The 2011 TV Critic.org Awards
The 2011 TV Critic.org Awards
Last year's awards podcast was a lot of fun so I will make it an annual tradition. The Emmy's and other industry awards quite rightly focus on the television season as it functions from September to August. However I think there is something interesting about a set of awards that encompass one calendar year. Sometimes shows can have a good start to a season and then fall away or vice versa so hopefully these awards can throw up a surprise or two.
Here are some things to bear in mind
- This is "The TV Critic's" site so this isn't a vote (yet, by next year I hope to be able to do that) but I do want to know what your favourite TV from 2011 was.
- The podcast was much longer than I intended last year and I want to add categories! So to make sure it doesn't run for hours and hours I will do most of my shortlisting here and so the podcast can just be your thoughts and the winners of the awards.
- Below I have put together my personal shortlists for your consideration and some statistics which hopefully will be fun to look at.
- I hope to release the podcast on the 26th December so get your nominations in before Christmas Day.
Last Year's Winners
Best drama show of 2010 - Mad Men
Best comedy show of 2010 - Community
Best drama episode - "Shadow Games" - Spartacus: Blood and Sand
Best comedy episode - "Modern Warfare" - Community
Best actor in a drama - Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Best actress in a drama - Lucy Lawless (Spartacus: Blood and Sand)
Best actor in a comedy - Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Best actress in a comedy - Sophia Vergara (Modern Family)
With no Mad Men on this year and Spartacus cut down to only six episodes we should be in for some new winners. I'm adding "Best drama moment" and "Funniest comedy moment" so that you can talk about what you really enjoyed more specifically. I'm also adding "Worst show of 2011" because that should be fun.
BEST DRAMA SHOW OF 2011
These statistics reflect the scores out of 100 that I have given each show this year. Obviously I haven't included all the shows which I don't write about or don't give scores to. You are welcome to nominate any show you like. It seems like Breaking Bad is likely to be the runaway winner and it will be interesting to see if Homeland's average dips or climbs when the last two episodes air.
BEST DRAMA EPISODE
I don't make my decisions based on statistics alone. However a look at the list of episode scores is helpful.
It wasn't a spectacular year in terms of individual episodes. Again Breaking Bad has a strong claim on victory with only the Homeland pilot really sticking out to me as a contender.
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Now this one should be tasty. Obviously Bryan Cranston v Aaron Paul would look like the obvious battle but then you do have Giancarlo Esposito and Dean Norris in the background. Damian Lewis has done a fine job on Homeland, Michael Pitt has been very strong on Boardwalk, there's Kelsey Grammar on Boss and don't forget Peter Dinklage who won the Emmy for his portrayal of Tyrion Lannister. I also liked Jeremy Allen White (Philip Gallagher) on Shameless. Who am I forgetting?
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Claire Danes is looking good in this category because she is the one woman who gets to play lead on a show I cover. But what about Anna Gunn (Skyler White) or Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan) who both play a supporting role with aplomb? Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) has a lot of fans and Lucy Lawless (Lucretia) was last year's winner. Again Emmy Rossum (Fiona Gallagher) was strong on Shameless.
BEST DRAMA MOMENT
Obviously these are likely to come from your favourite episodes on your favourite shows but I'd love it if people had some offbeat choices. It's difficult not to be spoilery but my contenders include several moments from Breaking Bad including a twelve step meeting, a karaoke video, a poisoning and a man who knocks. From The Walking Dead there's a couple of things which Shane did with his gun which had quite an effect on me. The opening minutes of Game of Thrones were pretty awesome as were its last. Carrie going to any length to save herself on Homeland and Solonius calling out Batiatus on Spartacus are up there too.
BEST COMEDY SHOW OF 2011
This one looks like a straight shoot out between The Big Bang Theory and Parks and Recreation. Statistically they are very close and for me it will be choosing between laughs and sentiment. It’s not been a good year for comedy and the gulf between those two and the rest of the shows is sad to see.
BEST COMEDY EPISODE
Again stats aren’t everything but this is a fascinating list.
The question becomes do you penalise Family Guy because “It’s a Trap” is a Star Wars parody and so benefits massively from working with familiar source material? Otherwise it’s another toss up between Parks and TBBT. Family Guy and How I Met Your Mother both get a regular kicking from me so I’m pleased to see that both have some offerings in the list.
BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) was last year’s winner and won the Emmy so he is looking good right? Yes but to be fair to Johnny Galecki (Leonard Hofstadter) he has handled more of the emotion on that show. Over on Parks you are spoilt for choice in supporting players with Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson), Chris Pratt (Andy Dwyer), Adam Scott (Ben Wyatt) sure to be popular choices.
But then things get more complicated. What about Steve Carell (Michael Scott) whose farewell season included ten episodes in 2011? Or Alec Baldwin (Jack Donaghy) who always performs well despite the show he is on. Or what about the guys on Community whose performance have not been something I have criticised despite my disappointment with the show? Then there’s Modern Family with its litany of actors young and old. What about Charlie McDermott (Axl) and Atticus Shaffer (Brick) over on The Middle? There are also a bunch of comedies I don’t care for with good actors on them. I’d say this was a very tough category.
BEST COMEDY ACTRESS
Again this is really tough. Amy Poehler (Leslie Knope) is the star of her show but I think her character has become more suited to playing it straight rather than being silly. Kaley Cuocu (Penny on TBBT) is a popular lady but she isn’t asked to do a huge amount. There are supporting ladies on both those shows who deserve mention and again the three ladies from Community could make a strong case for inclusion. Again Modern Family has several candidates though I have been complimenting Sarah Hyland (Hayley Dunphy) recently. Then there’s Eden Sher (Sue Heck) on The Middle who continues to make me smile. Then you have actresses like Zooey Deschanel (Jess, New Girl) and Eliza Coupe (Jane, Happy Endings) who I like in general but don’t like on their shows. Another difficult choice.
FUNNIEST COMEDY MOMENT
Now then this is entirely an excuse for you to post any joke you can remember from 2011. It's not easy to remember jokes but if one comes to mind then let everyone know. I won't shortlist anything because if I go through it I will probably spoil what the eventual winner is (and I don't know what it is yet, it will be fun trying to find it though).
WORST SHOW OF 2011
Wow, this could take a while. It depends whether you just pick something you hated or work out which show was the most criminal waste of talent. Let’s just say the following shows will be on my shortlist: 30 Rock, Entourage, Camelot, Mr Sunshine, Up All Night, New Girl and Happy Endings.
So there you go have at it. It’s a challenge just to remember what was on this year. Don’t forget Falling Skies, Alphas, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Blood, The Killing, Justified, Lights Out, Perfect Couples, Traffic Light, Cougar Town, Mad Love, The Borgias, Camelot, Breakout Kings, The Cape, Episodes, Mr Sunshine or Wilfred.