Best of Summer: Our Staff Picks

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Summer’s over—meaning it’s time to head off to one last beach trip, pick up your back-to-school supplies, stock up on sweaters and take one more look back at everything that went down in pop culture’s biggest season.

So far, we here at have gone back to reminisce over the Best Moments in Summer TV, the Winners and Losers of Movies, Celebrity Moments that Made Us Facepalm and even sifted through to find the Best Indie Flicks—but now we’ve wracked each of our brains to declare our favorite moments of the season. TV, Movies, Celebs—anything goes.

Take a look at what came out on top during the Summer of 2011 for each of our writers, then chime in with your own:

Louie’s Unrequited Confession of Love


Sure, comedian Louis C.K. is known for pointing out the ugly truths in life, but every once in a while he touches on something a little sweeter. And with the added context of his matter-of-fact borderline cynicism, the particular instance I have in mind gains even greater levels of adorableness.

In the episode entitled “Subway/Pamela,” which might be my favorite from this entire season (though it’s not quite over yet), Louis C.K. finally bites the bullet and confesses his deep, hidden love for one of his best friends, Pamela. Even though he knows he has no chance, he stands before her on a cloudy day in some sad-looking open air market. All romanticism is washed away and all that’s left is a man in a modest winter coat standing before a woman and confessing that his whole being aches for her. And you know what? It felt completely genuine and it’s because it was stripped of every romantic staple we’ve come to expect on television. In a nutshell, this take on the romantic plotline is exactly the sort of thing Louie does with television on a regular basis. It was simple, unadorned and moving.

In essence, it was a perfect television moment.


Drew Barrymore’s “Our Deal” Video


Early this month, a special kind of music video was released attached to the band Best Coast’s song “Our Deal.” The video (short film, rather) is directed by Drew Barrymore, and stars Chloe Moretz and Tyler Posey as the headlining pair above a cast including comic actors Miranda Cosgrove, Alia Shawkat and Donald Glover. I won’t bother going into detail about the glory of the figures involved with this film: if you know who they are, you know that each of these people is an artistic majesty.

The piece itself is an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, reminiscent of a cohort in this class, West Side Story with the rival gangs theme. Moretz’s and Posey’s characters fall in love—their conflicting loyalties contend with their happiness.

In watching this film again recently, it dawned on me what it is that impresses me so fervently. Beyond even the powerball casting and the immaculate aesthetics (the film is shot, designed and choreographed beautifully), what I love so much about this film is its bravery. It visits well-worn literary territory in an unconventional medium—one strange to the concept and to Barrymore’s cinematic prowess alike—and attacks it without hesitation. It never feels like the film is holding back, or halting momentum. In fact, Barrymore’s love for this project pervades. Although Moretz is such a chillingly magnificent performer, her scenes would mean nothing without the honesty this film embraces.

I am a sucker for experimentation. I love the melding of media, and I love employing unorthodox means of storytelling—this is more than anything a silent film, which is a rarity in modern times (zing). More specifically, I love when actors and filmmakers of television and cinema take leaps with projects like these that don’t really seem to “fit” anywhere (another fine example would be this year’s Beastie Boys tribute). These works, “One Day” especially, is demonstrative of artists embracing artistic expression.