Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nominees: Fun Awards

Best TV Couple

  • Eric & Tammy (Friday Night Lights)
  • The Henriksons (Big Love)
  • Scotty & Kevin (Brothers & Sisters)
  • Blair & Chuck (Gossip Girl)
  • Nathan & Haley (One Tree Hill)
  • Jim & Pam (The Office)

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Male

  • Luke Macfarlane (Brothers & Sisters)
  • Ryan McPartlin (Chuck)
  • Jon Foster (Accidentally on Purpose)
  • Mark Salling (Glee)
  • Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries)
  • Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl)

Most Ridiculously Good Looking Female

  • Autumn Reeser (Valentine)
  • Jessica Stroup (90210)
  • Adrienne Palicki (Friday Night Lights)
  • Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill)
  • Dianna Agron (Glee)
  • Sitara Hewitt (Little Mosque on the Prairie)

The Marry- Me Award

  • John Krasinski (The Office)
  • Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies)
  • Zaib Shaikh (Little Mosque on the Prairie)
  • Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live)
  • Matthew Morrison (Glee)
  • Nathan Fillion (Castle)

The Be-My-Best-Friend Award

  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Jordana Spiro (My Boys)
  • Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva)
  • Michael Urie (Ugly Betty)

The Moment of the Year Award

  • It’s George! (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • “Don’t Stop Believin’” (Glee)
  • Jason dumps Melissa for Molly (The Bachelor)
  • Jon Stewart vs. Jim Cramer (The Daily Show)
  • Stephen Colbert shaves his head in Iraq (The Colbert Report)
  • Jim and Pam get married (The Office)

Nominees: Performance Awards- Reality

Best Male Reality Star

· Evan Kasprzak (So You Think You Can Dance)

· Adam Lambert (American Idol)

· Reid Rosenthal (The Bachelorette)

· Liam Tobin (Triple Sensation)

· Bryan Voltaggio (Top Chef)

· Russell Hantz (Survivor: Samoa)

Best Female Reality Star

· Melissa Rycroft (The Bachelor, Dancing with the Stars)

· Jeanine Mason (So You Think You Can Dance)

· Leah Cogan (Triple Sensation)

· Kelly Osbourne (Dancing with the Stars)

· Natalie White (Survivor)

· Tara-Jean Popowich (So You Think You Can Dance Canada)

Best Reality Host

  • Cat Deeley (So You Think You Can Dance)
  • Padma Lakshmi (Top Chef)
  • Jeff Probst (Survivor)
  • Heidi Klum (Project Runway)
  • Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)
  • Chris Harrison (The Bachelorette)

Best Reality Judge

  • Tom Colicchio (Top Chef)
  • Simon Cowell (American Idol)
  • Blake McGrath (So You Think You Can Dance Canada)
  • Adam Shankman (So You Think You Can Dance)
  • Gail Simmons (Top Chef)
  • Adrian Noble (Triple Sensation)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year In Review: This Year In Movies

Up until about four months ago, I kept a (fairly up-to-date) movie blog over at "I Watch Movies and Then Talk About Them." When I graduated college, and found that real life was limiting my ability to add anything worth adding to the conversatons about movies floating along the internet, I hung up my blogging hat, and even here only occasionally threw my five cents (inflation!) into the popular culture conversation. But I have remained, and will always remain, an enthusiast for all things popular and cultural, and as the new year comes into clearer view, I find myself drawn to reflect on a year that was, I believe, a very good one for movies, if not in the obvious ways of some years past.

So here it goes, my not-at-all-exhaustive list of the best movies of a year that saw my lowest consumption of movies since the age of 12. Feel free to add your voice to the mix to praise movies that I missed out on or to criticize the movies I've overpraised.

Interesting Trend: While compiling my list, I was overwhelmed by the number of movies that made my list that were ostensibly aimed at children. Either this is a disturbing indicator of my lack of maturity, or a sign that this year was a golden one for the younger set remains to be seen.

