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and winner loser is....
(plus: the tv category)

No competition, really. [click for bigger] I'm trying to come up with something for the television category - the suckitude this year far surpassed previous years so I'd rather not go with the general worst tv show. I may just give the award to the whole reality show genre for foisting the worst in human behavior upon us. Or maybe I'll just give it to the people who actually tune into these shows week after week. Or maybe I'll just reverse the whole thing and give out an award for something good. Arrested Development comes to mind. Maybe Lost? The Farscape movie? So what did or didn't you like on television this year? (Difficulty: I don't want to hear from anyone who doesn't own a tv or hasn't watched tv in ten years or only watches educational programs on PBS).

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Comments

Does the Red Sox winning the World Series count?? Ha!

I don't care what you say - I liked the Day After Tomorrow. The worst film of the year by far was The Punisher.

The only show I make a point of trying to catch is "Southpark" and I still think it's good.The Paris Hilton episode was particularly funny.
On the kids scene,we love "Fairly Oddparents".

"Tom Goes to the Mayor". Sucks so hard that the tv tube bends inward. Adult Swim, why hast thou forsaken me?

I'm really enjoying "Lost" -although I haven't seen all the episodes. The "what I didn't like" category - well, it would be severely limited, since I'm such a snob (who OWNS 2 tvs, and only rarely watches PBS), there a tons of shows that come and go and I never see. OH, I know - The last episode of "Angel" ... that REALLY sucked.

As for genres - the 30 minuet sitcom is dead. Arrested Development is ok, but I got kinda tired of their schtick (overvoice, etc)

Punisher was freaking awesome. My wife even liked it. It was a rare comic movie that they didn't screw up by trying to make it artsy and appeal to more people by toning it down. Now the Hulk, that was more crappy.

You seem to be having a hard time with listing good things, so I'll stick with only those:

(1) I know many will flame me for this, but I think "Star Trek - Enterprise" has finally found what it wants to be about. If it makes it through it's own 7 year arc, this will be the season most will say it found itself.

(2) "Everybody Loves Raymond". For everyone who explains how stale this series has become, I say this: don't forget how consistant and well-written it is too. Count on it, you'll miss it next year.

(3) "Two and a Half Men". For everyone who explains how stale "Raymond" is, I'll bet you are also calling this show the freshest comedy around. Raymond may have lost about 2 flat out belly laughs per show, but I know where they went - here.

(4) "Law and Order SVU". I watched this show in season #1 for a bit, annd really didn't like it. When USA picked it up I enjoyed it... the character development, the stories, all of it... to a point I started watching it on NBC once again. This season is no exception - the best episode of the entire series (not season, series) was where we found out about Elliott being separated from his wife. Yeah, I know, the ending (letting the viewers decide) was real gimmicky. I personally would have let it simply end where they did. But the story itself? Wow.

Notice, I haven't mentioned any new shows. They all suck. I haven't mantioned any cable-only series or movies. I wanted to keep it with the public airwave networks.

One last note - I buy boxed set DVDs. Two come to mind:

(1) "24". Ever watch it 4 episodes per night commercial free? That's how I started. I won't watch it on Fox because this is just too good watching it this way. I read many Amazon reviewers talking about how season #3 had too many slow moments. Well, watching it like I do it reads more like a book. Let me tell you, it rocks. I will watch the teasers and promos for season #4 (sorry I meant "Day 4"), and hold very high hopes for this series once again this year.

(2) "Dead Like Me". This is a Showtime series you simply can't describe in words. Consider another series from the same people, "Northern Exposure". In a sentance, that series was about a Jewish doctor from NYC stuck in the middle of a hick town in Alaska. Yet, that doesn't come close to describing what that series was really about. So when I tell you "Dead Like Me" is about a group of grim reapers who meet everyday at a waffle house and the main character/narrator died because a toilet seat fell out of the sky and took her head off.... well, you just have to know that this doesn't really describe it.

Two new shows this year that are very good:

1. Lost. I jumped on this bandwagon a bit late, but I'm completely hooked.

2. House. My husband and I love this show: the main character is a hoot. You have a crippled, yet brilliant, doctor, who avoids treating patients as much as he possibly can, because, as he puts it, they lie. "We treat illnesses. Treating patients is why most doctors are miserable." He watches General Hospital on a mini-tv in the hospital chapel while everyone is looking for him; he pops Vicodin like it's candy; he razzes his subordinates and colleagues when he's not hiding from them. It's great. The writing is clever and the acting is very, very good.

