Tag Archives: Glee

Emilie’s 2010 Best List

I’ve been thinking about this post in the back of my head for the last few weeks. And now it’s come time to look back at my favorites of the year…

Books are pretty easy because I read fewer books this year than…ever. At least, any year since I’ve been keeping track and that’s a decade’s worth of reading. The last time I read fewer than 100 books in a year was my second year of grad school and I read considerably fewer than 100 books this year. So my quantity was down, but not the quality – a read quite a few books this year that I’d had on my to-read list a while.

1. Kai Meyer‘s The Dark Reflections Trilogy and most of The Wave Walkers Trilogy
2. Rebecca Cantrell‘s A Trace of Smoke
3. Audrey Niffennegger‘s The Time Traveler’s Wife
4. John Kennedy Toole‘s A Confederacy of Dunces
5. Alice Sebold‘s The Lovely Bones
6. David Madden‘s Abducted by Circumstance
7. Mary McMyne‘s Wait. (manuscript)
8. Suzanne Collins‘s last Hunger Games book Mockingjay
9. M.O. Walsh‘s The Prospect of Magic
10. Stieg Larsson‘s Millennium Trilogy (still working on the last, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have some reservations about labeling some of these “best,” as I had some issues with a few of these books – notably Stieg Larsson’s books and The Lovely Bones – but they are unconditionally the ones that I invested the most time in, spent time thinking about. And there are some absolutely stellar BEST books on this list. And, of course, I read dozens of short stories through my work with Narrative, several of which I’d love to put on a best list, but can’t disclose. Interestingly, there’s no non-fiction on my list this year.

I actually saw quite a few movies in the theater this year, or maybe they stand out because I quite liked so many that I saw there. Rentals were often disappointing – slightly better than I’d expected or boring or not as good as I’d heard. So this is tough, but the movies I enjoyed the most this year:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (I have to do it, it was so good…)
2. Inception (I saw it 3.5 times in the theater)
3. Toy Story 3 (Pixar has always been really smart with these sequels)
4. Easy A (it was as funny and good as my favorite 80s comedies)
5. Red (it was like Sneakers jacked up, so of course I loved it)
6. Exit Through the Gift Shop (of course, it’s about Banksy)
7. Going the Distance, Get Him to the Greek (a tie)
8. Twilight: Eclipse and How to Train Your Dragon (a tie)
9. Nine (I love musicals)
10. The Kids are Alright

Honorable mentions: Last Station, Hereafter, Black Swan, True Grit, Despicable Me, The Ramen Girl, St. Trinian’s, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Young Victoria and Coco Before Chanel.

TV had to take a serious back burner this year because I never knew when I’d get home from work and had so much going on. This list is basically comprised of the shows that I kept up with in the chaos. Also, it should be said that I watched every episode of Law & Order SVU through Season 10 this year.

1. So You Think You Can Dance
2. Survivor
3. Castle
4. Glee
5. Raising Hope
6. Dancing with the Stars
7. United States of Tara
8. How I Met Your Mother
9. Bones
10. Fringe

My super notables:  The Tudors, In Plain Sight and 30 Rock.

I might go so far as to say that music was one of my biggest influences this year. I probably went to more concerts this year than I have every other year combined. Because my favorite songs are generally still my favorite songs from last year and the year before (with a few new exceptions), I’d much rather outline the best concerts of the year and the cds that I’ve been listening to obsessively.

CDs:

1. Lissie‘s Catching a Tiger, as well as her EP Why You Runnin’
2. Roisin Murphy‘s Ruby Blue
3. Mark Growden‘s Saint Judas
4. The Dresden Dolls‘s Yes, Virginia…
5. Black Gold‘s Rush

Shows:

1. Dresden Dolls at Tipitina’s in New Orleans
2. Black Gold at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
3. Citizen Cope at Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans
4. Simon Lott at Hi Ho Lounge in New Orleans
5. Mark Growden at Circle Bar in New Orleans

I think that just about covers the highlights of 2010, so all that’s left to say is Happy 2011!

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Only in a Gleeful world…

…one that can sometimes look very much like our own:

One of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen.

Apparently, Washington Square is a popular locale to propose and be proposed to:

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Lie to tell the truth – Treme

As a fiction writer, I’ve had the “lie to tell the truth” conversation many times with other artists. Sometimes, it is the lie, the fiction, the thing that never happened, or just didn’t happen when you say it did, that speaks the greatest truth. That’s the luxury of a fiction writer – we get to play with the facts and make things up. We are telling the truth of the heart, not pretending to tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as seen objectively (is there an objective truth?).

Since Treme started production in New Orleans, and especially as it’s gotten closer to premiering, several people have asked me, “So, what do you think. Will it be good? Will it tell the truth?”

I don’t know, is my truth.

I’m fascinated by the “translation” between books and movies and I’ve often said that a movie adaptation of your favorite book cannot be the same. It can’t. It has to change because of the basic, irrefutable, physical fact that a movie is not a book. Successful adaptations, to me, are the ones that keep the feeling, philosophy and heart of the original work, not just try to re-create written scenes as action.

The same could be said for history, for facts, I imagine. In order to tell the story of people who didn’t exist–but probably could have–in the aftermath of Katrina (or any historical period), you’ll likely have to tweak the facts a little in order to tell the thematic truth.

Hey, I watched K*Ville, even though I cringed when the title was announced, even though one of the first episodes make it look like the airport was off of Tchoupitoulas Street. Mostly, I was enamored with the possibilities. And Cole Hauser. I always had more confidence in Treme than K*Ville, mostly because of the good work done on The Wire, and really the titles of the two New Orleans-based t.v. shows do speak volumes. And at least it’s not The Big Easy, eh, especially as a diabolical reference to post-Katrina New Orleans.

So, tonight, I’m watching Treme. And I’m doing it with more assurance having read David Simon’s open letter in today’s Times-Picayune, which makes the argument about lying to tell the truth very well.

Your sensibilities matter to us because we have tried to be honest with that extraordinary time — not journalistically true,  but thematically so. We have depicted certain things that happened,  and others that didn’t happen,  and then still others that didn’t happen but truly should have happened.

This is a nice way of saying we have lied.

Why? Why not depict a precise truth,  down to the very Hubig’s?

Well,  Pablo Picasso famously said that art is the lie that shows us the truth. Such might be the case of a celebrated artist claiming more for himself and his work than he ought,  or perhaps,  this Picasso fella was on to something.

That’s just a sample from the middle. Check out the whole thing at the link above. Enjoy. Hope it makes you want to get a Hubig’s pie and watch Treme.

And here’s another great example of lying to tell the truth. Students of a popular show choir talk about the differences between their reality and Glee. I’m not sure who thought Glee was realistic, but as one student says, there’s one thing Glee gets right, “People from different backgrounds can come together and make some cool music,” he says. “The Classics has athletes, speech club people, drama club people, and if we didn’t have show choir, we probably wouldn’t make eye contact in the hallways. But because of show choir, we hang out and we’re actually friends.” That kinda sounds like the point, the truth in all the flash.

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