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The 2016-2017 Eighteenth Annual TV BiteMes


TV Bites

The 2016-2017
Eighteenth Annual TV BiteMes

by Neena Louise

A note to this year’s BiteMes:

For 17 years, I’ve restricted the annual BiteMes to broadcast network TV only (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox), believing there were some that did not have cable nor streaming capabilities. This is no longer the case. Not only has cable become almost as mainstream as network TV, but so has streaming (perhaps more so). For the first time – and from now on – I’m including all three avenues of television-watching.

Worst Actress
Mireille Enos, “Alice Vaughan”, The Catch
I don’t know if it was her supremely stupid character in this supremely stupid now-canceled series, or that Enos can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Either way, her performance rendered the show just plain unwatchable.

Best Actress
Kristen Bell, “Eleanor Shellstrop”, The Good Place
She made the unlikable “Eleanor” likable on this refreshingly original series.

Most Overrated Female
Mandy Moore “Rebecca Pearson”, This Is Us
Moore is an accomplished actress, but far too much of the time all she did was look cute in this series. It wasn’t enough and she needs to step it up.

Most Overlooked Female
Liza Snyder, “Andi Burns”, Man with a Plan
Snyder’s performance was pretty much the only reason to watch the middling Plan.

Worst Actor
Stephen Amell, “Oliver Queen/Arrow”, Arrow
Although much-improved from last season, Amell’s stiff and unengaging “Arrow” put this show into the “only if there’s nothing else on” category.

Best Actor
Jim Parsons, “Sheldon Cooper”, The Big Bang Theory
You’d think after all this time “Sheldon” would have become tiresome in his social awkwardness. However, Parsons keeps managing to pull it off year after year after year…

Most Overrated Male
Michael Weatherly, “Jason Bull”, Bull
The show wasn’t all that bad, despite the fact that Dr. Phil McGraw (on whom the show is supposedly based) is an arrogant ass. Weatherly needs to stop trying so hard to emulate the bombastic Dr. Phil and become “Bull”.

Most Overlooked Male
Amir Arison, “Aram Mojtabai”, The Blacklist
Arison’s “Aram” was the probably the most interesting character on this rapidly-fading series.

Worst-Dressed Female
“Beverly Goldberg”, Wendy McLendon-Covey, The Goldbergs
Ok, we get it already: it’s the 1980s. No one I knew in the 1980s dressed in big-shouldered, glittery sweaters all the time, however – especially not mothers. This must stop.

Best-Dressed Female
“Paige Dineen”, Katharine McPhee, Scorpion
Surrounded by a group that dressed like they were still in high school, “Paige” was always dressed to perfection.

Worst-Dressed Male
Blake Shelton, The Voice
Season after season it’s the same: button-down shirt and blazer. Doesn’t he own anything else?

Best-Dressed Male
“Fawz”, Maz Jobrani, Superior Donuts
Not a fan of the character, but even when “Fawz” was wearing a sleazy leisure suit, he still looked great.

Worst TV Mom
“Rebecca Pearson”, Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Preventing her son from meeting his biological father due to her own insecurities was despicable, not to mention incredibly sad.

Best TV Mom
“Mackenzie ‘Mickey’ Murphy”, Kaitlin Olson, The Mick
Not a mom per se, but as the aunt caring for her sister’s three spoiled brats without strangling them, “Mickey” takes it.

Worst TV Dad
“Bill Baker”, Michael Beach, Pitch
Even though he was dead, the flashbacks of his bullying tactics with his daughter showed what a horrible father he was – especially when he hit his son for the sole purpose of trying to motivate her.

Best TV Dad
“Jack Pearson”, Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
Flawed, but there was never any question about how much he loved his family. Like most dads.

Worst TV Kid
“Lily Tucker-Pritchett”, Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, Modern Family
Such an obnoxious little brat! Didn’t help that, after all this time, Anderson-Emmons’ acting ability hasn’t improved one little bit.

Best TV Kid
“Anna-Kat Otto”, Julia Butters, American Housewife
“Anna-Kat” was not only never made out to be a freak because of her fear of germs and OCD, but showed what life was like with a kid that was neither hellion nor angel. So refreshing to see on a sitcom!

