Top 11 of 2011: Part Six

Broken Spork’s writers are presenting their best of the year in movies, TV, sports, music, and general awesomeness.

By Phil Robibero

11. Rebecca Black/Friday, Friday
Before there was Rebecca Black, there was only darkness in the world. Man had no sense of time and therefore no measurement to weigh its own power. They were a species frozen in stasis, unable to stretch its potential to rule over its dominion. Time did not exist for man to wade forward into the future.  In a flash the creeping darkness was pierced by a ray that burst into a golden idol of Rebecca Black. The ancient singer, bellowed the days of the week;  “Yesterday, Was Thursday…Today is…FRIDAY”. The gears of space and time met with their teeth. All matter and energy in the great sea of the cosmos was aligned. Man reactivated and continued its march forward.  Indeed it was a day for Partyin, Partyin’ (YEAH) and Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun, Fun.

10. Curb Your Enthusiasm S8
After a few lackluster seasons, Larry David and company was able to muster one hilarious season. Gone was an over-arching narrative thread that weighed down previous seasons and instead a more serialized approach allowed the humor to propel each episode. The “Palestinian Chicken” episode was some kind of classic.

9. Prometheus Trailer
With The Hobbit and The Dark Knight Rises trailer releasing back to back, all cases of ED were effectively cured. Just to make sure, Ridley Scott went ahead and released the trailer for Prometheus, the prequel (though he won’t admit it) to the masterpiece, Alien. Let’s just say there will never be a Walk For ED charity event ever again. The trailer was a brilliant exercise in fusing elements from the original Alien teaser with holy fucking shit imagery.  I’ve set my alarm clock to sound the modulated-hyena shrill in order to prepare my nerves so that I don’t entirely piss myself when the film is released in August. Guys, I’m super excited about this one.

8. Peep Show
It’s been awhile since a British comedy had me clutching my spleen, but Peep Show did more than that.  It made this old robot actually cry laughing.  With the single-camera mockumentary style getting stale as fuck, Peep Show built a brilliant POV-only style that cuts into the voyeurism-fetish of today’s era.  Beyond it’s technical style, the show holds no sympathy for its main characters who always end up losing in the end.  You can’t help but cringe and laugh at the heightened awkwardness of each plan gone awry or when the characters have to fess up to their kinda-fucked up intentions.  With every actor having to perform into the camera, it is amazing how-pitch perfect their delivery remains.  Go watch this show.

 

7. Glove and Boots YouTube Channel
Two infinitely likable and well designed puppets vlog about their thoughts and observations.  The writing and production values would make Jim Henson proud.  Seeing two puppets banter over hipsterculture and zombies is at once cute and hilarious.  It’s like watching a Henson production for the digital age.  While these guys solider on with great material, it’s sad to see that their viewership isn’t as strong as other premium channels.  Seriously, check themout.  You’ll be happy you did.

 

6. M83: Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
Anthony Gonzalez says that his latest album was heavily influenced by his dreams.  From the sweet-nostalgia of “Ranconte-Moi Une Hustoire” to the sweeping ethereal channels of “Echoes Of Mine”, the influences are undeniable and, most importantly, unshakable.  This is an album that other artists dream of making and listeners dream to.

5. Spotify
It finally came to the U.S. and it’s the best fucking thing that’s happened to music since sliced bread…or whatever.

4. Awkward
oh…my…GODDDDDDDDDDD…This show is so god damn good.  After witnessing Glee’s initial promise nosedive into an bloated cash cow, I was extremely skeptical of any new teen comedy offerings, but then this one walked into the room and changed my life forever.  Whatever wrongs MTV has committed in the past, they are completely forgiven for giving this show a chance.  From the writing to the acting, everything is done with such confidence and heart that you can’t help but smile.  It’s a funny and honest take on high school dynamics that rids itself of the tired and jaded cynicism that layers many other similar shows; lookin’ at you Skins.

3. Fantasy Stuff (Elder Scrolls: Skyrim/Game of Thrones)
I’ve never been a big fantasy fan.  No reason to it.  I just never found the whole universe interesting.  That all changed when Game of Thrones laid the smack down on my tastes and made me come to my senses.  The show has more layers than a wedding cake and is populated by such dimensional characters you’d think Kim Kardashian was a work of fiction.  Oh and everyone fucking dies in this show.  Game of Thrones is like watching the best competitive reality show ever. You always want to come back to see who makes it through the next round of beheadings.  My fantasy kick wouldn’t end there though. Game of Thrones only gave me a taste of the fantastical.  I wanted to go to a mythical place of dragons and wizards, Avatar style.  The talented folks at Bethesda heeded my call and delivered an unending adventure in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.  In my time in Skyrim I slayed dragons, helped ladies in distress, and ushered a revolution against the high king.  One day I’ll retire my battle-worn sword and tell my tales of adventure to my digital grandchildren in Have A Family 3: I Am So Alone Edition.

2. On Point with Tom Ashbrook Podcast
In my humble opinion, there is no moderator who expertly navigates great conversation like Tom Ashbrook.  The On Point podcast is a beautifully informed institution that hosts many pertinent and timely topics on politics, science, economics, and general interests.  Mr. Ashbrook is incredibly even-handed and allows both sides of an issue to weigh in.  Gone are the hyperbolic antics that mire cable news networks.  What you get here is a well-balanced and informative forum of ideas and opinions.

 

1. Herman Cain
The first time I finished watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit I always wished that cartoon characters were real.  Imagine, sharing reality with Spongebob or Sailormoon! How cool would that be?! Many years later my wish would come true in the form of Herman Cain.  Thank you Herman Cain.  Thank you for showing the world that it was okay to laugh_again.

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