The “Only Ten” Lists

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The Time culture critics have just come out with their Best of 2008 Top Ten Lists. This is useful. These guys know what they’re talking about. It’s their job to have thorough knowledge of their areas of expertise. Movie critics see every movie. TV critics watch every TV show. Music critics listen to every album. Then these worthy writers painstakingly reduce their oeuvre down into the ultimate demi-glace of concentrated cultural stock – a Top Ten List.

I’m not a critic. I’m a workaholic screenwriter with two screamaholic kids. I don’t have time to imbibe twelve months worth of movies/tv/music/architechture/video games/whatever and carefully sort out the best of the best (of the best) for a nice well-rounded list that shows the breadth and depth and of my taste. I only have time for typing scripts and yelling at children. So I came up with my own set of lists: the “Only Ten” lists. These are the lists of the “only ten” things I had time to do in each category during 2008. These aren’t the best of the best. They’re the “I was lucky to get to even do these.”

ONLY TEN MOVIES I SAW IN THE THEATER (MOSTLY ON DATE NIGHTS WITH MY WIFE)
Baby Mama
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
Mamma Mia!
Role Models
The Dark Knight
The Quantum of Solace
Speed Racer
Tropic Thunder

ONLY TEN BOOKS I SOMEHOW GOT TO READ (BECAUSE WHEN I READ IN BED I WAKE UP MY WIFE, THEREFORE I CAN’T READ IN BED)
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City by Nick Flynn
An Arsonists Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clark
The Braindead Microphone by George Saunders
Diaries 1969-1979: The Python Years by Michael Palin
Lemons Never Lie by Donald Westlake
Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon
Paper Lion by George Plimpton
The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran
Schulz and Peanuts by David Michaelis
The Van by Roddy Doyle

ONLY TEN TV SHOWS I TIVOED AND MOSTLY SAW EVENTUALLY
30 Rock
Entourage
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Mad Men
South Park
The Office
The Sarah Silverman Program
The Simpsons
Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show:
Great Job
Top Chef

ONLY TEN ALBUMS I LISTENED TO (I DON’T LISTEN TO ALBUMS BECAUSE I ONLY LISTEN TO AUDIOBOOKS)
[none]

TOP TEN AUDIO BOOKS (THAT’S RIGHT, AN ACTUAL “TOP TEN.” I LISTENED TO OVER 50 AUDIOBOOKS LAST YEAR, SO THIS LIST ACTUALLY MEANS SOMETHING. IT MEANS I LOVE AUDIOBOOKS!)
The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta
Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
I Married A Communist by Philip Roth
Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed by Paul Trynka
Lush Life by Richard Price
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Psmith, Journalist by P.G. Wodehouse
The Honourable Schoolboy by John Le Carre
Theft by Peter Carey

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