It’s the Thanksgiving season, that time when bloggers everywhere come up with lists of things that they are thankful for. Here’s just 10 of the many things that I’ve been thankful for in 2010.
1) The fifth season of Dexter
I have to be honest. I’ve been a fan of Dexter since the show’s 1st season but I wasn’t sure if the show would be able to survive after the fourth season ended with Rita (Julie Benz) dead in a bloody bathtub. However, season 5 has been a triumph. Yes, a little too much time has been devoted to the domestic troubles of LaGuerta and Batista (Lauren Velez and the always intriguing David Zayas) but Michael C. Hall (as Dexter) and Jennifer Carpenter (as Deb) have done some of their best work this season. Even better, this season has featured two brilliant performances from guest stars Peter Weller and, especially, Julia Stiles (who really deserves her own spin-off). Still, you have to wonder if any murder has ever actually been solved in Miami…
2) Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander.
In three films — The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, Rapace created one of the first truly iconic film characters of the 21st century and that’s an accomplishment that will stand regardless of any attempts by the Hollywood mainstream to steal her accomplishment through any unnecessary remakes.
As more time has passed, the more I’ve come to admit just how dissatisfied I was with how the creators of Lost decided to end their show. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that, for several years, I scheduled my life around when the next episode of Lost was going to air. I may not be thankful for a series finale that left way too many questions unanswered (why couldn’t children be born on the island? What was the sickness?) but even the final season featured some of the show’s best moments.
4) The Walking Dead
I’m not a huge fan of Frank Darabont (sorry, but The Shawshank Redemption sucks) but I’m happy to say that he didn’t fuck up The Walking Dead.
5) Kathryn Bigelow broke the glass ceiling.
I’m still not a huge fan of The Hurt Locker but I am definitely a fan of Kathryn Bigelow. As bad as this year’s Oscar ceremony was, it was worth watching just to see Bigelow become the first woman to ever win an Oscar for best director. In many ways, it almost felt like a fantasy come to life — not only did Bigelow win a historic victory but she did it by beating her ex, James Cameron (who, to judge from his films, has never met a woman to whom he wouldn’t condescend). The fact that she then gave one of the only genuine acceptance speeches of the entire ceremony was a wonderful bonus.
6) Blue Valentine was rated NC-17.
The upcoming film Blue Valentine (which I have yet to see) was reportedly given an NC-17 rating on account of scenes featuring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams having sex. That the film would feature characters played Gosling and Williams having sex makes sense when you consider that the movie is specifically about their marriage. However, despite this, Blue Valentine was rated NC-17 while films like The Expendables, A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Saw films — in which thousands of people are graphically killed and tortured on-screen — are given an R rating as a matter of routine. If Blue Valentine had been about Ryan Gosling murdering Michelle Williams (as opposed to fucking her), the film probably would have an R rating and would be considered appropriate viewing in malls across America. I’m thankful for this rating because it serves as a reminder that it’s okay to show a woman being humiliated, tortured, or killed just as long as you don’t show her actually enjoying an orgasm.
7) Exit Through The Gift Shop
The rest of you mainstreamers can talk about how much you love the Social Network for the rest of eternity, if you want. Exit Through The Gift Shop is still the best movie of 2010.
8 ) Lisa Marie finally figured out how to work her DVR.
Yes, yes, I know. DVR has been around like forever and it’s all old news and I’m sure there’s something even better than DVR that everyone but me is raving about and using right now but — look, shut up, okay? Yes, I’ve had DVR forever but I just figured out how to actually make it work a few months ago. And I love it! Now, if I want to sit down in the living room at 3 in the morning and watch old episodes of Project Runway, there’s no way anyone can stop me.
9) Joseph Gordon-Levitt floating through a dream hallway in Inception
Inception was a film full of excellent set pieces and memorable images but whenever I think about the movie, I will always see Joseph Gordon-Levitt floating through that hallway in a suit and looking rather adorable as he does it.
10) Cthulhu on South Park
Well, of course.
That’s just ten things I’m thankful for and I didn’t even start to talk about Scott Caan on Hawaii 5-0, James Franco in 127 Hours, or movies like Fish Tank, Winter’s Bone, and Never Let Me Go. What are you thankful for? Leave a comment, let the world know. The best comment wins a renewed sense of peace and a happy new year. (Please note that this is not a legally binding document.)