16 Favorite TV Moments of the Year


“Remember the time when somebody put a big yellow bullseye in the middle of our living room?”

Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt– Alton Brown is a certifiable genius. Just watch any episode of Good Eats . I feel smarter every time I watch his show, so to combine that knowledge with a wonderfully-shot and incredibly interesting motorcycle trek across the backroads of America in search of local specialties is extremely compelling, especially in the last episode when Brown suffers a broken collarbone in a nasty wipeout in the Nevada desert.

Craig Ferguson interviews Lauren Graham ” I’ve lost my love for Conan O’Brien’s show for some reason. Not that it’s not a good show, I just can’t take it every night of the week. He just seems too wooden and it’s like he’s always forcing his conversations with the guests. Craig Ferguson however is naturally funny and conversational, even if nowhere near as slickly-produced. The opening monologues are probably the most obvious example of the difference, with Ferguson’s stream of consciousness rant, as opposed to Conan’s formulaic one line setup followed by one line punchline. Anyway, this interview is the best example I’ve seen of why Ferguson ‘s show has become more entertaining, even if the production values are about one-tenth of Conan’s.

Tim Russert interviews Barrack Obama on “The Tim Russert Show”” An hour and a half with the biggest “rock star” in politics, and probably the most universally admired since Kennedy (maybe?)” interviewed by Tim Russert? How can it go wrong?

Red Sox win the World Series on LOST– With all the Red Sox won the World Series. Way back in the first season, Jack had explained that his dad had always said the Red Sox would never win a championship, as a way of saying that things could never change because fate ruled everything. Henry knew Jack wouldn’t believe him, so he played the footage of Joe Buck calling the last out of the final game. In addition to proving that the “others” have contact with the outside world, this is incredibly important as to Jack’s outlook on the world, and watching this magical sports moment (one from another network, no less) again just gave me goosebumps.

Edgar Dies on 24– In a year where killing off characters for ratings has become vogue (something that 24 managed to do countless times), this one is probably the second most shocking and well-done. (no, I’m not talking about the LOST deaths, see below). Granted, the guy who played Edgar had a clunky acting style, but the network handled it without blowing the surprise (something that promotions departments have forgotten how to do lately…. cough, cough, Heroes…cough), and it was emotionally resonant. The problem with it, like with all things that happen on 24, is that four weeks later in our time, it’s only four hours later on the show, and while we’ve totally put the death behind us, the people on the show shouldn’t have, but do, even though it’s not realistic”. Not that anything else on the show is realistic.

Zayra Performs on Rockstar:Supernova– I couldn’t decide whether to put this in the good section or the bad one, so I did both. I wrote about her in my review of Rockstar:Supernova, and placed video links in my worst 15 moments list. Just incredibly strange, yet compelling television.

Claire wakes up on the morgue table on Heroes– On a show known for its shocking endings, this was the best. A character who can heal herself fell and landed on some spike or something, and died temporarily. At the end of the episode, somebody takes the spike out of her head and walks away. Her eyes open up and the camera pulls out to reveal that she’s on the autopsy table with her chest cavity wide open. Great visual, and stunning end to an otherwise mediocre episode.

The Office- Jim kisses PamAfter more than a year of building to it, it was the moment we all were waiting for. This season, however, even though they handled the post-kiss stuff well, I find myself rooting for the other girl instead of Pam.

Lem Dies on The Shield– the single best death on TV this year. Hands down. Under investigation by the Internal Affairs Dept. and the crazy/awesome Forest Whittaker, one of Michael Chiklis’ team members goes into hiding, and eventually meets his tragic end. I won’t spoil how, but suffice it to say, Vic Mackey is gonna be on a rampage this season.

Colbert interviews Washington D.C. representative– Stephen Colbert interviews the D.C. congressional representative and proceeds to tell her that D.C. doesn’t count because it’s the United STATES of America . This segment is a fantastic example of how quick and brilliant Colbert is, and what makes this show so great.

30 Days goes to Mexico and India– The only socially conscious reality show out there (I don’t give credence to the manipulative Extreme Makeover: Home Edition), one episode had a border patrolling minuteman live with a family of immigrants. At one point he went to Mexico , to see where the family “lived” before they moved. Neither side was unlikable, and they both learned from each other and created a fantastic friendship. In another episode, a laid-off telemarketer travels to India to work there for a month. What makes this episode so unique is that they were there during the riots that ensued when an extremely popular actor died, a big story that nobody reported here in the states.

