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The Stay Tuned Awards: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2010 TV

by Maureen Ryan, posted Dec 15th 2010 4:30PM
In the last week or two, I posted my Top TV of 2010 list and also my extensive Runners Up roster. What more could I possibly have to say about the past year of television?

A lot, as it turns out.

Below, you'll find my sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious Stay Tuned Awards, which touch on some of the best and worst things to happen on the TV scene this year. What shows won the Hot Mess Award? What was the most harrowing episode of television that aired in 2010? Who were the most capable scene stealers? Read on to find out.

Please feel free to add your own award nominations in the comment area!

The Hot Mess Award (Broadcast Division) goes to: 'Glee.' For being less predictable than Paula Abdul, and sometimes more annoying.

The Hot Mess Award (Cable Division) goes to: 'True Blood.' Here's an easy rule to remember: Doubling the number of characters on a show doesn't double the awesomeness of that program, it's more likely to halve it. Messier than a vamp who has met the true death, this show went well off the rails in season 3. Raise your hand if you don't want Tara to get terrorized again this season.

The Scene Stealer Award (Network Comedy Division) goes to: Nick Offerman as Ron Swanson. Never has one man's stolid love of meat, dark-haired women and buffets been so entertaining.

The Scene Stealer Award
(Cable Division) goes to: Jack Huston as Richard Harrow on 'Boardwalk Empire.' He was instantly fascinating as the quietly resigned Harrow, a veteran who came from World War 1 to a life of loneliness and violence. Yet Huston was able to convey that, before (and even after) his disfiguring facial injury, Harrow had been a wise, kind man.

The Scene Stealer Award (Network Drama Division) goes to: Scott Caan on 'Hawaii Five-0.' Danno is the man-o.

The Oh Just Get Here Already Award goes to: HBO's 'Game of Thrones.' We have to wait until April? Arrrrrghhghghh!

The Scariest Show Award goes to: 'Hoarders.' Like me, do you want to clean out five closets after watching this show?

The Best Kids Award goes to: 'Modern Family.' All the kids in this cast have amazing timing and delivery, but I'm particularly fond of Nolan Gould as the goofy, good-hearted Luke.

The Pfffft Award goes to: 'Undercovers.' All the anticipation I felt before I watched this spy-caper-'sexpionage' show disappeared after I saw it.

The Game Cast Award goes to: 'The Walking Dead.' It was very, very hot when the first season of the AMC show was filmed in Atlanta -- inferno hot. The sweltering cast still did good work, despite looking like they'd rather be bathing in ice cubes than wading through zombie guts.

The Under the Radar Award goes to: 'Tower Prep.' I've watched the whole first season of this Cartoon Network show, and it won't win any prizes for originality, but the Harry Potter wannabe chronicle has is share of small pleasures (for example, Darin Morgan of 'The X-Files' is on the writing staff and he turned in an entertaining riff on 'The Odyssey' a couple weeks back).

The Badaptation Award goes to: 'Pillars of the Earth.' If you read the Ken Follett book, by all means, steer clear of this kludgy adaptation, which squandered a good cast in a messy sea of medieval cliches.

The Best Breakfaster Award goes to (with apologies to Ron Swanson): Truxton Spangler of 'Rubicon.' Why did his love of cereal scare me so much? I'll never look at Lucky Charms the same way again, that's for sure (that four-leaf clover is not your friend!).

The Good Heavens, These Are Some Great Actors Award goes to: Elisabeth Moss and Jon Hamm of 'Mad Men,' in general, of course, but also specifically for 'The Suitcase,' one of the best-ever episodes of this very fine drama.

The Best Sort-of Real Commercial Award goes to: 'Men of Certain Age.' In one season 1 episode of the TNT show, Owen (Andre Braugher) filmed a commercial for his father's car dealership. The takeaway: It takes a masterful actor to make terrible acting so very funny.

The Best Band Name Generator Award goes to: 'Supernatural.' Watch the CW show for a few weeks and you'll want to name your band Watching Porn with Angels, Hot Dogs of Death or Faeries Tried to Kill Me. No really, you will.

The Dealbreaker Award goes to: Jay Leno. His post-Jaypocalypse interview with Oprah made him seem more craven and self-serving than ever.

The I'm Too Sexy Award goes to: 'Spartacus: Blood and Sand.' It's kind of amazing how hot those gladiators looked, given that they were usually walking around in what looked like leather diapers.

The Comic-Con Pwnage Award goes to: Bruce Campbell. Watching that guy work a 4,000-person room every year during the 'Burn Notice' panel is one of the San Diego confab's high points.

