Five Favorites 2010Elizabeth Grunewald's Five Favorites of 2010Five Favorites 2010 - RSS 2.0
2010 was a pretty good year for movies and television, but as I've said before, I was a little busy catching up on last year. Luckily for me, the things I did see during their original airing or theatrical run were reasonably stupendous. Surprising, because they were mostly sequels and comic-book adaptations, but pleasantly true.
My favorite movies and television shows of 2010 were the ones that managed to change how I approached the respective medium, or were able to achieve exciting and far-out goals in their field, or made me smile uncontrollably. I know, my standards are exacting. Here they are, ranked for your judging enjoyment, my five favorite... things-that-are-not-games of 2010.
"The End," Lost
The appropriately titled series finale of Lost was sort of doomed even before it aired. It had to be conclusive without departing from the intriguing ambiguity that graced the show from the start, and "The End" did just that. While there were many questions still unanswered, and logical reasoning wasn't in abundance, the show ended with a beautiful emotional resolve that managed to make those pesky mysteries seem somehow less important.
It wasn't my favorite episode of the series - that would be "LAX," or "The Constant," or "The Candidate," maybe - but it was my favorite experience the series provided. Everyone I knew had plans for the Lost finale. Friends who had watched since day one viewed the day with nervous anticipation, and as I had marathoned the show to catch up, I was a jittery, sleep-deprived mess.
I had about a half-dozen people in my home to watch it, and it was the most silent party I've ever thrown. Everyone was respectful of each other's relationship with the show, and managed to hold off on debates until the final credit aired. As I sat on the edge of my couch, tears freely flowing, in the show's final minutes, I had the realization that there were millions of people doing the exact same thing. The act of watching television made me feel actively connected to a ton of strangers, and I think a show that can do that is worthy of praise.
I broke my cardinal rule with Kick-Ass: I saw the movie before I read the comic. In retrospect, I'm almost glad I did, because it allowed me to debate the events of the film independently of the source material. The friend with whom I saw this movie experienced a very strong, viscerally negative reaction to it. In discussing the film, he argued that, while Kick-Ass stands up in a world where no one seems to care about the violence all around us, the film managed to promote a voyeurism that belied Kick-Ass's stated mission.
Mr. Friend found it distasteful that Kick-Ass's first publicly-witnessed fight was the subject of such excitement from his onlookers. That the brawl was filmed on a cell phone and posted online made Mr. F uneasy, and he argued that the action was an implicit statement that violence is too ingrained in our society, and the voyeurism of such is so accepted, it's impossible to change.
That just makes me a bad person, I guess, because I thought it was an ass-kicking movie and loved every minute of it. I noticed these parallels as well, but argue that the film wasn't endorsing them so much as presenting them without comment, to promote discussion and debate. Any film that manages to be both this entertaining and this debatable deserves a place on this list.