Top 12 Posts of 2012: Breaking Bad, Academic Woes, and (Yes, More) Gene Kelly

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It’s that time of year again… when everyone who manages or writes for a blog devotes a post to her/his Top Something-or-Other.

So far, we have the best TV shows, singles (songs not people), video games, and unproduced screenplays. We can also find lists for the best filmsadvertisements, and celebrity styles of 2012 as well as the year’s top-selling books, iPhone apps, and baseball jerseys (it’s Jeter’s).

Still, some people go the opposite direction and post what they consider the Worst Bits of the Year. See, for example, the worst CEOs, cookbooks, red-carpet outfits, and movies.

As I did in 2011 and in 2010, I’ve joined this end-of-the-year trend. Over the past couple of days, I’ve looked back at my year of blogging. In January, I began my Quote of the Day series with a blurb from Woody Allen, who once referred to Double Indemnity as “Billy Wilder’s best movie…practically anybody’s best movie.” Although I love me some Norma Desmond, I won’t argue with that.

Shortly after that came a slew of Gene Kelly-inspired posts, mostly constructed in preparation for a February conference presentation on the star’s fandom and the result of an interview I did with BBC Radio 2. Over the year, I also wrote several posts on film (old-people movies, MGM backlots, the untimely death of Nora Ephron) and television (Justified‘s annoying Dickie Bennett and Breaking Bad‘s annoying Skyler White).

peer_review_cat_lolFinally, as the title of this blog indicates, many of my 2012 posts were also devoted to academia: teaching in skirts, roaming students, the quarter system, and video essays in the classroom. But the two academic-related entries that received the most traffic were my thoughts on the use of laptops in the classroom (controversial!) and my experience of (not) locating a stable job in the humanities (see #3 and #12 below).

That brings us to my list of the 12 most-read (or at least most clicked-on?) posts of 2012. According to my friends at Google Analytics, some of these posts have received quite a bit of traffic — for a personal/academic blog, I mean. For example, around Gene Kelly’s Centennial (August 29) and Robert Osborne’s conversations with Kelly’s widow during TCM’s Summer of the Stars, the first entry below — “The Bias of All That: Gene Kelly and His Wives” – received nearly 60,000 hits. A similar thing happened around the middle of Breaking Bad‘s fifth season when nearly 30,000 people clicked on my Skyler White post, “I Don’t Like Skyler White, But Probably Not for the Reasons You Think.”

These figures are certainly not the norm for my blog (to date, 1,500 hits/day is about right). But it is fun to see which posts resonate with others and exactly when that connection occurs. I won’t lie: as an academic, it’s also nice to see such research/writing being read and circulated. That’s generally not the case for folks like us whose hard work usually lies behind paywalls in print journals or in really pricey academic books. Thanks for reading, all.

Top 12 Posts of 2012

  1. The Bias of All That: Gene Kelly and His Wives  
  2. I Don’t Like Skyler White, But Probably Not for the Reasons You Think
  3. Earning the PhD and a Sense of False Hope: My Experiences (So Far) in This Racket Called Academia
  4. Stars and Scars  
  5. MLK’s Rhetorical Use of Style in “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
  6. Animated GIFs, Cinemagraphs, and Our Return to Early Cinema  
  7. Casablanca on the Big Screen  
  8. Putting the Ass in Assets: The Objectification of Gene Kelly (and Other Men) on Social Media
  9. True Grit: Give Me A Different Ending and Some Freakin’ Contractions  
  10. Messages from Six Feet Under
  11. A Tribute to Gene Kelly’s Rug
  12. Laptops in the College Classroom and Creating an Environment Conducive to Learning

Also a Top Post of 2011 = 

 

  • http://twitter.com/princesscowboy/status/281069414173003776/ Amanda Ann Klein (@princesscowboy)

    RT @KelliMarshall: My top posts of 2012, featuring Breaking Bad, academic woes, and (yes) Gene Kelly: http://t.co/dRswM1Nf