Man, 2011 was quite the year. Tons of awesome and significant pop culture moments occurred in the past 12 months, both terrible and amazing. There were films, people, ad campaigns, television shows, and basically everything that happens every year. Below, Tableau recaps the best and the worst (mostly things already covered on this blog). Not included: Music. Tableau has got no say in that arena.
So check out our incomplete, completely biased review of the year, and let us know (in the comments) if you agree:
Best Commercial, Amy Sedaris Commercials Excluded:
Charlize Theron for Dior (J'Adore)
Best Commercial, Amy Sedaris Commercials Included:
Amy Sedaris for Downy Unstoppables
Scariest Print Ad Campaign:
Banana Republic's 2011 Christmas Ad Campaign
Karen Elson, who I’m sure is a very nice and beautiful person, looks like the incarnation of evil in these Holiday ads for Banana Republic. Maybe it's the translucent skin that eerily matches the snow, maybe it's her lack of eyebrows, maybe it's her sanguine lips. Whatever it is, she comes off as a soulless Home for the Holidays-era Anne Bancroft trolling for blood (mwa ha ha). So scary.
Best Web Video:
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, Part 2
So Twee! So Adorable!
Biggest Television Devolvement into Terribleness:
Oh, brother, Glee was pretty bad when it started its second season, but it has really been an international suck-fest since January. The unnecessary plotlines, ridiculous character developments, and Sue Sylvester snide remarks became even more ludicrous. Worst of all, it isn’t even fun anymore – it's just dull. We miss season one Glee.
Biggest Television Improvement:
Happy Endings quickly went from being a mediocre television show (one of many in 2010 that featured a tight-knit group of friends) to a hilarious show with a perfect blend of quick one-liners and more hilarity than should be allowed in a half hour of television. Plus, everyone in the cast actually seems to like each other, which is the best thing about the show. It can sometimes get a little jokey, and Elisha Cuthbert is still the weakest actor in the ensemble (no slight - it's a very strong cast), but Damon Wayans, Jr. and Eliza Coupe are always there to bring in the awesome!
Best New Show:
We’ve already covered this HERE, and the finale did not disappoint. Just give Claire Danes her Emmy already!
Most Surprising New Show:
Again, we've already covered this HERE, and it keeps getting juicier. I just hope it doesn't implode like former guilty pleasure Desperate Housewives.
Friday Night Lights
Full disclosure – some of us haven’t finished the final season of FNL. We’re not emotionally ready for the show to be over. If any of the characters on the show heard us say that, they would be forced to look away in quiet and dignified disappointment. People need to watch this amazing show, with its brilliant characters, wonderful relationships, and only a minimal amount of football. Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can’t Lose, y’all.
Biggest Television Shocker:
The criminally low-rated 30 Rock made it to 100 episodes this year, which is a pretty amazing benchmark given its viewership. Whuck?!
Parks and Recreation
Just so, so good. The series works so well because of its amazing ensemble cast, the writers' genuine understanding of the comedic ensemble, and the way that it is is unafraid to go deep and heartfelt. It also benefited from the addition of Adam Scott's Ben, who is the perfect straight man amidst the zaniness. Most of all, though, the show is the best because of its overwhelming sweetness. It makes you feel good when you watch it, which is something special in an age where shows like the vitriolic Whitney, Two and a Half Men, and Two Broke Girls rule the airwaves.
Because Downton Abbey premiered in 2010 (in Britain, anyway), The Hour is the 2011 winner of best import. It has top-shelf acting (especially Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai), and it's also very suspenseful! Read more about it HERE.
Worst New Show:
Oof, too many to count, but probably Once Upon A Time, which, despite its terribleness, is still being regularly watched by us here at Tableau Your Mind. That’s what makes it even more terrible – we can’t look away!
Let us know (below) what you thought of the year, and make sure to check out Part 2 of Tableau's year in review tomorrow, when we'll cover the best and worst films, celebrities, public figures, and events of 2011!