INTERESTING TREND NUMBER TWO: I saw practically no "serious" movies. I'm going to try and catch up on a few of the more prestigious films of the year (Up in the Air, The Hurt Locker) over the next couple of days, but my movie watching has been fairly limited to the things I thought I would enjoy, rather than movies that I thought were "good" for me. This means that I'm missing quite a few of the movies that seem to be swarming onto most people's best of 2009 lists, but that's okay. It also, I think, makes my list a lot more fun to read, because instead of discussions of apartheid, we get conversations about zombies being beaten with metal bats.

10. (500) Days of Summer- This could be the most joyful break up movie ever made. When I was in Freshmen Screenwriting, I wrote a script about a boy who falls ridiculously in love with a girl who never quite returns his feelings. We watch him go through the process of getting over her, until finally it all sums up in a big cathartic moment where he realizes everything that went wrong in the relationship and in himself and with the girl. And just when we think he's had his big moment of self-actualization, the final scene leaves us with the impression its all about to happen again.

That's, for the record, how I read (500) Days of Summer. It's a testament to the lovelorn and pathetic. Joseph Gordon Levitt is at his loveable best playing the boy who "misread the Graduate" and took all his ideas about love from the movies. And Zooey Deschanel rescues a character that could, in a less adept actress's hands, seemed pretty repugnant. The story of the rise and fall of their relationship is painful, adorable, and semi-realistic, but above all its entertaining. (500) Days never really tells us something radically new about relationships; it doesn't need to. Like any good romantic comedy, it makes us buy into these characters and wish them happiness. In the end, it has us wishing them happiness even if not with each other. add to that the ridiculous fantasy sequences (especially that one set to Hall & Oats "You Make My Dreams Come True") and you've got the makings of semi-independent sleeper classic.

9. Avatar- it's a uniquely painful job trying to separate Avatar from the hype that surrounds it. The arguments on both sides of the debate ("it's an overblown, effects-heavy piece of sentimental crap!", "It's the greatest movie ever created!") can seem ridiculous and heavy handed, and having only seen the movie once (and recently) I'm finding it hard to separate out what I think about the movie from what I'm being told to think about the movie. So here's what I know: Avatar was a moving two hours and forty minutes that managed to completely suck me into a movie where the main inhabitants are naked blue guys who have braided pony tails that can connect with horses. That's quite the achievement. Not only did the two hours and forty minutes that I spent with Avatar fly by, it was also such a visual wonderland that I could spend decades wrapped up in the imagery. Some of the more negative reviews have argued that if you take away all the special effects wizardry from Avatar you're left with nothing. Maybe that's fair enough, but you absolutely can NOT divorce Avatar from the visual. What's so amazing about Avatar is the way that Pandora (its alien landscape and setting for 95% of the movie) is the most fully realized, visually stunning and totally immersive world to ever have been created for the big screen. It's at once endless and painfully intricately described. While I'm not willing to say that James Cameron's 250 million dollar passion project has changed movies forever, I do think it has expanded what we can and should do with the new technology coming our way faster than you can say "obsolete." Cameron's joy in movie making, his twelve-year-old-boy glee at finding the newest and best toy to create pictures, is infectious, and the movie he created is a testament to the power of cinema. *

8. Where the Wild Things Are- I like to think of Where the Wild Things are less as a movie, more of an emotional roller coaster. Although the movie does have a plot (rebellious Max travels to the land of the Wild things, is briefly their king, is shown as a fraud, and eventually goes back home), it's more interested in the emotions of the characters. The land that Max travels to is a land of rampaging ids without the norms of social niceties to interfere with say eating a false-king when he is revealed as such. It's a land of bruised emotions and bruised enemies, where the path to forgiveness and acceptance is fraught with physical perils. Somehow, Spike Jonze makes this metaphorical land seem like a magical and terrifying wonderland, and keeps you so deeply engrossed in the movie that the final cathartic moment feels every bit as heartbreaking and hopeful as childhood.

7. I Love You, Man- The most controversial member of this list (haha), I Love You, Man has stuck with me throughout a year that saw my beloved Apatow-esque genre begin to wane. If The Hangover is a sign of comedy to come (and don't get me wrong, I enjoyed The Hangover), then it means the end of sympathetic, sentimental gross out comedy like I Love You Man. Which is a shame, because this buddy comedy about two guys who are almost-this-close-to-being-normal-adult-men is about as funny and as heartfelt as they come, and features a truly endearing performance by Jason Segel (where it could have been a sleazy and annoying performance) and a surprising performance by Paul Rudd, showing us an adorably irony free candor as the man with no guy friends. Isn't it (ugh) bromantic, indeed.

