(Left to right in the banner pic: Mark Foster from Foster the People, Lil B, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Alison Mosshart from The Kills & The Dead Weather, Kendrick Lamar)

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Top 10 Albums of 2011:

10. Curren$y – Covert Coup: This guy’s one of the hardest workers in hip-hop; he’s released 3 mixtapes this year in addition to his two albums last year and all of them were really solid. In my opinion, Covert Coup is the best of the three mixtapes he’s released in 2011.

Examples:
Scottie Pippen
Success is My Cologne

 

 

9. The Joy Formidable – The Big Roar: If only this was more consistent. At its best The Big Roar is spectacular shoegaze-influenced pop but as its worst it’s merely passable alt rock. This is still a young band with a ton of time to grow so I’m a big fan of them despite thinking this album is just “pretty good”.

Examples:
Whirring
Cradle

 

 

8. Holy Ghost! – Holy Ghost!: This is a throwback to 80s pop that manages to sound nostalgic without sounding dated. Holy Ghost! is pretty catchy throughout and reminiscent of bands such as Chromeo.

Examples:
Wait & See
Do It Again

 

 

7. Big KRIT – Return of 4eva: Great southern hip-hop that sounds like a new-age version of UGK but with more conscious lyrics. Lots of people roll their eyes when they hear “conscious lyrics” but KRIT isn’t preachy; he’s just a smart dude who lets it show in his songs. He’s far from cheesy.

Examples:
Highs & Lows
Rotation

 

 

6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck it and See: It seems like they’re never going back to the faster, younger-sounding style of their first two albums but that’s not completely a bad thing. Arctic Monkeys aren’t worse than they were before, they’re just more mature and different.

Examples:
Library Pictures
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

 

5. Kendrick Lamar – Section.80: I didn’t really like Kendrick Lamar before this album but Section.80 really opened my eyes and allowed me to see what all the hype is about. To put it simply, this sounds like Bone Thugs-n-Harmony meets West Coast rap meets intelligent lyricism. Really good stuff.

Examples:
Ronald Reagan Era
Hol’ Up

 

4. The Kills – Blood Pressures: Less chaotic than Midnight Boom and more detailed than their earlier albums like No Wow, this is definitely The Kills’ smoothest-sounding album to date. It’s not without its flaws; the ballads on here such as “The Last Goodbye” don’t really work for me because it’s just too slow and stripped-down. The more “upbeat” songs (as upbeat as these two are gonna get anyway) are where the album really shines – Future Starts Slow, Heart is a Beating Drum, Baby Says, and a few others are fantastic.

Examples:
Heart is a Beating Drum
Baby Says

3. Foster the People – Torches: When their first EP came out my initial reaction was “well, this is probably their peak”. Helena Beat, Pumped Up Kicks, and Houdini were the only tracks on that EP and they were all ridiculously catchy. I figured that when a full LP would be released it would fail to live up to the catchiness of those three songs. I was wrong; this whole album is really fun to listen to. There’s not much variety throughout it though, so if you hate one or two of their songs chances are you’re going to hate all of them. Fortunately for me, I love them.

Examples:
Color on the Walls (Don’t Stop)
Warrant

2. Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes: This has been growing on me more and more since I first listened to it and somehow it is continuing to grow on me. Lykke Li turned pop music on its head with Wounded Rhymes; this is one of the darkest pop albums you’re going to hear this year. Some tracks are catchy, some tracks are atmospheric, some tracks are emotional – they’re almost all amazing. As far as I’m concerned the top two albums on this list are just on a completely different level.

Examples:
I Follow Rivers
I Know Places

1. CunninLynguists – Oneirology: Most hip-hop artists out there are content if they make an album with a dozen or so random singles and release it just like that. Cunninlynguists aren’t like that; their last three albums have all centered around a specific theme and one song flows right into the next one. They concentrate on putting together one cohesive album that really should be listened front to back every time. This would all mean nothing if it wasn’t interesting to listen to, but Oneirology is incredible; this is smart, ambient hip-hop that every fan of music should at least check out.

Stream the album here

 

And now, 5 upcoming 2011 albums that I have a feeling could be in my top 10 when the year is over:

  • Chico and the Man – Chico and the Man (Release Date: Dec 13, 2011)
    Expectations: Very high; Chico and the Man is a collaboration between Kno from CunninLynguists and Tonedeff. Tonedeff always shines when he has guest spots on CL albums so I’m going in with very high hopes. The way I see it there’s probably a 3-album race for my personal Album of the Year: Oneirology, Chico and the Man, and the still growing on me Wounded Rhymes.
  • Los Campesinos! – Hello Sadness (Release Date: Nov 14, 2011)
    Expectations: Somewhat high; I’m a little skeptical now that Aleks Campesinos! has left the band but their new single is still pretty good. By the way, I’ll be shocked if I never hear that song in a commercial.
  • Blink-182 – Neighborhoods (Release Date: Sept 27, 2011)
    Expectations: Medium; An early review from NME called this the band’s best album yet and a huge step forward for them. I’m only so-so on Blink as a whole but it sounds like it’ll at least be worth checking out.
  • J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story (Release Date: Sept 27, 2011)
    Expectations: Medium; My hype for J Cole has died down a little bit since Friday Night Lights didn’t blow me away but this should still end up being a solid album.
  • Dr. Dre – Detox
    Like it’ll ever come out.

Top 10 Songs of 2011:

For the top 10 songs I’m only doing one song per artist. For a song to be eligible in this list it had to have been released on an album in 2011 – some of these may have been released as singles previously but if they weren’t on an LP until this year I’m still counting them.

 

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

(Left to right in the banner pic: Mark Foster from Foster the People, Lil B, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Alison Mosshart from The Kills & The Dead Weather, Kendrick Lamar)

This is the most least important award show you’ll ever be a part of.  Here’s what I think the best and worst music of 2011 was through the first 8 months.

The Based God Award for Best Song by Lil B this year:
Winner: “I Hate Myself” by Lil B — This is a surprisingly deep and serious song by Lil B that’s actually pretty decent musically. Songs like this one prove that he’s just having fun when he makes the ridiculous stuff like “I’m Miley Cyrus”.

Lifetime achievement award for sucking an incredible amount throughout their career:
Winner: The Black Eyed Peas — I’m not sure if they even released any music this year but just in case they did I’m giving them this award.
Runner-up: Fergie

Award for the album that got good reviews but I hate:
Winner: Death Grips – Exmilitary — I don’t get it. Is this getting praise just because it’s different? A guy randomly yell-rapping over some really lo-fi production doesn’t make for interesting music.
Runner-up: James Blake – James Blake

Best album opener:
*This isn’t necessarily the individual song that I liked the most. This is a combination of how much I like the specific song and how well it works to set up the rest of the album.
Winner: Foo Fighters – Bridge Burning — That opening riff, man. Add that to Dave Grohl screaming “THESE ARE MY FAMOUS LAST WORDS” and you get one of the more memorable album openers in recent memory.
Runner-up: CunninLynguists – Predormitum (Prologue)



Best music video:
Winner: Radiohead – Lotus Flower
Thom Yorke’s dancing is still funny to me.


Worst album art:
Winner: Yuck – Yuck

I know that judging a book (or an album) by its cover is a remarkably dumb thing to do but I did it for this album. I HATE that cover and refused to give it a shot just because of it. Eventually I did listen to this album and it’s alright indie rock. Still hate this cover.


 

Best album art:
Winner: EMA – Past Life Martyred Saints
I don’t really know why I like this cover as much as I do. I think the colors EMA used on it just create a really cool effect when combined with the shadowing and the lens flare on her fingers.

 

 

 

Trend that I really wish would go away:

Look at these three.

