And now, last and almost certainly least, it's time for my own picks... I give you the 2004 Geekies from the Geek-In-Chief.
Most welcomed newcomer:
Emilie de Ravin, Lost
. Fake-pregnant blonde chicks with Aussie accents are hott
Least welcomed newcomer: CSI: NY
. Want reasons? I got reasons: Dark, painful, boring. Overly stylized. Underly human. Siphons scores of witless, flavor-of-the-month-loving viewers away from the far superior Law & Order
. Male lead is only bearable when playing legless characters in Tom Hanks movies with titles rhyming with "Boris Hump." Female lead has annoyingly unpronouncable last name and harbors responsiblity for keeping the rancid Providence
on NBC for four years. And its very existence waters down the cache of the original CSI:
, the only good one of the lot. That enough?
Show I wish more people knew about: Arrested Development
. I know I'm beating a dead horse, but it's freaking brilliant. I'll never look at bananas, magicians or Blue Man Group
the same way.
What I'd like to see on the tube in 2005:
More intelligent drama, a la The Shield, Nip/Tuck
, and Lost
. Less crappy CSI:
spinoffs. And for the love of God, no more reality shows. Please!
Most disturbing trend:
Censorship overkill. Thanks to a publicity stunt from two washed-up pop stars, the FCC went batshit and created mass panic among TV's rank and file.
Sure, a fine was necessary- but it should have been billed directly to Ms. Jackson. It wasn't the fault of unsuspecting CBS that its airwaves were hijacked to showcase JJ's flabby-ass sweater meat during the Superbowl. Even more absurd were the ridiculous repercussions: Affiliates afraid to air Saving Private Ryan
? Live awards shows forced to use a 5-second delay to prevent some 9 year old from hearing a word spoken 40 times a day at recess? NBC afraid to run a special episode of ER
featuring an elderly woman's breasts? Well, maybe I can live with that last one. But just when TV was starting to get a little more creative and risky (a good thing), it's now back to square one. Be careful, folks. We're only a few big FCC fines away from TV spouses once again sleeping in separate beds.
Go away: American Idol
. A rectal exam would be preferable to another season of this banal Gong-Show-of-the-masses and its parade of "winners" filling my ears with complete and utter dung for months. Kelly Clarkson? Ruben Studdard? Clay friggin'
Aiken? This is what America wants in its music? Yeesh.
Best show of 2004: Lost
. Original twist on a done-to-death premise. Great writing. Interesting characters. Full of surprises. Lots of inexplicably hot crash-victim chicks who somehow keep it together without cosmetics or makeup. Gimme more, more, MORE!
Worst show of 2004:
OK, technically, maybe there are worse shows on the air. But none is more disappointing than NBC's lamely derivative Medical Investigation
. Neal MacDonough, the scene-stealer from NBC's brilliant Boomtown
, probably thought he'd take this role to pass the time until something better came along. Now, thanks to MI
's horrificly uncompetitive Friday timeslot, his career will likely be trussed by this marginal hit for years. MI
also wastes the talents of the scalding hott Anna Belknap, formerly of the far superior and less successful Friday drama The Handler
. Her last gig sure knew how to use her: skimpy outfits, teased hair, buttloads of tarty eye make-up. Unfortunately, MI
has been content to die and chop off her hair, hide her in business suits, and saddle her with brutally uninteresting dialogue. Oh, yeah, and the lame ER
plotlines blow. Big time.
2004 TV Geek of the Year:
Dan Rather. One of America's "Big Three" news anchors, one who's always worn his agenda on his sleeve, goes to air with a Bush-bashing story backed by memos of dubious origin.
When questioned about said memos, Mr. Rather denies they're fakes, and slanders those doubting their authenticity. Eventually, he's forced to admit the memos are bogus, but only offers lame excuses and no apologies. Facing a damning internal investigation, Mr. Rather steps down "voluntarily" before CBS suits shitcan him. His actions will surely have huge repercussions within the news media. I worked in news for years, and saw first hand that the perceived liberal bias is not
a myth- it's reality. I suggest Mr. Rather's story may even have influenced the election (in the opposite way he had hoped it would) by making viewers skeptical of any and all anti-Bush network news coverage, no matter how accurate the stories actually were. In the words of an old CBS News pioneer: "And that's the way it is."
Maybe in 20 years, it will be remembered as "And that's the way it was... at the networks."