Best TV Show: Dexter
Honorable Mentions: 30 Rock, The Office, Jeopardy!, Always Sunny

Oh Michael C. Hall, you slay me!
Oh Michael C. Hall, you slay me!

The best TV show in 2008 was the kind of show I never thought I’d like–a suspenseful crime drama.  After a recommendation by Bradley Feeney (the King of TV suggestions), I purchased Season 1 on DVD.  It took a couple episodes to get into it, but soon I was completely enthralled with Dexter.

Lauren and I watched all of the first season on DVD, then watched all of Season 2 online.  I think I’d go so far as to say Season 2 was the best single season of a TV show in recent memory.  The build-up to the finale was the most entertaining and suspenseful TV I’ve seen.  Season 3 was different, but also good.  Not quite as good as the other seasons, but still the best show of the year.

Best Movie: Milk
Honorable Mentions: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Tropic Thunder, Dark Knight

Milk wins for best movie kinda by default.  The reason is, I simply didn’t see many movies in 2008.  I tried to count all the movies I went to in ’08, and all I could remember were the movies mentioned above.  I bet I’m forgetting a couple… not to take anything away from Milk.

I saw Milk very recently, with Travis, Feeney, and Brad Treeface here in Uptown.  The movie is about the first openly gay man to win a seat in a public office.  Sean Penn gives another outstanding performance, but I’d bet Josh Brolin and James Franco are more likely to win an Oscar for their supporting roles.

Best Music Artist: Darius Rucker
Honorable Mentions: Weezer, Supersuckers, Travis & Jonny, Tuesdays Robot

Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker

Man, come to think of it, I didn’t really get very interested in a music performer this year.  Usually there’s one artist who sweeps me away for a while, like Meat Loaf, Bon Jovi, and Smashing Pumpkins.  But this year, I can’t think of any such artist.

So, in a year when America elected its first black president, I will award this honor to the rare black country artist.  I really did like Darius Rucker’s new country album, Learn to Live. Lauren and I listened to that CD on the way home from work for weeks, singing along to hits like “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and “All I Want.”

Along with Weezer’s self-titled red album and Tuesdays Robot’s Peace Sing-a-Long, this was one of three albums I paid money for in 2008.  And I must say, well worth it!

Best Song: “What Kinda Gone,” Chris Cagle
Honorable Mentions: “It’s Good to Be Us,” Bucky Covington; “Just Got Started Loving You,” James Otto, “Lookin’ for a Good Time,” Lady Antebellum; “Country Fried,” Zac Brown Band; “Heart Songs,” Weezer

In my opinion, 2008 was a great year for country music.  The problem I had between this category and the last one is a ton of artists had one good song, not multiple good songs.  So it was easy to pick a good song over an artist.

The one song that sums up 2008 best is undoubtedly Chris Cagle’s “What Kinda Gone.”  It may never be remembered as a great song (in fact, I don’t believe it ever hit #1).  But we sure listened to it and sang along with it a lot this summer.  I think when I look back on ’08, this (and perhaps Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long”) will stick out the most.

Outstanding Sports Moment: Twins 7, White Sox 6 (10)
Honorable Mentions: Chargers beat Colts in AFC playoffs, Timberwolves almost winning a game

Mauer and Punto, only after a win like this is this excusable.
Mauer and Punto, only after a win like this is this excusable.

Oh, what a game it was in late September.  The White Sox came to town, leading the Twins by 2.5 games in the AL Central with just six games to play.  The Twins needed a sweep to stay alive.  They took the first two games to get to within a half-game, and then came the greatest baseball game I’ve ever seen in person.

The Metrodome was packed for a Thursday night game that had the season on the line.  Unfortunately the White Sox capitalized on some sloppy play and took an early 6-1 lead.  But the Twins kept chipping away white holding the Sox’ bats in check.  When Denard Span tripled in the tying run in the eighth, the Metrodome was absolutely rocking.  I was screaming, jumping, and cheering.  Then some strange Chinese man leaped into my arms.

In extra innings, Alexi Casilla singled home the winning run with two outs, sending the crowd into a frenzy.  It was crazier than any playoff game I’ve been to.  It certainly looked then like the Twins would win the division, but KC came to town and took 2 of 3, sending the Twins to a 1-game playoff in Chicago, where they lost 1-0.  Talk about deflating.

Overall Award for Most Oustanding Pop Culture Icon of 2008: Michael C. Hall
Honorable Mentions: Denard Span, Darius Rucker, Chris Cagle, James Franco, Alex Trebek, Charlie Day (Always Sunny), Nick Blackburn, Tina Fey, Rainn Wilson, Barack Obama, Jennifer Carpenter, John Gordon, Sid Hartman, Al Franken, Tom Petty

And, the best of 2008 in pop culture goes to none other than Dexter actor Michael C. Hall, for his role as Dexter Morgan, blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department.  Congrats, MCH!