We have reached the official end of the 2005-2006 television season. Now begins the “what was best” and “what was worst” conversations that people will be having until the new season starts! Not to be left out, here is my personal best and worst list of the season! (Note: The Emmy nominations are coming July 6, so look for my personal Emmy ballot wishes the week before. These are the best and worst things that won‘t get recognized come Emmy time!)
Cast Chemistry — Arrested Development. Hands down. There is no other cast on TV that puts as much of themselves into each scene, and who truly portrays a family in crisis that loves and cares for each other. Every member of this cast, including (and perhaps especially) Michael Cera, the young George Michael Bluth, puts everything they have into their scenes. Nothing feels forced. Every scene makes you think that this cast would do anything for each other as a family on screen, and as a faux family off screen.
Couple to Root For — I hate having to make the decision between two relationships that jump off the screen, so I’m choosing two! Jason Dohring and Kristen Bell as Logan Echolls and Veronica Mars are perfectly matched, as enemies, as friends, as teenagers in love. They approach each scene together beautifully, and without saying anything, or doing anything, they make you root for them. And then there’s Jam! Jim Halpert and Pam Beesley (John Krasinski, the newest love of my life, and Jenna Fischer). Jim and Pam are the new Ross and Rachel, the newest couple to root for!
Kiss between two major characters — Best kiss of the 05-06 season, hands down, was the blissfully perfect kiss at the end of “Casino Night”, the finale to The Office’s sophomore season, by the new Ross and Rachel – Jim and Pam!
Death of a Beloved Character — The death of Edgar Stiles on 24. Not only did it affect the characters in a profound way, it made the audience really sad and angry, and more invested in watching Jack Bauer save the day.
Cliffhanger — The best cliffhanger belongs to Lost. I cannot stop myself from thinking about the British woman speaking with the Brazilian men, while they played chess and watched for electromagnetic anomalies aboard an Arctic shipping boat. Why did she know to look for electromagnetic anomalies? Who are these men? Where are these men? How is Charles Widmore connected? Did Libby need to have that insane giant-bangs hair cut? Is Locke dead? Is Eko dead? Is Desmond dead? Is Charlie evil? Are Jack, Kate, and Sawyer going to be okay? Are Michael and Walt going to make their escape okay? While Grey’s will having me wondering which adorable man Meredith will choose, Lost keeps me thinking of a thousand questions that need to be answered!
New Shows — This year, without a doubt, there were some seriously great new shows. The best new shows to hit the scene this year were, in no particular order, Bones, Prison Break, How I Met Your Mother, and Invasion. They all do something different, approach stories in ways that we haven’t seen. Bones could easily be an average, lackluster show about a scientist and bones, but it’s quickly become a show about the characters and relationships that they experience. While there is an understood need for suspension of belief as I watch Prison Break, I can’t help but be hooked to every minute of the show. Surprise Golden Globe nominee Wentworth Miller is a phenomenal presence on screen, and as the show goes on to more insane heights, I think it can only get better. How I Met Your Mother is 4-camera comedy at its best. The entire cast is funny, and it really rejuvenated the tired romantic situation comedy genre. Invasion never tried to be something other than what it was. At it’s purest level, it is a show about family. Sure, that family was dealing with alien hybrids, and death, and the idea of human extinction, but what made it great was the families at the core. ABC didn’t give this show the chance it needed to really shine.
Treatment of a worshipped old series — FOX loves its 24. They promote the show, and build nights around the show, and devote time to showing the world just how important it is to them.
Cast Chemistry — Is it really a shock that this category belongs solely to the “actors” of 7th Heaven? The entire clan has not yet, after 10 years, learned how to fake-cry without looking constipated, or how to look happy without looking, well, constipated. They always look happier when someone else is feeling any kind of pain, and the relationships all feel incredibly forced. I am not holding my breath for the new season, as I’m sure that next year, they’ll be just as boring, and uninspiring, and as insipid as they’ve been since sappy day 1.
Couple to Root For — While I love How I Met Your Mother, I don’t love the fact that the writers are trying to make the Ted and Robin relationship seem like the new Ross and Rachel. Like we could tell day 1 in season 1 of Friends that Ross and Rachel were meant to be, we already know that Ted and Robin will not be together in Future!Ted’s life, so why should we be expected to root for them now? I’d like to mention that the Honorable Mention in this category belongs to any and all couples on 7th Heaven, since any viewer knows that those Camdens just married whoever they married so that they could have sex!
Kiss between two major characters — The kiss between Sydney and Vaughn before she died for a minute or two in the series finale of Alias left me feeling colder that Syd at the bottom of the snowy mountain. No hint of the former chemistry these two used to share, it was sad to me, the perennial Syd!Vaughn shipper.
Death of a “Beloved” Character — While I was one of the biggest anti-Marissa Cooper people at the beginning of The O.C., her drunken antics had quickly become the only reason I watched this season. Her death, spoiled by Mischa Barton herself, was the least climactic death of shows in the past, and really doesn’t make me inspired to care any more or less about the show.
Cliffhanger — I am Jack Bauer’s number 1 fan. I’d carry around a foam finger that said “Jack Bauer’s Number 1 Fan” if they made them, which is why I’m sad to say that the Season 5 cliffhanger of 24 left me feeling slightly less than thrilled for the start of Season 6. I am absolutely going to watch the show, and I’m going to love the show more next year probably than I have since the beginning, but I know Jack Bauer so well, that I know he’s going to escape the Chinese, so I was kind of hoping that something bigger would have happened at the end, like the death of another major character after pretty much everyone had died already! Honorable mention goes to Prison Break for their “running while cop cars chase us” ending, and Gilmore Girls for their “Lorelai in bed with Christopher” ending.
New Shows — I loved Michael Rappaport in the movie Beautiful Girls. I hate the fact that he has his own comedy on FOX, a show (The War At Home) that makes me cringe because the jokes are so typical. We don’t need another “precocious teenagers/angry parents” show. It’s been done before. As much as I love Milo Ventimiglia (his Heroes for next season is one of my highly anticipated new series), I hated The Bedford Diaries. It could have been so much better than it was, but the writers didn’t give their audience any credit and dumbed down a show that could have been a great editorial on what college kids are really up to.
Treatment of a worshipped old series — As if you’d have to even wonder. The worst treatment of an old show is by far the cancellation of Everwood by the WB/UPN merger The CW. Sure, the show doesn’t have the highest ratings, but that might be because the network it’s on doesn’t seem to care about it. The WB this year would rather spend their promotion money on shows that had no hope from the start (The Bedford Diaries for example). It’s unfortunate that their disregard led to the cancellation of an amazing and timeless classic.
“Good TV” + Good Music = An Obsession
The O.C. + Sufjan Stevens’s “For the widows in paradise, for the fatherless in Ypsilanti” = One sad funeral
Yes, I’m pulling out a song from The O.C. for the second week in a row, but I am currently listening to Sufjan’s Greetings from Michigan CD on repeat, and felt his name needed to be passed on! The scene in question is the oddly-sad funeral on the beach scene where Marissa, Seth, Ryan, and Summer dealt with the loss of their friend Johnny, the surfer boy, turned alcoholic, turned not-good-with-cliffs boy. It also played again as Marissa’s snotty little sister Kaitlin hit the road. Other songs you need to go out and download are “Flint (for the unemployed and underpaid)” and “Chicago.”
Join me next week as I talk about the phenomena of movie actors finding fame on the small screen.
What are your best and worst moments of the 05-06 season? What are you looking forward to next year? Send me your thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org