I didn’t even have to go digging for when they looked the most ridiculous because all three of these pictures were taken at the same award show. The message I’m getting from the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Nicki Minaj is “my music isn’t good enough to stand out on its own so I have to fake being as weird as possible to get people to pay attention to me”. It was a funny image when the VMAs held their Amy Winehouse tribute and the camera panned to Katy “I’m gonna wear a giant block on my head” Perry. I don’t really care about Amy Winehouse but when you see something like that it makes the “tribute” seem like a clown show.

I have nothing against eccentricity in music. To use another solo female singer as an example, Lykke Li has a bit of an eccentric personality but she doesn’t try to prove it to other people by dressing up like a weirdo at every award show there is. She lets the music speak for itself. Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, and others like them are just trying way too hard.

Award for the album I didn’t care for at all at first but now I love:
Winner: Lykke Li – Wounded Rhymes — Thank god I gave this a second chance after thinking it was pretentious boring crap at first. I don’t know what was wrong with me the first time I heard it.
Runner-up: The Kills – Blood Pressures

Award for the album I really liked at first but got almost no replay value:
Winner: Elzhi – Elmatic — I still think this is very well-made for what it is. Elzhi put years of work into this remake of Nas’ Illmatic that includes live instrumentation for the beats. Unfortunately it’s pretty much still Illmatic; Illmatic’s a great album but I’ve already heard it a hundred times. I think the same could be said for virtually anybody who would have been interested in this. After a little bit it sounds stale.
Runner-up: Pac Div – Mania!

Award for the most underwhelming album:
Winner: Lupe Fiasco – LasersThis has all the signs of a label influencing an artist’s creative process. Lupe has enjoyed the most radio play/mainstream recognition of his career thanks to Lasers but that’s because this album was “dumbed down” (which was something he railed against in his previous album).
Runner-up: Red Hot Chili Peppers – I’m With You

Award for the album I keep telling myself I’ll listen to but never get around to it:
Winner: The Throne – Watch the ThroneI would probably really like this.
Runner-up: TV on the Radio – Nine Types of Light

Award for the album I feel like I should like but don’t:
Winner: Bon Iver – Bon Iver, Bon Iver
– I think the effect Justin Vernon uses on his vocals are what ruins it for me.
Runner-up: PJ Harvey – Let England Shake

Best song that sounds happy but is actually about a really depressing topic:
Winner: Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks — I think it’s safe to say that this is the catchiest song ever written that centers around a school shooting.
Runner-up: Cults – Abducted



Top 5 albums from 2010 now that I’ve had 8 more months to think it over:
5. The Naked and Famous – Passive Me, Aggressive You
4. Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
3. The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards
2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
1. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Kno’s Death is Silent, which was originally my #1 of 2010, is now #6. I still like it but it doesn’t have the replay value the rest of these did for me. I haven’t even thought about listening to it for months.

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My Favorite 11 Hip-Hop Albums of 2010

Do not compare my rankings on this list with the scores I gave each album. They might be different. The scores I give albums are based on how much I like the album at that time, but this list is meant to look back and give my rankings based on how I feel about particular albums now.

Honorable Mentions:

Reflection Eternal – Revolutions Per Minute: This just missed the cut. Talib Kweli’s rapping is solid and Hi-Tek’s production is great, but it didn’t really stick with me throughout the year. I played this album a lot for a couple weeks but have barely gone back to it.
The Roots – How I Got Over: Just like RPM above, this is an album that just didn’t stick with me for that long but it’s a consistent album that’s worth checking out.
Wiz Khalifa – Kush & Orange Juice: This is way too inconsistent for me to include on my list. At its best this mixtape is awesome, but I get tired of Wiz quickly. After my first listen I basically just kept going back to 4 or 5 songs and ignored the rest of the tape.
Anything else that Odd Future released this year: I only had 11 spots and I couldn’t put any of these above #11.
Royce da 5’9″ – The Bar Exam 3: Just like the RE and Roots albums, this is something that just didn’t stick with me for that long and Royce didn’t really do anything new on this tape.
Curren$y – Pilot Talk 2: I liked Pilot Talk 1 more.

The top 11:

11. A-1: After School Special
After School Special is a pretty unique concept mixtape (A-1 samples TV shows from his childhood for the beats) that would come off as gimmicky if A-1 wasn’t a good rapper. But since A-1 is a good rapper, this is a unique mixtape that you’ll want to keep going back to.
Examples:

Charizard
Price is Right

10. B.o.B – No Genre
After what I thought was a disappointing album that was way too poppy, B.o.B went back to his roots for the No Genre mixtape. This was a more than welcome change for me; if B.o.B keeps alternating between releasing pop albums and his more “real” mixtapes I’ll be perfectly okay with that.
Examples:
Beast Mode
Not Lost
9. Kid Cudi – Man on the Moon 2: The Legend of Mr Rager
Kid Cudi’s original Man on the Moon was probably my 2nd favorite release from 2009 and he followed it up with a pretty good album in 2010. Although this album’s pretty much what you’d expect from Kid Cudi, it didn’t have the same atmospheric touch that the original had so I can’t put this any higher than number 9.
Examples:
Mojo So Dope
REVOFEV
8. Pac Div – Don’t Mention It
Cudi’s Man on the Moon was my second favorite release from 2009 and Pac Div’s Church League Champions was my favorite. Just like Cudi, this trio from California followed up an amazing release with a really good (but not quite as good) release. Don’t Mention It is a little more mellow than CLC was (which I think is a step in the wrong direction for these three).
Examples:
It’s On
Here We Go (feat. Tupac…seriously)
7. PackFM – I F*cking Hate Rappers
I’d consider it a pretty good year for hip-hop when something as good as IFHR is just my seventh favorite album of the year. PackFM’s rapping on this album ranges from aggressive to funny and he has probably my favorite flow out of any rapper today. The only thing that irked me a little bit about this album is the fact that there are too many skits. The skits are funny, but they’re still skits — after the first two or three times I’ve just skipped them on each listen.
Examples:
Absolutely Positive
Wanna Know (feat. Deacon the Villain)
6. Deacon the Villain & Sheisty Khrist – Niggaz With Latitude
I originally had this at #2 but it hasn’t stayed in my rotation for as long as I’d hoped so I had to drop it a few spots. Sheisty Khrist sounds a bit like a young Jay-Z and Deacon the Villain is an incredibly well-rounded artist; he does the best hooks in hip-hop today, is a good enough rapper, and on this album he proved that he’s a pretty good producer as well.
Examples:
Chevrolet Doors (feat. Mino Slick)
Luther (feat. PackFM)
5. Tyler, the Creator – Bastard
Bastard is incredibly dark and creepy for a hip-hop album because of the beats and the way Tyler alters his voice to make it really deep and demonic. This is a little inconsistent, but it’s unlike almost anything that has come before it.
Examples:
French
Bastard
4. Curren$y – Pilot Talk
You can’t go into Pilot Talk expecting a typical hip-hop album because that’s not what this is. The combination of live instruments with Curren$y’s laid-back rapping makes this an album that I think even those who don’t like hip-hop can appreciate (except Brad, he hates everything).
Examples:
King Kong
Audio Dope II
3. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that MBDTF made my list with the near-unanimous praise that it has been receiving. Kanye really seems to think that “more is better” when it comes to the production on this album and for the most part he’s right.
Examples:
All of the Lights
Dark Fantasy
2. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty
It’s gotten to the point where if you’ve listened to every Outkast album and you don’t like any of them, you’re either way too picky in your musical tastes or you’re just an elitist teenager who refuses to accept that hip-hop is music. Every new album they put out is completely different from the other albums they have released, and Sir Lucious Left Foot is no different. This is exactly what I’d want from an Outkast album (even if it was just a solo project this time around).
Examples:
Shine Blockas (feat. Gucci Mane)
Daddy Fat Sax
1. Kno – Death is Silent
This should come as a shock to absolutely nobody who knows how much I’ve been talking about this album since it was released. Kno is an underrated rapper, but the real star of this album is his ridiculously good production. Death is Silent is the only album from this year that I’d give a 10/10.
Examples:
Not at the End (feat. Tunji)
When I Was Young (feat. Natti & Substantial)
Rhythm of the Rain (feat. Thee Tom Hardy & Tunji)

I’ll be doing these “Top 22” lists every once in a while when I feel like 11 is just too limiting. Keep in mind that this is just a list of my favorite characters. I don’t pretend to be an authority on Lost or anything of the sort — so I don’t expect anyone to agree with my list exactly.

