2014 TOOBITS AWARDS
It's that time of year again, when we all make lists and think back over the past year, in whatever field of interest concerns us, and chronicle the high points and the lows. For the past few years I've been presenting this compilation as an awards show, the Toobits, which of course celebrates my two bits about Toobworld.
As it is with any such list you'll find in TV columns across the country these last few weeks, these are my opinions. You're welcome to your own and I hope you'll share them, but I'm sticking to my weapons of choice. (It could be you won't see something that was a favorite of yours because I just never got around to seeing it. There's only so much time in the world - even for a do-nothing-else-anyway sort like me! - and I've only got the two eyes, even if they do operate independantly of each other at times.)
Unlike the Emmy Awards which will just keep handing out trophies to some shows forever, only shows, characters and what-not that debuted in 2013 can be considered. (And by "debuted", I mean that which I first came in contact with in 2013. It could be a few years old, but if it's my first time seeing it, it's new.)
This one-time-only rule includes characters who have been recast; those are still the same characters who already exist in Toobworld. (But there were a few notable appearances that deserved honorable mention, and they get it.)
So without further ado, let's have at it:
Brigadier Sir Alastair Lethbridge Stewart, 'Doctor Who'
Sadly, Nicholas Courtney died a few years ago and his role as the former head of UNIT was also retired in death. He was definitely irreplaceable. But Moffatt, that cunning bastid, found a way out of it by transforming his soul and corpse into a Cyberman. But his emotion inhibitor was incapacitated and so the Brigadier was able to save his daughter from death and come to the Doctor's aid at a time of great need. (He may have spared the Doctor from having to kill the Master/Mistress, but I think she teleported the hell out of there before she could be blasted.)
It's become one of my "comfort food" murder mysteries, but the character and stories from the G.K. Chesterton stories had already been adapted for TV in the early 70s and so that televersion is the official portrayal for Earth Prime-Time.
Alfred Pennyworth, 'Gotham'
Sean Pertwee's former Royal Marine turned manservant and guardian for young Bruce Wayne ain't your father's butler. If this was the past history for Alfred in all media, he may have not been in fighting trim since WWI as far as the Alan Napier Alfred was concerned. (And I think it possible that he worked in military intelligence against the Hun back then, side by side with Alexander Waverly.)
Missy, 'Doctor Who'
Recasting the next regeneration of the Master as a woman served two purposes well. First, it shut the door on a return by RTD's vision of the Master as hyper-crazy madman. John Simm was great in the part, but it was so over-the-top that there was nowhere to go with it. Secondly, Michelle Gomez' sly performance may prepare the more recalcitrant members of the audience into accepting a female Doctor whenever the time comes.
Young Louie, 'Louie' ("Elevator Part 4")
Daario Naharis, 'Game Of Thrones'
It's bad enough that the Mountain has gone through three recastings since the series started, but he wasn't in the series as a central character and he was encased in armor most of the time he was on screen. But Daario serves at the side of the Khaleesi and is involved in scenes of long dialogue as well as action scenes. At least they could have found an actor who looked like the original Daario, but nooooo.......
BEST NEW MALE CHARACTERDRAMA
Marty Hart & Rust Cohle - 'True Detective'
One reason I prefer the Toobits Award method in selecting winners over the Emmy Awards - it's one and done for the most part. None of this being nominated year after year. I'm sure Bryan Cranston was fantastic in the role of Walter White in 'Breaking Bad' (the show just wasn't for me), but the Emmy voters get into a mental lock-step and start voting out of habit for the same actors year after year. If those awards were done my way, Lauren Graham might have finally won for 'Gilmore Girls', and Hugh Laurie for 'House'.
This should have been the year for either Matthew McConnaughey or Woody Harrelson and the sad thing is that it was the only year for their characters. Without giving away the ending of the show, this was a year-long anthology series and next season will have a whole new cast, location, and storyline. Theoretically we have seen Rust again in those Lincoln commercials, but this should have been the year both of them won joint Emmy awards. (I'm sure they shared a joint or two during production though.) At least here they get the Toobits Award, small compensation though that may be.
Jimmy Shrive-Overly - 'You're The Worst'
I'm not a big fan of cringe-worthy comedy - it's what kept me from fully enjoying 'The Office' and it's what makes 'The Comeback' unbearable for me. But this is stealth cringe. I should be hating these characters, but I can see that deep down they have what it takes to keep me coming back to watch. And with Jimmy, the ex-pat Brit author who will probably never see another book published, there's the little boy lost Peter Pan about him. You also can't beat that expression on his face at his moment of glory - a possible three-way with two women, only to "culminate" too soon.
BEST NEW FEMALE CHARACTER
Miss Phryne Fisher - 'Miss Fisher Mysteries'
Racy, sexy, witty and a free-thinker, Phryne is a breath of fresh air in the history mystery genre. Solving murders in 1920s Australia also gives us a chance to see her in fabulous outfits... and out of them.
