... A Sour Apple Tree

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Location: Huntington, WV, United States

I'm a 37 year-old guy from Huntington, WV.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The 2006 Appies (Television)

In honor of this year's achievements (both positive and dubious), ...A Sour Apple Tree is proud to hand out the first annual Appies. Up first will be TV programming and news. More awards in other fields will be announced in the coming days.

Television Entertainment

  • Best Television Drama: Heroes (NBC).

    This show reminds me of some of the best of Stan Lee's oldskool comic book characters: normal, flawed, fallible people that have superpowers (and the related responsibilities) thrust upon them, sometimes unwillingly. It has more of the heart and spirit of the X-Men, for example, than does the recent movie trilogy. I can't wait until the show comes back in January.

  • Best Television Comedy: Tie, How I Met Your Mother (CBS) and 30 Rock (NBC).

    HIMYM gets a share of the award for being the first genuinely great comedy aimed at the late-Gen X/early-Gen Y crowd. The show is well-written and superbly cast (Neil Patrick Harris should get an Emmy at some point during the show's run).

    30 Rock started off as kind of a disappointment but has really grown on me. Tina Fey is one of the best comedy minds working today and Alec Baldwin shines in the part he was born to play (basically an amped-up caricature of himself). If this show can stay fresh, it just might be considered a classic someday.

  • Worst TV show: Smith (CBS).

    Thank goodness that this was a one-episode wonder. Ray Liotta's antagonist character wasn't an anti-hero, he was just downright unlikable. Why does everything that John Wells touches turn to crap? Just look at The West Wing after he took over. Crikey. He is the Michael Bay of television.

Television news

  • Best Local TV News Outlet: WSAZ.

    While WSAZ has numerous faults (the most common complaint on the blogosphere is that they are too chummy), they really don't have much competition here. But they tend to get it right more times than not and keep coverage of news events and political figures rather neutral.

    WCHS, on the other hand, has become something of a generic corporate sock puppet, although they should get credit for being the only local station to cover international news with any detail.

    WOWK comes across as sensationalistic and obsessed with pushing an agenda that is firmly to the right of the political center (don't worry, the Gazette will get their dozens for being too Democratic, too). Their employees also repeat the phrase "Live and Local" every 15 seconds, matching the Head-On commercial in repetitive annoyance. I bet Rick Dayton is contractually obligated to say the phrase every time he does anything, whether or not he is on the air: "Live and Local from the golf course, Rick Dayton hits the damn water hazard again" or "Live and Local from my front yard, Rick Dayton wishes his neighbor's dog would find somewhere else to crap" are things that he may or may not have said in the past year.

  • Best Local Television Personality: Jessica Ralston (WSAZ).

    Both of my regular readers will know that I think that Ralston is one of the best TV journalist to work in the Chas.-Hunt. market in quite some time. She has a delivery that is both matter-of-fact and likable. JR has the news-iness of Sandra Cole mixed with the personable nature of Tim Irr. Her promotion to the anchor chair of the My Z 10 o'clock newscast was well-deserved and hopefully we will see here in the anchor chair on one of WSAZ's newscasts soon. Also, some of the other bloggers have told me that she is kind of attractive, too (sure beats looking at Randy Yohe, anyway).

  • Worst Local Television Personality: Bray Cary (WOWK).

    As a talk show host, he sure makes for a great marketing executive. That being said, if I owned a TV station, would I put myself on the air? Probably. Would I fire anyone that told me that I shouldn't be on TV? Sho' 'nuff. Seriously, though, I think that Decision Makers would be a much better program if he handed the reigns over to his uber-conservative-yet-witty Boy Wonder, Chris Stirewalt, and Dee DeLancey, the newly-hired former lefty talk radio host.

  • Best Local Television Newcomer: Tie: Gina Long (WOWK) and Amanda Barren (WSAZ).

    Both of these newbies earned their chops at the prestigious EW Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and are quite on the ball when it comes to reporting and newsreading. Look for both to move on to bigger and better markets, so enjoy them while you can.

    (Note: Honorable mention goes to Will Jones (WSAZ). He is doing a great job picking up some of the more thankless stories that Channel 3 covers. Hopefully he will get more meaty pieces than pig farms in Scioto County or cute puppies in Mingo County or whatever.)

  • Worst Trend in Local Television Journalism: The publicized disputes with cable companies.

    This year, both WSAZ and WCHS played the victim card in their disputes with Time Warner and Suddenlink, respectively. It is one thing to run adverts and crawlers to alert viewers of the dispute, but the doom-and-gloom news reports flat-out crossed the line. Newscasts should not be used for self-referential, one-sided op ed bits on a conflict that isn't even real news in the first place.

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5 Comments:

Blogger The Film Geek said...

Bravo!

Thursday, December 28, 2006  
Blogger The Holywriter said...

Yeah, I got a kick out the commercial asking people to call and save the channel, the turn around and talk shit on the company taking the channel away.

Thursday, December 28, 2006  
Blogger JDB said...

Amen on the cable company v. local channels BS that's been so prevalent this year. I've got no dog in that hunt (DirecTV ftw!), so I really don't care about their petty squabbles. And they all get worked out, right? Ehh.

Thursday, December 28, 2006  
Blogger Stanton said...

Jessica Ralston is the best thing to hit our market in... well, EVER! There is nothing not to like about her.

I'm glad you mentioned Will Jones. He's a good egg, too.

Sunday, January 07, 2007  
Blogger Barbie Girl said...

I *heart* Jessica Ralston. She's my favoritest news personality EVER!

And she is way pretty which makes one Barbie Girl jealous!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007  

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