The Longevity Award goes to: The canceled 'Law & Order' mothership. Respect for the decades of service.

The Best Girlfriend Award
goes to: Mayim Bialik of 'Big Bang Theory.' As Sheldon's robotic girlfriend, Bialik has added much to an already pleasing show.

The Most Nervous Network Award
goes to: Fox. Yes, Fox! Sure, the network has dominated the ratings for years, thanks to the Death Star (a.k.a. 'American Idol'). But Simon left the mothership to launch his own new show in the fall, and it's by no means a lock to get 'Idol'-style ratings. Also, the new 'Idol' judging panel is an unknown quantity and ultimately may prove to be a trainwreck. In any case, 2011 is shaping up as a pivotal year for Fox.

Best Grunts Award
goes to: John Casey (Adam Baldwin) of 'Chuck.' (Ron Swanson finished a strong second.)

Hottest Date Award
goes to: Sawyer and Charlotte on 'Lost.'

The Best Accessory Award
goes to: Big Carl on 'Cougar Town.' RIP Big Joe.

Best Stuntcasting Award goes to: Jorge Garcia as Blitz on 'How I Met Your Mother.'

Best Platonic Chemistry Award
goes to: Artie (Saul Rubinek) and Claudia (Allison Scagliotti) on 'Warehouse 13.' Their squabbles are endearing and entertaining.

Best Non-Platonic Chemistry Award goes to: Henry (Adam Scott) and Casey (Lizzie Caplan) on 'Party Down.' Watching the progress of this couple was one of the chief pleasures of this gone-too-soon show.

Best Hat Award
goes to: Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) on FX's 'Justified.' This very pleasing drama returns in February. Can't wait.

The Finally Gone Award
goes to: Jeff Zucker, formerly of NBC. Now we know what the hobbits felt like after Sauron finally departed the scene.

Most Harrowing Episode Award
goes to: The ninth episode of 'The Pacific,' in which exhausted Marines landed on Okinawa and encountered some of the most brutal fighting yet -- with civilians caught in the crossfire. It was wrenching to watch, but also a necessary chronicle of what war at its worst does to human beings.

Best Sibling Award
goes to: Steph (Karina Logue) on 'Terriers.' In a show chock full of great characters, the frank, brilliant Steph really stood out. I'll miss the whole gang.

The Hardest Working Man in Show Business Award goes to: Neil Patrick Harris. If someone has credible information about NPH not being good at something, do tell. I want to determine if he's actually human or a robot sent from the future to be awesome at everything. I kid! (Not really.)

The Best Brit Award
goes to: Lane Pryce (Jared Harris) on 'Mad Men.' His epic night out with Don Draper was a blast and his bravery in the face of his father's brutality was impressive indeed.

Best Sports Moment Award
goes to: The Doctor playing soccer on 'Doctor Who,' of course.

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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87 Comments

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Doc Spector

How is it even possible that the best fake commercial does not belong to "Better Off Ted"?

December 23 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HPM

A "Best of" list and no mention of Breaking Bad (Best badass/ Best duo dynamic/ Best performances/ Best finale/ Best jaw-dropping scream at your TV and clutch your heart moment) = FAIL.

December 23 2010 at 6:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ken Howes

Hottest babe on a new show: Sofia Vergara.

December 21 2010 at 6:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mason younG

can't argue with Scott Caan as 'scene stealer'...damn

December 17 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Grace

How can one not think Bravo's "the millionaire Matchmaker" the most fascinating show on TV.

December 17 2010 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sammie

The most annoying sidekick award goes to Scott Caan. The only thing that I don't like about Hawaii 5-0.

December 17 2010 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kevin

Stupidest move in the world award should go to F/X for cancelling Terriers. People are dying for quality shows out here and those lame-brains cancel one of the best shows on television. Now they can go back to showing the same lame movie three times a night.

December 17 2010 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Inujo

The Good Heavens, These Are Some Great Actors Award --Should go to the All Canada show Sanctuary on SyFy--and Christopher Heyerdahl deserves the Hardest Working Award too. Not only does he do two main characters in the show he's also on every show you've ever liked! I dare you check out his IMdb

December 17 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Facinating. Three dozen shows mentioned and there's not a single one I watch....ever. Why? Because they're all DRECK, DRECk, and more DRECK.

December 17 2010 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Inujo

The Good Heavens, These Are Some Great Actors Award --Should go to the All Canada show Sanctuary on SyFy--and Christopher Heyerdahl deserves the Hardest Working Award too. Not only does he do two main characters in the show he's also on every show you've ever liked! I dare you check out his IMdb

December 17 2010 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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