Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:36 am
I am not a great maker of lists. Unless pressed, I will make exactly one each year, and this is it.
This is a list of 50 of the wonderful things that wandered through my field of vision in 2014. It is not a definitive list of the best things. It is not merely subjective but sublimely subjective. It leans away from (but doesn't entirely avoid) what's been most highly praised and what seems to have been most rewarded.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:47 pm
Although it wasn't a great year for the shows themselves, it was a good year for programming, says TV critic David Bianculli.
"In terms of what was happening on television, in terms of new and old formats and new, exciting players coming into the mix — [it was] another good year," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'm actually kind of encouraged."
The daily lowdown on books, publishing and the occasional author behaving badly.
Lately, state governments have been waxing poetic. Showing their more aesthetic side, North Carolina has named its new state poet laureate, while both Ohio and Massachusetts are moving forward with plans to establish similar posts at home.
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 1:06 pm
"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."
Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving."
Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:00 am
There are some Christmas foods you make far in advance that just get better and better with age and anticipation. Like British fruitcakes that age into their boozy ripeness, and German gingerbread cookies called lebkuchen that get softer and spicier as they mature.