The Toobits are my little awards for those achievements that best represented the TV Universe.
These are not meant to be seen necessarily as the best in quality when it comes to direction, acting or their scripts. I'll leave that to other end-of-the-year lists and awards. The Toobits celebrate those characters and programs that helped to expand and connect the TV Universe. The show could be total drek (and I don't think any of my choices fall into that category, really - well, not totally), but if they can keep the Great Link thrumming then they're just as worthy as anything written by an up-and-coming Paddy Chayevsky.
Last year I disqualified a lot of shows that came over from England because they were from years earlier; they just didn't get seen here in the U.S. in time for qualifying for 2005. Since then I realized that I would always be discriminating against some high quality productions that have provided marvelous material for Toobworld.
So instead, this year the only qualification is that it had to debut on American screens in 2006, since I am the only arbiter when it comes to the choices. I accept that those imported programs will have occurred in Toobworld history at an earlier date, but I'm dealing with a personal, Real World timeline when it comes to judging them.
So "Casanova" and 'Murder City' and the 'Jericho' starring Robert Lindsey could be considered, even though they were produced and shown in Great Britain earlier than 2006. ("Casanova" and 'Jericho' obviously would have to be placed far earlier on the Toobworld timeline anyway.)
Several categories from last year have been dropped; others have been added. The Toobits will always be in flux, depending on the needs of that year.
So with all that out of the way, here's a review of the best new shows and characters (no reruns!) serving the greater glory of Toobworld in 2006: Some of these should be o'bvious as to why I chose them, but for many of the categories I have added my two bits about the Toobits.
Sorry about that, Chief. Couldn't resist.
By the way, there is a spoiler in here for the American audiences. I'll give you fair warning to look away when the time comes......
BEST NEW TV SERIES
COMEDY: '30 Rock'
Being set in the televersion of NBC, rather than some fake TV network, '30 Rock' has already taken advantage of a guest appearance by Cousin Conan. I'd be surprised if NBC's indomitable workhorse, Jay Leno, doesn't eventually show up in the hallways of 'The Girlie Show'. Or maybe even Lorne Michaels! And it's a great show for plugging other NBC shows - they already did a fantastic job for the GE trivection oven!
It didn't take them long to make an actual crossover - with 'Las Vegas' via the Montecito. I'll be curious to see what other shows may be in store for a ride on this phenom's coat-tails. ('Scrubs' might even jump on the bandwagon. And Masi Oka's appearance on 'Studio 60' will be just cross-promotional, not a crossover.)
Runners-up: 'Kyle XY' & 'Eureka'
BEST TV MOVIE
David Tennant has a sensibility that seems to say "I know I'm not the real Casanova, I am the legend." And even then, he knows he's the legend for the TV Universe.
'The Lost Room'
After six hours, there were still nearly 100 objects we never got to see from that motel room.
Or did we, but in some other show?
Think of all those magical objects we've seen in shows like 'The Twilight Zone' or 'Friday The Thirteenth - The Series': shoes, a stopwatch, a radio, a diary. Could they have been present at the event of May 4th, 1961? And where else might we find some of these objects? Could Van Stratten ('Doctor Who' - "Dalek") be a Collector? Could one of the objects have crossed the ocean and found itself tucked away in the warrens of 'Torchwood'?
'Life On Mars'
This will be a finite series, wrapping it all up with the second season. I have no clue as to which direction it will take but don't you wish it's actually happening? I want "The Gene Genie" and sweet Annie Cartwright to be real, dammit!
BEST SERIES FINALE
'The West Wing'
With all the roadblocks against them, from a lack of Aaron Sorkin's input to the death of John Spencer, they were still able to rise above the obstacles and deliver a very moving send-off.
BEST SENSE OF ONE'S OWN HISTORY
It wasn't just the fact that Jane Tennyson was able to return and wrap up her career in Toobworld. They also brought back an integral character from the show's earlier seasons. Sadly, had they waited, it would have been too late.......
BEST BLEND OF TOOBWORLD AND REAL WORLD HISTORY
As I mentioned earlier, it gave History the playful sheen of television, which is why I chose it over 'Elizabeth I'.
My only regret - the real-life meeting between Casanova and Ben Franklin was never dramatized. It would have been nice to see Tom Bosley assay the role one last time; not sure who else might have filled his shoes....
Runner-Up: 'Doctor Who' ("Tooth And Claw" & "The Girl In The Fireplace")
Some episodes have been a bit off, and the team can be the 21st Century equivalent to 'F Troop' at times. But it's always been gripping, since we know no one is safe. And it's one spin-off that isn't just a carbon copy of the show that spawned it. Even with references back to 'Doctor Who', 'Torchwood' has gone off on its own original path.
They couldn't even bother to stick on the 'Law & Order' prefix. And no good splainin as to how ADA Cabot was back from the protection program.
BEST SERIES REVIVAL
Just a note here - what won me over this year was the lack of blatant promotion for many of the crossovers chosen. They were usually in-jokes, subtle references to other shows.
