My somewhat pedestrian but sincere attempt at a list of the BEST of the past decade. Only one man’s opinion and up for debate.
Best TV SHOW: The Wire. No other television show drew you into a world and led you to an understanding of that world, then made you realize that you barely understood that world. In other words, the perfect explication of inner city life. The Wire tried to cover the entirety of the complexity of urban life, from life in the projects, to drug culture (from the perspective of the corner dealers and the users), the drug kingpins, the police, the school teachers, the local politicians, and even the local reporters. The show requires real commitment to follow, but absolutely worth the journey. All five seasons are available on dvd. Easily, the must see TV show of the decade.
Runners Up: Lost and Battlestar Galactica. Lost needs to end well or I’m going to be pretty mad. A lot of emotional and mental energy has gone into this show. Which shows why this show is so great. I actually have an investment in how everything will work out. BSG, on the other hand, didn’t end that well, but still proved to be worth the journey. Some complained that the ending was a bit silly (maybe), but the point of BSG was the stories and insights that emerged using the genre of science fiction. The social commentary arising out of BSG was some of the sharpest anywhere. Insights into religion, terrorism, the nature of humanity, even father-son dynamics, all while having some fun shoot ‘em up moments.
Honorable Mention: Chapelle’s Show (Yeah! OK! I’m Rick James, #!&*#!) and Arrested Development.
Best MOVIE: The Dark Knight. I know, I know. That’s too easy. I’m picking the critically acclaimed blockbuster that made the most money this past decade. But really, I’m a bit of a comic book geek. I absolutely love the original Dark Knight Returns comics by Frank Miller. I’ve wanted for years for Hollywood to make a film vision of Miller’s comic book. The Dark Knight movie comes closest And Ledger was phenomenal.
Runners Up: Dogville and Cache. Dogville is a highly controversial movie starring Nicole Kidman and directed by Lars Von Trier. With minimal setting (set up like a stage play), the movie probably has the best explication of why grace is such a difficult thing. I use several clips from this movie to spark discussion about the power of God’s grace. Cache was a French film that most will not get right away. I watched the movie cold then went back and read up on the relationship between France and her Algerian immigrants, including the Paris Massacre of 1961, which involved the slaughter of Algerian immigrants by the French police. A powerful statement about our willingness to sweep injustice under the rug.
Best SPORTS Moment: Easy, hands down winner. The Red Sox coming back from three down to take four in a row from the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Curt Schilling and the bloodied red sock. Dave Roberts stealing second. Papelbon saving games. Johnny Damon’s hair and the self-proclaimed “idiots”. Manny and Papi. Amazing series. Provided good sermon material for many subsequent months. BTW, the Yankees didn’t choke, the Red Sox came back.
Runners Up: The Red Sox sweep the Cardinals to capture the World Series. Almost felt anti-climactic and the fact that it was an easy sweep didn’t help. The Patriots first Super Bowl victory. Beijing Summer Olympics. That ridiculous (in a good way) opening ceremony, Michael Phelps, that Russian-American gymnast, Usain Bolt, even men’s basketball.