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Fifteenth Annual TV BiteMes


tv-bites_thumbTV Bites


The 2013-2014
Fifteenth Annual TV BiteMes

by Neena Louise

Worst Actress
Jennifer Coolidge, “Sophie Kachinsky”, 2 Broke Girls
For the third year in a row, Coolidge’s portrayal of “Sophie” is downright cringeworthy. Maybe if they stop the audience from hooting and hollering every time she shows up and/or if she acquires either a more realistic accent or dispenses with it altogether, my opinion could be changed.

Best Actress
Margo Martindale, “Carol Miller”, The Millers
Martindale is a seasoned actress and it shows. Though she seems to be everywhere in movies and TV this year, she positively shines as meddling mother “Carol” on The Millers.

Most Overrated Female
Kerry Washington, “Olivia Pope”, Scandal

Don’t get me wrong: Washington is a great actress. She just not as perfectly glorious in the overrated Scandal as everybody seems to think.

Most Overlooked Female
Jess Weixler, “Robyn Burdine”, The Good Wife
Weixler’s portrayal of the quirky investigator is leaps and bounds above the supposedly quirky “Kalinda” (Archie Panjabi), who is becoming very caricatured. We need to see more of Weixler’s “Robyn”.

Worst Actor
Christian Slater, “Ross Edwards”, Mind Games
I don’t know if it was Slater’s stilted performance or that “Ross” was so unlikeable, but whichever it was, Slater made this stinker of a show even stinkier.

Best Actor
Andre Braugher, “Captain Ray Holt”, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
I’ve never seen Braugher in a sitcom before, but his portrayal of “Holt” makes this hilarious show all the more worthy of a watch. His deadpan delivery is of the wait-for-it variety, and once you’ve waited, you can’t help but howl with laughter.

Most Overrated Male
Jonny Lee Miller, “Sherlock Holmes”, Elementary
I don’t get what is so gosh-golly amazing about mumbling intensely and freaking out for no apparent reason. I know Miller can actually act from his previous gigs (TrainspottingDexterEli Stone), but it doesn’t show in Elementary.

Most Overlooked Male
Parker Young, “Randy Hill”, Enlisted
“Randy” was such a bumbling, though well-meaning and earnest dufus on this now-canceled show, it made it worth watching. Too bad not more people thought so.

Worst-Dressed Female
“Sue Heck”, Eden Sher, The Middle
Her look – ugly stretch pants and uglier, shapeless shirts – hasn’t changed since the show started 5 years ago. “Sue” has grown up and evolved. Her clothes should reflect that.

Best-Dressed Female
“Dallas Royce”, Cheryl Hines, Suburgatory
It’s very unlikely a suburbanite would dress in party clothes every day, but reality didn’t matter. “Dallas” always looked great and put-together.

Worst-Dressed Male
“Murray Goldberg”, Jeff Garlin, The Goldbergs
We get it already: he likes to take his pants off in the house. Doesn’t mean we need see him parade around in his tighty whities all the time.

Best-Dressed Male
“Raymond Reddington”, James Spader, The Blacklist
You don’t often see men in hats these days. Spader wears them so well, I’d like to see more men sport hats. Maybe he’ll start a trend.

Worst TV Mom
“Jackie Florick”, Mary Beth Peil, The Good Wife
Shrill, passive-aggressive and, well, just downright nasty as a mother, mother-in-law and grandmother. She’s actually delightfully awful, so it’s too bad we didn’t see her much this season.

Best TV Mom
“Frankie Heck”, Patricia Heaton, The Middle
Often clueless and sometimes a little strange, “Frankie” still came across as a good mother – even when she wasn’t being the best mother. Like most mothers.

Worst TV Dad
“Henry Langston”, Kurtwood Smith, Resurrection
It would most certainly freak anyone out to have their dead child suddenly turn up very much alive more than 3 decades later. But, undead or not, he was still a kid that needed a father – not the cold, unfeeling man “Henry” was.

Best TV Dad
“Jack Dunlevy”, Christopher Meloni, Surviving Jack
Meloni’s “Jack” was hilarious as he unconventionally guided his teenage children with punishments and lessons that every parent should try at least once. I’m surprised it was so swiftly canceled. This is the type of show that needs just a little time to grow an audience.

Worst TV Kid
“Lily Tucker-Pritchett”, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Modern Family
I suppose her spoiled rude brat persona is part of the storyline, but she’s so obnoxious, you just want to knock some manners into her.

Best TV Kid
“Marcus”, Benjamin Stockham, About a Boy
He was either blissfully unaware of how uncool he was, or he just didn’t care. Either way, you couldn’t help but admire the kid.

Least Likable Character on a Show 
“Clark Edwards”, Steve Zahn, Mind Games
Yes, he was supposed to be flawed as an autistic genius, but there’s flawed and then there’s weirdo freak. This character could’ve been played so much better without representing all autistic people as powder kegs always on the verge of going off for no apparent reason – especially since most in real life aren’t.

