The Top 10 of 2010...

"The Year we Make Contact" is at its close and we're already bounding against
the wall that is 2011, wailing and grinding our teeth as we rage, rage into the
dying of the light. And as you can see the propensity for melodrama has far
from died down with the New Year.

As 2010 drew to a close I couldn't help but notice my car still doesn't fly, I don't
have a robot butler and my list of friends doesn't seem to include any Martians.
Not even any half-Martians, man! Still, the year has had its good points, from
our all-Greek April Fool's day prank to that one completely nude photograph of
me that I accidentally uploaded (you're
WELcome) to our revisit to the coveted "Seasons" with the exciting
Operation: Sci-Fall Version
And that was only part of the Seventy Reviews from 2010, including no
less than twenty-eight reviews of brand new 2010 movies and a full 40 reviews
within Sci-Fall 2010 alone!

Yeah, we've had our crappy remakes and our inventive animated fantasies,
surprising sequels and crap-fest attempts at Horror, almost all of which were
legitimized with the strange addition of "3-D" to the title... But let's focus on the
good, folks and be as positive as the big part of the Battery that we don't dare
stick our tongues to. Yeah, kids... without further ado (because who really needs more "ado"?) let's slap fully formed into "The Top 10 of 2010"!!!
1. LOST, the Final Season:

Major Loss! I'm sure long-time readers are almost as surprised that this made the top spot as they were when that guy who decided to drive around the world drowned. LOST has made the top mention every year since this list was born way back in those history echoing days of Yesteryear! Ah, yeah, Yesteryear... remember how young you were then?

LOST was always a show of more question marks than the Riddler's laundry!
This final season took a strange new twist on the strange catalyst of the show
(that being, of course, the crash of Oceanic Flight 815) and the creators gave us
an alternate reality (much more effectively than those same dudes did in

In the beginning, this seemed to be a show about plane crash survivors
awaiting rescue on a tropical island. We soon went into a surreal world of
syndicates, hostiles, monsters, time travel and more suspense than a
marionette show directed by Hitchcock!

Sure, some fans were disappointed in the finale when "every little thing" wasn't
answered, but the Finale was among the best in television history, leaving room
not for ambiguity, but for speculation. For those of you who would prefer a finale
that equates to a PowerPoint presentation of each question and its subsequent
answer with bullet points and cute comments, then might I recommend you add
the final season of
Full House to your Netflix Queue... meanwhile, I'm watching
The End all over again!

Skip to:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10!
2. Toy Story 3:These TOYS Rule!

Pixar manages to produce a great film every time they sneeze, cough or juggle! That even includes the sequels!

Somehow in 2010, Pixar actually outdid themselves with yet another film that, on paper, didn't seem like it could be all that incredible, but in practice, it was an absolute masterpiece! We're talking about Toy Story 3, a sequel that not only beat the prequels (which were also absolutely amazing) but possibly everything else Pixar has done. And this is no small feat.

When push came to proverbial shove this little flick about some kid's discarded toys coming to life managed to be among the most touching and human films of the year. True, the Pixar animation is second to none and in Disney Digital 3-D it's unquestionably the best looking movie of the year.

Still, what makes Pixar so great isn't the animation, it's the writing... and the writing alone made Toy Story 3 the best movie of any kind of the year. Bravo!

3. South Park: I... CAN'T... DIE!

The silly little show about potty humor and some dead kid popping back up each week quickly evolved into smart social satire holding a sarcastic and profane mirror up to society... especially since our society is increasingly profane and sarcastic!

This year put South Park even more in the news than usual as their 200th and 201st episodes debuted... or attempted to at least. Bringing together a treasure trove of previous characters and celebrities that smilin' Matt Stone  and Trey Parker had lambasted in the past, South Park dared to push the one issue that nobody has any right to even talk about in today's society. They dared suggest that they might try again to show a cartoon image of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Let me say that again... they suggested that they might show him.

They didn't. Death Threats followed anyway.

Aside from this, the show continued to produce some of the best and funniest social satire on television, pushing buttons and making wise cracks that, yes, even got offensive to me once in a while. You know who else did that? Jonathan Swift! This isn't new!

No, it's not new, but it's definitely one of the best things of its kind. This season
hilariously dealt with banned books, celebrity sexual snafus, medicinal weed,
facebook, reality television, cooking shows and the shake weight. That's not to
mention great spoofs of both Intervention and Inception. Best of all they kicked
their superhero stories into the highest of high gears with a trilogy that brought
forth Lovercraftian horrors and an almost explanation for why Kenny survives
death so very often.

The show is far from running its course. It's better than ever with the power of
mint and berry set with a satisfying tasty crunch!

