Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Year in review: Top Hats of 2011

Adjustment Bureau
4 word review: Good Hats, Bad Movie

Well, as usual I am showing up late, which will teach me to try to arrive at the New Year’s party in the vintage Wonder Woman Invisible Jet that I bought on ebay. Frankly I am still not sure if it’s been delivered.

Everyone has already hit the great shows and movies of 2011, Josie is even in the future sending us next year’s list. I am forced to dig deep, and develop a new category: the Best Hats of 2011 (and it was a great year for hats).

Doctor Who

I find Doctor Who hard to follow, not the individual episodes or even the story arcs, but the emotional investment which one places in the companions and the Doctors only to see each one end. Its every bit as hard on me as it is on the characters (okay I am rarely killed, memory-wiped, forced to give up childhood attachments, but its still hard), and frankly although I have enjoyed the episodes this current Doctor has yet to become my favorite. Still, it is hard to beat the juxtaposition of the least cowboy of Science fiction heroes in a Cowboy Hat (so he's definitely growing on me).

American Horror Story

I actually picked up this hat at the estate sale.

I watched the first episode of this series, and quickly determined that I hated it. Then out of boredom (and feeling much like the characters who never seemed to have sense enough to just leave), I watched the last several episodes of the season. Turns out once they got done with the atrocity of the week episodes and moved toward completing the story in the present, it was a pretty fun series.

I thought about giving the award to the gimp suit mask/hood, but I wasn’t sure it qualified under the International Hat Award rules, section 6: “What’s Not a Hat”.

Walking Dead

I love this show, but have to say Rick’s hat is still only the second best Lawman’s hat of the year. Its broad brim carries all the weight of being civilized in an unbelievably uncivilized world. It is about a man clinging to hope that order and reason can someday again prevail.


Its not all about the hat, but Raylan’s hat is the single icon which lets you know you’re watching Justified.

It is loaded with symbolic meaning and allusion to the great cowboy marshals of past. It also perfectly captures the character and the world he lives in, he is just too much of a cowboy for a world where lawmen follow the rules. Its about his pride and vanity as well and you never see that more than in the episode "Hatless", where he loses said Hat by being a jerk. The hat just tops probably my single favorite character on T.V. today.

Breaking Bad

Ahhh the Heisenberg hat, it says unpredictable, it says dangerous, it says style. This show is all those things as well, also scary good. Others have said plenty about this show, and I just want to add my appreciation of both the hat and the painfully great drama.

And it also my selection for the Hat of 2011!

(Now maybe my wife will let me wear mine)

I guess it’s probably worth mentioning that these are probably my favorite shows of the year as well.

So that wraps up the year in hats.

Wait, I have have one more hat-related thought, regarding Jeff Bridges' Tron hat:

Wow, that’s one bad hat, dude.


  1. I loved your article, but I think you overlooked Heisenberg's partner in your hat contest. Jessie's hat clearly defines his role as both a partner and a sidekick. It isn't as substantial as Heisenberg's hat, but it does cover his head well.

    It is a little formless, and not ready to commit to being a real hat. But for me it also speaks to his impeccable style with clothes that are far too large for him. Also he picked the masks with the pom-poms which are sort of full face hats!

    So for me honorable mention goes to Jessie Pinkman's beanie... wait does that mean it doesn't qualify due to Section 6 of the International Hat Award rules?

    My bad :)

  2. Ben, I love it. Is any other site lucky enough to have a "best hats of 2011" rundown?

    J.D., it was Walt that chose the ski masks with the pom poms. I only know that because I just reviewed that episode. :) But I agree with your comment. Jesse gets no respect.

  3. Hehe the list reminds me of House and the vanity card that ends the show: That's some bad hat Harry!

  4. Very fun list! I like your selections, and J.D.'s honorable mention.

    What I really love about the hats on Breaking Bad is that they are an integral part of the identities, or moods of the characters. (Similar to Raylan's hat on Justified.) When Walt puts on that hat, he becomes Heisenberg. In many ways, it transforms him. And it defines him for many of those who want to kill Heisenberg. Similarly, Jesse's hoodie/beanie combo is part and parcel of his loser/addict/dealer identity. His decisions to wear it or not wear it, are very reflective of where his head is at.

    I also love that the cars on the show have become an integral part of the characters as well (even though some of them change over time). Whenever I see one of those gold Aztecs, I get the heebies!

  5. Ben, great list! I tip my hat to you.

    (It's a beret. You know you wanted to ask.)

    I like to think of hats as phallic objects--the wearer considers his hat to be integral to his sense of himself. Rick giving his hat to his son, for instance, was beautiful symbolism about the boy's coming of age.

    And, y'know, Indiana Jones.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.