6. Coraline- this movie scares the crap out of me. It makes me giggle. It makes me think. It makes me simultaneously nostalgic for the age of endless imagination and grateful that strange other-mothers no longer want me eyes. In other words, it's a perfect adaptation of Neil Gaiman's beautiful and terrifying short novel. It's also some of the best stop motion work of all time, with every inch of Coraline's world worthy of torrents of praise.

5. Zombieland- Zombieland is fun. It's well written. It's ridiculous. It features a Woody Harrelson performance so zany bat shit perfect that it rivals anything the man's done before. It also features a balls-to-the-walls ending at an amusement park that's a great bookend for the other big Jesse Eisenberg vehicle of the year (Adventureland). Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin are perfect as bad-ass girl con artists teetering on the brink of despair, Eisenberg is affably neurotic as a loner whose survival has been greatly increased due to the fact that he didn't particularly like people before they started trying to eat his face, but this movie belongs to Harrelson in his gun-toting, zombie-smashing glory. And that's as it should be.

4. The Fantastic Mr. Fox- George Clooney as a sly, fast-talking fox who longs for the good old days when he was a master thief? No, that's not a metaphorical take on Ocean's 11, that's the plot of Wes Anderson's newest, gleeful masterpiece. The movie is a lot like Anderson's other films, and yet the new format, great source material, and truly exceptional voice work by the likes of Clooney, Meryl Streep and Anderson regular Jason Schwartzman help to elevate so far beyond what could have been expected in the first place. It's a great character study of a man trying (and failing) to overcome the wild animal in his heart, and it's also a fantastic children's movie that features ridiculous feats of strength and a character who spends the entire denouement of the movie in his underwear. What the cuss indeed.

3. Star Trek- It's hard to reboot a franchise. Fans get pissed, newbies get confused, and after boffo opening weekend numbers, that viewers tend to trickle out of the theater. And yet J.J. Abrams and the whole cast and crew of Star Trek made success look easy, like it was a foregone conclusion from the moment Zachary Quinto figured out how to cock one eyebrow. In the process, they made a movie that was at once true to (and almost reverent of) its source material while being easily, beautifully accessible to a new generation. Plus, it's a damn fine movie, filled with an arrogant ease and sense of fun that made it the perfect summer movie. Every actor was well cast, every one liner well crafted- Star Trek may not have the deep pathos to be this summer's The Dark Knight, but it was easily this year's Iron Man, a movie so fun and perfectly done that it soars to cinematic heights without ever feeling burdened by a dour profundity.

2. Inglorious Basterds - I first stumbled upon Quentin Tarantino's misspelled masterpiece while working as an intern at a video production company. It was a 300+ page opus, full of ridiculous violence, kick ass female heroines, and soaring emotions. Even in screenplay format, I could tell that Inglorious Basterds was going to make for an amazing movie. But Tarantino went above and beyond even my imagination, finding the perfect cast (both unknown, and most-well-known-in-the-world) and his usual penchant for masterfully blending his own unique vision with an encyclopedic knowledge of films past. But Basterds goes even further than Tarantino's earlier work, and achieves something damn near cathartic. It's a clear cut, often hilarious, bloody revisionist history of World War II (which is, by far, the war most over-covered by movies) that is at turns stomach-churning and emotionally satisfying. When Soshana's final revenge plays out in firey theaterics, its as much a testament to the power of moviemaking as it is to Tarantino's well established lust for kickass female heroines. A movie this bloody and violent may never be exactly mainstream, but Tarantino has certainly elevated his particular brand of arthouse fare to a simultaneous normality and grandeur that can not be copied. In other words, this movie rocked.