4. The Venture Bros.:Nice Mams, Babe!

I would have sex with this show! I would chase it around my desk, playfully pinching its rear-end while this show giggled and said "Oh You!", until it finally relented and agreed to be seduced into going to dinner with me and being wooed by my encyclopedic knowledge of Pop Culture and would buy a one-way ticket on the Kneumsi Pleasure express, only to wake up the next morning angrily demanding why the universe would allow the show to make a mistake this grand before snagging some flipflops and tippy toeing out the window without waking me.

The second half of the fourth season contained some of the very best examples of why this show is so incredibly good. We've got the best examples of continuity on television with the well-developed characters evolving far beyond the caricatures they began as (see "
Henchman 21"), the now non-cloned and aging titular siblings are graduating from their education beds (almost), getting internships and starting their own ridiculous businesses while former nemesis become stalwart nannies, good guys make good in formerly evil organizations and some of our trusted supporting characters make the horrendous mistake of traveling into Rusty's brain. Oh the humanity. Meanwhile superheroes are mocked and spoofed, classic stories are given the business and if you've ever wondered what a Venture PROM might be like, take it from any of the ladies who ended up being Flies on the Wall!!!

Best of all, as an episode featuring a cardboard Zeus hand-choosing heroes and villains for gladiator duels to the death illustrates,
The Venture Bros. is at its best when it relies greatly on the four kick-ass seasons that brought us this far, but still manages to be accessible to new pop-culture junkies... oh, I mean addicts... sorry, Doc!

5. TRON: Legacy: Super Runaway!

Ever since the Felonious Feline Porkers from whoreywood who worship the great, big green porcelain idol figured out that they can make money off of virtually everything vaguely geek chic everybody with half a positronic net knew there would be a sequel to TRON sooner or later!

And sure as a pie fight breaking out at a Three Stooges convention, 2010 was the year we made contact with that fabled second part of the computer world epic with modern special effects and a budget bigger than Queen Victoria's bloomers!

The thing is, unlike most decades-separated chapters,
TRON: Legacy is the real deal, building upon the mythos of the original, while embarking on a brave new tale.

It's a no-brainer that Disney would have spent the money to get Jeff Bridges back into the starring glow-tights... and they did... in more ways than Juan. However, the proverbial extra-mile on the Information Superhighway was travelled when they made gosh darned sure that Bruce Boxleitner was brought back. They had the character of Tron himself all shorn up with or without the Brucenator! But I'll be horn-swoggled if they didn't make one of America's most underrated actors central to the plot in more than just a simple cameo (though
TRON: Legacy had some of those, too).

A sequel to
TRON may have been a foregone conclusion, but a good one that furthered the story and brought back Bruce Boxleitner? Log me in.

Man... this entry couldn't have been nerdier if I had gone on and on about
Bruce's time on
Babylon 5! Sigh...
6. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II: I'm still thinking about that Dr. Girlfriend photo!

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to or... just when you thought it couldn't get NERDIER... Yeah, I guess we're whipping out the VIDEO GAME honorable mentions.

It's not like I do this very often or anything, folks! In fact, I'm not much of a gamer, but when a game rules I'm into it, man. Somehow most of these games happen to have something to do with Star Wars, and, yeah, I realize that doesn't help! But I'm THINKING about naked women, okay???

After the amazing and deep saga of 2008's The Force Unleashed, featuring the striking and somehow believable evolution of "The Starkiller, of course, LucasArts did what any talented, yet money-making company would do after being handed fists full of green paper... they made a sequel.

Undaunted by the death of their main character at the end of the first game, the dudes from Marin went back to the tried, contrite and true Star Wars staple of "Clones"! Or... did they?

The thing is that I agree with the complaints about this second one. While the first was an epic concerning the amazing growth of "Darth Vader" secret apprentice into something much different and much greater, not to mention the true creation of the Rebel Alliance all told in a story that spanned years, the second game can essentially be summed up like this: "No, I don't want to be Evil! Where's my Girlfriend? I... I mean, my old-self's girlfriend! Oh, where is she? Let me give a constipated look to fully convey my overwhelming angst! I'll tear the galaxy apart until I find her, using all the powers of both sides of the Force until every being bends to my... Oh, there she is! Oh goody!!!"

Yeah, I've been there, done that, I totally agree. But the thing is that the story is still engrossing, the game-play is still incredible and the hints at what might be coming in a potential third installment (or maybe even the fabled Live Action show) are worth the whole game to see.

Yeah, it could be better, but holy Corn Chips on Rye, is it ever cool as chilled Vodka!!!

7. Secretariat: Go, Boy Go!

You know, since I started these lame end-of-the-year, year-in-review things I've been going with the year itself to tell my ass how many of these I need to think up... you know, The Top Five of '05, The Top Six of '06 and so on and thus and so and all that.

This being the year 2010, I finally get to say "Secretariat is one of the year's TEN BEST!" Or, you know... anything is the year's ten best, you know...

But this time I'm talking about Secretariat. Yeah, Secretariat, the horse movie... and luckily this particular Horse Movie was far from Horseshit. In fact, it had four horseshoes.

