I'm not one who worships at the altar of Tim Burton, probably disliking his films as often as I am moved by them. But I fell hard for Frankenweenie, an extrapolation of a short film Burton made almost 30 years ago.
Dick Lugar was a nice guy who stayed too long. But his crushing loss is also a valid data point in a profound and troubling trend, obvious not only in politics but in every other aspect of American life. We are losing the mediating middle of everything.
Television critics started compiling year-end top-10 lists back when there were only three networks. Aren't longer lists called for by now? Allow me to break with time-honored tradition by offering my choices for the 12 best series of 2011, plus eight very deserving runners-up.