Amrie’s Take on TV: Best of 2006

I’ve been going back and forth over this week’s best of 2006 column for days. Like one hundred times now, I’ve crossed various shows off my list, added them back on the list, erased other shows, and repeated the cycle. I cannot come up with something original, and couldn’t think of something that hasn’t already been said to describe my favorite shows or favorite actors. There’s only so many times someone can say that 24 Season 5 was brilliant and my Kiefer is one of the most nuanced actors on the small screen.

That said, I decided instead to scrap the idea and focus instead on the upcoming nominations or The Golden Globes (award nominations are announced live on Thursday, December 14th at 8AM Eastern [5AM for you west coasters!!]). Here is what I would LOVE to hear on Thursday.

Best Television Series – DRAMA (I have to pick 6 choices!!!!!)
24 – it was the best season so far.
Friday Night Lights – my favorite new show of the season. A show that could be decidedly cheesy is one of the most well-rounded shows I’ve ever watched.
Heroes – this show is incredibly deserving, and I will be shocked if the show that helped save NBC from ruin isn’t recognized.
Grey’s Anatomy – can anyone argue with me that this show is one of the best written shows currently airing? It’s remarkably believable (well, to a point, because seriously, is there THAT much sex in a hospital and should I immediately feel dirty the next time I walk in to a medical center?). I love the characters.
Battlestar Galactica – I’m crazy to hope, aren’t I? In a perfect world, this show would not only be nominated, it would win the award season after season.
House – my favorite misanthrope. My favorite cast of followers. I love everything about this show and really hope to hear it announced on Thursday.

Best Television Series – COMEDY
The Office – I said it once, I said it a thousand times, I’ll say it again. I didn’t want to love this show, because I worshipped the UK version so insanely, but I love it. This show is awesome.
Scrubs – the most under-celebrated show of the past 5-6 years. This show is amazing, and needs to be celebrated more often.
How I Met Your Mother – the comedy that’s celebrated as the second coming of Friends should get some recognition.
The New Adventures of Old Christine – were this show anchored by any other actress than Julia Louis-Dreyfus, it wouldn’t be as believable. But with her? It’s really very funny.
Monk – Tony Shalhoub does wonder with Mr. OCD himself. I love this show (regardless of what certain TV addicts may think about it!!)!

Best Lead Actress – DRAMA
Sally Field – Brothers and Sisters – I want to constantly celebrate the return of The Flying Nun to television. She has taken her career leaps and bounds (no pun intended) beyond where it could have gone, and she is still one of my absolute favorites.
Mary McDonnell – Battlestar Galactica – Laura Roslin? One of the best written, acted, and most important characters of our time. Mary McDonnell? The only person who can play this role.
Kristen Bell – Veronica Mars – There is no show without Kristen Bell. She is classy, phenomenal, and just the perfect lead for this show.
Ellen Pompeo –Grey’s Anatomy – regardless of what some might think, and whether or not you feel that Meredith Grey is one of the whiniest characters on TV, I really do think that Ellen Pompeo plays the character very well.
Calista Flockhart – Brothers and Sisters – I wasn’t a big fan of Ally McBeal. I watched it, and I enjoyed some of the sidekicks, but I didn’t really appreciate Calista Flockhart. But I think on Brothers and Sisters, she really brings something to the role that an under-studied actor might not have capability to.

Best Lead Actor – DRAMA
Hugh Laurie – House – like Veronica Mars, there is no House without the lead actor. Hugh Laurie is simply one of the best.
Kiefer Sutherland – 24 – I love my Kiefer so much. He has grown into such a distinguished actor. I love Jack Bauer!
vKyle Chandler – Friday Night Lights – his hair alone deserves nominations beyond any before. His guest Emmy nom proves that he’s worthy of great award recognition. Golden Globes should follow suit.
Edward James Olmos – Battlestar Galactica – in a perfect world, EJO would be nominated, and would win. A girl can dream, right?
Bradley Whitford – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip – say what you will about this show (I’ve heard all kinds of things like the show has gotten progressively worse, or Matthew Perry is the standout), Bradley Whitford sells this hell out of this part.

Best Lead Actress – COMEDY – forgive me for not having 5 options here…..I cannot think of anyone else that I enjoy watching as much as these two ladies….
Lauren Graham – Gilmore Girls – do we think Season 7 could be it? Do we think that this is the year for Lauren Graham? I don’t honestly feel that way, but we’ll just have to wait and see….
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – The New Adventures of Old Christine – I love her. She’s the Emmy winner. She should wrap up a nom, no doubt.

