2004: The Year in Entertainment

Have you ever had one of those days when you knew from the onset, it was gonna be a doozy?

You spill coffee on your shirt on the way out the door, someone is parked behind your car so you can't get out, your big deal falls through at the office, the traffic going home is hideous, your grocery bag rips, spilling two dozen tangerines. And just when you're about to blow, you open the garage door upon returning home and your kids come out to greet you, your spouse has a cocktail waiting and the entire bad day seems to melt away.

That's the kind of year 2004 was in the world of entertainment … the one that stinks at first, but ends up OK.

Let's have a look at some of the year's top stories, shall we?

1) Britney Does, Then Doesn't -- And as quickly as she did, she didn't anymore. Britney Spears married Jason Alexander, an old high school friend, in a quickie ceremony in Vegas. Then, as most inebriated folks that get married in Vegas do, she annulled the marriage almost immediately after. But wait ... she'll be back for seconds.

2) Bennifer Breakup -- Yes, although it seems like an eternity has passed, it was in January 2004 when the anything-but-dynamic duo put the kibosh on their romance. Not a bad thing, but we had to see another 50 magazine covers explaining what we already knew ... you can't put a square peg in a J.Lo.

3) That's Janet, That's Nasty -- Janet Jackson performed at Super Bowl XXXVIII's halftime show, where she sang with Justin Timberlake, danced with Justin Timberlake and exposed nipple with Justin Timberlake. Let's just say it's one of those deals when something so small causes something so big.

4) A Passion for Fahrenheit? -- Two movies make big waves with two very different audiences. Mel Gibson released a controversial account of the last days of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ," while Michael Moore offered a controversial account of how the United States went to war under George W. Bush in "Fahrenheit 9/11." Both films were condemned by many and embraced by many more.

5) That's What "Friends" Was for -- The NBC sitcom bowed its head as everyone's best six friends moved on to greener pastures. Matt LeBlanc was the only one to carry on the family name with his new sitcom, "Joey." As for the others, they're all busy with something, but nothing that would keep that reunion show from creeping up before too long.

6) The New Governator -- LaLa-Land picks "The Terminator" to rule the roost. In a not-so-surprising sweep, Arnold Schwarzenegger is voted in as the new governor of California. Wife Maria Shriver pledges to not let her husband's career interfere with her own, but leaves her regular duties at NBC News shortly thereafter.

7) Britney and J.Lo, Part Deux -- Britney married dancer Kevin Federline in a sneak wedding at a friend's home. J.Lo, too, had a surprise wedding to singer Marc Anthony, who did a divorce dash to free himself up for Jenny from the block.

8) Oh, Baby Baby -- Hollywood's skinniest minxes all became mommies this year. "Will & Grace's" Debra Messing sprouted a baby boy. Courteney Cox managed to knock one out of her tiny frame, while Gwyneth Paltrow had an Apple and Julia Roberts brought home not one but two bundles of joy -- twins Phinneaus Walter and Hazel Patricia.

9) Lip-Synching Simpson -- While Jessica Simpson and hubby Nick Lachey kept up their second year of constant publicity, little sis Ashlee Simpson pulled a disappearing act on "Saturday Night Live." When she went on stage for what was to be her second musical performance of the evening, her band started playing -- and the wrong vocal track sounded. Ashlee decided the best way to proceed was not to. After an odd little dance, she walked off stage, leaving her band standing around like numbskulls and the board operator left to make a quick switch to commercial. Her father later said she was only lip-synching because she was having problems with acid reflux disease.

10) Desperate to be on Wisteria Lane -- ABC pulled out the most highly rated show of the new season with "Desperate Housewives," a nighttime soap about women who live very secret lives in a very fancy suburb. Marcia Cross, Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and Nicolette Sheridan have turned up the heat for 40-plus females.

And sure, there were a lot more things that happened in the past 12 months, like Michael Jackson's continued legal problems, the deaths of some of our brightest stars -- including Christopher Reeve, Rodney Dangerfield, Marlon Brando, Tony Randall and Ray Charles -- and the violence at the Vibe Awards. But quite honestly, those things we've come to expect.

Anyway, we've weathered the storm of 2004, but 2005 is very close at hand, so batten down the hatches and beware of divas who can't settle down, lots of public faux pas and who knows what else.

To all of you who love the world of entertainment like I do, and all of you who just read this because there's nothing going on today at the office, I wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.