100 Greatest Movies, TV Shows, and More

67. Fahrenheit 9/11
Michael Moore's anti-Bush polemic gave millions of frustrated liberals exactly what they needed to hear in 2004 — and infuriated just about everyone else. Along the way, it became the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

68. Mad Men, ''Shut the Door. Have a Seat.''
Don Draper grabs the reins of his career and assembles a crack team of Sterling Cooper ad execs to form a rival agency in the season 3 finale. For Don — and us — it's an emotion-jammed hour of ends and beginnings.

69. Patrick Dempsey's hair
What made Grey's Anatomy a mega-medi-hit? It could have something to do with creator Shonda Rhimes' scalpel-sharp writing...or McDreamy's impossibly luxurious mane. Just saying.

70. Stankonia, OutKast
With hummable hits (''Ms. Jackson'') and out-there experiments (''B.O.B.''), the rap duo gave us all a visa to the funky if fictional land of Stankonia in 2000.

71. Bond bathing suits
And you thought spies were supposed to be inconspicuous! Halle Berry's orange bikini in Die Another Day (2002) and Daniel Craig's supersnug powder blue trunks in Casino Royale (2006) suggest that neither 007 star can keep a secret.

72. The Comeback
Starring the superb Lisa Kudrow as a washed-up sitcom actress, this comedy may have lasted only 13 episodes, but it's the most brilliantly brutal satire of reality TV ever captured on screen.

73. How I Met Your Mother, ''Slapsgiving''
After winning permission to slap Barney in a bet, Marshall renames Turkey Day in 2007. Slapstick ensues, setting the stage for ''Slapsgiving 2'' in 2009. Did we mention it's a real knee-slapper?

74. ''Fell in Love With a Girl'' video, the White Stripes
An idea so simple it's a wonder no one thought of it before 2002: rock & roll Legos!

75. High School Musical franchise
Call it kid stuff. But HSM became a billion-dollar hit across screens big and small thanks to a love of song, dance, and happy endings. And that's pure, old-fashioned showbiz.

76. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Only the bizarre and byzantine brain of Charlie Kaufman could turn this 2004 story about erasing all memories of love into one of the most romantic movies of the decade.

77. Dave Chappelle as Lil Jon
''WHAT?!?!'' We could have filled this list with 100 reasons we miss Chappelle's Show, but the biggest one would have to be his riotous celebrity impressions.

78. A legal eagle named Elle Woods
She's blond, bubbly, and carries a tiny Chihuahua. But despite the inevitable Paris Hilton comparisons, Reese Witherspoon's Legally Blonde dynamo managed to be taken seriously. Case closed!

79. Bravo reality shows
From Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Fab Five to Project Runway's fierce fashionistas to the kvetching, perma-tanned Real Housewives, Bravo's quirky reality programming mixes high culture and low scruples to create deliciously addictive television.

80. The Ocean's Eleven heist scene
(Best caper)
Featuring three impregnable Vegas casinos and 11 ring-a-ding criminals, Steven Soderbergh's 2001 roll of the dice provided the most winning robbery sequence of the decade.

81. Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
He kicked off the decade as the look-at-me stylist behind 2000's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The fact that Eggers bookended it with this gut-wrenchingly poignant and selfless Katrina story proves that even boy wonders can grow up.

82. Prison inmates' ''Thriller'' video
Now that's a ''breakout'' hit: The clip of inmates at a high-security prison in the Philippines performing an intricately choreographed dance to Michael Jackson's ''Thriller'' has nabbed more than 42 million views since 2007.

83. Alias pilot
Fiery red hair. Weird red ball. Black ops. White knuckles. Our 2001 introduction to Jennifer Garner's Sydney Bristow — the grad-student/fake-banker/double-agent superspy at the rapidly beating heart of this intricate action serial — was mesmerizingly colorful.