1. Up- I understand much better why the Academy Awards has decided to create an entire category for animated movies, even though I think it ultimately disparages the true value of these films. But when I set about compiling this list, I found it nigh impossible to figure out where the emotional magic of seeing a Pixar movie ended and my film critic mind could take over. "Really?" I asked myself. "A Pixar movie winning the best of the year two years in a row? I might as well be honest and name my best of list 'Rachael Ranks Other Movies As Less Awesome than Whatever Pixar Puts Out.'" But the thing is, I truly believe in the power of Up. It's this gorgeous, terse, goofy and imaginative love letter to love, in all its forms. It's about hope in the least likely places, joy in the smallest things, and redemption at the point when we need it the most. Every inch of Up creates in me a profound sense of joy that permeates the entire motion picture. It's in the smallest things (the way the dogs' butts wiggle when they're exited, the fact that they refer to Russel as "the small mailman") and the biggest things (the gorgeously realized Pixar landscapes, the beautiful, profound and heartbreaking first fifteen minutes. I said it best right after first seeing Up, when I immediately knew that I had just experienced something magical in that theater, and so I direct you back to my first, longer, more immediate review:

HONORABLE MENTIONS: I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes when I saw it Christmas Day, and was greatly impressed by the melding of Guy Ritchie's pop-violent pastiche with the intellectual mastery of the Holmes story, but it's too fresh in my mind to know if Sherlock was anything mroe than an excellent vehicle for Robert Downey Jr.'s particular brand of down and dirty cool. I also really liked Monsters Vs. Aliens and The Princess and the Frog, but in a year this packed full of kids movies that made me laugh, cry, and think, i had to eliminate the two that only made me laugh, no matter how funny (MVA) or beautiful (The Princess and the Frog) they were. I also really wanted to put District 9 on this list, because I'm fairly certain that after another viewing I will consider it within the top 5 for this year, but when I sat down to write the review I couldn't remember what had made it so awesome. It feels like I saw it another lifetime ago. So it's relegated to the Honorable Mentions, at least until I get a chance to see it again and really disect what made the story about aliens/apartheid so interesting and refreshing.

*I've read some really awesome deconstructions of the politics of Avatar, both positive and negative, on and the, that do a much better, succinct and profound job of unpacking that particular can of worms. I was only interested in pointing out how pretty it was.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nominees: Performance Awards- Comedy

Best Ensemble Cast in a Comedy

  • Modern Family
  • The Office
  • My Boys
  • Better Off Ted
  • Glee
  • Community

Best Actor in a Comedy

  • Lee Pace (Pushing Daisies)
  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Jay Harrington (Better Off Ted)
  • Zachary Levi (Chuck)
  • James Roday (Psych)
  • Joel McHale (Community)

Best Actress in a Comedy

  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Eva Longoria Parker (Desperate Housewives)
  • Jordana Spiro (My Boys)
  • Erin Karpluk (Being Erica)
  • Toni Collette (United States of Tara)
  • Brooke Elliott (Drop Dead Diva)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Rico Rodriguez (Modern Family)
  • Michael Urie (Ugly Betty)
  • Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory)
  • Chi McBride (Pushing Daisies)
  • Justin Kirk (Weeds)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

  • Kristin Chenoweth (Pushing Daisies)
  • Lucy Hale (Privileged)
  • Rosemarie Dewitt (United States of Tara)
  • Portia de Rossi (Better Off Ted)
  • Reagan Pasternak (Being Erica)
  • Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Nominees: Performance Awards-Drama

Best Ensemble Cast in a Drama

  • Lost
  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Dexter
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Big Love

Best Actor in a Drama

  • Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
  • Michael C Hall (Dexter)
  • Donald Sutherland (Dirty Sexy Money)
  • Bill Paxton (Big Love)
  • Matthew Rhys (Brothers & Sisters)
  • Ian McShane (Kings)

Best Actress in a Drama

  • Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
  • Calista Flockhart (Brothers & Sisters)
  • Jeanne Tripplehorn (Big Love)
  • Chloe Sevigny (Big Love)
  • Glenn Close (Damages)
  • Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Gallactica)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

  • Robert Knepper (Prison Break)
  • Ed Westwick (Gossip Girl)
  • Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Matt Letscher (Eli Stone)
  • Harry Dean Stanton (Big Love)
  • Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

  • Julie Benz (Dexter)
  • Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights)
  • Grace Zabriskie (Big Love)
  • Amanda Seyfried (Big Love)
  • Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
  • Louanne Stephens (Friday Night Lights)

Good Cop vs. Bad Cop

We interrupt the My TV Award nominees for a much overdue commentary on the Survivor finale.

