- Which midseason TV premieres and returning shows we're looking forward to,
- What Lost might do during its last season,
- Has 24 run its course? And how will Jack Bauer not get delayed by packed subways and indifferent cabbies in New York?
- What we tried to do with our Best of the '00s lists, and what we left out.
- Picks of the week, and more.
You can listen to the podcast below, or download from here or by subscribing to our RSS podcast feed. It is also available via iTunes. Feel free to leave us feedback in the comments or drop us a line at tvsquadpodcast [at] gmail [dot] com.
As usual, the music at the beginning and end of the podcast is "Life" by Justin Trawick.
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. We finish up the series by talking about some of the news events that defined the decade, and how TV covered them.
It seems odd to call the news events of the 00's a "best" list. As we started the 21st century, America seemed to have a different tragedy happening at every twist and turn. There was the Year 2000 bug followed by 9/11 followed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan followed by Hurricane Katrina followed by the worst recession since the Great Depression. We've also had various celebrity deaths recently including the iconic and controversial Michael Jackson.
The tragedies of the decade were accompanied by revolutionary change. America elected its first African-American President. New forms of media such as social networking arose like a phoenix from the ashes of the old media.
The decade was filled with many ups and downs, possibly more downs. The full repercussions of the events won't likely be acknowledged or analyzed for years or decades to come. Wherever we end up, it will have been one hell of a ride.
If you want to be a great comedic actor, you can never let on that you know you're being funny. Your character never knows what the joke is. That's why Rodney Dangerfield was a great, legendary stand-up comedian, and a fairly poor comic actor.
Everyone on this list excels at the comedic poker face. Steve Carell and Ricky Gervais, in their Office boss characters, don't know that most of the rest of the office is laughing at them. Or at least they don't understand why. Stephen Colbert, despite all of the attention The Colbert Report have received, may be the most underrated comic actor, because the character is so seamless, sometimes it's hard to tell it's a character. Shatner is a legend for playing campy with a poker face. And Neil Patrick Harris as a cad? A straight cad? Perfect.
Here are a few of our favorite comedic actors from the past decade, and may their characters never realize the joke's on them.
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the funniest or most surprising late night moments of the last ten years.
In the past decade, late night shows continued to bloom in popularity. However, some of our favorite late night shows were shuffled around while some got new hosts.
No matter what network executives decided to do to the line up of US late night shows, their hosts and guest stars gave us plenty fantastic, OMG!, and WTF? moments that generated tons of watercooler talks and forum discussion threads.
Below are some of the best late night moments of the past decade as chosen by some of the TV Squad bloggers. We realize there are tough choices in this category, so we hope you'll add your own favorites in the comments section below.
Since Lucille Ball, television has been a bastion of funny ladies, and the '00s were no exception. Like Lucy, many of the women on this list played second fiddle to no one. And those that weren't the stars of their own shows managed to steal the scene anyway the moment they got in front of the camera.
The '00s will probably go down in television history as one of those decades where the sitcom sputtered and almost died -- again! But it's alive and well now, with an amazing turn-around in 2009. But, as this list proves, it was never truly in danger. Throughout the decade these women provided plenty of laughs in both the hour and half-hour formats, proving that as long as we want to laugh, there will be brilliant actresses around to crack us up.
Here's our list of the top funny ladies of the decade:
The turn of the millennium was the point when television networks were watching the rise of Survivor, The Amazing Race, and American Idol and thought, "I can do that!" What they didn't realize was that to maintain a high quality level, they still needed a big budget.
Instead of monetary prizes, networks turned to things like love, the experience, and the belief of fifteen minutes of fame to entice people to participate. Slowly with the help of networks like Fox, E!, and VH1, reality shows got more classless and turned trashy. Like a car accident, viewers can't stop watching. The decade has provided a countless number of trashy reality shows and here is TV Squad's favorites of the decade.
Television has always been good to the ladies. Actresses have flourished in dramatic series, and in the past decade, we've seen some amazing performances. There have been lawyers, cops, a U.S. president, nurses, doctors, judges, mothers, daughters and even a real housewife from New Jersey whose husband was in the waste disposal business.
