Review 2002 review:


People Review 2002 ran right through Christmas week of that year from the 24th to New Years Eve and mostly consisted of a fairly standard retrospective listing people, then moments, then films then everything else, what I thought were the notable cultural highlights of the year. Now that this blog has some longevity (roll on the 15th birthday), I’m in a position to look back a whole decade to the person I was then writing that first review and what I was blogging about. I didn’t realise they’d be annual until two years later when I was working on my third, though as we’ll see in two years, that wasn’t just a December project. Here begins what I hope will be an annual review of annual reviews to go along with the usual annual review. Here follows a review of Review 2002. A post at a time.  With illustrative clips.

Paula Radcliffe
My comments about Radcliffe’s run in the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 could be repeated almost word for word about Mo Farrah’s performance at the London Olympics 2012, except that of course he was able to execute his entire strategy in both of his races whereas as you can see Paula wavered a bit just to add some excitement. In the event due to injury, Radcliffe herself was unable to have similar Olympic glory, her only next major gold medal in the Marathon at the World Championships in 2005. Nevertheless when she pulled out of the London with a foot injury, it was major news story, at least until the gold rush began in earnest. She still hasn’t officially retired so you never know.

Peter Jackson
For some reason I assumed The Hobbit began its release schedule next year, which made the posters and trailers a nice surprise. This is being written before the release date of course, so we don’t know if Jackson has “done a Lucas” or been able to recreate the magic. Because The Lord of the Rings is magic, timeless and everything you’d hope a fantasy film to be. When rewatching the extended versions earlier this year, it was with a sense of nostalgia and not a little sadness.  I cried through the closing credits of Return of the King when it was originally released, seemed so full of hope and with a plan. Now I’m entirely hopeless and have no plan at all so I cried again but for entirely different reasons.

Avril Lavigne
This lengthy evisceration of the first few seconds of the promo for Lavigne’s Complicated is entire justified but as is probably apparent from the closing few lines masked a deep admiration for the singer. Across the four albums released in the ensuing decade, she’s demonstrated that it is possible for popstrells to retain some longevity without wavering from formula, and still produce some decent singles, unlike say, Alanis Morissette who some considered to be her notional forerunner and has slowly driven off the creative cliff. I’d probably rather listen to the several dozen regional variations of Avril’s Girlfriend than Alanis’s Havoc and Bright Lights which takes her approach to making lists to a whole new level of tedium.

Mark Kermode
Ah Kermode. This was the year I discovered Kermode and I’m still listening ten years later. His approach has probably influenced my Doctor Who review more than anything else, especially since, if recent experience is a barometer, I’ve entirely forgotten how to review films, which is a bit unhelpful considered I have a film studies degree (though in fairness I was trying to be nice). Now that my connection to film release schedules has been all but cut, I generally tune into his Friday radio show because of the Grumpy Old Men like chemistry with Simon Mayo, though it’s impossible to really judge who is Walter Mattheu and who Jack Lemmon. I suppose it depends which of those has the flappiest hands.

Trinny Woodall
This before she appeared in Who as a psychotic android. Her selection then was pure lust, probably, the whole rest of the paragraph designed to fill the space that would have otherwise been filled with a photograph. Her wikipedia entry is fascinating, charting the slow decline of their UK televisual careers leading to much international travel, ending with the sentence, “a close friend of Elizabeth Hurley, Woodall agreed to perform a sangeet dance at the Hindu wedding celebrations of Hurley and Arun Nayar in March 2007, dancing with Hurley and six others, including Janet Street-Porter.” She subsequently wrote a column for the tabloid that shall not be named which makes her persona non grata to me now. Sad. #justiceforthe96

Tomorrow: Film and Music in 2002.

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