This finale may be the greatest in history of Survivor. Their definitely were some amazing finales in the past but this one had all the makings for a perfect ending: a clear underdog who needed immunity to make it to the finals, a strong alliance that dominated the majority of the game, strategic moves, an inspiring jury speech.

From the beginning, my ideal final three would consist of Natalie, Russell, and Mick. Russell clearly is one of the greatest castaways to ever play this game, but not for strategic reasons. I strongly believe that were he thrown into any other season, Russell would not have done as well. Sure he would still have been a huge target with his numerous hidden immunity idols, but Russell lucked out this season because no real strategic players stayed around. He spent the majority of the season picking off people he didn’t like or who wanted him out and his entire alliance agreed because they knew that a strong alliance would win. Everyone knows that numbers are important in this game but what is even more important is a tight alliance. The Foa Foa four were forced to work together because of their dwindling numbers and their survival was due in large part to Shambo’s disdain for her tribe. Aside from this, the only thing stopping me from routing for Russell was his disdainful personality. Jaison never deserved to be in the running for this season’s title of sole survivor. Back in Foa Foa he nearly gave up a million times and did nothing to help his team. Other than a few immunity wins, Jaison was the epitome of a coattail rider who did nothing but obey Russell. Mic also did not deserve the win. While he clearly wanted to be in the game, the only thing he had to offer was sincerity and his good looks. Brett, oddly enough, became someone I was not entirely routing against toward the end. His impressive immunity challenge wins really spoke to his desire to take this game. Granted, the bitter jury of annoying members would have easily voted for personal reasons if he made it instead of anything else, so I couldn’t picture him in the finals without hating the outcome. By process of elimination, that clearly leaves Natalie as my ideal choice for soul survivor. Natalie played a quieter game in the beginning but lucked help her out immediately when Russell chose to be true to her over everyone else. Natalie also jumped right into the strategic game play by being the only other person Russell really included in his own strategies. While Shambo may have helped the Foa Foa four this season, it was Natalie who secured their space in the final five. She was the convincing factor to the Galu girls that Erik needed to leave. I strongly believe had she not succeeded, Erik would have won this game.

So the finale begins and as usual the final five are far too quickly decreased to four. My biggest problem with Survivor’s newer final 3 makes the 2 hour episode way too rushed. When Brett won immunity again, it was disheartening to see a Foa Foa leave so quickly without at least some more air time. I was worried for a second when Russell and the guys toyed with the idea of getting rid of Natalie since she physically couldn’t beat Brett. Does anyone else not remember her kicking ass during the last endurance challenge? She even beat out Brett! Finally Russell admits that Jaison is the actual weakest link giving rightful credit to Natalie and he sticks with his original partner voting out Jaison. The final decision once again came down to Natalie and Russell deciding between Jaison or Mick. These two have made all the pivotal moves this game so it was only fitting that they keep it up.

The final immunity challenge was really the most intense challenge I’ve seen in ages. The actual endurance aspect was kind of lame since it was mostly a balancing act. But it came down Brett and Russell which just seemed far too fitting. Now the producers try to make it look like Russell considers bringing Brett to the final but this was clearly Brett’s only hope for the final 3. Anyone would be an idiot to bring Brett into a jury of his friends. Russell finally won immunity when it counted most and Brett was sent packing leaving the perfect final three of Mick, Natalie, and Russell.

I believe this was the first time in Survivor history that the final three voted out every single person in the jury. That to me demonstrates an amazing final three who obviously deserve the win. Right before tribal council, Russell tries to use his “smarts” to scare Mick and Natalie by convincing them they won’t win. While it does ruffle their feathers, the only thing Russell accomplishes is a reassurance of his asshole nature.

