TV Squad Awards
Like Arthur C. Clarke's predictions of geostationary satellites and floating man-god fetuses, Oswalt's vision of a reality-free future is eerily accurate. While our physical space hasn't quite been eaten by a giant white wave yet, the signs of reality's destruction are as obvious as the motivations behind Tila Tequila's bisexuality. Most glaring? The very words "reality television" connote an unreal experience.
After careful consideration, we at TV Squad, along with your input, have winnowed down the hundreds of possible candidates for "most unreal reality show" to these five...
Yes, it's obvious that there will be fans angry at the results, regardless of who wins. American Idol fans, form an orderly queue and meet me in the parking lot. But before we have an epic throwdown, read after the jump and vote for the Readers' Choice.
Here at TV Squad, we're doing our part to bring attention to cool shows that were axed in the recent upfront announcements. Last week, I put out a call for considerations for The Arrested Development Award, a.k.a. The Show Least Deserving of Cancellation Award.
You made your opinions known - thank you! - and now we're into Phase 2: The Nominees. The Squad will pick our own winner, but we're giving you the chance to pick a Reader's Choice winner. Here are the nominees, and be sure to vote in the poll at the bottom.
After the jump you will find the nominees, listed in alphabetical order, for The Jeopardy Award, along with a poll for the Reader's Choice Award. Both winners will be announced next week.
With your help from my Adam Finley Award call for nominations post last week where you tried to trick me into nominating The Venture Brothers, even though I can't, we've managed to narrow down the field of contenders to what we feel were the five strongest entries into the wide world of television animation in the past season. Don't forget to check out the Reader's Choice at the bottom where you can vote for which of the five you think are deserving to win. Next week, we'll be revealing both your winner and ours.
Now people, some of the comments on the intro post intimated that you all took this award slightly more seriously than it was intended. Being on TV certainly isn't really slumming it in this era; however, the actors that made the cut showed an interesting, shall we say, transition from movies to TV. Here they are in alphabetical order:
1. Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
Wait a minute, how could Alec Baldwin get nominated for this award? He's been on TV for years! This is true, but no one does it better than Baldwin. Like most actors seem to, he started in TV, doing soap operas. He became known for serious roles on the big screen, like in Hunt for Red October, Malice, and Glengarry Glen Ross. When the box office career just wasn't as lucrative as it had been, Baldwin reinvented himself as a comedic actor. Since he had been making fun of himself on Saturday Night Live for years, it sure wasn't a stretch. 30 Rock marks a defining comedic role for Baldwin.
Gallery: The It's A Paycheck Award Nominees
So read all about these five worthy candidates and see why they've been selected. Then, check out the poll at the end. That's when you have a job to do. We want to know your top choice from the five nominees we've selected. Please take a moment to answer our poll at the end, casting your ballot for the Reader's Choice award in Excellence in Outsourcing.
Gallery: TV Squad Award-Outsourcing Noms
Thanks to everyone who commented on my Put Me Out of This Misery Award post. If there's one thing that people are passionate about, besides what their favorite shows are, are the shows that they don't want around anymore. Below are the five nominees for this award, the show that has overstayed its welcome and should be put down already, damn it! Also, after the jump, a poll for what you would choose for this award, what we're calling the Reader's Choice Award. Both awards will be announced next week.
The nominees, in alphabetical order...
Alright, here we go. The readers, and team TV Squad, have spoken. It's almost a little depressing that there were so many shows that received consideration for the award. Clearly, this wasn't a banner year for the networks. But that's good though. With all of those shows sent packing, there's that much more room on the schedule next season. Here's hoping all that valuable space gets put to good use, and that someone learns from the following examples. After the jump, the nominees, and your chance to vote for the TV Squad reader award.
Now, before you go assuming we're limiting this to purely science fiction shows, step back for a moment and consider some non-scifi shows that might be fit for such an award. Lost, though with its scifi elements, is considered a drama series, though it's shown some impressive effects this season. Pushing Daisies is another. How about House or the ill-fated Moonlight?
Take your pick amongst the sci-fi and supernatural shows we cover, and I'm sure any one of them could be a great fit for this category: Battlestar Galactica, Eureka, Stargate. What shows would you like to see nominated and what specific aspects of those shows are the most impressive examples of making the "unreal" look real?
Oh, product placement. We love you so. It's not enough that we all got Tivos so we didn't have to watch the commercials that interrupt our favorite shows. Oh no. The sneaky advertisers don't need us to watch the commercials at all anymore. They just stick their products into the shows and let the actors use them. TV Squad. Simple. Inescapable, unless you plan to give up television entirely (and I don't.).
Of course, some products are necessary. Most people eat or drink something during the day, and it would be weird in today's world if television characters didn't have cell phones. TV Squad. But it's a little distracting when you are in the middle of watching a riveting episode of Moonlight, and you are distracted because Hey! There's a picture of Mick on Beth's iPhone! I wish I had an iPhone. Mick has an iPhone too! I wonder who programmed their pictures into the phones -- was it the actors, or some props person? Do you think the actors get to keep those iPhones? Oh wait, somebody just got killed.
So, in honor (not!) of the blatant use of product placement in our favorite shows (those darn Oceanic 815 survivors and their Dharma mayonnaise!), we bring to you The Brought to You by TV Squad Award. What are your nominees for the show who should receive this award, and what product are they pimping? Please nominate your favorites in the comments.
It stands to reason, then, that any genre springing to life in such an environment would bear no resemblance to what the rest of the world calls "reality". TV Squad therefore presents its first annual The Reality Shows Have Writers!? Award, recognizing those shows that in no way reflect a life that any human being on the planet is actually living but, for some reason, call themselves "reality shows."
Jeopardy!, which premiered in 1964, is one of the most successful and popular game show in U.S. TV history. Its challenging questions and format helped make it a household name. This is why we named our "Primetime game show requiring the most skill" category after it.
In this category, we include 2007-2008 season game shows that air/aired in primetime (Jeopardy! is out of the running since it doesn't air in that block) and that are not reality-type game shows such as Survivor and Big Brother. Shows that come to mind are Duel, 1 vs 100, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, and the primetime edition of The Price Is Right. Personally, I don't think Deal or No Deal or The Moment of Truth qualify since they don't require much skill.
Which shows do you think should be nominated for The Jeopardy Award? List your suggestions below!
The reason why I mention this is that is but one of many reasons why even starring roles in television series get severely miscast. The most widely-cited case this year was Michelle Ryan on Bionic Woman; she was so busy trying to squelch her British accent that she came off as charmless and boring. But there have been other casting boners during the 2007-08 season, such as the otherwise-great Parker Posey choking on Amy Sherman-Palladino's words in Jezebel James. Also remember that not a lot of people liked the appearance of Britney Spears on How I Met Your Mother. And, heck, the Law & Order family must have a casting mistake in there somewhere, after all, they did unleash the horrible Elizabeth Rhöm on an unsuspecting public.
What are your choices for the season's most severe miscasting? Let me know in the comments.
Since we're focusing on shows from the 2007-2008 season, that lets out a few contenders, like Veronica Mars , Firefly, and the award's namesake, Arrested Development. But there are plenty of recent shows deserving of the honor. Five that made my list:
1. Journeyman (NBC). This time-shift puzzle starring Kevin McKidd as deer-in-the-headlights Dan Vasser took a while to hook me, but by mid-season, I was there. I love shows that make you think, and although this one developed a formula (Dan saving someone who would later go on to change history), the logistics always had you scratching your head. I was sad to see it absent from NBC's Fall 08 schedule.