The Put Me Out Of This Misery Award: Winner - VIDEOS
It was inevitable, really. It was the heavy favorite in the TV Squad offices, and the show has really been baffling TV fans with its uncanny ability to survive. A show hasn't survived like this since CBS' Yes, Dear, which lasted for many seasons, then was seemingly canceled, only to come back out of the ashes later with new episodes that hadn't aired yet (hell, it could still come back: the web site is still live).
While it was the clear winner in the category, that doesn't mean there wasn't any discussion. My personal choice for the award was Last Call with Carson Daly, which just seems to be a nothing show, with a lackluster host and bad guests, in a time slot that no one cares about. And his coming back early from the WGA strike didn't endear Daly to many either. But in the end we realized that even though his show is deadly, it's on at 1:35 in the morning and doesn't have the head-slapping "WTF" factor that According To Jim seems to get every season that it's renewed (full disclosure: while I think its time has passed, I find According To Jim rather harmless and better than has been advertised).
Let's look at some reasons why ATJ got the award. Take a look at this scene, as Belushi tries to answer his cell phone while juggling various beverages and a tray of food. A funny slice of real life or just labored comedy that would never really happen?
Or how about this scene? Cheryl and Jim argue in the bathroom about the who is the better parent. I have to admit I laughed at the line about the Benny Hill DVDs not being sold in stores. (Warning: contains topless Belushi.)
See what I mean about it being harmless? But maybe that's the show's downfall. There's nothing that screams "keep me on the air," though I would guess that ABC must be at least a little pleased with the ratings or it wouldn't renew it every single year. It probably also helps that ABC isn't exactly going gangbusters with half hour comedies - hence the acquisition of Scrubs from NBC.
It also seems to be the 200th sitcom to feature a schlubby husband with a knockout wife. We've had so many of those that they're getting to be as surreal as any reality show. Here are the Nobody's Watching guys, who condense six seasons of According To Jim in just 90 seconds.
So there you have it. A mixture of so-so humor, too many years on the air, the same plots being trotted out every episode, and you have your Put Me Out Of This Misery Award winner. Congratulations to the cast and crew of According To Jim!
(For the record, According To Jim also got the Reader's Choice Award, beating The Apprentice by 80 votes or so).