The jury questions were typical. A few nice individuals who weren’t too bitter about their positions, and a few extremely bitter ones. Shambo shocked me by being a complete witch as she degraded Natalie and Mick. The real heart wrenching speech was Erik’s. A few jury members made it obvious that they were gunning for Russell to win but Erik one upped them by pleading for Natalie’s victory. The basis of his speech was that Natalie didn’t think she deserved it and therefore did. While I don’t necessarily agree Natalie gave up on her hopes to win, I do find her to be the most humble of the three. Furthermore, the nice girl deserves to win. The game of survivor is about not only strategy and strength but also relationships. Sure Russell “outplayed” and “outwitted” and Mick did a little bit of both, but it was Natalie who really “outlasted” the bunch. Along with her game play and strength she had a kindness to her which the others noticed. And thus with a jury of haters, Natalie was voted the ultimate survivor.

The reunion show was a pathetic ploy at giving Russell more airtime as he literally cried and begged for the title of sole survivor. This should be a great moral for future players: scheme and be as strategic as you want but you need kindness to really influence the others.

Fun quotes from the finale:

“he’s no mike tyson, he’s bret”

“voting me out was the downfall of Galu”-Erick (thus why Natalie deserved to win)

“Lift people up, don’t tear em down”-Shambo

Survivor 20 Heroes vs. Villains. Brilliant. Cannot wait.

Nominees: Performance Awards

Best Late Night Personality

  • Seth Meyers (Saturday Night Live)
  • Bill Hader (Saturday Night Live)
  • Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
  • Jon Stewart (The Daily Show)
  • Steven Colbert (The Colbert Report)
  • Wanda Sykes (The Wanda Sykes Show)

Best Variety Appearance

  • Neil Patrick Harris (The Tony Awards)
  • Neil Patrick Harris (The Emmy Awards)
  • Dwayne Johnson (Saturday Night Live)
  • Justin Timberlake (Saturday Night Live)
  • Taylor Swift (Saturday Night Live)
  • Wanda Sykes (I’ma Be Me)

Best Male Guest Star

  • Scott Porter (Friday Night Lights)
  • Gaius Charles (Friday Night Lights)
  • Beau Bridges (Desperate Housewives)
  • Scott Bakula (Chuck)
  • Tom Cavanagh (Eli Stone)
  • Alan Tudyk (Dollhouse)

Best Female Guest Star

  • Sharon Lawrence (Grey’s Anatomy)
  • Kristen Bell (Party Down)
  • Christine Baranski (Big Bang Theory)
  • Lucy Hale (Private Practice)
  • Joanne Vannicola (Being Erica)
  • Amy Acker (Dollhouse)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Nominees: Creative Awards

Best Writing for a Drama

  • David Hudgins - “Hello, Goodbye” (Friday Night Lights)
  • Elizabeth Sarnoff & Kyle Pennington- “LaFleur” (Lost)
  • Jane Espenson- “Briar Rose” (Dollhouse)
  • Michael Green- “Goliath” (Kings)
  • Melanie Marnich- “Come, Ye Saints” (Big Love)
  • Oscar Balderrama & Lindsey Allen- “Flight Path” (Eli Stone)

Best Writing for a Comedy

  • Carter Bays & Craig Thomas- “Definitions” (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Marc Cherry & Bob Daily- “The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” (Desperate Housewives)
  • Diablo Cody- “Miracle” (United States of Tara)
  • Michael Glouberman- “Racial Sensitivity” (Better Off Ted)
  • John Riggi- “Stone Mountain” (30 Rock)
  • Jon Pollack & Tim Hobert- “Introduction to Statistics” (Community)


  • Tyce Diorio- “The Woman’s Work” (SYTYCD USA Season 5)
  • Tabitha & Napoleon D’Umo- “Mad” (SYTYCD USA Season 5)
  • Sho Tyme- “When Love Takes Over” (SYTYCD Canada Season 2)
  • Desmond Richardson & Dwight Rhoden- “At This Moment” (SYTYCD US Season 6)
  • Kym Johnson- “Back in Business” (Dancing with the Stars)
  • Zach Woodlee- “Proud Mary” (Glee)

Nominees: Technical Awards

Best Technical Accomplishments (directing, lighting, sound, cinematography)

  • Damages
  • Eli Stone
  • Pushing Daisies
  • V
  • Flashforward
  • Lost

Best Costumes

  • Gossip Girl
  • Pushing Daisies
  • Ugly Betty
  • Mad Men
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Merlin

The 2009 My TV Awards: introduction

It's that time of year again, the kids are off from school, Christmas is over, fall finales have long since passed and every publication under the sun is compiling their "year in review" articles. Now is when we celebrate the best in the year of TV.

