It's been a hard year, marked by profound change and loss. We bid farewell to so many celebrities this year. Personally, we said farewell to two wonderful pets, including our beloved Murray who was just shy of his thirteenth birthday and to my husband's grandfather who spent 98 years as the bedrock of four generations. We elected our first black President and observed history in action as he was sworn into office.
This has been a year of achieving goals and setting new ones. It's been a year of challenges, change and characters. I have to say, I think this has been one of the most exciting years personally and professionally. So please join me as I glance back at the year and the moments real and fictional that stand out to me.
Sad Celebrity Farewells
We said goodbye to too many celebrities this year including Natasha Richardson, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Henry Endo, Patrick McGoohan, Ricardo Montalban, John Updike, Clint Ritchie, James Whitmore, Ron Silver, Andy Hallett, Bea Arthur, Dom Deluise, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Karl Malden, Walter Kronkite, John Hughes, Senator Ted Kennedy, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Mary Travers, Soupy Sales and Edward Woodward. Thank you for being a part of our lives.
Moving Character Deaths
This is a year where we bid goodbye to many great characters on television from George O'Malley on Grey's Anatomy to Edie Britt on Desperate Housewives to Vicki on the new CW series The Vampire Diaries. These weren't just stunt deaths, at least not from a storyline perspective – they were compelling with their deaths causing ripple effects for the characters that we are still experiencing.
New Take on Old Franchises
I picked up a copy of Star Trek on DVD and I continue to be delighted by the film's fresh take on a franchise that's over 40 years old. The casting was well done, the simple mention of Admiral Archer and his prize beagle a fabulous nod to the short-lived series Enterprise and the story, the story was an amazing use of time, Leonard Nimoy's Spock and a new birth for iconic characters like Sulu, Chekov, Uhura, Scotty, Bones and more. It builds on forty years of history and the timeless wonder of friendship forged through years of working and surviving together. This film could not have been possible without all the decades before it and yet, it takes what was old and makes it new and fresh again.
This was a great year for discovering new authors (not to mention publishing a couple of novels of my own). Among the authors that I discovered or rediscovered this year:
- Candace Havens
- Rosemary Clement-Moore
- Michele Bardsley
- Shannon K. Butcher
- Nikki Duncan
- K.F. Zuzulo
- Cat Johnson
- Jo Lynne Valerie
- Robert J. Sawyer
- Shirrin Dubbin
- Buffy Christopher
- Debra Kayn
- Deidre Knight
- Leanna Renee Hieber
And more than I can remember to add here, I'm sure and these are just the authors I "started" reading this year. It doesn't include authors that I've followed for years.
This was a year of great new shows too beginning with Chuck on NBC. The show's second season threatened to be its last, but fans who enjoyed the wry and delightful show with its mixture of comedy, drama, romance and high adventure pitched in with the help of Subway to save it (season 3 returns January 10th!).
Nathan Fillion's delightful series Castle debuted in the Spring of 2009 with just ten episodes that hooked the entire family. Fillion is author Richard Castle and he uses his connection to the mayor to work with Detective Kate Beckett after the police detective provides him with rich inspiration for his new series "Nikki Heat" – ABC renewed the series and every episode of the second season has been fabulous to watch, not to mention the novel tie-in when they released Heat Wave in September.
Eastwick debuted this year and while it's already been canceled, I found the show to be fun and fresh and refreshing. They dodged a lot of predictable bullets and I could only wish the network gave it longer to find its footing. In syndication The Legend of the Seeker takes a fresh look at Terry Goodkind's epic series including the powerful romance between Richard and Kahlan. The second season kicked off this Fall and has so far outlived my wildest expectations!
Dollhouse was renewed by Fox against all odds for a second season and this high-concept science fiction show continues to challenge and intrigue viewers. While it's second season will be its last, Whedon is really going the extra mile to weave a powerful novel through the 26 episodes of the first and second seasons combined.
ABC's FlashForward is another high concept science fiction series that takes its lead from Robert J. Sawyer's novel of the same name. Despite the intensity of the first episode, there is something compelling about every episode that follows as we try to figure out – can the future be changed? Do they want the future changed? How will some futures be averted while others embraced? At its heart it is a completely human drama that I can't get enough of.
The CW network gave us The Vampire Diaries based on L.J. Smith's novels and despite some skepticism on my part, I've thoroughly enjoyed the supernatural drama with its fully-formed characters, challenging storylines and delightful production values.
All of these new favorites join old favorites which remain as fresh this season as they were in previous years such as Smallville (a genuinely delightful surprise as this season re-engaged me fully), Supernatural, NCIS, Bones, Grey's Anatomy, House (which recaptured my interest this year) and Gossip Girl (yes, a totally guilty pleasure).
Spotlight On Features
When I launched the Daily Dose in June, I had no idea how much fun I would have with this blog from the guest bloggers to the general commentary. I have to confess though, one of my favorite aspects of this blog is our monthly Spotlight On features from interviewing authors to book bloggers to cover artists, editors and more. I am hoping to bring you many more interviews and features in 2010.
What are some of your favorites from 2009?