1. 30 ROCK on NBC
Tina Fey‘s Sarah Palin is perfection, but we love her more as Liz. The Emmy winner is back for season 3 of TV’s best comedy — now with more Oprah! What’s the opposite of ”blurg”?
2. ”HOT N COLD” video, Katy Perry
Perry kissed a boy, but he treated her bad. So she and her bat-wielding bridesmaid posse exact hilarious revenge.
3. CARDINOLOGY, Ryan Adams & the Cardinals
The prolific Adams has gone one entire year without releasing anything. With its shades of Gram Parsons and Neil Young, this album was worth the wait.
4. ‘SLEEPING BEAUTY’ PLATINUM EDITION
Beauty has never looked or sounded better (especially in the Blu-ray version). Commentaries, docs, and Disney Princess trivia turn this set into a dream come true.
5. MODERN ARCHITECTURE POP-UP
Owning a pop-up book of gems like the Eiffel Tower says ”I’m urbane, yet fanciful. And I have disposable income.”
6. ANIMAL HOUSE 30th Anniversary DVD
Oh, boy, is this great! Grab a brew (it don’t cost nothin’) and celebrate as the classic frat comedy turns old enough to know better and is feted with a two-disc gift set.
7. 10 YEARS OF RIALTO PICTURES DVD boxed set
Films from Jean-Luc Godard, Robert Bresson, and more get the Criterion treatment.
8. JOHN LENNON: THE LIFE, by Philip Norman
Beatles expert Norman (Shout!) brings fresh insight and access to this definitive portrait of a definitive artist.
9. TIM GUNN’S GUIDE TO STYLE on Bravo
He’s not just changing wardrobes, people — he’s changing lives. There’s no one we’d rather be judged by. Unless he tries to take away our glitter puff-paint cat sweatshirt.
READER’S CHOICE*: TV
10. LEE PACE on ‘Pushing Daisies’
He may have lost the Emmy, but he’s still winning hearts on the adorably touching (or is it not touching?) ABC fantasy. —Submitted by Tebbi Burley
READER’S CHOICE*: TV
11. LIFE on NBC
My new Must will be TV on Wednesday night, starting next week. That is because Life has been rescued from Friday night death, and I will now be watching three shows in a row: Pushing Daisies, Life, and Law & Order (the original and only good L&O). I don’t think I have wanted to regularly watch three hour-long shows in a row since I was in high school (many years ago)! —Lammie
Life tops my must list right now. I just can’t get enough of Damien Lewis. In fact, I’m rewatching Band of Brothers just to get my fix. It’s also a stupendously awesome miniseries, which helps. —Rachel K
READER’S CHOICE*: MOVIES
12. ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO
I can’t await to finally see Zack and Miri Make a Porno. And not because of all the fuss about graphic nudity, sexual content, NC-17 ratings, banned posters, and so on, but because Kevin Smith does not only know how to upset the MPAA but how to make comedies for grown-ups with grown-up themes and never loses a certain childishness. Let’s just say, if Chasing Amy was Smith’s Citizen Kane, then this could be his The Magnificent Andersons. —Jul
READER’S CHOICE*: TV
13. SURVIVOR: GABON on CBS
Survivor still tops my list. Who doesn’t love watching malnourished people compete in challenges (at least what you can see of them through the blurred-out areas), gossip, and connive against one another, all while putting up with an ”Olympic champion” runner who can’t perform in challenges? —Kelli W.
READER’S CHOICE*: POP-CULTURE
14. THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
How about the all-important pop culture event of the year: the Presidential election! Both candidates have benefited from pop culture’s place in this year’s politics, from Fey‘s impersonation on SNL to Obama’s near takeover of the TV airwaves to air his special. Throw in every word that comes out of Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s mouth and will.i.am’s ”Yes We Can” YouTube classic, and you’ve got yourself a veritable pop culture quad-fecta. VOTE! —Dennis N.
READER’S CHOICE*: MUSIC
15. A HUNDRED MILLION SUNS by Snow Patrol
Fabulous, consistently engaging album. —Henry
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