25X: The Best Of Time Of The Year

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Eep! Making it just under the wire here today–a long, zombified-brain-inducing drive back from Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (more on that tomorrow) makes it hard to write.

[Insert perfect segue here]

This doesn’t directly relate to Christmas, but one of my favorite things about this time of year are “Best Of” lists.  It’s that sign, like the first bloom of spring, that change is upon us: the year is winding down (and, ergo, awards season is heating up.).  Sure, Christmastime is all about togetherness and giving and OMG ALL THE COOKIES, but the onset of wintertime brings about an annual spirit of reflection and reminiscing…which, after New Year’s, turns into regular ol’ Seasonal Affective Disorder.

I don’t know if I have any favorite “Best Of” lists; I’ll pretty much read any Top 10–movies, TV, music, theatre–I stumble upon.  When I was younger, I used to get soooo mad if, say, Alias (just seasons 1 and 2–I wasn’t completely lacking in critical judgment, even then) didn’t make Entertainment Weekly’s cut, or if Our Lady Peace was ignored their righteous place in the annals of Best Ofs (okay…maybe I was.)

Now, I find comfort in those lists that line up with my preferences, and find humor in those trying to justify things like A Fine Frenzy’s Pines as anything other than disappointing, meandering garbage.  They’re also a good well to dip into when you’re looking for something new: perhaps a music suggestion, or a reminder of a movie you may have missed while it was in theatres (I’m looking at you, Beasts of the Southern Wild.)  The hardest thing is to try and experience one of the featured productions without comparing it to the hype which got you to consider it in the first place.

Some Best Of lists are already available, like Time‘s (which has been online for, like two weeks now), while others, like NPR’s and The A.V. Club’s, will roll out over the next week or so.

We definitely haven’t seen enough movies or heard enough new albums this year to create a Top 10 list, but we’re always open to recommendations: what’re your favorite things from the past year?

 

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