While the main plot continuum of the first few episodes (brilliant but wacky doctor might save a patient's life, but will anyone believe him, because his treatment is odd? He proves them wrong yet again!) is getting a bit old. I think they're going to realize this and switch things up.

I liked "The Apprentice" last year in spite of myself. This year, it was lame. I just couldn't make myself care.

But to me, the loudest persistent sucking sound in television is any time Horatio Sanz appears on-screen on Saturday Night Live.

Law and Order SVU - I will say, that the first season (or two) wasn't very good - bad writing or something. The last few seasons have shown vast improvements.

I have a tendency to winnow down my commericial viewing to a handful of shows I like... I'm at that stage of life if something even remotely starts creating a vacuum in the room the channel changes.

Not to say there are times on a late Saturday evening Eric and I actually crave something like really bad sci-fi to chortle over (god, how I miss MST3K)

Best Shows: CSI (the original in Vegas) and Without A Trace. Anthony LaPaglia is just a wonder to watch and the writing is consistently strong.

Best NEW Show: House. I absolutely adored Wooster and Jeeves (and Blackadder) and here is Hugh Laurie as Gregory House, a character 180 degrees from Bertie Wooster.

This really aired at the tailend of 2003..but the 3 episode pilot/miniseries for the new Battlestar Galactica was exceptional ... and from what Jeff Harrell been writing about it (the new series has been airing in England..due to start here in January) the series is more than living up to the promise of the pilot.

Kathy

IIRC the last episode actually did stray from the line... it was Dr. Allison Cameron's initial diagnosis of allergic reaction in the nun that turned out to be the right one (House ends up telling her she needs to be more aggressive in sticking to her guns).

This is a really tough category, because if you see 4 ot 5 minutes of bad tv then why would you keep watching? Turning the channel automatically disqualifies you from being an authority.

That said, I usually turn from bad TV. This year, however, I actually did tune in to a show(before I tuned against - the 2004 anti-zeitgeist)because I knew the show would suck babboon banana. It did. Billing itself at the show that would put the "urban" back into "suburban," I had an easy tipoff. It was a true spectacle. It hurt my mind. (Really, my mind was in a cast for a week and a half after watching that piece of lawnfruit.)

My opinion was shared by many and it will never make it to anybody's DVD collector series because It was cancelled after 9 ephisodes, sucking all the way. It made its debut as a summer filler for the ever courageous FOX network. Talented rappers Method Man (of the Wu-Tang Clan) and RedMan (Guest rapper on every album since the "Redman employment act of 1993" was passed.) starred in this "Fresh Prince" goes hardcore disaster. Will Smith was rolling in his grave. (oh wait a minute... nevermind) Two words summarize it.

NOT FUNNY.

NOT FUNNY.

did I mention that it was not funny?

Considering that this was made by guys hoping to branch out into new entertainment venues (as Shaq did with Kazzam) I ask that you please refrain from all other nominees.

The winner must be:

METHOD & RED.

I think that possibly one of the most disappointing television events has been SciFi's Earthsea miniseries - ESPECIALLY after their fantastic Battlestar Galactica. With Earthsea, they took a fantasy classic and rendered it into soft pulp, virtually indistinguishable from every other fantasy property out there. I dislike LeGuin's writing but can easily recognize the greatness...a greatness that the SciFi edition was lacking.

At least the special effects in 'The Day After Tomorrow' were cool. 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was easily the worst movie.

Good in 2004 - WonderFalls. Too bad Fox cancelled it so soon after it started.

In terms of good and new, I'd vote for Veronica Mars.

Two and Half Men. Consistently funny in a gentle way. One episode was in very bad taste. If you've watched them all, you'll know which I mean. I hope the show doesn't go in that direction.

Raymond? Good writing, great supporting cast. Can't stand Raymond's character. If he wasn't supposed to be a father, his childish selfishness might be funny.

Doug in King of Queens is just as stupidly selfish, but at least he isn't a father. Of course, Jerry Stiller makes the show.

House is very good, but I can't really explain why. Interesting characters and situations, but haven't seen enough episodes to give a serious critique.

I've like JAG for years, but last night episode with Mac acting crazy was B O R I N G. Don't like the new general in charge. The show is supposed to be about military justice, not Oprah in the navy.

CSI - Was great till this year when they broke up a winning team. Also lose the annoying loud music.

Law & Order. My husband loved this show, but it's become hideously pornographic with the rapes and child molestations. Enough already.

My favorite this year was Venture Brothers, which proved that Adult Swim isn't totally dedicated to the new "suck" programming theme they've been going with lately. If it doesn't get picked up for another season the tantrum here will be heard in adjoining counties. Plus they get extra credit for basic an outfit for a character off one from Lileks's Dorcus site.