Least Likable Character on a Show
“Claire Underwood”, Robin Wright, House of Cards
Icy, plank-faced and unlikable, “Claire” almost made Cards unwatchable. Almost.

Most Likable Character on a Show
“Mazikeen”, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Lucifer
Sometimes a badass demon that only wanted to maim and kill; other times vulnerable and tried to be friends with humans, even though she didn’t understand them at all. Either way, you just couldn’t help but like her.

Worst Drama
This now-canceled series was just plain awful: plodding, clichéd, and rife with unlikable characters.

Best Drama
Designated Survivor
Although it sometimes swung into the absurd – actually, the entire premise is absurd – the good acting and writing made it a “can’t miss.” Ironic that it’s about the American president, yet stars a Canadian, whose wife is played by a Brit, and is filmed in Toronto, Canada.

Worst Sitcom
Not at all surprising that this silly nonsense didn’t even last one season.

Best Sitcom
The Big Bang Theory
I breathed a sigh of relief that a baby coming onto the scene didn’t totally ruin this series – it actually improved over last season. However, I find it more and more distracting that most of these highly-successful 40ish characters are still living in small rented apartments with an elevator that still hadn’t been fixed after 10 years. Surely they could afford a house or condo by now!

Worst SciFi
The 100
I can’t believe this ridiculous, doddering series has lasted as long as it has.

Best SciFi
Black Mirror
Although not as good as the 2011 and 2013 British versions, the weird and offbeat near-future series was still very entertaining.

Worst Animated Series
Son of Zorn
Not strictly an animated series, but the animated “Zorn” as a cartoon character in a live-action human world was just…just…well, stupid.

Best Animated Series
The 2018-19 season will mark its 30th, making it the longest-running US animated series, scripted primetime series and sitcom.

Most Overrated Series
Game of Thrones
I’ve never understood the wild popularity of this series. I find it dull, unengaging, depressing and badly-acted. In other words: a complete waste of time.

Most Overlooked Series
Emerald City
This now-canceled series got abysmal ratings and reviews, yet I don’t get why. Yes, it was pure popcorn, but the stunning sets and interesting premise kept me coming back for more.

Worst Writing

The dialogue and storylines were nothing short of cringe-worthy on this ill-advised “reimagining” of the Archie comics (although there’s little resemblance). More like yet another version of Gossip Girls or Pretty Little Liars or Teen Wolf or…well, anystereotypical teen show.

Best Writing
Life in Pieces
Clever and witty, this was one of the very few series for which I didn’t finish the sentences before they were spoken. Where have all the good writers gone?

Worst Host/Narrator
Christina Tosi, MasterChef, MasterChef Junior
Still haven’t gotten rid of the extremely irritating non-chef Tosi, I see. You’d think the slide in ratings since she came on the scene would give them a clue. I’ll stick to the far-superior British, Australian and Canadian versions of Chef until she’s gone. Hint, hint.

Best Host/Narrator
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race
Keoghan takes the prize once again. I don’t know how he keeps managing to deal with these nutcase contestants without losing his mind.

Worst Newscaster/Reporter
Bill O’Reilly, The O’Reilly Factor
I’ve never liked the loudmouth schnook O’Reilly, but I hadn’t realized he was an absolute pig as well. Good riddance!

Best Newscaster/Reporter
Lester Holt
Holt managed to keep control of the circus that was the Clinton-Trump debate. He deserves the win for that alone.

Worst News Magazine
Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals
Just a string of  retreads of over-exposed scandals which everyone’s already heard everything there is to know about and no longer cares. Haven’t cared for years (sometimes decades), either. Walters should’ve stayed retired.
Best News Magazine

60 Minutes
Forty-nine seasons and counting. Tick tick tick tick tick…

Worst Reality Show Series
Naked and Afraid
They’re naked. They’re afraid. Any questions?

Best Reality Show Series
Deadliest Catch
There’s something oddly compelling about the brutal life of crab fishermen – and I don’t even like crab.

Worst Reality Game/Contest
The Celebrity Apprentice
This wasn’t the worst because Donald Trump was replaced with Arnold Schwarzenegger; it was actually better for it. It’s that it should’ve died many seasons ago because of its annoying D-listers and stupid, tiresome commercials tasks.

