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Underrated/Overrated

August 16, 2009

UNDERRATED

'Madchester': Now that the Stone Roses' self-titled debut is getting the 20th anniversary reissue treatment, it's as good a time as any to celebrate the long-gone musical movement that wedded baggy "Brady Bunch" T-shirts, dance beats and the Byrds into one glorious, druggy mess. The star-crossed Roses were quickly supplanted by Oasis in the Britpop-crazed 1990s, but we'll never forget when "One Love" conquered all.

'Pretty in Pink': As the passing of John Hughes leads to a reevaluation of his generation-defining oeuvre, our vote for the cream of his '80s-tastic crop goes to this surprisingly timeless teen-misfit romance starring Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer and the equally underrated Annie Potts. Not to mention the brilliant James Spader, whose popped-collar villainy may be the spiritual forefather of the entire cast of "NYC Prep."

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OVERRATED

Woodstock: Another five years have passed, which must mean it's time for yet another examination of Max Yasgur's farm, Jimi Hendrix, brown acid and every myth-making wonder driven down our throats since the festival's first anniversary. Fine, Woodstock was a one-of-a-kind communal experience, the artistic and cultural influence of which we post-boomers could never hope to top. Can we all just move on now?

ESPN: We're not sure what happened to this network that once aired Australian Rules Football and self-effacing commercials, but few things in this world make us feel as complicit with the corporatization of sports than 15 minutes with "SportsCenter." After enduring endless waves of witless catch phrases, blowhard analysts and "jacked-up" highlights, we'd rather retreat to a local Little League game. Quietly.

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