The very best in music, movies, books, TV, concerts and more of 2011

UPDATED Jan. 4
In sitting down to pick my top movies/albums/etc. of the past year, I realized I would have a difficult time picking 10 in any particular category, which is kind of a key component in any top 10 list.

So, instead of the usual “best of” format, I’m going to borrow from Stephen King (who happens to be on this list) and include the things I loved in 2011. Other than being grouped by category with a No. 1 leading the way for each, they’ll be in no particular order.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you …

The 2011 List of So … There I Was’ Favorite Things
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The Best TV Shows of 2010, at least according to me

It’s not been a banner year for television.

Just a few months ago, I found myself anxiously awaiting the start of the new TV season, but now, there’s only been one new show that captured my attention (AMC’s The Walking Dead, which has wrapped up its six-episode first season).
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What’s next?

Each summer, I try to pick a new TV show or two to watch on DVD. This can be a series that’s already completed its run or a current series that I can catch up on and then watch new episodes in the fall.

With Lost officially over (and the Season 6 DVDs not due until later this year), I’m anxious to find something new to settle in with over the next few weeks (and, if good, perhaps over the next few seasons/years).
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TV is no longer a mindless wasteland

It’s been chic to bash network TV the past few years, and to be fair, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC have deserved every bit of it. Smart, challenging shows (I’m thinking specifically of Freak and Geeks and Arrested Development) weren’t given room to breathe and grow, while dreck like Two and a Half Men still continues to air.
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