The Best and Worst of 2006
It was almost exactly one year ago that I posted my first annual list—the good and the bad from the twelve months gone by.
And it didn’t scare anyone away … so why not do it again?
As before, the only candidates for inclusion are things I actually experienced directly in 2006. That means you won’t see any references to Marlon Wayans’ Little Man movie, John Grisham’s latest book, or any Paris Hilton songs.
Now, without further delay, here are my picks for the year!
Best movie of 2006: Casino Royale, which matched the best of the Bond dynasty and brought us Daniel Craig, the best 007 since Sean Connery. Bravo!
Worst movie of 2006: The Lake House, which was much better than you would expect upon hearing “a wrinkle-in-time chick flick starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.” But being decent by romantic comedy standards doesn’t make it a good movie.
Best TV show of 2006: "Scrubs," which just keeps getting better. I don’t know how much the show pays its writers, but it should be doubled.
Best TV show of 2006, runner-up: "Heroes," which has amazing promise. Don’t ruin it, guys.
Worst TV show of 2006: Not applicable; I don’t watch anything that I don’t like. Pass.
Best blog of 2006 (general): Rocky Road Scholar. Even though Rocky’s been absent for the past few months, he packed more quality humor writing into eight months than most of us could hope to create in a year.
Best blog of 2006 (general), runner-up: The Phoenix. He never fails to inform, educate, and entertain. Thanks for another great year, Phoenix.
Best blog of 2006 (music): Heavy Metal Time Machine. Metal Mark keeps 80s metal alive with his site, which is raw and honest—in a good way.
Best blog of 2006 (music), runner-up: Will and Ben’s Record Room . A trans-Atlantic exploration of pop music, this site provides you with everything you need to know about modern music. And more.
Best blog of 2005 (personal): Rantings of an 80’s Nut. Most personal blogs are horrible things to experience. But Martin expresses himself well, making this actually worth checking out on a regular basis.
Best album of 2006: Tool’s 10,000 Days. One word: Wow. A few more: Why can’t more hard rock artists make such complex, compelling music?
Best album of 2006, runners-up: Steve Hackett’s Wild Orchids, yet another majestic effort by this amazing genre-crossing guitarist; and Iron Maiden’s A Matter of Life and Death, proving that 80s metal bands don’t have to simply rest on their laurels.
Most catchy song of 2006: Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back.” Yes, it hurts to admit this … but, as you know, I’m all about honesty. This song has that “thing” that makes only one in a million pop songs really stick in your brain.
Most catchy song of 2006, runner-up: Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy,” which also contains one of the best lines of the year: “I remember when I lost my mind/There was something so pleasant about that place/Even your emotions had an echo/In that much space.”
Worst song of 2006: Nickelback’s “Photograph,” which makes me wretch just thinking about it. Excuse me for a moment ...
OK, I’m back. Let’s continue.
Best book of 2006: Jared Diamond’s Collapse, which I realize was published at the end of 2005 but which I read this year—deal with it. An amazing book about why societies decline. (Yes, it's much better than that makes it sound.)
Dumbest moment of 2006: Virginian George Allen’s inexplicable use of the term “macaca,” which arguably cost him not only his seat in the U.S. Senate but also a viable run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
And last but not least …
Best blog readers of 2006: You. Thanks for sticking with this blog even as I’ve had to cut back.
See you in 2007.