The Fourth Annual Andy TV Awards – Best Shows

It’s been over a month since I started this thing, so I should probably get around to finishing it off with the two biggest awards. Of course, if you’ve been paying attention, you can reasonably predict how these two categories will go. For the preamble, including an explanation on what exactly the Andy TV Awards are, go here. Shows that received Emmy nominations in these two categories that I don’t watch, and thus had no chance of getting nominations here include House and Family Guy.
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Top 10 TV Episodes of 2008

Consider this the companion piece to my Top 10 TV Shows of 2008 list. Unlike that list, this one is a more standard year end list, only covering episodes that aired January 1st to December 31st. Because I’m judging thousands of episodes, there was a bunch of contenders for this list, many of which were bunched pretty closely near the end of the list, so I used the 8-10 spots for shows that missed my other list just to change things up.

NOTE: Since I’ll be talking about specific episodes, the write-ups will be necessarily spoilerish. For people who want to skim but remain unspoiled, the pictures are fairly unspoilery. On that note, I’ll reiterate that I haven’t caught up to The Shield, so please don’t spoil it for me by telling my how amazing the final was and how dumb I am for leaving it off this list (well okay, you can tell me that it’s awesome. Just please don’t tell me why).
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Top 10 TV Shows of 2008

It’s year end list season again, so it’s about time I got into the game. Actually, most publications and websites have already finished their year end lists, but those are written by people who get early screenings of things and, you know, don’t earn their money doing things other than writing blogs. So expect the movie list sometime at the end of January, and my album list between now and then. I’ll start with TV because it’s the list that doesn’t require any more time to take in the contents (because if I haven’t seen a season of a show yet, it’s too late to catch up). The rules for my year end TV list are a little different than most other year end lists, in that it doesn’t just cover things that took place within the calendar year of 2008. Television doesn’t operate on a January to December calendar (or at least network TV doesn’t), and I think it’s silly to try and judge a TV show from the back portion of one season and the front portion of another.

Instead, this list judges seasons that ended in 2008, including portions that began in 2007. If a season began in 2008, but is slated to return in 2009, then it is not under consideration for this list. Make sense? Acclaimed shows that I don’t watch, and thus won’t be appearing on this list include The Shield (I’m on season three), Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Doctor Who, Pushing Daisies, and House. On to the list…
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TV Talk: My Television Schedule

Updated with new networks.
Here’s something many of you probably never expected to hear me say (or read me write for that matter): I watch too much TV. Okay, I don’t really mean that, at least not in the traditional sense. I don’t actually have a problem with the number of hours I spend in front of the television (well, okay, in front of the computer which is in front of the television), but rather the number of shows I’m currently watching.

What’s the issue? Well, every week it seems that most of my free time is spent keeping my DVR clear of the new shows that air, leaving me less time for other important matters, like movies or TV box sets (ha… and you thought I was going to say “reading”). This is an issue because there’s a good chunk of TV series that I’m currently following that aren’t as good as the ones I’d like to be watching on DVD (The Shield in particular). So I figured a good exercise would be to look at all the TV series currently airing new episodes that I follow, and maybe make some choices that will ease my burden (or, you know, “burden” as it were). After all, the last time I used this space to muse about a show that I no longer cared for, I cut the cord a week later.

Plus, I thought it could be fun for you all to see exactly what I’m watching, day by day. You know, if you were wondering.
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The Third Annual Andy TV Awards

The Emmy Awards are this weekend, and once again, the list of nominees are wrong. It’s impossible to please everyone, but the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences make it especially hard. It’s interesting: while the Oscars have drawn heat of late for the fact that their nominated pictures aren’t widely seen productions, the Emmy people continue to baffle critics by insisting on nominating popular (and inferior) shows like Two & a Half Men or Boston Legal. But it wasn’t all bad this year (you can see the Academy’s full list of nominees here, although you’re probably better off with an abridged version, like the one here), as they got around to recognizing some smaller cable shows like Dexter and Mad Men.

But rather than be one of those people who complains about the snubbing of one show or another, I’m one of those obsessives who will come up with my own list of nominees and winners to show just exactly who was snubbed and who wasn’t. In doing so, I do have some sympathy for Academy voters, as even an avid TV viewer such as myself can’t manage to watch every great show (although I do like to think that I watch more than the average Academy member). Among the highly-acclaimed shows that I haven’t seen (and thus will not be eligible for awards) include Battlestar Galactica (I know, I know… I will check it out eventually; at this point, I think it’s best to wait for the whole series to come out on DVD), Breaking Bad, Brothers & Sisters, Doctor Who, House, and Nip/Tuck.

Some ground rules: to qualify for nomination, a show must have aired most of its season, including its season finale, in the past 12 months. Unlike the Emmys, each category is limited to five nominees each (the Academy wimps out a few times with six nominees on occasion). To decide what shows belong where, and which actors belong where (i.e., comedy vs drama, lead vs supporting), I used the official ballot for performers (which you can see here), even in situations that don’t necessarily make sense. Also, my votes are based on entire seasons, not single episodes (except when appropriate). And best of all? No awkward monologue to start the show…
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TV Talk: The Barren Summer TV Landscape

I won't be watching most of these networks for a few months.

The end of the TV season is almost here. There’s a two-hour finale of Grey’s Anatomy tonight (that I hardly care about, but I watch because my wife does… even though she hardly cares now too), and the two-hour finale of Lost next week (which I am very excited about, as this has been the best season of the show since the first. Perhaps better even). Then that’s it, it’ll be time for broadcast television to go into hibernation mode.

