While continuing to resist the ubiquitous urge to compile my own Best Films of the ’00s List, I find myself somehow both drawn to and repelled by other people’s lists as they are published all over the place, with more of them showing up literally every day. I remember major Best of the Decade lists being published in 1990 and 2000, and the feeling they gave me that the results were somehow official: Raging Bull was the best film of the 1980s, and Pulp Fiction was the best film of the 1990s.
But now, with the radical proliferation of media, news outlets, and opinions in general, the fundamentally historiographical exercise of list-making seems to have become little more than a social act that emphasizes its own discursive character: the multitude of lists seem to be responding to each other in acts of continuous one-upmanship. As ever, the exercise is more telling about our present than it is about the past decade, our lists of favorite movies revealing more about who we are as we are writing them down than about those movies we’re ranking.
So while I continue to ponder my own choices from the past ten years, here are my own choices from the small screen, which in many ways eclipsed the cinema as a complex, artistically articulate and versatile medium in the ’00s.
1. The Wire (best season: IV)
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm (best season: VII)
3. The Sopranos (best season: VI)
4. Freaks and Geeks
5. Deadwood (best season: III)
6. The Office (US) (best season: II)
7. Breaking Bad (best season: II)
8. Extras (best season: II)
9. The Shield (best season: V)
10. Mad Men (best season: I)