The 2011 Awards: Part 2

It’s Part 2 of the 2011 Awards! If you haven’t checked them out yet, take a look at Part 1. We’ve got a good mix of winners, and here’s more! As I mentioned before, categories with an asterisk (*) mean that a reader has either suggested the category or the winner.

The 2011 Awards!

Surprise Standout Star: Karine Vanasse, Pan Am. I started watching Pan Am for Christina Ricci. I continued to watch it for Karine Vanasse. She’s an incredible talent. Her portrayal of Colette during the episode where the group headed to Germany and heard Kennedy’s speech, less than twenty years after Colette’s parents were killed in WWII, was absolutely brilliant. I didn’t know her before the series started. Now everybody should.

*Best Use of Music: How I Met Your Mother. I know, I know. HIMYM is not usually considered a highly musical show. But seeing the latest Christmas episode, with the “Symphony of Illumination” gives the show this award. It was creative (and time-consuming to create, I’m sure). And completely worth rewatching the episode for — and I have.

*Worst Use of Music: One Tree Hill. Oh. Dear. God. Make the theme songs stop. OTH tried to be creative this past season with their covers of the theme song, but in a 22-episode season, it became exhausting and annoying. While a handful of artists were creative and talented, most just slowed down “I Don’t Wanna Be” into soulful, indie crap that made my ears bleed.

Best Guy in a Suit: Neal Caffrey, White Collar. Congratulations to Neal, who has won the award for the second straight year in a row.

Best Woman in Heels: Victoria Grayson, Revenge. Step aside, Dr. Isles, we have a new champion. Donning heels and a tight dress in your mansion of a beach house makes one tend to notice you. And we have. We hand the trophy to Victoria, who week to week is able to balance on designer stillettos while still maintaining her vicious glare.

*Best Intro Sequence: Game of Thrones. Not only does the intro sequence give you all the geographic information of this bizarre world without having to say anything, but its primitive, clockwork mechanism reminds you of a genre that fits a medieval mindset. And the accompanying music just goes so well with its epic. And the carvings! Just by looking at that, you can see the history of the four houses without anyone having to tell you anything. It’s just such a wealth of information for the series, and it’s just wonderful.

Best Actor Blog: Jason O’Mara. Jason’s blog is a treat. He’s got videos with cast members and behind the scenes, mixed with personal favorites, like his watching the Irish rugby team playing in the Rugby World Cup. Plus, he gives you his real accent. It’s a fun one.

Best Twitter Bug: Michael Cudlitz. Sure, there are a lot of actors out there who tweet, and some even respond to you. But few interact with people as directly and as often as Michael Cudlitz does — even after Southland found a comfortable seat at TNT. Michael strikes a good balance with interacting with his fans and giving us up-to-date news on Southland.

Best Surprise Success: Happy Endings. Did anyone else think that the show that replaced Mr. Sunshine last spring would be such a hit today? I certainly didn’t. Most late-spring shows don’t go anywhere. But I’m happy to ride in Max’s 80s limo with the gang now!

Most Unrealistic Survival Story: Lydia Davis, Revenge. There is absolutely no way this woman would have fallen from her penthouse apartment, onto a parked taxi, and survived. It just wouldn’t happen. No way. Absolutely not. Nope. Nuh-uh. Wrong.

Best Running Gag: The Douchebag Jar, New Girl. Oh, the douchebag jar for Schmidt. That was fantastic — and still is.

Biggest Casting Mistake: Lily, Modern Family. Not only is the new Lily less cute and more annoying, but recasting the child for an older version took away some of the cute life moments that were seeing and loving about Lily. Her first word? Her first few steps? We got nothing but this kid who, frankly, could use some cutie-pie tips.

*Most Shocking Death: Ned Stark, Game of Thrones. Um, they killed off the lead actor in the series — the one that all the promos were based on — and then put his head on a stake on top of the castle for his eldest daughter to look at. What more can I say? Oh, perhaps I should put a new category on here…

Person We Most Want Dead: The sniveling little Prince Joffrey, Game of Thrones. ‘Nuff said.

Most Satisfying Kill: Tyler, V. Finally, after two seasons of his being the most annoying teenager on television, we saw Tyler get killed by his girlfriend’s alien doppelganger. Huzzah! If only that had happened a season earlier. Perhaps more fans would have continued watching.

