Here, dear reader, is my pick of the year for what ever it may be worth. And I suspect its worth very little what with me being so far beyond is currently going on in these areas. Expect of course for music but I shall deal with that in another blog. This is a brief overview of what went on in 2010 or at least what I can remember. I have covered all the important areas of culture and kept my rants to a minimum. Most of what I talk about can be found in further detail else where in this blog I just couldn't be bothered to put in lots of links so if interested hunt for them yourself.
I don't actually watch a whole lot of TV, I'm more of a box set kind of guy. Soap operas and reality shows have no interest for me so I'm dismissing them out of hand. To be honest its hard to recall most of what happened this year in TV land, even with the help of the Internet. At the start of the year there was a new Dr Who, but that show is so childish and so low rent that it seems like its being made by a local theatre group. Mad Men was boring, The Pacific disappointing same for Misfits and 30 Rock and as for Glee, well the drama was awful and the singing controlled by computers. Not to mention the way they completely ignore the rules of American Football.
The Inbetweeners sunk to new depths and eradicated any good will it still had left after the first season and Frankie Boyle showed he doesn't actually have any jokes. Looking back it seems like a pretty awful year for TV and I'm glad I missed most of it. After all we had to cope with both the Lee Nelson show and that god awful thing about stupid people from Essex.
Did I actually like anything at all? Well, The Big Bang Theory is brilliant, almost written solely to make me smile and everyone else wonder whats going on. We Are Klang had a pilot show which was great but I guess didn't get picked up and The Ricky Gervais show was surprisingly good. Perhaps the brightest beacon of light remains BBC Four, easily the best channel on offer. The Beauty of Maps was simply perfect and as such is my pick of the year.
To date I have only ever read one work of fiction in the year it was published so perhaps I am not really in any position to comment on books. But I do love books so I'm sneaking a little bit in here. I've just started reading a book by Stewart Lee that was written this year, so perhaps that counts. Anyway the best book I read this year was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. OK it was written in 1962 but it is a master piece. Should any one wish to recommend a book from this year I will of course ignore them and carry on reading things by dead Russians.
This year I actually went to the cinema, twice in fact. Firstly to see Under Great White Northern Lights, the documentary about The White Stripes. Which was a wonderful and insightful film that I enjoyed immensely. The second trip was to see Kick Ass, which I hated more than words can properly hope to explain. To be honest I hate the cinema, its a terrible place to go to, full of teenagers and terrible Hollywood films. I did pick up the DVD of A Prophet, a French film by Jacques Audiard. It is a work of genius and by far and away the best crime based film that has ever been made and as such is my pick of the year.
I have the same issue with comics that I do for books in that I'm always way behind whats going on and swimming in the sea of past glories. Most of my efforts go into reading Alan Moore and I finally got round to checking out his run on Swamp Thing, which is up there with his best work. Most of the current runs are off little interest to me but I am loving Power Girl. Cyanide and Happiness still remains the best web comic and they even had a book out this year. Now of course Dr Doom is the greatest comic book hero of all time and as such his Doomwar was highly enjoyable and added some nice aspects to his character. But my pick of the year is Hit Monkey a story about a monkey hit man, I mean whats not to like?
I saw Laura Marling three times this year, each performance was brilliant but it was in the small and intimate surroundings of Conway Hall that see shone. LM is an exceptional talent and one of the best musicians around I cannot stress enough how every one should listen to her. The Black Keys rocked hard in Brixton, Mumford and Sons where a bouncing joy and The Fall was certainly an interesting experience. But by far and away the pick of the year was Jonsi at the Forum. It was breath taking in both ambition and execution and was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. Produced with an artistic and theatrical flourish that is a rare treat not just for a gig but for life in general.
Two of the big hits for the year held no interest for me, Mass Effect 2 and Black Ops both suffered at the hands of their predecessors which bored me. Metro 2033, a game based on the book of the same name, was a a very enjoyable game with some nice touches which just failed to fully deliver on its promise. Fallout New Vegas ate up a great deal of my time and was at times wonderful but cruelly had to many bugs and errors. NBA 2K11 was sublime and is perhaps the best sports games that's been made. Bioschock 2 was great but didn't really have the impact of the first game. Battlefield Bad Company Two showed where Call of Duty is going wrong. Fable III was fun but just lacked that certain something as did Halo Reach. But one game stood head and shoulders above all others and takes it place amongst the best games ever made and that was Red Dead Redemption. A game of staggering perfection unmatched by anything else. A compelling and engaging story line matched by a beautiful game world. And of course later in the year they brought out a version of the game that was full of zombies. Zombie bears people, I mean come on, pick of the year.
So there you have it, that was the year that was lets look back all misty eyed and wave good bye.