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THE SMART LIST: What we talked about in 2007

By Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Summer of threequels

It was the most overused fake word of the summer, what with “Spider-Man 3,” “Pirates: At World’s End,” “Shrek the Third” and “Rush Hour 3.” And though we (the public) bemoaned the lack of original inventive content coming out of the studios all summer, our bemoaning won’t change a thing -- the threequels might have done worse than the sequels, but they still delivered huge at the box office. No more original films, ever! (AP / Columbia Pictures)
The tabloid queens

We’d be ashamed to admit how much we talked about the Paris-Britney-Lindsay triumvirate, but what monster could feign complete disinterest in the grand operatic stories that played out in our online tabloids -- a debutante goes to jail (“Mom, it’s not fair”), a pop star shaves her head (“My mom is going to kill me”), a former child star chases down her ex-assistant just days after leaving rehab. Thanks for everything, TMZ! (CNN / AP)
Queens of comedy

It’s been a rough year for the reigning queens of American daytime comedy. O’Donnell divided the country when she fought Elisabeth Hasselbeck on “The View” and then left the show in an emotional huff. DeGeneres made the mistake of talking about her dog-adoption debacle on her show (Iggy!), which resulted in blanket CNN coverage, a dog rescuer receiving death threats and lots of ammo on the part of WGA members when DeGeneres continued to do her show despite the strike. (
Kanye West

2007 was the year of Kanye. Nothing this guy did went unnoticed by the media -- an album release on Sept. 11, a (sales) feud with 50 Cent, the No. 1-selling album in America (and, boy, did he tell us about it). He came down hard on MTV after the VMAs for not giving him more screen time, and just when he was on top of the world, his mother died after plastic surgery. Celebrities’ parents die all the time without our knowing, but this story was front page news. (Matt Sayles / AP)
Judd Apatow’s girl trouble

The great comedic guru -- he brought us three movies this year and will bring us as many as six in 2008 -- cannot write for women. He doesn’t understand us. He thinks we eat ice cream in bed when we are sad. He thinks we are neurotic. He thinks we love men too much. He thinks we are wonderful and mysterious, but also no fun. Those of us who love his films, but hate how we are portrayed in them, have spent a lot (a lot, a lot) of time talking about that. (AFP / Getty Images)