Best Australian TV Shows:
- Insiders - essential Sunday morning viewing. Barry Cassidy and his guests put together an intelligent and entertaining summary of the week in politics.
- Summer Heights High - Chris Lilley's daringly original show was both hysterically funny and yet scarily true.
- Offsiders - Barry Cassidy (sans jacket) backs up with a quick review of the week in sport.
- City Homicide - an original and well executed Australian crime drama.
- Newstopia - Shaun Micallef's latest show was a bit and miss, but when it worked it was laugh-out-loud funny.
Best Overseas TV Shows:
- Brothers & Sisters - with an outstanding cast headed by Sally Field, this show about the extended Walker family captured family life perfectly.
- House - the fourth season saw this show return to form.
- The F Word - of all of Gordon Ramsay's shows, this is the format that suits him the best.
- Damages - Glenn Close and Rose Byrne starred in this always gripping and surprising drama.
- Boston Legal - frequently silly but always enjoyable.
Best Films Released in Australia (unfortunately I didn't really see as many as I would have liked this year, so this is an incomplete list):
- Into The Wild - a beautiful tone poem that captures the
remarkable (if selfish) journey of Christopher McCandless across
America and into the wild. Superb performances from the entire cast,
especially Emile Hirsch and Hal Holbrook.
- Atonement - a skillfully crafted love story that does not hit a false note. The scene at the beach is spectacular film making.
- Hairspray - this movie is just fun from beginning to end. And John Travolta's turn in drag is a real hoot.
- Dreamgirls - a good old fashioned movie musical boasting strong performances from the whole cast.
- Hot Fuzz - a police action comedy film with a series of unexpected twists and turns.
Best Blogs - these are the blogs I absolutely have to check first thing every morning:
- Techdirt - the Techdirt blog provides comprehensive coverage of developments in tech law with a refreshingly cheeky but readable style.
- Concurring Opinions - a group blog focusing on legal issues they cover a range of issues in a typically thoughtful style. Daniel Solove's posts on privacy in the digital age are always essential reading.
- Hollywood Elsewhere - always entertaining, Jeffrey Wells skewers Hollywood with his trademark wit and insight.
- TV Newser - this blog has continued without its founding editor, Brian Stelter, but continues to have all the inside stories on the US television news media.
- Dipping into the Blogpond - a wrap of what is happening in the Australian blogosphere.
- Slate's The Gabfest - each week Slate's John Dickerson, Emily Bazelon and David Plotz sit down and discuss the week in US politics. All three are well-informed and their obvious rapport for one another makes for a riveting discussion.
- Get This - unfortunately Tony Martin's radio show won't be back next year, but the Get This podcasts were always laugh out loud funny (I felt embarrassed if I was listening to an episode in a public place as I just couldn't stop laughing).
- KCRW's Left, Right & Center - hosted by Matt Miller with three very experienced political commentators from across the political spectrum - Robert Scheer, Tony Blankley and Arianna Huffington - this is a civilised yet provocative look at US politics.
- this WEEK in LAW - Denise Howell hosts a robust panel discussion on a range of technology law issues.
- Rules for the Revolution - Colette Vogele hosts this podcast that answers questions about podcasting, new media and the law. Vogele manages to cover a range of topics with excellent and informed guests.
- Facebook - the growth of Facebook this year has been nothing short of astounding. Indeed, I hardly know how I survived before without it ...
- Twitter - I'm still not sure I really "get" Twitter, but there is no doubt it has become a phenomenon and the "what are you doing?" theme has been copied by most other social networking sites. As I did this year, in 2008 I'm going to continue to experiment with Twitter as a social tool, and also explore political and educational uses for it.
- New York Times - the decision to stop charging for premium content means that there are even more reasons now to visit the paper of record. Plus, the range of video content and blogs, as well as the seamless incorporation of social bookmarking, makes it a superb one-stop shop for news.
- Wikipedia - an extraordinary online resource, more and more people are going to Wikipedia first and then to Google second.
- Second Life - the potential uses for this virtual world are particularly exciting, especially as broadband connections should only get faster and faster.