Thursday, December 25, 2014
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:
'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'
Of course, it was easy to pull off, since they're all Dick Wolf productions. But the story jumping back and forth between Chicago and New York at least made sense, unlike past attempts with geographical nightmares like 'Crossing Jordan' in Boston and 'Las Vegas'.
BEST CROSSOVER PLOTLINE
'The Flash' & 'Arrow'
Boiled down to its essence, it was basically the two heroes visiting each other's city and teaming up to fight first Rainbow Raider and then Captain Boomerang. But so much was revealed and plot lines advanced in each episode so that they became integral for each show's fanbase if they wanted to be completists. These weren't cast-off, one-shot, throwaway stories.
BEST HISTORICAL CROSSOVER
'Republic Of Doyle' - "If The Shoe Fits"
Following up from the 'Murdoch Mysteries' crossover episode "The Republic Of Murdoch", the story jumped to the present time so that a descendent of William Murdoch teamed up with Jake Doyle on a case. (Doyle's ancestor Jacob worked with Detective William Murdoch in the first part of the crossover.)
BEST TOONIVERSE CROSSOVER
'The Cleveland Show'
BEST SKITLANDIA CROSSOVER
'The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson'
The Final Show - the ending
Craig and his robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Pierson realized that after ten years they had never seen who was really inside the Secretariat Pantomine Horse costume. In a big reveal, it turned out to be Bob Newhart who told Craig that this was his dream. It then morphed to Craig in bed - but he was now Mr. Wick from 'The Drew Carey Show' and he was married to Drew! Craig tells him that he dreamt that he had been the host of a late night talk show and that Carey was the host of a game show. As the scene faded, the camera panned over to a snow globe on the night stand which showed Craig, Geoff, Secretariat and the TARDIS. It was a wonderful blend of other shows' finales - 'Newhart', 'St. Elsewhere', - with tips of the hat to 'The Drew Carey Show', 'The Price Is Right', 'Doctor Who'.
BEST HOLIDAY CROSSOVER
Target commercial: "What D'Ya Get?"
A variety of toys - from Barbie to toy soldiers to a Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtle - are all excited at the prospect of what toy may be joining them from the little kid's Christmas present.
BEST TRIVIAL CROSSOVER
'Gracepoint' & 'Doctor Who'
Phone messages to be found on Detective Carver's desk were from Rose Tyler, Dr. Martha Jones, and Donna Noble. The contents of each of the notes tied in with the storylines for each of those Companions to the Tenth Incarnation of the Doctor.
My theory is that UNIT detected the rerun atmosphere surrounding the town of Gracepoint and how much it resembled an earlier case in the town of Broadchurch. And the fact that Detective Carver resembled not only Detective Alec Hardy from the first case, but also the Tenth Doctor, led them to investigate. Perhaps these notes were meant to trigger some sort of reaction should he prove to be the Doctor trapped in some alternate aspect of himself.
Just sayin', is all......
BEST THEORETICAL CROSSOVER OF THE YEAR
'Mad Men' & 'Doctor Who'
Many of the 'Mad Men' cast were huddled around their TV sets to watch as Neil Armstrong set foot on the Moon, the first human* to do so. And that's when the Doctor sent out the recorded video of the Silence who suggested that humans should kill the Silence on sight. Because you can't remember having seen the Silence once you look away, no one remembers this happening in Toobworld. That's why nobody mentioned it in that episode of 'Mad Men'.
(* In Earth Prime-Time, this was the first "Official" landing on the Moon. Men had been going to the Moon on secret missions for at least a decade.)
BEST REALITY CROSSOVER
Aisha Tyler - 'Who's Line Is It, Anyway?' & 'Let's Make A Deal'
('Let's Make A Deal' host Wayne Brady also appears on 'Who's Line Is It, Anyway?')
BEST PAN-UNIVERSAL COMMERCIAL CROSSOVERRocky & Bullwinkle; Geico
You can never go wrong with an appearance by Moose and Squirrel. And these were the Rocky and Bullwinkle from the Cineverse, not the cartoons.....
