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The 2011-2012 Thirteenth Annual TV BiteMes

by Neena Louise

Worst Actress
Jennifer Coolidge, “Sophie Kachinsky”, 2 Broke Girls

I really like Coolidge from her previous roles, but her portrayal of “Sophie”, with a spectacularly bad allegedly Polish accent and over-the-top sexaholic thing, made me cringe.

Best Actress
Kathy Bates, “Harriet Korn”, Harry’s Law

Bates’ smart, funny and sarcastic portrayal of “Harry” was really the only thing worth watching on this show since its unfortunate radical premise change.

Most Overrated Female
Jennifer Morrison, “Emma Swan”, Once Upon a Time

From her turn on House, I know Morrison can act, but her one-note perma-pissed-off performance on Once got very old very fast.

Most Overlooked Female
Bonnie Bedelia, “Camille Braverman”, Parenthood

It’s easy to get overlooked in such a large ensemble cast, but Bedelia’s “Camille” was not only the most sane character, but the best-acted.

Worst Actor
Kiefer Sutherland, “Martin Bohm”, Touch

I really liked Touch, but Sutherland’s panting, breathless overly-emotive turn was annoying and distracting.

Best Actor
Michael Emerson, “Harold Finch”, Person of Interest

Known for portraying enigmatic oddballs, I don’t think anyone else but Emerson could play “Finch” to such perfection.
Most Overrated Male
Josh Charles, “Will Gardner”, The Good Wife

Three seasons in and Charles’ plank-faced portrayal of “Will” still leaves me wondering just who he’s supposed to be. Good guy? Bad guy? Stupid? Smart? More like whatever, I say.

Most Overlooked Male
Cheech Marin, “Fernando”, Rob

The show wasn’t worth watching, but Marin’s performance kept me coming back for more. Not enough to save Rob, though.

Worst-Dressed Female
Christina Aguilera, The Voice “battle rounds”

With her trailer-trash hairdo, sagging breasts nearly falling out of her dress and ridiculous bedazzled 45 rpm record strapped to her head like an organ grinder’s monkey, Aguilera just looked…well, kinda sad. I guess someone told her she’s no longer young enough to pull off that look, as her appearance improved a little after the “battle rounds”.
Best-Dressed Female
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance

It doesn’t hurt that Deeley’s a slim 9 feet tall and could wear a potato sack and look good, but her wardrobe was still stunning week after week.

Worst-Dressed Male
“John Reese”, Jim  Caviezel, Person of Interest

I know he’s been coined as “The Man in The Suit”, but The Suit is getting boring, old and a bit silly. Whenever I see him racing around or rolling around in the dirt – without getting a single spot on The Suit – all I can think is “isn’t he boiling hot in that?”. I liked his look better in the first episode when he was dressed as a homeless person.

Best-Dressed Male
“Barney Stinson”, Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Now this is how you wear a suit: Perfectly tailored and carried off with style.

Worst TV Mom
“Ellie Torres”, Christa Miller, Cougar Town

Treating her infant son like an annoying appendage (so much so that you rarely even saw him), “Ellie” is the kind of person that should never, ever have children.

Best TV Mom
“Virginia Chance”, Martha Plimpton, Raising Hope

Though her parenting of her now-grown son “Jimmy” could hardly have been called perfect, “Virginia” still managed to be a mother and grandmother one could envy.

Worst TV Dad
“Mike Baxter”, Tim Allen, Last Man Standing

True, most men are clueless when it comes to their bewildering teenage daughters, but “Mike” took it to a whole new level of uselessness.

Best TV Dad
“George Altman”, Jeremy Sisto, Suburgatory

The least-clueless father of a teenager daughter on television, Sisto’s “George” was also a normal person, not some caricature.

Worst TV Kid
“Brick Heck”, Atticus Shaffer, The Middle

“Brick” is the show’s resident weirdo, but “weird” shouldn’t mean “seriously disturbed”. The kid needs intensive therapy.

