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November 25, 2007

2007 in Entertainment

I'm going to take a little creative liberty and divert my attention from the private lives of celebrities to their actual careers today. Every year, Entertainment Weekly publishes a list of the entertainers that they believe deserve recognition for their work over the course of the last 12 months. It's a refreshing change to read about the work that these celebrities have done rather than the restaurants they are eating in. The full list and accompanying article can be found here. Today, I'm going to comment on their picks and maybe even throw in a few replacements for some people who I don't think quite deserve to be on the list.

The mag's choice for Entertainer of the Year - the big prize - is JK Rowling. I could not agree more with their selection. JK managed to create not only an epic book series but an entire fantastical world that captivated children and adults alike for nearly a decade. I have been a huge fan of the Harry Potter books since I was first introduced to them by my elementary school librarian. The final chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was everything I expected and more. I read it in one seven hour sitting as soon as I could get my hands on a copy, and read it again within a month. I'm clearly not the only one who was dying to find out what happened to Harry and Co.; 8.3 MILLION copies of the book were sold within the first 24 hours of publication, and millions more in the following days and weeks. The profits made off of the book exceed most motion picture grosses, and for that figure alone, my hat is off to Rowling for making reading 'cool' again.

Zac Efron is another actor who has deservedly made the list. He exploded onto the radar in 2006 as the male lead in the Disney phenom High School Musical. The movie's soundtrack was the top grossing album of the year 2006, and the movie's sequel, High School Musical 2, was the highest rated Disney Channel show - ever. By catering to his target audience of children and slowly breaking out of his mold by starring in films like Hairspray (singing the song "Ladies' Choice in the clip above) and 2008's 17, he won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Oh, and his good looks might just help him a little.

Music's Kanye West and Carrie Underwood also had millions of CD's flying off of the shelf in 2007, while Matt Damon and George Clooney released hit films and the former was even crowned People's Sexiest Man Alive. Much like Efron, Miley Cyrus also has millions of little girls who watch her in Hannah Montana every night, and whose parents pay hundreds and even thousands of dollars for her highly coveted winter tour. I have worked with little girls for three years at my former job, and I can attest to the fact that they are completely obsessed with the show. Just last week, she appeared on Oprah, and her surprised fans went absolutely hysterical, screaming and crying because they were so excited to be in the same room with their idol. It is truly a great year to be Miley.

However, I am not so sure about the inclusion of Katherine Heigl on the list. While she (undeservedly, in my opinion) won the Best Supporting Actress Emmy for her role as "Izzie" on Grey's Anatomy, and she had a hit film with this summer's Knocked Up, I don't think she has made enough of an impact or garnered enough of a following to merit a title like Entertainer of the Year. If there was going to be a Grey's representative on the list, I think it should have been Enchanted's Patrick Dempsey, who has definitely attracted a massive fan base and opened an extremely successful movie this year. I also think that Angelina Jolie doesn't quite deserve her position on the list. She seems to be in the media lately not because of her talent, but because of her role as Brad Pitt's partner and mother of an ever-expanding clan of children. While I admire her humanitarian efforts, I couldn't even tell you what she has acted in over the course of the past year, other than her recent release Beowulf.

I felt that Entertainment Weekly did a pretty great job selecting people who really made the year in entertainment memorable. It's refreshing to actually hear about the stars in a professional capacity, but I'm sure they'll be back on the gossip headlines in no time.

Posted by lallida at November 25, 2007 12:21 AM