The 2011 Awards: Part 3

As we come upon the final day of 2011, it’s our last chance to share some more award winners! And I’m glad we are. We had some other last-minute nominations, and as always, these reader nominees are marked with an asterisk (*).

If you haven’t already, check out Parts 1 and 2. And then read below to find out our final winners!

The 2011 Awards

The Finally Forgiven Award: Jennifer Morrison. After being the girlfriend we hated in How I Met Your Mother and single-handedly bringing the series down, it was hard to give Morrison a second chance. But we’re hooked on Once Upon a Time. It’s a role we can be pleased to watch. Morrison, you’re forgiven.

*Best Overseas Adaption: Wilfred. Having not seen the Australian version, this show is still very well put together. It’s dark and funny, and the way Jason Gann acted in the dog suit can’t be beat!

Best Show Based on a Book: Game of Thrones. I don’t think I even have to defend this.

Worst Show Based on a Book: The Secret Circle. The plotlines are a little blah, and the acting overall could use a lot of work. Overall, I wish they would have just stuck with a similar storyline to the books and then spun off into the new and different (a la The Vampire Diaries), instead of whatever I’ve been watching.

Star-Cross Lovers Award: Emily/Amanda and Jack, Revenge. Can’t these crazy kids just get together already? Can’t Amanda (the real one) just give up her vengeful plan and fall into the arms of her childhood sweetheart? Can’t Jack finally look her in the eyes and see who she really is? Doesn’t the dog’s unconditional love mean anything?!

Favorite Couple Award: Leslie and Ben, Parks and Rec. They just make me so happy! Seeing them together then torn apart (with a crying Batman to boot) was so hard. And now we have them happily together again. The final episode this year was just so heartwarming and happy. Love them.

*Most Promise, Least Results: Terra Nova and The Killing. It’s a tie! Actually, this category was suggested to me with a winner (Terra Nova), but I couldn’t let it go without tossing in another lament about The Killing finale. First, Terra Nova. The premise definitely had promise — going back in time to build a new society — but instead of spending time developing the rebuilding, we got another monster-of-the-week/separatist show with little character development. The Robinson Caruso aspect was missing. As for The Killing, well, from the best episode this year to the worst. Red herrings distracted us. There were too many characters. And we spent too much time with a political campaign that no one cared about. And do we need to spend more time discussing that finale?

*Worst Running Gag: Sandwiches, How I Met Your Mother. It was funny the first time. Real funny. But as the years have gone on, the occasional reference to “sandwiches” has become less and less of a recurring joke and more and more of a recurring reference to a joke someone told once. Not to mention that as adult Ted tells his kids more and more inappropriate stories about people hooking up and/or getting really drunk, the idea that he would be hiding any mention of marijuana (especially someone else’s use of it) seems more and more odd.

Best Competition Show: The Amazing Race. This might be one of the few times I agree with Emmy winners, but it’s sure fun to watch. I was laughing out loud a few weeks ago, seeing these teams dress up and do muscle man poses. Even the grandparents looked good!

Best Food Competition Show: Chopped. A new favorite. Just creative and interesting to watch. Plus, it’s nice to see a rotating group of contestants for a change.

Worst Food Competition Show: Top Chef. It’s past its prime and just needs to go.

Favorite Glee Musical Number: The Adele Mashup. I don’t watch Glee regularly, but they cast has always been talented in their musical numbers. Their 300th performance was no exception, and I’m impressed that they can even make an overplayed artist sound fresh and new.

Most Unbelievable Glam Job: Kate Beckett, Castle. I don’t watch the show, though I hear I should. There are two reasons: 1) The first couple episodes weren’t great, and 2) hard-as-nails Kate has now been glammed up as a supermodel. Somehow, I just can’t take her seriously anymore, even if it did increase a fan base.

Biggest Scheduling Faux-Pas: NBC’s Treatment of Community. Once again, something I don’t need to justify. You can just read my post here.

