sooo many bad offerings out there, from unfunny ‘sitcoms’ to flat ‘dramas’ with a few messy entrants into the Sci Fi category thrown in for good measure. I think that to my mind there’s a tie for this category.
Prime-Time Game Shows
The Gilmore Girls
Game shows are daytime tv. They are what you watch when you’re home sick from school, when you work the night shift and when you have a few minutes to yourself after putting the kids down for their naps. They’re what’s constantly playing on the TVs in nursing homes and psych wards. They are marginal tv designed to fill the off-hours while you wait for the good stuff. Having game shows air in the prime tv hours is like having cereal for supper. It’s a poor use of time and a cheap manoevre.
The only thing worse than peppering your prime network slots with old-lady insane tv is having a formerly-well done show visibly rot before the eyes of its loyal viewers. Hence GG and Lost. Watching these shows is like having an alcoholic grandparent. You eagerly wait for them to show up, only to have them be stinky and confusing once they get there.
Best Movie of 2006
It does what movies are supposed to do–entertain–while being both literate and moving.
Worst Movie of 2006
I thought I would like this, and when we initially saw it with friends I didn’t think it was too bad. But the more I reflect on it the more I feel like I paid $8.50 to watch a minstrel show. I’m neither a native southerner nor a NASCAR fan, and I’ve lived in the South long enough to have met more than a few of both. The movie’s jabs at NASCAR, Bible-belt Christianity, Southern culture and straight male friendships were too loud and too long and not nearly as funny as the movie’s stars seemed to think. It was a nasty piece of work. Even beyond the nastiness was the fact that the few funny moments had already been spoiled by the film’s trailers. That’s always a cheap trick.