I initially wasn’t going to do a best of 2010 list or top 10 of 2010 list this year. I don’t regularly stay up-to-date with media every year, sometimes when I get into stuff it’s catch-up or just older stuff to appreciate. I’m not very “cutting edge” when it comes to enjoying popular or current media on the whole.
In the end though, I decided to throw something together, going through just about everything I’ve seen and read and heard and written about and checking if it came out this year. If you’ve been following along here regularly at Fistfight At The Arthouse some of these decisions won’t totally surprise you.
Then again, they might.
Anyway, here we go;
ALBUM OF 2010 –The Upsides from The Wonder Years, on No Sleep records. I don’t want to get all sentimental and mushy and whatnot, but this is one of the best pop-punk records I’ve ever listened to, and as I was counting down to a move to a new state and thinking about what I was gong to do with my life post-graduate school, I listened to this record almost every day. Every song hits a note with you, whether its frustration with the town you grew up in, the people you used to be friends with, and the uncertainty of the road ahead…it’s all there. I definitely consider it the best album of 2010 because it helped me get through 2010.
NEW TV SHOW OF 2010 -“Luther” starring Idris Elba on BBC One/BBC America. It was a toss-up between this and “Terriers” for my vote on the best new TV series of the year, ut in the end the shockingly brutal and amazing ending of “Luther” has it winning out. Solid cast, solid stories, and enough tantalizing brutality and drama to keep you coming back to this cop drama made me put it up with Showtime’s “Dexter” in terms of how “take your breath away” it was. I know that American TV has been on a steady uphill climb in the past few years, especially with some amazing cop/PI/crime series, but this isn’t just about American vs British TV. Elba’s Luther is a great character, who manages to convey a level of ferociousness and cool that is right on the edge, managing to avoid becoming a ridiculous cliche.
NEW COMIC OF 2010 –S.H.I.E.L.D. by Jonathan Hickman and Dustin Weaver, from Marvel Comics. This was also a close call, because American Vampire was also an amazing comic book this year, one of a few that had me coming for the single issues. However, Weaver’s mind-blowing art and Hickman’s unique spin on a hidden history won out in the end. I know that the way Hickman writes and tells stories isn’t for everyone, but for me, I definitely appreciated risk-taking in storytelling. AV has been an awesome comic, but S.H.I.E.L.D. has managed to be an awesome mythology.
MOVIE OF 2010 – This one was a rough decision because the two movies I saw in 2010 that I loved in theaters are both amazing for almost exactly the same thing and hit the same right notes in my brain. However, in the very end, I would have to say that 2010’s movie of the year was, but the barest of a hair, “Scott Pilgrim VS The World”. It beat out “Iron Man 2” just barely. If I could pick two movies at the best without making this little list/wrap-up look dumb, then I would, but I can’t. Fighting, big explosions, jokes, comic book adaptations, etc. The cast was amazing and managed to effectively streamline a 6-book comic series into an hour and a half movie that kicked ass and hit all my nerd buttons while at the same time being pretty accessible to a mainstream audience.
BOOK OF 2010 – Zero History by William Gibson. Joe Hill’s Horns was a close second, but in the end Gibson’s non-conventional pop-culture and nu-media espionage story that comes from a groundbreaking science-fiction pedigree edged it out. I definitely have a bit of bias towards loving Gibson, but hey, there’s a reason. The man’s writing makes me feel like I’ve had an existential lobotomy, scooping out all the conventional stylistic writing bullshit I’ve known and done, allowing for a pure form to emerge. He makes you look at the world in different ways and after reading a Gibson novel, you can never go back…
So there you go. The top album, comic, movie, TV show, and book of 2010 according to me, a weirdo on the Internet who thinks that shaving is un-American and likes animals more than people. Have a happy holiday season and a good 2011.