More Of MisenPOPic!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The MisenPOPIC Year In Review: The Best & Worst Of Pop Culture 2010

Pop culture has always had a huge impact on my life, ever since I first started collecting baseball cards, watched MTV six hours a day when I was a young lad, listened to my dad's Barry Manilow 8-tracks, or woke up early Saturday mornings to watch The Smurfs just to name a few things. Yet for the first time in a long time, pop culture took a back seat to something or should I say someone who means so much more. In 2010, I became a daddy blessed with a little sweetheart who simply rocks my world. So you can imagine that caring for a baby controlled much of my time, and took away from discovering new music, watching TV, or going to the movies every Tuesday night. Of course, I still was able to catch up on my books, TV, music, and movies when I could, but I realized their importance was not primary anymore, just secondary. As my daughter gets older, I'll introduce her to Angus Young's power chords, Paul Stanley's cheesy song introductions, the Muppets, Walter White & Jessie Pinkman, Dexter Morgan, along with everything else that has brought me so much happiness. She also hopefully will understand that things nowadays are more obvious about making a buck instead of purely entertaining us. But, tradition is tradition, and of course I can always find the time at the end of each year to reflect on the best and worst of pop culture. So here we go:

Top 10 Songs of 2010

If you want to confirm the best songs of 2010 in terms of actual talent and musical integrity, you have come to the wrong place. There are no Fleet Foxes, Radiohead, The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket or other critics darlings here. If you want to confirm the so-called best in music, go read Spin Magazine or something. I might sound like a broken record, but 2010 was definitely not the best year for music, especially rock & roll music. In order to cut costs, music labels figured it more profitable to keep chugging out hip hop, dance, and teenager music recorded on a computer instead of paying session musicians or quality sound engineers to mix a classic rock album. Not that I'm totally complaining, because a good pop song is still something special no matter if there is less thought put into producing it. Wait until you see this list below, you won't even believe you are reading a pop music historian's blog based on some of the vanilla songs that I actually found interesting this year.

10) California Gurls by Katy Perry w/Snoop Dogg- Not an updated cover of the Beach Boys classic, but just a fun little ditty by Katy Perry about surf, sun, and summer. Was Snoop Dogg really needed, though, to contribute to the tune only to gain more airplay and sales in the hip-hop community?

9) Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz & Ludacris- Yet another unnecessary collaboration with an up and coming star and a big name hip hop artist. Taio Cruz came from nowhere to release a kick ass dance tune that even my wife enjoys and allows me to keep on high volume during a long car ride. Who cares about the Ludacris rap?

8) Sexy Bitch by David Guetta and Akon- I'm 33 years old and my dancing in club days are over. But if I were 21, this would be the tune that would get me out on the dance floor. A cool beat if I ever heard one. This David Guetta fellow was all over the music scene this year, and might be the modern day Fatboy Slim. Of course, the edited version Sexy Chick doesn't work for me.

7) Never Enough by Kiss- Technically this song was featured on Sonic Boom released in 2009, but the single didn't hit radio in 2010. Paul Stanley blatantly stealing the riff of Nothing But A Good Time from Poison, but who cares? It works and Bret Michaels has enough on his plate to attempt to sue one of his influences.

6) Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars- I figured it was going to be an R&B cover of the Billy Joel classic the first time I heard the title. Instead, Bruno Mars created a perfect R&B song that I could not get to escape from my head. In fact, I think this song gets better and better every time I hear it. Had it been released earlier, it might have been the song of the year.

5) Dynamite by Taio Cruz- Wow! Taio Cruz with two of the best songs of the year. And next year he'll just be a random answer to a trivia question. "Dynamite" was the 2010 Dance Song Of The Year, so let's rock this club like it's Dynamite!

4) Best Of Me by RATT- When a has been metal band like Ratt releases one of the best rock albums of the year, you seriously have to wonder what the hell happened! The 2010 Rock Song Of The Year, Best Of Me was a cool tune featuring the classic 80's metal sound mixed with a little more modern production.

3) Raise Your Glass by Pink- If only Pink decided to cover a Kiss song based on the title of her latest single from her Greatest Hits album? I have to give credit where credit is due, in terms of pure pop music, Pink is one, if not the best, in terms of singing great pop songs with catchy melodies. Raise Your Glass was a great tune which of course ended up being overplayed on pop and adult contemporary radio. We'll be hearing this tune at wedding and Bar Mitzvahs in 2011!