Best Lead Actor – COMEDY (Again, I can’t get to 5.…I’m sure I’m missing someone….)
Tony Shalhoub – Monk – I love him. Again, Monk may not be the most loved show by some of us TV Addicts, he really does have a knack for playing this quirky character.
Zach Braff – Scrubs – John Dorian is adorably inept. He’s socially awkward, a bit in love with his best friend Turk, and just hilarious. No one but Zach Braff could sell this role.
Steve Carrell – The Office – Prison Mike, anyone? No one but Ricky Gervais before him could play the inept head of an office with such aplomb.

Best Supporting Actress – SERIES – I hate how this has to be combined into series (not drama versus comedy), because this list is going to be decidedly onesided…..
Chandra Wilson – Grey’s Anatomy – Bailey is phenomenal.
Kathryn Heigl – Grey’s Anatomy – Denny’s death really sold me on the talent that Heigl displays.
Sandra Oh – Grey’s Anatomy – um, I love her. I would rather it be Yang’s Anatomy at times, because she’s just so much fun – great actor, great timing, etc.
Kate Walsh – Grey’s Anatomy – I sympathize with the adulterous OBGYN. Who would have thought?
Rachel Griffiths – Brothers and Sisters – I loved Brenda Chenowith. No reason that her name alone shouldn’t mean “nomination” automatically.
Kelly Bishop – Gilmore Girls – A girl can dream, right?

Best Supporting Actor – SERIES
John Krasinski – The Office – watch ‘Casino Night’ again, and tell me that, in the end where he tells Pam through tears that he loves her, isn’t the greatest moment? He is the lovable “everyman” that doesn’t get enough recognition.
Donald Faison – Scrubs – um….air guitar and dancing to the wonderful song “Poison”….enough said.
John C. McGinley – Scrubs – 30 speeches with no breathing? Awesome.
TR Knight – Grey’s Anatomy – I love George O’Malley. Seriously love him.
What about you? What noms did I miss? What do you want to see on Thursday?

In Other News

Here’s my 2 sentence love affair with Battlestar Galactica. Some people have said that this week’s show wasn’t really the greatest, but I really loved it. I sort of felt that I didn’t care as much about Kat as I should have, but I’m just so excited about the mid-season finale, I’m freaking out a bit!

All of this rerun business is putting a cramp on my style. I cannot wait until January begins so I can see some new stuff!!!!

I will say, however, that The O.C. is really on to something. Ryan and Taylor are awesome. I think that it’s great that they’re letting Ryan Atwood loosen up a bit. And Taylor turns any scene she’s in into my favorite. She’s hilarious, and they have great chemistry, more than I believe Marissa Cooper had with anyone….

And in final 24-is-almost-here news – my holiday week after Christmas is going to be dedicated to a Season 1-5 marathon. Getting paid (because of holiday time from work) to watch, over and over again, hours upon hours of Jack Bauer…..PERFECTION!

Thanks for reading – drop me a line, let me know what your big holiday plans are!

For all the latest TV news and reviews

  • What, no love for Ugly Betty? Dexter? I’m totally with you on BSG, Veronica Mars, The Office, and Scrubs, though.

  • I knew there was going to be shows that I forgot – These are the shows that I would love to see nominated, but I think Ugly Betty and Dexter both have a huge shot at big nominations on Thursday, and honestly wouldn’t mind either of them ending up on the list. What I can’t believe is that I forgot to include Michael C. Hall as Best Lead Actor!!

    I’m sure as the day goes on, I’ll come back and remember 4-5 more people that I left off the list!!

  • While I definitely would include DEXTER and Michael C Hall (when I publish my list next week) I can totally understand how you forgot UGLY BETTY. The show is in the first half of its first season and right now is just riding the wave of ‘hot new show’. Let’s see how it finishes off the season and starts season 2.

    But forgetting Dexter.. how could you 🙂

  • House? Still? Really? I mean, its a good quality show with AMAZING acting. But its a GOOD quality show thats only buoyed by AMAZING acting. I’ve felt it could have been better (and has been) but its not GREAT right now. I can totally agree with your other picks though.

