I wasn't sure if I was going to do any "Best Ofs" this year. After all, I had some personal distractions that took chunks of the year off my radar pop culturally. But then I realized that the close of 2009 is so much bigger than just the past 365 days: it is also the end of the decade. And the first decade of the new century certainly brought some amazing developments and changes.
iTunes/the iPod: Revolutionizing the way we buy and listen to music. No longer tied down to fourteen or sixteen tracks on only one cassette or CD in our portable players, we can now carry literally thousands of songs and videos (including full feature films) on devices that slide comfortably into our pockets!
The Snuggie/The Slanket: For everyone who hates feeling the chill rush in when tucked in a warm blanket and having to reach for the remote or his or her soda, it's advertised as a blanket with sleeves, but these fleece wraps are really more like wearing a robe but backwards. Yet by dyeing them in different colors and prints (including Hello Kitty! You're welcome, Mariah Carey!), a fortune has been made in the past year alone on something you really could just fashion yourself at home. But the pet version is just too cute.
Smart (Single Camera) Comedies: The 1990s were known for the sitcom, but the in last ten years the single camera comedy really evolved into the norm. Now the number of TV comedies traditionally shot (The Big Bang Theory, which could still fall into this category for being a more intelligent brand of humor, and The New Adventures of Old Christine, for example) are greatly outnumbered by so many clever, untraditional, and oftentimes dysfunctional ones. Here's to you, Modern Family, How I Met Your Mother, Nurse Jackie, Weeds, United States of Tara, 30 Rock, and The Office!!
YouTube: And if smarter comedy isn't your thing, there's always the endless minute to two minute clips of everything from leaked music to fan videos to pets spazzing out over their own reflections on the internet. This was the first site to offer clips of shows (legally or not) after they aired, spurring the need for networks to jump on the viral video bandwagon, too. It has been so much more than just a trendsetter, though: it is also the number one time waster at work!
Madison Chandler: Born towards the end of the decade, this soft and cuddly little guy still has some growing up and maturing to do, but he has proven that he only gets better with age! With beautiful coloring, an expressive face, a brain that absorbs even the strangest commands, and a sweet personality, he should be the next Disney star! Just imagine this time next year bringing home a little stuffed Madison for your child for Christmas!