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Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Culture coups of the year
While we're on the topic of year-ending and year-opening roundups, Slate has a feature collecting the views of various big-shots on the landmark cultural events of 2006. I can't help thinking the list doesn't make it look like a banner year, and maybe it just wasn't. Nobody names a newly published book; a new edition of "Hamlet" doesn't count. (I'd say Claire Messud's "The Emperor's Children" was the most buzzed-about novel, and "The Looming Tower" the most discussed nonfiction title, and they were both worthy, but hardly Nobel efforts.) Of the TV shows cited, there is "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," which is good but also a poor man's "West Wing," also created by Aaron Sorkin. That was really good. The other named is "Ugly Betty." No comment.
I'd say the best answer comes from Robert Pinsky, and it's a surprising one from him. He notes the tremendous rise of political comedy, which is in a golden age, although nothing he cites started in '06:
Political comedy -- funny, passionate, informed, smart -- not long ago seemed not an American form....