|’05 The year in TV|
by Steven Kiser & Dan MacRae
What was worth watching during porn breaks
As a public service, the Carillon points out what you should have been watching on television in 2005. Which, for those of you with time travel capabilities, might care to take advantage of. Here are two easy to digest Top 5 lists of the best shows on television in 2005.
Steven Kiser’s Weight-Belt Assisted List
5. 30 Days
The brainchild of Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me), 30 Days is a reality/documentary show that places Spurlock and other individuals into experimental living conditions for an entire month. Living on minimum wage; making a deeply conservative, southern Christian live with a gay couple; convincing a concerned mother to binge drink in order to scare her party-going daughter straight; these are all examples of the truly involving events that make 30 Days such an engaging show.
4. My Name Is Earl
Combine the surprisingly entertaining moral nature of Scrubs with the delicious redneckness of The Dukes of Hazzard, and you’ve got yourself a little show called My Name Is Earl, starring none other than Jason Lee (the Michael Madsen to Kevin Smith’s Tarantino). The premise of the show consists of Earl Hickey (Lee), a petty crook trying to make up for all of the bad things he has done in his life, all due to his newfound belief in karma. The perfect mixture of cheese, redneck jokes and Jamie Pressly (who plays Earl’s ex-wife Joy) will guarantee a smile.
3. Dog the Bounty Hunter
Bounty hunters apprehending fugitives; the beautiful Hawaiian landscape, a theme song courtesy The Prince of Darkness, mullets and Dog’s wife wearing a weight belt – all of these things make for perfectly legitimate reasons to watch Dog the Bounty Hunter. And if that isn’t enough for you, there is just something so pure about watching Dog and his band of merry men wage their war on ice and individuals who miss their court dates. God bless that man. And by God, I mean A&E, and by bless, I mean offer him a contract extension.
2. Prison Break
The balls-out, take-no-prisoners ass kickery of Prison Break is quite possibly the greatest thing to happen to television this season, bar none. The story is too complex to flesh out in one sentence, but it contains enough government conspiracies and “oh no, they did not kill him off!” to make even the most snobbish television connoisseurs wet their pants. Plus, it’s got Peter Stormare (Lev, the Russian cosmonaut from Armageddon) in what is quite possibly the most believable Russian mafia hitman role since ... I dunno, Jaws from the James Bond movies?
1. The Office
If Steve Carell isn’t reason enough to watch this show religiously, how about Rainn Wilson? The combined comic might of these two men not only makes The Office the greatest 30 minutes of its viewers’ lives each week, but is a testament to the new age of comedy. While shows like Arrested Development and Curb Your Enthusiasm suffer from a case of audiences “not getting it” (and, regrettably in the case of the former, being cancelled), The Office acts as a shining beacon of hope for comedies everywhere.
Dan MacRae’s They Speak For Themselves List
5. – The final ten minutes of The Apprentice
Donald Trump is a lunatic. An absolute maniac. Thus making him the most interesting person on network television. With his new-wave hairstyle, stilted delivery, and willingness to make the most outrageously dillusional statements, Trump is impossible to keep your eyes off of. This season was especially rewarding (when Trump wears a tuxedo, it’s a lock shit’s about to go down), with naughty tingly sensations coming courtesy of Trump’s firing of four apprentices in one boardroom ending.
4. Project Runway
Television’s bitchiest and most addictive reality show has something to its credit that other reality shows lack: personality. A proper mix of wise-asses, drama queens/kings, and drunken mayhem elevates this clearly acquired taste to must watch status. It’s almost like watching America’s Next Top Model, but with talented people.
3. Rescue Me
Denis Leary’s firehouse drama returned for a second season of unflinching and outstanding storytelling. Through the eyes of the most anguished firefighters in New York, the gamut of emotions is run to the point of exhaustion. Essential viewing for anyone wanting to peer into the dark machoisms and hidden sensitivities of the few remaining tough guys on Earth.
2. Kenny Vs. Spenny
In competition with The Tyra Banks Show for most sadistic program on television, Kenny vs. Spenny is an exercise in tar black humor. The Canadian pseudo-reality show follows the weekly competitions between the good natured Spenny and the borderline demonic Kenny as they battle for glory. Kenny’s exploitation of HIV, gay S&M enthusiasts, and the mentally challenged make Janice Dickinson look like Spongebob on codeine.
With an army of angry frat boys in shock over news that the admittedly mediocre Chappelle’s Show was on indefinite star-gone-batshit hiatus, it might have been easy to miss Stella in the shuffle. What you might have missed is the most hilarious, stylish, and touching absurdist kinda-sitcoms ever to hit TV. If you don’t fall in love with the antics of Michael Ian Black, David Wain, and Michael Sholwalter you deserve to suffer a very specific kind of brain damage where you forget vowels, or some shit.