For the record — I have made rearranged the rankings for this list 3 times. That’s why you’ll see a ranking for “first list”, “April 2010 update”, and my current ranking. The “first list” was made in between season 5 and season 6.

APRIL 2010 UPDATE: I changed a lot of the rankings around and how the whole list is formatted. Even though this was originally intended as a list nobody but me cared about, it seems like this page is getting more views than any other page on the site so I made it easier on the eyes. It was really cluttered before.

MAY UPDATE (post-Series Finale): I’m going to change the rankings around again — this list is going to look drastically different. This will be the third and probably final update. This time, it WILL have spoilers.

These characters were on the list the first time, but didn’t make it since: Naomi (22), Charlie (21), Mikhail (16)
He was on the list the first two times, but has since been knocked off: Michael (#20 on first list, #21 in April)

22. Libby
Ranking on first list: 15
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 19

Libby played a key role in season 6 — she got Hurley to remember the island, and Hurley in turn helped get the others together so they can remember what happened on the island. Still, she doesn’t deserve to be ranked higher than this with all of the great characters on the show.

April 2010 Reasoning: A little bit more interesting than most of the other women survivors on the island; Libby had a lot of potential (mainly because of the flashback at the end of “Dave”), but the writers for the show didn’t really let Libby live up to that potential.

21. Martin Keamy
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 18

He makes good eggs.

April 2010 Reasoning: During season 4, I absolutely hated Keamy. Maybe I didn’t realize it at the time, but I guess that was kinda the point. This is not a guy who you are supposed to like. Up until you meet Keamy, everyone on the island — even those who are meant to be “bad” — have some positive side to them. Keamy, on the other hand, is just flat-out evil.

20. Danielle Rousseau
Ranking on first list: 14
Ranking on April 2010 update: 15

Since she gets more and more insignificant as the series moves on, Danielle is dropping some spots again.

April 2010 Reasoning: The first few times you see Rousseau, she’s pretty much the creepiest character you’ll ever see. But as time goes on, you get more and more used to her character so the creepiness goes away; without this, she’s not all that interesting. Plus, she doesn’t get all that much screen time so I can’t really put her higher on the list.

19. Charles Widmore
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 20

I still have no idea…was Widmore a good guy or a bad guy? In season 6 he came back to the island primarily to stop the Man in Black, and most of the plane survivors were fighting to stop the Man in Black as well. But still, he did it in such a way that just came off as really evil. Plus, how often do you see a guy who looks like him and is a good guy? He just looks evil.

April 2010 Reasoning: Widmore is a really interesting character. I’m not sure what his reasons are for basically hating everything in the world and I’m not sure what side he’s on (think of Widmore in season 4 and compare that to his actions in season 6…can’t he make up his mind already?). He seems to just be pissed off at everything.

18. Jacob
Wasn’t on either of my previous lists

For a couple seasons, we didn’t even know if Jacob was a real person or if Ben was just going insane. This was one of the mysteries that made me watch back-to-back-to-back episodes waiting to see what was up with this guy.

Most of the on-island stuff in season 6 dealt with the aftermath of Jacob’s death and wondering who the next Jacob/”protector of the island” would be. Even though it was generally accepted that Jacob was the good half of the two seemingly-immortal siblings, that might not have really been the case.

17. Sayid Jarrah
Ranking on first list: 13
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 17

It’s gotta suck to be Sayid. He was one of the major characters the whole way through the show, but then when he finally dies he’s overshadowed by more dramatic deaths just a couple minutes later.

April 2010 Reasoning: Sayid kinda seems like a guy who’s just kinda there. He’s really smart and will beat the crap out of you if he has to, but for some reason I just don’t like him as much as some of the other characters. Even though he’s smart, he’s overshadowed by Faraday in that department. Even though he’ll beat the crap out of you, he’s overshadowed by Eko in that department. He’s not a bad character by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s far from the most interesting character too.

16. Jin-Soo Kwon
Ranking on first list: 12
Ranking on April 2010 update: 16

Not really much more to add to my April reasoning for Jin. He’s one of the better examples of character development on the show, though most of the changes in his personality came during season 1.

April 2010 Reasoning: In the beginning of the show, Jin pretty much seems like your stereotypical overprotective foreign husband. Since then, he has gotten a lot more depth and catapulted into one of the most likable characters on the show.

15. Juliet Burke
Ranking on first list: 8
Ranking on April 2010 update: 12

Not much I can add for Juliet. She drops a little bit because some good season 6 performances allow other characters to pass her up.

April 2010 reasoning: When you first meet Juliet, she’s probably a top-5 character. She’s a great villain, but at the same time you’re not really sure if she’s even a villain. Then as time goes on and you don’t know whose side she’s on, she’s still great. But once you get even further into the show, she becomes less and less interesting and kinda fades into the background.

14. Ana Lucia Cortez
Ranking on first list: 10
Ranking on April 2010 update: 11

Ana Lucia’s cameo in season 6 was really weird. She showed up for about a minute and didn’t even make an appearance in the finale. My list in April was a little messed up; she probably shouldn’t have been ranked better than Hurley or Desmond.

April 2010 reasoning: Before you go and flame me in the comments, read this. I realize that putting Ana Lucia above people like Hurley or Desmond is going to make some people think “well I can’t take this list seriously”. Ana Lucia is probably the most polarizing character among Lost fans — some like her, some think she’s terrible. Hear out my reasoning for putting her this high up on the list.

1. Besides Ana Lucia, name one woman who survived Oceanic 815 and is a vastly different character from the rest of the women. Until season 6 Claire showed up, you couldn’t do it.
2. Two for the Road is an Ana Lucia episode, and it’s easily one of my 5 favorite episodes in the whole series. Throughout all the crazy stuff that has happened on the show, my favorite moment of the whole series was during the last 10-20 minutes of that episode…and Ana Lucia was pretty much the main character in those 10-20 minutes.
3. She killed the worst character on the show. That alone is enough to get her this high on the list.

13. Claire Littleton
Ranking on first list: 19
Ranking on April 2010 update: 8

Okay, I think I jumped the gun a little bit on Claire in April. She jumped too far up on this list when I updated it then.

April 2010 reasoning: Claire gets the biggest jump from my previous list to this one. In the old list, I said that “Claire might jump a few spots because of season 6”, and it turns out I was right. Early on, nothing really set Claire apart other than the fact that she was the pregnant girl. However, in season 6 her character has completely changed and deserves this jump.

12. Frank Lapidus
Ranking on first list: 18
Ranking on April 2010 update: 9

Hey, they actually found a use for Frank in the finale!

April 2010 Reasoning: When making this list, I couldn’t decide exactly how to do the rankings. Do I rank them 1-22 based on how much I like each character, or based on how useful each character is? I ended up trying to mix the two — Frank is absolutely hilarious, especially in season 6. But he’s like Creed Bratton from The Office — he pops up to say one or two lines, and then he pretty much disappears for the rest of the episode. Frank is basically the audience of the show put into a character…he’s usually the one to point out just how crazy something is.

11. The Man in Black
Ranking on previous list: 17
Ranking on April 2010 update: 10

Somebody give Terry O’Quinn the Supporting Actor Emmy right now for season 6. Titus Welliver doesn’t do a bad job portraying the Man in Black, either.

April 2010 reasoning: As I’m writing this we’re still in the middle of season 6, so we don’t really know who the Man in Black really is and what his intentions are…but the mystery behind the guy makes him one of the most interesting characters on the show.

