This will come as no surprise to anyone who reads this site. In my opinion, the best thing to come out of 2005 in the entertainment world is ABC's Lost!
What could have been an ungainly mix of Castaway, Gilligan's Island and Survivor immediately proved itself to be a superb TV Drama, worthy of the hype it received. By the end of 2004, it was being spoken of in the same sentences as the best television programs of all time.
In 2005 Lost got even better, turning its own mythos on its ear and playing virtual hide-and-seek with its fans. The show seems to improve with each revelation, even though with each revelation we find out how much of the puzzle we're really still missing. Not since Twin Peaks has a show captured the imaginations of so many unrelated types of people and unlike Twin Peaks, it's still kicking ass in its second season.
We can only ask that there be many more seasons... but not so many that they continue after they lose steam.
Jonathan Larson's multiple award-winning masterpiece Rent has translated amazingly from stage to screen with a minimum of changes.
The saving grace is that director Chris Columbus truly believed in the purity of the project and tried like mad to keep it as intact as possible. Amazingly, the original Broadway cast was utilized with only Daphne "Mimi" Rubin-Vega (who was pregnant) and Fredi "Joanne" Walker (who believed herself to be too old to play the part) not returning for the film. (Names that were discussed to replace the original cast included members of *NSync, former American Idol stars and even Doogie Howser.)
Aside from the cast, the themes and intent of the play remained intact. Rent has proven itself to be a passionate and emotional movie musical worth both a look and a listen!
The big risk Universal Studios took in buying the rights to Fox's cancelled Space Opera/ Western might not have paid off financially (yet) but Joss Whedon's Feature Directorial Debut certainly pays off when it comes to critical and fan feedback.
Managing the unenviable task of making a film based on a TV Show accessible to both fans and newcomers couldn't have been easy. Arguably, it's somewhat dense for those unfamiliar with the saga. However, in and of itself, Serenity survives as the rare artist-driven project to have studio backing and it's an unquestionable triumph as a Science Fiction film. There may never be another like this one, so be thankful we have this one!
- Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
I know, way to root for the underdog, huh? Regardless of what the "popular" opinions (which are all too often forgotten long before the films they critique are) concerning the "Prequel Trilogy", George Lucas stuck to his guns and constructed his own film in his own way.
Though both fans and detractors have complained that the prequels (including this one) weren't what they wanted. However, we became fans because of what Lucas made up, and we're lucky to play in his sand box. He's under no obligation to poll us all and make sure we approve.
The film itself feels like the final lost piece of a 30 year old Jigsaw puzzle has finally been found. Regardless of the scenarios we might have played out in our own minds, this is the one Uncle George has been fleshing out. After all, isn't that more important anyway?
- "Lullabies to Paralyze" by Queens of the Stone Age
After Songs for the Deaf, an album referred to as the next Nevermind, Josh Homme could have made a direct sequel. After all QOTSA broke out at a time when neo-punk acts like The Hives, The Vines and The Strokes were all grabbing headlines, so going commercial would have lined Homme's pockets like fiberglass insulation.
That's not what happened though. Lullabies to Paralyze features a new line up for QOTSA (though not for "The Desert Sessions") and an evolution of the "Musician's Music" that Homme and company have been working on since the dissolution of Kyuss. It's anything but safe and follows only the conventions he's set for himself.
With guest appearances (this time featuring ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons among others) continuing and more experimentation than ever, Lullabies to Paralyze isn't Songs for the Deaf II (any more than SFTD was R II). That might have disappointed new fans. How about a salute to those musicians who still don't do it for the money?