There are a million “Best of 2007” lists out there right now, but this is really the only one you need. Although this is a screenwriting blog, I decided to rank my ten favorite pieces of writing in any medium. After all, good writing is good writing, and anything can move and inspire us. So here are my favorites of the last year, and feel free to post your own comments or top ten lists below!
2007's Top 10 Pieces of Writing (according to Chad)
10. Superbad, by Seth Rogen &Evan Goldberg (Movie) – The raunchy teen party movie has never had so much heart and pathos. A wonderful romantic comedy… about two high school guys.
9. Sacred Games, by Vikram Chandra (Novel) – This 950-page crime tale probably deserves to be higher, but I just got the book and haven’t finished. Still, it’s a massive, richly textured epic that moves like a bullet train… and it’s beautifully written.
8. Lost (TV Show) – After a tedious second season and an abysmal first half of the third season, Lost rebounded and regained its place as one of the most riveting, shocking shows on television.
7. Any video by The Pierces (Music) – This may not qualify as traditional writing, but the combination of smart lyrics, catchy music, and great concepts make The Pierces’ two music videos, “Boring” and “Sticks and Stones,” relentlessly addictive. (Then again, I may just like them because Catherine and Allison, the Pierce sisters, are too hot to resist.)
6. The Office (TV Show) – Although it hasn’t been as consistently funny or poignant as its peak second season, when it’s great, it’s great. The third season’s “Business School” episode and this season’s “The Deposition” were two of TV’s most heartbreaking and hilarious episodes.
5. The WGA Strike Videos (Online) – The best writing on television this year wasn’t even on television… it came in the form of the Writers Guild of America’s agitprop against the media conglomerates. Many were wonderful, but my two favorites were "The Strike, Your Marriage, and You" and The Daily Show's on-the-street episode. And this one.
4. The Bourne Ultimatum, by Tony Gilroy, Scott Z. Burns, and George Nolfi (Movie) – The best of the Bourne movies and one of the best action movies of all time. While the real genius comes from director Paul Greengrass’s action sequences, the movie’s so damn good I had to give props to the writers.
3. Once soundtrack, by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (Music) – This may be one of the most brilliant movie musicals ever, but it’s Hansard’s songwriting that make it a work of art. With or without the movie, these songs tell the whole story themselves.
2. 30 Rock (TV Show) – Beating out The Office for this year’s most dependable laugh-out-loud half-hour, Alec Baldwin’s Good Times riff (in the “Rosemary’s Baby” episode) may be the most hilarious TV moment I’ve seen in years.
1. Knocked Up, by Judd Apatow (Movie) – No screenwriter captures the honest insecurities and neuroses of being male better than Judd Apatow. He’s this generation’s Woody Allen, creating comedy not from jokes and gags, but from his life’s own pain and situations.