10. Miles Straume
Ranking on first list: 9
Ranking on April 2010 update: 6

Dropping a little bit since he’s pretty much the most useless character on this list.

April 2010 reasoning: Honestly, does Miles deserve to be ranked this high on my list? Probably not. He’s not a primary or even a secondary character; he’s in the background for the most part. But, the screen time he does get is always really entertaining. Miles is the funniest character on the show. He’s overly sarcastic and really just mean to some of the other characters…but it’s hilarious, so he’s awesome.

9. Jack Shephard
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 22

During the first few seasons, Jack seemed like nothing but an average hero. Then in seasons 4 and 5 he became arrogant and became one of the more annoying characters on the show since he’d get angry at everyone if they didn’t follow his instructions. However, in season 6 there was a big shift in Jack’s attitude and I think it was for the better. He finally realized that he wasn’t right all the time and went borderline crazy. His showdown with “Locke” at the end on a side of a mountain with the rain pouring was epic.

April 2010 Reasoning: Jack’s the main character of the show, but he’s not that easy to like. His constant “I’m always right” attitude gets really annoying the more and more you watch. However, in season 6 that seems to be changing.

Plus, he brought us Jackfaces. How can he not be on the list?

8. Hurley
Ranking on first list: 6
Ranking on April 2010 update: 13

Well, my reasoning in April looks pretty silly now. At least I didn’t go with what I was originally going to say, which was “To be honest, Hurley is a pretty useless character”…since now he’s the guy in charge of the island. I can’t be the only one curious as to how Hurley’s reign as the new Jacob went, right? Did he rule over the island for thousands of years like Jacob did, or did he just give it up after a little while to Ben/someone else? If they were to write a book on that, I know I’d buy it immediately.

April 2010 Reasoning: The reason Hurley dropped so much is because I realized that I just don’t like him as much as I thought I did. In season 1, he’s great and hilarious. But as time goes on, he gradually gets more serious and we’re introduced to even funnier characters than he is so he gets less and less interesting. He’s still a really likable character, but I just can’t put him above anyone in my top 12.

7. Richard Alpert
Ranking on first list: 7
Ranking on April 2010 update: 7

Yep, #7 again. It’s kinda strange how Richard has been on the island for longer than almost everyone else yet in season 6 he seems more clueless than anyone else.

April 2010 reasoning: Richard is definitely one of the most mysterious people on the island, and he probably has the most interesting back story out of anyone. I’m not sure I can really say any more than that about Richard without spoiling a lot of stuff, so I’ll just leave it at that.

6. Daniel Faraday
Ranking on first list: 5
Ranking on April 2010 update: 5

Not really much to add for Daniel. He was a great character who I wish was on the show longer than he was.

April 2010 Reasoning: I don’t see how it’s possible for anyone to hate Faraday. He’s a scientist who is ultra-polite and awkward around everyone. Also, he seems to know more about the weird things happening on the island than most do.

5. Mr Eko
Ranking on first list: 4
Ranking on April 2010 update: 3

It’s too bad that the actor who played Eko wanted to leave the show so soon — Lost would have been a completely different (and probably better) show if Eko stayed on the main cast.

April 2010 reasoning: Eko moving up to #3 isn’t because of anything he did, it’s more because Ben isn’t anywhere near as great as he used to be.

When you first look at Eko, you’d probably think “this guy is going to beat the crap out of me”. And if you get on his bad side, you’d be right. But for the most part, Eko is one of the most understanding people on the island.

After a life as a drug dealer, he eventually tried to become a priest. Still, Eko can never really escape his past — for example, he has a stick that he carves Bible scriptures into…this stick is used to beat the crap out of people.

4. Desmond Hume
Ranking on first list: 11
Ranking on April 2010 update: 14

Big jump for Desmond; I’m not really sure why I didn’t have him in the top 10 before. Can anyone argue that Desmond didn’t consistently have the best episodes in the series? Whenever I found out I was watching a Desmond episode, I knew some wacky stuff would happen and that it would be a really good episode. He’s also used as a key plot device pretty often, and in season 6 he’s basically used as a tool more than a person.

April 2010 Reasoning: The island’s made Desmond crazier than just about anyone else, but he still remains likable. I’m not as big a fan of Desmond as some people are though — some think he’s the best character on the show, but I don’t think he’s close.

3. Sawyer
Ranking on first list: 2
Ranking on April 2010 update: 2

Did the writers forget that Sawyer existed? He went from being the main guy in season 5 to a level just above Miles and Lapidus in season 6.

April 2010 reasoning: With all respect to Hurley…until Lapidus and Miles came along, Sawyer was by far the funniest person on the show. His constant insults and nicknames for everyone were hilarious. Still though, it’s not like Sawyer is a clown — far from it. He got quite a bit more serious in season 5 and basically was the main character of that season.

In my opinion, Lost isn’t really a show that does a great job with character development. Sawyer, however, is a huge exception. In the beginning, I hated Sawyer; he seemed like a typical racist redneck. Over time, he matured and became one of the most likable people on the show. He still threw out insults and whatnot, but he started to become really cooperative with the rest of the people on the island.

John Locke
2. John Locke
Ranking on first list: 1
Ranking on April 2010 update: 1

Not much to say that I didn’t already say in April. Locke still owns.

April 2010 reasoning: Locke is definitely one of the better and more unique characters on TV, period. It’s revealed early on that Locke doesn’t really want to leave the island as much as the rest of the survivors do, and his reasoning for that is unveiled as the show progresses. He’s also the most mysterious member of the original group of survivors; he’s an old guy who just happened to get a whole bunch of hunting knives onto the airplane and something just seems a little “off” about Locke the whole time.

For the rest of the characters on the show, you can pretty much substitute different actors to play the character and it’d work. Hurley can be played by a fat happy guy. Sawyer can be played by a redneck…with Locke (I guess Ben Linus falls into this category as well), can you imagine anyone OTHER than Terry O’Quinn playing him? I can’t. He was the perfect casting decision.

1. Ben Linus
Ranking on first list: 3
Ranking on April 2010 update: 4

With a few episodes left I never really expected Ben to leapfrog anyone in the top 3, but now that everything’s over I think I liked Ben’s story more than the story for any other character on the show. At the end of the show, it’s evident that Ben still feels guilty after everything he put people through even though he really has redeemed himself. Ben is the perfect example of how Lost never really made it clear who was good and who was bad — most of the characters were somewhere in the middle.

The closure for Ben’s story was really well done for both the on-island stuff and the “alternate reality”. On the island, all he wanted his whole life was for Jacob to accept him and he never really had that happen. But then when Hurley takes over as the new Jacob, Ben’s dream is realized when Hurley appoints him as his #2. And then in the afterlife, Ben stays outside while everyone else gathers inside the building — a great representation of how Ben just knew he was an outsider compared to everyone else.

April 2010 reasoning: Ben drops a spot because he simply isn’t as good as he used to be. Throughout all of season 3 Ben is an evil, manipulative guy. But in season 5 and especially season 6, Ben kinda just fades into the background and turns into a wimp while doing so.

When reading this list, take into account that I was born in the late 1980s. So when I feel nostalgic about a game, it’s about Banjo-Kazooie and not something like Super Mario Bros or Pac-Man. I still think Super Mario Bros and Pac-Man are fun games, and if I was born 10 or 15 years earlier they’d probably make this list. They were just before my time. That is why my list is 90s and 2000s-centric.

Calling this a “Top 11” is a bit of a stretch since I include about 20 games if you count expansions.

ESPN NFL 2k5

11. ESPN NFL 2k5 – I know, it’s crazy to include a sports simulation on a “best games ever” list…but honestly, this is the only game on this list that I still play regularly. This is definitely a different game from Madden, and if you ask me it’s a lot more fluid and responsive to what you tell it to do. The extra additions like Sportscenter after every week in franchise were a nice touch, too.

