2018 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 independently of each other at times.)
Unlike the Emmy Awards which will just keep handing out trophies to the same shows and actors forever, only shows, episodes, characters and what-not that debuted in 2018 can be considered. (And by "debuted", I mean that which I first came in contact with in 2018. 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:
BEST NEW TV SHOW
WORST NEW TV SHOW
BEST TV MOVIE
“A Man In An Orange Shirt"
WORST TV MOVIE
Tourism Australia – “Dundee: Son Of A Legend”
BEST COMMERCIAL SERIES
Dr. Pepper – “Fansville”
BEST COMMERCIAL SEQUEL
This was the original commercial from last year:
The sequel was probably meant for the Super Bowl, but it did get a sneak preview in a special about holiday blipverts. That's where I grabbed these screen shots.
Rocket Mortgage featuring Yogi Bear and Boo Boo
BEST IMPORT COMMERCIAL
Globe Telecom – “The Missing Dog”
If this doesn’t tug at your heart strings, you’re probably already dead and just haven’t noticed it yet. Maybe you should have a lie-down.
BEST EPISODE, ANY GENRE
“The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” – ‘The X-Files’
Hilarious riff on the lore of ‘The X-Files’ and by the end you couldn’t be sure if it had actually happened or not. A wonderful gift for the X-Fans in the tradition of “The Last Repose of Clyde Bruckner”, “Small Potatoes”, and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”. Expect to see it show up again in a few other categories, not all of them good.
BEST SERIES RETURN
BEST SERIES FINALE
‘Major Crimes’ - "By Any Means Part 4"
There are several reasons why it deserved the honor. The suspense driving the series for the last handful of episodes as the deadly dance between the department and Philip Stroh reached its climax kept me on the edge of my seat. And then there was the loss of Captain Sharon Raydor, the lead character, with about five episodes to go which was quite a shock. Until the very end of the next episode after her death I was convinced it was all a ruse to bring Stroh out of hiding. But there would be no happily ever after for Sharon and Andy Flynn. At least there could possibly be one for Rusty Beck, but I never warmed up too much to the character and was screaming at the TV that he was acting like a stupid jerk. At least none of the other major characters were killed off and Life marched on for several of the regulars.
'Major Crimes' - "By Any Means Parts 1-4"
For the same reasons listed above, but the arc for Sharon has more impact for playing out over four hours.
The possibility that three characters had perished, another who went into labor without knowing who among three men was the father of her twins, and the aftermath of the chaos wreaked by a newcomer to town had me pining for the arrival of the show’s third season to American shores as soon as possible. (Confession: I watched a lousy version of the third season premiere on YouTube just to end the suspense. I’m usually against that sort of thing but I was in agony. I couldn’t even make it through the show’s scheduled run on CPTV’s Spirit before buying the DVDs for the first two seasons.)
WORST SEASON FINALE
It was too much of a downer and sort of meh. Thankfully there will be a 12th season and hopefully the writers will be re-energized for new stories. (Which is not to say the rest of the 11th season was bad. There were some very engaging plotlines and new historical figures to meet as well as several returning historicals.
WORST SERIES CONCLUSION
There’s nothing worse than seeing a show you like get cancelled. Unless it doesn’t get the chance to make a proper goodbye to its audience. So it was for this quirky horror/supernatural series in one of my favorite sub-genres – remember that quirky community premise full of eccentric residents? Midnight took that to the extreme! Oh well. At in my concept of Toobworld, it still exists out there in TV Land even if we can no longer see it And of course it will always be available in BookWorld.
‘Station 13’ from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
I have nothing to add to that. Slim pickin’s this year.
"Timeless: The Miracle Of Christmas Part I"
The TV movie which aired just before Christmas wrapped up the storyline quite satisfactorily and still left the door open for occasional return visits. (And for the fanficcers out there, maybe the team could get started on fixing the historical changes they and the Rittenhouse organization caused, like the murder of Elliot Ness. As it stands now, the show ended on an alternate Toobworld so far removed from Earth Prime.)
I don’t know if it will hold up, but the purpose of a pilot is to lure somebody to come back for the next episode, hopefully the entire series. This pilot did that and added an interesting backstory which could be a theoretical link to ‘Endeavour’. Plus there was a cameo appearance by future Hall of Famers Penn & Teller and the location at the beginning of the episode took place in Las Vegas, which already is a member of the TV Crossover Hall of Fame. (Update – yeah, it didn’t hold up. But I stand by the pilot.)
BEST EPISODE TITLE
‘The X-Files’ - “Rm9sbG93ZXJz”
You have to admit, it’s clever, if nearly impossible to memorize (to me, anyway). In Base64, this translates to “Followers” and the computer language seems apt for an episode about artificial intelligence.
WORST EPISODE TITLE
‘The X-Files’ – “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat”
It may have excelled in so many other categories, but this title was horrible. If they asked me? “Reggie Something” or some such variation - “The Misremembered Life of Reggie Something”, “The Mengele Effect”, “Mengele/Mandela”. or “In Memory Yet Bogus” would have been so much better!
BEST HISTORICAL RECREATION
‘Doctor Who’ – ‘Rosa’
BEST SENSE OF ONE'S OWN HISTORY
‘The X-Files’ – “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat”
BEST BLEND OF TOOBWORLD AND REAL WORLD HISTORY
‘Doctor Who’ – “The Demons of Punjab”
The Doctor and her team became involved in the life of Yasmin’s grandmother back in August 1947 when India underwent the Partition which created Pakistan. The added urgency to the trip was that the wrong move could wipe Yaz out of existence.
BEST BLEND OF TOOBWORLD AND REAL WORLD CELEBRITY
‘The Big Bang Theory’ - "The Conjugal Configuration"
BEST EXAMPLE OF LIFE DURING PRIME-TIME
“Love Is A Gift”
A budget video by Phil Beastall.
A young man, with a topknot I would love to snip off, counts down to Christmas – the day when he will listen to the last cassette tape his mother made for him before she died years years earlier. I dare you to watch it and not choke up.
‘Murphy Brown’ – “Fake News”
Murphy Brown’s hashtag
In the first episode of the reboot, Murphy’s son Avery helped his Mom start her first Twitter account. They chose “@RealMurphyBrown” as her handle. Coincidentally, that’s also the handle for the show’s creator, Diane English. (I doubt her password is “Aretha4ever” however.)
BEST REVIVED SERIES
I'm throwing them a bone. They get points just for being able to overcome the insurmountable odds of Roseanne's Twitter explosion which almost took down everybody around her.
BEST CLASSIC TV EXPERIENCE
So now I’m just about finished watching the eighth and final season of ‘Ironside’ (thanks to COZI-TV) and have enjoyed it so more than I expected. So much stuff I’ve gleaned from it which I can use for Toobworld. For example: their San Francisco newspapers - usually it was the San Francisco Dispatch and I can use that to link to 'Hawkins'. But they also had a few editions of the San Francisco Chronicle and I made a huge (theoretical) crossover between 'Ironside', 'Columbo' and 'The Patty Duke Show'!
BEST CLASSIC TV DVD EXPERIENCE
BEST CLASSIC ONLINE TV
Part two coming up!