best and worst of culture 2010

Best TV (don’t watch much these days, find it depressing, but all these kept me going through some dark nights)

True Blood

Peep Show

Family Guy


The Art of Russia

The Art of Germany

Worst TV (this list could go on for ever… but I’ll keep it short)

The Accused (I’m with you on this one Gary. Biggest disappointment of the year)

Best Films

Kick Ass

Tyson – the movie (surprisingly moving and insightful)

Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy you are my man of 2010)

The Road (as good as the book – how often does that happen?)

Fish Tank (low budget – potentially unpromising kitchen sink with such a mesmerising central performance – very very moving and delightful film)

Moon (effectively a one man show – nice little quirky low budget gem)

Synecdoche New York (Charlie Kaufman – you are the dog’s)

Worst Films

Four Lions (not bad but just very disappointing. Ok it was funny but what a missed opportunity. Thought Chris Morris was supposed to be a satirist?)

Antichrist (brilliant opening scene – ridiculous ending)

Mister Lonely (missed opportunity again)

Looking for Eric (again, had potential and a great idea but the performances were all over the place, the jokes were shoe-horned and the characters one dimensional clichés – working class people=good/ apart from drug-dealers=bad. And that ridiculous scene with paint guns… please!)

Age of Stupid (ram it down my throat why don’t you – such a naive and didactic pile of crap)

Best Books

Stewart Lee – How I Escaped My Certain Fate (close contender for man of the year – also a brilliant analysis of stand-up comedy)

Simon Armitage – Seeing Stars (lots to surprise and delight here)

A History of the World in 100 Objects (listened to the radio programme and kept screaming ‘I want to see the objects’ so this answered that need)

David Nicholls – One Day (I fell in love with Emma but I know I’m going to hate the film)

Worst Books

Martin Amis – The Pregnant Widow (his dad was right about him)

Will Self – The Book of Dave (great idea but one dimensional characterisation and casual misogyny. If you hate people so much, perhaps being a writer of fiction is not the job for you)

Best Theatre

Didn’t see any great theatre but The Habit of Art was entertaining (although disappointingly light) and Enron showed a lot of flair (although over-rated and no substance)

Worst Theatre

Almost everything I saw this year was bad but the two worst:

The Canterbury Tales – Northern Broadsides at WYPH (Chaucer made into Carry On Farting)

Arcadia – Tom Stoppard (at the Lowry – interminably dull and deeply pretentious)


Best Music

A lot of good stuff this year but loved:

MIA – ///Y/

Magnetic Man

Grinderman 2

CW Stoneking

Boys Noize

Imelda May – Mayhem

Roots Manuva – Duppy Writer

Agnes Obel – Philharmonics

Caribou – Swim

Gill Scott-Heron – I’m New Here

Worst Music

Badly Drawn Boy – you used to be good but this new album is dull beyond belief

Eminem – you used to be funny but now you are no fun at all and your samples suck

Michael Stewart


About headspam

I'm a writer from Salford, now based in Bradford. I've written for theatre, radio and TV. And the following books: King Crow (novel: Bluemoose Books); Couples (poetry: Valley Press); Cafe Assassin (novel: Bluemoose Books); Mr Jolly (short stories: Valley Press) Author page:
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2 Responses to best and worst of culture 2010

  1. Andy Nowlan says:

    Hi Michael. Just had a quick check on Posterous and noticed this post – some interesting suggestions! With you on Fish Tank and Exit Through the Gift Shop – will have to try and get hold of Synecdoche New York, Moon and The Road. Bit harsh on Four Lions – but I agree it’s often worse seeing a good film that could have been great than seeing a crap film – which is all too often. 4,3,2,1 was somewhere between those for me, and definitely in ‘worst films’ – what a waste of funding!On a side note – are there any websites or blogs you’d recommend following for British film?Good luck with King Crow, must be out soon!CheersAndy

  2. Michael Stewart says:

    <html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns:m="; xmlns=""><head><meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 12 (filtered medium)"><!–[if !mso]><style>v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} </style><![endif]–><style><!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face
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    {page:WordSection1;} –></style><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:shapedefaults v:ext="edit" spidmax="1026" /> </xml><![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:shapelayout v:ext="edit"> <o:idmap v:ext="edit" data="1" /> </o:shapelayout></xml><![endif]–></head><body lang=EN-GB link=blue vlink=purple><div class=WordSection1><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’>Sorry Andy for my woeful and tardy response. I’m a bit useless with this Posterous thingy… don’t know of any good blogs/websites I’m afraid, although Will Self’s piece on the Coen Brothers, in The Guardian on Saturday was brilliant – should be available online. <o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’>Best,<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’>Michael<o:p></o:p></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:11.0pt;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";color:#1F497D’></span></p><div style=’border:none;border-top:solid #B5C4DF 1.0pt;padding:3.0pt 0cm 0cm 0cm’><p class=MsoNormal><b><span lang=EN-US style=’font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"’>From:</span></b><span lang=EN-US style=’font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"’> Posterous [mailto:</span></p></div></div></body></html>

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