Saturday, January 05, 2008

Fourth Annual Ralphies

I am late on it this year, but here are my 2007 Ralphies. Previous Ralphies are at these links: 2004, 2005, 2006. For newcomers, the Ralphies are "the little bit of annual indulgence among bibliobloggers to go outside of Biblical Studies and blog their "best ofs" of the year." This year, it seems like it is only the old guard who are indulging, Ed Cook, the originator, on Ralph the Sacred River, and Jim Davila on Paleojudaica. Perhaps this is a sign that bibliobloggers are now much more inclined than they used to be to post on material of personal rather than professional interest, and so the annual self-indulgence is not so appealing. If you ate Christmas dinners all year, would lunch on 25 December be such a treat? I must admit that the creation of my own personal blog earlier this year makes the annual self-indulgence feel a little less special than it used to, not least since I gush about Doctor Who all I want now on that blog. Nevertheless, the Ralphies are a tradition, and it's one I will still have fun honouring.

Song of the year: I was going to say Silversun Pickups, Lazy Eye, which I first caught on Jools Holland earlier this year. But a glance at Wikipedia shows that it was released in 2006, so I will instead vote for Arctic Monkeys, Fluorescent Adolescent:

Album of the year: well, there was a new album from the Fall this year, so of course it is my album of the year, Reformation Post TLC. I was tempted to name Von Sudenfed, Tromatic Reflexxions.

Gig of the year: we only went to two this year, Hannah Montana in Greensboro and They Might be Giants in Durham. Both were great fun. And yes, They Might be Giants did include in their set one of Jim Davila's favourites of the year, The Mesopotamians (and they were selling t-shirts of the same).

Film of the year: I can think of a lot of stinkers I've seen this year. Nothing bowled me over. I quite liked Ratatouille. I still haven't seen Bourne Ultimatum. I don't think we've been to the cinema or watched enough DVDs in 2007. Must put that right next year. I am definitely not watching enough films.

TV Programme of the Year: Spooks. Only joking. Doctor Who, of course. Series 3 was not as consistently strong as Series 2, but several individual episodes were the strongest ever, especially Human Nature and Family of Blood, which I discussed here (Doctor Who, Human Nature and Kenosis) and received a comment from the writer, Paul Cornell, and Blink. The series also featured the best ever moment in Doctor Who, in the episode Utopia (hilariously enjoyed by these two).

I suppose TV really is an area I invest time in. So I don't have anything to say about fictional books, but I have enjoyed a lot of television. Honourable mentions go to Life on Mars, Series 2, which was wonderful, Spooks Series 6, Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 1, Whistleblowers, Series 1. I have enjoyed loads of good BBC4 and Channel 4 documentaries too, too numerous to mention, though Secret Life of the Motorway was a particularly memorable highlight. There have been some good American TV series too. The best newcomer is definitely Chuck, already renewed for 2008. And Viola and I both like the new Bionic Woman in spite of the fact that no one else seems to. We quite enjoy but mainly endure Heroes.

Radio Program of the Year: Jon Ronson on, Series 3, some of which is still available for download. Honourable mentions: I'm Sorry I haven't a clue, still going after 35 years and still hilarious; Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie, which finally dragged me over to listening to Radio 2 for the first time. And just about everything I get the chance to listen on Radio 4. What would life be without it?

Podcast of the year: the Daily Mayo, my happy companion every day on the way back from work. This year has seen something of a podcast surge from the BBC and British expats like me who commute to work are utterly spoilt for choice (BBC Podcast Directory).

Sporting Event of the Year: I'll have to pass on this one; not a great year for English cricket or English football. The cricket World Cup was something of a shambles.


Chris Zeichmann said...

Mark: I've only listened to The Fall's output from the early to mid-80s. I'll definitely say that This Nation's Saving Grace is in my top 15 albums of all time. Any suggestions for later work?

Mark Goodacre said...

Hi Chris. Good to hear that you have some early Fall; I do love that stuff. It's difficult to recommend anything in particular; John Peel always used to say that you have to have everything. But you could do worse than getting the Peel Sessions box set, which covers 1977-2004. Among recent albums, I liked Fall Heads Roll a lot.