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‘Top 10’ Archive

Top 10 Honest Love Songs May 6, 2009 No Comments

"OK, this should be interesting..."

"OK, this should be interesting..."

Some tunes have been overlooked in the ‘Love Song Department’, maybe because they weren’t sung by Richard Marx or Mariah Carey. Here’s 10 I’d prefer to be played over the 100 millionth spinning of ‘Everything I Do’ - which would result in a murder/suicide. And I really don’t want to have to do that.

‘Closer’ – Nine Inch Nails – Fair enough, you may not want to play this at your wedding reception with Grandma in attendance but there’s not much point in being with someone if they don’t feel this way about you and you about them; along with all the other, more poetic stuff. Holding hands and sonnets are lovely but that don’t get the babies made or keep the condom manufacturers in business. It’s stupid to ignore the basic human need to get nasty. Isn’t this the end result of everyone putting up with each other? (Quick question – why is America’s No.1 brand of condoms named after the guys who let the Greeks INTO their impenetrable city? “Ooooh, look! A great big horsey! Let’s haul ‘er in here!” Doesn’t inspire much confidence, I would have thought. This is why I’m a ‘Durex’ girl.)

‘(Home) This Must Be The Place’ – Talking Heads – Home is where the heart is so, if your heart is with your honey and your honey is with you, then you’re lucky. Then home can be anywhere. Awwww…I’m going to make myself puke. (No. I’m caught, good and proper –  a closet romantic.)


Top 10 TV Sidekicks April 30, 2009 8 Comments

Can you make the ladeez knickers come of like that, He-Man? Yeah, that's what I thought.

"Can you get the ladeez knickers off like *that*, He-Man? Yeah, that's what I thought".

The Sidekick – Our heroes and villians would be nothing without them. Sometimes, they’re the ones we really tune in for; to see what they’ll get up to, cos they can often be more fun. Here are ten that have seared themselves into the collective pop-culture conciousness:


Baldrick – Blackadder – As Blackadder grew smarter with every incarnation, Baldrick got thicker. But Baldrick had his moments – he thought if he wrote his own name on a bullet during wartime that he wouldn’t get shot, cos he’d have the bullet with his name on it. Makes sense, really. So he threw the first dictionary in a fire; who can say they wouldn’t have done the same, given the situation? And, fair enough, he rumbled Blackadder’s plan to marry the cuckoo Queen Elizabeth. Perhaps he meant well? Say what you’d like about his stupidity but I’d bet money that ‘Baldrick’s’ grand-daughter ain’t sleeping with Russell Brand.



DJ ‘Jazzy’ JeffThe Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – A testament to never leaving behind the folks that made you what you are, Will Smith brought Jazz, part and parcel, onto his network show. And in return, Jazz made it funnier, more heartfelt and funky. In love with Hilary, constantly being thrown out by Mr. Banks but always ‘workin’ it’ in his Cross Colours gear, Jazz was the ‘Philly Element’ in the Prince’s  new ‘Bel-Air Lifestyle’. Doncha forget, home-fry.  



Top 10 Movie and TV Firsts April 22, 2009 5 Comments

"Open hailing frequencies, Lieutenant."

"Open hailing frequencies, Lieutenant. Heh-heh-heh"

A lot of the visual mediums and standards we have today have roots in some of the weirdest places. TV can sometimes trump film for branching out and taking risks, which is why I’m mixing them together. These are all random but interesting bits of trivia. As Bob Marley once said, “In this great future, you can’t forget your past”.

The First Interracial Kiss On TV- Star Trek – Lt. Uhura and Capt. Kirk – Episode “Plato’s Stepchildren” – The actual ROLE of Lt. Uhura was a first in and of itself, where a black woman had a commanding part on the bridge of the Enterprise and wasn’t a maid, a slave or a nanny. Originally, Spock was supposed to be the one to kiss Uhura while under alien influence but Shatner fought them on this saying, “If anyone gets to kiss Nichelle, it’s going to be me. I’m the captain!”  The network was extremely nervous – and in 1968, who could blame them? Kudos to them for letting the creators go ahead with it at all, and may have only allowed it because Star Trek wasn’t very popular during its initial run. They shot two versions of the scene; one where Kirk is fighting the mind control and they-almost-but-don’t and another where he really, really isn’t fighting very much at all and it’s Snog City. Shatner crossed his eyes during the former, rendering the take useless so the network had no choice but to air the kiss. (Some might argue that a kiss – a peck on the cheek-  between Nancy Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. a year before on a variety show was the first but the Trek smooch was scripted and thought-out) This episode was so volatile at the time it wasn’t aired in the American South and was banned in England for 25 (!!!) years. When Nichelle Nichols was thinking of leaving the show because she was sick of playing a “telephone operator in space”, it was Martin Luther King Jr. – no less -  who convinced her to stay. He told her; “For the first time the world will see us as we should be seen — people of quality in the future. You created a role with dignity and beauty and grace and intelligence. You’re not just a role model for our children, but for people who don’t look like us to see us for the first time as equals.”  MLK – Freedom-fighter, orator, symbol of equality and peace among races and… Star Trek geek.

