Year-End Lists

Notable, browsable lists of the year's best music, movies, books, and TV shows. Year-end lists are fingerprints; aggregate statistics are smudges. Therefore, we make no tallies. Follow the link for each list to see essential commentary from its authors, at the source.

Emily Nussbaum: Definitely Not a Top Ten List

18 December 2017

Writing in The New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum provides this wisdom about lists:

Each December, I write a festive rant about my loathing for Top Ten lists. It’s always the same: lists are reductive, phony, anti-art. Online, they work first as clickbait, then as groupthink. They force critics to rate radically dissimilar projects—the epic, the dramedy, the sleek time-killer, the ambitious game-changer that doesn’t quite cohere—so that algorithms can crunch out a blandly universal must-see selection. I don’t like math, and if I knew anything about how numbers worked I wouldn’t have gone into arts criticism. Plus, I haven’t seen all the TV, and neither have you.

After some important caveats and context, she offers these favorite TV shows:

[see also 2019, 2018]

  1. The Leftovers