We here at The Whiteboard have decided to do some TV Awards this summer. We will definitely pick some favorites at the end of the year too, but with most network TV show seasons taking place across two different years, we wanted to do something now that could include their past seasons in full. So these awards will take a look at some of our favorite and least favorite stuff in TV and anything that happened in the “Emmy Period” from June 1st 2011 to May 31st 2012 is eligible. We will be stretching these awards across four blogs which will be posted across the next two weeks. In today’s blog, Part 2 of this series, we take a look at some of the best episodes, scenes and moments from this past season (due to the nature of some of these categories, some spoilers are included in this blog, so be careful reading any awards given to shows you have not watched yet).
This award goes to the best pilot episode amongst the new crop of shows this past season.
Matthew’s Pick: Awake – Despite any issues I had with Awake going forward, it is hard to find any fault with its pilot. It showed a promising concept that had a police detective dealing with two realities, one where his son lived and his wife had passed away and one the opposite way around. On top of selling us on this concept, they also showed how it would put an interesting twist on the typical procedural element of the show and packed a lot of emotion as we see Jason Isaacs’ character deal with his unique situation. Throw in some great acting and this made for an excellent pilot.
Omarey’s Pick: Awake – This was my most anticipated show coming into the season and I was more excited for it than any show that I can remember in a long while. I watched the trailer more times than I could count. The actual product was pretty much everything I wanted. It summed everything up so well. The emotion was heartbreaking and the storyline/path was clear. I like how they introduced the stories and characters and it left me wanting more.
We expect even more from season and series finales here at The Whiteboard. This category highlights the best finale from this past year.
Matthew’s Pick: Friday Night Lights, “Always” – I am using the fact that this episode aired on NBC for the first time (where I watched it) in our eligibility period to squeeze this into my picks. Not only do I like being able to find a way to include FNL in these awards, FNL’s last episode happened to be excellent. Finishing a series is always a big undertaking and “Always” manages to wrap up the storylines dealing with Coach Taylor and his family, his Lions team as well as older characters like Matt Saracen and Tim Riggens, all in a satisfying manner (well except maybe Luke’s ending…). It was hard to say goodbye to a show I enjoyed so much, but I couldn’t have asked for much better from Friday Night Lights’ final episode.
Omarey’s Pick: Person of Interest, “Firewall“ – This finale did everything that I wanted it to do. It was the perfect culmination of an incredibly successful debut season. They incorporated old characters including the lovely Zoe. There were great callbacks to previous episodes and we learned more about all of our characters and the machine. We also finally got the scene where Carter and Fusco realize they are working together. It was well done. I am also a huge fan of Amy Acker and she was great as Root in this one. In classic POI fashion we were swerved by Root’s true intentions. The cliffhanger was neat because although we know it will be resolved we are just not quite sure how.
Best Outside the Box Episode
This category is for episodes that step outside of the typical episode structure.
Matthew’s Pick: Community, “Remedial Chaos Theory” – When Community’s themed episodes go right, they can be quite awesome. For this award, I decided to go with the incredibly clever “Remedial Chaos Theory” in which we see a number of timelines play out depending on which member of the group goes to get the delivery pizza they ordered. The various timelines are both interesting and hilarious.
Omarey’s Pick: Community, “Digital Estate Planning” – This episode was one of the classic stylized Community episodes that can either go really well or really poorly. This is obviously an example of them doing it well. When you see an episode description about a show mainly in cartoon mode it could be disconcerted. The game was so cool and it was awesome that they got Giancarlo Esposito to be in the episode. It can even be downloaded and played thanks to some ingenious and dedicated fans at reddit. It can be found here.
This simply goes to the episode we thought stunk the most. It was the worst.
Matthew’s Pick: Girls, “Pilot” – Due to the insane amount of hype behind Girls, I decided to try the pilot even though it didn’t seem like my type of show. Well if the pilot episode is anything to go by, it really isn’t my type of show. I never even bothered with another episode. I just didn’t like this at all.
Omarey’s Pick: Community, “Virtual Systems Analysis” – This episode just sucked. It shows how poorly things can go when they do outside of the box episodes. This episode was bad for me for two reasons. One it featured Abed and Annie. It only showed the other characters through the eyes of Abed. The other part is that it focused on the dreamatorium and Inspector Spacetime. It was just not what I wanted at all.
This goes to our overall favorite episode of the year.
Matthew’s Pick: Fringe, “Letters of Transit” – This episode caught me off-guard. I knew we were heading to the future for Fringe’s traditionally “wacky” 19th episode. I assumed it’d be some sort of fun one-off type of thing. I wasn’t expecting what would be the beginning of a whole new storyline. Despite our Fringe team being nowhere to be found for much of this episode, it was still a blast to see these new characters, Etta and Simon were both fantastic, in this wild Observer-ruled future. And Walter was pretty awesome too. It was not only fun to watch, but also speculate about afterward. It really exceeded my expectations and ended up being my favorite episode of the year.
Omarey’s Pick: Sherlock, “The Reichenbach Fall” – This episode is pretty much perfect. Emotional, funny, and thrilling. All of the characters did such a great job. This was the episode that made me respect Moriarity as a frightening villain. It totally changed the way I thought about him in previous episodes. Martin Freeman’s heartwrenching performance dealing with Sherlock’s death was tremendous. Every character did their job so well. Sally Donovan, Lestrade, Ms. Hudson, were all so great in their roles.
Best Cold Open
This award goes to the episode with the best cold open (the segment that precedes a show’s opening credits) or at least the one that stuck out in our minds the most from this past year.
