Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 Year End "Nosy" Awards Are In!

Jane's 2008 "Nosy" Award picks are in. There were so many great TV moments out there this year, it's hard to know where to begin. Who can top a year where some of the most riveting drama came not from scripted television series, but from coverage of the presidential election and the recent noir flavored news on the demise of the American economy. Well thank God we actually had some great fictional and documentary TV to take a break from everyday angst, or the hyperventilation would never end!In today's post I will give the Nosy Awards for scripted series; later on we'll have a special post for Non-Fiction.

Best Comedy Actress: Tiny Fey
There is no one else in contemporary television better suited to wear the crown of our dear muse Lucille Ball, than Tina Fey. She is a brilliant physical comedian, an accomplished writer, and an impersonator so dead-on she becomes the doppelganger of her subject. She is also a gorgeous actress (as was our Lucy). For proof, check out the current issue of Vanity Fair. Liz Lemon, you are immortal. I wonder how many minions of earnest women comedy writers will be drawn to TV because of you.

Best Comedy Actor: Alec Baldwin
His role as Jack Donaghy, the obsessed television honcho, is the best work he's done in years. He's hilarious, nuanced, occasionally touching, and never for a second dull. We want to see so much more of the electricity between Jack and Liz Lemon as the season progresses. There is surely a spark between the two.

Best Comedy: 30 Rock
Sorry to go all full sweep with the Rock, but it's truly the most deserving. From the exciting retro opening music, the shots of Rockefeller Center to the brilliant ensemble cast and writing. I love everything about this show...the TV biz insider jokes, the fantasy flashbacks. It's loopy and fast paced and very, very funny. Why this show is not on the Top Ten Nielsen rating list is beyond my imagination. I kept hoping this was the year. I've never had this bad of a disconnect between my tastes and that of the American public! :(

Best Drama Actor: Jon Hamm
Tough, tough decision here, as there was a ton of great work this season. Michael C. Hall is always amazing as Dexter, and I'm keeping my eye on newcomer Stephen Moyer, the smoldering vampire on HBO's True Blood. But Jon Hamm is the pinnacle, with his portrayal of Advertising exec Don Draper. Here is the miracle Jon Hamm has accomplished; his character is a morally ambiguous fraud who cheats on his wife and has stolen the identity of a dead war hero. Not the stuff most TV heros are made of. But at the end of the day, Jon Hamm keeps us rooting for Don, who has evolved over the past two seasons into a much more likable human being. He's fiercely loyal to the good men and women at Sterling-Cooper and ruthless to his evil co-workers. He's gentle with his children and kind to the real Mrs. Draper, a simple decent lady with a crippled foot. And--as Lisa has pointed out in previous posts, Jon Hamm the actor is quite funny too.

Best Drama Actress: January Jones
Her character Betty Draper is not particularly likable, and has fallen into a deep well of despair this season. Also, she's an awful Mom. Did anybody else want to call the child protective services when she locked her daughter in a dark closet as punishment? But from her stunning 1960's couture to her sub-zero treatment of Don when he confirmed his latest affair, she has been riveting. She is the consummate blond beauty, as perfect as a country club ice sculpture on the outside and as nutty as barrel full of Planters inside her desperate mind. She even makes smoking seem pristine and cool again...now that's acting!

Best Drama Series: Mad Men
A perfect sweep again, but I could not go any other way. Again, the competition was tough. Dexter, True Blood, House, Fringe and Monk all offered excellent viewing choices across broadcast and cable TV. But Mad Men was appointment television for me. I could not miss an episode, in fact I watched most of them multiple times this season. I will say this of Mad Men...any given one hour episode is superior to most of the feature films that you'll see in the theater today. It is beautifully written, shot, and performed. It is a television treasure.

Congratulations Nosy Award Winners! More later on in the week as we award the non-fiction programs!


amy said...

I couldn't agree more with your 2008 Nosy awards, Jane. I'm feeling extremely Mad Men deprived. I saw an SNL rerun the other night with Tina Fey as Sara Palin and laughed as hard as I did the first time I saw the skit. Nevertheless, life isn't nearly as rich without Mad Men or True Blood. Thank god American Idol is returning next month, although sadly I don't think it will be enough to compensate for the long wait until the other shows are back.

Dean Treadway said...

I'm still a fan of THE OFFICE, I should say. But I agree that Fey and Baldwin are the comedy picks of the year, actor-wise. And MAD MEN? Well, duh. Even having seen only one episode of each season of that series, I can tell that this show will easily be my next SOPRANOS-like obsession. With 30 ROCK, MAD MEN, AMERICAN IDOL and THE OFFICE alone, television is looking way more healthy than the anemic movie business I spend so much of my time examining. I'm so glad for the medium!

Dean Treadway said...

And let's not forget RECOUNT and JOHN ADAMS. They also make for a truly stellar year for TV.

Dean Treadway said...

And SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE too. This year, that show has finally approached the cultural relevance it enjoyed in the 1970s. Hurrah!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisa said...

Totally agree with your choices, except I'm not so sure about January Jones. To me she's kind of a blank (though getting more complex, to be sure!) and I almost think I'd substitute either Elisabeth Moss' Peggy or perhaps even more Christina Hendricks as Joan -- she's incredible. But maybe these are more supporting roles...though the whole cast is supporting, really, except for Hamm, who is the absolute star of the show. I've seen a bit of his stuff in the new "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and he looks SO terrific. He's a much more interesting actor than Tom Cruise, say, hands down.

Jane said...

Lisa, I so wanted to pick the Joan or Peggy actresses over January Jones, but I noticed for other award nominations that they are in supporting roles. How dumb that I followed convention for our very own Nosy Awards. Didn't have to do that, now I feel like I should write a follow-up. Jeepers!