When and on what station is "House" on, anyway? I keep hearing rave reviews, but it's never on when I sit down and flip on the digital TV guide. I admit I don't watch that much TV, but it's proving elusive even with that factored in.

Speaking of JAG, can I nominate it for 2004's most dramatic shark jump? I used to adore that show, and I still love the older episodes, but this year they decided on this exciting new direction where the two main characters emotionally regress to three-year-olds and the most interesting characters leave or are more or less phased out.

"House" is on Tuesday nights on FOX at 9:00pm. Good show; one of the few I make of point of watching anymore.

Best of the New? Veronica Mars.
New and good? Lost. (I haven't seen House, but I've heard nothing bad about it.)
New, good, and gone -- Wonderfalls.

It's all about Scrubs! And of course, the Simpsons.

In the worst category "The Mountain"/ Desperate Housewives.

Don't any of you watch "Third Watch"? It is soooo good. It has it all.
Lost.
And I can't wait for "Medium" in like January.
And God help me, the real Gilligan's Island. Shoot me in the head, I know.
Reno 911.
And all those I love the 70's, 80's 90's shows on VH1. Cracks me up.

Best TV: Well, Lost, Dead Like Me and Farscape: Peacekeeper Wars have all been covered already. So let me just put in a good word for Desperate Housewives and Monk.

Worst: As in years past, the reality trend in general. Wait! What's that? A ruminant cow chewing cud on my TV? Oh! No, it's just Anna Nicole Smith. Or ANS Junior, Jessica Simpson. Or any of several assorted Osbournes. Pleeeease make it stop!

Really sick of the L&Os & CSIs now. Thank you and goodnight, detectives!

Concentrating on the worst. There was a show on for maybe one or two episodes about a kid who is a batboy for a Yankees-like team. Christopher Lloyd (Taxi) was on the show, yet it still sucked ass.

From the BBC, Footballer's Wifes. I was unfortunate enough to attempt to watch this show in marathon form on BBC America.

Don't feel badly, Donna. My secret TV vice is America's Next Top Model.

I don't know....I can't explain it. But I love it.

OH, I know - The last episode of "Angel" ... that REALLY sucked

Heh, I was going to suggest the last episode of Angel for "best TV episode this year".

The best:

Wonderfalls
Dead Like Me
Lost
Scrubs
Desperate Housewives

The worst:

The Swan
Wife Swap (and the Fox ripoff)
CSI: Miami
CSI: New York
West Wing (what a crapfest this has turned into!)

I'm in the UK so most of these shows mean nothing to me. The best thing to come out of the US in the last decade has been, far and away, The West Wing. Hands down, no contest, thank you and good night.

HBO continues to kick ass; nothing on television is as good as The Wire and Deadwood.

F/X has really become a powerhouse, and I love all three of their series: The Shield, Nip/Tuck, and Rescue Me.

I still obsessively watch ER. It tends to vary in quality, but when it is good it is very, very good.

Scrubs and Arrested Development are two shows that make me laugh out loud.

For new shows, I am enjoying both Lost and House. I'm sold on Lost, but House could either get better or really start stinking. Time will tell.

I like - but do not love - Without a Trace and Law & Order: SVU.

I hate hate hate CSI, Desperate Housewives, Monk, almost all sitcoms, and any type of network news show (20/20, Dateline, etc.).

FARSCAPE!!!! I loooved "Peacekeeper Wars," even if it was a whole season crammed into 4 hours. Farscape never got enough recognition... (and did you hear that Ben Browder will be joining Stargate SG1 for the 9th season?)

Speaking of which, I've also been enjoying the heck out of SG1, now that I've gotten over resenting it for usurping Farscape. Excellent byplay and synergy between the characters.

AndI noticed someone mentioned Monk.... Monk is lots of fun! I don't watch it as much as I'd like to because I'm always forgetting to tape it (smacks self).

Donna

My girls watch 3rd Watch and absolutely are hooked on it. I just never seem to be busy doing something else whenever its on. I've seen a couple of episodes and it's pretty good. In some ways it reminds me of one of my all time favorite shows "Hillstreet Blues" (yep, dating myself again)

sortapundit

Make you a deal... We'll keep Hugh Laurie and you can take Martin Sheen (please!)

[anytime I tried to watch it with Sheen as President I hear this voice in my head screech "Watch out! Senator Greg Stillson made Pres!"]