Biggest Overuse of the Word “Event”: ABC Family Channel. ABC Family Channel doesn’t have TV shows. Or episodes. Nope. They have events. Every day. Every week. Every commercial.

Biggest “Spoiler”: Sheriff Graham’s Death, Once Upon a Time. Dear E!, next time you want to write an article about a potential death in a series weeks in advance, don’t title it, Once Upon a Time Spoiler Game: Whose Big Death Won’t You See Coming?” After reading this headline alone, I watched every episode with the expectation that someone will die (and guessing, in each episode, who I thought it’d be). Therefore, there was no surprise in the sheriff’s death. Plus, once you suspected a death was coming, the foreshadowing in the episode itself was more obvious than ever.

Worst Blind Spot: Ben Harmon, American Horror Story. Ok, seriously. He saw Hayden get hit in the face with a shovel and buried her body. Then built a gazebo on top. And yet he still thinks she’s alive and it was all a plot against him? Seriously?

One to Keep Your Eye On: Vanessa Marano. From humble beginnings in Gilmore Girls (where, frankly, I couldn’t stand her) to a short part in the best season of Dexter, Marano is making a name for herself. And in a show I thought had little promise until I watched it, she shines as Bay in Switched at Birth. She’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Longest Living Animal: Sammy, Revenge. I’m not the only one who’s noticed that a dog that was given to Amanda as a child is still alive, well, and active 17 years later. In fact, JC noticed it in episode one. Either way, I still love him.

Best Old Stand-bys: The Team from Leverage. Not sure what to watch? Go to Leverage. It’s a strong, entertaining show that’s always a good stand-by. Every character on the show is fantastic, and if that’s not enough, the adorable relationship between Parker and Hardison is probably one of the best on TV right now.

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Christmas Challenge: Glee

GLEE: 2.10 “A Very Glee Christmas”

Let’s jump back into the present for our next review on the Christmas Challenge, shall we? It’s hard to find Christmas episodes of recent shows I haven’t reviewed before, and while this one was reviewed by KT back in the day, I did not watch this episode live and haven’t read her review since it was first posted. Either way, I’m coming at this with fresh eyes.

I’m not really a fan of Glee, mainly because of its bad storylines and writing. Don’t get me wrong. They do a good job with the music — these kids can sing — but around the music the show is lacking substance. And this Christmas episode is no exception.

Of course, there’s still the “tension” between Finn and Rachel, who are two characters I care little about. The fact that Rachel’s gift to Finn is a song shows more about her selfishness than her goodwill toward him, even if she is Jewish and making Christmas wishes come true. Then there’s Sue, who’s trying to steal the holiday. Grinch storylines can be great, but this one was just so contrived it was annoying to watch.

In fact, the entire episode seemed contrived. It’s like they chose which songs they wanted to sing and then built and episode around them. In fact, that’s probably what they did.

The only highlight of the episode surrounded Britney. At this point in Glee‘s history, I believe the writers had just realized the gem they had in Brittany and Heather Morris, which means there’s no surprise that the episode focused on her. But what interested me was not Brittany’s silly statements regarding Santa (who basically was kind-of like God in her eyes). Instead, it was the moment between Brittany and Coach Beiste, where the coach told her that the gift Santa had to give her was patience. This was a moving scene, and it reminded me of when KT mentioned that though the show has its failures, it does know how to do important moments and messages. Artie’s device at the end of the episode was just icing on the cake.

Recommendation: Brittany aside, it’s not really an episode I’d recommend for regular viewing. Instead, just buy the soundtrack.

TV Moment of the Week: Sheen rants; ‘Men’ takes a break

There were some great moments this week up for nomination for Moment of the Week, but in the end, I chose one that was all a’twitter last night.

Charlie Sheen finally crossed the line. No, he wasn’t found naked with a hooker in a hotel room with drugs and alcohol surrounding him…this time. Instead, he ranted on the radio, “discussing” everything from women (they’re “turds”) and his alcohol dependency to his public image and the creator of Two and a Half Men himself, Chuck Lorre.

