Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Year in TV

I have a strange relationship with TV. I probably watch too much of it, yet I really don't have that many shows that I watch on a regular basis. Maybe it's just a love of being lazy that puts me in front of the tube more often than not.

If you're looking for raves on shows that all the cool people are supposed to love (Arrested Development, Lost, Veronica Mars), don't bother reading on. Not that I have anything against those shows, I've just never bothered to watch an episode. And the more people tell me I have to watch them, the less I actually want to. I refuse to watch a show simply because there's a coolness factor associated with it. This will be obvious when you see some of the crap I'm hooked on!

Best New Show - This is a no-brainer. My Name is Earl is the best comedy since Seinfeld. Yeah...I'm thinking maybe even better than Friends, although I love Friends. It's a great premise - formerly no good Earl has to make up for all the bad things he's done. He's done a lot of bad things, so there are an unlimited number of plot options! Jason Lee is so freaking charming, he could easily carry this show all by himself. Still, he's got a great supporting cast including Ethan Suplee as his adorably stupid brother, Randy and Jaime Pressly as the perfect "could've been a beauty queen but ended up another trailer-park ho" ex-wife, aptly named Joy. I also love Eddie Steeples as Joy's new husband, Darnell aka Crab Man. This show has the best cast, best writing and best overall theme that I've seen in quite a while on the idiot box. And if you think I'm lying, suck on this: it's just been awarded a much coveted slot in NBC's Thursday night "must-see" line-up. I was happy about that until I realized it would be on opposite C.S.I. Those damn execs always do this to me. I only have a few shows that I absolutely can't miss and it always seems that they're in direct conflict with each other. In my current living situation, I am VCR-less...a problem I will need to rectify before Earl makes his Thursday night debut.

Best Show Overall
- Ah, it's a toss-up between My Name is Earl and C.S.I. It's kind of hard to compare a comedy with a drama. Last season's Tarantino-directed finale of C.S.I. was pretty damn good. And Grissom, Brown and Stokes could come check out my crime scene any day. I used to have such a major thing for William Petersen (Gil Grissom) but I think I've developed a serious case of jungle fever for Gary Dourdan (Warrick Brown).

Show That Should Call It Quits - I'll have to say ER. I still watch it, but only because I'm so used to watching it. It's not nearly as entertaining as it used to be. And after this many years, I still can't understand the docs when they're talking that medical mumbo jumbo. Really, how many crazy people can be admitted to the ER before they beef up security? And how many combinations of doctor/nurse hookups can there be before every employee has slept with everyone else? Luka and Abby are already at it again. They're running out of storylines...and eligible doctors.

Show That Never Should've Been
- Gotta go with Joey here. I watched the first few episodes and really wanted to like it. Matt LeBlanc was the best thing about Friends in the last couple of seasons, so I thought if anyone could pull off a successful spin-off, it would be him. Not so. It's just not funny. Friends worked because it was an ensemble cast with real chemistry. (They were really friends off-set...did you all know that!?!?) Who does Joey have? The bland, blonde neighbor girl, the dorky nephew, the annoyingly over-the-top, ditzy agent, and oh yes, the completely unlikable sister played by lousy actress, Drea de Matteo. Did she seriously win an Emmy for The Sopranos? I never watched it, but if she was anything then like she is on Joey now, and she was even nominated for any award but the Razzie, I would have to guess that she really does have mob connections.

Guilty Pleasures? I'm sorry, that phrase does not compute. - I don't believe in the term "guilty pleasure". I've said this before. I like what I like and don't feel the need to apologize for it. I wonder why I like some of the things I do, but hey, if I'm getting pleasure out of it then who cares? (I'm sure this is also the motto of sexual deviants everywhere.)

