Category Archives: Lists

Ted’s Top Music of 2012


1. Spiritualized, Sweet Heart Sweet Light

2. Taylor Swift, Red

3. Frank Ocean, channel ORANGE

4. Ellie Goulding, Halcyon

5. Burial, Kindred

6. Mount Eerie, Clear Moon

7. Lana Del Rey, Born to Die: Paradise Edition

8. Metric, Synthetica

9. Various Artists, Country Funk 1969-1975

10. The Men, Open Your Heart

11. Brian Eno, Lux

12. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

13. Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d City

14. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel… 

15. Bobby Womack, The Bravest Man in the Universe

16. Bob Dylan, Tempest

17. Bill Laswell, Means of Deliverance

18. Various Artists, The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond

19. Mumford & Sons, Babel

20. Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana

21. Air, Le Voyage Dans La Lune

22. Tracey Thorn, Tinsel & Lights

23. Robert Glasper, Black Radio

24. Dr. John, Locked Down

25. godspeed you! black emperor, Allelujah! Don’t Bend! Ascend!

26. Antony and the Johnsons, Cut the World



1. Psy, “Gangam Style”

2. Carlie Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”

3. Calvin Harris, “Feel So Close”

4. Cee-Lo Green, “River”

5. Beth Orton, “Magpie”

6. John Meyer, “Queen of California”

7. Lana del Rey, “National Anthem”

8. Pretty Lights, “You Get High”

9. Metric, “Artificial Noctourne”

10. Alt-J, “Tessellate”

Ted’s Top TV of 2011

1. Portlandia
2. Enlightened
3. Breaking Bad
4. Louie
5. Community
6. Parks and Recreation
7. Justified
8. Childrens Hospital
9. The Amazing Race
10. The Great Food Truck Race
11. Curb Your Enthusiasm
12. Hung
13.Top Chef
14. Bored to Death
15. Game of Thrones
16. NFL Red Zone
17. The Layover/No Reservations
18. The Daily Show
19. Pardon the Interruption
20. New Girl
21. Sunday Night Football
22. How to Make It In America
23. Inside the NBA
24. The Colbert Report
25. 30 Rock
26. The Simpsons
27. The Office
28. Glee
29. 30 for 30
30. 2 Broke Girls

Jumped the Shark:
True Blood
Project Runway

Ted’s Top Movies of 2011

As longtime readers of my blog know, I rate every movie I see according to the DTMTBD scale: how it compares to Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, which I established twenty years ago as the baseline for all films. Better than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter‘s Dead means the movie was a rewarding experience; worse means you wasted your time. About as good as means it all depends on the popcorn.

Top Ten
1 – Cave of Forgotten Dreams
2 – Rise of the Planet of the Apes
3 – War Horse
4 – Young Adult
5 – A Dangerous Method
6 – 50/50
7 – The Artist
8 – Attack the Block
9 – Source Code
10 – Fast Five

Better Than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

The Muppets
Tree of Life
The Descendants
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Tower Heist
Mission Impossible 4
Cedar Rapids
Hot Coffee
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II
Captain America
Horrible Bosses

About As Good As Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
Crazy, Stupid Love
Bad Teacher
Adjustment Bureau
The Lincoln Lawyer
The Hangover 2
Our Idiot Brother
Super 8

Worse Than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
Midnight in Paris

Ted’s Top Music of 2011


1. Bon Iver, Bon Iver
2. Drake, Take Care
3. Tune-Yards, Whokill
4. Laura Marling, A Creature I Don’t Know
5. Tycho, Dive
6. Washed Out, Within and Without
7. Radiohead, King of Limbs
8. M83, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming
9. Raphael Saadiq, Stone Rollin’
10. Feist, Metals

Honorable Mention

James Blake
Amon Tobin, ISAM
Ke$ha, I Am the Dance Commander
Abigail Washburn, City of Refuge
The Head and the Heart
Adele, 21
Brad Mehldau, Live at Birdland
Danger Mouse & Daniel Luppe, Rome
Tim Hecker, Ravedeath, 1972
Death Cab for Cutie, Codes & Keys
J Mascis, Several Shades of Why
JAY Z & Kanye West, Watch the Throne
Portugal, the Man, In the Mountain in the Cloud


1. Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
2. Tune-Yards, “My Country”
3. Kreayshawn, “Gucci Gucci”
4. Foster the People, “Pumped Up Kicks”
5. Active Child, “You Are All I See”
6. The Head and the Heart, “Lost in My Mind”
7. Diego Garcia, “You Were Never There”
8. Iron & Wine, “Tree By the River”
9. Neon Indian, “Polish Girl”
10. Radihead, “Give Up the Ghost”

Honorable Mentions

Amos Lee, “Windows Are Rolled Down”
The Sheepdogs, “Who?”
Burial, “Street Halo”
Weird Al Yankovic, “Perform This Way”



Ted’s Movie Database

Film poster for Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter'...

The complete Ted’s Movie Database, featuring the Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead rating system, is now back online. It’s part of the new Lists section, which includes year-end Top 10s and decade-end Top 50s, syllabi, comprehensive exam reading lists, old Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics’ poll ballots, and now TMDB. Follow the links from the navigation bar, or click here to go directly to TMDB.

Ted’s Top Movies of 2010

My movie rankings have used the DTMTBD system ever since I first unveiled it in the  fanzine Nadine in 1992. I keep a complete database of every movie I’ve seen using Movie Collector by, sorted by year and DTMTBD rating. It’s proven an invaluable resource for syllabus ideas, zeitgeist reminders, and producing a feeling of accomplishment out of sitting through anything. (I had an online version of my database on the old website; look for it soon on the new

My premise is that the most typical, amiably professional Hollywood genre piece is a good milestone against which to compare other films’ successes and failures. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead is my line in the sand: anything better is a treat, anything worse is time wasted. I wrote back in 1992 that going to see Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead itself still counted as a good time, since going to a movie theater and eating popcorn is an inherently fun activity. 18 years later, either I’ve raised my standards or the theaters have gotten worse. Today I’d certainly regret hauling to a theater just to see Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, just as Date Night was a disappointment. (We actually drove out to see it on a Thursday night when NBC was all reruns. It was cute, but a definite cut below a lineup of Community, Parks & Recreation, The Office and 30 Rock. Not even close, actually.)

I admit I haven’t seen most of the big Oscar contenders, including The Fighter (no interest), The King’s Speech (mild interest), or The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin grew up in Scarsdale and I believe went to SHS even did Scarsdale Summer Music Theater, while Zuckerberg’s dad is an orthodontist in Westchester. It feels too much like a high school reunion). But here’s what I thought of what I saw.

The Best Movies of the Year

1. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World

2. Please Give

3. Hot Tub Time Machine

Much Better Than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

4. How to Train Your Dragon

5. Easy A

6. Inception

7. Toy Story 3

Better Than Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

8. Salt

9. Dinner for Schmucks

10. Greenberg

11. The Other Guys

12. Kick-Ass

13. The Expendables

About As Good As Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead

14. Date Night

15. Iron Man 2

Ted’s Top Podcasts of 2010

1. Bill Simmons, The BS Report
2. Marc Maron, What the Fuck
3. Jeffrey Kripal, Impossible Talk
4. Masterworks Broadway Podcast Theatre
5. Terri Gross, Fresh Air
6. John Hodgman, Judge John Hodgman
7. Robert X. Cringely, I, Cringely
8. Dan Savage, Savage Love Podcast
9. Doug Benson, Doug Loves Movies
10. Doug Henwood, Behind the News
11. Alex Tsakiris, Skeptiko
12. Jon Suintres, Word Balloon
13. Tami Simon, Sounds True: Insights from the Edge
14. The Guardian, World Cup Daily & Football Weekly
15. Adam Carolla, The Adam Carolla Show

Ineligible but recommended:

Tedcast, my own podcast.

Expanding Mind with Erik Davis, who interviewed me in November.