Here are some of the lovely things Sheen had to say, but you can read more here.

About the women: “If I bring up these turds, these… losers, there’s no reason to then bring them back into the fold because I have real fame, they have nothing. They have zero. They have that night. And I will forget about them as the last image of them exits my beautiful home. And they will get out there and they will sell me and they will lose. Bring me a frickin’ challenge. It just ain’t there.”

About Alcoholics Anonymous: “I have a disease? Bulls—. I cured it… with my mind. it’s all good guys… I can’t use the word sober because that’s a term from those people, and I have cleansed myself. I have closed my eyes and in a nanosecond I cured myself from this ridiculous… It’s just the work of sissies. The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning. You know? This bootleg cult arrogantly referred to as AA now supports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math! … One of their stupid mottos is ‘Don’t be special, be one of us.’ Newsflash: I am special and I will never be one of you. ‘Oh, we have to all sit in here and touch ourselves and frown.’ Well, you don’t look like you’re having a lot of fun. I’m going to hang out with these two smokin’ hotties and fly privately around the world. It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view.”

After hearing part of the interview, the most frightening part of this rant is the fact that Sheen doesn’t seem angry at all. It’s just straight-forward answers to questions, like this is what he naturally thinks day-to-day. Eek.

But that’s not all. Because of his rant (and all of his other behavior that led up to it, I’m sure), CBS and Warner Bros. Television has decided to stop production of Two and  Half Men for the rest of the season.

What’s more? Sheen reacted, and it just gets worse. Read all about it here. Here’s the line that stands out most for me, about Lorre:

“I fire back once and this contaminated little maggot can’t handle my power and can’t handle the truth. I wish him nothing but pain in his silly travels especially if they wind up in my octagon. Clearly, I have defeated this earthworm with my words; imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists.”

Other than the obvious shock and awe value, why does this merit Moment of the Week status? Well, I’m actually quite surprised they made this decision. I haven’t heard someone getting pulled for bad behavior since Robert Downey, Jr. went to rehab during Ally McBeal, and while he wasn’t a major player in the series, it sure caused a stir. This show’s supposedly the number one comedy in America. And it’s been shut down completely. This is bad, yo.

But in case you don’t care, you can check out this week’s runner up. This is a much more entertaining (though less momentous) moment, but hey, worth a laugh.

Lea Michele gets vomit in the face on Glee.

You know, that blonde really can sing. And if it were up to me, every episode would end with Lea Michele getting vomit in the face.

2010 Awards, Part 2

Alright. So you saw the first set, now let’s move on to more! More awards and more reader picks. Once again, if the award has an asterisk, it’s a Reader Pick, with or without my explanation. If they added one, it’s there! If they didn’t, well, that just leaves me to give a reason <malicious laugh>.

So here we go!

The 2010 Awards!
Part 2

Best Guy in a Suit: Neal Caffrey, White Collar. Step aside, Barney. There’s someone else suiting up now, and damn, he looks good.

Best Woman in Heels: Maura Isles, Rizzoli & Isles. This woman sure gets a lot done in four-inch heels and a pressed dress, even when dealing with dead bodies.

* Most Wasted Potential: Glee. It’s true. For a show with a huge fanbase and mad props for creating a new TV genre, they lost their way by focusing on huge guest stars and a big production instead of a cohesive storyline.

Least Necessary Procedural: Law & Order: CSI edition. Oh, is that not a real show? I thought it was. It’s on every night for two hours at least, right? And it airs on every network? Wait, these aren’t all the same show?

Most Ridiculous Premise for a Procedural: Castle. Ok, I know you fans out there must like it, but the idea that a successful novelist gets to spend his time on all these huge cases as a partner of a detective is rather incredible.

Worst Show We’re All Watching: The Office. Where did the funny go? It’s run its course, but we all still watch it. And most of us don’t know why.

