From the good (hooray for Modern Family!) to the bad (Jon and Kate’s reality TV-fueled flameout) to the Gaga, Hollywood offered no shortage of entertainment worth talking about in 2009 — so much, in fact, that we could only fit about half of the year’s noteworthy stars and characters on our cover. And after weeks of debates, throwdowns, and an admirable lack of name-calling, EW’s writers and editors have put together a complete guide to the year in entertainment. Inside you’ll find:

Best and Worst Lists: EW’s critics name the biggest achievements — and embarrassments — in movies, TV, DVD, music, books, games, and stage. (Spoiler alert: We’re mad for Mad Men, on a high about Up, and bowled over by Keri Hilson’s “Knock you Down.”)

Entertainers of the Year: EW talks to the 15 performers who made us laugh, dance, and think drinking blood could actually be kinda hot. Here’s a sneak peek: After a year that took him from Wicked to worldwide superstar, Adam Lambert says he’s learning to take the ups and downs of celebrity in stride: “This is what I asked for. I’m not complaining.” Meanwhile, big screen funnyman (and part-time superhero) Ryan Reynolds tells EW that out of all of his 2009 accomplishments (Wolverine, The Proposal), his proudest moment just might have been hosting Saturday Night Live. “Standing behind that door when they announce your name is a pretty amazing moment.” And True Bloodcreator Alan Ball knew his show had made it “when I saw the Team Bill and Team Eric t-shirts on some website — that was really fun.”

Top Trends: A photographic look back at the triumphs, tragedies and talents of 2009 — a year when it was good to be named Taylor, Hollywood learned to live and die by the tweet, and geezer pop ruled the charts. (Congratulations, Ms. Boyle!)

Breakout Stars of 2009: A look at the fresh faces who made their mark in movies, TV, and music, including Glee diva Lea Michele, new Star Trek captain Chris Pine, and actor-turned-rapper Drake.

For more coverage of the Best and Worst in 2009—including Soundbites of the Year, a 2009 Style Report Card, a special year-end Bullseye, and more—pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands December 18.