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The Top 9 of 2009:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9!

The Many Faces of J.C. again!

The Top 9 of 2009


The Top 9 of 2009 (-= Follow Your Heart!


It's hard to believe that we've just hit 2010 and are looking back on 2009 as a fond, yet bizarre bygone era. 2009 was fine as wine with smiling eyes to the past and to the future as well. Then again, we're actually Living in the future, aren't we? Check it out. We've just passed 9 years since 2001 and are now firmly set in "The Year We Make Contact". The old Buck Rogers show suggested the end of the world as we know it would be in 1988, while Star Trek told us we'd have hit a massive Eugenics War in 1996. How odd is it that we've just waved bye-bye to 2009 and we're still not in flying cars yet?

For, it's been a year of the usual surreal oddities that you've come to expect from us over the years. 2009 marked the return of the "Seasons" with the successful Summer of Horror II, just after we lambasted this continuing financial crisis in our annual April Fool's Joke!

We've seen Bad Horror Remakes that turned out to be good (and a hell of a lot more that stayed super-bad), a few surprise winners from odd places, Superhero Deconstruction and Decomposition, monsters, aliens, mutants, metal, Time Travel and the requisite yearly re-launches of whatever franchise was up for renewal in any given five minute period!

So why wait? Let's slam our way into or year end Revue of Reviews& here's this year's entry into the Annual Expanding Tradition:
The Top 9 of 2009!

  1. True BloodThe only thing wrong with Season 2 is the lack of Lizzie Kaplan Naked!:
    The first season started a little rocky, taking its time to establish itself, but was soon among the most engrossing shows on Television. Based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries
    by Charlaine Harris, this Louisiana-based Vampire show was filled with surprises as it slowly revealed more of itself and took the viewers along for the ride, carefully making sure they could keep up.

    Once Season 2 rolled around, however, it seemed clear that producer Alan Ball and his capable writing staff figured the job of endearing HBO viewers to the show was both done and done. Thus True Blood threw caution to the wind and began to take every risk in the book, going off on its own wild ride and just daring viewers to NOT keep up with the orgy!

    Hey, it's still not a show you'd want to watch with your grandma, and that, cousin, is a mighty good thing for a change of pace. This is "adult" entertainment without all the negative connotations of the word. Though, yes, there are a great many Naked Southern Belles on the show. Speaking of which, Cheers from a Louisiana Native to the many British and Australian actors who have portrayed Southern Americans on the show without a trace of mockery or parody. Next time I'm in Shreveport, the first round's on me!

  2. Inglourious BasterdsNot Hot... COOL!:
    Most things that take as long as Inglourious Basterds did to finally see release can lead to scarcely more than disappointment (see Chinese Democracy from last year).

    This is clearly not the case with good old Quentin Tarantino, who is most assuredly STILL doing things all his way and getting acclaim for it every step of the way, no matter how avant garde the man gets. His 2009 Opus was his first real period piece that found itself still set firmly in the Tarantinoverse, albeit decades ago. The film was shocking and shockingly comedic with more Nazi Deaths than the final scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark and more quotable one liners than& well than Tarantino's last flick!

    What makes Tarantino's films work so well isn't the content itself (the blood, gore and profanity are secondary at best), but the writing and the acting that come together to make even the strangest moments feel engrossing and real. Between Brad Pitt's self-assured American Guerilla in Nazi-Occupied France to Christoph Waltz' hypnotic "Jew Hunter" (whom we both loved to hate and hated to love), this film truly combined the best of both writing and acting together with an admirable attention to detail that made Inglourious Basterds a wild ride and a true work of bloody art!

  3. LostNo matter what the ERA... Yunjin is HOT!:
    Yes, Lost has made the TOP list since the very first list back in 2005! This is, of course, only because Lost is, unquestionably "that good" and this year's run more than proved that all over again.

    After the strange concept of The Island skipping through time like a needle on a broken record not only managed to work, but actually to make sense to boot, the obvious question was where could they go next? The answer was& all over and whenever.