Didn’t I Used to Be an Important Character? Award: Alaric, The Vampire Diaries. Well, it’s true, right? Now he’s arm candy, and occasionally says something smart from a book.

Best Vampire Teeth: The Vampire Diaries. With the eyes and the subtle teeth, yes, the vamps in TVD certainly get the prize.

Worst Vampire Teeth: True Blood. I haven’t tried to watch this series, solely because these teeth are so bad and look so fake. Plus, I hear they make a sound when they come out.

Read more after the jump! Continue reading

2010 Awards, Part 1

Ok, guys, we’re nearing 2011. That means it’s time to honor those best and worsts of 2010. With the help our readers, I present to you the first part of the 2010 Awards here on Raked.

As you can see, we’ve got a good mix of reader nominations (marked by an asterisk*) and my own. For the most part, I tried to keep the reader’s reasoning with the award, but if nothing was there (or if I have my own thoughts), I did add a little myself. Keep in mind that this is just for 2010, shows that aired during that time period. Unfortunately, that put some good shows out of the running that might’ve ended before the cutoff last year–but it also gave us a good selection of bad shows to destroy, too.

So without further ado…

The 2010 Awards!
Part 1

Best Use of an Underused Character: Caroline, The Vampire Diaries. Caroline was a pathetic, superficial, shallow sidekick in last season’s Vampire Diaries. Now she’s a badass vampire who’s gained confidence–and screen time. Definitely worth the transition.

* Best Animation: Community’s stop motion Christmas special. Can’t argue with this reader’s pick. A mixing of humbugs, humor, song, and creativity provided us with one great holiday treat.

* Best Leave of Absence: Olivia Wilde, House. I’ll leave this explanation to our reader: “I call this the best because she is left to do some awesome scifi movies [Tron Legacy, Cowboys and Aliens, Now aka im.mortal], and also it allowed Amber Tamblyn to take her spot for a bit.” As for me, I second this, if only to get Amber Tamblyn back on TV.

Best Badass I Should Be Watching: Nikita, Nikita. I’ve heard good things, and the commercials are really tempting. Why am I not watching? I have no reason.

* Best Zombies: The Walking Dead. A reader’s pick, and to be fair, I can’t help but agree. But in the interest of complete transparency, I also don’t know what other shows had zombies this year. 😉

* Best Guest Star: Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee. As much as I’m tired of hearing about her, I can’t deny that people loved Gwyneth on Glee.

Read more awards after the jump! Continue reading

Five People to See Less of in 2011

Now that we’re coming to the end of 2010, it’s time to start looking back on the year that’s passed and the year to come. Here on Raked, we’ll be doing a few top ten lists and awards for the year, but first up, how about noting the top ten people on our minds? In two posts, we’ll hear the Top Five People We Want to See More of in 2011 and the Top Five People We Want to See Less of in 2011.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

Five People We Want to See Less of in 2011

Lea Michele – She may be the new Barbara Streisand with the nose and voice, but she’s certainly not impressing me. Michele is incredibly overexposed since Glee has won a popularity contest as of late. Sure, she’s got a great voice, but with her diva action on screen and off, I’m a bit tired of her. (I’m also tired of seeing her half naked. Just sayin’.)

Gwyneth Paltrow – Choice number two also has overexposure to blame. From her appearance on Glee (which I hear was decent) to her brand-new movie, Paltrow is everywhere, especially where I spend my time the most: the internet. I’m tired of Paltrow headlines and commercials, so let’s just move on. I’m tired of hearing about her comeback. (Sadly, my request might not be granted, what with rumors that she’ll be returning to Glee.)

Steve Carell – I get it. He’s leaving The Office. Can he get gone already? He hasn’t been funny on the show for quite a while (in fact, most of the cast hasn’t), and I don’t understand why people are upset he’ll be gone. I hope he takes a break from my viewing for a while (and takes the rest of the show with him).