Best TV Kid
“Jake Bohm”, David Mazouz, Touch

The autistic “Jake” never said a word, but communicated more clearly than many kids. But, like most kids – autistic or not – the adults weren’t paying attention. At least not the adults that mattered.

Least Likable Character on a Show 
“Cristina Farrel”, Amy Aquino, The Finder

I’m sure most probation officers have to be tough, but “Farrel” was so unnecessarily rude you couldn’t help but hate her. Perhaps that was the idea? Hard to tell.
Most Likable Character on a Show
“Jess”, Zooey Deschanel, New Girl

You’d think her wide-eyed innocence would become tiresome, but you just couldn’t help finding her appealing.

Worst Drama

No, it wasn’t.

Best Drama
The Mentalist

Though it’s starting to slip, getting bogged down in dull backstory, The Mentalist still managed to get on the [increasingly short] must-watch list.

Worst Sitcom 

This is a sitcom? I never would’ve guessed.

Best Sitcom 
The Big Bang Theory

Bang still made me laugh, even 5 seasons in. Considering how many sitcoms met with a speedy demise this season, that’s an accomplishment in itself.

Worst SciFi
Terra Nova

A weird combination of Jurassic Park and Lost, this stinker should’ve been cancelled after the first episode (during which I couldn’t help thinking: “It’s a live version of Wall-E!”).

Best SciFi
Sometimes amusing, sometimes silly, always entertaining. Hopefully they won’t drag out the whatever sub-plot of “what’s up with the Captain?” too long. It’s entirely unnecessary and distracting.

Worst Animated Series
The Cleveland Show

Best Animated Series
The Simpsons

Most Overrated Series
Hard to believe I really liked this show in its first season. It’s become just an hour-long music video of bad cover song performances. Considering its stellar ratings, I guess a lot of people like that, but I don’t see the appeal.

Most Overlooked Series
Man Up

This was a pretty funny show, but was the type of series that needed time to find its audience. Typical of ABC, it was cancelled before being given that chance and replaced later in the season by Work It (see “Biggest Stinker of the Season”) .

Worst Writing 

So often eye-rollingly cliché, it was groan-inducing and invoked speedy channel-changing.

Best Writing

The Big Bang Theory

I don’t know how the writers have managed to keep what should be a one-note show fresh and funny after five seasons. Don’t care, either. Just keep it coming.

Worst Host/Narrator
Carson Daly, The Voice

Whenever I saw Daly, I thought the same thing: useless. Stiff, unengaging and spewing banalities, I think The Voice would be better off with no host at all instead of Daly.

Best Host/Narrator
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race

Keoghan always managed to keep his cool around the overwrought – sometimes strange – contestants, without resorting to hokey profundities and phony sympathy.

Worst Newscaster/Reporter
Scott Pelley, CBS Evening News

Pelley takes it for the second year in a row. I’m not even sure what I find so off-putting about him, but I rarely watched CBS Evening News because of him.
Best Newscaster/Reporter
Morley Safer, 60 Minutes

Safer’s been on 60 Minutes almost as long as it’s existed. Hard to imagine the show without him.

Worst News Magazine

Dateline takes back its crown from 20/20, which actually improved a little after so many years of decline.
Best News Magazine
60 Minutes

In its 44th(!) season, 60 Minutes still managed to be engaging, current and informative.
Worst Reality Show Series
Betty White’s Off Their Rockers

This category is getting tougher and tougher since most reality shows moved to cable, but Rockers takes it. Not strictly reality (and don’t get me wrong: I love Betty White), but this show where elderly people punked unsuspecting bystanders was simply not funny. Or even mildly engaging.

Best Reality Show Series

Due to numerous sports preemptions, Cops was a rarity this season (at least in my viewing area). However, the show that started the reality show genre kept me coming back for more, even 24 seasons in.

Worst Reality Game/Contest
The Choice

Oh, Cat Deeley, what were you thinking hitching yourself to this abomination? A rip-off of The Voice, this show where D-listers decide whether to date someone based solely on their voice was so awful I managed to watch a whole 5 minutes before flipping over to cable.

