Brought to you by asap and The Associated Press, The Slug tastes pop culture for you — just in case it's been poisoned. E-mail us at theslug@ap.org.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Our Favoritest Things in 2006

122906clay (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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 split-screen.

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."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Slugshots: The Perez Hilton Edition

Friday, November 24, 2006

Slugshots: Somebody Cover Barbara Walters' Mouth

Monday, November 20, 2006

While We Were Out

112006tomkat (AP Photo/Robert Evans)

No, The Slug wasn't secretly attending the TomKat wedding in Italy. We really were on an Asian vacation in Malaysia, away from American pop culture. And then we attended the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism in Boston. (Shoutout to all the journalists-bloggers we met.) Besides the Cruise-Holmes wedding — someone tell us why Brooke Shields was there?!?! — here's what else we missed:

Gamers went absolutely nuts for the PS3 and Wii launches while The Slug's B.F.F. and asap reporter Ryan Pearson made himself sore with the Wii. Get jealous. We had a PS3 review unit waiting for us at our desk when we got back so we'll dish on the games, graphics and that ol' fashioned controller this week.

There were several shockers on "Survivor." First, there was that mutiny. Hello?! Doesn't anybody see that Jonathan Penner is sooo obviously this season's villain? Somebody vote him off already! Second, that mysterious bottle revealed a two-for-the-price-of-one Tribal Council. Buh-bye to Brad Virata, Rebecca Borman and Jenny Guzon-Bae. Now it's getting good!

Emmitt "Twinkle Toes" Smith won "Dancing with the Stars," and we couldn't be happier. While Mario Lopez looked hotter in ballroom garb than in A.C. Slater acid wash denim, we were rooting for Smith because he was having more fun. (And he's from our hometown of Pensacola, Fla. Holla.)

"Desperate Housewives" is back to its old self. After that amazing hostage episode — told you Laurie Metcalf was awesome — the show's latest two outings felt fresh, mysterious, sexy and sudsy. What do you think is going to happen with that alleged pedophile neighbor? We think the sister in the wheelchair has something to do with it.

"Casino Royale" opened with the blonde Bond — and it didn't even get the No. 1 spot at the box office. We weren't able to get to any preview screenings so we have zero thoughts on why an animated film about a tap-dancing penguin beat 007. This news has left The Slug shaken, not stirred.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Slugshots: Jordan Catalano Hasn't Changed One Bit

  • Uh oh. We might have check to this out.
  • Oh, Brad! That's rich!
  • Hopefully, he'll still be able to pay the rent. Get it?
  • The diary's days are numbered.
  • Be careful who you sit next to at Starbucks.
  • Hey now. Political ads are catchy!
  • What the heck is Jared Leto up to?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Slugshots: We Just Want to Dance with Somebody

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Slugshots: Tyler Florance is Not Actully Cooking in the Back of Your Neighborhood Grill and Bar, Buddy

  • Just when Vincent from "Project Runway" couldn't annoy us anymore, somebody fluffed and folded his shirts.
  • Maybe she was upset about getting kicked off "Dancing with the Stars."
  • Please don't judge Tyler Florence for this. Remember Rachel Ray used to do Burger King commercials.
  • Scorcese's still got it, baby.
  • Wonder if they'll have to rename those ugly PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) moving bins everyone has out in front of their houses. Our suggestion: TURDS (Transportation of Urgent Receptacle Delivery Storage).
  • We'll wait for "Ugly Betty" shoes. Thanks.
  • Chick-fil-a got it going on, y'all.
  • Vivica, you better not punch Paris Hilton.
  • Oh no. Those eyelashes.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Slugshots: What Do You Expect from a Breakfast Burrito?

Friday, September 01, 2006

Slugshots: Cry Me a River

Monday, August 21, 2006

Slugshots: It's a Goth World After All

  • Of course she does.
  • Of course they won't.
  • Yeah, but those shoes probably only cost $1 to make!
  • We love a good "Cats" fight. (Yes, we did that story. Shameless, we know.)
  • Did this really happen or was it just a nightmare?
  • Goth day at Disneyland. You heard right.