First ‘Talkie’ – ‘The Jazz Singer’ – 1927 was the end of one era and the beginning of a new one in filmdom. The Jazz Singer mesmerized movie punters who lined up around the block to hear their silver screen idols actually speak for the first time. The opposite of video killing the radio star, ‘talkies’ were bad news for stars with less than dulcet tones. This was cleverly outlined in Singin’ in the Rain and for some jobbing actors, being a voice double became a new way to pay the rent.

First Woman Nominated For A Directing Oscar – Lina Wertmuller – The name Lina Wertmuller isn’t very well known nowadays but in 1976, she made history as the first woman to be nominated for the Best Director Oscar for her film, Seven Beauties. She was a protégée of Federico Fellini and an Assistant Director on his classic, 8 1/2 Weeks. Since then, only two other women have achieved this honour – Jane Campion for The Piano and Sofia Coppola for Lost In Translation (Sofia probably would have won but Peter Jackson’s work on The Lord of the Rings Trilogy was due that year) Among her other accolades, she holds the Guinness World Record of ‘Longest Film Title’ – Un fatto di sangue nel comune di Siculiana fra due uomini per causa di una vedova. Si sospettano moventi politici. Amore-Morte-Shimmy. Lugano belle. Tarantelle. Tarallucci e vino (Translated and shortened to ‘Blood Feud’ or ‘Revenge’ for us English-speaking types) and was sufficiently famous back in the day to be parodied on SNL by Laraine Newman.


Top 10 Cool Movie Girls April 17, 2009 6 Comments

Got Brass In Pocket

Got Brass In Pocket

These girls don’t really ‘kick ass and take names’. They don’t have semi-automatic weapons or special powers. They’re regular chicks who overcome extreme obstacles in creative, interesting ways and for that, I salute them. In random order:

Chris Parker – ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ – After her boyfriend cancels on her, Chris decides to make the best of it and earn some easy money babysitting. Mistake! When she and the suburban kids head into the city to rescue Chris’ friend, they get shot at, car jacked, kidnapped, escape, sing the blues in a club and are involved in a gang altercation on a train. Oh and she finds out her no-good boyfriend is cheating on her with some slut that belongs in a ‘Prince’ video. But she comes through with aplomb, keeping her charges safe and gracefully fending off the clumsy advances of the two teenage boys in her care. The parents don’t find out about their little ‘trip’ so she still gets paid. What a gal.

(Legendary Screamin’ Jay Hawkins joins in as – what else – a blues man.)

Coach Molly McGrath – ‘Wildcats’ – The South Central High Wildcats may be the worst football team in Chicago but they REALLY do not want a female coach. So, of course, that’s exactly what they get in Coach McGrath. They torment her until she reaches breaking point and challenges them to a stamina running contest – their co-operation vs. her quitting. Failing to inform them that she ran the Boston Marathon, twice, she outlasts them all and then calls them pussies. They cannot argue with this.


Top 10 Movies Set in L.A. April 2, 2009 2 Comments

It’s an odd thing but even though Los Angeles is the ‘Entertainment Capital of the World’ there’s relatively few movies actually set here. Here’s the 10 that I think help define this mad city-with-no-centre. Dude.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit – The first ‘live-action-slash-animated-kiddies-film-but-really-made-for-adults-murder-mystery-noir’ (I think that’s a genre in and of itself). Its main plot is from the true story of city corruption which took place when dismantling the LA cable car system and the subsequent building of freeways – the route Judge Doom describes in the film that will go through Toon Town is the 10 Freeway from Santa Monica to Pasadena. The screenwriters took the plot from a proposed ‘Chinatown’ sequel they had been writing and slotted it into this Depression-era flick. High-caliber for a supposed ‘children’s movie’. There’s no question mark on the end because of the Hollywood superstition that films with a ‘?’ in the title don’t do well at the box office. *Interesting cameo alert – that’s infamous producer Joel Silver as the cartoon director, Raoul.



Top 10 Movie Bitches March 19, 2009 2 Comments

The Movie Bitch – we love to hate them but is there anything that we can derive more pleasure from than watching closea particularly gifted Bitch wreak havoc? From a safe distance, of course, you don’t want to get caught up in their wake. Or, maybe you do cos you like that sort of thing. These characters know they’re going to hell, so they’re going to enjoy the ride on the way down and they’ll take as many with them as possible. Some are sly, some are loud and proud about it but all of them know better. It wouldn’t be as much fun otherwise. As someone wrote on a birthday card to me – ‘Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere’ – and I am a tame, mousey goody-goody that helps old ladies across the road compared to these chicks – these women would eat me alive. These babes go to 11 on the Bitch-o-Meter. (However, there are actually only 10, so I just made that one bitchier and made that the last one.)