Best Reality Game/Contest
The Amazing Race

There’s really no other that even comes close in this category.

Worst Reality Villain
Aubrey O’Day, Celebrity Apprentice

Completely oblivious to how self-centered and obnoxiously intrusive she was, her ego-driven burning need to always be the center of attention with her grating, droning voice was so irritating, I almost stopped watching. Actually, I did stop watching and Apprentice was relegated to the recorder so I could skip over her appearances and save my ears from bleeding.

Best Reality Villain
Colton Cumbie, Survivor

Survivor‘s become so fake and staged, it’s no wonder the most-hated contestant ever was such a backstabber, spewed so many racial slurs and exhibited such cruelty. As evil as he was, though, it kept you wondering what outrageous thing he’d say next. He claimed in a post-exit interview he was merely acting for the cameras, but I suspect he’s inherently nasty.

Worst Game Show
Let’s Make a Deal

I adore you, Wayne Brady, but you’re no Monty Hall.

Best Game Show

Worst Score

Is it my imagination or are the cover song performances getting worse and worse? Nah, not my imagination.

Best Score

Not only did I actually prefer some of their covers to the originals, but the original songs were catchy and fun.

Worst Theme Music
New Girl

I know the theme song is supposed to be campy and stupid, but there’s stupid and then there’s stoopid.

Best Theme Music
The Big Bang Theory

Who hasn’t sung or hummed along to this catchy tune?

Worst Newcomer (that hasn’t been cancelled)
Happy Endings

I don’t get the appeal of this. It’s just a less-interesting version of Friends (which wasn’t very interesting).
Best Newcomer (that hasn’t been cancelled) 
Person of Interest

It didn’t wane with its premise and hopefully won’t get dragged down with backstory which rings the death knell for so many good shows.

Biggest Decline in Quality
Two and a Half Men

Men was not only not funny, but at times ridiculously stupid since Charlie Sheen got the boot. Why it continued to get excellent ratings is completely beyond me.

Most Improved in Quality 

The aging CSI improved a little this season. Not much, mind you, but it was better than last season, thanks in no small part to Ted Danson’s “D.B. Russell”.

Worst Network

ABC takes the crown from NBC for being ranked last in the Big Four.

Best Network

Despite its slip in overall ratings, it’s hard to believe that Fox – once considered the joke of television networks – has been number 1 for eight consecutive seasons, now.

Worst Commercials
Geico – “Maxwell the Pig”

I admit I found the first one mildly amusing (, but the ones that followed were the most irritating ads on TV:
Best Commercial
Volkswagen – “The Bark Side”

Hilarious. Wait for the very end.

Biggest Stinker of the Season
Work It

A stupid, unfunny and downright absurd supposed comedy about two men being forced to pose as women to get a job. Yanked after 2 episodes, this one should not have aired even once.

Trend of the Year

Everything old is new again: Friends clones New GirlHappy Endings and Man-Up; a new version of Charlie’s Angels; 1960s-set The Playboy Club and Pan AmNYC 22, which positively screamed “1970s cop show”. Considering the bloodbath of cancellations in this genre, networks will hopefully realize retro isn’t going to cut it and they’ll have to come up with something more original.
Least Magical Moment
“Rick Castle” (Nathan Filion) and “Kate Beckett” (Stana Katic) getting it on in the season finale of Castle.

The entire episode was stupid and cringe-worthy, but that scene was downright vomit-inducing. I can’t possibly be the only one that thinks Filion and Katic have zero chemistry. Let’s hope Beckett gets killed off next season and Castle gets someone…better. Won’t happen, of course, but one can dream.
Most Magical Moment
The final scene in Awake.

There was no way the now-cancelled Awake could possibly go on (and on), given its premise. Unlike other serialized shows that only last one season, however, it was nice to have everything neatly resolved before it went away for good.

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