Bioshock

10. Bioshock – Usually when a game tries to blend Shooting and RPG elements, the result is uneven. Either the game concentrates primarily on the shooting and the RPG elements don’t have a noticeable effect, or the game concentrates mainly on the RPG elements and the shooting itself sucks. Here, it blended the two perfectly. The shooting is among the best you’ll see in a game, and the RPG elements were awesome to use. You can go through this game using a completely different strategy each time because of all the different powers you can use. Very rarely can that type of thing happen in a shooter.
Plus, the water in this game is pretty.

Kid Chameleon

9. Kid Chameleon – Usually when people talk about side-scrolling Genesis games they’ll talk about Sonic, Streets of Rage, Comix Zone, or something like that…but this game is often left out of the discussion and I have no idea why. This is not an easy game (though it is easier than Comix Zone) and it’s almost impossible to beat it unless you’re using save states or something. But still, it’s really fun to play over and over again to see if you can get past the level you died on last time (for me, this usually ended up being the first level with the ****ing moving wall).

Warcraft 3

8. Warcraft 3 (and Frozen Throne expansion) – I don’t have anything against WoW, but if you ask me this is the best game with “Warcraft” in the title. It took parts from earlier Blizzard games Diablo (Heroes) & Starcraft (RTS) and blended them very well. Playing this online with the leveling system and daily tournaments was really fun. And then there were the custom maps such as DotA, which added a lot of replay value to the game.

Guild Wars

7. Guild Wars – This is different from other games in this genre like World of Warcraft or Diablo II. In those games, the emphasis is on leveling your characters up as much as possible. Here, the level cap is set at 20 so it’s much more focused on strategy. Soloing this game is impossible to do; you will need to work well with others in order to get a lot of the later missions accomplished. I might’ve put more hours into this than any other game on this list.

6. Command and Conquer: Red Alert, Red Alert 2, and Red Alert 2: Yuri’s Revenge (expansion) – I like playing these games for the skirmishes against the computer more than the actual missions. The basebuilding and amassing a giant army to just crush your opponent is really fun to do. The reason Yuri’s Revenge makes the list and not any of the first Red Alert’s expansions is because Yuri’s Revenge added so much to Red Alert 2. I don’t think there’s ever been a better expansion than Yuri’s Revenge.

5. Rare’s awesome N64 platformers – This includes Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I didn’t want them to take up more than one spot on the list since they’re basically all slightly different versions of each other (except for Conker, but in Conker at least the gameplay was similar). This is just platforming at its best; in 99% of platformers, collecting crap is tedious and annoying to do. In these games, collecting was actually fun to do. If I had to choose just one, I’d pick Banjo-Kazooie.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – I know, it’s cliche to put Ocarina of Time on this list since it’s on every single list like this. But just like The Godfather when it comes to movies, this is something that deserves all the praise it gets. If it wasn’t for the ****ing water temple, this might be higher up on the list — that temple is just ridiculously hard to get through.

3. Pokemon Red/Blue – Don’t laugh; the Pokemon games are great and really hard to put down. You keep wanting to level up one of your pokemon one more level, win one more badge, or catch a certain pokemon that’s rare. I think part of what makes the pokemon games so fun is how flexible it allows you to be with your party. You can beat the game with a team that looks completely different from how other people beat the game. Granted, it will be hard to do really well with something like a Ditto in your party — but it’s far from impossible with the right strategy. It takes forever to level your pokemon up to level 100 (if you’re not using the Missingno glitch, anyway) so you can be playing this for a long, long time. The newer games are good too, but I gave Red and Blue the spot since they were the first game to do it.

Diablo 2

2. Diablo II (and Lord of Destruction expansion) – There are two ways to play Diablo 2. One way is to be super serious about it, making sure your party is perfectly set up and make sure you put the exact amount of points into certain skills. The other way is to play the way I played — try to solo everything about put skill points into skills you like to use, but won’t necessarily get you the best setup. This strategy will only get you to the second or maybe the beginning of the third difficulty, but I found it really fun to play like that. This is basically the videogame equivalent of crack — you want to keep playing no matter what. You’re always close to achieving something; your character leveling up, finishing a quest, or getting better equipment. Nothing’s cooler than when you kill an enemy in Diablo II and your enemy unexpectedly drops a green or gold weapon.

1. Final Fantasy X – This was my first Final Fantasy game — when I bought it, I didn’t even know what the games were about; I just bought it because they were supposed to be popular and good. This turned out to be basically everything I could want in a Japanese RPG. The characters were mostly pretty good (especially Auron, who is one of the best videogame characters of all-time) and the story is very good. Leveling up the characters via the sphere grid gives flexibility to do whatever you want with them, and it’s a very innovative (and I thought really fun) way of leveling up. I thought the battle system was one of the best I’ve ever seen in a turn-based RPG; the whole bar on the side showing you exactly when someone was going to attack is a great addition. Finally, there was enough stuff to keep you coming back — blitzball, legendary weapons, etc…and then when you’ve basically completed the game, it’s really easy to just start a new file and go through the whole thing again (maybe trying different strategies for different characters) because it doesn’t get old.

Technically speaking, the game was outstanding. The graphics, especially in the cutscenes, were probably the best that the PS2 had at the time (the cutscenes STILL look really good today). And the music really added to the experience; there’s not many games I can say that for.
I didn’t know what game on this list I was going to put at #1, but this is the only game where I wanted to go back and make a new file just after writing about it. So, Final Fantasy X is my favorite game of all-time.

  1. Kid Chameleon – This game was released for the Sega Genesis, you start out as just an ordinary kid, who changes characters as your adventure goes on. These characters include: Kid Chameleon, Iron Knight, Red Stealth, Berzerker, Maniaxe, Juggernaut, MicroMax, EyeClops, SkyCutter, Cyclone.

2. Diablo II:Lord of Destruction – Diablo II is a really fun game, I never got very far, but for how much I did play it was a blast.

3. Pokemon Blue – This game was released for the Gameboy Color. It had the original Pokemon, and I played this game for hours upon hours. Just because the amount of time I spent playing this game it got on this list.

4. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – The Legend of Zelda was a really fun game, if you have played this game you know about Like Likes. It is a real adventure for the N64.

5. Banjo Kazooie – The Banjo Kazooie series is pretty fun.  It is just really fun to play those games.

6. Super Smash Bros (N64) – This game for the N64 is really fun to play, just a really fun fighting game involving Nintendo characters.

7. Golden Eye 007 (N64)- This game was and IS a BLAST!!  That is why it is on my list.

8. Super Mario Bros 64 (N64) – This is just a classic for the N64, and it is really fun.

9. Half Life 2 – I had some fun playing this game in the past.  So it gained its spot on the list.

10. Star Wars – The Force Unleashed – I played this game for a while on my PSP, and it is pretty fun I’m not going to lie.  As you go through the game you can customize your character’s lightsaber, costume, and force moves.  It gained a spot on this list.

11.  Guild Wars – This was the first real MMORPG that I played, and for me was really fun as long as I was playing with friends.  So it earned a spot on this list.

But if you want pictures just download the .docx file below.

Top 11 Games (Brad)

bkatula@project-11.com

One of the things that really sets Arrested Development apart from just about every show ever made are the characters. Even though I’m not a fan of every character (Rita and Uncle Jack for example), every character in Arrested Development has something different about them that makes them really interesting — there’s no character that’s just “a normal guy” except for arguably Michael. Even some of the most minor characters are great.
After watching every episode at least 5 times each (with some episodes like Afternoon Delight and Let ’em Eat Cake probably over 15 times), I’m pretty sure this is as final as my AD list is going to get.

Lindsay is no longer on my list since I’m including supporting characters this time…the three supporting characters here are a lot more deserving than Lindsay in my mind. On to the list…

Lucille

11. Lucille Bluth – In a sitcom, having a character that is really unlikable is usually a really bad thing – but here, it works. You can tell that she’s been spoiled for more or less her whole life, she’s racist, is an alcoholic, and insults all of her children constantly. Yet whenever she interacts with her kids or grandkids, it’s usually hilarious.