Best Reality Game/Contest
The Amazing Race
Despite the supremely off-putting Brooke (see below), this still takes it.

Worst Reality Villain
Brooke Camhi, The Amazing Race
Not exactly a “villain”, just colossally annoying: Shrill, negative, bitchy and incredibly whiny. When she wasn’t repeatedly sniveling “I caaaaaan’t”, she was complaining, crying and shrieking at her partner Scott Flanary (who deserves a medal for putting up with her). A horrible human being and the least-deserving winner ever.

Best Reality Villain
Donald Trump
Every single day he did or said something idiotic and/or just plain wrong. At least he kept you entertained wondering how he’d use his “alternative facts” to insult, alienate, threaten, or fire someone. It would be funny if it wasn’t for the fact that he’s, y’know, running the country.

Worst Game Show
The Wall
Just a giant, convoluted game of Plinko. Stick to The Price is Right; they know how to do it the right way.

Best Game Show
Yes, this still takes it, but I don’t know how much longer I can put up with the arrogant and obnoxious Alex Trebek.

Worst Score

Every single song sounded exactly the same – and not in a good way. Perhaps that explains the ratings slump.

Best Score
Stranger Things
The superb retro soundtrack paired very well with this superb retro series.

Worst Theme Music
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Annoying and stupid. So is the show, so I guess it’s appropriate.

Best Theme Music
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Also wins as “Best Earworm”. You’ve been warned.

Stranger Things
The 1980s-ish synth was both appropriate and oddly hypnotic.

Worst Newcomer (that hasn’t been canceled)
What a stupid piece of crap! I only managed to [barely] watch one episode. Absurd throughout with just a bunch of skanky wannabe singers. Ick, poo.

Best Newcomer (that hasn’t been canceled)
This is Us
I find it hard to put my finger on what was so appealing about this show. Perhaps it’s that it was just so relatable and real-life without a lot of over-the-top stupidity. Or maybe the good acting and writing. Or all three. The season finale sucked big time, however. I kept wondering when we were going to see how the father died, since it had been building up all season. I was bitterly disappointed when all they did was fight the whole episode and it ended with him just leaving the house. We was robbed!

Biggest Decline in Quality
Season one was mildly interesting at first, though declined during its second half. Season two was just one long snorefest. So dreadfully dull, silly, badly-acted and badly-written that I gave up after just two episodes. This really should have been a miniseries.

Most Improved in Quality
Not a single returning series improved enough to warrant a win this season.

Worst Network
ABC for falling yet again. They haven’t been on top in the ratings for years, now. Very sad, this.

Best Network
CBS for being the most-watched network (sports excluded) once again this year.
Worst Commercial
Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi Commercial
At first I just thought this was merely a stupid commercial starring the stupid non-star Jenner. I couldn’t understand all the brouhaha, but I get it now. The slutty Jenner has already received far too much attention for it, but it just can’t be beat as Worst Commercial of the Year…ever, actually.

Best Commercials
Kia Nero “Hero’s Journey”
Slapstick comedy at its finest with Melissa McCarthy at her finest.

Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster “Easy Driver”
Did not see that coming…

Biggest Stinker of the Season
This was swiftly canceled after just 2 episodes. I didn’t even get a chance to see it before it left the airwaves, but any show that gets the ax after 2 episodes doesn’t need any other justification for being the biggest stinker.

Trend of the Year
Time Travel
On show after show – on broadcast network TV, cable and streaming – time travel was either the main premise (Travelers, Timeless, Making History, Frequency, Time after Time) or was featured as a main plot point (Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, Supernatural). Yes, time travel is a fun idea, but enough already!

Least Magical Moment
Grimm‘s finale
When two main characters were killed off, I thought it was a sad way to end the series, but made sense, given the premise. When every single one of the others started getting slaughtered (sometimes in the most absurd way), I rolled my eyes and wondered how they were going to bring them all back by the end of the show. Which, of course, they did. Lame!

Most Magical Moment
“Sheldon Cooper” (Jim Parsons) on his knee, proposing to girlfriend “Amy Farrah Fowler” (Mayim Bialik) in the season finale of The Big Bang Theory. I admit it: I gasped.

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