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!

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Thursday Open Thread: Cancellation Reactions

Last Friday was a bloodbath. Suddenly, all over Twitter, we were hearing left and right which shows were being slashed from next fall’s lineup. It was ugly. And in the end, there are over 30 shows we won’t be seeing back next season.

Ok, well, some of these 30 shows were decided before last weekend’s announcements, like Smallville and Life Unexpected, but others were more surprising. Or at least, if they weren’t surprising, people had real reactions.

So what about you?

Which cancelled shows are you most upset about? Which shows that are returning next season do you wish would have said good-bye?

To help you out, here is a list of all the shows cancelled per network, supplied by TV Squad.

ABC
‘Better With You’
‘Brothers & Sisters’
‘Detroit 1-8-7’
‘Mr. Sunshine’
‘My Generation’
‘No Ordinary Family’
‘Off the Map’
‘V’

NBC
‘America’s Next Great Restaurant’
‘The Cape’
‘Chase’
‘The Event’
‘Friday Night Lights’
‘Law & Order: LA’
‘Outsourced’
‘The Paul Reiser Show’
‘Perfect Couples’
‘School Pride’

FOX
‘Breaking In’
‘The Chicago Code’
‘Human Target’
‘Lie to Me’
‘Lone Star’
‘Running Wilde’
‘Traffic Light’

CBS
‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’
‘The Defenders’
‘Mad Love’
‘Medium’
‘$#*! My Dad Says’

THE CW
‘Hellcats’
‘Life Unexpected’
‘Smallville’

Personally, I’m most bummed about V. Yes, I know, it was a bubble show. And ABC really didn’t give it much of a chance, what with the fact that they didn’t even have it available online after the show aired. It didn’t have great ratings, and it was lucky that it got the renewal last year.

But it also had one kickass finale. Many a fan and TV blogger wanted to know what would happen next. Plus, they killed off one of the show’s weakest spots. Tyler’s death is probably one of the best things that happened all year! They could have turned the show in a very interesting and new direction — and Erica’s discovery of the secret force fighting the Vs certainly would have helped with that. Oh well.

One show that I’m surprised didn’t make the cancellation list is Rules of Engagement. How does that show keep surviving? Who watches it? On the other hand, if we’re looking at sitcoms that are just getting by but worth a second season, I would have gone with Mad Love or Mr. Sunshine. Again, oh well.

But what about you? What are your reactions?

image from Yahoo! TV

You realize this means the aliens won, right?

Moment of the Week: V’s Best Kill

Ok, if you’ve been reading the site this week — and my tweets — it’s pretty obvious that there’s only one winner for this week’s moment of the week. And that comes from V‘s finale. I hesitate to say “season finale,” as the show’s still on the bubble, but I sure hope that’s the case. A show can’t end like that one did.

But a scene can. This week’s moment of the week involves the death of a regular cast member. That’s right, this week’s moment was Tyler’s death. Despite his mother’s warning, Tyler goes to “Lisa” (who’s actually an evil Visitor doppelganger who’s sole purpose is to get impregnated) to find out the truth about the V’s. His stupidity is clear. Heck, he even asks whether they’re really lizards underneath the skin — what V would admit to that anyway? But his rigor is sidetracked the moment “Lisa” takes off her robe.

Then, here comes the scene. Sadly, V’s under some good walls here, and I can’t find an actual video of the scene. Darn you! But basically, right after the sex, “Lisa’s” V teeth come out, and she rips his neck apart, as the real Lisa watches. Leaving us with this picture:

Ok, so it’s gruesome scene. So what? Why does it warrant Friday treatment?

Well, it appears I’m not the only one who was waiting to get rid of Tyler on V. Across the blogs, people are thrilled with the death. Tyler was known to many as the most annoying person on TV ever, and now he’s gone. Huzzah! Hurray! And just in case you think there’s a loophole, bloggers are on top of that, too, given this nice post from the TV Addict, asking the writers to assure us that he’s not really going to come back.

So that’s this week’s moment, but I know some of you might want a video. You read enough throughout the week. So in that case, be entertained by this other V death, which calls for some CGI…and tail through the gut. Yay blood?

Enjoy.

(By the way, if I can find the video, I’ll add it, but alas, ABC does not even post full episodes for you to check out! No wonder it’s on the bubble.)

V: One Killer Finale

V: 2.10 “Mother’s Day”

Bear with me here. I’m not usually the one covering V, but with last night’s finale, I can’t help myself. That was one crazy episode.

For one thing, we have a death count. For those of you who might not have been watching, but heard a large cheer go through the Eastern and Central time zones between 9:00 and 10:00, that was because one of the most annoying characters on TV — if not the most annoying character on TV — was ruthlessly slaughtered. Tyler is dead. Let the celebration begin!

