Top Ten in Pop 2009


It’s not too long before those “Best of ’09” lists to start making the rounds, so I thought I’d go ahead and give it a whirl. Here it is. My Top Ten Picks of 2009:

1. Ellen Degeneres

She finished off the year by being just the second woman ever to grace the cover of O with Oprah Winfrey (Michelle Obama was the first). Hers is the only daytime show I tivo because she’s just so dern funny. Seriously, how can you not be filled with glee after watching this:

2. Comic Book Nerds

True, I hated Watchmen more than I can say, but the comic nerd movement (a movement which I fully support) is still going strong. TV shows started producing supporting comics, and some canceled shows even continued their stories in comic form. We got a movie about the origins of Wolverine, and children got in on the fun with Astro Boy and Coraline. And, whaddayaknow, The Big Bang Theory viewership is up 30% this season. Long live the nerds!

3. Michael Jackson Madness

It may not be his most popular video, but I will always remember the first time I saw The Way You Make Me Feel.  The grittiness. The energy. The high-pitched woo-hoo! I loved it. The man was talented to the point of madness, and he could make anyone get off their feet and dance. Or at least attempt the moonwalk. There’s been so much said that I couldn’t possibly have anything new to offer, so… R.I.P. King of Pop.

4. Celebs who Tweet

The twitter universe isn’t for everyone, but it’s become one of the few places celebrities can interact with their fans. Many simply tweet funny messages (Rainn Wilson: “Today I dedicate to Lady Gaga.”), but others actually get their fans involved. Ellen asks her followers to do random stunts to win tickets (“Meet me at the Grove and bring a yucca plant!”), Imogen Heap allowed fans to choose her album cover, and Nathan Fillion (sigh…) and others respond to their fans directly.

5. PS22 Chorus

I can’t imagine that someone hasn’t forwarded you a video of these kids at some point in time. They were everywhere this year, singing for everyone from Suzanne Vega to Beyonce. And, yep, they’re just a public school chorus with a truly phenomenal teacher (three cheers for Mr. B!). If you’re ever in need of some quick inspiration, just visit their blog.

6. Taylor Swift

She made history as the youngest person ever to win the CMA Entertainer of the Year, her album Fearless went platinum four times over, and she’s even dating the werewolf from Twilight. She writes, sings, and plays all of her own songs. Very good songs at that. The shot at ex Joe Jonas during her SNL monologue (she was host and musical guest) pretty much sums it up: “Hey Joe! I’m doin’ real well.”

7. Jane Lynch

I could give this spot to the entire cast of Glee, but instead I’m singling out the brilliant Jane Lynch. Even while playing the truly diabolical cheerleading coach, she elicits more real emotion than any other character on the show. I’ve seen her around in other movies (every Christopher Guest movie, in fact), and she’s always been a scene-stealer. But her role on Glee just might make her a bonafide star. Here’s hoping!

9. Kings of Leon

That voice. That guitar. The glorious anthem-y-ness of it all! Kings of Leon were the soundtrack to life this year. Since hitting the big time, some of their old school fans have accused them of selling out (as old school fans always do). All I have to say to them is: If this is what selling out sounds like, bring it on.

In related news, KOL also delivered my favorite quote of the year: “Marijuana is a gateway drug. It leads to sweatpants and cheetos.”

9. Joel McHale

I know, I  know, I mention Joel McHale in practically every other post. I love the man so much that I’m currently working on a music video with my fellow crazies in hopes of persuading him to do a stand-up show in Memphis.  Community gets funnier each week and The Soup is at its’ best. Come to Memphis, Joel. We’ll fill you up with BBQ and chicken tetrazzinni.

10. Star Trek

Pretty much anything J.J. Abrams touches turns to gold. But the big props here should go the casting director who managed to perfectly cast each character. That’s a tough thing to do with such an old and treasured (perhaps bizarrely worshipped) franchise. I can’t think of another movie I enjoyed more (or saw more) this year than Star Trek. Naturally, I’m asking for the special edition DVD for Christmas.

So what are your top in pop, fellow hippos?


