The Best TV and Music of 2007
Earlier, I fed the self-indulgent beast with my picks for the best movies and books (I read) of 2007. Now, I’m going to tell you what I thought were the best TV shows and music of 2007. Why should you care?
Honestly, I have no idea. First, the TV…and a few caveats. I have no doubt that Season 4 of The Wire would be on this list…but I haven’t watched it yet. (We’re almost – ALMOST – done with Season 3.) Just missing the cut here were a few reality TV shows I liked, just not quite as much as the below: Big Brother, Amazing Race, Project Runway, The Biggest Loser. Additionally, the second season of Heroes was so mind numbingly boring that it misses the list, despite the first season being, as one might say, awesome.
The rest of the lists after the fold...
In classic reverse order:
10. Flight Of The Conchords -- I’m not sure a second season is going to work as well, but this short comic, music-based HBO series made me laugh out loud more than any show this year. I’m going to go put on my business socks.
9. How I Met Your Mother – some missteps, but any show with the Slap Bet and Robin Sparkles is going to make the cut.
8. Survivor – the seasons were very, very solid, and Survivor continues to be Best in Breed for unscripted television.
7. Top Chef – That being said, I liked this season of Top Chef more than any other reality series this year. The quality of the contestants was great, the challenges appropriate and clever, and any combination of Padma Lakshmi and Anthony Bourdain is good stuff.
6. The Office – Without the misfiring hour long episodes, this would be even higher.
5. The Sopranos – A brilliant end to a landmark, phenomenal series. Don’t stop believing.
4. Friday Night Lights – Again, a sophomore slump pulls it down – on the first season alone, it’s even higher than #4…
3. Damages – A show I didn’t think I was going to like (not a huge Glenn Close fan) was simply put, amazing. Great acting, really clever direction, and flat out great television.
2. Battlestar Galactica – This show rocks, I don’t care what you say.
1. Lost – Hey, not every show worked, but nothing else made me want to watch more…and along with BSG, I’m anxiously awaiting the next season of this show more than anything else. Good times.
As for music, it’s an even more subjective list. I just had the following exchange with a co-worker:
Him [1:15 PM]:
did you see pitchfork AND tiny mix tapes both selected that panda bear album as record of the year?
Me [1:15 PM]:
no...you mean "person pitch"? that's the only one I have...
i don't think i've listened to it more than once
Him [1:15 PM]:
yeah, its not very good
OK, I probably didn’t need to cut and paste our IM, but my point is my point. I don’t even have that on my list and so-called experts love it to death. (It’s boring.)
So here are a few CDs that missed the cut but are very good nonetheless:
Blonde Redhead – 23
Explosions In The Sky - All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone
Battles – Mirrored
The White Stripes – Icky Thump
Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
The New Pornographers – Challengers
Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War
Honestly, the fact that a new Arcade Fire or White Stripes CD didn’t make my list is suprising to me, since I love both of those bands. But they just didn’t ever grab me. The Battles, Explosions and Blonde Redhead are all great, but I can’t list them above the next group. I’m a bit torn about leaving the Stars and New Pornographers off the list, but in truth I just haven’t listened to either of them enough - including them would be even more pretentious than this list itself...
That being said, here’s my top ten:
10. Okkervil River - The Stage Names
9. The Frames – The Cost
8. Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block
7. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
6. Feist – The Reminder
5. Radiohead – In Rainbows
4. Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
3. The Shins - Wincing The Night Away
2. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
And the best album of the year…well, I agree with Paste Magazine:
1. National – The Boxer
I listened to The Boxer so many times, it's a little embarassing. But not too much, because it's great and I still like listening to it. If you haven't listened to it, or any of the music on this list, do yourself a favor and get on it, stat.
As always, this is MY list, not yours...but i think there was some really great media out there this year. For all the bitching and moaning about pop culture, there's plenty of great stuff being produced on a daily basis. Good times, as they say.
Immediately updated to say...this is why I hate lists. Because the second I posted this, I realized I forgot two of my favorites from this year! The Editors - An End Has A Start and Interpol - Our Love to Admire. In fact, they'd probably be rounding out the top five, along with The Boxer, Wincing The Night Away and Cease To Begin. In fact, let's put them there.