84. David Letterman's first show after 9/11
He's snarky. He's snide. But when a solemn Letterman returned to the air Sept. 17, 2001 (his was the first late-night comedy show to air after the attacks), his off-the-cuff monologue showed the shell-shocked audience it was okay to laugh...and to cry.

85. Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls
Sure, Beyoncé's performance was great. And Eddie Murphy's was impressive. But there was really only one reason we all rushed to see 2006's Dreamgirls: Jennifer Hudson's soul-to-the-rafters rendition of the classic ''And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going.'' When she sang ''You're gonna love me,'' it wasn't just a lyric — it was a fact.

86. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
Forget all the Oprah hoo-ha: Franzen's 2001 doorstop of a domestic drama teaches that, yes, you can go home again. But you might not want to.

87. Michael Phelps at the Olympics
Athletes and pop culture don't often overlap, but the Aquaman of Beijing and his staggering eight gold medals were bigger than sports. For those nine days, there was no brighter star.

88. Home, Dixie Chicks
Even George W. Bush fans have to respect the Chicks' authentic bluegrass sound on ''Long Time Gone'' and ''Landslide.'' Okay, maybe they don't. But they should.

89. Avenue Q
This 2003 smash musical is Sesame Street for grown-ups, with filthy-minded puppets who teach useful lessons like ''The Internet Is for Porn.'' Somewhere, Big Bird is molting.

90. The Departed
If they're lucky, directors make one classic film in their career. Martin Scorsese has one per decade (Taxi Driver in the '70s, Raging Bull in the '80s, GoodFellas in the '90s). His 2006 Irish Mafia masterpiece kept the streak alive.

91. Friday Night Lights, ''Mud Bowl''
This season 1 episode serves up a Texas-size helping of drama and trauma. But there's a game, too — played during a rainstorm — with the Panthers slipping and sliding their way to thrilling victory.

92. Mean Girls
''Fetch'' may never happen, but 2004's eminently quotable movie is still one of the sharpest high school satires ever. Which is pretty grool, if you ask us.

93. Ken Jennings on Jeopardy!
Answer: A software engineer from Utah, he dominated the quizfest for a record 74 shows in 2004, amassing $2,520,700. Question: Who is Ken Jennings?

94. ''Paper Planes,'' M.I.A.
Admit it: That gunfire-and-cash-registers hook was stuck in your head for weeks after seeing the Pineapple Express trailer (or, uh, Slumdog Millionaire) in 2008.

95. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
(Best graphic novel)
This 2006 illustrated memoir about growing up with a closeted gay father proves a comic can pack just as much pathos as any novel.

96. Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch
Lesson learned: Tell, don't show.

97. Lady Gaga's outfits
Whether it's a dress made of Muppets or strategically placed bubbles, Gaga's outré ensembles brought performance art into the mainstream. (We're still not sold on the hair bow, though.)

98. Funeral, Arcade Fire
Funerals are generally somber affairs, but the Canadian indie rockers' emotionally charged 2004 debut mostly just made us smile. And, okay, mist up a little.

99. Lolcats
Da cutest distractshun of da decaid? Y, lolcats of corse! We can neber haz enuf of deez capshioned pics of cuddlie kittehs.

100. The kiss in Spider-Man
There's a fine line between romantic and corny. And the rain-soaked smooch between Spider-Man and Mary Jane from 2002 tap-dances right on that line. The reason it works? Even if she suspects he's Peter Parker, she doesn't try to find out. And that's sexy as hell.

Written by Thom Geier, Jeff Jensen, Tina Jordan, Margaret Lyons, Adam Markovitz, Chris Nashawaty, Whitney Pastorek, Lynette Rice, Josh Rottenberg, Missy Schwartz, Michael Slezak, Dan Snierson, Tim Stack, Kate Stroup, Ken Tucker, Adam B. Vary, Simon Vozick-Levinson, and Kate Ward

Originally posted Dec 04, 2009 Published in issue #1079-1080 Dec 11, 2009 Order article reprints