2) Airplanes by B.O.B and Hayley Williams- A song that made me want to hurl when I originally heard it, Airplanes turned out to be a classic song and one that I constantly sing to my daughter. Of course, the best part of the song is Hayley Williams belting out "Shooting Star" in that weird emo twang. A nicely produced rock/rap collaboration and a song that I think we'll be remembering ten years from now.

And the best song of 2010!!!....

1) Teenage Dream by Katy Perry- No matter how many times it gets played on the radio, I end up raising my fists and telling myself to don't ever look back, ever look back! A perfect and formulaic pop song written by Max Martin and sung by one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen, Teenage Dream was kind of like an anthem. It kills me to honor this song as the best of 2010, but I have to go with my heart and admit it was the song I most enjoyed this year. Even if it means I'm going to be ridiculed!!

Previous Song Of The Years:
2009- Sexy Little Thing by Chickenfoot
2008- Rock & Roll Train by AC/DC
2007- Home by Daughtry
2006- Sexyback by Justin Timberlake
2005- American Baby by Dave Matthews Band
2004- American Idiot by Green Day
2003- Stacy's Mom by Fountains Of Wayne
2002- Without Me by Eminem
2001- One More Time by Daft Punk
2000- Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
1999- Cowboy by Kid Rock
1998- Psycho Circus by Kiss
1997- MMMBop by Hanson
1996- When Love And Hate Collide by Def Leppard
1995- Long Way Down by The Goo Goo Dolls
1994- Always by Bon Jovi
1993- Are You Gonna Go My Way by Lenny Kravitz
1992- Symphony Of Destruction by Megadeth
1991- Hole Hearted by Extreme
1990- Thunderstruck by AC/DC

The Worst Song Of 2010
Billionaire by Travie McCoy & Bruno Mars- Uggh! Not only is Travie McCoy making money and having banged Katy Perry, but he's writing songs that he isn't happy unless he's a billionaire so freakin' bad? I'm sorry, this song lacked intelligence, melody, or anything redeeming. Of course, this meant it hit #1 for a few weeks on the Billboard Top 100 Chart!

Top 5 Albums Of 2010
Just like I previously mentioned in terms of quality songs, there also wasn't much on the album front that got my motor running. I will admit that listening to complete albums or discovering new bands fell by the wayside this year due to being inundated with creating music history playlists and spending time with my baby. It took until the writing of this article to actually determine the five albums I most enjoyed in 2010. This might be the most pathetic list of albums ever in the history of reviewing music.

5) We Walk This Road by Robert Randolph & The Family Band- Not one of his better albums, but one I enjoyed more and more after each listen. Also, the songs worked a lot better live after seeing him perform twice in 2010. Critic's darling producer T-Bone Burnett was the so-called mastermind, which probably is why I didn't enjoy it as much as Randolph's previous two albums.

4) Guitar Heaven by Santana- A cool idea allowing Carlos Santana to perform updated covers of classic rock songs with current artists. Although I wasn't too happy to hear Nas butchering the lyrics to AC/DC's Back In Black, the rest of the album was kind of neat. The best tracks were awesome covers of Def Leppard's Photograph featuring Daughtry and Dance The Night Away from Van Halen featuring Pat Monahan from Train. What could have been a disaster of an album turned out to be pretty enjoyable.

3) American Idiot Broadway Soundtrack- American Idiot was like the modern day Rent. Not much of a story, but a killer array of songs for a Broadway show. It was nice to hear Green Day songs sung from a Broadway ensemble with some new tunes written by Billie Jo as well.

2) Infestation by RATT- Doing what other bands from their era have previously done, RATT got back together with original lead singer Stephen Pearcy and recorded an album staying true to their original sound. It was the first original new album with Pearcy since 1999's self-titled disaster. Carlos Cavazo from Quiet Riot also made his RATT debut on this album contributing some great guitar licks.

And the best album of 2010!!!....

1) No Guts. No Glory by Airbourne- The next best thing to AC/DC even though this band can't light a match to the greatest rock and roll band of all time. What I always found amazing was AC/DC's sound is so simple, yet nobody can come close to duplicating it. Still, Airbourne once again gave their best effort. Good to know there still is some good and simple rock & roll music still out there. No Guts. No Glory was as good if not better than Airbourne's previous two albums.

