I am sure you all remember the hugely popular experiment my friend Greg Ramer and I ran last year with our blogs. We swapped entries on our review of the Year That Was. So, back to raging demand by our readers, we decided to do it all again. Check out my entry, and then (when Greg gets back from huntin') check out his here. I am going to hold off on movies until later - since I may be seeing a few more this week. Without further ado, here is my look back at the year that was in TELEVISION.
Actually, here is some further ado. I am approaching my review a little different this year. I am not going to try to do some comprehensive list of anything. I am going to do three categories: MOST ENJOYED, MOST DISAPPOINTING, and OTHER NEWS OF NOTE. Now, not further ado.
MOST ENJOYED TV:
24: This became our most obsessively followed show this past year. The writing is slick, the action is incredible, the acting is super, and the twists and turns keep you involved every week. The think that sets 24 part is that it has payoff and surprises each episode. Some serial shows have major problems with their distribution of interesting revelations. 24 never fails to deliver - all 24 episodes are top notch. Good stuff.
Heroes: Sure, it could be labelled as X-Men: The Discovery. But it just a great show. Some of the acting lacks the oomph of other shows, but I am never bored with it. And I am very excited to see where it is going to go as the season goes on.
Jericho: I hate to admit it, but Heather's show won me over. I should hate this show: it deals with nuclear war, lots of tense family stuff, Skeet Ulrich is in it. But, it is very well written. (You will sense a trend here - writing makes the difference.)
American Idol: It gets better each year, it seems. Well, until the very end when Americans make stupid votes and get rid of the best contestants two weeks early - and then give Michael McDonald Lite the title. But the show is great from start to finish - from the high comedy of the tryouts, to the tension of the vicious of the weeks paring down to 24 and then 12 contestants, to the drama and music of the final 12 contests. Plus Simon Cowell is brilliant, mean-spirited, and almost always right.
The Office: This has become one of my favorite shows. It is dead-on and hillarious - but in such a low-key way. You really have to pay attention to get everything going on -- but anyone who has worked in a office situation should get a hefty dose of laughs.
HONORABLE MENTION: How I Met Your Mother, ESPN Monday Night Football, Scrubs, Little People Big World, PTI
MOST DISAPPOINTING TV:
Lost: I know, I know. I am one of the biggest Lost fans out there. But over the last 12 months, it has been more disappointing than exciting. Yes, there were some huge episodes, like last year's finale, and this fall's finale. But the majority of episodes felt like sapce filler. This is only emphasized by how little time has taken place during the series (2 months) and by how successfully other shows are pulling off this format. I hope the team behind this show gets its act together soon.
The 2006 Fall TV Season: So far, they have cancelled or banished four shows we were watching. No show is given time to develop. This about the fact that 24 was in its fifth season before it had its breakout. Most of the shows that have been canned went for style over substance. There have been few breakouts - only a couple we even care about. Get some writers, Hollywood.
The CBS Evening News: For all the buildup, it sure hasn't been the groundbreaking show it was supposed to be. I still don't watch it, and I still get my news from the internet.
NFL Network: So the NFL finally decides to broadcast games on Thursday nights and Saturday nights. And they do it on their own network - which over 40% of all Americans cannot receive. So we miss all that football. And the NFL's official position to those people who can't see it? "Get a dish." Not even kidding - actual quote.
DISHONORABLE MENTION: Emmy Voters, Rosie O'Donnell and the View, 'Til Death, Super Bowl Commercials
OTHER NEWS OF NOTE:
- I hate local news. They tried to terrify you into watching by playing up all the junk going on, instead of just worrying about communicating the news. Is there anyone who likes this? Does anyone need to be cajoled into watching news? Either you are a news watcher or not.
- I hate it when they advertise violent or adult shows on shows that kids may be watching. Like you are watching sports, and then they show some murder show like CSI's preview. Or you are watching some comedy and have to watch previews for Criminal Minds. If I wanted to watch that crud, I would watch it.