The 2008 Golden Teddy Awards for Most Excellence in Television

And the winners are…!

Most Excellent Use of Audience Ignorance of the Geography of a Dramatic Setting.

Pratt, not Harvard! Tie! In “Brothers and Sisters,” characters travel from Pasadena to Santa Barbara during commercial breaks. It takes an hour to drive from Santa Barbara to Pasadena — without traffic! As if that was remotely possible. Click here to get directions from Pasadena to Santa Barbara to West Hollywood to Downtown LA and back to Pasadena. And in “Fringe,” the lab where our heroes hang out and do physically impossible things is supposed to be at Harvard. But the exterior shots are of Pratt. In Brooklyn. Which only remotely looks like Harvard.

Most Excellent Fake TV Show within a TV Show That Is Real.

“MILF Island,” the “Survivor” meets “Date My Mom” reality smash hit on fake NBC that is the key plot point in an episode of real NBC’s “30 Rock.” The premise? Horny TV boys vote MILFs off the island. The tagline? “20 MILFs, 50 eighth grade boys, no rules.” The catch phrase? “We no longer want to hit that.” Genius!

Most Excellent Statutory Rape.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NVcTlwsr2M] On “Gossip Girl,” the producers thought it was a good idea to have Nate, 17, and Jenny, 15, hook up and cause all sorts of silly drama with their friends and family and erstwhile lovers. No problem, right? Well, Taylor Momsen, who plays Jenny, really is 15. And Chace Crawford, who plays Nate, is not 17. He’s 23. This hook-up caused Entertainment Weekly to do an entire article on TV’s “most unappealing make-out moments.”


Most Excellent Shark Jumping.

There has been so much awful-ness on “Grey’s Anatomy” this year — the addition of Mary McDonnell as a surgeon with Aspberger’s Syndrome comes to mind — but Entertainment Weekly hit the nail on the head declaring “In the Midnight Hour” the worst episode — of any TV show! — of the year: “Izzie had hot, loud sex with the ghost of Denny, a nosedive into magical realism so ludicrous that you just shrugged when Sadie sliced herself open so the interns could practice an appedndectomy. Oh, also: Someone got a fecal transplant.” The shark has been jumped.

Most Excellent Televised Performance by Someone Younger Than Me.

Christian Siriano (click for the wiki or the self-promoting bios), 23, may not know that he is performing a complex and ridiculous pastiche of queer, hipster, and dumb fashion model mannerisms, but he is. Or was, on Season 4 of “Project: Runway,” not to be confused with Season 5, which was also this year. Method acting at its finest! The best part of Siriano is that he is self-parody. Watch this SNL skit; Amy Poehler is Siriano.

Most Excellent Televised Performance by Someone Older Than Me.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gT-aGmLaLRk] I say this without irony: Kyra Sedgwick is among the best things about TV. It freaks me out to see her in real life — not my real life, of course, but on the news, or the red carpet, wherever she is just Kyra Sedgwick. Because she is Chief Brenda Lee Johnson: Shrewd, manic, vulnerable, slightly sadistic, and hilarious. And I just love how her fans create ridiculous videos with her clips. Here’s one.

Most Excellent TV Show Beholden to Network Censors.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5KpUbnWS3o] I know some people lost interest in “Lost,” and I want to tell them: You’re idiots. No show is more interesting, bizarre, heartfelt, engrossing, or well-made. And the last season — especially if you count the previous season’s finale as the beginning of the last season — was the best since the first season. It’s frickin’ amazing, people!

Most Excellent TV Show Whose Creators Can Do Whatever the Hell They Want Except Show Genital Penetration. Tie!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I-WTCOTlOI] First, “Mad Men,” like “Lost,”  is interesting, heartfelt, engrossing, and well-made. It isn’t terribly bizarre, except in the sense that it’s a TV series that seems like a slow-paced epic novel about consumerism, masculinity, femininity, the lurch from modernism to postmodernism, and “America.” That is bizarre, and no non-cable network would ever allow a series to be this good.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd5E-pHzXGI] “True Blood,” on the other hand, is not as emotionally or psychically searing as “Mad Men,” nor is it as good as its predecessor-in-pomo-vampirity “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” But “True Blood” is deliciously sexy, violent, funny, and melodramatic. I lurve it.

Show that When De-Tivoed Brings the Most Excellent Pleasure.

I don’t mind insane plots and shallow characters; I love “Ugly Betty” and “Gossip Girl.” But I do mind insane plots, shallow characters, and a complete lack of morality. Add in the Ryan Murphy’s self-hating homophobia, and “Nip/Tuck” just made my skin crawl last year. Gone.

Tomorrow: The 2008 Golden Teddy Awards for Most Excellence in Film!

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