Fear Factor is cancelled ” the most despicable show on TV (aside from Nancy Grace) finally saw the end of its run. Don’t fear, you fans of people eating horse anuses; you can still watch it in syndication somewhere.

Bill O’Reilly town hall on Oprah-It’s interesting to see Bill O’Reilly in an environment where he’s not just yelling at everyone, and where people aren’t rightfully attacking him. Intelligent discourse is absent from his FOX NEWS show, and he’s always calm and on the defensive when on Letterman, but can barely get a word in edgewise. When put in a townhall setting on Oprah (there were actually men in the audience), he actually had a few valid points, as did the audience members who disagreed, but most of the time it didn’t devolve to a shouting match. I think that’s because when he’s out of his element (“on the attack” on his show) he knows that the best way to come out of an interview is to be low-key and let the other people look like idiots for their unwavering attacks on him. He’s still a blowhard and sees everything in black-and-white, but it was actually interesting to see people in her audience (and not elite and/or trailertrash white people) agreeing and defending him against others in intelligent ways.

Scrubs”- “My Lunch I was gonna put the “Mac Bangs Dennis’ Mom” episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, but then I remembered that my favorite episode of “Scrubs” aired this year. As a testament to how good this episode was, it has the highest amount of reviews of any “Scrubs” episode, on tv.com, and the second highest overall rating. The end of this episode just floored me, and it makes me wonder even more how John C. McGinley has never gotten ANY award nominations for the show.

Grammy Performances– Absolutely stunning performances at this years Grammys. From a brooding Springsteen, to Mary J. Blige somehow upstaging Bono in their duet, to Christina Aguelera proving why Britney will never be number one, the Grammy Awards managed to deliver the musical moments once again”. If we forget the awkwardness of seeing Paul McCartney perform with Linkin Park and Jay-Z.

South Park Cartoon Wars– South Park shows why it’s the best and smartest animated program on TV. In a forty-minute span, the show takes on Family Guy’s writing, the Muslims who got pissed off at those cartoons from Denmark, the people who got pissed off at the Terrence and Phillip special from 1998, the networks’ refusal to air anything that might offend somebody, the Hollywood types, the people who like family guy, and the fact that Bart Simpson used to be considered “edgy”. And they do it all with a completely organic story, and characters that react as they normally would in the situation. Oh” and manatees.

15 Favorite Sports Moments of the Year


You know, if we would’ve sent Sacha BARON Cohen instead, he probably wouldn’t have fallen.

Indy-Pittsburgh Divisional playoff game-Most exciting football game of the year. With the Steelers threatening to put the game away with under two minutes left, (after a disputed non-interception call, an Indy touchdown to put the game within three, and Peyton Manning getting sacked on his own three-yard line on fourth down) Jerome Bettis fumbles at the Indy 1-yard-line. Indy recovers and the guy runs halfway down the field. He’s beaten everyone except Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger who’s run diagonally across the field to tackle the guy returning it, whose wife stabbed him in the leg the night before. With 17 seconds left, Mike Vanederjagt misses a 46 yard field goal which would’ve tied it. Pittsburgh goes on to win the superbowl.

Endy Chavez catch– Game seven of the Divisional series. Tie Score. Shea Stadium. Mets outfielder Endy Chavez goes back to save the game and makes the catch of the yea,r 3 feet over the fence to rob Scott Rolen of a two-run home run for the lead. If the Mets would have won that game, it would go down in the history books.

Tigers beat the Yankees– the underdog team with less than half the payroll dominates the Yankees, sending them home. The best part is Kenny Rogers (not that one) on top of the dugout spraying the crowd with champaign.

U.S. women’s curling team– I watched a TON of curling during the Winter Olympics. I know, I know” it’s boring. Well it can be, but it was always on, and I grew attached to the U.S. women’s team.

Ryan Howard hits 3 home runs in a game– MVP Ryan Howard carries his team to victory with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs in a game. Also of note is the Home Run Derby contest, where he demolished the competition in the last round, and finished by hitting the “hit it here” sign.

