Monday, December 27, 2010

2010: Jungle Red's Hits and Disses

HALLIE: Here we are at the end of 2010, a year when Twitter took off, Facebook took off again (for the middle-aged and electronically challenged), smartphones were everywhere, the E-reader hit its stride, and it got even harder to reach your kids if you don't text.

Taking a look back at the lighter side of 2010, here's my list of hits:

TV shows...Mad Men, The Good Wife, Castle, Masterpiece Mystery Sherlock, Life on Mars

Movies...Harry Potter
and the Deathly Hallows Part I, Winter's Bone
Books... Ro
om (by Emma Donoghue); Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter (by Tom Franklin)
Food... fish tacos, bacon and pomegranate juice

Stores...I finally visited Target and Costco: I get it now

Games...Catch Phrase, and still as always bridge

Conveniences...Online restaurant reservations

And misses. I'd like to see a lot less of...
Dancing with Stars

Four-inch heels

Purses the size of dirigibles

Leopard prints

Lady Gaga

Mel Gibson

Oil spills



What are your hits and misses of 2010?

TV show...Friday Night Lights, really you must go back to the beginning and watch this. The drama and characters are top notch.
Movies...I know I must have liked some but I can't remember what they were!

Trip out of the US...Rome

The farmer's market

Food...Yes! all of it!

Oil spills
Squabbling politicians


Snow and ice

Oh definitely squabbling politicians to top my miss column.
And all those samey reality shows-- Biggest Loser, Survivor 29, Endless talent or non-talent shows...

And I could do without Lady Ga Ga.

Hits were:

Olympic games in Canada
Fun and chun
ky bling
Two weeks in Nice

Twenties Girl (loved it!) and I've just seen a fabulous production of the Nutcracker today

I'm sure more will come to me the moment I sign out.

Hits were--
TV: Madmen, The Good Wife, The Sing Off, the conclusion of the Tudors, Empire Boardwalk, Craig Fergus
Movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, the The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.

Books: The Well and The Mine by Gin Philllips, The Creative Brain by Shelley Carson, All Souls by Michael Patrick McDonald, Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace

Jersey Boys on Broadway

The fabulous weather this summer

First I-Phone

George, my first experience with a cat


Screaming talk show hosts

Red Sox season of injuries

Sex and the City II

Twilight series

Cape-like cardigans

Return of the oxford shoe

Oh yes, I'd like to pile on for 3 of Jan's--my iphone, Jersey Boys, and a cat in the house!

And I second screaming talk show hosts and their screaming guests

TV: The Good Wife. Masterpiece Sherlock. Brilliant.

Fashion: you can wear anything you want. I love that. Wearing stuff that doesn't match. Wow. (I learned that from my idols Heidi and Tim.) And, Hallie, I like leopard.

HALLIE: I knew you'd say that. That's because you can off pull of leopard print (and 4" heels).

HANK: Books? I judged YA for the Edgars. More I cannot say. I'm fascinated by the growing realization that ebooks are real, and not a work of the devil. This is truly a time of transition. (I do worry for independent bookstores though. We'll see what happens this year.)


Gosh, I just dont get the wii.
Or xbox, or whatever those things do. Sorry, I'
m old.
The vuvuzela, SO annoying. Except that day they put it behind everything on YouTube, whch was so hilarious and so meta.

Bedbugs, puh-leeze. But Roberta taught me how to look.

Food? Well, of course, bacon. And vodka, champagne and elderflower liqueur. (One.)

Movies. Huh. Did we see any good ones?

Annoyances: People who are ALWAYS on their phones, talking, texting, whatever. People are making themselves alone even when they're with you. Worrisome.

Guilty pleasure? Watching the singing flashmobs on You Tube.

So excited for the year to come!

Elderflower liqueur -- Really? With champagne? Sounds like something to try on New Year's Eve. And interesting, isn't it, how much this was a better year for TV than for movies. Go figure.

I agree on flashmobs. I love the one where everyone froze in Grand Central - in fact, I used something like that in my new book (March 22!)

So what are your hits and misses for 2010? Please, dish!!

(And stay tuned! Later this week:
Tuesday: Are you as intrigued as I am by Patricia Highsmith? She invented the villainous hero and the suspense novel. Meet Joan Schenkar who wrote the definitive and fascinating biography, The Talented Miss Highsmith:
The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith. She says writing it nearly killed her, and it's easy to understand why.
Wednesday: Meet Mike Wiecek who just sold (at auction!) his thriller Clawback and a sequel to Viking.
Thursday: I'll be talking about my new writing book, just out.
And we have special treats in store for New Year's Ev en and New Year's Day!


  1. Love the fact that so many of you zeroed in on The Good Wife. How rare it is to find a show that presents complexities and ambiguities, and doesn't try to tie up everything with a neat bow by the end of the episode.