It's time for the third annual My TV Awards.

The concept of the "television season" permanently altered by summer runs of shows from Mad Men to Big Brother, we here are My TV choose to acknowledge anything and everything that aired within the confines of 2009, from January to December. That means that for many network shows the episodes in consideration are not necessarily from the same season. But it also means that cable offerings are given equal consideration, even if they don't adhere to the network season. For example, our 2009 nominations include acknowledgement of the back half of How I Met Your Mother's 4th season and the front half of its 5th; we considered Glee's first batch as well as Eli Stone's last and Drop Dead Diva's entire Summer/Fall run made the time cutoff. In tricky cases like that of Friday Night Lights, we are taking into consideration its NBC run (because Direct TV is not available to much of our writing staff), so it's a full season 3 on trial instead of a partial season 4.

We have also added and expanded our categories this year. "Best Reality Star" and "Best Guest Star" have been expanded to include both male and female categories. We've added categories to acknowledge technical achievement in production, strong variety performances and dynamic late night personalities as well as our favourite TV couples, the best new shows and the saddest cancellations of the year.

So stayed tuned in the coming days as we unveil our nominations for the best of TV in 2009. There are 35 categories of 6 nominees each. Please post in the comments your thoughts on the nominees and email us to vote for your favourites (

The winners will be announced in the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Obsessions of the Week

- The Foa Foa Foursome (Jaison being the only one I don't absolutely adore)

- The New Scrubs (What is everyone complaining about? I think it hasn't missed a beat)

- The Princess and the Frog (It's so good I thought I was back in 1994)

- The Top Chef Reunion Episode (It was the first time I really liked Jen!)

- Better Off Ted Season 2 (Back and still fabulous)

- Mark Salling (For obvious reasons)

- The Being Erica Season 2 Finale (The perfect Kai sendoff)

- Up in the Air (It's as good as they say)

- Christine Baranski on The Big Bang Theory (She's always, always good)

- The TV Addict Podcast (It's back on a regular basis and I'm loving it yet again)

- John Krasinski on Conan (I caught a couple minutes of the interview, gosh he's charming)

- Chuck & Blair (Way to let them stay together, you go producers!)

Big Disappointment About Big Love

It seems that one of my favourite cable shows is losing a lot of light at the end of this season. It's just been announced that My TV-favourite Amanda Seyfried is being written out of Big Love at the end of season 4 (premiering January 10th) so that she can concentrate on her film career.

I'm all for more Amanda Seyfried films but I wish it didn't come alongside the loss of Sarah Henrikson, a character both empathetic and engagingly human. The loss of Sarah means serious changes for her semi-boring/semi-annoying brother Ben (who takes over as the eldest of 8 kids once his sister moves away) and the loss of such spectacular supporting characters (and other My TV-favourite actors) as Heather Tuttle (Tina Majorino) and Scott Quittman (Aaron Paul), both of whose stories are dependent on Sarah.

Then again, with the skyrocketing Hollywood status that comes from starring opposite Meryl Streep, it was just a matter of time before Seyfried moved on from the show she's been a part of since 2006. At least this way she'll be written out in a way that is fitting to the character and the brilliant show can continue on without her. Because even Big Love without Sarah is better than no Big Love at all. Let's just hope that rising star Ginnifer Goodwin isn't thinking of going anywhere anytime soon.

Seriously People, Would Anybody Actually Choose Finn Over This Guy?

Dear Reality Contestants,


In case you were wondering, he/she/it also does not care about Big Brother, Dancing With the Stars, Top Chef, Project Runway, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser, anything involving housewives or couples with too many kids, American Idol, The Bachelor, Deal or No Deal or anything on VH1 or MTV.

He/she/it does, however, care about Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Because that just seems obvious.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Smoking Hot

So as Kelly already mentioned, the whole smoking episode of How I Met Your Mother was a little odd. I sincerely believe that a few of the main characters would smoke and that in most people's lives cigarettes became an occasional habit, but it was all a little too unbelievable for the entire group to jump into the habit.

