Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nikki’s 2007 Year in Review
Happy New Year! I hope y’all are having a safe and happy one so far.

So, I’ve been kinda absent as of late. My computer went kablooey on December 18, I took it in to a retailer to have them look at it and they said they’d send it out for a “diagnostic” to tell me what’s wrong with it. They said it would take a few days. After two weeks I started getting the shakes, so I finally called the store yesterday, and the guy said they’d gotten it back over a week earlier (thanks for calling, loser) and he said it would cost over $700 to get it fixed. So right now I’m praying he can recover all the data, while I look around for a new laptop.

I’ve been meaning to write up a fall roundup of all of my fave shows, discussing which ones I liked and why I liked them, but instead, I’ll just follow tradition and do a list of top 10’s and what 2007 meant to me, pop culture-wise.

So first, the inevitable Top 10.

Top 10 TV Moments
10. On Friday Night Lights, the conversation between Eric and Tami when Eric has to go back to work out of town, and Tami’s just had their baby, in “Last Days of Summer.” Connie Britton does her best work yet, without saying a single word.

9. Dexter headbutting Doakes right after leaning in close and hissing, “I own you.”

8. Christopher’s death on The Sopranos. It happens at the beginning of the episode, so it was a complete shock, and it made Tony a darker character than ever before. The thought of that moment STILL sends chills down my spine.

7. The deaths of Nikki and Paolo on Lost. I said it many times, and I’ll say it again: BAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

6. The showdown between Peter Petrelli and Sylar in season 1 of Heroes, complete with shards of glass flying around the room and Mohinder dangling precariously from the ceiling, appearing to be dead. If the series had ended there, it would have gone down as being one of the most brilliant shows in history. Unfortunately, the season finale happened, followed by season 2. Sigh.

5. The outtakes of Jack Donaghy’s GE product integration speech on 30 Rock. Jack wastes take after take flubbing lines, worrying about where to put his hands, trying to turn off his cell phone, and knocking over the props. Comedy genius.

4. A Pushing Daisies tie between the Darling Mermaid Darlings doing their underwater dance to “Morning Has Broken” (which made me cry) and Emerson having his Vertigo dream (which made me howl with laughter). The best word I’ve been able to come up with for this show is sublime.

3. The “Business School” episode of The Office. Michael’s speech before Ryan’s class reached a new level of awkwardness, while Dwight chased a bat around the office and Jim pretended to be turning into a vampire. I wish Joss Whedon could direct every episode.

2. Season 4 of The Wire. Yeah, I can’t pick a moment, so I choose the entire season. Heartbreaking and groundbreaking. I know I’m repeating myself endlessly, so I won’t tell you to watch this show.

I can’t help it: WATCH THIS SHOW.

1. The season finale of Lost. The drama. The deaths. The possible rescue. The freakin’ flash forward. And that beard. It was television perfection (well, maybe except for the beard).

Most upsetting cancellation of the year: Veronica Mars. The show ended in such a way that I thought the following week was the finale, and when I discovered the episode I’d just seen was actually the finale, I was floored. What a huge disappointment for fans of the show. Shame on you, CW! (Wow, the worst cancellation of the year wasn’t by Fox!)

Biggest disappointment of the year: Heroes. Twenty-two episodes of brilliance, just to end on the thunk that was episode 23. And then THAT was followed by a lacklustre season 2. Ugh. The shine of season 1 has been tarnished, and I’ve removed it from my list of favourite shows. Wah.

Biggest fall 2007 disappointment: Bionic Woman. I had huge hopes for this show, and it was boring and awful. Is it even still on the air? I have no idea.

Saddest TV moment for me: Charlie’s death on Lost. I cry every time I watch it.

Funniest TV deaths for me: Hmm… let me see… NIKKI AND PAOLO. BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

TV Show that changed my views more than any other: Big Love. I discovered it this year, devoured both seasons, and came away thinking hey, maybe polygamy isn’t all bad.

Most physically painful TV moment for me (in a good way): I was watching Eddie Izzard’s Dress to Kill DVD, and was alone in the house and about 7 months pregnant. When he got to his bit about various sections of Christianity, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe, and was silently begging him to stop while vainly trying to reach for the remote, which was on the other side of the coffee table. Get this DVD if you haven’t seen it. Unfortunately, while his series The Riches started out great, I lost interest about halfway through and stopped watching.

TV “Phenomenon” I just didn’t get this year: Life. My husband and every TV critic loves it, but I watch it and think it’s trying too hard to be kooky. It just annoys me.

Best Guilty Pleasure: The Next Great American Band. LOVED this show. No one else seemed to be watching it, but I loved it anyway. When it came down to my two favourite bands in the end, I would have been happy for it to go either way, but when The Clark Brothers took it, I realized that ending made me happier. Sixwire is guaranteed a record deal, and the Clark Brothers are more niche, so by winning, both of them will get signed. Yay! The only good thing about the show ending: No more Light of Doom.

Most Sadly Ironic TV Character: I just watched season 3 of Slings & Arrows, one of the finest TV series ever produced in Canada, that somehow aired in the U.S. first. This final season starred the late, great William Hutt as a cancer-ridden Shakespearian actor who wants one final shot at Lear, and who slowly and painfully dies during the production. The show was filmed over a year ago, and Hutt died – of leukemia – in June of this year. Watching him perform Lear in the final episode of this six-episode season made me weep, and I wept even harder at his soliloquies where he talks about his fear of dying a painful death, which Hutt eventually did. Please check out Slings & Arrows if you haven’t – it’s available in a 3-season DVD set at Amazon.com (yet not in Canada… WTF?)

