Is there anything less interesting than year-end Top 10 lists? Yep. It's Oscars preview coverage. Blech.
And so we have staggered into Top 10 Lists season. The city’s media elite have descended into a three week orgy of holiday parties and nog-hangovers, forcing the rest of us to spend our quiet moments wading through a mire of lazy critical analysis. That movie you saw the poster for but didn’t get around to seeing—was it better than the one you saw all the TV spots for, but didn’t get around to seeing? Of these ten books you’ve never heard of, which was the most transcendent? Here are ten plays that have already closed—which one are you most happy you didn’t see?
These questions and more will be posed this month, in every magazine you subscribe to and every website you read. Taken together, they present a deadly bland critical gruel which should be scraped into the trashcan on top of last week’s “Holiday Gift Guide Spectacular.”
But as bad as end of year lists are, none approaches the crushing tedium of the Oscar build-up. It’s started already, as sidebars in the yearly film wrap-ups, but soon it will metastasize, gobbling up the Times arts section like kudzu. The emphasis on Oscar horse race coverage has always baffled me, but in the last few years, since I’ve stopped caring about the awards, it has become torture.
Read on? You're allowed.