The Emmys, 2011

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So, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Emmys.  I always get excited for them because I love quite a bit of television, and quite a bit of the television that I love gets nominated.  But there are always one or two nominees in each category that (even though MAYBE I’ve never actually watched the show SO SUE ME) are clearly not worthy.  And, more often than not, one of those two nominees ends up winning.  Like, I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnny Galecki won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy this year.  JUST KIDDING even the Emmys wouldn’t go that far, I mean it’s JOHNNY GALECKI lolz gimme a break!  If that happened I would expect the Emmys to receive an Emmy nomination for Best Comedy next year!  Get it??  Wocka wocka wocka!

So usually I start out excited, slowly lose my enthusiasm after some mind-numbingly bad award choices, and by the end of the night I’m a disillusioned husk of a man.  OK, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, because I don’t really care all that much, but you get my point.

As usual, my wife Johanna and I will be competing in a winner-picking competition.  She’s trying not to over-think things tonight and keeps muttering things like, “I refuse to base my self-worth on this.  I am an adult with a job.”  She is also going to fulfill her role as bartender for the evening.  We very recently found out that we will be moving from North Carolina back to Boston soon so that she can start the aforementioned job.  In honor of both Game of Thrones and the impending New England blizzards that we’re dreading, she has concocted a drink made up of vanilla-flavored vodka and seltzer that she’s calling “Winter is Coming.”  Yummerz?  We’ll see.

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OK, let’s get this thing started.  Time to hype ourselves up for another bloated award show!  Repeat after me: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”

8:01 – Fun (??) opening musical number!  Oh, Jane Lynch.  In just a couple short years I’ve gone from liking you a lot to still liking you but being annoyed at your overexposure because of Glee to kind of maybe not even liking you anymore?  But this bit is pretty winning.  Maybe you’ll redeem yourself in my eyes tonight!  And I know my opinion is all that really matters to you, Jane.

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I’m actually excited about streaming something on Netflix!

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Don’t let the title of this post fool you.  It’s not that I’ve never enjoyed streaming something through Netflix; that’s a feature I use regularly.  It’s just that it seems like nothing I’m ever really, really excited about watching is available.  I always decide I want to kill some time by streaming something and then struggle to find something worth watching, as opposed to deciding what I want to watch and then being pleasantly surprised by its instant availability.

That changed today with NBC Universal’s announcement that they’re going to allow Netflix to stream a ton of their content, including Battlestar Galactica, 30 Rock, The Office, Friday Night Lights, and, the kicker…

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Characters, 2000-2009

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This is sort of a vague list.  I’m not really sure what the qualifications were.  And it seems wrong that 19 of my 25 favorite characters of the decade are from television shows.  I obviously need to read more.  But, for whatever reason, these are the ones that really stuck with me.  Here are my 25 favorite characters of the decade:

25) Borat Sagdiyev (Da Ali G Show)

Frat guys turned Borat into this decade’s Austin Powers, and no one is really clamoring for Borat II at this point.  But the character is brilliantly conceived and led Sacha Baron Cohen into comedic territory that he never could have reached as Ali G.

24) Brian Griffin (Family Guy)

Even I am sitting here thinking this is a strange, possibly unworthy, choice for this list.  But I can’t stop laughing when they have Brian actually, you know, behave like a dog.  Like when he is afraid of the vacuum cleaner, or uncontrollably wags his tail.  A rare talking animal character that still, albeit rarely, acts like an animal.

23) Coach Eric Taylor (Friday Night Lights)

This character’s appeal is helped quite a bit by his relationship with his wife, but he’s on the list alone because he does just fine in the football scenes without her.  Friday Night Lights seems to have learned from the mistakes of past shows (I’m thinking specifically of The O.C.): when you have a married couple that serves as a solid foundation upon which to build everything else, do not screw with it.

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Television, 2000-2009

This has been a great decade for television, so much so that the list of my favorite shows of the decade pretty much doubles as the list of my favorite shows of all time.  Other than Seinfeld and the nineties-era Simpsons, I’m struggling to think of a pre-2000 show that would make the cut.  It’s amazing how far television has come as a medium over the past ten years.  Anyway, here they are, not the best, necessarily, but my favorite shows, 2000-2009 (clips when available and appropriate):

30) Sealab 2021 (Adult Swim, 2000-2005)

A bizarre show for a bizarre decade.

(I couldn’t get the embed code from Adult Swim to work for my favorite clip for some reason, so here’s the link. If I can figure it out, I’ll fix it.)

29) Extras (HBO, 2005-2007)

It’s not The Office, obviously, and parts of the series finale were painfully earnest.  But Ricky Gervais (on television, at least) is always worth my time, and about half of the guest stars were hilarious.

28) The “House” Series (Frontier, Colonial, etc.) (PBS, 2000-2006)

It’s almost always entertaining to watch the types of people who sign up for reality television on PBS.  For instance, Michelle Rossi-Vorhees, of Colonial House, is simultaneously attempting to recreate the life of a female pioneer in 1628 while staying true to her 21st-century ideas about feminism and atheism.  In doing so, she basically undoes the premise of the show, but it makes for great drama, and the PBS veneer allows viewers to pretend that it’s not just a higher-class Wife Swap.  Very sad that there hasn’t been a new installment since 2006.

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