Even though I’m an admittedly voracious consumer of television, I like the slow summer TV schedule (particularly since I’m also a voracious consumer of movies… and apparently not that much of a consumer of sunlight). It’s a great palette cleanser that allows me to get excited about shows again come fall. More than that, in recent years I’ve been able to use the three months of summer to catch up on shows on DVD that I would have otherwise missed. Last summer, we watched all five season of Six Feet Under, the first seasons of Dexter and Friday Night Lights, the first three seasons of The Wire, and re-watched the first season of Big Love, meaning that we probably ended up seeing better quality television from June-August than we did from September-May.

With that in mind, I figured I’d lay out my summer viewing plans here, and ask for any input any of you might have regarding how I might best use the months ahead (you know, besides silly stuff like getting outside to enjoy nature or whatever).
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TV Talk: The New Fall TV Season – New Show Overview Part Two (2007)

Alas, no Showtime shows.

TV Talk: The New Fall TV Season – New Show Overview Part Two (2007)

I’m a little late with this, meaning that all the shows I will be writing about have already aired at least two episodes, and thus this is less useful to help turn people on to new shows. But, I don’t really think I have that much influence that people would start watching something based on my say so anyway. But if you are intrigued by what I say here, I do believe there’s some kind of series of tubes where one can access episodes that have already aired. Each series will be listed in the order in which its pilot debuted, along with the network and time slot it occupies.

Read Part One HERE.
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TV Talk: The New Fall TV Season – New Show Overview (2007)

TV Talk: The New Fall TV Season – New Show Overview (2007)

Instead of doing reviews for every new pilot I watched over the past couple of weeks (which I really didn’t have time for), I figured I’d just combine them all into mini-reviews in one post, judging each on whether or not I would continue watching the series. Each series will be listed in the order in which its pilot debuted, along with the network and time slot it occupies.
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TV Talk: Lost

Poor Charlie.

TV Talk: Lost

Starring: Naveen Andrews, Henry Ian Cusick, Emilie de Ravin, Michael Emerson, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Elizabeth Mitchell, Dominic Monaghan, Terry O’Quinn

Series Creator: Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof
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Top 10 TV Episodes of 2006

Hey, I wasn’t kidding when I said I love year-end lists. Thus, I shall leave no stone unturned in my attempt to quantify the year in pop culture. Unlike my Top 10 TV Shows of 2006 list, this list only judges episodes that aired in the calendar year, January-December. So some might be from current seasons, while others will be from previous seasons.

To put the list together, I went through episode listings and summaries from the shows I watch on various web sites like TV.com, IMDb, Wikipedia, and Television Without Pity, picking out episodes that stand out in my memory. Then I worked from that list to make my ten. I didn’t do anything crazy like re-watch every episode or anything, cause if an episode wasn’t memorable enough for me to decide on it now, then it wouldn’t be top ten, now would it? As a result, this list is heavy with event programming, be it season finales or sweeps week episodes that send the show into hiatus. But, hey, they usually save their best stuff for then anyway, so I’m sure this list is solid.

NOTE: Since I’ll be talking about specific episodes, the write-ups will be necessarily spoilerish. For people who want to skim but remain unspoiled, the pictures are fairly unspoilery.
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Top 10 TV Shows of 2006

Like last year, this list will be for shows whose season ended in 2006. It’s too awkward to try and judge the second half of one season from January-May, then the first half of the next season from September-December. Seasons should be judged by themselves, as a whole. Thus, this list will include seasons that began in 2005, but ended in 2006, or shows that had their entire season within 2006. Seasons that began in 2006 but have yet to finish do not qualify for this list.

Shows I don’t watch, and thus will not make this list include all procedurals and cop shows, Battlestar Galactica, Deadwood, The Wire, 24 (which I do watch, but am behind on the DVDs), and Gilmore Girls. Also, I didn’t catch all of the first season of How I Met Your Mother, so I’m leaving it off the list. Consider that an honourable mention.
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TV Talk: Grey’s Anatomy

After this picture was taken, the cast slapped each other around a bit.

TV Talk: Grey’s Anatomy

Starring: Ellen Pompeo, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, James Pickens Jr., Patrick Dempsey, Isaiah Washington, Kate Walsh, Sara Ramirez, Eric Dane

Series Creator: Shonda Rhimes
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Andy’s TV Awards

Since the Andy Movie Awards 2005 were such a big hit, and because we all know I know more than those who give out awards, I’ve decided to do the Emmy’s one better, and list MY nominees and winners for the past TV season. Of course, unlike the Oscars, where I make a concerted effort to see all Oscar-baiting movies, I didn’t see every show of last year, or even all the critically acclaimed ones. Unlike the Academy, I’m basing my awards on all the episodes I’ve seen from last season of a particular show, instead of just one or two episodes that were submitted.

To be nominated, I had to have seen at least part of last season’s shows of the series. Thus, 24 and Arrested Development, two shows I’ve seen on DVD and enjoy, are not nominated because I haven’t seen season five and three respectively. Other critically-acclaimed shows that I do not watch include The Sopranos, House, Curb Your Enthusiasm, any CSI or Law & Order shows (actually, no procedurals at all), The Office, Six Feet Under, The Shield, or Boston Legal. Despite not having seen any of those shows, I still think I did a better job than the Emmy people.

NOTE: I’ll only being doing major categories, and for two of them, I won’t have nominees. Because I’m not judging single episodes (too hard), I won’t be doing any writing or directing awards. Also, no mini-series or TV movies.
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