Art accompanies on the journey of life and fills in the cracks of time. Stories comfort, soothe and cause mini-revolutions in our hearts. Music weaves in and out of our celebrations and record our silent moments of reflection. We invite our artists to write the words of our hearts, and give us music to express what we cannot say with words. A calendar year is no way for me to measure the art that has defined me in a year, so my best of lists are instead the art, the stories, and the music that I discovered during the year, and that are threaded through my days of 2010.
I saw a ridiculous number of movies this year...sadly not many of them are worth mentioning. However it's been a great year for the TV I watched and of course, we said good-bye to the greatest show that ever was. :) This is a look back on what I watched this year...not necessarily released in 2010.
I loved this when I first saw it, but read quite a bit of criticism of it afterwards. I disagree with the criticism and we can talk about that if you'd like. But ultimately I found this a funny, touching story about love and family and marriage and one that gave me a moment of insight.
Likely my favorite movie of the year, I can't think of something more satisfying that I watched all year. Funny and touching, with a load of inspiration it's story telling at its finest. And seriously, the addition of Totoro to the toys pretty much made my year. Like many others, I cried at the end...this film celebrates the changing purpose in our lives and also grieves the loss of childhood. It is many things. I adore Pixar and hope they show a little more love to the females in the future!
I saw this movie shortly after The Social Network and had no idea what it was about. I was surprised and glad to discover it was a documentary about a Facebook friendship and nothing was as it seemed. The best way to see this movie is to go in rather blind, but it was definitely thought provoking for me.
The sixth season kept us guessing as to the nature of the sideways world, but the ending left many fans cold. Not this one. I loved it without reservation, I found it emotionally satisfying and I was glad not every question was answered in explicit terms, allowing viewers to infer their own conclusions. I don't know if I'll ever love another show like I loved this one, epic in so many ways. Great characters, great relationships, great scenery, great music, great acting. LOVE.
I found the second season a bit slow while well plotted, but this third season was back in form. I loved the storyline and was kept guessing as to how the final events all played out. I found it layered and rich, though dark, and I was so glad that DirecTV rescued it for two more (shortened seasons)
THE WALKING DEAD (AMC)
I became very excited for this show at Comic-Con and was thrilled with how much I loved it. I love stories of survival in the aftermath of an apocalypse and zombie stories add a dimension of tragedy and urgency. While only six episodes long, I became very invested in these characters and their relationships and their fate. Apocalyptic stories always explore the depths of our ability to feel compassion and also our ability to feel despair. Highly recommended.
THE CLOSER (TNT)
I have loved this show every year and this season was no exception. I know of no other crime drama with such a strength of characterization, writing, a light touch of humor and at times it's even full of nail biting suspense. I loved this season as Brenda was confronted with being on the short list for a promotion she wasn't sure she wanted, and the pressure she felt to pursue this job. She is quite simply one of the best female characters we have on TV..my only regret is she is so often the only main one on this show.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (CW)
This show got off to a slow start but once it got going it became appointment TV for me. I love this show that is everything a fun vampire show should be. While I do think they burn through story rather quickly, I've been delighted with the progression of the story lines, the writers ability to make me care about characters I found boring at first, and their fearlessness in offing characters. The hour always flies by. I love it.
Oh we barely knew you. Rubicon was not a show for the faint of heart...if ever there was a slow burn show, it was this one. Every line spoken perfectly in place, every shifty gaze increasing the tension. There were no gorgeous people on this show...it was very much a show about dysfunctional analysts, the office scenes often felt like they could be real, and yet the last few episodes paid off majorly. So sad to know this won't be coming back.
DVD and NETFLIX STREAMING
BREAKING BAD (AMC)
I've only watched the first two seasons, so please don't spoil me on the third. It took me awhile to warm up to this show, at times I watched in sick fascination, it took awhile for me to realize that I did actually care about the characters. The second season ended in a rather brilliant and unexpected way. For me, the amount you're able to gain from watching a show like this depends on how much of yourself you're willing to find in the story and characters. Set aside your judgment..and well....you might be surprised. For those who don't know what it's about..well the short of it is that a man discovers he's dying from cancer and decides to cook meth to provide for his family before he goes. But oh there's so much secret keeping and deciding what's best for everyone to go around! It's a study in how things never go as planned.
Loosely based on the original series by way of a book based on the series, this updated version is utterly compelling. Only 12 episodes long (and yes it ends on a delicious cliffhanger we'll never see the resolution to) 99% of the world's population has been wiped out by a flu virus. Now only the immune survive in the world left over. What would a world like that look like? What sort of obstacles would the people face? A small group of people band together and form a new family and many of these issues are explored. By the time you reach Season 2 you will feel deeply invested in the fates of these characters.
SUMMER HOURS (2008)
This French film is a surprisingly engaging look at three siblings left with their mother's estate after she passes away and how they must deal with selling off her possessions and their various reactions to her belongings and the loss of them. It's touching in the way it examines family relationships, but also our relationship to stuff. It's a film that will stick with you.
SILENT LIGHT (2007)
Not a film for light entertainment, Silent Light takes its time. Faith, family, love, and death are all explored here. This story creeps under your skin and won't let you forget it easily.
Other Notables: Inception, Winter's Bone, The Social Network, and The Gates.
What were your favorite TV shows and movies of the year?
Read about my year in music as well.