    What began as a show about plane crash survivors on an Island quickly turned into a strange and surreal show about conflicting factions. Then we turned right on over into wondering who the good and bad guys were& then they get rescued, then they start time travelling. Might I say Lost is still the weirdest show on Television? Might I add, it's still the best show on television without a hint of letting up. This season's finale "The Incident" was all over the proverbial map with every one of these elements converging into a quest for destiny& at great cost! Now we don't know who is who or when any of this began. Lucky for us, Season Six starts in less than two months. Unlucky for us& 2010 will mark the final season of Lost! They haven't let us down yet. Could the ending be as good as the beginning? If not& skip around& there's more to see!
  4. South ParkWHO IS MYSTERION?!:
    Yes, folks, Twelve Years(!) after its debut, South Park has still yet to jump the shark (unless it's intentionally). The now-long-running show is still the pinnacle of social and pop-culture satire and the cheap, cut-out animation has (somehow) managed to look really good as the potential computer graphics is steadily tapped for more possibilities. Yeah, surprisingly the cheap little show from 1997 is about a lot more than fart jokes now.

    Mysterion is the SYMBOL this City Needs!2009's 13th season started and ended with the same biting, sarcastic spoofs that made the show great and nothing was sacred again this year! Everything from Boy Bands to Disney to full-of-themselves pop stars to Somalian Piracy to prostitution to venereal disease to pro-wrestling to Whale and Dolphin hunting to Disaster Films was fair game for Trey and Matt and their Parody Sensibilities. The famous timeliness of South Park was likewise seen in full force again this year as they spoofed Avatar a month before its release and included recently deceased celebrities as characters waiting to get to the afterlife. That's not even mentioning great episodes about the economy, gender equality, sensitivity to sexual orientation, greed and even Superheroes.

    Of course it was all done with South Park's requisite irreverence and every time the guys came just a bit close to becoming preachy, it was back to the old 8-year-old jokes that brought us back to surreality again!

  5. UpWho could resist... the SMALL MAILMAN?:
    There are both familiar and new things on the 2009 list. Sure, we may get stale constantly talking about the exact same things each year being great, but when you have a company like Pixar still making movies the way only they do, it was a safe bet that you would find them on the "great" list again with their 2009 film Up!

    Every year Pixar comes out with a new movie that features great animation and the latest in Computerized Techniques, but seemingly little else. Up was the story of an old, crotchety man who spices up the retirement years by turning his house into a flying tour bus, courtesy of more balloons than a squadron of porcupines could pop.

    Who knew the story would be even better than the animation. Within the first ten minutes the heart strings were tugged and beyond that the familiar SENSE OF ADVENTURE took over as Curmudgeonly Carl and his "Small Mailman" sidekick travelled to South America to meet strange creatures, talking dogs and old idols in the forgotten jungle. The story of a grouchy senior citizen in his soaring house evolved into a story of loss, memory, friendship, honor and the true definition of what a Hero is. Bravo, Pixar!
  6. AvatarLost in the Swamp FOREVER!:
    Like Inglourious Basterds, Avatar was a long time coming and a labor of love for its uncompromising creator. Unlike Quentin Tarantino, however, James Cameron didn't keep making Hollywood Movies until his big dream project was complete.

    And Complete Avatar is! Perhaps the key to making great science fiction is not found sitting around to think up strange creatures, far off worlds, amazing weapons and stunning fantasies. Perhaps the key is found in sitting around to think up ways to make all these other worldly things believable! There is no question that the world of Pandora is just about as fantastical as Science Fiction can get. However, all the right ingredients went into this one (from performance capture to feed the CGI to familiar enough metaphors to bring us into the characters' minds) to create a strangely canny and smart film.

    True, some of the "Familiar" moments were all TOO familiar and some of the metaphorical moments were a bit preachy, but kids, when you're dealing with a cutting edge spectacle like this one, the flaws are easily erased with a digital pen. Bravo!

