Congratulations, readers of inconnu! The world didn’t end. You know what that means, right? An entire slew of “Best of 2012” posts: best movies, best TV moments, best One Direction haircuts, the internet is sure to have them all. And it’s never really the best of all of 2012, is it? Just the past few months, because, you know, relevancy is super important to internet bloggers, and no one cares about that song everyone listened to all summer long if they’re not listening to it right now as they read this article. SO, let’s try to remember a few of the best things that existed before Lana Del Rey came swaying into our lives.
1. The Parent Trap – I’m sure the glorified mugshot that is Liz & Dick will be on almost every Best and Worst of 2012 list this year, but is that really the Lindsay Lohan we all want to focus on? I love rooting for the underdog probably more than the next guy, but at this point I just really want Dennis Quaid to take her on a camping trip and remind her where she came from. I know everyone loves Mean Girls, and that’s great, but nothing will ever be better than Lindsay Lohan cutting her own hair and piercing her own ears while talking in a fake British accent 50% of the time. When looking back on our lives before 2012, isn’t that the Lindsay Lohan we all want to believe in? (Also, I have a theory that Lindsay Lohan does, in fact, have an evil twin who is ruining her life. Evil Lindsay obviously played the seemingly “good girl” twin from England because everyone knows you are more likely to be evil if you have an English accent and don’t know who Leonardo DiCaprio is.)
2. 1st season of Gilmore Girls – I’m not saying this is the best season of Gilmore Girls (because obviously seasons 2 and 3 are the best, and NOT just because of Jess… but mostly, maybe), but it IS the best of before 2012. That’s because it’s so wonderfully itself –the first season of Gilmore Girls was like no other TV show before it. Not just because it was perfect, that would be too easy. It so expertly combined witty, pop culture referencing comedy and realistic drama (no teen soap operas here). It was sweet and sincere without being patronizing, quirky without trying too hard, and it taught an entire generation that you can never talk too fast.
3. Love, Actually – I have a love/hate relationship with this movie, mainly because it is sometimes too wonderful for me to handle. It has almost every great actor in the history of the United Kingdom, Bill Nighy singing about Christmas in between bouts of swearing, AND the fictional people in this universe had the good sense to elect Hugh Grant as Prime Minister. Am I missing something? (Answer: Yes, every other storyline I did not reference, so please insert your favorite here.)
4. Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s friendship – We live in a media-driven society in which rivalries sell papers and everyone waits for couples to break up, rather than stay together. But the bonds of true love cannot be stopped, especially on Comedy Central (Also, they’re fucking hilarious).
5. Heathers – There are tons of quotable teen comedies out there – some of the best and my personal favorites aren’t even on this list (*cough* 10 Things I Hate About You *cough*). But what do you get when you mix the 80s, Winona Ryder with a monocle, and a creepy psychopath in place of a viable love interest? Only one of the greatest movies in existence. Now if only I could stop being immediately attracted to murderous bad boys in long leather dusters.
6. Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen made a lot of good movies pre-2012, and this one barely makes the cut, but it does, and that’s what counts. Woody Allen is such a boss (how’s that for pre-2012 vocabulary?) that he basically attacks his entire hipster fanbase and then some by making a movie that tells you how stupid it is to want to live in a time that’s not your own. Also, the character acting was amazing.
7. Elvis – 2012 may have been the year of One Direction, and 2011 may have been the year of the Bieber Fever epidemic, but before any of them, there was – no, not *NSYNC – Elvis Presley. I’ll tell you a secret – Shakira actually wrote “Hips Don’t Lie” about him. It’s true. How can a man whose pelvis (figuratively) touched the hearts and lady parts of so many teenage girls across the country not make this list? He’s not only the King, but he was also one of the first Teen Idols.
8. Law and Order: SVU – Over the years, the team at the Special Victims Unit has taught me a lot about life – never walk through Central Park at night, never walk through alleyways at night, never go to the beach at night, and if they’re interrogating someone in the first 20 minutes, that guy is definitely not the perp. They have each other’s backs, they form sexually tense relationships with their partners, and they are sometimes a little too obsessed with their jobs. Finally, SVU is on this list because it was best before2012 – now that Stabler’s gone, I really don’t see the point.
9. The Devil Wears Prada – I don’t really think a movie starring Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci needs any explanation, but if you insist: Anne Hathaway is pretty much a flawless actress (and also gorgeous), Emily Blunt is hilarious (and also gorgeous), and Stanley Tucci is the greatest human being on the planet (in real life and in this movie). I love that the film makes sure to point out that fashion is not purely for mindless or ditzy model/drones (Emily Blunt’s character in particular is super ambitious despite her crazy eating habits). As for Meryl Streep, I don’t know how she managed to pull off Crazy Ruthless Head Bitch in Charge while still remaining a believable character rather than a caricature, but she does. And she also shuts it DOWN multiple times (I’m still not sure what “shut it down” truly means but I know she does it a lot, especially in that monologue about the color cerulean, which also taught me how to pronounce ‘cerulean’ after years of using Crayola crayons).
10. Jeff Goldblum – Do I really have to explain this one? He’s in, like, just about every movie, and he’s one of three tiny reasons I watch Glee. Also he was super badass in Jurassic Park and I haven’t forgotten.
11. Sports Night – Aaron Sorkin is pretty trendy right now, which is kind of a weird thing to think about. Still riding on the success of The Social Network, he started developing a TV series for HBO that premiered this year (which will remain nameless). Throughout the show’s airing, critics consistently compared it, both positively and negatively, to previous Sorkin projects The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. But for whatever reason, hardly anyone seemed to remember Sports Night. Which is ridiculous, because it is very obviously not only one of Sorkin’s best shows, but one of the best comedies of all time (despite being short-lived). I mean, it has Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, so obviously it’s going to rock. But on top of that, consider the fact that I, designated grass-picker for my elementary school soccer games, am recommending to you a show that is centered around sports.
12. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I haven’t seen every television show ever written, but I feel pretty confident in saying that Buffyis one of the very best series of all time. This show is truly storytelling at its finest, Joss Whedon at his deadliest (to fictional characters), and women at their baddass-iest. Also, the character development on this show is insane. Don’t get me started – seriously, I’ll talk your ear into 3012.
And there you have it, the absolute best things before this year, according to me (and I have declared my word to be Internet Law). But if I had written a “Best Things of 2012” article, all twelve of them would be inconnu. Or maybe 11 plus “Call Me Maybe,” because I’m still singing it.
-Gabrielle Costa, Staff Writer Extraordinaire