BEST NEW MALE SUPPORTING CHARACTERDrama
BEST NEW SUPPORTING FEMALE CHARACTERDrama
Fish Mooney, 'Gotham'
Lindsay Jillian, 'You're The Worst'
BEST NEW RECURRING MALE CHARACTER
BEST NEW RECURRING FEMALE CHARACTEREvanka, 'Louie'
BEST NEW MULTIVERSAL CHARACTER
John 'Constantine' (from DC Comics)
Lorelei, 'Agents Of SHIELD' (from Marvel Comics)
BEST CROSSOVER CHARACTERS FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM
Dr. Evil of the Austin Powers movies
on 'Saturday Night Live'
Lady Sif of the "Thor" movies
Agent Carter & Dum Dum Dugan of 'Captain America: The First Avenger'
in 'Agents Of SHIELD'
BEST NEW CAST ENSEMBLE
'You're The Worst'
BEST INTRODUCTION OF A CHARACTER
Missy, 'Doctor Who'
Edward Mortdrake, 'American Horror Story: Freakshow'
BEST ADDITION TO AN EXISTING CASTMALE
Bobby Morse aka Mockingjay, 'Agents of SHIELD'
BEST NEW GUEST APPEARANCE
MALE - Bill, 'Maron'
FEMALE - Vanessa, 'Louie'
Karim Fataris, 'Verbrechen'/'Crime Stories' (episode "The Hedgehog")
Harold Levenson, 'Downton Abbey'
BEST HISTORICAL CHARACTER
Joseph Merrick, 'Ripper Street'
BEST HISTORICAL CHARACTER REVISION
Jane Cobden, 'Ripper Street'
MOST TRIVIAL HISTORICAL CHARACTER
Marcel Guillaume, 'The Murdoch Mysteries'
Had it not been for the digital description courtesy of my cable company, I never would have known that Monsieur Guillaume would one day be the inspiration for the character of Inspector Jules Maigret in the books by Georges Simenon. I'm glad it didn't come up because that would have been one more Zonk to splain away....
BEST NEW ALIEN CHARACTER
The Teller, 'Doctor Who'
BEST NEW CHILD CHARACTERBOY
Martin Moone, 'Moone Boy'
CHILD CHARACTER WITH THE BEST LINES
Archie, 'Sherlock' - "The Sign Of Three"
CHARACTER MOST DESERVING TO RETURN
Jon Worth, 'Major Crimes'
BEST NEW COMMERCIAL CHARACTER
Captain Obvious, 'Hotels.com'
BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCEDRAMA
Gloria Steinem, 'The Good Wife'
Kate Micucci & Riki Lindholme, 'Garfunkle & Oates'
Amy Poehler, 'Welcome To Sweden'
BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES APPEARANCE IN A COMMERCIAL
BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES CROSSOVER
Chris Hardwicke - 'Maron' & 'Garfunkle & Oates'
BEST CHARACTER RETURN
Pindar, 'Franklin & Bash'
Technically this is a dramady, but our first sight of Pindar upon his return was pretty dramatic.....
Gary Blauman, 'How I Met Your Mother'
Because his appearance triggered a slew of cameos from past characters who got one last go-round before the series ended: Zoey Parsons, Kevin, Sandy Rivers, Jeanette Peterson, Steve Henry, Scooter, Blah Blah, as well as Patrice and Rajit who were recurring anyway.
BEST CHARACTER RETURN ONLINE:
Dr. Michaela Quinn and the residents of , "Dr. Quinn, Morphine Woman"
(Even if it is in Skitlandia)
BEST LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES RETURN:The gathering of the eleven hosts from 'The View' for Barbara Walters' penultimate show as a host on that series.
BEST NEW ALIENS
The Boneless, 'Doctor Who'
WORST NEW ALIENS
The Turtle-Sapiens, 'Metal Hurlant Chronicles' - "Master Of Destiny"
BEST NEW MALE VILLAIN
John Garrett, 'Agents Of SHIELD'
BEST NEW FEMALE VILLAIN
Missy, 'Doctor Who'
BEST EXIT FOR A CHARACTER
Bertram Cooper, 'Mad Men'
Brian Lane, 'New Tricks'
Professor Proton, 'The Big Bang Theory'
BEST EXIT FOR A LEAGUE OF THEMSELVES MEMBER
Barbara Walters, 'The View'
BEST DEATH SCENE
King Joffrey Baratheon, 'Game Of Thrones'
Will Gardner, 'The Good Wife'
Tracy McConnell, 'How I Met Your Mother'
WORST DEATH SCENE
DI Richard Poole, 'Death In Paradise'
FIRST MAJOR TV CHARACTER TO DIE IN 2014
Pierce Hawthorne, 'Community'
BEST NEW CHARACTER NAME
Dandy Mott, 'American Horror Story: Freakshow'WORST NEW CHARACTER NAME
Fish Mooney, 'Gotham'
WORST CLASSIC CHARACTER NAME
Doctor Herpies, 'McMillan & Wife'
BEST NEW ALIAS
Sketchy Jeff, T-Mobile's Family Plan commercial