MERRY LISTMAS: The 8 Best Villains Of 2007

Merry Listmas!In 2007, pop culture consumers were treated with more than our fair share of villains; the celebrity world gave us Jason Wahler, Joe Francis, Michael Lohan, Victoria Beckham, and the Big Three, the music world gave us Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty, and the sports world gave us Michael Vick, Bill Belichick, and everyone who played baseball between 1987 and 2004, but why dwell on fake people and their fake problems? 2007 was full of real, exciting movie and tv characters whose engaging villainy did not make us abandon our faith in humankind.

Why only Top Eight, you ask? Well, “Eight” rhymes with “Hate,” but more so, I just couldn’t in good conscience put that Davey Jones Squid thing anywhere near the word “Best.”

Frank Lucas8. Frank Lucas, American Gangster

Wearing the title of “American Gangster,” Denzel Washington had some big shoes to fill, but after slapping on his period-piece-ass hairstyle and scrawling “I will not just reprise my role in ‘Training Day'” onto a blackboard a thousand times, Denzel turned Frank Lucas into one of the year’s most sympathetic big-house-buying heroin kingpins this side of 80’s Mötley Crüe. He doesn’t kill many innocent people, and he never shivs his grandmother with one of his heroin needles, but for a former Sexiest Man Alive, Washington makes a pretty damn good villain. Almost as good as Harry Hamlin, even.

Taylor7. Taylor, Kid Nation

Forget backstabbing Survivors and homophobic Real Worlders and people on Big Brother who do the opposite of whatever it is people are supposed to do on that show — 10-year-old Taylor from Georgia turned Bonanza City into Bonanza Bitchy Dictatorship and spawned the phrase that’s six months away from being slightly dated enough to make a funny t-shirt: “DEAL WITH IT.” I couldn’t tell if Taylor was the producers’ Narc or just Angelica from “Rugrats” come to life, but regardless, I mentally delayed having children of my own by another decade every time she spoke a sentence. Right now, I’m looking at the year 3180.

Phil Leotardo6. Phil Leotardo, The Sopranos

Season 6 1/2 of “The Sopranos” oversaw the transformation of the Brooklyn mob boss from being Tony Soprano’s worthy adversary to just being a whiny bitch who made you a little less happy whenever he appeared on the screen (unless the previous scene involved A.J.) I understand the mob world is ruthless, but who orders a hit on Bobby Bacala? Did Bobby cross the line of being too lovably oafish? Either way, at least Frank Vincent had the courtesy to be the only regular on the show not to outact the sh*t out of Stevie Van Zandt.

Drew Carey5. Drew Carey, The Price Is Right

He may not have done anything intentionally villainous in his first year hosting “The Price Is Right” (well, besides this) but Drew Carey’s mere existence is a grim, nostalgia-crushing reminder that time always marches on, that even us children of the eighties are getting older, and that Bob Barker’s shoes are impossible to fill for more reasons other than because they were always lined with emergency commercial-break condoms. You could take the show “Oprah” and replace frickin’ Oprah and it wouldn’t be as different as “The Price Is Right” without Bobby Thinmic.

Anton Ego4. Anton Ego, Ratatouille

Peter O’Toole’s monolithic, loveless food critic looks like he just stepped out of an Edward Gorey book, thoughtlessly ripping on the drawings all the while before tossing aside my pathetic attempt at a literary analogy. His jaded solitude doesn’t stack up with the multiple-murderers on this list in terms of conventional villainy, but (semi-spoiler alert) his eventual change of heart is more triumphant and fulfilling than a million dead Bond villains. Also, I was going to mention that Ego’s willingness to freely criticize without attempting to create makes him kind of like a blogger, but, well, we all know would have been waaaay too predictable. Please.

Billy Mitchell3. Billy Mitchell, The King of Kong

Has there ever been a more intense scene in a documentary than when Hotsauce McMullet strolled into the Funspot Arcade and refused to make eye contact with Steve Weibe? Before you name a bunch of documentary scenes that definitely were, I’ll answer for you: NO. Whenever I watch documentaries, I’m always intentionally cognizant of the filmmaker’s bias (they totally made those Enron guys look like criminals!) but there was simply no way anyone could come out of this movie and say anything other than the literal sentence, “Man, Billy Mitchell really seems like a douche.”