Television has no urgency. "Must See" turned into "Might Rent Someday". And I don't miss it at all. Since DVD series are now released, I never need to watch anything anymore. The only shows I try to watch are Scrubs (which is funny, but moved to a night I usually work) and sports (because I will find out the scores which then makes future viewing anticlimactic).

I don't know what happens on Six Feet Under in the third season, but I can wait. I enjoyed Strangers with Candy (coming to the movies). I see Monk and like it. I'm sure I'll enjoy Lost when I can rent it, too.

My wife still watches E.R. and various incarnations of Law and Order. I like Law and Order: Private Pyle is Always Smartest in an Overbearing Manner the best of all, and wonder if Chris Noth will be up to snuff.

Cold Case, Without A Trace, L&O incl. spawn, Monk, 30-Minute Meals, Barefoot Contessa

No dice, Darleen. I'd never heard of House until I read these comments, and had no idea Hugh Laurie was still in gainful employment, but his performance in Blackadder means that you'll have to pry him from my cold, dead British hands.

You can keep Sheen. We'll just borrow him occasionally.

I really tend to hate medical dramas, but House seems to be the exception. I guess maybe the reason behind that is the fact that it's done more like a mystery than a standard medical show. And The Venture Bros. is the best thing to hit AdultSwim since the Aqua Teens.

On the flip side, I've got to give the stinkeye to Super Milk Chan. I mean, what were the folks at Williams Street thinking? And even though Treacher told me he liked it, I've got to give a dishonorable mention to Perfect Hair Forever. The song may have been funny, but the cartoon was crap.

I suppose I shouldn't comment on this post as I have the weirdest television habits of anyone I know. War is hell, I'm way too opinionated not to spout on such a popular subject.

I absolutely can not watch anything except for sports broadcasts on network television. Everything else is absolute crap.

I have never seen an episode of survivor, or the apprentice, or any of the other popular reality shows being spewed over the network airwaves. HOWEVER, I have a weakness for American Chopper. Trite and contrived as it may be, I can't turn the channel. Mind you, I've never owned a motorcycle, nor will my wife even begin to discuss the possibility of my owning a motorcycle without giving me a total guilt trip about the possibility of getting myself killed because I, "had to have a silly toy". I just love to watch them build those beautiful machines.

I'm also a sucker for a South Park repeat.

If one assumes a TiVo Season Pass means subjective quality, the wife and/or I like Desperate Housewives, Lost, The Amazing Race (sorry, but it the single show from the "reality" genre that I actually enjoy), CSI (the original), Without a Trace and Joan of Arcadia. Not including the kids' shows here, because I doubt you care that my 2 year old is obsessed with Dora and the Backyardigans.

Worst: Usually I hear by word of mouth that shows are horrible, so I never get to see them. I'd give that award to Any Dating Reality Show. Or American Idol, for foisting all of those divas-that-will-never-be on us. Also The Swan and Newlyweds. The worst TV moment of the year was Janet Jackson's nipple, because it got the FCC all riled up, the effects of which will likely be ruining network programming for some time to come.

I absolutely loved the Farscape movie. Since I had not watched Farscape in its initial run, I was pleased by SciFi's running of the entire series as a run-up, and watched as much of it as possible.

No flames, but I'd put Enterprise up as worst show of the year. I so wanted it to be good. I was hopeful when Brent Spiner was on. Still, it has sucked worse than the worst years of Voyager (aka anything before Jeri Ryan's catsuit).

Wonderfalls definitely makes it for best show that never had a chance.

The West Wing has come on strong this season... it's the only show I really watch.

Scrubs, Arrested Development and King of the Hill all make me laugh consistently.

I know Firefly is older, but I only discovered it this year so I'm listing it anyway.

The three-frickin'-hour season finale of the Apprentice was the worst single episode of anything on television this year. Which is especially sad since the Apprentice overall was one of the most entertaining shows on TV last year.

dude. i so totally enjoyed "the day after tomorrow." the key? i expected it to be shit. well that, and i already knew in my head that it would be un-believable. it was good, clean fun.

van helsing? i still say it was the worst. even worse than "The A-lame-o".

i think there should be two bad TV awards. one for worst show. the other for "worst show that i, for some reason, cannot stop watching and it's killing me!" you know. something like "Desperate Housewives."

You're probably going to tell me to go to hell, but here goes anyway. A show I really liked:

On Vietnamese TV4, they have a soap opera featuring a heroine to whom absolutely nothing good happens to , and during which she discourses at length about the struggles of trying to adapt to a market economy while maintaining a spirit of solidarity with her countrymen.

It absolutely one of the funniest things I've seen in a long time.