Previous Album Of The Years:
2009- Feel The Steel by Steel Panther
2008- Black Ice by AC/DC
2007- Icky Thump by The White Stripes
2006- Live To Win by Paul Stanley
2005- One Way Ticket To Hell..And Back by The Darkness
2004- American Idiot by Green Day
2003- Permission To Land by The Darkness
2002- I Get Wet by Andrew W.K.
2001- Everyday by Dave Matthews Band
2000- Everything You Want by Vertical Horizon
1999- Devil Without A Cause by Kid Rock
1998- Psycho Circus by Kiss
1997- Spice World by The Spice Girls
1996- Trial By Fire by Journey
1995- (What's The Story) Morning Glory by Oasis
1994- Dookie by Green Day
1993- Off The Ground by Paul McCartney
1992- Adrenalize by Def Leppard
1991- Pornograffiti by Extreme
1990- The Razor's Edge by AC/DC

Worst Album Of 2010:
A Thousand Suns by Linkin Park- When did Linkin Park decide to be like Radiohead and Depeche Mode and want to be taken seriously? I gave a quick listen to their new album and was repulsed. I'm not the biggest fan of this band, but I enjoyed some tunes from their previous three albums. This album might sell and please music critics, but true Linkin Park fans are going to absolutely hate it.

Top 10 Movies Of 2010
Movie studios still don't get it. Instead of allowing directors to create their own visions without interference or marketing outside the box films, the studios keep playing it safe and released the same types of movies that will make a quick buck: Unwanted sequels (Cats & Dogs 2, Shrek 4), over-hyped comic book adaptations (Jonah Hex), shows inspired from 80's television (The A-Team) and remakes of classic 80's movies (The Karate Kid, A Nightmare On Elm Street) that really pissed off fans of the original like me! Even if the reviews for the new Karate Kid were good, I just had to boycott the movie based on principal. No Zabka or Macchio, then no dice! Lucky for me, I've wised up with my movie-viewing habits. I'm still a fan of seeing the movie in the theater, but unless it's a ballyhoo reviewed movie or a must-see, I'll just wait a month or two and rent it on Netflix or watch it on HBO. And if I do go the movies, I'll go by my lonesome on a Saturday afternoon to pay matinee price and enjoy a private screening without having to deal with teens on their cell-phone, loud talkers, or tall people sitting in front of me. A few years ago, I would have wasted a lot of time and money just to be disappointed that the much awaited sequels or retreads that lacked continuity or smarts. And the whole 3D thing is completely overrated! I understand the studios want to add the new technology to all kid movies to earn some more $$$, but I personally think the 3-D detracts from the movie experience. You lose the color of the animation, and sometimes it even hurts my eyes. If the technology is much improved nowadays, why can't these 3-D movie effects be as good if not better than the stuff from the 80's. I mean, c'mon, Captain EO with Michael Jackson in 1986 was mind blowing. Now those were some killer effects!!! I did see a lot of decent movies in 2010, and most of them were somewhat entertaining. But really only the #1 movie which you will see indicated below was a classic that I'll watch over and over again.

10) Inception-
Critics loved this mind fuck of a movie! I thought it was unique and thought-provoking but couldn't light a match to Christopher Nolan's other classics such as The Dark Knight, Memento, and The Prestige. I don't mind movies that make you think, but this one just hurt my brain. I do love Marion Cotillard, though, and will watch any movie she appears in. Boy, that lady can act and she also is easy on the eyes!

9) Machete- Robert Rodriguez doesn't have any movies in my personal Top 100 list, but he has made some memorable movies. Movies like Sin City, Desperado, and Grindhouse all stick in my mind as unique movies! Add Machete to this list. A cool movie featuring Danny Trijillo as the renegade bad-ass, with an all-star supporting cast including Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, Jessica Alba, Robert DeNiro, Don Johnson, Lindsey Lohan, Tom Savini, and Steven Seagal. To think the idea for this movie came from a goofy trailer made for the Grindhouse movie Rodriguez and Tarantino did a few years ago.

