In a February article that appeared in GQ ominously titled “The Day the Movies Died,” eminent film-writer Mark Harris dubbed 2011 the year of sequels, prequels, reboots, adaptations and endless permutations of the above. Not that any of these are inherently problematic, but when studios repeatedly churn them out instead of coming up with something new to show us, well, it’s frustrating to say the least. Despite Mr. Harris’ dismal movie forecast, 2011 had its share of standouts, with even a few more still to come.
It’s hard to designate 12 months’ worth of musical releases as “weak,” but if any year can boldly claim the title, it’s 2011. The homogeneity of radio favorites is almost ridiculous: add some dubstep and you’re guaranteed to go platinum. “Sexy And I Know It” has now spent three solid months in the top three of the Billboard Hot 100–enough said. There were catchy releases and a smattering of good songs, but when entire albums were great, they were almost impeccable. Here are a couple examples of what we mean.
Not too long from now, I might look back on 2011 as a year when I spent an unhealthy amount of time with my jaw hanging open in front of my television screen. For better or worse, developers this year seemed to focus on the big “impact” moments–those plot-points and set-pieces that reach legendary YouTube status and have you texting your friends at 2 a.m.
This has been a year for daring movies, and the best of them have all been movies that I feel like I’ve never seen before. If someone had told me the best films this year would include a Martin Scorsese children’s movie and a comedy about cancer, I wouldn’t have believed either could even get made. Fortunately my instincts were wrong, and we have some new movies to treasure for years to come.
It’s that time of year again: that special time when everyone burns through their backlog of television shows in a desperate effort to put off homework and studying. For the more discerning procrastinators, however, it might help to have an idea of what in your Hulu queue is actually worth watching. Here are a few of my superlative awards for the front half of the season.
In a year filled with wizards, Kardashians and real fairytale weddings, 2011 was a great year for pop culture. Here are our favorite moments.
What moments were totally worth rewinding on Hulu (or on your DVR if you could afford such luxuries here)? Take a look and find out.
The best jazz albums of 2011.