Franklin

10. Franklin Delano Bluth – Franklin is the only character on this list to not be an actual living thing. However, he main reason Franklin (who was an exaggerated black stereotype puppet) was so great  was because everyone else treated him like a real person — they would talk to him, hit him, and react to him as if it was actually the puppet saying these things and not Gob.

Michael Bluth

9. Michael Bluth – The only “normal” character on the show. He says exactly what the audience is thinking whenever something ridiculous happens (which is multiple times an episode). Even though he’s not as over-the-top as some other characters, he still has many great lines every episode. Without Michael, the show wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as good as it is. It would be It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s Always Sunny is good, but (thanks in large part to Michael) Arrested Development is miles ahead of it.

8. Larry Mittleman (the Surrogate) – If you ask me, the surrogate is the funniest character on the show. Every single time he said something, it was laugh-out-loud funny. The only reason I’m not ranking him higher is because he was only in a handful of episodes. His complete deadpan delivery for everything no matter how emotional it was supposed to be is hilarious. I have no idea how he kept a straight face whenever he delivered his lines.

7. Barry Zuckerkorn – Of the many incompetent characters on the show, Barry Zuckerkorn probably sucks at his job more than anyone else. Lucille and George Sr. are completely oblivious to this though, and they think that Barry is “very good” at being their lawyer. Much like the Surrogate, Barry usually says something hilarious every single time he is on screen.

6. George Michael Bluth – Keep in mind that this was before Michael Cera was in five movies a year playing the exact same “awkward teen” character he plays here. This was before he got stale. But still, even if you’re fed up with Michael Cera in *insert movie* he’s still really good as George-Michael Bluth (which is by far his best role so far).

5. Buster Bluth – Even wimpier of a character than Michael Cera’s character; I’m not sure there’s ever been something where that has happened before. Buster is the ultimate momma’s boy, but there are signs throughout the series that he’s really starting to get fed up with it.

4. George Bluth, Sr. – The more you watch the show, the more you notice that you’re laughing at almost everything George Senior says. George Sr is the former President of the Bluth Company, but at the same time he is completely corrupt and incompetent; he varies from totally in control and telling his kids their ideas are stupid (which they usually are) to utterly clueless. Jeffrey Tambor plays this part perfectly.

Maeby3. Maeby Funke – You really don’t realize how good Alia Shawkat is at playing the rebellious teenage daughter until you start comparing Maeby to rebellious teenage daughters in other sitcoms. Most of the time, they’re one dimensional and 99% of the time they don’t add anything to the show (Haley in Modern Family makes me want to change the channel). Thanks to great writing and great acting, neither of those are a problem here. Maeby probably has more common sense than anyone else in the family and her sarcastic lines that other characters ignore are some of the best in the series. You can tell that she’s basically thinking “WTF?” whenever she’s talking to just about anyone else.

Tobias

2. Tobias Funke – Whenever you see someone quote AD on the internet (which happens a lot more than non-fans realize), chances are that they’re quoting something Tobias said. He used to be a doctor, but now he wants to be an actor — this leads to a lot of speculation as to whether he’s gay or not. The things he says don’t really help his case for “straight”, either. Now, there have been characters on other sitcoms that some people think are secretly gay (basically just about every other sitcom ever) but what makes Tobias different is how completely oblivious he is to everything around him.

1. GOB – Ask just about any AD fan who their favorite character is, and there’s a 99% chance they’ll say Gob or Tobias. I can’t think of anyone else on the planet playing Gob except for Will Arnett. Gob is the failure of the family and part-time magician; he thinks he’s the best thing out there, but he’s not.The reason I put him over Tobias this time is because it’s thanks to Gob that the chicken dance exists as well as some of the most memorable lines in the series (“Yeah, like the guy in the $4000 suit is going to hold the elevator for the guy who doesn’t make that in 3 months? Come on!”)

Some clips:

Gob & Franklin sing a duet. For some reason, Franklin gets his own microphone.

Tobias wants to connect more with his daughter, so he acts like a cross between Mary Poppins and Mrs. Doubtfire. He expects to fly in off the balcony, but kinda fails. Everything in this scene is perfect — Tobias’ “Ohhhhh” to “We shan’t be telling your mother this shan’t we?” to Maeby’s complete lack of a reaction.

Tobias is upset that a gym teacher is directing the school play and not him. That just makes me want to puke all over your head, sir!

I’ll be doing these “Top 22” lists every once in a while when I feel like 11 is just too limiting. Keep in mind that this is just a list of my favorite characters. I don’t pretend to be an authority on Lost or anything of the sort — so I don’t expect anyone to agree with my list exactly.

For the record — I have made rearranged the rankings for this list 3 times. That’s why you’ll see a ranking for “first list”, “April 2010 update”, and my current ranking. The “first list” was made in between season 5 and season 6.

APRIL 2010 UPDATE: I changed a lot of the rankings around and how the whole list is formatted. Even though this was originally intended as a list nobody but me cared about, it seems like this page is getting more views than any other page on the site so I made it easier on the eyes. It was really cluttered before.

MAY UPDATE (post-Series Finale): I’m going to change the rankings around again — this list is going to look drastically different. This will be the third and probably final update. This time, it WILL have spoilers.

These characters were on the list the first time, but didn’t make it since: Naomi (22), Charlie (21), Mikhail (16)
He was on the list the first two times, but has since been knocked off: Michael (#20 on first list, #21 in April)

22. Libby
Ranking on first list: 15
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 19

Libby played a key role in season 6 — she got Hurley to remember the island, and Hurley in turn helped get the others together so they can remember what happened on the island. Still, she doesn’t deserve to be ranked higher than this with all of the great characters on the show.

April 2010 Reasoning: A little bit more interesting than most of the other women survivors on the island; Libby had a lot of potential (mainly because of the flashback at the end of “Dave”), but the writers for the show didn’t really let Libby live up to that potential.

21. Martin Keamy
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 18

He makes good eggs.

April 2010 Reasoning: During season 4, I absolutely hated Keamy. Maybe I didn’t realize it at the time, but I guess that was kinda the point. This is not a guy who you are supposed to like. Up until you meet Keamy, everyone on the island — even those who are meant to be “bad” — have some positive side to them. Keamy, on the other hand, is just flat-out evil.

20. Danielle Rousseau
Ranking on first list: 14
Ranking on April 2010 update: 15

Since she gets more and more insignificant as the series moves on, Danielle is dropping some spots again.

April 2010 Reasoning: The first few times you see Rousseau, she’s pretty much the creepiest character you’ll ever see. But as time goes on, you get more and more used to her character so the creepiness goes away; without this, she’s not all that interesting. Plus, she doesn’t get all that much screen time so I can’t really put her higher on the list.

19. Charles Widmore
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 20

I still have no idea…was Widmore a good guy or a bad guy? In season 6 he came back to the island primarily to stop the Man in Black, and most of the plane survivors were fighting to stop the Man in Black as well. But still, he did it in such a way that just came off as really evil. Plus, how often do you see a guy who looks like him and is a good guy? He just looks evil.

April 2010 Reasoning: Widmore is a really interesting character. I’m not sure what his reasons are for basically hating everything in the world and I’m not sure what side he’s on (think of Widmore in season 4 and compare that to his actions in season 6…can’t he make up his mind already?). He seems to just be pissed off at everything.

18. Jacob
Wasn’t on either of my previous lists

For a couple seasons, we didn’t even know if Jacob was a real person or if Ben was just going insane. This was one of the mysteries that made me watch back-to-back-to-back episodes waiting to see what was up with this guy.

Most of the on-island stuff in season 6 dealt with the aftermath of Jacob’s death and wondering who the next Jacob/”protector of the island” would be. Even though it was generally accepted that Jacob was the good half of the two seemingly-immortal siblings, that might not have really been the case.

