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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Top 10: Best and Worst Reality and Competition Shows

The headline should be rather straightforward, but TV is littered with reality or competition shows that I just wish would go away. From obnoxious “cast members” to obnoxious hosts, these shows should disappear.

Now, I should note two things about this list. First, I don’t watch these shows. My knowledge of them comes from clips I’ve seen from the web, commercials, and The Soup, so you can call me out in the comments if my decisions are off-base because I’m not a regular viewer. Second, if I hate them this much by just seeing clips from the web, commercials, and The Soup, that generally means that I agree with my assessment. If they’re terrible in minimal quantities, they don’t deserve the time that’s allotted in the show itself.

Our Picks for Best–and Worst–Reality and Competition Shows

The Top 5 WORST

1. American Idol

Ooh! This one, I did watch. Well, I watched the end of the first season, when Simon was critical but fair, Randy was happy but smart, and Paula was a sweetheart (and not letting her drunkenness show). Well, now Paula’s gone, Simon’s gone (after moving on to just plain mean), and Randy’s unhelpful. Plus, we’ve got random new judges that people don’t really like, and honestly, the contestants all seem the same. Sure, there’s an impressive performance here and there, and yes, these people have talented voices. But the show takes over at premiere time, airing way too many hours in a week, and honestly, people just watch to make fun of the people who just show up to make idiots of themselves. And once we get to the talent, well, it’s still on way too much in a given week. It’s run it’s course, and it just needs to go.

2. Keeping up with the Kardashians

Not even Marshall from How I Met Your Mother can remember why these people are famous. I’m ready for them to go. Sure, they give Joel McHale some good fodder for The Soup, but every time I see a clip, a little part of my soul dies. As well as my vision.

3. Kate plus 8

Kate Gosselin dug her own grave when she went entirely obnoxious in Dancing with the Stars. With her public divorce (ok, even I felt a little sorry for her once I saw what her ex-husband turned into), I’m quite tired of hearing about her, and honestly, I felt like the kids deserved a break from being in the public eye. But to put it right back on the air–with her bad hair to boot–bah. End it.

4. Jersey Shore

I’m not sure if this needs a reason. I can just imagine the world is getting spread around with STDs just watching the show. Plus, seeing a 40-something “Situation” nailing college girls just makes me sad.

5. Sister Wives

I understand that people have their own beliefs, and I think that’s fine. But flaunting it on TV is another thing. Plus, isn’t polygamy illegal? All that aside, the husband, Kody Brown, just seems like the biggest jackass I’ve ever seen (think about this, after what I just said about the Situation), and his wives don’t seem that much better. Sure, I can see how this might be a guilty-pleasure show for some, but my pleasure would be to never see these people again…unless I’m seeing Brown go to jail.

Read more to see the reality and competition shows I like! Continue reading

Why I don’t have to watch The Amazing Race

THE AMAZING RACE: 14.01 “Don’t Let a Cheese Hit Me”

Well, you heard why I was forced to watch The Amazing Race. Well, I’ve been relieved from my duty.

The girl from my home town was kicked off last night. Not much of a run–haha, pardon the pun.

I’m a little disappointed, though I’m glad I don’t need to continue watching the show. I was rooting for her. It’d be fun to see how far she goes, and it’s always disappointing to be the first one gone. But this isn’t exactly my type of show.

Now, I can see how people get interested in this show. Right now, there were too many contestants for me to keep up with, and some stuck coats on that weren’t their team color so I kept getting confused or forgetting about couples. I mean, I remembered the main ones: red heads, orange team, stewardesses, deaf son and mom, gay dad and son, brother and sister. Oh and the hillbillies, as they called themselves. The rest all got stuck between the cracks.

I think once you watch a few episodes, you get into the characters more (like any reality TV series), but as a newby, I’m fine with not watching anymore. But who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind. I did find a team that’s still in the running that I wouldn’t mind winning.

I must give props to the writers, though. Those were some odd challenges. I mean, cheese down a hill? Yodlers? Wow. There are some definite things to make you interested. JC and I were discussing how we’d kill each other if we were a team and who would do the bungee jump.

But in the end, I was disappointed that the ones that seem like they’d best fit winning didn’t. I’m sorry, but the Virginia couple should have gone home as opposed to the team I was rooting for (though, really, piggyback to the finish line?). I think I’d be much more entertained with seeing people who try to win try to win as opposed to seeing that old lady whine and groan. Maybe that’s just me, though. Me and my crazy ways. Other people, they like watching self-proclaimed “hillbillies.”

But in the end, it is a race. Enough of my prattling. The last ones go home.

Why I’m forced to watch The Amazing Race

I’ve never seen The Amazing Race. You can tell by this blog that I don’t tend to watch much reality television, with the exceptions of Top Chef and America’s Next Top Model. Ok, so I did watch many an episode of Deal or No Deal, but it’s syndicated and on all the time. Plus, it’s a game show, so I don’t know if it really counts.

But starting February 15 (well, a couple days after that because I’ll be out of town and therefore have to TiVo), I’ll be forced to watch The Amazing Race.

Now, it is Emmy Award-winning, so I guess I can’t complain. At least it’s not one of those “housewives” shows, but I really don’t know the premise of this show except people with tanks, shorts, and backpacks run all over the place for…something. And sometimes they run out of money, and the episode teasers make that sound like a really big deal. If anyone has words of wisdom, please share.

The reason I’m forced to watch this show is because I know–well, knew–someone on it. One of this season’s contestants just happened to be from my home town, and now, I want to see how far she goes.

Why is that? I haven’t had contact with this person in years (no, I won’t tell you who it is quite yet–you’ll probably know based on when I stop watching), but I still want to see how this person does. Well, how the team does.

Anyway, meet the teams here. Let me know who you’re rooting for and whether it’d be of interest for me to blog about it. Are you a big fan? Let me know if you have hunches.

Should be an interesting ride. Or run. Or…what do they do?!