Sorry to disappear like that this week. When I was last here on Monday, I gave you the top 10 (13, really) TV series of the year, and promised a return to discuss a few more that aren't the best-of-the-best, but deserve mention. But it's been a weird week with way too much death in the world, and maybe because of that, not matter how much I try to distract myself with movies, I just haven't really been in the mood for writing.
2004 was a weird and in some ways not-so-great year: Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl caused such an uproar in that first month, but its fallout aside, that ridiculous controversy seems quaint by comparison. Iraq, Bush's reelection, Tsunamis causing the worst natural disaster in (maybe) ever ... the deaths of a lot of important, fantastic and talented people (most recently including Jerry Orbach, laid to rest today, who's importance to the Broadway stage is being slightly overshadowed by his personality on Law & Order) -- it's hard to make sense of it all. I'm not really sad to see 2004 go. A lot of things will be changing for me in the next year (and I'll bring them up as the come along), and hopefully it will all be positive. But isn't that what we all do in the New Year: even more so than making resolutions, we create new hope, for ourselves and those around us.
One thing that wasn't bad about this year was film, though. I think this was the best new television season in a long time, and that goes double for movies. While there has been as much painful-to-watch trash as ever, this has really been an extraordinary year for movies, large and small. Top 10 film lists keep popping up everywhere (plenty of them at via the Village Voice critics poll and indieWIRE has its staff and "insider" polls), and I continue my attempts to catch-up so that within the next week or so I can deliver mine. I'm sure everyone is burned out on top 10 lists, yet you're waiting, breathlessly, unable to contain yourselves for mine. Oh yes, I know it's true.
(What? Sorry. Dozed off there. Such a relatively nice dream.)
Anyway, I hope to be back in full-force and better mood come Monday. Meanwhile, here's hoping that everyone out there has a happy, healthy and, most importantly, fun New Year. Because, you know, it's not like this is just another day on the calendar or anything – this is the day that the calendar ends!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!