Dodgers hit 4 home runs to tie and one in extras to win– Surging into the playoffs, The Dodgers were losing in the bottom of the ninth, until back-to-back-to-back-to-back homeruns tied the game. In the 10th inning, San Diego was up by one run, until Nomar Garciaparra hit the game winning home run.

Travis Pastrana Motocross double backflip at X-games- I don’t usually watch the X-games, but it was on when I was working one night and I caught a ridiculous maneuver. As his competitors watched, rooting him on, Travis pulled off a motocross double backflip, something that’s never been done, and could’ve killed him.

Vince Young beats USC– In the College National Title Game, Vince Young singlehandedly beats the top-ranked team in the country (one with two heisman winners on it) on a fourth down with 18 seconds left by scrambling to the end zone.

UCLA beats USC– Arch-rival UCLA upsets top-ranked USC to block the University of Spoiled Children Trojans from making a third national title game in a row.

Miami beats Chicago Bears– The Miami Dolphins, a 2-6 team, and the franchise with the only unbeaten season in history faces off against the 8-0 Chicago Bears and comes up with a win. Only in the NFL.

World Baseball Classic begins– After Baseball was discontinued from the Olympics for some inane reason, Bud Selig and some other people created a once every four years world tournament. Bravo.

Kobe scores 81– Despite the fact that I’m not the biggest basketball follower, scoring 81 points in a game is a totally insane achievement.

Tiger hits a bogey off a roof– In a classic display of why he’s the greatest, Tiger Woods totally screwed up off the tee and hit the ball onto the roof of a nearby building. The placed the ball on the ground by the building, but still far off the course. To finish only one stroke over par’s a strong achievement.

Agassi plays two classics at U.S. open before retiring– In his last tournament ever, Agassi gives us an unbelievably intense 5 set match, and then goes out in a tough four in the next round. I don’t watch a lot of tennis, but that five-set match was as captivating as anything I’ve ever seen. What made it all the more dramatic was that if he lost, his career was over. And when it finally was, he went out like a pro.

World Cup game– While the Finals game was great and intense (being decided by penalty kicks, and France’s star Zidane headbutting that guy, and the Australian team came out of nowhere to advance to the second round, I think that the U.S.-France game was my personal favorite. The U.S. team lost its first game and looked terrible, but in their second game they managed to tie the second place France team that won all of its other games, save the Finals. Granted, the goal that U.S.A. scored was actually an “own goal” from the France team, but they played most of the game with only nine people. A valiant display from an overall underacheiving team.

15 Least Favorite TV Moments of the Year

The first in a series of end of the year lists. Sorry for no star ratings, but all of these would fall between zero and one star.


“Are you aware that we have a sketch about Commedia dell’arte?”
“Sure. I love the works of Moliere and his contemporaries”
“Since most of them aren’t familiar with 17th Century French theatre, we should maybe do something our audience might actually enjoy, or find funny?”
“It’s Italian, and you know, you should really stop dangling your modifiers like that”
“HAHAHAHAHAHA. You’re an hilarious writer who is a thinly veiled representation of our show’s creator.”
“God I hate reality shows.”

Runners up:

Fox cancels ‘Arrested Development’
– Granted the ratings were bad, and viewership was leaking due to mishandled promotions/timeslots and the overall nature of the show, but it was still sad to see it go.

Oprah making a big deal over the fact that that guy’s memoir wasn’t real, even though it still was an inspirational story.

Megan Mullally upstages Meat Loaf – Megan Mullally has a talk show… a really annoying one, and when Meat Loaf came on to perform from ‘Bat Out of Hell 3’, she had to jump in and sing the last part of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” with him. If it was anyone else, it might not have seemed that bad, but she did it in a way that screamed “it’s all about me!”. Talk shows should be about making your guest look interesting, not feeding your huge ego. It just came off as incredibly awkward.

The finalists… in no particular order.

‘My Super Sweet 16’– The new king of hated television. Why should I watch rich, obnoxious people demand things of their parents in a manner worse than Veruca Salt? Because I’m supposed to root against them? It doesn’t seem that way, instead encouraging kids to be ungrateful and rude.

