January 22, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

”What do you smoke at EW?!” asked J.R. Rollit of Columbus, Ohio. And J.R. wasn’t alone in questioning our choice of actor Leonardo DiCaprio as Entertainer of the Year in our Best of ’98 issue. Dann Alexander-Early of Atlanta continued the jeering: ”Ignore that black van tailing you. It’s just a few burly men sent to haul you off for deprogramming. You’ve been brainwashed by some Leo cult.” Leo had plenty of lovers, of course — curiously, most of them were females. Reader males — uh, mail — was pretty much united on another front: More than 200 fans of the Dave Matthews Band wrote in to argue our ranking of its album as worst of the year. ”I’m now disgusted with EW,” stated Richard Madras of Toronto. Things can only get better in ’99, right?

King, Queens, Knave
Kudos to you for your Best of 1998 issue. It was the most thorough ”It” list I’ve seen in a long while. Finally, a magazine has recognized Leonardo DiCaprio for the talented actor that he is and not just a teenybopper phenom.
Allison Ford
New York City

Hi, me and my friends go club-hopping in New York City all the time. None of my friends are magicians but one of them does sell shoes. We didn’t dress up as members of Kiss for Halloween but we did go a little crazy. I was just wondering if I can be Entertainer of the Year also. Seems like it doesn’t take much.
Kevin Breheny

The layout for ”The Women of The WB” has got to be the most visually stunning I’ve ever seen — anywhere! It was almost perfect. The only women missing were [Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s] Alyson Hannigan and Charisma Carpenter. I was very disappointed they were left out.
Joseph Patrick
North Hollywood

Congratulations to A.J. Jacobs on the brilliant Backstreet Boys piece in the Best of 1998 issue — he did his homework! It was fun to read a BSB story that I didn’t have to edit.
Cathee Sandstorm
Editor, BOP and BB magazines Studio City, Calif.

Thanks for recognizing the Backstreet Boys as one of the top entertainers. I did find the ”educated guess” of what goes on in a teenager’s mind a bit insulting, though. A majority of teen girls are a lot smarter and sharper than you give us credit for! I’m 16 and my mind certainly does not work that way. Just because you see a few airhead girls doesn’t mean we’re all like that.
Cara Dzubow
Richboro, Pa.

Thank you for finally honoring Adam Sandler in your magazine as one of the Entertainers of ’98. All those out-of-touch critics who say he’s an untalented waste of space are just oblivious to the comedic talent that Adam Sandler really is. But wait, I’m just a 15-year-old. I’m not supposed to know the difference.
LAura Gudme
Troy, Mich.

Laa-Laa Is Watching
Seeing that lovely portrait of the Teletubbies in your year-end issue prompts me to ask: Is there anyone else who thinks that Teletubbies is the type of show that George Orwell would have come up with if a network had given him a contract to create a children’s series? Isn’t it something like 1984 meets The Smurfs?
Joseph B. Raskin

What Would You Say?
Okay, let me get this straight. You put Dave Matthews Band at the top of your ”Worst Music” list, citing ”self-righteous political commentary,” and then, on your ”Best Music” list, you put…Bob Dylan? You don’t have to be Alanis to see the irony there.
Sean Wilson
Culver City, Calif.

Television Buffs
Kudos to EW for placing Buffy the Vampire Slayer atop your ”Best of” list. It was due to your urging that my wife and I (both thirty-somethings) became mere subjects in the Land of Buffonia. Now that a magazine like EW has placed the show on top, maybe the Emmy voters and others with narrow minds will finally see the light of day (you know, it is safer that way).
Todd Shafer
Plymouth, Ind.

You guys are the greatest. First you name Homicide‘s Tom Fontana one of the top 12 entertainers of the year, then Buffy the best TV show of ’98. Week to week, Buffy is more entertaining, more thoughtful, and more ambitious than anything else on network TV. Thanks for recognizing this wonderful series.
Lisa Beaudry

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