Friday, 31 December 2010

Too Bad The Things That Make You Mad Are My Favourite Things

As you know, I love everything in the world, with the exception of three things. Here are some things that I have loved in 2010.

In a few hours we will wave goodbye to the year 2010, like waving goodbye to a friend you don't really like. You hope they'll be hit by a car on their way home, but no, they'll be back. 2010 will be back. As 2011. So here is my Review Of The Year, my favourite things from the year that brought us a Tory Prime Minister. Like the friend you don't really like coming into your home and taking a shit on your floor. A smug, Etonian shit. David Cameron is a smug, Etonian shit.


My favourite film this year was Inception. Except it really fucking wasn't. It was Four Lions. It was satirical and hilarious and clever, just as I've come to expect from writers Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain and Simon Blackwell.

Another great film of 2010 was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, the perfect vehicle for Edgar Wright's unique comic-book style. Also, The Social Network was fantastic, due to Jesse Eisenberg's performance, Aaron Sorkin's screenplay and David Fincher's direction. Did I mention he directed Fight Club?

TV Comedy (UK)

The Trip was probably my favourite British comedy series this year, thanks to the playful, often painful, relationship between Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan. Coogan in particular was brilliant, constantly showing a subtle tragic undertone.

This was also present in the new web episodes of Alan Partridge, which featured the amazing Tim Key. Other UK comedy shows of 2010 worth mentioning include Him & Her, wonderfully written by Stefan Golaszewski from Cowards, and of course Peep Show which just keeps getting better.

TV Comedy (US)

Another show that just keeps getting better is 30 Rock, the new season of which cements it as my favourite US comedy of all time. The characters are perfect, the writing is perfect and the acting is perfect.

How I Met Your Mother continues to have its moments, but has definitely fallen in quality. It is still worth watching though, if just for Barney Stinson, one of the best comedy characters ever.

TV Drama

My favourite drama of 2010 was Shane Meadows' This Is England '86. Frighteningly realistic and gritty, the series featured some of the best acting and dialogue British TV has seen. It showed the BBC that yes, it was actually possible to make dramas without Gina McKee. You just use actors instead!

And the BBC responded brilliantly, with Jimmy McGovern's Accused. Accused was superbly made, with some amazing performances from Andy Serkis, Marc Warren and Mackenzie Crook.

I would talk about US drama too, like Dexter and Mad Men, but I've only seen the first two seasons of each, none from 2010. But both those shows are incredible.


The best album of the year was Live. Breathe. Build. Believe. by The Skints. Its reggae, but edgier, and more complex than most of the genre. Every track is unbelievably good, and moves seamlessly from gentle and chilled-out to growling and angry, all the time retaining beautiful vocal harmonies and some of the best drumming I've ever heard. The Skints were also the best live band I saw all year, possibly ever.

This year I was also lucky enough to see Jamiroquai live, whose 2010 album Rock Dust Light Star saw a return to brilliant form for the funk legends. The title track ranks among the band's very best. It seems this year the key to a good album was a list of four words as the title.


I saw a lot of comedy this year. A lot. So it's hard to pick a favourite live show, but I think mine was Tiernan Douieb's Littlest Things. It was warm and charming, and Tiernan Douieb is absolutely loveable, and most of all, extremely funny.

Other amazing comedy of 2010 included Richard Herring, Robin Ince, Josie Long, Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Andrew Collins, Mark Watson, The Penny Dreadfuls, Lee Mack, Gary Delaney and Tim Vine. Tim Vine's joke book is of course fantastic, as is Richard Herring's 2010 book How Not To Grow Up! which was genuinely moving, as well as being insightful and hilarious.

2010 also included All Day Edinburgh, an eight hour long benefit gig for Shelter, ran by Michael Legge, who is a genius. And believe me, I use that word all the time. It included some incredible acts, such as Colin Hoult, Chris Addison (from off the tele!) and The Trap, who I'd wanted to see for ages, thanks to their podcast, and they did not disappoint!

The Trap Sodcast continued to be hilarious in 2010, as did Precious Little Podcast and of course Collings and Herrin. I also began listening to The Gentleman's Review podcast this year, and I'm now hooked.

So that's my Review Of The Year! See, there was loads of great stuff in 2010. Inside TVs and the internet. And underneath pubs. This blog entry is named after the Incubus song Favorite Things, but that didn't come out this year, so instead I'll leave you with the song that this entire blog is named after, Mindless by The Skints. Did I mention that they're amazing? Enjoy.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Would You Like Lemon Or Lime With That Piece Of Advice Mister?

There are only three things in the world that I hate, and one of them is the ambiguity surrounding new institutionalism in political science.

But enough of that now, instead let's play: Agony Aunt To The Stars! I will be offering advice to some famous people, some of them fictional, by answering their letters! Also, apologies if I get some of the locations wrong. Let's crack on with our first letter!

>Jack Bauer
>Bristol, UK

Right now, terrorists are plotting to assassinate a Presidential candidate, my wife and daughter have been targeted, and people that I work with may be involved in both. I'm federal agent Jack Bauer, and today is the longest day of my life.

Well Jack, we've all felt that way at times! You're clearly working too hard, all that stress will be the death of you, hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Just relax, take some time for you. Some hard-earned Jack-time. Let other people do things for you for a change. Just slow down. Maybe have a nice, long, warm, relaxing bath.

>Rocky Balboa



>Mel Gibson

I hate Jews!

You also hate black people!

>That boring cunt from Inception
>France, France

The moment's passed. Whatever I do I can't change this moment. I'm about to call out to them. They run away. If I'm ever going to see their faces I've gotta get back home. The real world.

No one cares.

So thanks for playing Agony Aunt To The Stars! Leave any letters from famous people as comments! The title of this blog is from the song Untutored Youth by The Hives. I'll leave you with their best video, Two Timing Touch And Broken Bones. Enjoy!