Nancy Grace– Any single show will do, but I’d go with the one where she accused someone of killing their own child during an interview (Nancy accused her during the interview; she didn’t kill the kid during it), leading the woman to shoot herself. Way to go Nancy . You inadvertently killed someone.

Gwen Stefani performs at A.M.A.s ” From the moment they said she would be debuting her new hit, I knew there was gonna be trouble. Sure enough, there was yodeling, there were Asian girls in lederhosen with blonde wigs, there were sheep. Completely strange, and completely awful.

Chevy Chase on ‘Law and Order’ RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES!! Chevy Chase plays a washed-up star of some sort who gets arrested for killing a Jewish person. The writing is awful, the story was awful, and even the acting was atrocious. Not only that but it made the Mel Gibson story out to be a lot more than it actually was.

Connie Chung Goodbye Song– Connie Chung and Maury Povich apparently had a show together. Take a guess how long it lasted. On her last show, she got up on top of a piano like a lounge singer and began to wail (and I mean wail) out a rendition of ‘thanks for the memories’. It became a moderate internet phenomenon because of how awful it was.

Any episode of ‘The War At Home’
– Just plain awful” they took Arrested Development off for this?

Roger Daltry as the Makeup Killer on ‘CSI’– On thanksgiving night, I watched CSI for the first” and hopefully last, time. Roger Daltry played a mobster who these four guys thought was dead. Then years later he got his revenge on them by dressing up in fat suits and disguising himself as women in order to kill them. Not sure why one of the greatest frontmen in rock history would decide to do this, but I guess the royalty checks he gets for them using his songs is probably a good bet.

‘Celebrity Duets’– Take ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and mix it with ‘American Idol’. What do you get? This craptacular hour of awful celebs singing awfully was thankfully over after only a few weeks. I guess that’s what you get when your judges are Marie Osmond and Little Richard

Tony dies on ’24’– Unlike Edgar’s death, this one was handled incredibly poorly. Tony was the only character besides Jack Bauer left from the first season. He was universally loved by this point, as Jack’s right-hand-man. He spent half the season unconscious and then he gets up to try and kill the man who killed his wife. He lets up for national security reasons, and gets stabbed with a hypodermic needle of death. He falls over dead, and nobody mentions him ever again. Completely unnecessary, not as dramatic as it should’ve been, and ambiguous to the point where the audience doesn’t even think he’s dead. Why keep him alive but unconscious for all those episodes if you’re just going to kill him as soon as he wakes up?

Zayra on ‘Rockstar: Supernova’
” Strange vocals from someone who wants to be a rock star. I can’t believe the producers picked her over someone more qualified, even though she makes for great, yet horrible TV.

‘Studio 60’ tells us we’re idiots
” It seems like every week, ‘Studio 60’ is talking down to the mainstream public and treating Hollywood like the be-all-and end-all of civilization. I’ve been to California . People there aren’t all that smart.

Dane Cook returns to ‘SNL’
– If you didn’t think his first time (a mere months earlier) hosting the show was funny, you won’t be surprised at the results of this show. Another long “stand-up” set as his monologue, more gay voices, and one of the worst sketches I’ve ever seen. It went so far as to try to explain away it’s awfulness at the end, with a self-aware “lantern“, but that’s like using a suction pump to stop the bleeding.

‘Seventh Heaven’ returns from the dead
– it was finally cancelled. That awful show about the perfect and huge family with a one-parent income”. Until the CW executives saw the ratings for the series finale. Now, with almost the entire original cast having moved on, the Camdens have 4 random street-teens living with them for some reason. Just have the second series finale already.

WWE; Degeneration X drops feces on the McMahons– Wrestling fans have dealt with a lot of crap (no pun intended): The Katie Vick Story, The Gay Wedding Story, Al Wilson, Eugene, Paternity in a suitcase Ladder Match” but dumping a pile of feces on the boss’ family tops everything. When people ask me how I can defend that, I have no answer.

‘High School Musical’– The biggest phenomenon in all of TV this year saw awful acting and writing manage to hypnotize “tweens” everywhere into making the soundtrack the year’s top-selling CD. Every time it airs, it’s in the top 20 cable shows of the week, even though these people have seen it 20 times each.