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Best musical numbers of the Naughts.

Best musical numbers of the Naughts. (photo)

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Great musical numbers need not be in proper musicals, in fact I tend to think the best ones are in films that are not musicals at all. I confess, I do not particularly enjoy musicals. However, the well crafted musical number, especially when slipped into a comedy/drama/weepie/etc is a real treat. Tops for me is the Kenny Rogers and the First Edition trip sequence in “The Big Lebowski.” Alas, that unbridled genius was from a prior, more joyous decade.

Still there were some good numbers during the Naughts, some of which I’m sure I missed and will not be mentioned here. The winner goes to little Olive’s, appropriately inappropriate tribute to her Grandfather.

1. Super Freak, “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)

The best thing about “Little Miss Sunshine” was Alan Arkin, and a close second was Abigail Breslin as Olive. There’s something inherently satisfying about shoving it in the face of stuffy conformist douchebags, especially in ersatz ridden California.

2. The Loco-Motion, “Inland Empire” (2006)
Watch it here. You can always trust David Lynch to turn a boppy 60’s bubble gum hit into some kind of freakish nightmare sequence. I’m not sure he’s improving what he has always done well, “Inland Empire” was no “Blue Velvet” or “Twin Peaks,” but nobody does it better.

3. Medley, “Moulin Rouge!” (2001)

A mild disdain for musicals and “Romeo + Juliet” kept me from seeing this Baz Luhrmann fantasy for a long time. But this stylized medley with everything from Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong” (from “An Officer and A Gentlemen”) to David Bowie’s “Heroes” is brilliant.

4. Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005

Maybe I’m biased because I’m an Aquarius or maybe it’s the sheer joy of cinema unleashed in this credit rolling number but I dig it. That makes two for Steve Carell on this list and I’m sure it won’t be his last involvement in hilarious musical numbers.

5. Jai ho, “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)

Jai ho dog. You know it was good. I’m more of a “28 Days Later” and “Sunshine” fan but the fact that all these films come from one man, Danny Boyle, is nothing short of incredible. I like a director who’s not afraid of some fun, and running full out wild.

Honorable mentions:
Billy Elliot (2000), Once (2006), Mamma Mia! (2008),
Napoleon Dynamite (2004).

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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