I have a love/hate relationship with reality TV. Some of it turns my stomach. Much of it, I refuse to watch. (I'm very proud that I've never seen a single episode of Survivor.) But, with reality TV practically taking over the airwaves in recent years, the odds are that if you watch TV at all, you'll end up watching at least one of those programs. Therefore, it deserves its own section here. My personal favorites from the year:

America's Next Top Model - This show always reminds me why I don't have a lot of girlfriends. It also makes me think twice before judging outrageously pretty, thin girls, wait a minute. No it doesn't! I have no idea why I like this show so much. It did lose a bit of its lustre this year with the loss of Janice Dickinson as judge, but the Botoxed Wonder did make a special appearance during one photo shoot. I'm also missing that little gnome, Nole Marin. But they've still got Brit stud-puppy model-turned-photog, Nigel Barker on the panel. And Tyra is still Tyra. (I honestly like her.) But, I think it might be Mr. and Ms. Jay that keep bringing me back. I love those guys. Guys? Yes. For now, at least.

The Apprentice - If there is one thing I've learned from watching this show, it's this: I would much rather room with Tyra's models than the majority of these big biz-wannabe bitches. Generally, there's always one really snooty, hateful prima donna in the model crowd but on the whole, those girls are pretty nice, normal chicks. I don't know where they find these Apprentice broads, but 95% of them need to be beaten down by the contestants on The Contender. They're just so mean and full of themselves. And please, no feminazis coming out of the woodwork to tell me that these gals need to be tough to make it in a man's world. There's a difference between being tough and just a nasty shrew. Take Kendra, who won last season. She was very mild-mannered and pleasant, but she was smart and got the job done. Rebecca, who was this season's runner up, was very much the same. These are the women who make it, not the drama queens and backstabbers. I always find myself pulling for the guys' team because they usually work better together and don't spend the majority of every task bickering. But the real star of the show, of course, is Trump. This is a guy I used to detest before I started watching. He's still a complete goon, but he actually seems like he might be kind of a decent guy with a fairly well-developed sense of humor. I especially like his right-hand woman, Carolyn. Now, that's the right kind of tough chick. She can always be counted on to put all those immature, little divas in their place.

American Idol
- Yeah, I'm addicted to this show. I can't help it. This seems to fly in the face of everything I believe in, yet I can't...stop...watching. Half of me loves to make fun of it and half of me genuinely enjoys it. Damn show!! Plus, I really do love Simon Cowell. He's sexy. Proving once again that I am always attracted to men who act like jerks.

My Fair Brady
- I have to say, I really enjoyed this show. I thought it was going to be stupid, like Celebrity Fit Club or train-wreck entertainment like The Surreal Life, but it was actually cute. I don't know how much of Adrianne Curry and Chris Knight's relationship was staged for the cameras and how much reality we were actually getting, but the two of them together make a very goofily endearing couple. Glad to hear they had a happy ending.

Real World/Road Rules Challenge - There have been so many of these that I can't really keep them all straight. I'm not sure if last year was an Inferno or a Gauntlet or who won or who slept with who...but they're all entertaining. Every stinking one of them. (This year is missing one of the best players - Coral. That chick kills me.) While The Real World has become the most unreal reality show on TV, the RR/RW challenges never get boring. People are never more real than when they're competing for money. (Again, see Coral.) Yet, I wonder if any of those kids really need money. How many of us could take all that time off of work to go to exotic locales and compete in weird contests? Not many. This is pretty much their life. This is their job. Not a bad gig. I would never care about winning! Also, I gotta say, this is one of the best shows out there for pure eye candy. And the eye candy keeps coming back. And they age very nicely! Here are my favorite Challenge boys:

Timmy - This picture pretty much says it all. The guy is a total goof. Right up my alley. Plus, he's from Pittsburgh so it isn't completely out of the realm of possibility that I could actually meet him. However, and I'm sure this will break his heart, I could never marry him. His last name is Beggy. Becky Beggy? Uh, no thanks. Plus, he must be about 40 by now and he's still hanging out with all these young kids on these challenges. He's probably like Wooderson in Dazed and Confused. I can just hear him, checking out all the gals in bikinis, saying "I love these Challenge girls, man. I keep getting older, they stay the same age."