  • Best Drama
    I agree with your selections of Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, Battlestar Galactica, and House. Out of those, my pick would be House. I also wouldn’t mind seeing nom(s) go to Prison Break, Jericho, and/or Lost. I never started watching Friday Night Lights, and I’m the only person on this plane of the space-time continuum who doesn’t like 24. If Golden Globes are for all of 2006, including the last half of the 2005/2006 season, I’m betting West Wing will get a nom.

    Best Comedy
    I stopped watching sitcoms several years ago, but I’ve seen some Scrubs reruns on Comedy Central lately, and it’s a sharp, witty, and at the same time, goofy show. It’s got great acting & writing, sophisticated direction & editing, and is hilarious without the laugh track. I’ve seen some episodes of Monk as time-killers, and it’s good, but not *that* good. Having not seen the other three, Scrubs would be my pick by default.

    Best Lead Drama Actress
    I’m okay with all your picks, except I don’t watch Veronica Mars. While the show itself isn’t that great, I’d say Sarah Paulson, who plays Harriet Hayes on Studio 60, is worth a nom, even if only for her impressions of Juliette Lewis and Holly Hunter. 😉 Also, how about America Ferrera for Ugly Betty (or should this show count as a comedy) or Anne Heche for Men In Trees?

    Best Lead Drama Actor
    I agree with Laurie, Olmos, and Whitford, with my very strong personal pick being Hugh Laurie. Also, how about Wentworth Miller for Prison Break, Masi Oka for Heroes (or would he be considered Supporting), or James Spader for Boston Legal (again, I know, but he’s still excellent)?

    Best Lead Comedy Actress
    Lauren Graham. And, again, I say Lauren Graham. Granted both the writing & acting on Gilmore Girls slipped a little in seasons 6 & 7, but they’re still good, and a nom & win for Lauren Graham would be retro-active reward for the five years she should have gotten it.

    Best Lead Comedy Actor
    Again, not at expert in this category, so I would go with Zach Braff by default.

    Best Supporting Actress
    Definitely, Kelly Bishop for Gilmore Girls in comedy (again, a retro-active reward, if nothing else). For drama, perhaps Sarah Wayne Callies as Dr. Sara Tancredi on Prison Break, Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy on House, or Ana Ortiz as Hilda Suarez on Ugly Betty (unless this show counts as a comedy), or the always spectacular Cynthia Stevenson as Chief Celia Bachelor on Men In Trees.

    Best Supporting Actor
    Hate the character, love the performance: Robert Knepper as T-Bag on Prison Break. Seriously, who else deserves it from the drama category? Again, for the few episodes I’ve seen, I could definitely agree with John C. McGinley of Scrubs for comedy.


    Battlestar Galactica
    Not the greatest episode this week but better than the last few.

    The O.C.
    Totally agree. I was worried about the show, in general, and skeptical about the spoilers that said Ryan and Taylor were hooking up, but this show has revived itself. I’m back onboard again.

  • Jen

    no jenna fischer for best supporting actress!? just her facial expressions alone deserve a nomination. other than that i agree with all of your choices, especially kristen bell, lauren graham, and john krasinski. im hoping they all get nominated this year. (crossing fingers)

  • Woops. Totally forgot about stuff on FX. What about Denis Leary for Rescue Me or some of the actors on The Shield?

  • More and more names are coming to me….Denis Leary is one of my acting favorites, and The Shield was so awesome this past year!

  • digitalred93

    Yes on Bradley Whitford – thank you! The guy can make you laugh, cry, and go all weak in the knees. Best yet, he’s not a 20 something cardboard cutout. And, he can say more with one line than most.

  • JennyC

    My picks:

    Best Actor (Drama): Kiefer Sutherland or Michael C. Hall. I’ll be happy with either winning.
    Best Drama: 24 (I thought Season 4 was better, but this is the season that got me hooked. Best series on TV…currently its Dexter.)
    Best Actress(Drama): Mary McDonell
    Best Comedy: The Office!!!!! Laugh out loud hilarious. Great writing and acting.
    Best Actor (Comedy): Steve Carell (Prison Mike, Lazy Scarnton and Witch Project video)
    Best Actress (Comedy): Lauren Graham (Can this woman finally get an award.)

    Best Supporting Actress: The woman that played the President’s wife on 24.
    Best Supporting Actor: Gregory Itzin or Rainn Wilson.

    This has been such a great year for TV. I hardly go to the movie theatres. All the best stuff is on the small screen.

  • Sam

    Amrie I think I’m in love with your list. It’s like you became Sylar, and stole my brain. Uncanny!