THE TOP _________ OF THE YEAR

Around this time of year, many of those that write about the media are already compiling their list of the best of the medium they write for. Be it movies, television/video programs, recordings, and even live performances such as theater productions and concerts, they seem to hold the idea of what was the best for its medium, and those that take advantage of such mediums should also agree with the critics that hack out these lists.

Looking at the calendar that hangs on the wall received from a real estate agent based in the great Midwest, there are less than thirty days remaining of 2022. Although there are some sources that won’t necessarily put out content between now and December 31st, the ones that remain have yet to present what’s coming up for audiences to experience, as well as giving them a chance to either love what they are experiencing, or to hate it to pieces.

This writer a.k.a. “me”, know of what’s out there. Some elements are known better than others. I don’t know much about music recording and the artists and musicians that create this stuff, but I know that it’s out there. To give an idea on that fact, I know little to nothing about Taylor Swift. I’m sure she holds talent. After all, if she was just a hack guitar player, I really don’t think that people would clammer on getting tickets to her future tour. But I digress!

I don’t attend as many theater shows as I once did. (A long story to that reasoning!) So I don’t see enough shows to warrant a list of the best of the year. Besides, since live shows are that–live shows, you only have the memory of knowing how good that presentation was to another show that appeared somewhere else. There may be good parts of one show, and better parts of another. But sometimes you can compare to to, especially if you can look back on the performance. There’s photos (stills) of each play, etc as reference. But unless you compare publicity photos, then you can make up a list–maybe!

So this writer is down to what this same writer has the most knowledge–feature films and television/video programs. These two mediums are stage bedfellows to one another. The reason? In recent years, movies that were meant to be seen in a traditional movie house resemble many of the video programs available through legacy outlets (cable and even over the air channels) and those as streaming sources. The video programs that we will be calling “television” even though one can view them on a computer based device and/or one’s phone, looks like feature films. The only difference? Movies hold a limited running time ranging from 50 minutes (the minimum running time for a title to be classified as a “full length movie” rather than a “short subject”,) to 100, 200, or even 300 minutes. However, the ideal running time for a movie is around 100 to 120 minutes. Anything longer is considered as an “epic”, but must end eventually. Television programs could have a running time as long as the storyline and its characters can support a baseline to its content. Seasons could have four, six, or eight episodes. And if the show holds enough interest and popularity, it could run for multiple seasons.And since TV programs of late hold a continuity of each episode, they could be strung together to make it a long long episode. Or in this case, one long feature! (One would have to subtract the opening and closing titles to give these links a seamless appearance!) One can watch, let’s say, The Sopranos, a series that ran on HBO from 1999 to 2007 end to end, and it would all make sense! One may be there for hours, perhaps even days, and if a viewer was really into that series, they may even want more! That was the major fault for the Warner Bros. release of The Many Saints of Newark i.e. The Tony Soprano Story. If David Chase, the creator of the series, may convince the programming department of HBO, they could turn that lone feature title into a series. After all, HBO Max (or is it HBO+?) is one of the more popular (if not pricey) streaming services around. And if they want eyeballs looking at their content, they may up the ante (so to speak), in grabbing more subscribers! Tony and the rest of his goons and goombas have a lot more to dish out! More bada to the bing!

But getting back to that list of the best of the year. This writer has been asked (“nagged?) by publicity folks working for the studios or TV content providers to compile a list for this publication, hoping that I may add one of their properties on that coveted list. I don’t give them any promises since I don’t compile a list because it would be unfair to those content providers that churn out stuff I haven’t had a chance to see. I only have so many hours in a day to watch something that they love and adore. No offense to those content providers and the people that push their properties to folks like myself. I just watch anything and everything. After all, I own 500+ videotapes that I have yet to view. And many of these tapes have been around for up to fifty years(!). That’s right gang! I may own videotapes even older than you!

So are those bigwigs that hack out articles about movies, TV shows, music records and the folks that hack out their junk, I say, “Way to go”! You can compile those lists of the best of the medium that came to light from January 1st through December 31st and let everyone know in cyberspace land on why you should appreciate their through on why it’s the best. It may be their best, but to you, it may be “OK” or it may be s#it! You can soak up the content for sure. But the only person you should follow on the best of the year is you! If you want to see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever 317 times, then hot damn! If you want to binge on Squid Games until you say “No more pleez!”, then go for it! As for me, I’ll just say (or write), “That’s nice, as long as you don’t fight!”

Oh yes. I will be reporting on a list. That’s the list that the Library of Congress releases as the twenty-five titles that will make the film’s registry for 2022. For yours truly, that is the only list that matters.

PS…every year, I always suggest that three movies be added to the list, but I never see them even considered. All I will state is that these three titles were released within one year of each other (one just celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022), and they are NOT suitable for the kiddies!! When the time arrives when the LOC finally considers these features as historical, I’ll be here to let you know! Stay tuned!

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