12 Responses to “Top Ten in Pop 2009”

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  2. urbino Says:

    I don’t even know 10 things that happened in pop, so I can’t make a list. I’ll just comment on yours. A little.

    1. I’ve always loved Ellen. I remember when she used to show up every now and then on Comedy Central, doing her stand-up. A hoot.

    2. Dunno anything about comic books and such, but, yeah, it does seem like they’re having a big cultural moment. I think I’d like BBT, if I ever saw it. I’ve never been entirely clear if I’m a nerd, a dork, or a geek, but I’m in there somewhere.

    3. I was never a fan, but seeing “Thriller” on MTV the first time was a big moment.

    4. Got nuthin’ on this one.

    5. I’d never heard of the PS22 Chorus, so thanks for that one!

    6. Imma let you talk about Taylor Swift, but first, did you hear about Beyonce?? Har har. I’d never seen or heard the girl before she hosted SNL the other night. She was excellent at it, fwiw. And cute as a button, of course.

    7. Got nuthin’ on this one, either.

    8. I’ve never heard Kings of Leon, but I’ll give ’em a try. You steered me right on She&Him. (For some reason, the name “Kings of Leon” is a little off-putting. Is it just me?)

    9. I wasn’t aware chicken tetrazzinni was a big Memphis food. Is that something he’d have to come by Chez C-Love to get?

    10. Haven’t seen it yet. It’s on the list.

  3. mrspeacock Says:

    For some reason, the name “Kings of Leon” is a little off-putting. Is it just me?
    I heard their music before I knew their name, so I’ve never really thought about it. However, I will say that I boycotted The Big Bang Theory for years because I hated the title so much. I’m over it now.

    I wasn’t aware chicken tetrazzinni was a big Memphis food. Is that something he’d have to come by Chez C-Love to get?
    Haha, no, there’s a running chicken tetrazzinni joke on The Soup. But I would gladly whip him up a pan of deliciousness anytime.

  4. michaellasley Says:

    The Dennis Quaid bit was great.

    Taylor Swift causes absolute loads of controversy, no? The people seem to love her, but other artists get pissed at the mention of her name (Kanye and Wynona, to e. two g.’s.) I don’t get why people’d go out of their way to hate on her. Makes them seem old and grumpy.

    I want to like Community, but the two episodes I’ve seen have….well, “disappointed” would sum up my experience. I actually like Joel McHale’s character, so don’t throw things at me. It was the writing. It wasn’t all that funny. I’ll catch up on it at some point because it seemed to have lots of potential.

  5. mrspeacock Says:

    Well, Kanye has his own crazy going on. I didn’t know Wynona had anything negative to say about her. Interesting…

    Community has gotten better with each episode. The writing is smarter and the characters are more comfortable. The two funniest eps have been the Halloween special (Chevy Chase as the Beastmaster!) and the Psych experiment. I was rolling during those. Then again, those might be the two you were dissapointed in!

  6. michaellasley Says:

    Nope. Haven’t seen those two.

    Wynona said TS was too young to win EoTY award….that TS hadn’t proven herself or something….I really don’t know. I’m sure you can find it pretty easily. It wasn’t *horrible* but it made Wynona sound old and grumpy nonetheless.

    • urbino Says:

      Well, Wynona is past her prime, and she’s always been grumpy (though she tried to sell it as sexy), so, I can’t say I’m hugely surprised she got a bit catty when a skinny 17-y.o. (or however old TS is) won a big award.

  7. mrspeacock Says:

    Sheesh. It’s Entertainer of the Year, not a Lifetime Achievement Award.

    I do know how to spell “disappointment,” by the way. I would hate for Mrs. Lasley to come across such a grievance.

  8. alsturgeon Says:

    I liked the Dennis Quaid bit, too. Wouldn’t it be fun to do something like that but just pretend that you have an earpiece and a secret camera? Just convince the Starbucks dude he was just on Ellen or Colbert or something.

    Of course, I’d never have the guts to do it. But I like to mention it in case someone like Terry decides to do it, and then I would enjoy it vicariously.

    OH! Speaking of pop culture, I just came up with a terrific name for a country song and explained it on my blog. Check it out at

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