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 TV Bites with Neena Louise

The 2007-2008 Ninth Annual TV BiteMes

by Neena Louise

 

Worst Actress
Michelle Ryan, "Jaime Sommers", Bionic Woman (Didn't help that the show was spectacularly bad, but Ryan's stilted, boring non-acting sure didn't do it any favors.)

Best Actress

Christina Applegate, "Samantha", Samantha Who? (Nice to see Applegate back on the airwaves, better than ever.)

Most Overrated Female

Oprah Winfrey (A sad commentary on what happens when one person acquires too much power and money: they turn into self-important, judgmental blowhards. In Winfrey's case, I find it very sad. I used to like her back when she at least pretended to be a human being.)

Most Overlooked Female
Conchata Ferrell, "Berta", Two and a Half Men
(Ferrell avoided becoming a cartoon character by delivering some of the show's funniest lines with the appropriate amount of wit and sarcasm.)

Worst Actor
Mark Harmon, "Jethro Gibbs", NCIS
(As NCIS took a slide, Harmon didn't improve things with his increasingly frozen-faced nothingness. Didn't help that he, along with the entire cast except for David McCallum, couldn't pronounce grenouille - French for "frog" - to save their lives. It's gre-NOO-ee, not gran-WEE. Frog, not urgent need to urinate. Most distracting.)

Best Actor

William Shatner, "Denny Crane", Boston Legal (Going seamlessly from comic-relief buffoon to brilliant lawyer, Shatner's performance stole the show this season.)

Most Overrated Male

William Peterson, "Gil Grissom", CSI (It was once inconceivable that CSI could go on without Peterson's Grissom. This season proved that it could, as Peterson regularly mumbled out silly lines as though he was embarrassed. So was I.)

Most Overlooked Male

Wallace Langham, "David Hodges", CSI (For the second year in a row. With all the other characters getting a bit on the stale side, Langham's innocently socially inept Hodges needs more screen time.)

Worst-Dressed Female

Patricia Arquette, "Allison Dubois", Medium (Arquette is an attractive, young-looking 40-year-old, not a frumpy 60-year-old. Instead of dressing her better this season, she was dressed even worse, making her look like someone's dotty spinster aunt.)

Best-Dressed Female

Anna Friel, "Charlotte 'Chuck' Charles", Pushing Daisies (For someone that was supposed to be dead, the impossibly cute Friel was always dressed perfectly, avoiding the slut look that seems so common in characters her age.)

Worst-Dressed Male

Tony Shalhoub, "Adrien Monk", Monk (I suppose the same drab brown suit was appropriate for the obsessive-compulsive Monk, but it made him look unwashed somehow. Not appropriate for someone compulsively clean.)

Best-Dressed Male

John Larroquette, "Carl Sack", Boston Legal (Although every man on Boston Legal was dressed well, Larroquette pulled it off with the most success - elegance personified.)

Worst TV Mom

"Christine Campbell", Julia Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine (I know she's supposed to be an insecure weirdo, but I found it distasteful that she's so selfish that she routinely- and unapologetically - put herself before her kid.)

Best TV Mom

"Lynette Scavo", Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives (She showed remarkable restraint when dealing with superbrat Kayla. I would've locked that devil spawn away.)

Worst TV Dad

"Luka Kovac", Goran Visnjic, ER (First he abandoned his wife and child to deal with his ailing father, despite his wife's increasingly desperate pleas that she and their son needed him more. Then he returned with his lazy-ass brother in tow, ignored his baby and didn't notice his wife's alcoholism. I know having an alcoholic parent would be horrible, but I imagine such a clueless, self-absorbed, unsupportive father wouldn't be much better.)

Best TV Dad

"Henry Spencer", Corbin Bernsen, Psych (As a father that didn't even try to hide his disappointment with his grown son, "Henry" was most entertaining.)

Worst TV Kid

"Kayla Huntington", Rachel G. Fox, Desperate Housewives (Just because she was supposed to be an obnoxious evil brat didn't mean she had to be so unrealistically over-the-top. She wasn't even a kid you hated or felt sorry for, just a kid you wanted gone. Which she now is. Hopefully she stays that way.)

Best TV Kid

"Jake Harper", Angus T. Jones, Two and Half Men ("Jake" is neither angel, nor devil and it's incredibly refreshing to see a real kid on TV - especially in a sitcom.)

Least Likable Character on a Show

"Livia Beale", Moon Bloodgood, Journeyman (I don't know if Bloodgood is simply a poor actress or she's just always cast as unlikable characters - such as in the short-lived series Day Break and movie Eight Below
. Whatever the case, I found her "Livia Beale" extremely annoying.)


