Wednesday, January 09, 2008

2007: final thoughts

Blimey, I'm married! Ha ha ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha ha! Yes, that'd have to be the defining feature of 2007 - that this was the year I got married. Also the year my radiant wife The Lovely Jo did in the Punto, and we had to get an older, sturdier car instead. Alas, the Punto, that so valiantly drove us through two-foot-high floodwaters for the sake of a party not more than three months before. Let us speak of it no more - I was only going to duff it up with a sledgehammer myself one day. What else? The year of our first visit to the Edinburgh Fringe. Perhaps there may be a second.

Best read (illustrated)
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier finally arrived, after much delay, hype and anticipation. Horrible versions of James Bond, Bulldog Drummond and Mrs "Avengers" Peel chase our heroes out of post-Big Brother 1950s Britain, a purloined dossier in their hands. An entertaining read, and rather more varied in tone than previous volumes, but shockingly not the year's best comic book. That honour really belongs to Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland. In all honesty I'd probably rate Battle Pope and the latest Ex Machina above Black Dossier as well, but I don't think it'd slip below fourth place.

Best read (just the words)
Well, to come clean, I haven't read nearly as much fiction as usual this past year. The main reason for this is About Time, the enormous multi-volume Who reference work. It's just so in-depth, it took forever to plough through it all, yet I felt compelled to finish it once I'd started. Well worth it, and even a contender for the best read of the year, but really that title ought to go to a novel.
Another reason for reading less in 2007 is that, with an eye towards the Big Push to New Zealand, I decided to stop buying/asking for hardback novels (so I'll be mopping up the latest works of several favourite authors in 2008 when they come out in paperback). However, I didn't go without, for 2007 was the Year Of Two Adam Roberts Novels. For this alone he deserves my thanks. Both were released in paperback, and although Land of the Headless was entertaining and intelligent, I think on balance Splinter is the better novel.

Best listen
A tough call this year, because I actually spent more time getting rid of old music than acquiring new music. Stand-out acquisition of the year was probably Alturas de Macchu Picchu by Los Jaivas, which stayed on the MP3 player for a good long time and went very nicely with the Norwegian fjords. Mmm, South American prog. (Nearly finished with prog rock now, nearly, honest.) Although if I were to include Christmas acquisitions here, I might mention the work of They Might Be Giants. Possibly something for 2008. Most disappointing listen: that Paul Hartnoll album.

Best viddy (TV)
Shockingly, not Doctor Who (although the Human Nature/Family of Blood two-parter would be the hot contender for second place, with Blink in third). The laurels must go to Heroes, which certainly had more good episodes than average, and no really bad episodes, although I can't really pick out a single best episode to mount the rostrum. It wasn't really that kind of series. Well, maybe the one with the hostage situation at the Bennett's house - that'd certainly be hard to beat. Jekyll must take fourth place after these fine specimens.
Doctor Who can provide the most disappointing TV viddy of the year, sadly, and that'd be Evolution of the Daleks. Any bigger letdowns I saw last year I wasn't intending to watch, so this is the one that counts.
Big discovery of the year: The Mighty Boosh. I just don't know how I could have not been watching this show before, since it looks practically tailor-made for me. If I were to allow pre-2007 DVDs into this category, I might name a couple of first season episodes as best TV viddy of the year, but that'd be cheating slightly. Plus it'd still take second place to the War of the Worlds musical DVD.

Best viddy (film)
Gahhh, I want to say Stardust, but I see I named Mirrormask top film the previous year, and I don't really want to give it to Neil Gaiman two years running. Dammit, can't think of any better contenders. Stardust it is.
Most utterly, rankly disappointing film viddy of the year: The Science of Sleep. I just don't know where to begin. Having missed it at the cinema, I rented it. It was the film-baby of Michel Gondry, he who made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - all the endorsement I needed! But it was just bloody miserable. Wretched is the word I'm looking for. Let us never mention it again.

1 comment:

Christopher Pittard said...

You surprise me with your film choices, Tooners - I haven't seen Stardust, but every review I saw gave it a good kicking (like the Lollipop Guild and the old man on the floor). *The Science of Sleep*, however... I saw that on an overnight flight back to the UK, where the title leapt out at me as a cinematic taunt. 'Twas OK - a little like a morbidly obese pop video, yes - but not dreadful, surely. Bits of it are still in my head, so it ain't all bad.