Ok, all callousness aside (which is hard, considering we’re discussing V’s here), that was one surprise I didn’t see coming. To be honest, considering that this show is on the bubble and might not be coming back, I didn’t think that I’d see any major character killing for fear that the show would be picked up and they wouldn’t know what to do.

That’s clearly not the case. Not only did Tyler die, but so did Ryan (one of my favorites), and Anna’s mother Diana. Lisa is stuck in her grandmother’s prison, forced to watch Tyler not only impregnate her doppelganger, but die horrifically, too. Chad has been taken into V custody…his fate is certainly uncertain.

In any case, it’s very clear that the writers of the show didn’t write this episode to be the series finale, and if it turns out to be one, I’m going to be rather annoyed. What are we left to believe? The V’s win?

Going back to the beginning, I’m not all that surprised that Lisa couldn’t kill her own mother. As one of the V’s that has embraced her emotions, I knew it would be a difficult task, and I just didn’t think she could do it. I was right. I’m not sure, though, why she would have fallen for Anna’s line about her caring for Lisa and didn’t want harm done to her. Lisa knows that Anna’s been fighting emotion — why would she embrace it in this circumstance? However, I must say, this did set up the great line of, “Now that’s how you kill your mother.”

Diana’s death was a surprise for me. Not so much that it would happen, but how it happened. We all know that Diana wouldn’t rise again and lead the Visitors — not unless they want the clean tidy bow that the writers clearly avoided. Why the Visitors showed no shock to their “dead” queen being alive and well, and taking over for Anna, well, I guess that’s a side point that we shouldn’t dwell on. It’s only an hour show. (Note: They also had no reaction to Anna’s killing the former queen and taking the throne all over again. The Visitors are a bit like lemmings.)

By the end of the episode, I really did start to wonder who would be left if the show carried on. We’ve still got Chad, Erica, Lisa… Maybe Hobbs (uh, see below). It’d be fun to see Lisa play two sides; after all, it worked for Elena and Katherine in Vampire Diaries, and I think her character could be a lot more fun. Oh, and we’ve still got the priest.

I must say, the ending almost brought me to tears, and I’m not actually exaggerating. Seeing Jack blissed, looking into the sky as if he’d seen God himself was heartbreaking, especially knowing all that he went through in his own Church and his own religion to keep his faith alive. Seeing him stone cold, looking heavenly at the V ships…that was rough. Erica’s hug just pushed me over the edge.

So where can we go from here? Well, we have the new, clandestine group that Erica has been brought into. It’s interesting to see this high tech organization after seeing the Fifth Column scramble together plans for so long. Clearly, if the show continues, we’ve got that to look forward to. With it, we’d have all new cast members to replace those we’ve lost.

Speaking of lost, did I miss where Hobbs went? Did he die? Disappear? I think I missed one scene, and I have no idea where he went from there. Does anyone know?

Anyway, if we don’t see a conclusion to this explosive episode, I don’t know what I’m going to do. It was a fantastic end to the season, and I just want to know what happens next.

V: Uncertain Faith and Shifting Values

KT is a little tangent-happy today.

V:  2.04 “Unholy Alliance”

I love episode titles where you can go through the episode and say, “Hey it applies to that… and that… and even that!”  This one does pretty well.

The most on-the-nose of the episode’s unholy alliances takes place during Anna’s trip to the Vatican.  She manages to walk away with the support of the Catholic Church, but being Anna, she’s never doing just one thing at a time.  With one visit she builds an alliance, intimidates the entire College of Cardinals, and continues digging for answers about the human soul.

Anna’s obsession with the soul fascinates me because here’s a case in which alien characters are given dialogue that doesn’t always make sense, not because they have Amazing Technology or Advanced Philosophy that we just don’t understand, but because they don’t quite understand us.  And if you think about all the ways in which various cultures around the globe don’t quite understand each other, writing the Vs this way seems perfectly natural.  Anna’s misunderstandings are more subtle and feel more genuine than, say Spock insisting that he doesn’t understand human emotion.

All that to say that I really enjoyed watching the gears turn in Anna’s head when the priest told her first that he believes the soul outlives the body, and then that without the soul we would be mere animals.  Morena Baccarin played the scene so openly she might as well have had thought bubbles reading “Wait, what?” and then “Ahhh, perfect.”