Many of these women have already been honored with Emmys and Golden Globes... and now they get the recognition of TV Squad.
Here, then, without further vamping, the best dramatic actresses of the past ten years:
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a major category that came of age in the aughts: Reality shows.
While I would never call myself a reality TV junkie, it really bugs me when people make blanket statements like, "I hate reality TV," or, "Reality TV is the bane of my existence." The genre has grown so much in the past decade that it has become just like scripted television, in that there's good and there's bad. Even though we're splitting this up into two lists, "Reality," and "Trashy Reality," you won't see a single show that starts with, "Who Wants to Marry" on either list.
This list is dedicated not to the guilty pleasures, but to the shows that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your neighbors to know you watch: the classy reality, if you will. So without further ado, here is TV Squad's list of the best reality shows of the decade.
Life is depressing. Wake up. Maybe eat some breakfast. Take a shower. Go to work. Eat dinner. Go to bed. Rinse and repeat. Fortunately for us slobs, the glory of television has afforded us numerous opportunities over the years to break up the monotony, kick back, relax, and most importantly, laugh.
Clichéd as it sounds, it really is the best medicine, because even though you overslept your alarm, your boss was a jerk, and you stepped in gum while waiting for the subway, going home and seeing Peter Griffin fart, Michael Scott talk like a fool, and Barney Stinson hit on some broad always makes it all better.
So take a load off, kick off your shoes, and undo your belt to allow for maximum belly jiggling while chortling -- here are TV Squad's picks for the best comedies of the past decade.
More of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about a very aught-like phenomenon: the cult of celebrity.
There is no clearer metaphor for the concept of being a celebrity than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You work hard to chase your dream and achieve a career for yourself by making your name known to the masses of the universe.
Then when you've grabbed that star and become a regular fixture in the flash bulb of the press' cameras, how does the public honor your tireless toil and efforts? They throw you down on a sidewalk and walk all over you.
In the Aughts, however, a new celebrity oozed out of the primordial muck. A celebrity that still suffered the slings and arrows of the tabloid press and a complete loss of the right to privacy, but achieved their stardom by simply cutting out all that pesky hard work and tireless effort nonsense. These are the celebrities who became famous by simply because they were famous.
From a meth-making chemistry teacher to a damaged 1960s ad exec, the guys populating the dramatic actor category in our best of the decade are nothing short of brilliant.
It's hard to choose favorites when you're dealing with the likes of Jon Hamm, Bryan Cranston, Mark Harmon, James Gandolfini, and many others, but the TV Squad team has spoken.
Did your favorites make our list? If not, feel free to add them in the comments below.
Whether we like it or not, the '00s introduced us to a new form of celebrity: the reality star. In previous decades, the closest we got to this were especially entrancing personalities from MTV's Real World. These people gained fame for acting like well-crafted exaggerations of their real selves.
Faster than you can say, "I didn't come here to make friends," networks picked up on the public's fascination with reality TV like Survivor and they pushed it to the popularity that it has reached today. Now, reality shows barely reflect what happens in normal people's lives but are generally more like high-concept game shows or extremely scripted improvs. But people keep watching, because the personalities are big and captivating.
Yup. Strategic footage editing does wonders. Here are some of our personal favorites from the genre, but feel free to comment with your own worthy additions!
Who doesn't like a little drama? We love it here at TV Squad. Of course, its usually the scripted kind that we obsess over, not the real-life variety. But it was hard to escape all of the behind-the-scenes scandals going on during the Aughts.
The backstage drama often spilled out onto the tube, in talk show interviews, reality series, and with the 24-hour news networks looking to fill time and boost their ratings. Needless to say, we had little trouble picking our top TV scandals of the '00s.
We're splitting this out in a number of different categories; you'll see the posts through Sunday. Today, we start off with a biggie: Dramas. -- Joel
It's weird that an entire decade has gone by already, isn't it? I don't even think we've decided on what to call the 00s exactly. And isn't it amazing how many good shows can be jam-packed into 10 years? Sometimes people moan about the state of television, but there were some fantastic TV shows in the 2000s, including dramas.
Here are our picks for the dramas that stood out since 2000.