  7. Venture Bros.So hot her VOICE BURNED!:
    Oft times the BEST shows on television are the very most ESOTERIC! When True Blood and Lost forgot about trying to appease their "Mainstream Fans", they got better and better. Hell, most of the entries on this page are here because they did it their way, not the usual way.

    Venture Bros. is a show that started out as one of the more obscure and esoteric productions on any network, constructing sagas interlaced with sci-fi and comic book references, not to mention more quoted song lyrics than a VH1 Special! With each episode they added to their own hilarious mythology and expanding continuity. The result is that by the time Season 4 rolled around, newbies would need NOT apply. With creators Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick writing every episode (so far) this season, we've seen stories told in reverse order, familiar characters vanishing, only to reappear in unexpected places, nearly unrecognizable regulars and more twists and turns in one episode than you're likely to find in all of Milli Vanilli's hair!

    The show is better now than ever and the saga is strong enough to ensure that true fans can't wait to find out what happens in the next episode& though it's never what we expect. Cheers to the Unexpected. Cheers to the Esoteric. Revel in the Weird. If you don't get it, don't worry about it& this is MY show!

  8. Doctor WhoHe can't be replaced... only succeeded!:
    Since its triumphant return in 2005, the BBC's Doctor Who
    has walked the timeline between the super-cheesy and the brilliantly intelligent and has never ceased to surprise at every turn.

    In 2009 we received not a real "Season" of Doctor Who, but a set of specials that appeared at various times around the year, each one building on the last and constructing the brilliant mythos that started way back in the 1960s into something that is, to say the least, truly modern and forward thinking.

    As the end of 2009 approached, we saw twin episodes that featured The Doctor's most persistent enemy The Master in his most unlikely return. When he succeeds in his most ambitious and far-reaching plan yet, it seems clear that The Master is the ultimate force in the Whoniverse and the more powerful of the only two Time Lords left in existence.

    But like the best episodes of Doctor Who in any era, we soon learn that we've only just seen the beginning of something so much bigger than what we thought we knew before.

    From the great performances by David Tennant and his lonely time without his "Children of Time" to the surprisingly menacing turn by Master Actor John Simm (who was such a good guy in Life on Mars) to the great special effects and writing surprises (not to mention surprise returning characters), Doctor Who in 2009 is better than ever. Let's just hope the Regeneration of 2010 can offer up something this high-quality! I'm warming up my TARDIS for that one!

  9. District 9I am not a SHRIMP! I AM A KING PRAWN!:
    A strange movie from a strange place about strange creatures in a strange land.

    It's social satire, it's horror, it's mockumentary, it's Science Fiction, it's comedic, it's dramatic it's& well, it's a hell of a lot of things. District 9 is a strangely seamless mix of CGI and real characters that is anything but predictable.

    What starts out looking like an Alien Invasion thriller soon becomes a refugee drama and a post-modern commentary on Apartheid. It may be a bit too much for a lot of viewers out there, but that's quite simply because District 9 is "all that" and more.

    For those who think that all Box Office "hits" have to be decidedly of-the-mainstream, I proudly submit this South African import that is anything but mainstream and anything but expected. Ironically, this segregation film is one of the most outside-the-box films of the year.

Honorable Mentions this 2009 go to CBS's Big Bang Theory, another esoteric hit, Dreamwork's Monsters Vs. Aliens, a greatly fun and spectacular film, Focus Features' Coraline, a thriller for the younger and, of course,'s 2009 Summer of Horror... Look folks, that many reviews in one season when you actually HAVE a life is hard work. Give me a little mention, here!

See you in the next reel!

Continues in...

main_iconThe Inxeplicable 9 of 2009!

2009 was oh so Fine!
We partied like it was& ten years prior& Hmmm!
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The Top 9 of 2009 collected and commented on
by J.C. Macek III who is solely responsible for the content of this site
And for the fact that he's been stunned by what he's found
And hopeful for what to do about it in this next Decade.
Also& he's been attacked by NINJAs a lot lately!
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