Our long national nightmare is almost over! The year-end lists that plague this time of year will be null and void at the stroke of midnight Sunday. So before we take off for a three-day weekend full of speculating and drinking, here's, um, yet another year-end list! We skipped the crap and just went for our favoritiest pop culture nuggets from 2006. If you disagree or think there was something better, we probably didn't see it — or you're just wrong.
Favoritest Viral Video: Reverend Alecia. She simply spun, spun, spun
around on a gold lamé-covered office chair to "give praise to the name
of the Lord," but there was something so hilariously beautiful about
it. And just when you thought you've had enough, she spins via
Favoritest Song: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. Sure, it's played out now, but we remember when, we remember, we remember at the beginning of the year when the infectious beat and repetitious lyrics shook our tush. While OutKast was busy making a movie, Gnarls Barkley's Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo filled the genre-spanning void with the bestest ditty of 2006.
Favoritest Commercial: Little Richard for Geico. Usually we cringe at celebrities shilling in ads. (Case in point: Alan Thicke offering a "second honeymoon" at the Tahiti Village in Las Vegas. Oh, brother.) But Little Richard steals the show while hawking car insurance with the best description of Thanksgiving dinner ever. Whooo!!!
Favoritest Reality TV Show: "Survivor: Cook Islands." It started with a scandal and could've gone horribly wrong. Instead, viewers of this aging reality show were treated to a season of interesting twists that had nothing to do with that racial divide. By season's end, we were left with a dominating multicultural alliance who concluded the potentially viscous game with more integrity than any previous season.
Favoriest Movie: "Borat" and "The Queen." We know. We know. We're lame for the tie, but we couldn't pick just one. Surprisingly, we sorta loved both for the same reason. These scathing looks at two very different cultures successfully undulated between real and fake, fact and fiction. "Borat" did it for laughs. "The Queen" did it for chills. And we're better for watching both.
Favoritest Roller Coaster: Tatsu. Opened in April, this soaring Japanese-themed coaster, which suspends riders horizontally, whirls 170-feet above Six Flags Magic Mountain's other rides and — gulp! — the ground. When we visited Los Angeles in October, we rode in the front and truly felt like Superman.
Favoritest Game Show: "The Price is Right." You can keep "Deal or No Deal," "1 vs. 100," "Identity" and all those other prime-time game shows. They're boring and, frankly, seem phony. We'll take the crazy everyday men and women who compose "The Price is Right" audience any day of the week. And although Bob Barker announced he's retiring next year, we think he's still got it.
Favoritest Scandal: Clay Aiken's hand. When the "American Idol" runner-up put his hand over Kelly Ripa's mouth on "Live with Regis and Kelly," it ignited a firestorm across daytime television. We're surprised it didn't cause any havoc in Harmony on "Passions."
Favoritest TV Show: "Heroes." While "Lost" was busy dragging out its tiresome mysteries — there, we said it — this superhero drama moved forward with superhuman speed, improving upon a very ehhhh first episode and veering clear of copying "X-Men" by focusing intriguing they-could-be-real characters. We can't wait until 2007 to find out if we're on the list!
Favoritest Video Game: "Loco Roco." Our favorite game this year wasn't on Wii or PlayStation 3. It was on — gasp! — the PlayStation Portable. With spirited graphics, addictive soundtrack and innovate gameplay, we think this gelatinous puzzle game was more vanguard than anything on those next-generation consoles.
Favoritest Blog: Adrants. We love this marketing and advertising blog for exposing bizarre commercials, flogs and silly P.R. campaigns. In a year when the line between entertainment and advertisement became even thinner, Adrants was there to point its finger and giggle. (And no, we didn't pick Adrants because they linked to our HeadOn post.)
Favoritest asap Story We Did: Waiting for Cats. This past year, we had the opportunity to create stories about amazing people (Mr. T, Bazooka Joe), amazing animals (Lassie, mascots), amazing places (Costa Rica, Flea World) and amazing things ("Second Life," Mardi Gras), but our favoritest was simply tailing a group of talented teenagers who were putting on an amateur production of "Cats."