Smugglivus: Ana’s Best of the Rest 2008 ( TV, Movies, Etc )

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, best books of the year taken care of – what else is there? Movies and TV shows baby! So since Thea and I are both major geeks we decided to list the best of the rest as well. Mine starts here, Thea will post hers later.

BEWARE of Spoilers!

Best of the Rest – Movies

For the first time in my life, I can say I am not caring too much for movies – I still love them, I will still watch them but I am not the avid movie goer that I used to be. If I went to the movie theatre ten times this year it was too much. I am watching way more DVDs and still I have to catch up with many titles. Bearing that in mind, which ones are worth mentioning?

Well, out of the ones I watched , Dark Knight is definitely the best one. From the story, to the special effects, to the awesomeness that is Christian Bale’s Batman and the ultimate portrayal of the Joker by Heath Ledger, this movie kicked ass, knocked my socks off and whichever other superlative word you can think of , I will use it. The runner-up? It has to be Wall-E, the amazing Pixar animation that made me cry so many times – it was cute, it was poignant, beautiful, heart-racing action and an amazing romance between two …robots. I guess the magic of cinema still lives after all.

Other than those, whilst I was writing this post , I realised that the movies I liked the most are…..comedies of the stupid kind, critically slammed like Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder, two movies I watched and nearly died I was laughing so hard.

And of course, Mamma Mia. The movie based on the musical that I love the most because it has Abba songs. Need I say more? This is the movie I LOVED the most even if it’s not the best one.

And that is just about it. If I don’t watch that many movies and I don’t read all the time (although I should really be reading more , at least to catch up with Thea) , then what else is there? TV Shows – and this is the real reason why I am not watching that many movies anymore.

Best of the rest – TV Shows

TV Shows all of a sudden surpass movies in pretty much all aspects: writing, acting, plotting, directing. TV Shows provide something that I really LOVE: the opportunity to REALLY connect and relate to characters. With so many hours at their disposal, writers can truly excel themselves with characters and story arcs and I am a sucker for those. I have been following a lot of TV Shows lately and these are only but a few of 2008’s highlights:

1.Holly and Michael – The Office.

I love The Office. Simply put, I think this is the best comedy since Seinfeld. Holly is a new character that came to replace Toby in the HR (Toby! Goodbye, Toby was one of the best episodes ever, followed only by Michael’s reaction to Toby coming BACK: “nnoooooooooooooo”). She is a female Michael Scott , so so soooooo wrong and therefore completely right for Michael. Their bidding relationship was a joy to watch and when she left I was as devastated as Michael – please TPTB, bring back Holly in 2009.

This is a moment I love that shows that these two are soul mates: Holly and Michael rap.

2. The Constant – Lost

I love Lost. It was one of my favourite shows ever. Hey, it was because of Lost that I have met Thea. However, I was very disappointed with season 4. Episodes such as Eggton in which Kate goes trough the most laughable trial in the history of TV shows and then gets engaged to Jack (ewwwwww) made me howl in despair. What makes it even worse is that there were flashes of the brilliance that this show is capable of in the form of an episode such as The Constant: in which Desmond goes back and forth in time , meets Daniel Faraday in his laboratory in the past and tells him about the future and how Desmond needs a constant to keep him on track and in the end, he is finally able to talk to Penny in the most amazingly edited and heartfelt phone conversation that had me, Dear Partner and I am sure most of the audience in tears. And then Faraday finds out that he has written in his journal and it says “If anything goes wrong, Desmond Hume will be my constant”. BRILLIANT.

3. House and Cuddy Kiss – House.

House is one of those TV shows that follow a formula every single week – like CSI, Law and Order – it is always the same thing. Patient gets sick. Patient is bRought to House. House bitches and moans and broods and is cynical. House is a jackass to everyone. House brilliantly solves the case. The end.

However, Hugh Laurie is such an actor that every single time, I AM hooked on his performance and I keep watching and never once I look back. I hate House, I love House and so does Cuddy, the hospital administrator (that spends her time following House and bitching to him instead of doing …administrating things) . I have been rooting for the two of them to get together and this season..they kissed! Woohoo. I cheered.

(Although in all honesty, if I had my way? House would be gay and he would hook up with Wilson instead – my favourite parts of the show are their interaction. THAT is chemistry. )

4. Dexter

If someone told me that all shows would be cancelled and I could choose one not to, I would go with Dexter. The lovable serial killer that works for the Miami police department as their blood spatter analyst (oh the irony) and who kills only other serial killers because of a “Code” he follows is one of the most fascinating characters I have ever come across. It helps that the entire show is superbly written and acted.

Season 3 saw Dexter becoming friends with Miguel Prado, played by a superb Jimmy Smits who turned out to be another killer and who eventually proved to be a complete nutcase – the choices that Dexter were faced this season were overwhelming and the episodes progressed to the inevitable stand-off between the two of them and I was glued to the screen and at times I felt I had minor heart attacks. No shit.

5. Lost in Austen

A miniseries produced in the UK by ITV in which Amanda Price ( in present day) is a Pride and Prejudice aficionado who one days walks into her bathroom to find Elizabeth Bennett in there – her bathroom has a door into the fictional world of Jane Austen and Elizabeth and Amanda switch places. Chaos ensue as Amanda starts mingling in their lives and one after the other, the events in Pride and Prejudice never come to happen. It is mayhem! It is crazy! OMG Jane marries Mr Collins and there I was biting my nails , screaming at the TV alternatively “YEEEEES” “NOOOOO”. Even Dear Partner loved it. If you have to buy one DVD this end of the year, this should be it. Definitely one of the year’s highlights. I blogged about it Gossamer Obsessions (best reviews blog you are not reading) reaction to it.