Most Likable Character on a Show
"The Devil", Ray Wise, Reaper
(I know he's supposed to be evil incarnate, but I just couldn't help liking Wise's congenially wicked Devil.)

Worst Drama
Brothers and Sisters
(This was an even bigger snore than Lost. Hard to believe, I know.)

Best Drama

House (Though, like many other series, House took a bit of a slide, it remained a "can't miss" drama. Now that that whole silly Wilson-House-Amber triangle thing is finally done and over with, hopefully it will return to its former glory.)

Worst Sitcom

Cavemen (Using cavemen in insurance commercials was lame and stupid enough, but to base an entire series on an idea that wasn't very interesting to begin with? Beyond stupid. As was this show.)

Best Sitcom

The Big Bang Theory (This should've been dumb, but the portrayal of a group of geeks - who know they're geeks, but generally like themselves that way - steered clear of the stereotypes and overt nerd-bashing, making it rather sweet.)

Worst SciFi

Bionic Woman (Oh, my, this stank. From Michelle Ryan's dreadful acting to the stupid premise and strangely off-putting special effects, this was spectacularly bad.)

Best SciFi

Heroes (Despite it being on the verge of becoming yet another "whatever" SciFi show, Heroes was still engaging. Hopefully it'll come back much improved.)

Worst Animated Series

Family Guy

Best Animated Series

The Simpsons

Worst Commercial

Multi-Grain Cheerios (It was actually a pretty average commercial, showing a man inadvertently insulting his wife as he listed why Multi-Grain Cheerios are low in fat, etc. What irritated me no end was that the actors actually have British accents and that's how I initially saw this commercial. Then some moron decided to dub them - very, very badly - and they suddenly acquired American accents. Don't know why anyone thought that was necessary. I guess someone either too stupid to understand British accents, or a Brit-hater.)

Best Commercial
All the "Mac vs. PC" commercials (These should be tired and stale by now, but they just keep getting better - especially the latest bout of Vista-bashing. To be fair, however, it could be that I like them so much because I've been a Mac user for many, many years and have had to endure much Mac-bashing for most of that time. Revenge is sweet.)

Most Overrated Series
Lost
(The only bits I watched were the first half of the season opener and the last 15 minutes of the season finale - and only because nothing else was on. All that I learned was who was in the casket and that the island was moved. Whatever. I'm so glad I didn't waste my time watching an entire season to get so much of nothing. I marvel that people are still watching such plodding, pretentious drivel. I guess they're expecting it to pick up the pace and get good at some point. Don't hold your breath.)

Most Overlooked Series
Reaper
(With Ray Wise's deliciously evil Devil and likeable Bret Harrison's "Sam" and, yes, even the comic relief buffoonery of Tyler Labine's "Sock", I'm surprised this series didn't get better ratings.)

Worst Writing
Bones
(I didn't tune into this show much, but whenever I did Emily Deschanel's character "Temperance Brennan" repeatedly said "I don't know what that means." I don't know what kind of device this was supposed to be, but all it did was make her look like a total idiot.)

Best Writing
The Big Bang Theory
(The constant rapid-fire geekalese made this series both hilarious and engaging.)

Worst Host/Narrator
Gordon Ramsey, Hell's Kitchen
(What is this guy? Two years old? When he wasn't throwing uncontrollable temper tantrums - complete with fits of impotent shrieking, kicking and tossing stuff around - he was calling people rude names. It was rather pathetic, actually, to watch a grown man act like a petulant toddler. He needs a life. Or a child psychologist.)

Best Host/Narrator
Wayne Brady, Don't Forget the Lyrics
(This show could have easily been hard to watch with its weirdly enthusiastic contestants singing loud and off-key, but Brady managed to keep it watchable by deftly mocking the contestants so good-naturedly that it didn't seem like he was mocking them at all. Impressive.) 

Worst Newscaster/Reporter
Chris Hansen, Dateline
(Going from the contrived - and, as it turns out, quite fake - "To Catch a Predator" to the contrived and oh-so-lame "To Catch a Scam Artist" or whatever it was, Hansen should give it up. Or maybe do "To Catch a Lazy Reporter Setting People Up, Then Cleverly Editing to Make it Look Dramatic". I'd actually like to see that.)


Best Newscaster/Reporter
For the first time, there were no standouts, just a bunch of talking heads that think saying "Iraq", "Afghanistan", "Hillary" and/or "Obama" is sufficient for any broadcast.

Worst News Magazine
Dateline
(This has won the category every single year. 'Nuff said.)

Best News Magazine

60 Minutes


Best News Magazine - Honorable Mention

Primetime's "What Would You Do?" specials (No news magazine has made me think so much in quite some time.)

Worst Reality Show Series

Kid Nation (Considering the unwarranted - perhaps purposefully created - "controversy", Kid Nation was just a bunch of kids being kids. Yawn.)