Best Period Piece: Mad Men. Seeing as I’ve finally caught up (the shame was hurting too much), I now see what everyone’s been talking about. Mad Men wins, by a landslide. Sorry, Pan Am.

*****

We’re not done yet!
Check back tomorrow for the final batch of winners!

I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

LIFE ON MARS: 1.17 “Life Is a Rock” (Series Finale)

I have to agree with Harvey Keitel: Jason O’Mara’s the one I’ll miss most of all. I’m in a terrible state of general depression because this show has ended. And because I’ve spent the last 12+ hours analyzing it since it ended.

I should probably warn you that if you haven’t watched quite yet, I’m now going to spill the spoiler ending that we all witnessed last night.

You have to take into account that this show as probably not meant to end this way. True, they might have been leading up to a “Spaceman” discovery (after all, there were a number of Mars rovers throughout the series), but they probably had to trim down a story arc into the last two episodes, so it probably wasn’t meant to be quite so sudden.

So what’d you think of the end? It was definitely a surprise. I knew they wouldn’t got the British route. That just seemed too…I can’t say predictable because many people don’t know what happens. But an American audience wouldn’t accept it, and if you looked it up on the Internet, you’ve just spoiled an ending. They had to be original.

But what’d you think? Certainly original. In the end, Sam “Spaceman” Tyler was indeed a spaceman–an astronaut in 2035. And you were there. And you and you. If you didn’t catch that Harvey Keitel’s quote above was from The Wizard of Oz, you’d certainly notice it then. In the end, Gene turned out to be Sam’s–2B’s–father. The rest were friends and coworkers. And Windy, as we guessed, was not real. She was a machine.

If you’re following The Wizard of Oz references, by the way, you might notice that the wind took Dorothy to Oz, much like Windy guided Sam wherever he went.

So in the end, it was kinda a happy ending, right? Life was but a dream. 2B took on the personal of a 2008 cop–sort of a virtual reality while the team headed to Mars (how appropriate)–but a meteor shower caused a glitch that made Sam go back to 1973 with his 2008 “memories.” Windy, our favorite figment of our imagination was actually the mechanism keeping Sam alive.

Here we got our answer. Just as Detective Morgan said. But then again, is it a happy ending? All that we knew was lost. The characters that were do strongly developed–the ones that we and Sam both grew to love–are not the ones left in the end. It wasn’t so much that he hopped back into 2008 and had to track down the elderly versions of his friends. And the option to stay in 1973 isn’t available either.

It all just disappeared. I shouldn’t be surprised, you know. There was always that option that he was in a coma in 2008, and he’d just wake up someday to find out it all wasn’t real. I should be happy to know that in some way, those people are still alive, even if they look different, have different jobs, talk differently, and are in 2035.

But they aren’t really alive, are they? The big moment–Annie and Sam’s kiss–disappeared. Sam’s in love with Annie, but Annie isn’t the one standing in front of him in 2035. Did those feelings disappear with the dream? It certainly didn’t seem like it.

So it almost feels that all that we saw develop was lost. I was watery-eyed when No Nuts was finally promoted. We knew it would happen, but it was certainly great nonetheless. And I’m sure as cheesy as it was, even the guys were happy to see them get together in the viewing audience.

But I guess in the end, Ray was kinda right. All that Sam was looking to–some being above that could help him get home–wasn’t there. It was all machinery that took a wrong turn. He lives on a rock.  That’s really the only stability he had.

I think maybe that interpretation was too dark, though. In the end, 2B could go after the Annie brunette, and they could have their happy ending. Or he could always go back to sleep in his 1973 fantasy. And the fact that his father is Gene, aka Major Tom, not a murderous that was killed in front of him, well, that just makes it all the better. And hey, he was right: You’ve gotta make a home wherever you land.

Honestly, I think I could write a treatise if I actually analyzed this show in its entirety. And maybe I will. There will be a DVD release. I especially want to reread Gulliver’s Travels and compare to the show. After all, everything in that show seems to have some double meaning, right?

I guess in the end it’s hard to see it go. Not just because we’re saying good-bye to a show that rightfully belongs on the air, but because we’re saying good-bye to characters we’ve seen grow and develop into their best. Characters that were never really there at all.

And then for the shocking ending!

LIFE ON MARS: 1.15 “All the Young Dudes”

I hope you didn’t turn off Life on Mars mid-show. I really really hope you didn’t. Because the ending was something to see.