17. Sayid Jarrah
Ranking on first list: 13
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 17

It’s gotta suck to be Sayid. He was one of the major characters the whole way through the show, but then when he finally dies he’s overshadowed by more dramatic deaths just a couple minutes later.

April 2010 Reasoning: Sayid kinda seems like a guy who’s just kinda there. He’s really smart and will beat the crap out of you if he has to, but for some reason I just don’t like him as much as some of the other characters. Even though he’s smart, he’s overshadowed by Faraday in that department. Even though he’ll beat the crap out of you, he’s overshadowed by Eko in that department. He’s not a bad character by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s far from the most interesting character too.

16. Jin-Soo Kwon
Ranking on first list: 12
Ranking on April 2010 update: 16

Not really much more to add to my April reasoning for Jin. He’s one of the better examples of character development on the show, though most of the changes in his personality came during season 1.

April 2010 Reasoning: In the beginning of the show, Jin pretty much seems like your stereotypical overprotective foreign husband. Since then, he has gotten a lot more depth and catapulted into one of the most likable characters on the show.

15. Juliet Burke
Ranking on first list: 8
Ranking on April 2010 update: 12

Not much I can add for Juliet. She drops a little bit because some good season 6 performances allow other characters to pass her up.

April 2010 reasoning: When you first meet Juliet, she’s probably a top-5 character. She’s a great villain, but at the same time you’re not really sure if she’s even a villain. Then as time goes on and you don’t know whose side she’s on, she’s still great. But once you get even further into the show, she becomes less and less interesting and kinda fades into the background.

14. Ana Lucia Cortez
Ranking on first list: 10
Ranking on April 2010 update: 11

Ana Lucia’s cameo in season 6 was really weird. She showed up for about a minute and didn’t even make an appearance in the finale. My list in April was a little messed up; she probably shouldn’t have been ranked better than Hurley or Desmond.

April 2010 reasoning: Before you go and flame me in the comments, read this. I realize that putting Ana Lucia above people like Hurley or Desmond is going to make some people think “well I can’t take this list seriously”. Ana Lucia is probably the most polarizing character among Lost fans — some like her, some think she’s terrible. Hear out my reasoning for putting her this high up on the list.

1. Besides Ana Lucia, name one woman who survived Oceanic 815 and is a vastly different character from the rest of the women. Until season 6 Claire showed up, you couldn’t do it.
2. Two for the Road is an Ana Lucia episode, and it’s easily one of my 5 favorite episodes in the whole series. Throughout all the crazy stuff that has happened on the show, my favorite moment of the whole series was during the last 10-20 minutes of that episode…and Ana Lucia was pretty much the main character in those 10-20 minutes.
3. She killed the worst character on the show. That alone is enough to get her this high on the list.

13. Claire Littleton
Ranking on first list: 19
Ranking on April 2010 update: 8

Okay, I think I jumped the gun a little bit on Claire in April. She jumped too far up on this list when I updated it then.

April 2010 reasoning: Claire gets the biggest jump from my previous list to this one. In the old list, I said that “Claire might jump a few spots because of season 6”, and it turns out I was right. Early on, nothing really set Claire apart other than the fact that she was the pregnant girl. However, in season 6 her character has completely changed and deserves this jump.

12. Frank Lapidus
Ranking on first list: 18
Ranking on April 2010 update: 9

Hey, they actually found a use for Frank in the finale!

April 2010 Reasoning: When making this list, I couldn’t decide exactly how to do the rankings. Do I rank them 1-22 based on how much I like each character, or based on how useful each character is? I ended up trying to mix the two — Frank is absolutely hilarious, especially in season 6. But he’s like Creed Bratton from The Office — he pops up to say one or two lines, and then he pretty much disappears for the rest of the episode. Frank is basically the audience of the show put into a character…he’s usually the one to point out just how crazy something is.

11. The Man in Black
Ranking on previous list: 17
Ranking on April 2010 update: 10

Somebody give Terry O’Quinn the Supporting Actor Emmy right now for season 6. Titus Welliver doesn’t do a bad job portraying the Man in Black, either.

April 2010 reasoning: As I’m writing this we’re still in the middle of season 6, so we don’t really know who the Man in Black really is and what his intentions are…but the mystery behind the guy makes him one of the most interesting characters on the show.

10. Miles Straume
Ranking on first list: 9
Ranking on April 2010 update: 6

Dropping a little bit since he’s pretty much the most useless character on this list.

April 2010 reasoning: Honestly, does Miles deserve to be ranked this high on my list? Probably not. He’s not a primary or even a secondary character; he’s in the background for the most part. But, the screen time he does get is always really entertaining. Miles is the funniest character on the show. He’s overly sarcastic and really just mean to some of the other characters…but it’s hilarious, so he’s awesome.

9. Jack Shephard
Ranking on first list: Wasn’t on first list
Ranking on April 2010 Update: 22

During the first few seasons, Jack seemed like nothing but an average hero. Then in seasons 4 and 5 he became arrogant and became one of the more annoying characters on the show since he’d get angry at everyone if they didn’t follow his instructions. However, in season 6 there was a big shift in Jack’s attitude and I think it was for the better. He finally realized that he wasn’t right all the time and went borderline crazy. His showdown with “Locke” at the end on a side of a mountain with the rain pouring was epic.

April 2010 Reasoning: Jack’s the main character of the show, but he’s not that easy to like. His constant “I’m always right” attitude gets really annoying the more and more you watch. However, in season 6 that seems to be changing.

Plus, he brought us Jackfaces. How can he not be on the list?

8. Hurley
Ranking on first list: 6
Ranking on April 2010 update: 13

Well, my reasoning in April looks pretty silly now. At least I didn’t go with what I was originally going to say, which was “To be honest, Hurley is a pretty useless character”…since now he’s the guy in charge of the island. I can’t be the only one curious as to how Hurley’s reign as the new Jacob went, right? Did he rule over the island for thousands of years like Jacob did, or did he just give it up after a little while to Ben/someone else? If they were to write a book on that, I know I’d buy it immediately.

April 2010 Reasoning: The reason Hurley dropped so much is because I realized that I just don’t like him as much as I thought I did. In season 1, he’s great and hilarious. But as time goes on, he gradually gets more serious and we’re introduced to even funnier characters than he is so he gets less and less interesting. He’s still a really likable character, but I just can’t put him above anyone in my top 12.

7. Richard Alpert
Ranking on first list: 7
Ranking on April 2010 update: 7

Yep, #7 again. It’s kinda strange how Richard has been on the island for longer than almost everyone else yet in season 6 he seems more clueless than anyone else.

April 2010 reasoning: Richard is definitely one of the most mysterious people on the island, and he probably has the most interesting back story out of anyone. I’m not sure I can really say any more than that about Richard without spoiling a lot of stuff, so I’ll just leave it at that.

6. Daniel Faraday
Ranking on first list: 5
Ranking on April 2010 update: 5

Not really much to add for Daniel. He was a great character who I wish was on the show longer than he was.

April 2010 Reasoning: I don’t see how it’s possible for anyone to hate Faraday. He’s a scientist who is ultra-polite and awkward around everyone. Also, he seems to know more about the weird things happening on the island than most do.

5. Mr Eko
Ranking on first list: 4
Ranking on April 2010 update: 3

It’s too bad that the actor who played Eko wanted to leave the show so soon — Lost would have been a completely different (and probably better) show if Eko stayed on the main cast.

April 2010 reasoning: Eko moving up to #3 isn’t because of anything he did, it’s more because Ben isn’t anywhere near as great as he used to be.

When you first look at Eko, you’d probably think “this guy is going to beat the crap out of me”. And if you get on his bad side, you’d be right. But for the most part, Eko is one of the most understanding people on the island.

After a life as a drug dealer, he eventually tried to become a priest. Still, Eko can never really escape his past — for example, he has a stick that he carves Bible scriptures into…this stick is used to beat the crap out of people.

