Friday, January 9, 2009


Ta da! This is it, folks! The finale to the 2008 Toobits Awards! I promise!


'Z Rock'
For anybody who wanted "This Is Spinal Tap" to be transformed into a TV series, this was the next best thing. A real-life band (ZO2) who "day-light" as a kids' party band try to land a record deal. With lots of great guest stars, mostly playing themselves, 'Z Rock' achieved the near-impossible: it made me laugh out loud many times during each episode.

It was presented on IFC and you should make an effort to watch it. And I'm hoping for a boxed set to be released!

'Gavin & Stacey'
This will be the show on display when they write about "comedy with heart". Every character had a rich story; even the minor characters had an unexpected depth to them instead of just being one-offs to deliver a joke. Sure, the A storyline about the fast-blooming love story of Gavlar and Stace was supposed to be the primary focus. However, they were soon trumped by the rocky relationship between hard-partying Smithy and Nessa, who may or may not have had a highly adventurous past. Add to that Stacey's mother Gwen, Gavin's parents Mick and Pam, and especially Rob Brydon as Uncle Bryn, and maybe the show should have had a more inclusive title for them all.

'True Blood'
Seductive, tawdry, bawdy, funny, disgusting, shocking, and sad. All it needs are flying monkeys and a few song and dance numbers! HBO has probably hit on the perfect successor to 'The Sopranos', smartly avoiding anything of a similar nature. Based on the "Sookie Stackhouse" novels, Alan Ball has given Toobworld not only a town full of interesting characters (as well as the town of Bon Temps), but also a lot of new concepts to work with, including shape-shifters and Tru-Blood. Of course, that does lead to a few problems, as I mentioned in the earlier post.

"24: Redemption"Tying into an established series helped this to win. Otherwise, I might have gone with one of the other candidates since '24' is delegated to an alternate TV dimension. Still, it gave newbies a chance to sample the series in a bite-size nugget ("bite-size" by the '24' standard).

'Generation Kill'
At times it felt more like we were watching a documentary, especially during the battle scenes. I'm still not sure I have all the characters straight in my head (pun intended for Rudy), but each of them did make an impression on me. And I hope some of those actors won't take too long in bringing more characters to populate Toobworld.

"Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog"
Since online content was not yet included in the WGA contract, I have no problem enjoying this musical as much as I did.

"Adopt" - Sci-Fi
It's a blipvert promo for the Sci-Fi channel, and it's probably the most heart-tugging thing I've seen, outside of the reunion of Desmond and Penny on 'Lost' and the letter from Stacey's dad on 'Gavin & Stacey'. Definitely the most heart-tugging brought in under two minutes!

You can see
"Adopt" here.

'Gavin & Stacey'

See above for the reason why.

Top Runner-up: 'Supernova'
'New Tricks'
As I splained earlier, to qualify for 2008, I had to become aware of the show (as well as see it) in that year. Even if it began years earlier, as was the case for 'New Tricks', then that NBC mantra applies: If I haven't seen it, it's new to me.

'New Tricks' has been something I eagerly look forward to watching every Saturday morning once I get home from work; I find myself jonesing for it when Channel 21 preempts it for pledge marathons. I'm not sure what I'll do if they don't go back and play it all again from the beginning, because I discovered it halfway through Channel 21's run of the second season.

'New Tricks' leads the pack of shows this season which I call "comfort food viewing": dependable, easy-going, nothing too difficult for the little grey cells. Other new shows like that have been 'Eleventh Hour', 'The Mentalist', and 'Leverage'.

'Fringe' - "Pilot"
A combination of factors led this episode to win the honors. First off, the surprise twist near the end involving John Scott. Usually, when you hire a name actor as a guest star in a pilot, it's to help boost viewership, knowing full well that the actor won't be around for the run. Usually that type of character gets killed off.

So that's what I expected when I heard Mark Valley was in the cast. Figured that he'd give the show a decent launch and then either his character would die, or fade away from Olivia's life to recuperate. Never expected him to turn as he did, still die, and yet then keep coming back to the series!

Another major factor was that I saw it on the big screen at the Paley Center auditorium during their annual Pilot Week. I think that definitely gave it more impact.

Season One Episode Six/Season Two Episode OneWhen Nick Cutter came back from the Past and realized that somehow he had changed the entire course of History - to the point where a woman he once knew no longer existed - it seemed like they had painted themselves into a corner from which there was no escape. And to the show's credit, they didn't even try. Nothing was magically restored, but instead they accepted the changes and moved on. And, as I posted last night, it gave Toobworld a great big beautiful splainin for discrepancies like the fictional President in 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea'.

And so there you have it! The final batch of 2008 Toobits Awards winners. I've already wiped the slate clean in the toobits data file and have already started collecting a few nominees for 2009.

I hope you enjoyed the awards show!

Toby O'B

And this marks the 3400th post for "Inner Toob"......


Terence Towles Canote said...

Not having HBO I haven't gotten a chance to see True Blood. My own favourite drama last year was Mad Men. It's nice to see a show whose producer has a real attention to detail!

Toby O'B said...

Thanks for the comment, Merc!

'Mad Men' wasn't considered because unlike the Emmys, shows have only the one shot in the year they premiered for the major awards. (Particular episodes or new characters can bring them back into the spotlight in later years.)