8) Grown Ups- Adam Sandler is the AC/DC of Hollywood. His movies always stick to the same formula that works for me, no matter how simple it is. Always a nice message at the end, some fart jokes mixed with adolescent humor, a cute leading lady to play Sandler's love interest, and a kick-ass soundtrack of 70's and 80's rock classics. Fuck the critics, Sandler knows his audience and gives us what we want sticking with the same formula he has been using since the late 90's. That trend continues with Grown Ups, the annual summer comedy featuring Sandler and his entourage of actors that appear in most of his movies: Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi. A fun movie with a few minor plot lines that weren't really developed. The movie really just felt like a home movie of Sandler and his buddies goofing on each other and their families with a little heart mixed in.

7) Little Fockers- A good sequel is one that keeps the core characters together, continues the story, brings the same actors back, has continuity from the other film, and doesn't shy away from the source material. Which usually means critics are going to hate it. I have gotten smarter over the years and realized not to broaden my expectations for first or second sequels to some of my favorite films of all time. That's why I was surprised to walk out of the theater after seeing Little Fockers with a smile. Nothing earth shattering, or crazy, but I liked it as the final (hopefully!) piece of the Focker trilogy. Go in with low expectations, and you'll like it.

6) The Town- Ben Affleck is becoming one helluva director. His first effort, Gone Baby Gone, was good, and The Town was a nice second act for Big Ben. Kevin Smith has taught him well, just hopefully he doesn't start making garbage comedies like Zach & Miri or Clerks 2 like his buddy anytime soon. Jeremy Renner is becoming my favorite actor, and I think he deserves an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his brilliant acting in this film. Jon Hamm was great also in this movie and proved he shouldn't be typecast due to being best known as Don Draper on Mad Men. A nice movie that might steal some Oscar nominations.

5) Iron Man 2- Although not as good as the original, Iron Man 2 still was a thrill ride of a movie. What did bother me, though, was that the soundtrack was all AC/DC, which I assumed meant that the band's music would be featured throughout the movie. Besides one scene featuring Highway To Hell at the beginning of the movie, there was no AC/DC songs to be had. What a disappointment, a score from Angus and Malcolm Young could have have made this the best super hero movie of all time. Mickey Rourke was a cool bad guy, although I wished his character had more to do. Great action, great special effects, a reminder that not all popcorn movies have to be awful.

4) The Fighter- The Fighter was a good movie, but I'm not sure it's worthy of an Oscar nomination for Best Film. The film definitely deserves nominations for Amy Adams (doesn't it seem like she does something great and gets nominated rightfully so every year?) Melissa Leo, and Christian Bale who finally will get his first Oscar nomination for Supporting Actor, and who I think might just win. I love Christian Bale, the man can act, and he was brilliant as Dicky, the crack-addict ex-boxer who taught his brother the rules of the game. I appreciate that this movie was not just an updated Rocky, or a boxing cliche movie.

3) Brooklyn's Finest- It's a cool movie about three Brooklyn cops which stories all mingle in the end, kind of like Crash. Richard Gere is the veteran cop about to retire who is beaten down due to the the job, Ethan Hawke is the dirty cop who steals money on drug busts to help his family and who wants to defy the politics of the system, and Don Cheadle is the undercover cop caught in the drug trade who has to determine if handing over a friend of the game is worth getting what he always wanted. Great performances by all three actors. Also, nice to see Omar Little/Chalky White in a few scenes. Probably one of the best "dirty cop" movies ever made, and one of the best movies of 2010.

2) Kick Ass- Remember Blankman from the early 90's which starred Damon Wayans and David Alan Grier? It was about a regular guy who wanted to be a super hero and decided to fight crime. It was a good concept, but the movie was strictly a comedy film and was panned by critics (although I liked it!. Kick-Ass used a similar concept, but due to the enormous success of comic-book movies, this movie was more in vein of a Watchmen or Spiderman. Some comedy, but a lot of action. The movie had a few flaws, but definitely entertaining and a lot of fun. The little girl, Chloe Morentz, was so adorable in this film as Hit Girl. She might be the next Meryl Streep earning future Oscar nominations, or she could end up being the next Lindsey Lohan earning DWI arrests? Good stuff from Nic Cage, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse who just might be able to escape simply being known as McLovin.

And the best movie of 2010!!...