Ben Linus2. Ben Linus, Lost

If Michael Emerson offered me a glass of water, I’m pretty sure I’d psychologically tear myself to pieces wondering whether or not to accept it. Still, just as we Lost conspiracy theorists were beginning to believe that Ben’s cryptic, bug-eyed advice might have been for a greater good, we were treated with a flashback of Ben murdering his father with poison gas because he just daggum couldn’t remember Lil’ Benny’s birthday. Jack’s cathartic pummeling of Ben in the season finale reminded me of Sam finally beating the crap out of Gollum in the third “Lord of the Rings” movie. But with a goofier looking bad guy, of course.

Anton Chigurh1. Anton Chigurh, No Country For Old Men

Remorseless, unstoppable, and damn near magical, Javier Bardem’s ghostlike hitman in “No Country For Old Men” was so damn convincing, I sat in the theater assuring myself that the golden ticket from “Last Action Hero” was real and that Chigurh was definitely going to step out of the screen and murder me. I came away from this film vowing to never pick up a sack of money, use a take-a-penny at a convenience store, accept a Christmas gift, read a magazine at a doctor’s office, or enjoy a sunset, fully convinced that any such actions would result in my being imminently brained by a wacky, air-powered Super Soaker. Maybe George Wendt could protect me?

Other great villains in 2007? Leave them in the comments!


MERRY LISTMAS: 10 Best Pregnancy Announcements Of The Year

Merry Listmas!Last year, swooping down into some godforsaken Bono country and picking up a couple of impoverished children was all the Hollywood parenting rage. But in ’07, the stars and starlets of the world decided to acquire their accessory babies the old fashioned way, getting themselves impregnated by their husbands, boyfriends, partners, or just whoever happened to be nearby and also had a functioning reproductive system. And for us, the best part of these miracles of celebrity childbirth was always the manner in which our famous friends elected to share their good news with the world. So here are the 10 Best Pregnancy Announcements of 2007.

10. Lily Allen – In some kind of tabloid miracle, her unplanned, out-of-wedlock pregnancy news was all but ignored on account of the fact that it came at the same time as that of a certain sixteen year-old Spears sister’s. Her publicist milla_blog_0huge.jpgmust have heaved a huge sigh of relief, because you can’t buy that kind of timing.

9. Bridget Moynahan – The beautiful actress. The all-American Super Bowl champ quarterback with the kind of good looks that only someone named Tom Brady could have. Together, they had all the elements of a timeless story of true love with a Hollywood ending until Tom ended up deciding he wasn’t hearing all that baby-daddy jazz and got himself shacked up with Giselle Bundchen, a model who, in a cruel twist of irony, is probably the one person in the world hotter than Bridget Moynahan. Which, in a sense, is still a Hollywood ending.

8. Milla Jovovich – The Resident Evil star announced the impending birth of her baby wordlessly, by letting her transformation from “waif-like malnourished actress” to “healthily rotund person who eats meals and looks like a farmhouse” speak for itself.

7. Christina Aguilera – The only thing more beautiful that the miracle of childbirth, is when word of that miracle is announced by Paris Hilton, at a MTV Video Music Awards party, and your baby beans end up being spilled by some kind of syphilitic stork wasted on vodka and Red Bull.

6. Jessica Alba – We heard the sound of a million horny teenage hearts breaking when word got out that Jessica Alba had decided to reject her international sex symbol status to settle down and bear the children of some random gold-digging PA named “Cash”, thus providing mankind with yet even more existential evidence that life is meaningless and God is dead.

5. Halle Berry – This grand old dame of Tinseltown did the old in-out with whichever young model type she nicole_richie_diane_320.jpghappened to be currently dating and, even though she was pretty old, got herself knocked up, which she announced the old-timey, old-Hollywood way, by visiting her old friends at Access Hollywood and doing the old song and dance about being so excited about the baby she’s been wanting for so long before she got too old.