Most Likable Character on a Show
“Sameen Shaw”, Sarah Shahi, Person of Interest
Totally owning her unfeeling quick-on-the-trigger personality, you couldn’t help but like “Shaw” as she routinely kicked ass.

Worst Drama
Under the Dome
I admit I rather enjoyed the first couple of episodes of Dome. As time went on, though, it got sillier and more “whatever” – kinda like the has-been hack Stephen King who wrote both the book and the series. I can’t believe it was renewed.

Best Drama
Person of Interest
It got a bit muddled mid-season, but this was still a must-watch.

Worst Sitcom 
Two and a Half Men
 has been declining since Charlie Sheen’s very public departure and this season was worst of all with all its one-note supposed jokes and boring storylines. Hard to believe it’s been renewed.

Best Sitcom 
The Big Bang Theory
The premise and characters have barely changed over its 7-year run, but it’s still fresh and hilarious.

Worst SciFi
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
I had high hopes for this, but a few episodes in and I was just plain bored.

Best SciFi
Sleepy Hollow
A clever way to work history into network television. It didn’t hurt that “Ichabod Crane”‘s man-out-of-time discoveries were very funny (I especially liked his outrage at the “4% levy” on some food, saying “we went to war over 2%!” Hah!). Didn’t hurt that Tom Mison is a total babe, either.

Worst Animated Series
King of the Hill
Sorry, but this isn’t king of anything. It’s just stupid.

Best Animated Series
The Simpsons
I don’t really like The Simpsons, but it is a good series and I understand its popularity. However, South Park would take the title if it was on broadcast network TV.

Most Overrated Series
The Following
I don’t get the appeal of The Following at all. I found it boring and more than a little silly.

Most Overlooked Series
The Crazy Ones
I thoroughly enjoyed this now-canceled series that gave its ensemble cast (especially Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Geller), a chance to shine. 

Worst Writing 
2 Broke Girls

Girls started off refreshing and fun, focusing on two young working-class women trying to make something of themselves. Now it’s just interminable and very unfunny genital, drug and short jokes, reeking of desperation. Throw in the audience’s hooting and hollering whenever “Sophie” (Jennifer Coolidge) appears and it’s simply become unwatchable. Time to fire all the writers.

Best Writing (tie)
Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Big Bang Theory
Both Brooklyn and Big Bang have such outstanding and hilarious writing I couldn’t pick one. Let the battle begin!

Worst Host/Narrator
Gordon Ramsey, Hell’s Kitchen
All Ramsey ever did was shriek, curse, toss things around and throw people out. I know that’s the entire premise of Kitchen, but it’s getting so very, very old.

Best Host/Narrator
Tom Bergeron, America’s Home Videos
Bergeron announced this was his last season on Home Videos. A shame, this.

Worst Newscaster/Reporter
Al Roker, Today
I find it impossible to take Roker seriously since he admitted to crapping his pants. Throw in his weird behavior after Ann Curry’s very public firing and it’s impossible to take him seriously.

Best Newscaster/Reporter
John Quiñones, Primetime: What Would You Do?
Some of the premises on What Would You Do? this season were a little “anyway”, but Quiñones still kept it from being too unrealistic and/or sensationalistic

Worst News Magazine
Nightline Prime
I don’t who thought this would be a good idea, but it wasn’t.

Best News Magazine
60 Minutes
46 years and counting. It wins for that alone.

Worst Reality Show Series
American Dream Builders
A weird combination of shows like Extreme Makeover and any typical reality contest show, this series wasn’t as interesting as either. It was just filled with a bunch of snarky bitchiness and ads for Lowe’s and Same old, same old. Cable does a much better job of this type of show; broadcast network needn’t bother anymore.

Best Reality Show Series
Undercover Boss
Not a great show, mind you, but I still enjoyed seeing the Powers That Be get in the trenches with their employees.

Worst Reality Game/Contests (Tie)
Masterchef and So You Think You Can Dance
I thought at first both these series decided not to air any of the auditions in their latest offerings. Turns out only Masterchef did. Whose stupid idea was that?? The auditions not only get you interested in the final contestants, they’re highly entertaining with the delusional hopefuls and the judges’ ensuing acerbic comments. SYTYCD, on the other hand, did such a terrible job of their opening teaser that it appeared they had dispensed with the auditions and were going to go right to the final competitions. Turns out they did air audtions, but by the time I found out, I wasn’t interested anymore, since I was deep into House of Cards on Netflix. Idjits.

Best Reality Game/Contest
The Amazing Race
As long as this is on the air, it will win the category. Well, unless they do something extremely idiotic like try another “Family Edition” or – worse still – a “Celebrity Edition”.