1) Toy Story 3- Toy Story 3 is not only a great sequel, but a classic film. Pixar has done it again creating a film with heart that features some of the most lovable characters in movie history. How can you not cheer for Woody, Buzz, Rex, and Mr. Potato Head? The Toy Story franchise hopefully will be to my daughter's generation what Star Wars was to my generation. The theme of the movie held true to my heart, what does a young man do with his toys when he has grown up and moved onto a different stage of his life? Obviously for some guys like me, it took a little longer to give up on his action figures regardless if I bought them and kept them displayed in the blister packs on my wall. What's funny is I saw this movie in 3-D, but even though this was one of the "must-see 3-D" movies, I thought it detracted from the movie. I bought it for my daughter for Chanukah and just watched it again without the 3D, and enjoyed it even more on my bright DLP TV without 3D. Toy Story 3 was head and shoulders above all of the other movies I have seen this year, and is a movie I can't wait to watch over and over again with my kids.

Previous Movie Of The Years:
2009- Avatar
2008- The Dark Knight
2007- Superbad
2006- Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
2005- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith
2004- Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
2003- School Of Rock
2002- Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones
2001- American Pie 2
2000- Keeping The Faith
1999- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (Uggh!)
1998- Titanic
1997- The Lost World: Jurassic Park
1996- The Rock
1995- Showgirls
1994- Dumb And Dumber
1993- The Sandlot
1992- Wayne's World
1991- Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey
1990- The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane

The Worst Movie Of 2010:
The Runaways- As a music historian, you would think I would mark out for rock biopics about classic rock and roll artists. Yet, they don't do much for me. I didn't like The Doors, Walk The Line about Johnny Cash was just okay, and I could only stomach a few minutes of Ray about Ray Charles. The trend continued with The Runaways, the fictional account based on Cherie Currie's memoir about the first successful all-girl rock band. Kristen Stewart was a doppelganger of Joan Jett, as I had to do a double take due to her really looking and acting like the rock & roll star. Her acting was the only thing I liked about the movie. I though Michael Shannon was too over the top as Kim Fowley, the genius behind the scenes who put the band together. Dakota Fanning was also too bland as Cherie. A lot of the band's history was left out of the movie due to contractual issues with the other members of the band. Lita Ford's role was very tiny as I've heard she was totally opposed to having anything to do with the movie. The bass player's name and appearance were totally off filter. The story didn't really go anywhere, and instead of really digging deep into how influential the Runaways were to girls in the USA, the movie was really just about Currie's drug issues and love/hate relationship with Joan Jett. Too fictionalized and artsy for my taste!

Top 10 Television Shows Of 2010
If you wanted to watch something with substance, something with excellent acting, excellent cinematography, excellent characters, or excellent writing, you didn't need to go to the movies. You could just turn on a cable or premium cable network and catch some great stuff. Music is my first love, but I'm starting to become a TV junkie, and 2010 saw TV stand out as my favorite medium of pop culture. I've probably watched more television in 2010 whether during first airing in prime time, catching up on DVD, or on DVD-R than I ever have in my life. I just can't stand the reality or network comedies anymore which are too formulaic and lacking in any quality. It's all about shows on HBO, Showtime, FX, and AMC, and for some reason the networks save the best for Sunday nights. Below is the list of the best in television in 2010.

10) Survivor: All Stars- The all-star season of Survivor was so fantastic. I knew after the finale and reunion show that I would never be able to watch another season of it again since any future Survivor episode could never live up to the insanity of this season. The best of the best were playing this time around: Boston Rob, Russell, Colby, Jerri, Coach, Sandra, Tom, Parvati, and Cirie. Unlike the first All-Star season which was good but too phony, this season was downright nasty and strategic as there were players in it to win, and not just to get on TV again. I'm now officially done with Survivor unless there is another All-Star season coming. I couldn't even watch one minute of Survivor:Nicaragua and stayed true to my word that I'm done with reality shows.

9) Friday Night Lights- The best "family" show on TV, or should I say Direct TV. The show is too smart for network TV, but we do get the re-runs on NBC in April after the show wraps up on Direct TV. Season 4 was not the best season, but still enjoyable. Seeing Tim Riggins continue to screw up and make bonehead mistakes was entertaining TV. The final season is currently airing on Direct TV with the majority of classic characters from the first three seasons making cameos. I truly believe FNL is the best TV show ever adapted from a film.

