TV Squad Awards
Our Monday morning roundup of a half dozen things TV Squad readers - and TV fans in general - will be talking about this week.
1. The Battlestar Galactica season finale. I hear Boxey and Muffitt are kidnapped! (Friday at 10 on Sci-Fi Channel.)
2. The Men in Trees series finale. Now all of you fans can send...um, trees or something to ABC to save the show. (Wednesday at 10 on ABC.)
3. The Celtics/Lakers finals. Basketball just shouldn't be played in the middle of baseball season. (On ABC this week.)
4. The first annual TV Squad Awards was last week. What do you think all of the winners?
5. The possibility of another strike. This isn't funny, SAG and AFTRA.
6. Nashville Star moves to NBC. Some of the people reading that sentence are saying "yay, another season!" The rest of you are thinking "what's Nashville Star?" (Starts tonight at 9 on NBC.)
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).
Punches were thrown, names were called, hearts were broken, but the TV Squad team has made its decision. Not only did Moonlight win the Readers Choice, but we decided that the fans of the show are the most scarily hardcore out of the five nominees.
This was a tough decision, with both the fans of Jericho and members of the Colbert Nation putting up a fair fight. All three groups have done considerable work for charity and have made their dedication well-known through various bizarre acts of fan-love. However, the overwhelming excitement for Moonlight has been compared to the likes of the the Beatlemania era. For a show that has lasted only one season, that's pretty darn impressive.
I experienced some of this manic fanaticism first-hand. As I have mentioned before, I attended the Moonlight panel at this year's New York Comic-Con. I spent the majority of the session in the secluded balcony seating, as I was genuinely a little freaked out by the shrieking horde below. Luckily, I had made it up there before the stars of the show, Alex O'Loughlin and Jason Dohring, appeared onstage. My eardrums would have burst otherwise, I swear. However, even that couldn't compare to the intensity of the crowd's reactions during the clips from the show itself. Words cannot describe the shrill, absolute glee that filled the room, especially when Shannyn Sossamon got a chair leg through the chest. It's stuff like this that drives the Moonlight fans crazy:
Fans have also teamed up with Red Cross in organizing dozens of blood drives across the country. Over 3,000 fans promised to donate a pint each in an effort to show their support for a possible Season Two. Even show star O'Loughlin joined in, serving as the official spokesman for the effort, as the drive followed him through various promotional appearances.
What is it about vampire-themed things that make fans extra nutty? Anne Rice's work has had incredible followings, the mediocre Twilight series has an unusually large fanbase and Sesame Street's Count has groupies lined up 'round the block. I guess ladies can't resist broody, pale men and their sharpened canines. If you need some convincing, check out some full episodes at CBS.com and reviews right here on TV Squad.
Here's what I learned: Gene Simmons... Bruce Leroy you are not. The next time I refer to something as a potential "hoot", I've given my wife permission to beat me unconscious with a shovel. A severe beating would be less painful than watching another minute of our nominee shows.
That said, I did enjoy the process of figuring out which show would "win" this award. After careful consideration of the words of my wizened TV Squad colleagues and the input of our enlightened readership, we have finally found our winner.
The Readers Choice Award goes to Moonlight, the vampire-themed crime-drama-romance that amassed an insane amount of fans during its short run. And it still might come back on another network, so we'll keep our collective fingers crossed on that.
The TV Squadders' pick is Journeyman. Here's why:
1. Time-traveling is cool. The idea of time-travel is always intriguing, as evidenced by other shows like Quantum Leap and Sliders. What's cool about Journeyman is that Dan Vasser, played by Kevin McKidd, is just a normal guy who could be any one of us. At first, he hates the time-traveling. It interrupts his life and causes undue stress, both at home and work. But later, when given the opportunity to make it stop, he chooses to keep time-traveling. He knows he's been chosen for a reason, and feels it's his calling to help people right the wrongs of history. Never mind that every episode made me wonder how much of history he changed by leaping into the past. I can only imagine that even the smallest of events might drastically alter the space-time continuum.
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.
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-23786%
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...
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?
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.
Is it all about making an actual impact when one's favorite show is in trouble? Then take into consideration the determined fans of Jericho, who made their voices heard through a bizarre peanut plan and managed save their beloved program (albeit briefly). Or perhaps being a fan is all about spreading the word. The Colbert Report's dangerously devoted Colbert Nation has spread Stephen Colbert's name and persona throughout the world, from minor league hockey teams to Hungarian bridges to the Time 100. There are also the hard-working fans of shows like Lost, who spend incredible amounts of time breaking down each and every possible clue and theory. I dare say they work so much, they often get ahead of the writers. And then there are those fans that patrol the Internet for any negative remarks about their favorite shows and then pounce when they sense fan-injustice. Just last month, our own Jonathan Toomey risked facing the wrath of Battlestar Galactica fans to express his opinion, and he is braver than I for doing so.
Also, keep in mind how the strike-induced TV drought gave fans the opportunity to show their support and demonstrate their dedication to their favorite shows and creative minds. Think about some stand-out moments in which fans rallied together to make that depressing time a little bit more bearable.
So, who do you think were the most dedicated fans of the '07 - '08 season? Comment with your nominations and we'll make a super-list of the season's super-fans.
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