BEST COMMERCIAL/SERIES CROSSOVEREARTH PRIME-TIMEAutotrader & 'The Dukes Of Hazzard'
Not once did they break the fourth wall during this mini-adventure and they even advanced the story by trading in their old General Lee for a newer model.
WORST COMMERCIAL/SERIES CROSSOVER
Time Warner Cable & 'Suits'
Although they were in character, there were too many references to what was happening in their lives as being part of a TV series.
BEST CROSSOVER WITH A DIFFERENT MEDIUM
'True Detective' & "The King In Yellow" (1895 book)
"Along the shore the cloud waves break,
The twin suns sink beneath the lake,
The shadows lengthen
Strange is the night where black stars rise,
And strange moons circle through the skies
But stranger still is
Songs that the Hyades shall sing,
Where flap the tatters of the King,
Must die unheard in
Song of my soul, my voice is dead;
Die thou, unsung, as tears unshed
Shall dry and die in
- Robert W. Chambers,
Excerpt from "The King In Yellow", 1895
THE MAGAZINE UNIVERSE
Drunk Uncle, played by Bobby Moynihan during the "Weekend News Update" segments on 'Saturday Night Live', graced the holiday cover of 'Time Out New York'.....
COMIC BOOK WORLD
'Doctor Who' & "Abslon Daak, Dalek Killer"
That fact that Daak had to be seen as a drawing from a comic book can be splained away as being a police sketch.
'Endeavour' & "That Thing You Do!"
A call came in from Mr. White of Playtone Records in Hollywood. It was quick, under-played, and effective.
BEST THEORETICAL COMMERCIAL CROSSOVER
Lincoln & 'True Detective'
I have no problem believing that Matthew McConnaughey was appearing as Rust Cohle in that Lincoln.
WORST THEORETICAL COMMERCIAL CROSSOVER
Sprint Wireless iPhone6 & 'Married'
Of course, this is theoretical as we don't know for certain that Judy Greer is playing Lina Bowman from that sitcom. But we're all about being tidy with the proliferation of characters in the TV Universe. If we can conflate two characters into one, we will!
BEST TOONIVERSE CROSSOVER
'The Simpsons' & 'Family Guy with 'Bob's Burgers' + 'The Cleveland Show'
'The Simpsons' & 'Futurama'
Homer meeting Bender may have been funnier, but the four-way 'Family Guy' crossover was more involved and involved three different production companies. And they had a great understanding of the characters they were borrowing.
BEST ONLINE CROSSOVER
'Downton Abbey' & 'Mr. Selfridge'
Almost a shame that it was set in Skitlandia, but hell - it was for charity after all......
MOST TRIVIAL TOONIVERSE CROSSOVER
'The Simpsons' & 'It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'
Time has no meaning in the Tooniverse for the most part, so Charlie Brown wll always be that little blockhead in the hole-filled sheet collecting nothing but rocks from houses on Halloween.
LAST CROSSOVER OF THE YEAR
'White Collar' & 'Lost' (among others)
Mozzie built his own version of the algorithm machine and to test its capabilities, he fed the Oceanic airline and JFK airport and warehouse 1097 into the machine and got a flight rerouted there with a shipment of Federal Reserve money. (Oceanic Airways is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame already.)
THIS JUST IN!
'White Collar' was trumped in the final days of the month by young upstart 'The Librarians'!
"And The Apple Of Discord" made mostly theoretical connections to 'Lost Girl', Irish mythology, 'The Hobbit', a role-playing game called "Iron Kingdom" and even a numerical reference to 'Lost'. But best of all was a mention of Wold Newton, which probably had hundreds of Crossoverists pumping their fists in the air, and an appearance by a representative from the World Crime League. This is a direct link to the movie "Buckaroo Banzai: Across The Eighth Dimension" which promised a sequel about the World Crime League.