For the final full post of 2010, I thought we could do something completely different - so, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the First Annual On the Box Awards! Let's call them the Boxies, for short.
The Boxies are a random selection of awards I'm handing out to the shows I loved - and loved to hate - in 2010. But this isn't just a Best/Worst award ceremony; we'll be going through a few more obscure categories in an attempt to cap off the year.
You can play along too: suggest your own random award categories in the comments below!
Single Best Scene of TV: For me, there is one scene that stands out here - the final scene of True Blood's third series episode "Everything Is Broken": the Vampire King of Mississippi, Russell Edgington, shows up during a live news broadcast, murders the anchorman, and delivers one of the greatest speeches on any television show, ever ... before comically flipping the broadcast over to the weather. Watch the scene here (warning: some gore).
The "Great Idea 5 Years Ago" Award, Sponsored By Myspace: Seriously, how has Two and a Half Men been going for seven damn years?! I can see how the premise might have been interesting for a little while back in 2003, but now we've got a middle-aged Charlie and Alan living together with a completely grown-up Jacob. Never mind that the show isn't funny anymore: the living arrangements are just weird. By the way, how come Charlie Sheen gets to use his own name instead of a character name, and the others don't?
Biggest "WTF?!" Show (Drama): This year proved that Kiwis can also make confusing mystery shows, with the launch of This Is Not My Life. Okay, I'm kidding about the "confusing" bit. Mostly. Either way, This Is Not My Life was one of the highlights of the year for me, following Alec Ross as he woke from a concussion and found himself in the mysterious town of Waimoana, caught in the middle of an attempt to reveal the true nature of the town.
The "Surprisingly Decent" Award: This one is a tie, and goes to both Cougar Town and Glee - shows which I had dismissed as "for girls" and "for teenage girls", respectively. Surprisingly, I enjoy them both.
Biggest On-Screen Disaster: To be fair, I nearly gave this award to Eruption, the horrible TV movie about a volcanic eruption in Auckland that marked the first time a TV audience wished that the disaster portrayed on screen would actually just happen in real life. Instead, I'm giving it to Sarah Murdoch and the team at Australia's Next Top Model, who made international headlines after announcing the wrong winner in the Cycle 6 finale. In related news, Sydney readers: you can catch the ANTM producers working at a Hungry Jacks near you!
Most Outrageous Hairstyle: I nearly gave this award to Stan Walker, whose changing style in each music video makes the United States of Tara chick look consistent and reliable. Instead, I'm handing it to occasional Close Up host Mike Hosking. My theory is that Mike is all ready to go at 6.59pm, the cameraman starts counting down - "5 ... 4 ... 3 ..." - and when he gets to "2", some assistant quickly runs in and ruffles the hair right before they go live. Incidentally, this also explains why Mike looks flummoxed at the start of each episode.
Biggest "WTF?!" Show (Sport): One of the biggest criticisms of professional sport is that it allows individuals to chase financial gain in exchange for their services instead of remaining loyal to a club and helping build a great team from the ground up, and allows teams to try to "buy championships" by bringing in the best players (see: Madrid, Real). These criticisms rang true when NBA star Lebron James decided to "take his talents to South Beach", announcing his move to the Miami Heat - where he would join fellow stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh - while simultaneously ripping the hearts out of his former teams' fans. How did he announce this? In a one-hour special titled The Decision on ESPN. The future of professional sport looks bleak, my friends.
The Meg White Award For "Wait, Is She Hot?" Female Star: I'm giving this one to Ellen Pompeo, the star of Grey's Anatomy, who alternates between looking good and looking like she accidentally ate several of those Fijian peppers. I mean, there are stars who make you say "wow, he/she is really good looking" (Stana Katic, Alexander Skarsgard, Siobhan Marshall, to name three), and then there are stars like Pompeo who I just can't figure out.
Best 10 Minutes of Comedy: Did you see the Comedy Central Roast Of Mike King? Following a mediocre intro by Willy DeWit, Jeremy Elwood took the podium and delivered the most exciting 10 minutes of stand-up comedy I've seen on television in years. He absolutely nailed his short set, and raised the bar for the show so high that the other "roasters" had no chance.
Best Documentary: What do you get when you cross the story of Colombian drug-lord Pablo Escobar with the sad story of 1994 FIFA World Cup favourite Colombian soccer captain Andres Escobar? One of the best documentaries ever made. The Two Escobars ran as part of the 30 for 30 series, over on ESPN.
Best Single Episode of TV: I'm going to get called names for picking the final episode of Lost, "The End", for this award - but the truth is, the climax of the series was as relieving as it was entertaining. For a Lost fan like myself, to have reached the end of a six-year journey with the show's writers and producers was a pretty big deal. That said, I can completely understand the criticism levelled at the show - and by other fans, following the finale. But for me? It was as satisfying as any television episode could be.
What awards would you like to hand out as 2010 draws to a close? Are there any TV events, from the last 12 months, that are worth mentioning or handing out awards to? Post your ideas below!
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Shakespeare play causes scores to faint (graphic content)