Friday, January 11, 2013

2012: Farewell to the Suck

It's too tempting to dismiss 2012 as nothing more than the Year of the Suck nothing could have been more apropos. Maybe that's what the Mayans were trying to tell us. They foretold that last year was going to be chock full o' suck and just wanted to give mankind hope by assuring them it would all be temporary by way of an end of the world scenario.
"Yeah, brudda, times is tough, but it'll all be over before you know it. Party on, mon!"
(Because we all that Mayans were the first frat boys and spoke like Samoans)
They knew that the majority of us would just throw a series of big ass Apocalypse parties and, by the time we'd all sober up, hey, it's January!

But far be it for me to run down the horrible events of 2012. Because I'm shallower than a Kardashian gene pool (or is that a septic tank?), my purpose here is to focus on some of the better things that crossed my path. Here are some of my picks for the Best of 2012:

The amount of movies I saw in 2012 was the lowest since I've been keeping track, a measly 100 exactly. Too much television occupied my viewing time and hey, there are only so many hours in the day. As Alvy Singer says in ANNIE HALL  "And eventually you grow old and die."
1. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD-Blissfully Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Director and Actress. Go Hush Puppy!

also: SKYFALL, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, MOONRISE KINGDOM, THE AVENGERS and several not released in 2012 but make my list anyway: BEGINNERS, TAKE SHELTER, TIME CRIMES (these three from emerging filmmakers that give me hope for the future of cinema: Mike Mills, Jeff Nichols and Nacho Vigolnado), PROJECT ZIM a great doc from James Marsh, THE ARTISTS, THE DECENDANTS, BUG (a crazy ass film from William Friedkin with Ashley Judd in an unjustly overlooked performance), Phillip Kaufman's HEMINGWAY AND GELLHORN, MARWENCOL and 3 w/James Cagney: 13 RUE MADELINE. G-MEN and CITY FOR CONQUEST.

Living in what I call the Platinum Age of Television, there is a bountiful feast of superb programs at our disposal, more than ever before. Of course, we have to wade through shit swamp to get to them, but with a pair of blinders and a decent pair of nose plugs, you can find your way to the treasures before succumbing to the excrement around every corner. The best I saw this year were the usual suspects: MAD MEN, BREAKING BAD, THE WALKING DEAD, BOARDWALK EMPIRE, JUSTIFIED, LOUIE, HOMELAND and everything else except DOWNTON ABBEY which I've never seen. My list has to include THE BORGIAS (the show I like to call OH, THAT FUCKING POPE!), HELL ON WHEELS (a western I consider better than DEADWOOD and it has another unsung hero, Colm Meaney) and mt new favorite guilty pleasure, RESTAURANT STAKEOUT. And of course, 2012 will known as the year I totally gorged on DOCTOR WHO. That sentence is going to haunt me, I'm sure.

In 2011, my obsession was P.G. Wodehouse. This year it was Elmore Leonard. (I'm nothing if not diverse.) I particularly enjoyed ROAD DOGS and UP IN HONEY'S ROOM. But again, non-fiction ruled the roost, especially after discovering the works of Susan Orlean. Her RIN-TIN-TIN was my pick for best of the year, followed by two superb books about rock music Will Hermes' LOVE COMES TO BUILDINGS ON FIRE and FIRE AND RAIN by David Browne.

Not much to shout about with only one really stealing my heart, the Of Monsters and Men song "Little Talks". It's a perfect compliment to my DOCTOR WHO festival and the video is quite frigging spectacular.

So there are some of the better things I encountered last year. They served to sedate me, feed my spirit and otherwise distract me as I survived the suck, a tall order for what transpired in that painful calendar year. You can tell me that time is relative and I will wholeheartedly concur, but you have to admit, 2012 was your Uncle Sandusky coming over to babysit for 12 months. Let's just say hail and farewell to this Year of the Suck and please let the door hit you in the ass on the way out, 2012.

You totally deserve it.
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