In my book I’m trying to locate “hip” in the context of metaphysics. How does the idea of being fashionable, cool, etc. correspond to our existence? We talk about it as a cultural construct all the time—and certainly this is important—but is it more elemental than that? Is the ephemeral in fashion and “cool” paralleled or derived from the ephemeral in our own very existence? In other words: is it a coincidence that 1) we all desire “cool,” 2) “cool” is necessarily an ever-changing, constantly cannibalizing phenomenon, and 3) we are all aware of death and the urgency of living?
As you know, I loooove lists... so if you thought I was going to limit myself to one "best of 2007" post on Dec. 31 and that's it, you'd be mistaken! "Best of the Year" frenzy begins today on The Search, and will go through the end of the month (culminating with my top ten movies of 2007 on New Year's Eve!)
So, to kick things, off, and because this category has no risk of missing any latecomer additions, today I'm listing my picks for the best television shows of 2007:
10) American Idol (Fox): What can I say? As trifling as it is, this show is the most compelling television for four months out of the year... I'm addicted.
9) The Hills (MTV): Am I joking? Sort of… But anyone who has seen this show must admit it has a definite “can’t turn away” quality. Plus, from a theoretical, “what is real?” point of view, the show is fascinating.
8) Project Runway (Bravo): Continues to be the most interesting, consistently quality reality series on television.
7) The Daily Show / Colbert Report (Comedy Central): Yes, these are two different shows, but the spirit is the same in both. It's the Comedy Central "newsblock," and it's ridiculously fun to watch.
6) Rome (HBO): HBO's Caesar series only had two seasons, but its great cast (a who's who of British thespians) and classy period melodrama made for some really good, highbrow TV.
5) The Office (NBC): Gets better and better every season… the cast has nailed down the nuances and hilarious quirks of their characters, and the writing is consistently dead-on.
4) Lost (ABC): This show redeemed itself near the end of its third season, reminding us all why we got so addicted in the first place. Can’t wait for its January return!
3) 30 Rock (NBC): Miles above the majority of comedy on TV in terms of sharp, culturally astute humor. Tiny Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan lead the funniest ensemble cast since Arrested Development.
2) Mad Men (AMC): Who knew AMC was in the business of making amazing one-hour dramas? This 60s period piece (about Madison Avenue ad men, their whiskey and their women) was the best new series on TV this fall—with great acting, glossy eye candy, and sharp social commentary.
1) Friday Night Lights (NBC): I suppose it’s getting repetitive by now, but this show really is the best thing on TV. The acting, writing, production, and general “breath of fresh air” spirit of the whole thing is really unrivaled among network shows. Here’s hoping it’ll survive for a third season!