4. Desmond Hume
Ranking on first list: 11
Ranking on April 2010 update: 14

Big jump for Desmond; I’m not really sure why I didn’t have him in the top 10 before. Can anyone argue that Desmond didn’t consistently have the best episodes in the series? Whenever I found out I was watching a Desmond episode, I knew some wacky stuff would happen and that it would be a really good episode. He’s also used as a key plot device pretty often, and in season 6 he’s basically used as a tool more than a person.

April 2010 Reasoning: The island’s made Desmond crazier than just about anyone else, but he still remains likable. I’m not as big a fan of Desmond as some people are though — some think he’s the best character on the show, but I don’t think he’s close.

3. Sawyer
Ranking on first list: 2
Ranking on April 2010 update: 2

Did the writers forget that Sawyer existed? He went from being the main guy in season 5 to a level just above Miles and Lapidus in season 6.

April 2010 reasoning: With all respect to Hurley…until Lapidus and Miles came along, Sawyer was by far the funniest person on the show. His constant insults and nicknames for everyone were hilarious. Still though, it’s not like Sawyer is a clown — far from it. He got quite a bit more serious in season 5 and basically was the main character of that season.

In my opinion, Lost isn’t really a show that does a great job with character development. Sawyer, however, is a huge exception. In the beginning, I hated Sawyer; he seemed like a typical racist redneck. Over time, he matured and became one of the most likable people on the show. He still threw out insults and whatnot, but he started to become really cooperative with the rest of the people on the island.

John Locke
2. John Locke
Ranking on first list: 1
Ranking on April 2010 update: 1

Not much to say that I didn’t already say in April. Locke still owns.

April 2010 reasoning: Locke is definitely one of the better and more unique characters on TV, period. It’s revealed early on that Locke doesn’t really want to leave the island as much as the rest of the survivors do, and his reasoning for that is unveiled as the show progresses. He’s also the most mysterious member of the original group of survivors; he’s an old guy who just happened to get a whole bunch of hunting knives onto the airplane and something just seems a little “off” about Locke the whole time.

For the rest of the characters on the show, you can pretty much substitute different actors to play the character and it’d work. Hurley can be played by a fat happy guy. Sawyer can be played by a redneck…with Locke (I guess Ben Linus falls into this category as well), can you imagine anyone OTHER than Terry O’Quinn playing him? I can’t. He was the perfect casting decision.

1. Ben Linus
Ranking on first list: 3
Ranking on April 2010 update: 4

With a few episodes left I never really expected Ben to leapfrog anyone in the top 3, but now that everything’s over I think I liked Ben’s story more than the story for any other character on the show. At the end of the show, it’s evident that Ben still feels guilty after everything he put people through even though he really has redeemed himself. Ben is the perfect example of how Lost never really made it clear who was good and who was bad — most of the characters were somewhere in the middle.

The closure for Ben’s story was really well done for both the on-island stuff and the “alternate reality”. On the island, all he wanted his whole life was for Jacob to accept him and he never really had that happen. But then when Hurley takes over as the new Jacob, Ben’s dream is realized when Hurley appoints him as his #2. And then in the afterlife, Ben stays outside while everyone else gathers inside the building — a great representation of how Ben just knew he was an outsider compared to everyone else.

April 2010 reasoning: Ben drops a spot because he simply isn’t as good as he used to be. Throughout all of season 3 Ben is an evil, manipulative guy. But in season 5 and especially season 6, Ben kinda just fades into the background and turns into a wimp while doing so.

Unlike the last time I did this, this isn’t in any order except alphabetical. Trying to decide which one of these are better than the others is too hard. In any case, at least I know that my list is going to be better than IGN’s list. That’s the worst list ever.


Battle Royale – 2000

Maybe the most violent movie on the list…which is saying a lot since a movie with fountains of blood shooting out of arms and stuff is on the list later. High school students get sent to an island and are told that they have to kill each other until there is only one student remaining. If it wasn’t for all the weirdness at the end, this might be my favorite movie of the decade. This movie does something that sounds impossible; it’s a movie that is both fun to watch and extremely depressing at the same time.


City of God – 2002
I swear this is the last time I’ll bring up IGN’s list…but on that list, under 2002 they don’t have this listed as one of the ten best movies of the year. No list without City of God in the top 10 for 2002 can ever be taken seriously. It would be the equivalent of someone leaving Goodfellas off of a “Best of 1990” top-10 list. I bring up Goodfellas for a reason — this is in many ways Goodfellas in Brazil. However, I think it is even better than Goodfellas. The Joker was more entertaining to watch, but L’il Ze was probably the best villain of the decade.


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – 2000
Even though there’s some weird floatiness in the fight scenes that I had trouble getting used to, the fight scenes here are still very well choreographed and well done. What sets this apart, though, is the story; most martial arts movies I’ve seen have a really weak excuse for a story that’s just used as an excuse to get some people fight each other. Here, on the other hand, the story is just as strong as the fighting. This movie looks really nice, too — the jungles and deserts that they spend part of the movie in are really awesome to look at.


The Dark Knight – 2008
I’ve heard people complain that this movie “isn’t realistic”. It’s a ****ing comic book movie. It’s not supposed to be realistic. What it is, though, is really entertaining. Unlike some movies (Avatar), this was worthy of all the hype it received.


The Hurt Locker – 2009
This might be the most thrilling movie I’ve ever seen. The way the music and cinematography makes The Hurt Locker suspenseful is amazing. It doesn’t hurt that all three main characters are great, too.


In Bruges – 2008
Definitely the funniest movie on this list — but it isn’t a straight comedy. It has a very good story and some really dramatic moments which is why this is here and not, say, The Hangover.


Inglourious Basterds – 2009
This gets better with each viewing…I’m not sure I can say that for anything else on this list. Maybe my favorite Tarantino movie ever.


Kill Bill – 2003 / 2004
I don’t think this is quite on the same level as Pulp Fiction or Inglourious Basterds, but this is still an awesome Tarantino movie. The fight at the end of Volume 1 is one of the coolest things ever. I wish Battle Without Honor or Humanity was in more movies. It can make anything like ten times as epic.


Memento – 2000
.ecno naht erom ees ot evah ll’uoy gnihtemos yletinifed si sihT .ti etaicerppa yllaer dna ti ot desu teg uoy yllautneve tub…”htiw pu peek ot elbissopmi eb ot gniog si siht” gnikniht eb ll’uoy setunim 02 tuoba ta ,hguorht emit tsrif ehT .ti etah ot gniog er’uoy ,kniht ot gnitcepxe tuohtiw otnemeM otni og uoy fI


Moon – 2009
Sam Rockwell might be the best actor out there right now. This movie’s definitely different from most sci-fi movies released recently. It feels more like 2001: A Space Odyssey than District 9 or Avatar. Since I hate 2001, I’m not really sure why I liked this movie as much as I did.


Ocean’s Eleven – 2001
A bunch of dudes decide to go rob some casinos. Stuff happens. Really entertaining movie to watch.


Random Thoughts about this list:

  • Three actors and one actress are on this list more than once. Brad Pitt is the obvious one to pick out; he was in Inglourious Basterds and Ocean’s Eleven. Guy Pearce was in both Memento and The Hurt Locker; Ralph Fiennes was also in The Hurt Locker, and he was also in In Bruges. The actress is Chiaki Kuriyama, who was in Kill Bill and Battle Royale.
  • Two directors are on this list more than once. Christopher Nolan directed The Dark Knight & Memento; Quentin Tarantino directed Kill Bill & Inglourious Basterds.
  • I would recommend 6 out of the 11 movies on this list to just about anyone without any hesitation. The five I’d hesitate to recommend are Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Memento, Moon, Kill Bill, and Battle Royale. They aren’t necessarily worse than the other movies on the list, but they definitely aren’t for everyone. Even though I think they’re amazing, I would understand why someone wouldn’t like them.