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Saturday, December 03, 2022

With TV in Limbo, it’s time to present some mid-year awards

The school year is almost over, and spring TV is just heating up. In the limited amount of time we have left together, I figured I would write a totally arbitrary awards column, partly because there’s not really any new TV happening this week. What follows is a number of awards I’ve given to shows throughout the year: Awards named after my favorite examples from other shows. Look, the point of this exercise is not to reinvent the wheel—or the awards column—just to bestow awards to those I deem deserving. 

The Tony and Carmela Soprano Award for Most Distraught Leading Couple: 

Honestly, this could go to any two characters on “Game of Thrones.” Jaime and Cersei Lannister, Littlefinger and Sansa Stark (shudder), Daenerys Targaryen and Daario Naharis 2.0, the options are endless. In the end, I had to give it to this season’s odd couple, Brienne of Tarth and my boy Podrick Payne. Like Arya Stark and the Hound last season, they’re rudderless, hopeless and generally distraught. I’m really excited to see where this storyline—which has already changed from the books—goes this year.  

The Jack and Sawyer Award for Most Pointless Conflict between Two Main Characters: This was maybe the easiest award to give. By a landslide, it goes to Rick Grimes and Michonne for their roles in season five, part two of “The Walking Dead.” Definitely the two best at kicking zombie ass, both characters spend the majority of the fifth season’s second act playing sheriff in the once-peaceful town of Alexandria. The conflict here is that Rick wants to defend the town, and Michonne just kind of wants everything to be normal and not all apocalypse-y. Seriously. That’s it. Nobody wants anything from these two except a bunch of kick-ass zombie killing. Much like Jack and Sawyer fighting over Kate, and literally everything else, for the first couple seasons of “Lost,” Rick and Michonne really need to get back to the task at hand, or that task will literally eat them alive. 

The “House of Cards” Award for Most Potentially Disappointing Second Season: This one hurts, because I really like this show, but I have to give it to “The Last Man on Earth.”  This is possibly my favorite new show this year, but in recent weeks has become increasingly formulaic in order to advance its plot and get its kicks. Will Forte’s Phil Miller is the only character for just the pilot, with Kristen Schaal, January Jones, Mel Rodriguez and others being added as the season continued. I like these actors and their characters, but the show keeps adding new ones to the point where I honestly had to think about how many there were. The premise for the show is solid, but it has the unfortunate habit of boxing itself in unless it continues to add new characters to goose the plot. I’ll be watching season two, but I will be wary. 

The “Whitney” Award for Worst Show on TV this Year:

Easily “House of Cards.” I know it’s technically on Netflix, but this one was not even close. The second season wasn’t great, but this was a whole new level of stink. Somebody pulled Frank Underwood’s teeth and nobody told him. Claire Underwood was a shell of herself. There was no one storyline that was relatable without being preachy or entertaining without being unfeasible. If this show is going to keep going, something has got to give. 

The “Arrested Development” Award for Show that Starts in the Summer:

Tie between “Rick and Morty” and “True Detective.”  Both start in late June, and both had excellent rookie years that totally exceeded expectations. “Rick and Morty” continues to careen around with cartoonish, meta madness and on-point humor, and is definitely worth viewing. “True Detective,” already a notoriously serious program, has reloaded with a new all-star cast including Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn. It could also be the beginning of the Vaughnaissance, a term that could totally be everywhere by this time next year. Just remember who coined the phrase. 

Was Jake wrong about any of his awards? Let him know at


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