Mike (The Miz) - Mike is probably one of the biggest meatheads to ever have walked the Earth. He's also got great teeth and a killer bod. Look, I'm not watching this show to stare at men's personalities. Give me a break. I can't imagine being able to tolerate a guy like this in my everyday life. His biggest ambition is to be a freakin' professional wrestler. And I think he's nailed just about every girl from every cast at this point. On second thought, this is probably a guy I would go after. He's completely wrong for me. He's completely wrong, period. It's irresistible.

Dan - Dan is like Mr. Nice Guy/Mr. All American all wrapped into one. He's always smiling, sweet and polite but kicks ass in all the challenges. So he's like that guy every guy wants to be and the guy every girl wants, period. This is the kind of guy I wouldn't even attempt to go for because I would think I had no chance, while I'm off wasting my time on the meathead or the doofus.

David - The alpha male. David seems sweet as pie when he's just hanging out or sitting around talking. Then as soon as he gets into any type of competition, he becomes this screaming, psychotic junkyard dog who barks loudly at anyone on his team he deems unfit for the challenge. I hate guys like this. But he's cute. And he always seems to feel bad for going off on people. I guess he could use the excuse that he's just passionate, not a jackass. He's from Boston. He's a hothead. He's got a nice, thick head of dark, curly hair. What was I saying?

Ace - Seems dumb as a rock but has all that Southern charm going for him. And he's cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute. Yee-haw. He's pretty inoffensive, but has one annoying characteristic that I've seen. He's one of those guys who wants everyone to like him. Through experience I've found that people like that end up making everyone hate them, in trying to convince everyone of how great they are.

Even with the eye candy, there are two big reasons NOT to watch the RR/RW Challenges. Veronica and Trishelle. I won't post their pictures here, because I can't stand to look at those bitches, but everyone probably knows who they are. Even if you've only seen one episode, they're easy to remember. Veronica is the little J. Lo wannabe who hides behind her buddy, Rachel the uber-lesbian, and talks trash about everyone. She's about 3 feet tall and is never without her makeup bag, even in a tropical mud hut. However, I will give the girl props for being athletic. She's a pretty strong competitor...just not as great as she thinks she is. Trishelle is just a skanky ho, plain and simple. She's like a female Miz, but without the charm. (And yes, they've hooked up.) She just kind of drunkenly stumbles around, looking for a guy she hasn't slept with yet, screws him and then tries to play the "I'm really just a nice Southern Belle" card. The big challenge for the men's team when Trishelle is around is avoiding gonorrhea. There's no monetary prize for that, but a clean bill of health is much more important than a fat wallet.

The last three weeks have been rough for me, because I've been living in an apartment with no TV. It's not as hard to go without it as I thought it would be, but it just sucks knowing that it's not there, should I feel that I need it. But, my roommates are moving in soon so I don't think I'm in danger of pulling a Jack Torrance on everyone from lack of entertainment. Whew.


Teri said...

I don't (usually) watch t.v., so it is so great of you to post this - I feel like I can now keep up my end of t.v.-related conversations. You're providing quite the public service here!

Bar Bar A said...

i may actually create a crime scene if I thought I could get Grissom, Brown and Stokes to show up to investigate

LoraLoo said...

"My Name is Earl" is the funniest show on television, bar none.

I enjoyed your reviews - "Joey" is one I also wanted to like, but can't stomach it. He's just not capable of carrying a show on his own.

I'm also a RR/RW Gauntlet fan. I usually don't catch it until they do a marathon, but I love all the drama.

Celebrity Rant said...

Is it just me or is there next to no reality stuff on right now?

I refuse to watch the Bachelor, the rose ceremonies make me throw up a little in my mouth.

cocoa hill said...

I agree with your assessment of "My Name Is Earl"--easily the best new comedy on TV, and Eddie Steeples is adorable.

Kate said...

Oh my God, I just saw the first episode of Earl tonight (Viva Las LimeWire!) and I loved it! It's not only really funny, but sweet in a somewhat dim sort of way.


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