'The Wire' & 'Homicide: Life On The Street'
A mention of Junior Bunk
'Studio 60' & 'Brothers & Sisters'
Kitty works for NBS
'Las Vegas' & 'The Office'
Dunder-Mifflin had a conference at the Montecito
'The O.C.' & 'Grey's Anatomy'
A character from California was going to work at Seattle Grace
'Heroes' & 'Las Vegas'
Ando and Hiro were at the Montecito
'Boston Legal' & 'Cheers'
Shirley and Ivan had dinner at Melville's restaurant above the bar
'Las Vegas' & 'Crossing Jordan'
Too many times to the well for these shows, going way beyond coincidence. But the deciding factor was in broadcasting the second half of a crossover on 'Las Vegas' when 'Crossing Jordan' hasn't even returned to the schedule yet to present the first part!
BEST ADAPTATION FROM ANOTHER UNIVERSE (aka MEDIUM)
BEST NEW MALE CHARACTER
COMEDY: Jack Donaghy - '30 Rock'
He's dating Condoleeza Rice. His mentor is Jack Welch. He went to Ann Coulter's 60th birthday party. For that one alone - and for making it FACT in the TV Universe - he should be rewarded. Bwahahahaha!
DRAMA: Hiro Nakamura - 'Heroes'
Already he has one crossover under his belt with his visit to the Montecito. Will we eventually see him in the audience at 'TGS with Tracy Jordan'?
David Swain - 'InJustice'
Kyle - 'Kyle XY'
BEST NEW FEMALE CHARACTER
DRAMA - Kitty Walker, 'Brothers & Sisters'
Sally Field as Nora Walker is the more interesting character, but Kitty works for NBS, which means she links to 'Studio 60'!
COMEDY - Betty Suarez, 'Ugly Betty'
BEST NEW MALE SUPPORTING CHARACTER
COMEDY - Frank Reynolds, 'It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia'
DRAMA - DCI Gene Hunt, 'Life On Mars'
BEST NEW SUPPORTING FEMALE CHARACTER
DRAMA - Thelma, 'Hex'
Even if she can't stay a teen ghost forever, ghosts don't always have to be seen. We could always just hear her voice doing a bit of haunting in another series.....
COMEDY - S.A.R.A.H. (the smart house), 'Eureka'
BEST NEW CAST ENSEMBLE
BEST NEW GUEST APPEARANCE
Martin Landau - Bob Ryan, 'Entourage'
Frances Sternhagen - Willi Rae Johnson, 'The Closer'
BEST HISTORICAL CHARACTER
Reinette Poisson, Madame de Pompadour ('Doctor Who' - "The Girl In The Fireplace")
BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCE
Sally Kellerman, 'The Minor Accomplishments Of Jackie Woodman'
BEST NEW COMMERCIAL CHARACTER
PC Guy and Mac Guy - Apple Mac
BEST CHARACTER RETURN
Sarah Jane Smith & K9, 'Doctor Who' ("School Reunion")
Sam Seaborn 'The West Wing'
Dr. Noah Drake, 'General Hospital'
Robert Scorpio, 'General Hospital'
Holly Sutton, 'General Hospital'
Anna Devane, 'General Hospital'
Patch 'Days Of Our Lives'
Kayla 'Days Of Our Lives'
Cassie Newman 'The Young & The Restless'
Jordan Callier, 'The 4400'
BEST NEW TOOBWORLD LOCATION
Elmo, Alaska, 'Men In Trees'
Sunshine Motel, New Mexico, 'The Lost Room'
BEST COMMERCIAL CROSSOVER
Allttel phone service blending TMobile, Verizon, and Sprint
BEST BLEND OF TOOBWORLD AND REAL WORLD CELEBRITY
BEST NEW MALE VILLAIN
President Charles Logan - '24'
Runner-up: Lincoln Meyer, 'Boston Legal'
BEST NEW FEMALE VILLAIN
Isabelle, 'The 4400'
Runner-up: The Empress of Racnoss, 'Doctor Who': "The Runaway Bride'BEST LINE
"Drop your weapons!
You are surrounded by armed bastards!"
DCI Gene Hunt
'Life On Mars'
"I don't know what is more disquieting,
the fact that the statue is missing
or that it has four toes."
Okay, spoiler alert! Best to skip over these next few awards.....
BEST INTRODUCTION OF A CHARACTER
Peter Petrelli, 'Heroes'
BEST EXIT FOR A CHARACTER
Rose Tyler, 'Doctor Who'
BEST DEATH SCENE
Mr. Eko, 'Lost'
FBI Agent Graham Kelton, 'Vanished'
Suzy Costello, 'Torchwood'
Reasoning for both: No one is safe!
WORST DEATH SCENE
Mr. Eko, 'Lost'
Reasoning: As highly dramatic as it was to see Mr. Eko be battered to death by the smoke monster, we ended up losing one of the most interesting and charismatic characters on TV this season.
Although the scripts have been getting better, nothing will erase the bad taste in my mouth from episodes 2 through about 5. Aaron Sorkin has the makings for an interesting behind the scenes look at a TV show. What he needs to do now is to let it go, let others write it instead. Otherwise, he's going to stay on his soapbox to get revenge against everybody who's wronged him.
Runner-up: 'The Nine'
The only saving grace to this show was the performance of John Billingsley as Egan Foote. Just for his introductory scene in the bank as he applies for a loan, Mr. Billingsley should get nominated for an Emmy.
So those are the 2006 Toobits. As always with lists like this, somebody might take umbrage at my choices over other candidates. If so, let me know what you thought. I won't change my choices, but I'd still like to hear what you liked/disliked.
The Stage's TV Today has their awards for the most interesting TV characters of the year. They can be found here.