The Spectator’s Pits and Peaks of 2012

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The Spectator Staff recalls the highs and lows of 2012.

Best New TV Show: Girls

Kellie Cox, A&E Editor

The time has come to stop asking if you’re a Carrie or Samantha and start thinking of yourself as a Hannah or Shoshanna. Often deemed our generation’s “Sex and the City,” Girls is more than that—it’s actually realistic, at times disturbingly so (note: that one scene when Adam plays with Hannah’s belly fat). A big winner at last week’s Golden Globes, “Girls” paints a telling, poignant and hilarious picture of today’s 20-something.
I’m a Marnie BTW.

Worst New TV Show: Snooki & JWOWW

Kelton Sears, Editor-in-Chief

I know someone from New Jersey who was once Snooki’s waitress at a restaurant. Her story about serving Snooki struck me, because I did not believe Snooki was a real person. According to my friend, Snooki is in fact a real human that exists outside of the television. MTV’s newest show about Snooki and her BFF JWOWW has made my friend’s story even less believable.


Best Movie: Django Unchained

Kelton Sears, Editor-in-Chief

In Tarantino’s most audacious work, the director manages to cram severed heads, giant explosions and a controversial rewriting of America’s slave past into one film. One scene also contains quite possibly the largest font size ever used in a motion picture. While the film’s subject matter sparked many heated conversations in the media, one thing can’t be denied about Django Unchained—it is entertaining.

Worst Movie: The Hobbit

Emma McAleavy, News Editor

Where to begin? Peter Jackson’s newest film confirmed my worst fears. In turning a 200-page folk tale into an endless snoozefest, all Jackson managed to do was bore me to tears and offend my sensibilities and love of Tolkien’s whimsical tale. The effects, characters and plot are all made unbearably cheesy in Jackson’s supposedly experienced and skillful hands. Much of the film looks like a video game. The muted, historical feel of “The Lord of the Ring’s” Middle Earth has given way to a saccharine, over-saturated action flick. And, FYI, neither Galadriel nor Saruman were present at the meeting of the dwarves and Elrond.


Best Restaurant: 8 Oz. Burger Bar

Colleen Fontana, News Editor

Burgers have never felt so fancy, or so sustainable. 8 oz. Burger Bar on Broadway is a sustainably focused restaurant that’s eager to please and is good at it. From the Spicy Wild Boar Chili to the Fried Green Tomato, customers are guaranteed a unique dining experience. Though orders may take a little longer to get to you, 8 oz. Burger Bar uses hormone-free local produce and meat to create an eating experience that’s worth the wait.

Worst Restaurant: Restaurant Zoe

Kellie Cox, A&E Editor

First let me just say that I’m not trying to hate on Restaurant Zoe. The food is relatively tasty and artfully arranged. The atmosphere is fresh. The staff is one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable in the Capitol Hill culinary scene. But alas, the New American food is absurdly overpriced and the intimidating menu so gastronomically pretentious it’s impossible to know what you’re ordering without researching the ingredients on your iPhone under the table.
Restaurant Zoe made me feel stupid and no one likes feeling stupid.


Best Album: An Awesome Wave by Alt-J

Andre Wyatt, Lead Designer

In an industry dominated by singles, it is rare to find an album as seamless as “An Awesome Wave.” Although certain songs stand out more than others—like the electro-tribal “Fitzpleasure” or “Taro,” which makes you feel like you’re swimming underwater somewhere in India—“An Awesome Wave” is best enjoyed in its cohesive entirety.

Worst Album: Red by Taylor Swift

Caroline Ferguson, News Editor

Can we all just agree to be over Taylor Swift?
Yes, her songs are catchy. You know who else writes catchy songs? Talented musicians. Far too long has Swift been patted on the back for her meager contribution to the music industry, and as a result, I’m subjected to the shrieky, faux-badass “I Knew You Were Trouble” every time I turn on the radio.
Kanye was right.


Best Book: Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

Adrian Munger, Sports Editor

A historical novel of unusual vitality and emotion, “Bring Up the Bodies” is the latest work of author Hilary Mantel. The sequel to the critically acclaimed “Wolf Hall,” “Bring Up the Bodies” continues the story of Thomas Cromwell, a minister under King Henry VIII. Whereas “Wolf Hall” was a sweeping narrative depicting Cromwell’s rise to power, “Bring Up the Bodies” is a shorter and more focused novel centered on Anne Boleyn’s fall from grace. A lively and insightful look at a crucial moment in English history, Mantel’s novel promises to be an enduring classic of historical fiction.

Worst Book: A Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

Andre Wyatt, Lead Designer

Like any ‘90s baby, I was enchanted by Harry Potter. I was devastated when the series ended, but excited to see what Rowling would come up with next. Unfortunately, her newest book, “The Casual Vacancy,” lacks the drive and subtle humor that made the Harry Potter series great. Equal parts vulgar, depressing and boring, I was unable to finish it. If you want to keep the magic of Harry Potter alive, don’t read this book.