This is the time of year I’d normally be compiling my top ten list for the year in movies But I haven’t seen ten movies I liked this year, I probably haven’t even seen ten movies. Movies and I aren’t on speaking terms these days, and I won’t be in a forgiving mood until somebody makes something good. So, since I can’t do a countdown of movies but had an itch to make a list, I’ve decided to do a plain ‘best of 2012.’ This is just stuff I liked in 2012. It may not even be stuff that came out in 2012, just stuff I experienced in 2012. In no particular order…
Mad Men Season 5
Mad Men is always the highlight of entertainment for the year and season 5 was no exception. Season 4 still stands as my favorite but 5 packed a wallop. Viewers were asked to cope with a lot of changes, like Megan as Mrs. Draper #3, not to mention the exits of Peggy and Lane (though in very different manners.) I don’t think any viewer wants to imagine a Mad Men without Peggy Olson, but I think in life people find new jobs and they move on, and it’s a lot more realistic than manufacturing ways to keep people stagnant.
Breaking Bad Seasons 1-5
This was the year of Breaking Bad, for me anyway. I hadn’t watched it before and spent time catching up on Netflix Watch Instantly earlier this spring, inhaling all I could while Sonja napped. Breaking Bad turns you upside down and shakes you ’til you want to puke, then you find yourself saying, “do it again!” Since I’m living in purgatory waiting for the conclusion of season 5, I’ve decided I’m glad I came to it later and didn’t have to wait all that time between previous seasons. I also think the episodes are better when watched closely together, because it’s easier to remember the details. It’s a plot-heavy show so details are important. If you’ve yet to see it, wait until season 5 part 2 comes out, then watch it all at once. Seriously. Do it or I’ll send Walter White after you. Actually, it’s kind of weird now to see Bryan Cranston pop up in pre-BB comedic roles. You expect he’s just pretending to be goofy and any minute he’s going to let loose and murder all the people around him. I think that’s the price actors pay for legendary roles.
Everyone’s Reading Bastard
A short story by Nick Hornby. I love everything Nick Hornby does, so any time he writes something new I run to read it. This was in the form of a handy kindle single so if you have a kindle pony up the dough (the best $1.99 you’ll ever spend) and get reading. The only thing that bothered me about this story is I was not ready for it to end. I thought it had all the makings of an excellent novel.
The Mindy Project / Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
Mindy Kaling is probably best known as Kelly from The Office. Back when I watched that show I thought she was great in it, and upon hearing that, as a staff writer, she was responsible for most of the Jim & Pam story lines, I realized what a talent she must be. She has proven herself to me in her hilarious book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? which I read earlier this year. I laughed at least as much at this book as I did at Tina Fey’s, and possibly – dare I say it – more. Mindy’s new TV show on Fox, The Mindy Project, is also superb and displays her signature wit. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would hire Mindy (the character) as an OB/GYN, though mine was definitely wacky so who knows what she was up to in her spare time.
2012 Subaru Impreza
And this was finally the year of the new car. I still wonder/suspect they’ll fix a few of the minor complaints I have (takes ridiculously long for the car to shift between reverse and drive) in the 2013 version, but I’m quite happy to have a new vehicle. What’s that you say? There’s snow in the forecast? Bring it on!