The priest himself turned out to be in a surprising alliance with imprisoned V queen mother Diana.  Together, they prevented Anna from learning what he knew, but it hardly ended well for any of them, especially the poor priest.  I found him interesting, and I particularly like the way he was gradually introduced.  First just a close-up to tag him as The Disapproving One.  Then discussion of the ring he was wearing.  For a moment, I thought it might be a cardinal’s ring and that he might be the actual cardinal and having another man stand in for him for some reason.  (Ah, I thought at the time, that must be why this cardinal with such a German name has such an American accent!  But no, apparently we just weren’t supposed to think too hard about that.)  Anna suggests he might be a sleeper, but his blasé reaction to her blue energy display — in great contrast to the group of awestruck priests — made it clear that he was definitely a V, but also definitely aware of his own identity.  Nicely done, show.

After the jump… all the other characters! Continue reading

V: Tests and torture

KT sees trouble brewing.

V:  2.03 “Laid Bare”

There’s all kinds of testing going on in this episode.  Some people make it through, but you can tell that new kinds of trouble are in the works for everyone.

After Malik and Erica crash their car, the plot veers away from the search for the underground group getting credited as the Fifth Column.  Having Malik as a prisoner raises a whole new category of opportunities (figuring out what she’s been up to) and problems (figuring out what to do with her), so most of the episode is taken up with that.  The answers aren’t hugely exciting — it seems that she’s been covering up the disappearances of people being abducted for the Vs to do research on.  (And if that strikes anyone as being too Roswell, our new science guy conveniently hangs a lampshade on it with a joke about alien abductions.)  Seems like a good reason for having a mole in the FBI.

Erica’s disappointed that Malik’s assignment doesn’t have anything to do with Tyler, especially now that New Science Guy (maybe next week I’ll learn his name…) has found out that Tyler’s DNA is missing huge chunks of nucleotides.  I’m pretty sure that by Earth genetics, that means he should be a puddle of goo, but maybe this explains why the kid can’t seem to enunciate to save his life.

Lisa is also getting drawn into science experiments, presumably conducted on victims Malik has disappeared.  She’s started to show signs of entering sexual maturity, and her mother has decided that means its time to intensify Lisa’s training.  Lisa pulls herself together and maintains her façade, but Erica is the mother-figure she goes to for a shoulder to cry on.  Meanwhile, (supposedly dead) grandmother Diana is starting to turn into a broken record on the idea that Lisa will rebell against Anna just as Anna rebelled against her own mother.  I guess it’s hard to give a character interesting material when she’s locked in the basement.  (See also: the great dragon for Merlin’s first two seasons.)

Father Jack’s test is one of character as Anna latches onto the idea that last episode’s bomber was inspired by Jack’s sermons.  Jack gamely lets Chad interview him, but Anna’s two steps ahead:  she not only sends one of her people to stir up trouble during a church service, but also Tyler (of all people) to go and film the whole thing on his cell phone.  Despite the trouble, Jack decides Chad can be trusted enough to introduce him to the rest of the group.

Of all the trouble that seems to be brewing, though, the most immediate problem seems to be Ryan.  The mother of the young woman he and Erica are able to rescue really seems to get to him, and in the end, we see Ryan tell Anna that he knows where the Fifth Column is.  But whether he’ll really give away his friends… remains to be seen.

V: Soulful

KT is starting to think that a V drinking game would need entries for “soul” and “human emotion.”

V:  2.02 “Serpent’s Tooth”

If anyone needed a little more proof about what a snake Anna can be, I think we got it this week in her scenes with her own mother.  Diana, regally played by original V queen Jane Badler turns out to have been deposed by Anna many years ago and has been stuck in her own personal dungeon ever since.

The personal interaction is pretty great, but their first scene together is also helpful for exposition.  The writers are again tackling the question of emotions and how Vs seem to develop them from too much exposure to humans – as if it were a winter cold.  The new explanation is that emotion are a possible side effect of wearing human skin the way the Vs do, so we’ll go with that for now.  Anna also confirms that the Vs are looking for a new home, and for a  way to breed with humans.  And in Anna’s eyes this emotion problem has just got to be done away with.

Tidbits of world-building.  I like it.

Later in the episode, it becomes clear that the concept of the soul is not something that ever developed in V culture, so both Anna and Ryan have developed some odd ideas about souls.  Father Jack seems somewhat bemused to reassure Ryan he has a soul, too, while Anna latches onto the soul as the thing that must be excised in order to get rid of human emotion, as if it were a gall bladder.

We also see Anna tightening her grip on Ryan (metaphorically, this time) by playing on his parental sympathies.  He gives in, so I expect some major trouble real soon.

The main plot of the episode, though, involves human suicide bombers who are identified as Fifth Column… except that of course our Fifth Column folks don’t know anything about them.  Agents Evens and Malik race to uncover this new network of terrorists – overtly as partners, but of course we know they’re playing for different teams.  And it’s starting to look like each of them suspects the other, as well.