4. Jennifer Lopez – Even though she’s fake-happily-married and reaching the twilight of her child-bearing years, J-Lo and her husband Marc Anthony were so excited to have conceived a child that they pretended not to be pregnant, for months, until they had finally exhausted their excuses for the giant swelling bulge in Jennifer’s belly, and she begrudgingly had to admit the fact that her airbrushed glittered body would indeed be porking up a bit because of the Baby-Lo growing inside of her.

3. Nicole Richie – Freshly sprung from her hours-long stint in the clink for intoxicated-driving hijinx of some sort, Nicole let word of her pregnancy leak slowly, first causing widespread confusion with photographs suggesting there was actually something in her stomach then, having given us the chance to wrap our brains around the idea of her being responsible for the life of a child, confirmed that she and boyfriend Joel Madden were, in fact, with child. With the exception of a couple nasty “smoking and drinking” whilst drinking reports, the couple have been trying to play it cool and keep their sh*t together like some kind of pseudo-punk fametarded version of Leave It To Beaver.
2. All The Paternity Test Results On Maury – What a reaffirmative celebration of love and life it is to see the classless individuals of the world find out whether or not they are going to be parents, then engage in wildly inappropriate celebratory victory dances intended to rub a person who they once had sex with’s face in the fact that they will or will not be financially responsible for the this little human life that already exists in the world anyway.

1. Jamie Lynn-Spears – This bombshell was, by far, the mother of all “mother-to-be-who-shouldn’t-be” announcements of the year. I mean, where does one even begin? She’s sixteen years old, half-single, and shares the same genes as Britney f*cking Spears, who spent the first 11 1/2 months of the year comprehensively demonstrating to us all the myriad reasons why she should not be allowed within 100 yards of anyone under the age of 13.


BWE’s MERRY LISTMAS: Top 10 Videos That Should Have Gone Viral in ’07, But Didn’t

ANTI CHIPMUNK.jpgEach and every day leading up to the New Year, will be posting a series of Top 10 in ‘07 Lists we have ingeniously titled MERRY LISTMAS. Make sure to check in every day over the holiday break for our daily lists!

You’ve no doubt seen the Top 10 Viral Videos of 2007 lists on every other “blog” on the “internet”, featuring the likes of internet celebs Chris Crocker, Tay Zonday’s “Chocolate Rain”, and one small and abused Japanese chipmunk. It’s pretty clear you guys don’t need to see those videos ever, ever again. Which is why we started thinking: What about all those videos that debuted this year that didn’t go viral? What of them?

Merry Listmas!Which is why we’d like to present the following list, as part of our Merry Listmas Series: The Top 10 Videos That Should Have Gone Viral in ’07, But Didn’t. Check out all the rere-ness those otehr blogs don’t want you do see.

10. Fat Cat Watching TV. Now, to be fair, this video was only uploaded a couple of weeks ago, meaning it still has time to blossom and become viral in its own right. And frankly, it’s got the makings of a real viral winner… in that it’s a fat cat watching TV. Those of you with fat cats at home might want to train that little chubby effer to crack open a can of bud and yell at his cat wife to stop blocking the television for a true viral sensation. Anyway, at #10, it’s a Fat Cat Watching TV. (And for those of you who haven’t had enough, here’s another fat cat watching TV.)

(Note: It could be argued that this video is currently on its way to being viral, but please understand that I was desperate to post it. Let’s just move on, yes?)

9. Fat Spanish Man Learns to Swim. Similar to the above video, only it’s a fat man, and he’s swimming. The focus, the intensity, the gentle push-off, that mask… it’s all so delicious! In other news, I’ve stapled this Youtube video to my fridge door to remind me not to eat that 18th piece of Pecan Pie tomorrow, and also as a reminder to get my humongous breasts waxed.

