Something In The Wudder's Best & Worst Pop-Culture Clash: 20SickDream Edition
20SickDream was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
It was the light of a new day, it was shrouded by rampant death.
It was the age of wisdom, it was the peak of foolishness.
It was...alright, you get the idea.
This is the first of hopefully many years of Best & Worst annual wrap-ups to come...
Best New TV Show-Atlanta
Donald Glover…We Hardly Knew Ye. Admittedly, we weren't fans before, but this show, along with his surprising new funk album, were both gifts. Especially this show, arguably the best on TV already. It’s a surrealist, awkwardly hilarious slice of social satire, which wildly varies in focus from week to week, while also bringing us two classic TV characters: Paper Boi (Alfred Miles) and DARIUS (LaKeith Stanfield).
Worst New TV Show-Kevin Can Wait
Okay, we'll admit it: we were out at the title.
This show could end up being the new Cheers or The Simpsons and we'd never know.
Best Old TV Show-Shameless
We’re still reeling a bit from how the writers messed up Fiona Gallagher, played by the gifted Emmy Rossum, one of our favorite characters in TV history. This show still manages to be good though, as long as it’s not dwelling too long on its least interesting character, alcoholic ne’er-do-well father Frank, seemingly because William H. Macy is the series’ biggest star, rather than main ingredient.
Worst Old TV Show-Full House
Kiddie-fare enthusiasts and millennial nostalgists, stop propping this slop up on a pedestal. This show was never good. It doesn't need a reunion or renaissance, it needs a euthanizing.
Best Late-Night TV Show-Desus & Mero
You Want It Darker? Late-Night TV just got darker...and funnier. We’ll cop to being biased, since co-host Desus is a fellow OG OKP alumnus, who we knew was hilarious, long before most of the rest of the world. Still, that only got us to tune in initially. What makes us to stay is the the rapid-fire wit, plus inimitable chemistry these two talented and hilarious Bronx natives have. The show's set-up, partially cribbed by the show’s creators from their own Pardon The Interruption, helps too. The brand is strong.
Worst Late-Night TV Show
Does anyone sit thru Seth Meyers’ interviews?
Know what James Corden does besides "Carpool Karaoke"?
Didn't think so.
Best Athlete-LeBron James
The man overcame a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals against “The Greatest Team In NBA History”, outsmarted Draymond Green, stopped the Adorable Back-to-Back MVP Steph Curry, carried a short-circuiting Kevin Love, and finally won the first championship for Cleveland in their last 52 years of combined professional sports history. The KANG is The GOAT. He’s better than MJ was, whether you want to admit that now, or wait until it becomes more obvious, is up to you.
Worst Athlete-Kobe Bryant
He’s finally gone. After the most terminally long farewell tour ever, we finally say good riddance to the peanut-headed, accused-rapist, ballhoggedy, snitching sociopath who sued his own mother. Kobe is no longer holding his franchise hostage, nor taking TV time from a more entertaining or competitive matchup. Deuces.
Best Film-Hell or High Water
This flick has everything. Good action. Great acting. Quality tension-building, in the heist movie tradition. Subversive social commentary, woven naturally into the story. Evocative scenery. Jeff Bridges furthering his late-career legend. Chris Pine’s first great performance. A scene-stealing supporting turn by Ben Foster. A vintage Western set in modern times. Excellent use of music. All without having to hit you over the head, with any of its messages or methods. This likely means it has no shot at Oscar time. Yet twenty years from now, you'll likely scoff at what won over it, a la Dances With Wolves over Goodfellas, or Crash over anything.
Worst Film-Everybody Wants Some
Maybe not the worst but felt like it, since it was billed as a return to the fertile comedic playground of director Richard Linklater's own Texas adolescence that gave us the 1994 classic Dazed and Confused, plus followed up his most recent triumph, Boyhood. Dazed and Confused featured a few major movie stars before they became famous, Ben Affleck and Matthew McConaughey among them. I am hereby guaranteeing that Everybody Wants Some will not generate the same. Trust me on this one…skip it. Oh wait, based on the $4.6 million total box office despite all the undeserved critical acclaim, you did.
Best New Web Site-Something in the Wudder
You thought we were gonna say something else? Or factor in going live only six months ago into the equation? SIKE!
Aside from the self-aggrandizement, we’d like to take a moment just to say that we're incredibly grateful that you’re reading these words, so we won’t pretend there’s any digital space that we’d rather you be than right here, right now.
Best Old Web Site-Facebook
Facebook has shaken off the initial downturn from when our mothers signed up, and the backlash from when it first went public. It’s also fought off, or bought off, most of its main competition. It's well placed to not end up MySpace'd. It underwent a bit of user and content-renaissance the last two years, while newer features like LIVE enhanced the experience. Selfishly, it’s been fairly crucial to help build a base for our Best New Web Site award-winner too. Still not sure why we can’t get GIF’s tho.
Best Viral Video-Brothers Convince Little Sister of The Zombie Apocalypse
Like any massive viral video, there’s usually some questions of its veracity, and it's probably past its sell-by date by the time annual wrap-ups come. We still enjoyed it, as well as the family interview rounds following fifteen minutes of internet fame.
Worst Viral Video-South Carolina Hung Jury Over the Walter Scott Shooting
Humanity, reason and equal justice are not political issues. There’s no nuance, degree of double-talking jive legalese, nor rational way to spin this. A police officer, on trial only because of a good Samaritan with a phone camera, shoots a guy he pulled over for a padiddle, in the back multiple times as he clumsily trots away, then plants evidence on him to make it look like self-defense. Police who condone this, only make good cops look bad. No excuses or deflections, this was dead wrong, so stay focused and don’t pretend you’re too smart or dumb to see it. If a hashtag makes you more mad than sanctioned state murder, that’s on you.
Best Book-Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen
Bruce pens an incredibly forthcoming autobiography, in his own inimitable voice, with a cover shot taken in my hometown? Yeah, we can’t even pretend to be objective about this one, we gotta give it the crown. Thank you, Bruce.
Worst Book-Selfish by Kim Kardashian
This should be selfie-explanatory. We’d rather read one of Bette Midler’s fire tweets about Kim on repeat, than skim this coffee-table book full of Kim K selfies, and its accompanying banal commentary.
Best Radio Show-The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz
A sports-show out of one of the worst sports-cities in the country, Miami, The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz, went national two years ago, to become the best and funniest show on radio airwaves. It’s not just LeBatard, of TV’s Highly Questionable, turning the way-too-self-serious sports cathedral into a carnival tent. It’s his co-host Stugotz's skillful ineptness. It’s producer Mike Ryan’s steering the ship in the back, plus providing comedic fodder in the form of his many limited-fake imitations. It’s the whole package. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s glorious.
Worst Radio Show-We don’t listen to enough radio programs to keep track…so insert your own zany Morning Zoo, shrill AM radio political talker, or local lunkhead sports gasbag show here.
Best Podcast-Tax Season featuring Taxstone
Say Hello to the Bad Guy. Taxstone headed into 2016 cresting off the wave of late 2015's Joe Budden podcast classic confrontation that had Twitter buzzing. He rode that to an increasingly improved guest list. Yet Tax remained the main draw, while knowing when to pull back and let a guest shine. He become home base for the airing of grievances in the Meek Mill/Beanie Sigel beef, gave us The Roots' Black Thought's best interview ever, showed us another side of Chad Ochocinco, and even produced a better post-Trump-election episode than the Nate-Silver/1600/saber-metric/young-podcast-pundit-nerds ever could. Be safe tho.
Since it’s still not here yet. We swear, it’s coming! In 2017.