My dictionary defines "intriguing" this way: "engaging the interest to a marked degree," or "fascinating."
So how did Ozzy Osbourne and clan land in the No. 2 spot on the list of 2002's "25 Most Intriguing People," as compiled by People magazine for last week's issue?
OK, maybe I'm old and I just don't get it. Although some younger people I've spoken to about this don't seem to get it either — twentysomethings who say they've never seen "The Osbournes" and who confess to being, well, less than intrigued by them.
Of course, it's a weird list. Despite the presence of Jennifer Lopez and Eminem, People doesn't just go for show-biz celebs: No. 1 is George Bush, and elsewhere are Saddam Hussein, Martha Stewart, Chelsea Clinton and Dr. Phil.
Sorry, I'm not really "intrigued" by any of them. Nor by Winona Ryder, Rosie O'Donnell, Britney Spears, Halle Berry, Julia Roberts. . . .
Well, maybe Halle Berry and Julia Roberts.
And maybe by Alice Sebold (author of "The Lovely Bones") and Jimmy Carter (hey, he won the Nobel!).
Entertainment Weekly compiled a similar list for last week's issue, although this one was all entertainers — "Entertainers of the Year."
Denzel Washington led the list . . . hard to argue about that one. And some choices were duplicates of the People list — Ozzy and family (No. 3 here), Eminem, Halle Berry (in a foldout, no less), Nia Vardalos, Jennifer Aniston, Alice Sebold and Britney . . . oops, never mind; this one is Brittany Snow.
Ahh, a list by any other name. . . .
TV Guide is into this list-making thing lately, too. Best shows, best sitcoms, best episodes, 50 Things to Love About TV . . . best issues of TV Guide . . . hey, it's only a matter of time.
And, of course, this is also the time of year for 10-best lists, topped off with movies that most of us have never heard of and may never get a chance to see. The Iranian film "Secret Ballot"? Did this play anywhere?
So, in keeping with the spirit of the season, here's a list of the top-10 magazine lists of 2002. . . . Just kidding.
SEQUELS WILL AGAIN dominate the movie scene in 2003, even though there is no new "Spider-Man" or "Star Wars" movie until 2004 or 2005. The third and final epic entry in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy will greet us next Christmas, of course, but "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" isn't scheduled until Christmas 2004.
Meanwhile, would you believe we'll see two "Matrix" sequels this year, one in May and another in November.
Other biggies include "Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines," with Arnold Schwarzenegger (but no James Cameron), "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" (with Demi Moore as the villain), "Tomb Raider 2" (Angelina Jolie is back), "The Whole Nine Yards 2" (Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry again) and Reese Witherspoon's "Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blue" (to be partly filmed in Utah).
The rush actually begins next month, with no less than four sequels: "The Jungle Book 2," a followup by Disney to its 1967 animated feature, "The Jungle Book" (which was the last film that Walt Disney personally oversaw before his death); "Shanghai Knights," a sequel to "Shanghai Noon," with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson; "Final Destination 2," as Death continues to track down those who have eluded him; and "Gods and Generals," prequel to "Gettysburg."
Later, we'll get "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," starring Antonio Banderas and Johnny Depp — Robert Rogriguez's followup to "Desperado" (which was a remake of his low-budget Spanish-language "El Mariachi"); the horror sequel "Jeepers Creepers 2," "X-Men 2," "The Fast and the Furious 2," "Exorcist: The Beginning" (a prequel), "Meet the Fockers" (sequel to "Meet the Parents"), "Dumb & Dumber: The Prequel," "Freddy vs. Jason" (sequel to two franchises, the "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" films), "Spy Kids 3," "Bad Boys 2," "The Young Black Stallion" and who knows what else!
Familiarity breeds . . . box-office bucks?