Most Realistic TV Portrayal of Having a Baby: I’ve been meaning to post on this for ages, but the depiction of Tami having a baby on Friday Night Lights has been astounding. She “had” her baby on the show only a week after I had mine, so trust me: all was fresh in my mind. Her labour was longer than 20 minutes, she’s talked about how frustrated she is trying to lose the weight (unlike Claire on Lost, who was in skinny pants the next day), she’s hormonal, she’s feeling pressured by an older daughter who is acting out because Mom’s spending too much time with the new kid. I especially love how the show portrays her breastfeeding. We see her in nursing tops, the breastfeeding pillow is usually slung over one end of the couch in the background of scenes, she comes home from being out with friends and is clutching her breasts saying she desperately needs to pump, and in one scene in her guidance counsellor office, Tim Riggins is sitting with his brother, who finds the breast pump sitting on a shelf and tells Tim that she pumps the milk out with this, “like a cow.” Considering how many women I’ve heard tell stories of breastfeeding in malls and having men walk by and say, “moo” to them, I thought this was awesome, especially since the Riggins boys are typically a couple of yahoos. When Tami walks in and yanks it out of his hands and tells him it’s not a toy, I wanted to reach through the screen and kiss her. (Week after week, she always seems to be doing exactly the same things I am with my child at the same time, and her baby actually LOOKS like a newborn, unlike most TV babies… yes, I’m looking at you, Aaron.)

Funniest impersonation: Jim pretending to be Dwight on The Office. “Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.”

Best Marc line on Ugly Betty: Betty slips in late to a board meeting, trips over the bagel cart, sends it flying, knocks all the drinks on the floor, and lands on her butt. Marc cups one hand to his mouth and whisper-yells, “Don’t worry! I don’t think anybody noticed!”

Most Disappointing Reality Show Winner: Biddell on Project Runway Canada. The guy vomits on some fabric, creates a hideous garment out of it, and Iman praises him as some unique genius. Come ON.

Best SNL Digital Short: This one. I still love it.

Favourite TV Geek: Chuck Bartowski. I heart him. HE would have called me back to tell me what was up with my computer.

Most Exciting Return of the Year: Buffy. The Joss Whedon-helmed comics are brilliant, and I feel like the show’s back again.

So... what are some of your faves/least faves of 2007?


poppedculture said...

Ah Nik, brilliance as ever. I should be writing my list instead of procrastinating and reading yours. I heart Chuck too. Glad it got picked up. Happy New Year to you and the fam.

Emilia said...

Hi Nikki,
My family and I LOVE your Finding Lost books (we've been working through the new one with our season 3 DVDs), and I'm excited to get into your blog. That said,
I'd like to hear your take on the Lost mobisodes before 1/31!

Anonymous said...

Hey Nikki, happy 2008!

I found an interesting website you and Lost fans might be interested in, in followup to the new Oceanic website. Apparently there is a hacker named Sam who works for Oceanic IT department who lost his girlfriend Sonya in the crash and details his search for her. I'm not sure if it is supported by ABC, but its only running until the season premier:


It looks fascinating!

bluecat said...

Veronica Mars' cancellation was a huge disappointment for me. I loved this show. CW has some stinkers airing now that VM could replace. Who's with me?

This season of Heroes certainly was not my favorite. The brother and sister from Mexico had me saying "Huh?"

I had such high hopes for Bionic Woman after seeing Zoe from Eastenders was going to star in it, but that was tempered by Isaac Washington also in it. I was not a fan of his even before his inappropriate comments.

And Lost! I cried buckets when Charlie died. I am still hoping that he'll make it somehow. Oh well.

I love Life. One of my favorite shows of the season. I like this brand of kooky or quirkiness.

Another favorite show is Reaper. Others have commented that Reaper and Chuck are very similar. I have to disagree. Chuck may be ubersmart with the computers and things but he has no common sense. When I watch the show and he gets in trouble I think to myself, "He deserves it. He's not thinking." Anyway, that's the impression I get. Reaper is a lighter Supernatural, and I love Dean and Sam Winchester.

I loved the concept of House having to pick a new team from 40 aspiring applicants. He has names for them, one he called 13, one was the Bitch.

Those are the shows I could think of, spur of the moment. Thank goodness, since this comment seems to be super long! LOL

Nikki Stafford said...

Jeremy: Thank ya! I don't post on Chuck nearly enough, but that show makes me laugh every week. The cast is brilliant, even Captain Awesome.

Emilia: Thank you!! I'll be posting on the mobisodes again soon, so stay tuned. I hope you stick around! :)

Roland: Happy new year to you, too! Thanks for the link; I'll do a post on that, too. (You guys keep me busy, and I thank you.)

bluecat: I WISH I could like Life, seriously. I know there's something I'm missing, because everyone who likes it tends to like the same things I do, so I don't know what I'm missing. That said, I don't like House, and my beef with Life is it just seems too much like House -- quirky guy who plays by his own rules and often gets into trouble, but always has the answer in the end.

I love Reaper, too. One of my favourite things of the fall season is Sock going into the DMV and saying, "Hey, Gladys," and that annoyed look she gives him. (I almost wish they hadn't done an episode where they explore her more, because I loved her just like that.)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was delighted with the 6th season of Curb Your Enthusiasm - I was a little worried about last season went downhill with the kidney donation.

I agree re Bionic Woman - huge disappointment. All of your picks were right on Nikki.

I must mention The Closer though - I don't believe you watch (and I couldn't find season 3 on Cdn t.v. this fall) but it is such a great show - definitely one of my faves.