Something you might not know about me: I love television.
I couldn’t make a year end review without at least one category dedicated to TV. But there’s no contest on the best new show on TV (unfortunately for the millions without Showtime, it’s “Weeds”). Likewise there’s no contest on the best old show on television (you may have seen it, it’s called “Lost?”) So instead I decided to do this category.
Then I realized that limiting it to one character was impossible. It’s like picking your favorite family member. (It’s you, Catherine, don’t tell Mom.) So I expanded it to a top five.
5. Emmanuelle Chiriqui, Sloan on “Entourage”
Because look at her.
4. Justin Kirk, Andy Botwin on “Weeds”
His delivery of that line was so perfect that I have actually remembered it to this day. I can’t remember my own blog’s website address, but I remember this. It’s a really great show.
3. Terry O'Quinn, John Locke on “Lost”
This is an entire character based on the ideology of a 17th century philosopher (appropriately named John Locke). A quick synopsis of his philosophy from the Stanford website:
“He defines reason as "the discovery of the certainty or probability of such propositions or truths, which the mind arrives at by deduction made from such ideas, as it has got by the use of its natural faculties; viz, by the use of sensation or reflection." Faith, on the other hand, is assent to any proposition ". . . upon the credit of the proposer, as coming from God, in some extraordinary way of communication." That is, we have faith in what is disclosed by revelation and which cannot be discovered by reason.”
Makes his character all the more compelling when you watch him thinking about that . . . if you can understand it.
2. Will Arnett, Gob Bluth on “Arrested Development”
Narrator: In an effort to "hip" up his act, Gob had briefly introduced a puppet.
[Gob is acting as a black puppet named Franklin in front of the family]
Gob: [as Franklin] Can I tell you something, my man?
Gob: [as himself] Sure, Franklin.
Gob: [as Franklin] You are one cool (BLEEP)
Gob: [as Franklin] Speaking of mothers, let me give that oatmeal some brown sugar.
[the puppet kisses Lucille]
George Sr.: Get off my wife, you bastard!
Gob: [as Franklin] What's the matter with you?
(In the present)
Gob: Franklin said some things Whitey wasn't ready to hear.
Michael: Gob, weren't you also mercilessly beaten outside of a club in Torrance for that act?
Gob: He also said some things that African-American-y wasn't ready to hear either.
1. Chris Shelton a.k.a. Screamy McYeller on “The Apprentice: Season 3”
But when all is said and done, no TV character made more “must see TV” moments than Screamy McYeller, the unbelievably enraged real estate manager from Utah who inexplicably made it to Week 12 of “The Apprentice 3.” I mean, every time this guy opened his mouth, no matter what he was saying, he would scream it, hence the nickname “Screamy McYeller.”
Three priceless moments shared with my friends via email:
1. Was anyone else completely overcome with laughter last night when Donald asked Screamy McYeller if he was a homosexual and Screamy SHOUTED back (with CONVICTION!) "I am not a homosexual!" it was so far up the impromptu hilarity scale, that I found myself consciously thinking, "I really wish someone was here with me." Just a priceless piece of television. Does this guy shoot steroids right before the board room? Without even being provoked he just screams every time he opens his mouth! If there was ever going to be a physical altercation on "The Apprentice" this is the guy who will cause it.*
2. The conviction with which Screamy McYeller affirmed that "Yes, I dip and yes, I am addicted!" is plain old hilarious - as though as long as you say it in a dignified and staunch tone, it makes everything you say OK. "Yes, I touched the boy inappropriately and yes, it did feel like a soft cloud of flesh against my warm face!"
3. (The episode where he is fired)
It brings to mind the closing of one of my favorite poems by T.S. Elliot:
"This is the way the world ends,
Not with a bang but a whimper."
And boy did he whimper. That quivery-chinned "I promise" at the end was hilariously touching. I was hoping for some fisticuffs - I really thought this would be the year that that line would be crossed. No such luck.
* I shouldn’t include this, but I laughed when I reread it. So here’s the remainder of that email:
Priceless moment number two – Caroline's DISGUSTED face when watching team Magna's commercial. I mean, that was an "I might vomit" face. Just perfect editing on the show's part.
Priceless moment number three – in Magna's commercial . . . THE TEABAG!?!?! Random, pointless, having NO place whatsoever in the context of the commercial other than to suggest dipping one's balls in another person's mouth, it's just THERE. A teabag being gentle dipped into a cup of tea. I have to stop thinking about this. I'm getting all worked up. I can't wait to watch it again tonight on Tivo.
Oh, and a good commercial would have been showing, at the bottom of the TV screen, the top of a girl's head moving up and down for about 15 seconds, then showing their her face getting squirted with Dove New Cool Moisture and her loving every minute of it. Then she could wipe it off with the back of her hand and say, "Now THAT'S refreshing."