Monday, December 26, 2011

The Best of 2011

My love of movies runs deep. I love that they can take you to a different place, make you laugh or cry, feel better about the world - or realize the world's going to hell in a handbasket. This year had some highs and lows, but we're only talking highs here and my criteria is simple: how much enjoyment did I have watching it? For me, there were a couple movies that were the most fun I've had in a theater in a long time. They were Cedar Rapids and Bridesmaids. I've already written about Cedar Rapids and so much has been written about Bridesmaids that I'll just keep it simple: I do not remember the last time I have laughed so much at the movies. Both of them fit my needs to a tee, funny but with a heart and a lesson tucked in as well.

Time seems to have gotten away from me in 2011, and I did not read nearly the number of books that I would have liked to have read. I did jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon and was surprised to find such a tight plot and likable characters. While the second and third book do no quite match the must read quality of the first, which would be hard to do, it is nevertheless a very compelling story and I will definitely need to see the movies when they come out even though I know they'll never match the excitement of reading it for the first time. I also loved Lucy by Laurence Gonzales. Lucy tells the story of a part bonobo-part human teenager and her journey from the jungle to modern American life and the fallout from the discovery by the outside world that Lucy is not entirely human. I know it sounds a little different but it is easy to identify with the characters and it is a very interesting commentary on the politicization of science.
 Sure it was a forgone conclusion that Richard Blais would win Top Chef All-Stars, but I still loved every minute of the season. Side note: he was on a flight with me from Atlanta to KC a couple years ago and I my brother and I were too chicken to talk to him. Anyway, I think my enjoyment stemmed from the fact that I liked so many of the chefs because I had seen them perform already and knew what they were capable of producing. I was rooting for Antonia Lofaso and Carla Hall all the way through, but since Richard choked his first time around, I knew it was his to win. The challenges were engaging, especially since they could play off of previous ones, and, for the most part, they flirted with just the right level of drama to keep it interesting but not overshadow the fact that these chefs are fantastic because they work hard.

All in all a pretty good year for entertainment. Looking forward to 2012 - and thank goodness 30 Rock is back on January 12th!

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