Worst Reality Villain
Rachel Reilly, The Amazing Race
Rachel was the biggest whiny crybaby Race has ever seen – not to mention rude, underhanded, a liar, evil and just generally a truly awful person. I couldn’t even love to hate her…I just hated her. She was going to have babies if her and her husband Brendan Villegas won. Thank goodness they lost. She doesn’t need to breed.

Best Reality Villains
Amy and Sammy Bouzaglo, Kitchen Nightmares
Amy and husband Sammy Bouzaglo are probably the most delusional restaurant owners in history –  perhaps even the most delusional people ever. They shrieked at their customers (on one occasion Sammy demanded payment for food a customer never received, threatening to call the police if he didn’t pay, then threw the customer out) and served terrible food, the whole time insisting their restaurant was perfect and it was just all the “haters on Yelp” that were ruining it. They were so delightfully clueless, rude and idiotic, it was like watching a train wreck – you just couldn’t look away.

Worst Game Show
Hollywood Game Night
I don’t know what’s supposed to be so interesting about a bunch of (sometimes spectacularly stupid) celebrities playing parlor games.

Best Game Show
Jeopardy takes back its crown after losing last year – primarily for host Alex Trebek’s obnoxiousness – for its highly entertaining “Battle of the Decades.”

Worst Score

America’s Got Talent
I don’t know who chooses the “sendoff” tunes, but they should be fired. Cheesy and lame at best, they were so irritating I often muted them.

Best Score
Though I don’t think I could’ve stood to hear Ball and Chain one more time, the music was still a huge part of what kept me watching this season – and I don’t even like country music very much.

Worst Theme Music
Mindy Project

The worst theme music ever? You decide.

Best Theme Music
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Not just the music, but the opening credit sequence was positively addictive.

Worst Newcomer (that hasn’t been cancelled)
Chicago P.D.
I don’t know if it’s that I just don’t care for Jason Beghe (“Hank Voight”) much or if it’s that this series is just same-old, same-old, but whatever it is, Chicago P.D. didn’t deserve to be renewed.

Best Newcomer (that hasn’t been cancelled) 
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The funniest sitcom since The Big Bang Theory. Both the writing and acting was so spot-on you couldn’t help but laugh.

Biggest Decline in Quality
Straying very far from its original premise, the extraordinarily dull and confusing storyline with “Sherlock’s” brother “Mycroft” (Rhys Ifans) moved this series from the must-watch list to the only-if-there’s-nothing-else-on list. Hard to believe it was last year’s “Best Newcomer”.

Most Improved in Quality 
The Good Wife
Saving itself from last year’s doldrums, Wife was worth watching again. Especially since they killed off the boring and unlikeable “Will Gardner” (Josh Charles).

Worst Network
I swear, Fox is trying to kill itself. It really needs to get out of the talent show business in order to save itself.

Best Network
Hard to believe NBC actually was the top-ranked broadcast network this season in the 18-49-year-old demographic for the first time in a decade. Of course, this was due to their sports coverage – even their subpar Winter Olympics [non] coverage helped.

Worst Commercial
2014 Cadillac ELR

Kraft Peanut Butter
This only ran on Canadian TV (oddly, though Kraft Peanut Butter is made in the U.S., it’s not sold here), but it’s so bad, it deserves a mention. Sappy, gaggably corny with Ellie Goulding totally butchered cover of Elton John’s “Your Song”, on the occasions I watched the Canadian networks available to me, this commercial did nothing but make me immediately change the channel – or at the very least put it on “mute”.

Best Commercial
Samsung Curved TV
There’s something oddly compelling about this clips-from-movies ad.

Biggest Stinker of the Season

Mind Games
Trying to capitalize on shows like The BlacklistElementary and The Mentalist, this series featuring an autistic supposed genius had so many unlikeable characters, so much shrieking and was just generally so chaotic that it was uncomfortable to watch. No surprise that it was swiftly canceled.

Trend of the Year
Killing Off Major Characters
Person of InterestScandalThe Good WifeHannibalOnce Upon a TimeNashvilleCommunity and Grey’s Anatomy all killed off major characters this season. When you include all the ones from cable and Netflix, there were at least 30 major character deaths. No wonder it was nicknamed “The Death Season”.

Least Magical Moment
Castle‘s Season Finale
I didn’t watch a lot of Castle this season, but I did catch the season finale. All I could think was: A car crash? Seriously?!? How clichéd and hackneyed can a cliffhanger possibly get? You’d think they would’ve learned from all the booing and hissing about Nashville‘s stupid car-crash ending last season. Time for this show to fold up and go away.

Most Magical Moment
“Theresa Lisbon” (Robin Tunney) and “Patrick Jane’s” (Simon Baker) kiss on The Mentalist’s finale
My first reaction was “ewww”, since I always felt Lisbon and Jane were more like brother and sister, but it was actually quite sweet.

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