8) South Park- Trey and Matt keep on doing their thing. South Park remains consistent, and the sarcastic liberal humor resonates strongly with me. South Park remains the funniest and most unique animated show on television. Too bad Family Guy and The Simpsons lost their spark and faded into typical network cartoons that think they are edgy, but pale in comparison to South Park. How some of the stuff on South Park even makes it to air puzzles me due to the vulgarity and offensiveness of the material?

7) Dexter- I lauded Dexter as the best show on television three years ago. The first three seasons were outstanding. Last season was off and on, but the finale blew me away. The fifth season of Dexter in 2010 was a total waste of time. I'm going to pretend it never happened and await what I hope to be the final season in 2011. There is only so much more the writers can do with Dexter until it becomes totally outrageous. Escaping justice should not be as convenient as it is for Dexter Morgan.

6) Lost- The final season was Lost's worst, and the huge ending was a major disappointment and Eff you to fans like me who were onto the show since the first episode of the first season. It hurts me to write or even think of all the time I wasted on this show. The first four seasons I own on DVD are being put on Ebay as I can't stomach ever re-watching the show again. I do have to give credit where credit is due, Lost might have been the best drama in network history which is why I have to rank it as #6 for 2010.

5) Sons Of Anarchy- So Season 3 was a huge letdown, but this show about renegade bikers still is better than any drama on network TV. I finally caught the first two seasons on DVD and was blown away by the writing and characters. the third season had a drawn-out plot taking place in Ireland which went nowhere. I'm worried due to the increase in audience, the network is more involved and the show could be getting to big for it's britches. I expect a rebound season four in 2011.

4) The Walking Dead- AMC is batting .775. Three of the four shows on this network are in a league of their own. AMC almost hit .1000 as Rubicon started off great, but the last few episodes and finale were disappointing, so much that the show was not renewed for a second season. Not a problem as The Walking Dead garnered nice ratings for the network. And rightfully so as The Walking Dead was outstanding. If you think it's only a show about zombies, you are so wrong. Yes, there are zombies on the show. But the basis of the show is how you function with others in a new world when all the rules of society you followed no longer apply. There were only seven episodes in Season One, but seven solid episodes. I can't wait for Season 2. I recommend this show for those who were disappointed with how Lost ended.

3) Boardwalk Empire- The show that The Sopranos should have been. Mark my words, when all is said and done, Boardwalk Empire is going to be ranked as one of the top 5 TV dramas of all time. Great storytelling based on real life events. Steve Buscemi shines as Nucky Thompson, and Michael Pitt went from boring in the first few episodes to an actor worthy of an Emmy for his work as Jimmy. The dude with the plastic mask is a fantastic character. I even gained respect for Michael Shannon as an actor. You also can not beat all of the gratuitous nudity on the show from Paz De La Huerta, Gretchen Mol, and girls in the background!! We just need more of Chalky White aka Omar from The Wire!!! HBO has a masterpiece on it's hands!

2) Mad Men
- Most shows in their fourth season seem to dip in quality. Not the case with Mad Men. Season 4 might just have been the finest season. The show was funnier, and a lot of easier to grasp. Even time it appears Don Draper is down the kill, somebody or something enables him to rise back to the top. Mad Men is not for everybody which I why I don't recommend it. But for those interested in sixties culture and the inner workings of ad agency, it's brilliant. Mad Men lacks any real story arc, so those who worry about not having watched other seasons could jump right in and enjoy. In past seasons, half of the episodes were good and half were to artsy. This season, all thirteen episodes were brilliant. Mad Men has won the Emmy for Best Drama the past three years, and although Boardwalk Empire is just as good, Mad Men's awesome fourth season merits another win.

And The Best Show Of 2010!!...

1) Breaking Bad- Shame on any of you who have not drank the kool-aid I've been offering. Breaking Bad is now in the same echelon as KISS, AC/DC, The Muppets, and 7-11 Coke Slurpees. All of these things get me giddy just talking about them, let alone even thinking about them. Not only was the third season of Breaking Bad the best thing on television this year, this show is the greatest television show ever produced. Brilliant acting by Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul who were rewarded for their work with Emmys this year. Fantastic supporting characters. Beautiful cinematography. Suspenseful plot. Classic dialogue. To indicate how brilliant this show is, a basic filler episode featuring the two main characters (Walter White and Jessie Pinkman) locked in a meth lab just conversing back and forth was better than the Series Finale of Lost which was airing the same time. I'm counting down the days until Season 4 returns in July!!!!

