Thursday, 8 January 2009

Top TV Moments of 2008

It’s a new year and I decided I’d start it with a new and maybe interesting blogger. I decided to dedicate it to my three passions – film, TV and music. Of course the list of my three passions is decidedly flawed because I can’t include plays and musicals because I don’t live in New York and can’t catch the latest showings of The Seagulls (with the luminous Kristin Scott Thomas) or the Broadway debut of Shrek to see if Sutton Foster has a good show in her hands. But I’ve gone off topic (something I am excessively prone to). 

I decided the first thing I’d do is dedicate a slot to my review of television this year. Of course this list is flawed, because as with any favourite list nothing is definite. Art (from paintings, to film to TV) is really quite subjective, so anything I say is ‘rebuttable’. So fire away if you care to. This isn’t meant to be the best shows on TV, or necessarily the best things that happened this year. But it’s just ten things this year that made me get up and whoop, or at least WANT to get up and hoot. 

John Slattery on ‘Mad Men’
I may have an especially flawed sense of appreciation, you decide, but I do believe that John Slattery  was the best thing on ‘Mad Men’ last year. I mean, ‘Mad Men’ was, is, a good show. It’s well written, well directed and well acted – what else could you ask for? I mean, I like the show. I just feel that Slattery is head and shoulders above anyone else in the cast. There’s nothing else to say.

Jon Stewart hosting ‘The Academy Awards’
Besides Whoopi Goldberg and possibly Ellen DeGeneres Jon Stewart is probably my favourite Oscar host. He is funny, but not disrespectful and he can make anything funny. This guy is really classy. It’s been a good two years for the Oscar – from Ellen to Jon. I just hope Hugh doesn’t mess it up. I like Hugh, so I’m actually rooting for him.

David Cook winning ‘American Idol’
I always liked David Cook. I mean he wasn’t my favourite contestant this season (Michael, Syesha, Carly), but he was fun and cool. As soon as I realised that AI was pushing for a David showdown I had my money on him. Of course that was only because I really could not stand David Archuletta. Cook (or Cookie as his fans dubbed him) was definitely the superior contestant. The thing about Idol is that no matter how much you try to avoid it you can’t. Over the four to five months it airs EVERYONE is talking about Idol… and it’s a good show. So why not?

Lacey Shwimmer on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
I HATE ‘Dancing With the Stars’. From someone that loves ABC this has got to be my worst show on the Network. I never look at it. So when my favourite ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ alumnus Lacey Schwimmer joined the cast I was torn. What to do? What to do? So I sucked it up and looked. Actually I sucked it up and looked at Lacey’s dances only. I’m biased so of course I wanted her to win. And looking at the entire semi finals and finals, I thought she should have won (Brooke Burke and her partner were so annoying, and that fat dude? Come on!) Anyways, Lacey didn’t win, but she was great! Oh, and Lance Bass was good too…

Bart Bass dying on ‘Gossip Girl’
I am not ashamed to say that I love this show. ‘Gossip Girl’ is the best thing that has happened to CW in the last year. It’s fun, funny, sexy and smart without being preachy (‘7th Heaven’ I’m talking to you). Towards the end of Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2, Gossip Girl was trailing along as one of my favourite shows, and then Bart Bass died… Let the record show that I have nothing against Bart Bass, he was an okay character, but never before (except maybe on a Soap Opera or maybe ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ when Denny died) has a character’s death caused for such great results. Ed Westick gives his best performance EVER as Chuck Bass and almost all the plotlines become secondary. The fact that Chuck wasn’t even supposed to be a major character in the series is just mind boggling. I can’t wait for January 5th to see if ‘Gossip Girl’ will continue to impress. And to think this show started out as my guilty pleasure…

The Five Year Leap on ‘Desperate Housewives’
This is another one of those shows that I have loved from the beginning. I find it hard to believe that it’s already in its fifth year, but I think that the five year jump was a nice shakeup on the show. Neal McDough and Gale Harrod were two additions to the cast that I enjoyed. I was a bit meh about the new Scavo twins. I wondered what those young Brats are doing now. And I did feel that Susan’s kid looked a bit wrong in the head. (His his head is very large.) And I did hate losing Andrea Bowen. And why does Marcia Cross look even more fresh in the future? They leap five years into the future and she looks even more gorgeous than she did in season 1. But I’m nitpicking. So far, I’m loving this season of the show. The jump ahead feels like the best thing for the show.

Alex and Izzie on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
I have been a certified fan of this couple since Season 1 when they hated each other. I must have been one of the few people happy to see Denny Duquette die in season 2. I mean I wasn’t walking around anticipating his death (I’m not THAT macabre) I let out a sight of relief when he threw in the towel. And I had to wait almost three years later before these two crazy kids sorted out their issues up. All the Alex and Izzie moments of Season 5 of ‘Grey’s’ so far have been priceless. I don't know where Shonda Rhimes is going with Denny's ressurection, but Chambers and Heigl play so well off each other I'm intrigued to see the fallout. 

Kristin Chenoweth (and the rest of the cast’ on ‘Pushing Daisies
When I heard ABC had cancelled ‘Pushing Daisies’ I was so pissed I almost decided to boycott the network (which is actually my favourite). Then I realised that if I DID boycott it ABC wouldn’t care… and I’d miss out ‘Grey’s’ and ‘DH’ for no reason. Still, this series did not deserve to be cancelled. When crap like ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (seriously what does this show add to the world?), 90210 (do not even get me started), Two & A Half Men (this is a comedy) are on the air. I mean these aren’t the worse shows on TV, but ‘Pushing Daisies’ is or was the best comedy on TV. How could they cancel it? Anyways, Kristin Chenoweth was tops in this and I heard that she’ll be in some NBC comedy called ‘Legally Mad’. If that’s true, it should be interesting.

Whoopi Goldberg coming to ‘The View’ and hosting ‘The Tony’s’
I can’t even remember if that was this year, but let me say that Whoopi Goldberg is the best thing that ever happened to this show. She’s liberal without be obnoxious like joy, she’s hip without being tactless like Sherri can be, she’s seasoned without being condescending like Barbara tends to occasionally and she’s smart without being like Elisabeth (whom I like, actually). And then there was ‘The Tony’s’. Whoopi Goldberg is comedic magic, enough said. Thank you.

Amy Ryan on ‘The Office’
It’s really a big statement to say any one actor was the best thing that ever happened to a show, but that’s how I feel about Amy Ryan in ‘The Office’. I had only seen her in ‘Gone, Baby Gone’, and for the life of me I can’t remember seeing her at the Oscars last year, so when I saw her in ‘The Office’. I was thinking ‘Hey, she looks like Amy Ryan.’ And no shit! Would you believe it? It WAS Amy Ryan. She was like the female version of Michael, but not as the over top ‘goofy’. And it was fun how little by little we realised how much of nutcase she was. I WISH she could have stayed on the show as a regular, but regardless this is one of the best decisions any actor has made after being catapulted onto the Hollywood scene. I mean, forget 30 Rock, ‘The Office’ is the funniest show on TV. If Amy Ryan doesn’t at least get an Emmy nod for this performance, I will seriously freak out.

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