I have to give it up to JC this week. Once again, he’s reminded me that the show is coming on when I’ve completely forgotten. Shout out to ABC for helping us forget about this little gem by moving it to a new night. [end sarcasm]

Anyway, last night we got to see Sam sport an Irish accent. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Jason O’Mara was born and raised in Dublin. That means, he has a real live Irish accent.

BUT I’ve heard people say that last night his accent was atrocious. So let’s analyze! Perhaps America has diminished his accent. Perhaps the director wanted him to have a “New-Yorker-faking-an-Irish-accent” accent. Perhaps critics are too picky.

Who cares! He’s from Ireland and that’s enough for me. Before the episode aired, I thought he was undercover in a Russian neighborhood (don’t know why I thought this) so Irish over Russian accents do me well. Plus, he’s 100% better than David Boreanaz was in Angel and Buffy, so I think we’re set.

The main plot itself didn’t sway me all that much. I felt bad for Annie, considering that we still have those unanswered feelings between these two–and then Sam went and slept with his old babysitter. Boo. Why can’t these crazy kids just get together?

However, we did meet Sam’s mom again, and I did appreciate that she remembered him as Skywalker (which I’d forgotten). And his talk with his younger self was interesting, just seeing the way the boy was changing as he grows older. Perhaps this is foreshadowing if Sam does make it home, considering that the world could be completely different based on this one conversation.

Speaking of, only two episodes left of this great show. Once again, let’s thank ABC for that.

But the end was the most shocking. I knew something must’ve been amiss with them following that car. I knew one would get shot. I did not think they both would, or so many times. Leaving them lying there, helpless, on the ground, I really wondering what happens next week. Supposedly, at least one is rushed to the hospital, but I can’t imagine they both make it through.

Who will it be? Chris: the sympathetic kill? Or Ray? Ray’s a bigger character, but that discussion of heaven could be his good-bye speech.

Either way, how can we possibly wrap this all up in two episodes?

It’s decent, trust me

TRUST ME: 1.01 “Before and After” (the pilot)

I’ll say it right now: I liked it.  I’ll get into the possible whys and hows in a minute, but I will say that I liked it. Now, I haven’t seen any other episodes–I’m watching it in its live airings like most people–and I hear that the next episode might not be stellar, but I did like it.

We have to take into account that this was a pilot episode. The pilot needs to do two main things: set up the premise and set up the characters. And it did both. I’m not saying that we get to like all the characters, but we do get to know them. And honestly, in a world full of customers and deadlines, you get some rather snippity people. So while we might not like Tony, the boss (otherwise known as the teacher from My Girl), sometimes that happens.

The main characters we really needed to focus on in the first episode were, of course, Connor, Mason, and Sarah. I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of the backstory of Connor and Mason. So far, we know they’re partners and we hear that they’re as close as brothers. One is supposedly likable (Connor) and one is not as liked (Mason). I would have enjoyed seeing their relationship with Jason O’Mara’s character, Stu, a little more to really understand why they were at such odds after his dead and to see why it was such a big deal that Mason was promoted and Connor wasn’t. That being said, I tended to like the guys.

Speaking of Jason O’Mara, perhaps my liking of the episode was because of him. Somehow, in my watching of Life on Mars, I’ve become a fan, so seeing him first thing, just made me smile–even though he was throwing CDs like throwing stars. Perhaps this episode should have been a second episode. Give us a full pilot to show relationships, show how Stu really was daily and how he acted around Connor and Mason, show him hiring Sarah and give us some background on her a little more. I think the episode would have been stronger.

But it wasn’t and it was the pilot. But it was decent and I liked it. Let’s move on to Sarah.

I don’t know my feelings on her yet. She’s supposed to be this really good advertising person, and yes, she’s being thrown into some very strange surroundings, but I guess I just expected her to be a little more solid. More confident in her abilities. Perhaps demanding a window because of her talent more so than just because she was promised one. Basically asserting herself more. I’m seeing her as more of a newbie intern than a veteran advertising woman, but maybe we just need to have some more development. I’m willing to see where she goes, though.

I liked the first episode. Yes, it was because of Jason O’Mara, but I think the show has promise. I worry because of other things I’ve read about how it goes downhill, but I’m definitely willing to give it more time. This could all be a problem with sequencing episodes, so why not try it out a few more weeks? Couldn’t hurt, right? What else is on at 10:00 on Mondays?