8. The Behind the Music parody video made for Miles Rosenthal’s Bar Mitzvah. Believe it or not, the production quality for little Miles Rosenthal‘s Bar Mitzvah Video is surprisingly pretty high. (Wait, did we say little — why, he’s a man now!) Looks like Miles’ parents really love him… and also, they probably own a Mac. The video is amazing summed up by this line: “While every cloud has its silver lining, Every Rosenthal has its thorns.” How is this kid not a BWE panelist??

7. “That’s a Big Shoe Horn”. Someone remix this line into a chart-topping Romanian dance mega-sensation, stat!

6. Bruce Lee & Chuck Norris Fighting to Unfitting Music. (NSFW). There’s something so raw, so special, watching Bruce and Chuck duke it out to a song about licking a donkey’s… well… it’s pretty special, and surprisingly viral! Yet, I’m guessing you’ve never seen it, so here’s your chance. (Good luck getting that “Suck My Dog’s D**k” line out of your head, ps.)

5. “What Are You Doing on New Year’s Eve” Cover. We really don’t have any idea who this guy is, and frankly we don’t really want to know. All we’d like to tell him is this: The world already has one Savage Garden. Let’s try to keep it that way.

4. Shirtless Guys Wearing Ties on iVillage Live. The following video is proof that NBC’s iVillage live is actually a secret underground daytime spoof show making fun of all the other morning talk shows. From the opening poll “What Should I Name My Dog” (Zsa Zsa Levine pulled in 26 percent, no lie), to the phony accented passive aggressive banter, to the fashion show that follows it, featuring out-of-work gay porn actors modeling neckties with no shirts on — none of it seems real! The only thing that does seem almost too real is the palpable sexual tension bubbling up in the audience of 40-something bored housewives, who were clearly hosed down in the next commercial break.

Also, it’s shirtless guys in ties! No need to thank me ladies.

3. Crazy Old Woman with Insanely Braided Dread Chunks Has Major Meltdown. I’m not gonna lie to you — I actually hate this video. A lot. It makes me… how do you say… uneasy? And yet, at the same time, I have never in my lifetime quite seen anything like it, which is the true definition of a viral video, is it not? So check out this grandmother (who, sidenote, is clearly being abused by her caretakers) having a panic attack over one of her grandsons getting a girlfriend. You will hate me and/or hate me for it.

2. Elephant Takes a Dump. This video should serve as a reminder for one very important rule of life that you should always keep in mind: Elephants… they take monster dumps. Such as this fellow, for example, who manages to crap out the weight of an entire third-grade class while two unsuspecting passengers simply assume the other one farted.

1. Wayne Gould’s Extreme Su Doku Masterclass Part 1. Ya’ll, this guy is really f*cking good at Su Doku. He teaches a f*cking Su Doku Masterclass. And not just any ol’ Masterclass…. and EXTREME one! Who does this guy think he is… Duff Goldmanon Ace of Cakes? Anyway, we can’t understand how a guy with this much zazz, who looks exactly like Rowan Atkinson, isn’t blowin’ up the tubes right now… which is why we’ve ranked the lovely Wayne Gould as number 1. Merry Christmas Wayne, wherever you may be (likely disappointing your nieces and nephews with more Su Doku books this holiday season).


MERRY LISTMAS: The 10 Least Essential Albums Of 2007

Matchbox 2010. Matchbox 20Exile On Mainstream

I enjoy a good “3 a.m.” or “Real World” karaoke as much as the next child of the nineties, but a certain bit of nostalgia gets lost when instead of whipping out a cracked Yourself or Someone Like You jewel case to amuse your friends, you pull out a brand new, two-disc, 20-track compilation that rips on itself in its own title. If you do not find your MB20 discography to be satisfactory after two or three or zero humorous downloads, and you’re really aching for that live cover of the Black Crowes’ “Remedy,” then, lucky consumer, the real world has just stopped hassling you.

