Alex Timbers, Co-Creator, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Smart, funny, more kinetic than a movie has a right to be. The perfect pop valentine for a generation weaned on Nintendo and Weezer.
Jesse Eisenberg, Actor, The Social Network
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. The humor is fresh and cutting, and about halfway through, it becomes startling as the reality of its subversive history lesson sets in.
Edgar Wright, Director, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Eastbound & Down, which elicits explosive laughter from me in every episode. I feel like a naughty 12-year-old watching it.
The Gregory Brothers, Virtual Juggernauts, “Double Rainbow Song”
FX’s Louie. The show seamlessly blends Louis C.K.’s shockingly funny stand-up routines with poignant stories about real life. There’s no shame in being silly and sentimental.
Ariel Schulman, Director, Catfish
The double-rainbow saga on YouTube. Hungry Bear made it okay to publicly like rainbows and cry in front of the world. But it was the Gregory Brothers in Brooklyn who made it into a dance hit. They define modern-culture jamming.
Danny McBride, Actor, Eastbound & Down
The Thieves of Manhattan, by Adam Langer. It’s a tight, funny, Hitchcockian thriller set in the world of book publishing. It makes you think twice about faking your life story. Which is something I contemplate every day.
Carlton Cuse, Co-Creator, Lost
Danny McBride. He’s just phenomenal! I love his character on Eastbound & Down—he’s scurrilous and vile and utterly compelling, and violates all the tenets of what network execs tell you you can and can’t do with a character.
Ann Temkin, MoMA Curator, “Ab Ex New York”
William Kentridge’s production of The Nose at the Metropolitan Opera—an amazing experience of looking and listening.
Archie Panjabi, Actress, The Good Wife
Eastbound & Down. It’s ridiculously funny, and it’s not something I would expect to find funny.
Aaron Paul, Actor, Breaking Bad
The Walking Dead on AMC. Absolutely addicted to it. And the finale of Lost. Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, and J. J. Abrams and the actors created a world that consumed me. Absolutely the end of an era.
Susan Stroman, Director and Choreographer, The Scottsboro Boys
“Abstract Expressionist New York” at MoMA. Artists like Rothko, de Kooning, Pollock, and Krasner were reinventing art and challenging the masters. One only hopes to be that brave and innovative with his or her own art form.
Adam Langer, Author, The Thieves of Manhattan
Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made at the Barrow Street Theatre—but from Chicago, where so much great New York theater starts—and featuring another incendiary performance by Michael Shannon.
Jon Hamm, Actor, Mad Men
I’m a big fan of that Cee Lo song. Can you even print the name of it?
Michael Shannon, Actor, Mistakes Were Made and Boardwalk Empire
One of my favorite bands, Pavement, had their reunion tour this year. They performed in Williamsburg, on the waterfront. A beautiful night: They played all my favorites.
Parker Posey, Actress
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling in BlueValentine. They are such emotionally intelligent actors. I hope more directors allow for this kind of intense collaboration. I wish I could’ve been a neighbor of theirs to snap them out of their destructive behavior. I could’ve brought over some herbal tea.
Laurie Holden, Actress, The Walking Dead
Cee Lo Green, “Fuck You” (a.k.a. “Forget You”). Loved the song, chuckled at the video, and enjoyed Gwyneth’s interpretation on Glee. She rocked it!
Nev Schulman, Star of Catfish
I was at the City Ballet when Sara Mearns did the last movement of The Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet. She was magnificent; I was totally on the edge of my seat. And maybe in the last 36 counts, she rolled over her ankle and you knew she had hurt herself. But she finished as strongly as she started. It blew me away!
Fran Lebowitz, Famously Blocked Author, subject of Public Speaking
The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg. She is alive, or at least she was last week. I usually prefer writers who are dead. Chip McGrath wrote that William Trevor and Alice Munro are the two greatest short-story writers working in English right now, but in fact he is incorrect. The two greatest writers in English are Mavis Gallant and Deborah Eisenberg, and no one is even close. Gallant is very old and lives in Paris but writes in English. Eisenberg lives here and is not very old, but I don’t hold that against her. She is too good for her era, I can say that. This era avoids subtlety. They avoid complication. Even though these things are a lot of fun.