Matthew’s Pick: Breaking Bad, “Bullet Points” – I’m not even sure this was my favorite Breaking Bad cold open last season which are generally fantastic, but it has stood out in my mind for about a year since it aired. You just get a super cool moment from Mike, one of my favorite Breaking Bad characters. He is holed up in the back of a Pollos Hermanos truck all bundled up because of the cold. The way he takes out the two guys trying to get into the truck is fantastic and really shows how Mike goes about his business.
Omarey’s Pick: Parks & Recreation, “Win Lose, or Draw“ – The rigged Sweetums election machines were amazing. They were so hilarious. Also, the rule about what happens in the event of a tie. Hilarious! Everyone’s reactions were so funny. It just made me laugh so much. This is one show where they are so good with cold opens.
This goes to the episode with the coolest scene that runs right at the end usually after the final commercial break over the credits.
Matthew’s Pick: Happy Endings, “You Snooze, You Bruise” – This was just hilarious. Really a perfect use of a tag. After Jane takes back the role of president of the homeowner’s association, the tag features her and Brad’s presidential entrance into the building set to Ice Cube’s “It was a Good Day.” Better than me trying to explain it, watch it for yourself on youtube. Just so good.
Omarey’s Pick: Happy Endings, “Cocktails and Dreams” – Everyone was having sex dreams about Dave because of him changing his food truck into a mobile speakeasy. He was hanging with Colin Hanks and Freddy Kruegering his friends with his drink “The Whore’s Bath”. Alex went by the truck and downed one of the drinks. Moments later she was awakened by what we assumed was one of the sex dreams low and behold we find that it wasn’t a dream and that she actually had sex with Dave. AWKWARD. Plus Elisha Cuthbert aka Alex looked hot. Good time all around.
There is something really great about being surprised with the unexpected. This category is for our favorite twist from this past year.
Matthew’s Pick: Red Riding Hood, Once Upon a Time – When I first watched Once Upon a Time, it had me briefly convinced that I remembered nothing about fairy tales. Of course, soon enough I realized that they were just doing their own twists on these popular stories. None surprised me like their take on Little Red Riding Hood. Sure maybe I should have been expecting the unexpected at this point in the season, but the red herring (terrible pun not intended) they used was enough to throw me off the scent of Red being the wolf. Well played Once Upon a Time.
Omarey’s Pick: Kathryn’s return, Once Upon A Time – David’s wife Kathryn was presumed dead. They even found a heart with her DNA on it, in a box. All of the evidence that was collected put Mary Margaret in jail and caused so many problems. So how did she just appear alive, dirty and with memories lost. It was shocking and had my mind racing for a week as to how all of this occurred and what would happen next.
Most Heartfelt Moment
This goes to the most heartfelt, touching and sincere moment from the past year.
Matthew’s Pick: Peter and Olivia’s reunion, Fringe – I’m not sure about some of the things that helped bring us to this point in the season, but it doesn’t make the moment itself any less great. After months of these two trying to figure just what exactly was going on, they both finally realize that they are the Peter and Olivia that they fell in love with before and meet in a really sweet embrace at the end of “A Short Story About Love.” A really fantastic moment that just had me smiling throughout and for a while after it aired.
Omarey’s Pick: The resolution, Touch – I love the concept of this show and how all of the stories come together. The first episode was so heart-wrenching. I like how because of Jake and Martin all of these good things happened. The firefighters story and how that matched up with Martin’s wife life was kind of amazing.
This goes to the moment or scene that left us in awe of just how dumb a show can be at times.
Matthew’s Pick: The well scene, The Walking Dead – Surely one could fill a whole blog (or five) with just The Walking Dead’s stupidest moments. But the well scene stands out to me as the worst from this past season. They should probably just not use the well at all once the zombie is found in it, but then their attempts to pull the zombie out are just really a string of idiocy that could only come from the cast of characters in The Walking Dead TV show. Let’s dangle one of our people down the well to attach a rope to the zombie. Let’s use this water spout that will obviously break for leverage. Let’s assume that the zombie is super well put together and won’t break apart when we try to pull it out. That’s the brilliant characters (and writers I suppose) of The Walking Dead for you.
Omarey’s Pick: The crotch grab, The Walking Dead – This scene was just so ridiculous. I know that they just had an exciting moment at the gated community. Shane can be such a dude but this seemed even a little much for me. I am ashamed that Andrea was involved with this. She is one of my favorite characters in the comics. She is just pretty terrible in the TV show and this is one of the shining moments of her terribleness.
This award goes to our favorite moment or the one that just blew us away with how cool it was.
Matthew’s Pick: The end of Season 1, Game of Thrones – I’d been waiting and expecting those dragon eggs of Daenerys’ to hatch at some point and it finally happened at the end of the first season. Daenerys emerges from the fire unharmed as three cute baby dragons crawl up around her. Awesome. From then on I was excited every time I might see some baby dragons in the show. Nice work Game of Thrones.
Omarey’s Pick: No consolation speech, Parks and Recreation – The fact that Ben had no consolation speech if Leslie lost shows how much he loves her. That is the example of a really supportive relationship and I am so happy that Leslie and Ben have that. That’s kinda awesome. One of my favorite relationships to watch on TV.
That will do it for Part 2. Feel free to give us your thoughts on our picks or any picks of your own for these categories in the comments below. We’ll be back soon for the final two parts of this blog series which will focus on whole seasons from this past year. Thanks for reading!