Previous TV Shows Of The Year:
2009- Breaking Bad
2008- Dexter
2007- Lost
2006- The Office
2005- The Office
2004- Lost
2003- Survivor
2002- 24
2001- The Sopranos
2000- Freaks & Geeks

The Worst Television Show Of 2010:

Glee- Last year, I had Glee on my list of best shows! Once the show resumed in January, I couldn't bear watching anymore. The show seems to be written by a fifth grader. The characters are too over the top and cliche. Besides Jane Lynch, the actors should stick to singing only. The plots made no sense (A guy thinks he got his girlfriend pregnant because he prematurely ejaculated in a hot tub!) The music renditions are cool, but cheesy! Every musician wants to make a quick buck now and get their songs featured on the show even if it means their music will sound like something sung from a real glee club. Dianna Agron and Lea Michelle are super hot, but their acting is as wooden as my pencil. Everything wrong with network television is present in this show! The fact that Glee has been nominated for writing and production is just ming-boggling. Unless you are a 14 year old teenage girl, don't waste your time with the show. If you like the music, just illegally download the songs from YouTube!!!

Personal Pop Culture Highlights of 2010:

Robert Randolph & The Family Band in Music Fest in Cranford (For Free)

Robert Randolph Concert at Bowery Ballroom in NYC

Air Supply Concert at Community Theatre in Morristown, NJ
and getting to meet the band after the show

American Idiot on Broadway for my Fifth Year Wedding Anniversary

Breaking Bad Season 3 Premiere in NYC (Meeting Emmy Winners Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as well as show creator, Vince Gilligan)

Chiller Theater Show in April at Parsippany Hilton
(Meeting Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong
from Revenge Of The Nerds)

Chiller Theater in October at Parsippany Hilton (Chiller Show#5 for me and meeting Ginger Allen, Patty Duke, Lita Ford, Seka, and Michael Beck just to name a few)


Ronnie James Dio (Rock & Roll Singer & Legend; Member of Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio; Classic Songs-Rainbow In The Dark, Stranger In The Dark, Rock & Roll Children, Heaven & Hell)

Teddy Pendergrass (R&B Singer; Classic Song-One Shining Moment)

Bob Schimmel (Comedian; I saw him perform live at Bananas Comedy Club in 2007)

Doug Fieger (Rock & Roll Singer: Lead Vocalist of The Knack; Classic Songs-My Sharona, Good Girls Don't)

Tony Curtis (Actor; Father Of Jamie Lee Curtis; Classic Movies: Spartacus, Some Like It Hot; I met him at a Chiller Theater Show)

Leslie Nielsen (Actor best known as Frank Drebin; Classic Movies: Airplane, The Naked Gun Franchise, I met him a Chiller Theater Show)

Irvin Kershner (Director: Classic Movie: The Empire Strikes Back)

Corey Haim
(Actor: Classic Movies: Lucas, License To Drive, Blown Away (great Nicole Eggert nude scenes); I met him at a Chiller Theater Show)

Gary Coleman (Actor: Classic TV Show: Arnold Drummond on Different Strokes; "Whatchoo talking about, Willis?")

Peter Graves (Actor; Classic Movies/TV Shows: Mission Impossible, Airplane, Airplane: The Sequel' "Have You Ever Seen A Grown Man Naked?")

Tom Bosley (Actor; Classic TV Shows: Happy Days, Father Dowling Mysteries)

Barbara Billingsley (Actress; June Cleaver from Leave It To Beaver)

Dixie Carter (Actress; Classic TV Shows: Different Strokes, Designing Women)

Robert Culp (Actor: Classic TV Shows: I Spy, The Greatest American Hero; I met him at a Chiller Theater Show)

Rue McClanahan (Actress; Classic TV Show: Golden Girls as Blanche)

Art Clokey (Artist known for his work on Gumby & Friends)

Bob Guccione (Magazine Publisher whose Penthouse magazine was the first nudie magazine I ever saw; Producer of Caligula)

John Leslie (XXX Actor, Classic Movie: Candy Goes To Hollywood) *Rest in peace, Johnny Door Opener!!

Here's to 2011!!!!! -MIKEY

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