Saturday, May 19, 2007
Some great. Some godawful. Several (light blue) I've never even heard of. Funny how most of the top 10 is forgotten dog squeeze, while classics (The Joker, Nothing From Nothing, Living For The City) are buried deep in the list.
01. The Way We Were » Barbra Streisand
02. Seasons In The Sun » Terry Jacks - UGH!
03. Love's Theme » Love Unlimited Orchestra
04. Come And Get Your Love » Redbone
05. Dancing Machine » Jackson 5
06. The Loco-Motion » Grand Funk Railroad
07. TSOP » MFSB
08. The Streak » Ray Stevens - UGH!
09. Bennie And The Jets » Elton John
10. One Hell Of A Woman » Mac Davis
11. Until You Come Back To Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do) » Aretha Franklin
12. Jungle Boogie » Kool & The Gang
13. Midnight At The Oasis » Maria Muldaur
14. You Make Me Feel Brand New » Stylistics - UGH!
15. Show And Tell » Al Wilson
16. Spiders And Snakes » Jim Stafford
17. Rock On » David Essex
18. Sunshine On My Shoulder » John Denver
19. Sideshow » Blue Magic
20. Hooked On A Feeling » Blue Swede
21. Billy Don't Be A Hero » Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods - UGH!
22. Band On The Run » Paul McCartney & Wings
23. The Most Beautiful Girl » Charlie Rich
24. Time In A Bottle » Jim Croce
25. Annie's Song » John Denver - UGH!
26. Let Me Be There » Olivia Newton-John
27. Sundown » Gordon Lightfoot
28. (You're) Having My Baby » Paul Anka - UGH!
29. Rock Me Gently » Andy Kim
30. Boogie Down » Eddie Kendricks
31. You're Sixteen » Ringo Starr
32. If You Love Me (Let Me Know) » Olivia Newton-John
33. Dark Lady » Cher
34. Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me » Gladys Knight & The Pips
35. Feel Like Makin' Love » Roberta Flack
36. Just Dont Want To Be Lonely » Main Ingredient
37. Nothing From Nothing » Billy Preston
38. Rock Your Baby » George McCrae
39. Top Of The World » Carpenters - (UGH! I like them but this one sucks)
40. The Joker » Steve Miller Band
41. I've Got To Use My Imagination » Gladys Knight & The Pips
42. The Show Must Go On » Three Dog Night
43. Rock The Boat » Hues Corporation
44. Smokin' In The Boys Room » Brownsville Station
45. Living For The City » Stevie Wonder
46. The Night Chicago Died » Paper Lace - UGH!
47. Then Came You » Dionne Warwick & The Spinners
48. The Entertainer » Marvin Hamlisch
49. Waterloo » Abba
50. The Air That I Breathe » Hollies
From Maxim magazine
We never quite got Twin Peaks, what with its waltzing midgets and dense dream sequences involving pregnant, shrieking coyote-women. Its unresolved cliff-hanger ending, in which Special Agent Cooper sorta half-becomes the baddie Bob, didn't help matters much. It's never a good thing when viewers can't understand what's going on without the assistance of somebody armed with Cliffs Notes, diagrams, and, for reenactment purposes, sock puppets.
So wait—Sydney was working for the secret, secret, secret quasi-governmental cabal or the secret, secret ULTRA-secret one? Prophet 5, SD-6, The Covenant, Rambaldi… What's this about who's what? If this impenetrably plotted show had dressed Jennifer Garner as conservatively as the Law & Order gals, it'd have been off the air in about 18 seconds.
You gotta love shows on the cusp of cancellation that don't see the writing on the wall. The last Quantum Leap, a fairly typical episode with somewhat of a cliff-hanger ending, was appended with a simple "Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home," which would've been all well and good, except for the fact that the entire show was premised on the dude returning home. It was the prime-time drama equivalent of a football game ending in the middle of the third quarter without an explanation.
After Bruce Willis started mowing down baddies in Die Hard and Cybill Shepherd squeezed out her twins (which accounted for her absence in the postcoital fourth season), neither star had the slightest interest in being on the show anymore. So you send them out quickly and quietly, right? Uh, no. The last Moonlighting ep showed Maddie and David rushing around like vertiginous chickens as the show's set was disassembled around them; they even got lectured by ABC executives. There's a fine line between "breaking the fourth wall" between viewer and show and "crapping" all "over" "a creative endeavor" that had once "meant something" to a gazillion "viewers."
We're putting this one on the list a few weeks in advance (and no, we haven't received advance screeners). If David Chase and co. stubbornly refused to tell us the fate of the Russian left in the woods way back in season three, we have little hope that they'll answer any of our other questions. Our best guess: The Sopranos ends with Tony eating something (turkey? gelato?) with the same look of bemused annoyance that he's worn for the last three seasons shrouding his face. And every reviewer in the universe will laud Chase's "bravery" for having plotted such a daring, dramatically unconventional climax.
After multiple seasons of Howie Mandel high jinks, we learned that the whole thing took place (or didn't take place) in the mind of an autistic kid. No, seriously.
Leaving the gang in prison after finding them guilty of violating a Good Samaritan law—what's up with that? (Utter that last clause in a nasal, New Yawk whine, if you will.) The conclusion may have been true to the show's no-hugs, no-learning blueprint, but it wasn't remotely…what's the word we're looking for here…funny, perhaps? Costanza deserved better.
The show spent its final season methodically and nonsensically killing off most of its memorable characters (e.g.: Warden Leo Glynn got stabbed as part of some conspiracy involving the governor and Said got shanked for being too righteous or something). But the blow-off of the series-long Beecher vs. Schillinger subplot remains several levels beyond unforgivable. After all the rape, kid-killing, face-pooping, and sublime nastiness, Beecher accidentally kills Schillinger during a prison performance of Macbeth? That's all we get for our emotional investment in the feud? Fuck you. Really. Fuck you.
The X Files
By the time The X Files was mercifully euthanized—roughly 40 episodes too late—the show's black-oil, sewn-eyed-aliens conspiracy had long since ventured into the realm of the absurd. In the finale, the show attempted, through some kind of court-martial proceeding involving Mulder and lots of flashbacks, to dig itself out from under a trash heap of red herrings. Alas, the explanation made things even worse—it exposed plenty of holes in the storytelling. And that was before a helicopter materialized out of nowhere and killed the Cigarette Smoking Man for the 11th time.