Miley Cyrus – Is it just me, or is Hannah Montana Forever just dragging on? Yes, it’s funny that I’m commenting on someone who’s the star of a show that I’m way too old to be watching, but between her presence on the Disney Channel and her misadventures reported on the web, I’m fine with seeing less of her in 2011. In fact, let’s add a few other tween brats to this list, including Victoria Justice (her song sucks), the entire casts of Sonny with a Chance and Step It Up, and any other Disney star who has released a music video on the Disney Channel in the last two months. Oh, and Oliver and Rico, of course.

Jim Parsons – Great as the weirdo roommate on Big Bang, but the minute Sheldon fell into the spotlight, he became overexposed and annoying. The funny went right out the window. But the fans still obsess about him. I’m not entirely turned off from Parsons, but I sure am getting there. If I see less of him in 2011, well, not only would it alleviate some frustration on my end, but it just improve The Big Bang Theory. He should always remain the annoying, quirky sidekick.

I didn’t even touch on reality TV “stars,” so I’m sure there are a lot more we can identify. Maybe that’s another top ten list…

What about you? Who do you want to see less of the in the coming year? Let me know in the comments.

*images from Yahoo! TV and Zap2It

Glee: A wedding, a Christmas party, and a lot of catching up

KT realized she’s way behind on the drama at McKinley.

GLEE:  2.08 “Furt”
GLEE:  2.09 “Special Education”
GLEE:  2.10 “A Very Glee Christmas”

Gosh, guys, where does the time go?

Despite having a funny little name, “Furt” is a heck of an episode — definitely Glee at it’s best.

The romance between Kurt’s dad and Finn’s mom has developed pretty fast and largely off-screen, but they’re both such warm-hearted, wonderful characters, I was really excited to see their wedding in this episode.  There’s a lot of love in that little family unit, and the welcoming gestures Finn made toward Kurt were a thoughtful touch as well.  The wedding itself was a fun mix of the traditional and the unconventional, and I loved the way the bride and groom were clearly having so much fun throughout.

Meanwhile, Sam continues to romance Quinn.  I thought that in the business with the promise ring he was coming on a little too strong a little too fast, even though the promises he was offering were incredibly sweet.  And maybe it was a little too fast — it’s hard to know exactly what Quinn used to be like, but these days she’s the anti-impulsive.  In the end, though, she decided that those sweet promises are exactly the kind of romance she’s looking for.

Burt and Carol weren’t the only ones planning a wedding:  Sue Sylvester decided, in one of her weirder moments, that only she is good enough for herself, and so sent out invitations announcing her marriage… to herself.  It’s amusingly wacky, and makes a good counterpoint to the sweetness of the big wedding, but the plotline gets really interesting when her mother shows up, played by the fabulous Carol Burnett.

Mind you, it’s still pretty wacky, considering that the writers stuck to a previous line of Sue’s stating that her parents abandoned their children to go hunt Nazis.  (And really, both the abandonment and the Nazi-hunting parents explain so much about Sue.)  Now Mama Sylvester’s back, but the years of separation have made their mark on her relationship with Sue.  The important thing, though, is that Jane Lynch’s low alto turns out to be a very nice complement to Carol Burnett’s rich mezzo and they give us a fabulous duet.

But there’s still some bitter in with the sweet:  Kurt’s problems with Karofsky haven’t improved, and at the end of the episode he announces that he’s planning to transfer to Dalton Academy — you know, the boy’s school that McKinley is competing against at Sectionals…

…Which brings us to “Special Education,” in which everybody is mad at everybody else.  Will is one of the first offenders:  when Emma points out that the club has a lot more talent than usually gets showcased, Will gives the Sectionals solos to Quinn and Sam instead of Rachel and Finn.  You can guess who gets pissed off at that.  He also decides to particularly feature Mike and Brittany as dancers, and when they spend a lot of time rehearsing together, there’s a lot of jealousy from Tina and Artie, but that at least turns out to be just a misunderstanding.

More Glee after the jump!
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