Sunday, February 11, 2007

Must Watch/Must Not Watch List, 2007

Below, my recommendations for things you should definitely see--and things you should definitely NOT see this year. Check back often for updates.

Must Watch

LOST
--even though the black characters seem to have all disappeared completely (they weren't even mentioned in the show summary "Survival Guide" backgrounder that aired just before the premiere of this new batch of episodes), this is still one of the most watchable shows on television. Jack may be the best television hero ever. Kate is second only to another JJ Abrams creation, Sydney Bristow, in my all-time favorite tv heroines. The writing is strong. The acting fantastic. My one quibble is that they give too much away in the promos, and they air them CONSTANTLY, so it's hard to completely avoid them.

Who Killed the Electric Car--When you find yourself sobbing over the destruction of a car, you can assume that the filmmaker has done something right. Compelling without being heavy-handed; informative; a story we all should hear. It made me weep--and it made me yearn to own an electric car. Too bad there aren't any.

Six Feet Under Season 3 (DVD)--(warning: spoiler) Because I can't afford fancy cable, I'm just getting around to watching on DVD a lot of the shows that those of you with HBO and Showtime watched a long time ago. But since this is my list of what I watched and recommend this year, that's just the way the basic cable-fueled cookie crumbles. Unfortnately, Six Feet Under is losing its appeal. I can barely recommend season three to you, but I will. From the far too esoteric opening episode, to the drawn out drama surrounding Lisa's disappearance and demise, this season was unsatisfying. The reverse redemption of Nate's character as he loses all the ground he gained in the first two seasons and unravels into a neurotic, selfish, self-indulgent, fucked up bastard leaves me feeling unfulfilled. I liked it better when I could root for him. Now I just think he's a damaged prick. Perhaps season four will be better.

Little Miss Sunshine--I almost didn't watch this because it got so much attention. I had high expectations. But it turns out that my sense of the movie going in was completely wrong. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. How original, how well-done. I loved it. It felt like a truly independent film in all the most refreshing ways. It reminded me of Transamerica and Napoleon Dynamite, in that regard. I love a good road trip movie, and I had no idea going in that that was what this was. Bravo. If you are the one remaining person in America who has not seen this film, I suggest you give in and rent it this weekend.

Must Not Watch

Hollywoodland-
-Props to the costume designer and, well, to props, but this film is a steaming pile of dookie. Unfortunately, it's not bad enough to be entertainingly mockable--it's no Gigli. Despite Adrian Brody's excellent portrayal of an ill-written detective, this script was a massive failure and the film an embarrassment to its top-notch cast. Poor Ben Affleck--he's so handsome, but he just can't act.

24--Dull, redundant, played, tedious, klunker of a show. Reject the hype. Watch Heroes instead. Or just go to bed. It will be more satisfying.

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