In one word: AWESOME

6. The Shield

Ah. The moment I was waiting for since the show ended in November. I meant to write a post about it then, but I lacked the words. I mean, how can one describe perfection? Because that is what the final episode was. All because:

Vic Mackey got away.

He did.

After 88 episodes of corruption, murder, cheating and any morally wrong you can think of, Vic Mackey got away. And I was happy. Because this is the thing with this show: every single character is flawed, walking on the grey line of life, and because of once again, superb acting and writing you root for them all the way. It is gritty, violent, realistic and non-apologetic.

In their LA precinct know as “The Farm” these cops, these detectives fight against criminals and all of them are in one way or the other, criminals themselves. Specially the special division known as The Strike Team who has Vic Mackey as their leader – this group of men, Shane, Ronnie, Vic, have done all of sorts of horrible things. It is testament to their incredible performance that even after it all, I wanted them to get away. Because under all that corruption and misdeeds they were people utterly devoted to family and friends. Although at the same time, they would cheat on their spouses or betray their friend going full circle back to …. being bad.

The last episode, the culmination of YEARS of watching this show had me in tears. It was perfect, it was mind-blowing. It was NOT FAIR and at the same it WAS fair. Ronnie, the least bad of them all , was the only one to be arrested. In that one scene n the Farm where his colleagues come to get him and he realises Vic did the ultimate treason, it was the one moment that David Rees Snell had been waiting for since the beginning. Always in the shadow of the other actors, he finally shone like an amazing bright star and I watched that moment so many times ever since it first aired.

Shane, a character who I loathed ever since he killed Lem grew on me this season for the amazingly poignant performance by Walton Goggins – he spent most of the season on the run with his family and those moments there were so sad. The ultimate demise of Shane was one that was very fitting.

As was Vic’s – yes he got away. But he also lost everything dear to him: his family, his friends, his job. Working behind a desk is perfect punishment for him and yet, there were those final 5 minutes in which Michael Chiklis and the camera are all alone, in that deafening silence and there is hope. He gets his guns and walks into the night and you just know, Vic Mackey will never lose his edge, his hope and he will go vigilante if needs be, because for everything that he has ever done, everything wrong he has ever made, there is one thing that can never be said about Vic: he will not let the criminals, the worst of them get away. He won’t. There is bad and there is REAL bad and he is one that knows the distinction.

If I could I would give this crew – actors, directors , writers – Emmys, Golden Globes, Oscars. A hug.

Long live The Shield. My TV screen will never be the same now that it’s all over.

And here are the final minutes:


I think I am done here. oH, OK OK. One last thing – My favourite song of 2008:

You Might Also Like


  • Katiebabs a.k.a KB
    January 1, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Can I have a WALL*E? That movie is just too adorable for words.
    As for The Dark Knight- WOW!

  • Josette
    January 1, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Hi Ana,

    Happy New Year to you!

    I enjoyed watching Dark Knight too. Heath Ledger definitely stole the show from Batman. Actually, Batman was quite boring in the movie.

    Lost in Austen is a miniseries? Oh, then I’m so gonna get it! It sounds interesting. 🙂

  • Kristen
    January 1, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I love The Dark Knight and Wall-E and just watched each of them again in the last week.

    The Office is one of my favorite shows too. I really need to get Dexter from Netflix.

  • AnimeJune
    January 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    AWESOME LIST!! *hugs*

    Yes Josette, “Lost in Austen” is AWESOME. I’m a huge Austen fan, and so are my folks who have nearly every cinematic adaptation of her books ever made (including the yummy new Masterpiece Theatre adaptation of “Persuasion”). “Lost in Austen” is a fantastic experience, because it not only lays the love down on Jane Austen and Mr Darcy hardcore, but also on all the readers and fans who’ve fallen in love with her novels over the centuries.

  • bemaia
    January 2, 2009 at 5:29 am

    WALL*E!!!! Best movie ever! I loved it! The Dark Night is very good, but for me is to sad, every time I see Heath Ledger I can’t stop thinking about his death. 🙁
    House, House, House, I hate him, I want to scream when he appears on TV, but he is such a good actor that I can’t stop watching! I never watched The Office, only the British version, and I liked it.
    I also like Little Britain. Yeah but, yeah…hahaha

    Ana, you are the same silly lovely girl that I met ages ago! Is so good to see that your taste for movies is actually as funny as you are! 🙂

    Thank you girls for all the wonderful book reviews!

    Happy New Year! I wish you a year full of good books!

    Cheers, Bernarda.

  • Ana
    January 2, 2009 at 5:41 am

    Katie: You can have Wall-E as long as I can have Tom Jones. *g*

    Josette: Happy New Year to you too! Yes, Lost in Austen is a miniseries in 4 episodes of 1 hour each.

    Kristen: Dexter is all kinds of awesome. You should really give it a go.

    AnimeJune: Thanks! : )

    Hey Be!!! Long time no talk! Yes, I am the same old Ana… ; )

  • Mishel
    January 2, 2009 at 6:59 am

    House and Cuddy!??! where was I when that happened?? Not that I didn’t know it was coming but man I love House

Leave a Reply