Other than the obvious plot mover, the episode was kind of great. It was nice to see a Robin-centric episode considering she continues to be one of the greatest stars in the bunch. Robin tends to carry a lot of the emotional, career-centric episodes and it works well every time.

The main reason for my love of this episode was the support from her friends. Albeit predictable, when Marshall, Lily, Barney, and Ted called the station to prove that it did have an audience and that Robin should not quit, the tears began to flow. The dynamic friendship between these 5 individuals is the reason we tune in every week. Cheers to the most realistic portrayal of friends I've seen in a long time. This is a group that everyone can identify with and it's a group that I want to watch week after week.

Amazing Marshall/Lily moments:
-Everything about Lily's smoker voice.
-Lily stopped smoking when she started trying to get pregnant.
-Marshall stopped smoking when his son was born.
-Marshall showing younger Marshall a picture of his future wife....and then mini-Marshall taking the photo into his tent.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Some Quick Notes on Recent TV

- How I Met Your Mother this week: do the showrunners not know that their characters can't afford the negative connotation smoking brings? The only character who survived this week without me losing a bit of love for them was Robin (who, let's face it, always seemed like a bit of a smoker anyway).

- Accidentally on Purpose: a really pretty terrible episode that I didn't mind so much because Zack is just so darned sweet.

- I'm catching up on this season of Survivor this week. So far, with the blindsides of Erik and Kelly one after the other, it's a pretty entertaining season.

- Little Mosque offers up a highly-quotable if incredibly cheesy half hour that makes me wish they'd return to a good old fashioned Amaar/Rayyann matchup episode, bring back the good natured Rev. Magee and send the pompous (and not that funny) new guy packing.

- Being Erica wraps up with the perfect conclusion to the season. The brilliant Kai story was given a satisfyingly bittersweet ending and Erica finally broke up with Ethan, a long time coming. I've been meaning to post more on this episode so hopefully there'll be a follow up in the coming days.

- The season 4 finale of Dexter got spoiled by a Facebook status update that showed up in my Newsfeed. Could not be more annoyed by this fact.


- Golden Globe nominations are out! Three cheers for Big Love,which got a couple of choice nominations (including one for the remarkable Chloe Sevigny), and for Neil Patrick Harris who's still holding out for a supporting actor trophy. That said, gross omissions abound and I've decided that I hate award shows.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

I think I Might Be Maturing... And Other Startling Pop-Culture Related Revelations

My love for the redeemable bad boy has been well chronicled on this site, and with my ever-abiding and increasing love for Glee's Puck and HIMYM's Barney as continuing proof, I suppose it hasn't really ended. But recently, while rewatching Veronica Mars Season Three (because, well, if it's a season that I can't quote entirely from memory, that's just not okay) I realized that I might, just might, be maturing a little. Suddenly, Logan's whole broody bad boy thing seemed unfounded and off-putting. I'm sure season one's break light cracking, FBI-punching version might still make my little heart go pitter patter, but I actually found myself rooting for... you guessed it... Piz.

And it's more than just that. I watch early Gilmore Girls seasons and think, "Milo Ventimiglia is cute and all, but does Jess have to be such a grump?" Where before I saw deepness and sexiness, I'm suddenly all, "young people these days don't know how good they have it.*" I find myself increasingly worshipping at the altar of the Chucks (from Chuck) of this world, rather than the Chucks (from Gossip Girl).

Even Twilight, my enjoyment of which certainly seems like the greatest evidence one could find against my continued maturation, seems to be trying to remind me that I'm not a moony eyed fourteen year old anymore. Gone are the days of angsting away after the Edward Cullens of the world. I'm suddenly loving the more emotionally healthy werewolf best friend.

It's one of the most fun parts of being a popular culture junkie that I can truly measure growth in my life by my relation to popular culture, but this one took me a little by surprise. I wonder what farther reaching complications it has for me?

I'm trying to think of other, similar revelations. I remember watching Freaks and Geeks before high school and getting a completely different message out of it, but I think that's to be expected. And I certainly appreciate aspects of Buffy's later seasons a lot more now that I'm on a different side of the adolescent divide.

What about the rest of you? Any deep revelations spring up for you while watching your regularly scheduled programming?

*Which should not be misconstrued as jumping ship to Team Dean.