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Beware the Undulating Curve of Shifting Expectations!

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Award season plays havoc with expectations: How often have you walked out of a film thinking, They gave six Golden Globe nominations to this?! So while a couple of Globe nods may lure new viewers to My Name Is Earl, don’t be surprised if you wind up shrugging at its acquired-taste, chicken-fried charms. Meanwhile, Munich, having weathered a prerelease beating, wound up atop many a year-end best-of list; the life-changing video iPod, it turns out, has a distressingly brief battery life; and critics pounced on Ana Marie Cox’s Dog Days, their knives no doubt whetted for the Wonkette’s debut in print. Plus, cabaret charmer Nellie McKay got Fiona Appled when her new album, already completed, was deep-sixed by her label. Which means, of course, that now everyone’s dying to hear it.


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