J-Lo9. Jennifer LopezComo Ana Una Majer

If you made a pie chart to represent where Jennifer Lopez’s interests are directed these days, it might look like this: PREGNANCY / MILKING BABY PUBLICITY IN TABLOIDS – 2/3 of the pie, or the same amount of Domino’s Pizza that doesn’t fill you up but you decide you can’t morally continue to eat; MOVIE CAREER / LIVELIHOOD / ATTEMPTING TO LAND A LEGIT ROLE – The really big single slice that your friend who didn’t chip in for the pizza cause he just wanted one piece goes out of his way to grab, even though it’s not the next removable slice in either direction; CREATING NEW, CATCHY OR THOUGHT-PROVOKING MUSIC: The Mitch Hedberg “Donate It To Charity” slice, cut in half and left in the fridge overnight by your drunken roommate.

Smashing Pumpkins8. Smashing PumpkinsZeitgeist

Here’s a conversation that will not occur five years from now: “Hey, want to throw on some Smashing Pumpkins?” “Sure” “You guys thinkin’ what I’m thinkin?” (pause, then everyone shouts together): “ZEITGEIST!!!!” “Aw man, you even have the special edition brown cover!” “I got all the special edition album covers, just like any true fan of the Smashing Pumpkins!” “Skip ahead to ‘Tarantula’!” “I wanna hear “Come On — in parenthesis — Let’s Go!”…

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MERRY LISTMAS: The 10 Best Things To Happen To The Internet Because Of The Writers Strike

Merry Listmas!In the weeks that have passed since the film and television writers first went on strike and all of my favorite TV shows started to disappear from the air (right as I finally got an HDTV nonetheless!), my evening hours have passed with an unfulfilled boredom I’ve only managed to escape with alternately binge drinking at holiday parties and burning through my entire DVD collection. But the one ray of entertaining light that has shined through these bleak clouds of content-less television is the massive amounts of funny stuff the bored writers have been putting onto the Internet in support of their cause. I’ve taken the time to round up the Ten Best examples of this, which you may enjoy below (over and over again until this horrible strike ends and According To Jim finally gets its ass back onto your TV where it belongs).


10. Late Show Writers On Strike – Started by the striking staff of writers from The Late Show With David Letterman, this blog mostly just seems like an outlet for them to joke around and kill time with strike humor until they can finally get back to work. The posts range from a number of topics, and the comedy is hit-and-miss, sometimes hilarious, sometimes not so much. Sort of like The Late Show.

9. The Might Pencil – SNL’ers Kristen Wiig and Will Forte created a black-and-white 50’s PSA encouraging people to send pencils to the media moguls as a protest message demanding they give writers a fair deal. Pencil seduction never seemed quite so sexy.

8. HungVP158The Colbert Report writers take a jab at your average morally-retarded greed-mongering Hollywood studio executive by turning him into a video-blogger trying to explain why the writers do not deserve to be paid for their work when it is broadcasted online. SNL and Fred Armisen did sort of the same thing with Roger A. Trevanti, but HungVP158 does a better job of capturing the sleaziness of the species.

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MERRY LISTMAS: Top 5 Comedy Albums of 2007

In 2007, my iPod took a slight turn towards “old man living in Maine,” with a bunch of “This American Life” and “Lake Wobegone” podcasts joining my array of indie albums I downloaded and listened to once so I could have an opinion about them, but I also spent a lot of time listening to stand-up cds; of the eight or so comedy albums that come out each year that don’t have “Blue” or “Collar” in the title, here are my five favorites from ’07:

Comedy Death Ray5. Various - Comedy Death Ray

Basically the L.A. equivalent to 2005’s Invite Them Up cd, Comedy Death Ray is a two-disc set of over 150 minutes of standup. There aren’t a lot of bits or character pieces, but between David Cross ripping on his dog, Paul Tompkins’ Fabio story, Doug Benson’s ode to McGriddles, Andy Daly summing up all standup ever in four minutes, and a generous 14 minutes of Todd Glass, it’s pretty tough not to find something to like.