Best Reality Show Series

Cops (The reality show that started it all is still worth a look, 20(!) seasons in. Doesn't hurt that it's one of the very few first-run shows that airs on network TV on Saturday nights.)

Worst Reality Game

Big Brother (Never what one would call a quality show, earlier editions at least had some diverse and interesting personalities. This season was simply a skankfest. Ick, poo.)

Best Reality Game

The Amazing Race 12 (Race finally ditched the stupid novelty editions and went back to its roots, finishing in the top 25 in the process. There's a lesson, here. Reality producers take note.)

Worst Reality Villains

Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, Celebrity Apprentice (The only non-celebrity, Omarosa was obviously cast as villainous relief to be someone you were supposed to love to hate. Trouble was, you didn't love to hate her...you just hated her. She's such a vile and worthless human being with no redeeming qualities, watching her was tantamount to nails on a chalkboard.)

Best Reality Villain

Corey Earling, Hell's Kitchen (The extremely catty Earling was hilarious to watch with all her egomaniacal back-stabbing hypocrisy - and general bitchiness - blissfully unaware as to how truly stupid she looked and sounded. Despite the fact that she embodies every negative stereotype of women, it was still fun to squeal "meeeeeowwww" whenever she opened her big fat mouth.)

Worst Game Show

Duel (I was bewildered when I first watched this yawn of a show. All I saw were contestants sliding discs around for some reason, then the audience clapping wildly for some other reason. When I figured the premise out, there was no longer a reason to watch it.)

Best Game Show

Jeopardy

Worst Score

Lost (The score was most annoying with its mosquitoes-in-the-jungle strings. Perhaps that was the idea, but it was like biting on tin foil.)

Best Score

Eli Stone (Not score, exactly, but the musical numbers that Eli Stone hallucinated ranged from sweet to hilarious. Well, okay, some were stupid, but overall, it worked.)

Worst Theme Music

Lost (One long note and a door slam. Wonder how long it took them to come up that?)

Best Theme Music

The Big Bang Theory (Law & Order loses its crown to this great, catchy Barenaked Ladies tune.)

Worst Newcomer (that hasn't been canceled)

Moment of Truth (This squirm-inducing exploitation-disguised-as-a-game-show was very silly as host Mark Walberg constantly and dramatically intoned "The questions are going to get more personal. Are you sure you want to go on?" This was especially silly, considering the contestants already knew what questions could be asked as they "struggled" to decide between dignity and greed.)

Best Newcomer (that hasn't been canceled)

Pushing Daisies (True, Daisies isn't for everyone, but it was very refreshing in its comedic weirdness. Rather like watching a Tim Burton movie every week.)

Biggest Decline in Quality

Without a Trace (With so many of the characters so deep in their boring personal problems, finding missing people seemed to be a low priority - as was making a show worth watching.)

Most Improved in Quality

Desperate Housewives (Coming back from the brink of the silly and lame Twin-Peaks-Meets-Modern-Suburbia precipice, Housewives still isn't back to its old self, but, well, it was a whole lot better than the previous season. Which was silly. And lame.)

Worst Network

ABC (I think it is aspiring to be the new Fox.)

Best Network
The CW. For always being last in the ratings, yet soldiering on.

Biggest Stinker of the Season
Viva Laughlin
(Series creators should've learned from the swift demise of Cop Rock nearly twenty years ago: most TV viewers simply aren't interested in Broadway-type musicals on a weekly basis. Viva Laughlin was particularly sorry, as the actors looked very embarrassed to be bursting into song for no apparent reason.)

Trend of the Year

Angst (So many series - mostly cop shows - wasted much of the precious little season dwelling on the characters' angst. Who cares about the poor widdle babies and their boring "issues"? Get back to, oh I don't know, catching the bad guy. Finding the missing person. Saving that life. Doing something - anything
- besides whining about your poor, poor selves. Nobody cares.)


Least Magical Moment
Warrick Brown's demise on CSI
(Oh, didn't see that one coming a bazillion miles away! Not only was it common knowledge that actor Gary Dourdan wouldn't be returning next season, but the set-up to Warrick's murder by another cop was so obviously coming that it was anything but shocking. And if they were going to kill him off, I mean, this is CSI! Choking to death on a fruit roll-up or being electrocuted by an iPod would've been more like it.)

Most Magical Moment

The one day that Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and/or Paris Hilton weren't polluting the airwaves. Oops. That day hasn't come yet. My bad. Well, okay, so it's not the "most magical moment," but rather "magical moment that must happen". Soon. I think we've all suffered the incessant non-celebrity, has-been Skank Trio coverage for quite long enough, now.
 

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