  2. Isn't that the truth, Sheila.

    Oh, and I'll add to misses:
    SNOW SNOW SNOW! We're buried in it. I think, but I can't even see out the windows because wind-driven snow is stuck to the screens.

    Thanking my lucky stars that we share our driveway with a Statie. How are the rest of you out there??

  3. TV shows not yet mentioned: Breaking Bad, The Big C, Nurse Jackie.
    Misses: Posthumously published books by longtime favorites Robert B. Parker and William G. Tapply. I don't mean that the books weren't good, just that I was saddened to be reminded of their passing. I knew them both, though probably not nearly as well as most of you did. And, since they each have a book to be published in 2011, I'll be having the same feelings all over again next year.

  4. My biggest hit, writing wise was my discovery of David Mitchell. I am addicted to his novels now. Also the episode of Mad Men with Peggy and Don. And I'm going to add music in, Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Best album of the year.

  5. Hit: Wi-Fi on airplanes and Amtrak.

    Miss: pseudofood for sale on airplanes.

    Hit: Kimpton pet-friendly hotels

    Miss: TV show "Dallas Divas and Daughters"

  6. Movies--The King's Speech, Morning Glory (Yeah, I know the latter's not deep or Oscar-worthy, but it made hubby and me laugh until we cried. How often does that happen?)
    Book--Mantel's Wolf Hall. (It didn't come out this year, but I didn't get around to reading it until a couple months ago.)
    TV--NFL football in hi-def (even though the Broncos stink)
    Miss: Airplanes charging for seats, food, bags, blankets, preferential boarding, etc.

  7. TV - Big Bang Theory!

    Books - I also loved The Help and look forward to the film.

    Jan, if you like David Foster Wallace, I read a book-length interview, something with A Road Trip with DFW in the title. Really good, but sad, of course.

  8. Hits:
    * Boardwalk Empire
    * My new Droid phone (a tool, not a companion, despite all the things it can do - including serve as an e-reader.)

    * Bookstores struggling or worse
    * Horizontal snow

  9. Ken, I agree on Parker and Tapply. They'll be much missed. Tapply's next to last OUTWITTING TROLLS is a winner.

    Naomi, Peggy from Mad Men is on my list of HITS. David Mitchell...writing it down.

    Susannah, did you actually *watch* Dallas Divas??

    Laura, I'm so impressed you read Wolf Hall. Not an easy read.

    Rhonda, RIP to bookstores that folded. And yet...and yet... I feel like there may be a resurgence (as there is with small presses) what with B&N and Borders teetering. Let's hear it for R. J. Julia and The Poisoned Pen and Mystery Loves Bookshop and The Harvard Bookstore and for Powell's and for anyone brave enough to open a bookstore in 2011, we've got your back!

  10. Oh, yes, Susannah, airlines charging for EVERYTHING!! (But a hit for Jet Blue, I still think.)

    Hallie, Im reading COME AND FIND ME right now!! WOW!!!

  11. Hank, you made my morning a HIT despite the shoveling. Thanks.

  12. Ramona
    Have you ever read David foster Wallace's commencement speech. Google it. Its the most brilliant thing ever written

    Hank. I had that champagne and elderberry wine drink at a Xmas party. Delicious. But I only had two and got a headache. Try it with amaretto. Also delicious

  13. Everything gives me a headache--Hank's drink gives me one just reading about it:).

    I'm going right now to check on the Kimpton Hotels--Tonka will be thrilled!

  14. Jan, I just found and read the speech. Wow. I'm going to have to digest that for a while. Thanks.

  15. I didn't watch Dallas Divas and Daughters by choice, but it got in my way a lot.

    Second thumbs-up for the Kimpton chain & pets. According to one interviewer, J Winspear and I stayed in the same one in DC in April-- she coming in the day Puz and I were leaving. In the Hotel Monacos of that chain, if you arrive without a pet and would like one, they loan you a goldfish. It arrives in a sparkling bowl with a card of introduction and its name. Great fun.

  16. Hallie - A week or so ago, I saw a notice about a new bookstore opening (I can't remember where, but it's not near me.) That announcement, such an act of faith and optimism, perked up my day. So, maybe that should have been on my Hits List, too?

  17. WE have a solution for the airline nastiness as everyone tries to jam their luggage into the overhead bins: Charge to bring the suitcase on the train, and make it free to check...

  18. ElderFLOWER liqueur, not elderberry wine.

    It's hardly sweet at all..

  19. Hank,

    Yes, I meant the liqueur not the wine....does anyone drink elderberry wine, I wonder?

  20. Wasn't Elderberry wine what the sisters in Arsenic and Old Length dispatched their lonely gentlemen callers?

  21. Yes, Hallie, it was.