Favorite Line (that I’m now ruining by typing it here): “When I was growing up, to jerk off, you had to get a Sears catalogue and flip to the lingerie section. But nowadays, with the internet, you can just go right to Sears dot com.” – Dan Mintz

Wright4. Steven WrightI Still Have a Pony

The standup of Steven Wright sounds much more at home in today’s comedy culture than it did during the 80’s piano-key-tie boom; we’ve grown accustomed alternative one-liner comedians like Mitch Hedberg and Zach Galifianakis to the point where the idea of Wright releasing a new standup cd in 2007 (his first since 1985’s “I Have a Pony”) makes perfect sense. This cd has so many quirky, memorable lines, I kind of wish I was back in college so I could put up some sweet away messages and then get laid because of how awesome my away messages are.

Favorite Line: “Next week, I’m gonna have an MRI to find out whether or not I have claustrophobia.”

Merry Listmas!

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BWE’s MERRY LISTMAS: The Top 10 Fiercest Things of 2007

DAN RAD EQUUS.JPGOver the next couple of weeks, every day until the New Year, will be posting a series of Top 10 in ’07 Lists we have ingeniously titled BWE’s MERRY LISTMAS! Make sure to check in every day over the holiday break for our daily lists!Merry Listmas!If there would be an easy and quick way to describe 2007 it would be with this one simple word: Fierce. Which is why has compiled the following list: The Top 10 Fiercest Things of 2007. Let’s kick things off with a classic:

10. Harry Potter’s Peen Pix. Up until ’07, Daniel Radcliffe was known for an entirely different kind of Nimbus… HEYOOO! (Ed. Note: We are officially laying this joke to rest before ’08) But it seems that the actor made famous for wearing glasses bought at the Build-a-Bear store had something else to prove to the world at large: That he, in fact, had D’Angelo-style pelvic bones. And so we were blessed with his promotional pictures from his London stage debut in Equus, wherein Daniel removed his pants and draped himself across an unsuspecting mare like a saddle made out of albino calfskin. NOT SO FIERCE: Patchy happy trails.

FIERCE GRIFFIN.JPG9. Kathy Griffin in General. This has definitely been Kathy Griffin’s year. Not only did the former D-Lister recover nicely from a messy divorce with ex-squeeze Matt Moline by trading up a few billion dollars (she’s now dating Apple Computer founder Steve Wozniak, the only man with a beard more George Lucas-y than George Lucas), she also managed to snag an Emmy for her oustanding reality show My Life on the D-List. Her acceptance speech made fun of Jesus and pissed off the Catholics. And let’s not forget that she’s the only Gay Man in the country with a natural rack and vadg, which is secretly the definition of fierce. NOT SO FIERCE: Her adorable father passing away in February.

FIERCE POSH SPIEC.JPG8. Posh’s Hair. British android moves to LA, turns hair into veritable weapon, becomes biggest hair icon since Jennifer Aniston went all Newscaster Nancy on us in the 90s. Said haircut, which would have been completely original if some guy named Vidal Sassoon never existed. Her haircut also did wonders to hide what industry insiders refer to as “alien face.” A slew of cultish celebrities followed in her heeled footsteps, from Katie Kate Holmes to fellow pro-ana prezzy Jenna Jameson. Even Suri Cruise was seen sporting the sexy do! So big props to Posh’s haircut, the only hairstyle fierce enough to actually be able to kill a man. Honorable Mention Goes To: David Beckham’s package. NOT SO FIERCE: Grapefruit boobs.

FIERCE BLOODY SHOES.JPG7. Amy Winehouse’s Blood-Stained Ballet Shoes. What’s a fast and easy way to dress up an old pair of Capezio Ballet Shoes? Why, human blood of course! Blood-stained shoes say a lot about a lady. It says “You know, darndest thing: While I was running late to our extremely important appointment, I just happened to step in a bear trap and shred no less than three toes. But due to time constraints, I wasn’t able to pop by our local slipper cobbler, and had to wear them as is. The result is that my shoe has blood stains on it.” Or, in Amy’s case: “My boyfriend and I just did a lot of heroin, and somehow my shoes got covered in our blood.” Either way, you guys, totally FIII-AAARCE! NOT SO FIERCE: Hepatiteskies.

6. Charlize Theron’s J’Adore Commercial. If this commercial was an actor, it’s name would be Fierce Brosnan.

The List, and Charlize’s Fierce Video, Continues After the Jump!!

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