Although we are only in the last week of November, this year's entertainers of the year would be hard to topple. Here is my list of entertainers of the year (2012):
The biggest box office hit of the year, was the product of numerous contingencies, including Disney, Marvel, the cast, the crew behind the scenes, and of course the ensemble. Let’s start with the master behind the marketing, Disney. Disney did an amazing job making sure that everyone of these films connected at the end, and the story tied together to make sure this built up to one large scale event, and the event will continue.
Enter the comic genius/director Joss Whedon. Whedon who has written for Marvel before (Astonishing X-Men), was the perfect choice to direct this film; he loves the comic world and transformed the Marvel world’s greatest heroes into tangible well made film. This man’s vision along with people who worked behind the scenes on the visual effects, sound, and editing constructed one power house action flick!
Once you have a great marketing strategy, an amazing director, and creative team, it’s time for the actual Avengers to Asemble! Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (Tony Stark), Chris Evans as Captain America (Steve Rogers), Chris Hemsworth as Thor, new addition Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk (Bruce Baner), through is Scar Johannsen as the Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeyes, and you have one solid team. Then bring back Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the man behind SHIELD, and Tom Hiddleston as the mischievous villain Loki, and you have one great ensemble.
Bringing all of these elements created one of the most entertaining films of the year, and brought a comic book fan’s dreams come true.
HBO has had some good/great years, and depending on their new programming slate that can push them over the top. This year HBO also had some of the best original films along with their original series putting this network miles above the rest (as usual).
Game Change, which won the Best Movie/Mini-Series at the Emmy Awards, and also took home the Lead Actress Award (Julianne Moore) and Writing, and Directing prizes. The film centered around John McCain, and Sarah Palin’s bid for the White House in 2008, and of the all the of all the television films this one was truly the best of the year.
HBO has been focused on successful Drama’s for most of its time, and they have been the most successful for the network aside from Sex and the City, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. This year HBO proved they can be the king/queen of comedy. HBO had two hits with audiences, and critics, the shows Veep and Girls. One of the best parts about these shows being solid for the network is that they are female driven, which is also rare for HBO.
Along with these two new brilliant shows, HBO still has Game of Thrones, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and Enlightened to help make this one of the best networks on the air because of its wide array of programming. This may be the best line-up the network has ever had!
The man was a beast at the box office this year, and had three films: 21 Jump Street made 138 million, The Vow made 125 million, and Magic Mike made 113 million. This is a rare feet, there are no longer stars that bring people to the box office the way they did in the past (or well as many). Having three films make over 100 million, and be based on the popularity of a star does not happen as often either. Channing Tatum is one popular guy, with whom both the ladies and men swoon over; he is the leading man of the year. Tatum was also voted the sexiest man alive by People Magazine, and star of the year by GQ, with all these accolades this guy is unstoppable.
4- The Ensemble from Homeland
Homeland’s season one had strong popularity, and the ensemble worked well together. In September Homeland won 4 key Emmy awards including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Damien Lewis), Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama (Claire Danes), and Outstanding Writing. While Danes and Lewis, and the creative team were singled out for their contributions the who ensemble is what makes this show tick. Brody and Carrie would be nothing without their counterparts. Brody’s wife (while grating sometimes) plays Jessica well, and she balances out much of the show. Carrie finds her stability with Saul Berenson a co-worker played by Mandy Patinkin, Hollah! These four folks along with David Harewood, keep the energy going within this show. I have to exclude Brody’s children, as they drive me nuts!
5- Taylor Swift
She may be never getting back together, with whoever she dated :cough Jake Gyllenhaal cough: and he single is one of the catchiest I have ever heard. Taylor Swift may have to realize that one of these days these break-ups is about her, but for now as long as she keeps getting dumped, that’s right dumped, she is going to be making lots and lots of money.
Taylor Swift’s album Red sold 1,280,000 copies in its first week, artists do not accomplish these anymore, there are very few who succeed as much as this young lady does on the album sales charts. Sift has also sold 623,000 digital downloads from itunes of her single “We are Never Getting Back Together.” These two numbers make her the most entertaining musician of the year!
6- Jennifer Lawrence
From The Hunger Games to Silver Linings Playbook this girl has it all the box office power, and the ability to act circles around everyone. The Hunger Games was no Twilight, the film was much better, and let Lawrence turn in a great/convincing portrait as one of the most memorable characters in recent films/literature Katniss Everdeen. After re-watching the Hunger Games again recently I was blown away even in this film that Lawrence gave a solid performance.
Yet she will be recognized for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook come award season, and rightfully. Lawrence is funny, and heartbreaking within this film, and you feel for her as she finds companionship in a man who is lost within his life, like her. The award season has not started but Lawrence is an early favorite to win at the Globes, and even to be a favorite in the Lead Actress category at the Oscars. Lawrence is force to be reckoned with, and there is no stopping this woman!
7- James Bond
This was the 50th anniversary of this character in film, and there was a special edition box set released, which has been flying off the shelves like gang busters. Along with this special edition box set, there was of course the main reason this character made the list this year, and that is release of the 23rd film, entitled Skyfall. Skyfall, is now the highest grossing bond movie of all time, the film is incredible, and it has taken the character along with his current portrayer Daniel Craig. During Thanksgiving weekend, Skyfall was going toe to toe with the box office powerhouse Twilight. The quality of the film along with the strong support has brought this character back on top, metaphorically speaking.
8- Ben Affleck
This was a tough call between Steven Spielberg, and Ben Affleck. Spielberg’s Lincoln is taking off bigger than anyone would have expected, but it’s this younger director/actor/writer who has captured audiences across the globe with his film Argo. Affleck is one of the most talented men working today, and Argo is one the best/most entertaining films of the year. In front of the camera Affleck gave one of the best performances of his career (too bad in this crowded category he will get lost) he was subtle, and yet unnerving with his actions as the CIA agent turned fake producer. Behind the lens Affleck’s direction was brilliant; he was able to make a film that was thrilling, captivating, and hilarious, three hard elements to achieve within one film, bravo!
9-Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, and Even Peters
While the first edition of American Horror Story aired in 2011, and the cast was brilliant then, but Ryan Murphy brought back a few of the best from season one, proving five folks to be some of the most entertaining folks of 2012.
Together Lange, Quinto , Paulson, Rabe, and Peters and fiercely wonderful as the have taken on new personas in this second mini-series from Murphy. These are the folks who will most likely return for part III next year, and entertain television audiences once again. Ryan Murphy has a knack for finding good talent, and using them well amongst his ensemble, and these five actors are some of television’s hardest working folks, proving scary works even on the small screen.
10-Seth MacFarlene and Ted
Raunchy comedies do well these days, and MacFarlene who brings the raunch to television on a weekly basis with Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show is the man to fill these shoes. MacFarlene has humor, which many would call crude, but he is one of the funniest, and most talented men working today.
MacFarlene toppled the myths that R rated films can’t do well (once again, although people keep forgetting). Ted the talking bear himself may get more credit than MacFarlene, but the two are one in the same (obviously) and they bring the laughs all the time.
MacFarlene also took to the stage at Studio 6H with SNL, and was season’s best host thus far; he can sing, dance, and do great impersonations. With all of these things going for him MacFarlene was asked to be the host of the Academy Awards next year, and incredible honor. This made me a thunder buddy for life!