Out With the Old

Ten Things I Loved In 2010

Ball is poised to drop. Checks are doomed to be misdated for at least two months. Calendars are selling like crazy. And everyone and their monkey are posting lists of the best and worst whatevers of 2010.

As for me, I have had a pretty great year and so I am electing to focus on just the positive: ten things I loved in 2010 (in no particular order). (Note that not all of these were new in 2010. They were just things that I particularly enjoyed this year.)

1.       Toy Story 3—I was in high school when the first Toy Story came out and the story, like me, has grown up. I saw this film just days before the arrival of my second child so it was not unforeseen that I would cry. However, I don’t just blame that on hormones. Instead, I commend Pixar for being one of the few studios who consistently make funny, imaginative, yet emotionally complex movies.

2.       Modern Family—I am a member of a sardonic generation. We were raised on after-school-specials, motivational speakers, and very-special-episodes. And so it is a rare thing indeed that can be so bitingly funny one minute and still touch on the sweet moments of what family means.

3.       The Hunger Games Trilogy—Smart, fast paced, and topical while still indulging in dystopian fantasy, Suzanna Collins’ series has been compared to Twilight for its female protagonist, love triangle, and heightened emotions. Where it far surpasses the Vampire series is in Collins’ willingness to not tie everything up in a happy package (she’s also much stronger stylistically). While The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are highly readable, Mockingjay, the final installment, is where she truly shines.

4.       The Lonely Polygamist—Brady Udall tackles the topic of polygamy with heart and humor and does something that few writers continue to accomplish in creating a large cast of characters that are well-developed without being sketches of themselves.

5.       Law and Order: SVU—Granted this show has been on for some 12 years, but thanks to USA marathons I have seen most of the episodes over the past year. While there are episodes that leave me hollow and sad for the state of humanity, I like that there is at least one male-female pairing on screen that doesn’t push the ‘will they-won’t they’ stereotype. It has also made me smarter about how I educate my daughter and protect myself.

6.       Horses—Patti Smith, dubbed the grandmother of punk, is a musician, poet, artist, and writer (see Just Kids). This year I revisited her 1975 debut album and was reminded once again why I fell in love with her to begin with.

7.       Just Kids—The writer side of Smith documents her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in this tribute to Bohemia and soul mates. Beautifully written, wonderfully spirited, and sweetly sad.

8.       Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, Part 1—By far the best of the Potter movies, the filmmakers and actors capture the complexity of the book and make it clear why the second part is a necessity rather than a needless moneymaker (cough Breaking Dawn cough).

9.       Mad Men’s “The Suitcase”—It was a very good year for my favorite ad-men, but this episode was good television beyond my wildest dreams. Elizabeth Moss and John Hamm prove that some of the best acting in happening on TV and we the huddled masses are just lucky to be invited to tune in.

10.   My children, husband, family, and friends—I am a lucky woman. I love and I am loved. There is nothing more that I can ask for. Hopefully in 2011 I will continue to move closer to being the person deserving of the love I receive from so many sides.

XO

A

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