That makes it "lucky", man.

Not only is Secretariat a very cool sports movie, it's also one of the best acted dramas of the year, all without actually screaming "Oscar Bait"!

Sound like a race worth running? Well it is... or would be... if I were a quote whore... which I'm not.

Oh, heck, look, just go see Secretariat!

8. Red: Mary Louise should be NUDE!

So you take a barely known comic from that Transmetropolitan guy, throw in Easy Reader, Marty, David Addison, The Queen, the chick from Weeds and what's his name with the head from Being John Malkovich and what do you get?

Dude... you get Red... the "Retired, Extremely Dangerous", more bad ass than Tekken 3 and older than my grandmother's former bridge team ("former" because they're totally DEAD now)!

From The Expendables to The Losers, 2010 had the most altruistic fugitive team-ups fighting the government since The A*Team! Oh, yeah... incidentally The A*Team came back this year, too!

The difference is that, yeah, screw you haters, Red is actually really good! Action, comedy and more cameos than a dusty rock-and-antique shop in Old Town San Diego, man! If this whole bad-dude team-up thing is road rash on the flesh of cinematic society, Red is Mercuricrome... Mercurykreaum... um... Mercurochrome? You know, Angel gave it to Collins, like in the song! It's Merbromin, you know?

It's like the cure, I guess!

9. Conan O'Brien: I'm TOTALLY with CoCo!!!

Ah, yes... The Tonight Show, that venerable NBC Television institution, hosted by Steve Allen for three years, Jack Paar, for five years, Johnny Carson for thirty years, Jay Leno for seventeen years and Conan O'Brien... for seven big fat months!

If you don't know the story, trust me, it's going to be chronicled in The Late Shift II as sure as cows are made of beef!

To make a wrong story short, the former host of The Jay Leno Show is now the host of The Tonight Show again! Whew! So glad that guy landed on his feet. Too bad for Conan that he and his buddies are as out of work as toilet specialist janitors who just won the Mega-Million!!!

What earns Coco and the Gang a spot on the Top Ten List (Sorry, Dave) isn't that he got screwed on the deal... it's how he and his handled things during and after their ritual screwing at the hands of Captain Chin and the Suits.

Conan was dignified as things went on, making jokes, but firmly stating his positions, such as the bizarre concept that it's not really The Tonight Show if it's pushed back to the next morning in the schedule (thus screwing the even later night hosts in the process). After the idiotic notion of The Jay Leno Show was cancelled and its host was claw-lifted back to his old-ass desk, Conan took a decent settlement from NBC, but paid his staff a severance out of his own pocket. He was legally prevented from being on Late Night television, for a series of months, so he grew a beard and took his show on the road.

Eventually he accepted the offer of the once SUPER station TBS (a surprise in itself) and after tons of market research and millions of dollars they all decided to call the new show "Conaw"... oh, um... I mean, "Conan"! Still, he refused the offer at first so as not to do to George Lopez was done to him... until Lopez himself called Conan and begged him to be Lopez Tonight's lead in!

Outside of the flaming inner circle fans rallied around Conan and started the whole "I'm with CoCo" movement while the once popular Jay Leno was mocked by other hosts and used the whole "It's Just Business" defense. Yeah, well this is just business too... Conan's new show has been acclaimed and truly is (to borrow TBS' lame slogan) "Very Funny" while Jay's return to The Tonight Show has garnered lower ratings than Conan's at its worst.

Who came out on top in all this? Truly, that remains to be seen. But who handled this with humor, dignity and grace and ended up looking like a good guy amid the chaos? Well, that'd be Conaw himself... Oh, I mean... Conan!

Watch what you want Late Night, folks, but as for me... Please pass the CoCo!!!

10. The slow but sure downfall of Proposition 8 and Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

Dishonorable Honors!Yeah, I got a little political in both The Top 8 of '08 and The Top 9 of '09 while here I'm just talking about a whole load of Entertainment.

In the year 2010, two political milestones were whacked at on both sides by the twin Skeksis of the California Courts and the United States Congress. Unfortunately, they haven't shattered quite yet.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell was a compromise stepping-stone on the way to allowing homosexual men and women to serve openly in the military. This means that it was no longer a question to prevent gays and lesbians from serving, but it was used to relieve them of their uniforms (and not in a hot way) as soon as the truth was revealed.

Meanwhile, after same sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional by the California Courts, the California voters narrowly changed the constitution, thus codifying discrimination as law. Regardless of how the campaigns were run, subsequent appeals in court have sided with the Bear State Constitution as it was, secure in the belief that a ban on same-sex marriage is indeed against the constitution.

The repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is going to take some time and, because the state refuses to argue in favor of the ban, the courts are still deciding who is and who is not allowed to argue the damned thing, so the case is decidedly married to limbo right now... but these movements forward are far from mere stepping-stones, but giant leaps for equality.

Political interlude complete. Good night... and good luck!

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