2009 Autostraddle Televisionary Awards: Lesbians’ Choice

Carlytron’s Very First Televisionary Graphic!

Sometimes I can’t tell if TV is amazing or terrible right now. On the one hand, I feel like scripted TV is having somewhat of a Golden Age: we definitely didn’t have so many brilliant high-calibre shows all actively dominating the grid until the last couple of years. We’ve got  Mad Men, True Blood, Lost, and 30 Rock just to name a few.

Cable nets are finally able to compete with the major networks and often deliver higher-quality programming.

TV is the most accessible it’s ever been with the advancement of mobile, on demand, and web platforms.

However, on the other hand, there is more trash on TV now than I’ve ever seen before in my life: shows like Farmer Wants a Wife, Dating In The Dark, Hitched or Ditched, and Jon and Kate Plus 8 have taken “reality programming” to all-time lows (and I really love reality TV, I just think we need to draw a line someplace).

But I am an optimist; I think TV is in a really amazing place now! I used to love films but now I only see a few a year (this is due in part to how obnoxiously expensive it is to see a movie, but also I have been less excited about the film options that I’ve seen lately). I think TV is where it’s at, which is why I love it so much. I work in TV, I watch a ton of TV, I read about TV… and while some of my all-time faves have already come and gone (Newsradio, Buffy, and Arrested Development to name a few), I think our television options are great and diverse.

So now it’s time to give out some awards! These are just my opinions, I’m no expert, so sound off in the comments if you agree/disagree/want to punch me in the face.

The Dearly Departed Award

The show we’ll miss the most this year is The L Word. Despite five years of inconsistencies (and that fact that it was not the way that anyone lived) it was the first show about lesbians, and we will miss having that visibility on teevee three months out of every year (also missed: Carmen’s ass). Hm. Maybe we’ll recap the first few seasons for y’all since we didn’t start up our Recap Factory ’til Season Four…and didn’t really get gooood ’til Season Five


The Gayest Moment of the Year Award

I had to disqualify all of the awards shows from this (Tonys, AMAs, VMAs) because there were too many uber-gay moments to sift through. So I guess the gayest moment of the year would be the moment Vogue Evolution burst onto our screens on America’s Best Dance Crew this summer. On a show that boasts such bravado, seeing our favorite dancing queens take the stage each week was fun, fabulous and revolutionary.


Best New Show of the Year Award

This was so difficult for me to decide that I decided there would be a tie: both Modern Family and Nurse Jackie are the best new shows of the year.

Worst New Show of the Year Award

Three Rivers. Sorry Shane. Perhaps they figured any ol’ medical drama would succeed, but the organ donation hospital niche was about as special/exciting as Law & Order: Parking Violations Unit. Hopefully next year they’ll set a drama in my dentist’s office and I can throw a table at someone if forced to wait for over three hours.

The Least Surprising Thing That Happened This Year Award

Also not surprising? Ilene Chaiken’s L Word spin-off The Farm wasn’t picked up by Showtime.

Most Improved Show of the Year Award

Obviously I think we can all agree that Parks and Recreation is the most improved show on tv right now. I almost stopped watching it after its lackluster first season, but I’m glad I stuck with it — it’s become one of my favorite shows over the course of the year. I guess we should’ve all known better than to doubt Amy Poehler… sorry girl!

Honorable Mention: Grey’s Anatomy and Ugly Betty (though I’m sure no one will agree with me, both have improved greatly over the course of their current seasons)

The Really, Papi, Really!? Award for
the Worst Storyline of the Year

WHO KILLED JENNY SCHECTER?! And basically all of L Word season 6. What the hell happened there? This was somehow worse than all of the crap we had to endure on Grey’s Anatomy, a feat I considered impossible until I saw the final season of the L Word.

The Guiltiest Pleasure Award

There are so many guilty pleasures on tv these days, what with Jersey Shore and The Hills and everything on the E! network. But I’m still a sucker for The Real Housewives franchise. I love all of them — Jersey, NYC, Atlanta, and the original crew in the OC. They provide us with hours and hours of mindless entertainment year-round, and for that I thank them (and Bravo).

The Too Much of a Good Thing Award

You guys, I srsly love So You Think You Can Dance, but Fox’s decision to air an extra season this fall was a total disaster. The contestants weren’t as strong as previous seasons, no Mia Michaels, and there is already way too much on during the fall to be able to make time for several hours of this show per week.


The Award For the Most Bizarre Ending to an Amazing Series

Battlestar Galactica (bet you thought I was going to say The L Word, eh? The L Word isn’t really “amazing”) definitely wins this award. Half letdown, half confusing as hell… totally bizarro ending to a really fantastic show.

Best Social Commentary on Television Award

This award signals somewhat of a passing of the guard; although Battlestar Galactica has ended, Mad Men continues to thrive. Both of these shows continually delivered stellar writing and acting layered with spot-on social commentary, making them not only enjoyable to watch but some of the best television programming of the decade.

The Award For the Most Gays in a Kitchen

With all of the reality competition shows — specifically the cooking-related reality competition shows — it’s not hard to decide which features the best and most numerous gay castmembers: Top Chef on Bravo. This year we got to meet gaylady chef Ashley Merriman, who managed to charm the aprons off of everyone I know (male, female, gay, straight, otherwise).

The Syndication Awards

The syndication of television shows is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, you can see your favorite shows all the time on random channels; on the other hand, you are subject to seeing shows you hate all the time on random channels. The worst show that is on every channel at every hour is King of Queens (close runner-up: Everybody Loves Raymond); the best show that is on every channel at every hour is the Law and Order franchise.

The Best TV Event or Made-For-TV Movie Award

We should just call this the Revolutionary Costume For Today award, because even though made for tv movies can be sorta crappy, HBO’s Grey Gardens proved itself to not only be a critical success but a fan favorite worthy of Edie waving an American flag around excitedly.

The Liz Lemon Award For the Best New TV Catchphrase We Learned This Year

Generally I speak in 30 Rock-isms, but I’m actually giving this award to “tardy for the party,” a phrase that I’ve picked up from The Real Housewives of Atlanta and the name of Kim Zolciak’s ridiculous song. Hey remember that time she performed it live?

Honorable Mention: “Prostitution whore!” (Real Housewives of NJ), “That’s a dealbreaker ladies!” (30 Rock)

The Best Award Show of the Year

There were so many award shows this year, right? The Grammys, the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, the AMAs, the VMAs, the Logo NewNowNext Awards, Bravo’s A List Awards… it’s a lot to follow. But I’d have to say that my favorite award show this year was actually the MTV Video Music Awards, due to the amount of YouTube-able moments (Kanye making Taylor Swift relevant, Gaga thanking God and the gays, all of those amazing performances!).

The funniest lady on TV, Maddow, Our favorite talk show, Shark Week, Award Shows that were worth it, the OMFG Award and more…

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lots of pizazz.

Carly has written 48 articles for us.


    • Not only did I reply to my own post, now I’m going to reply to my own reply. How meta!

      I just now saw Alex’s amazing graphic on the homepage wherein Esmerelda and I are all dressed up to present these awards. Thank you Alex.

      Everyone thank Alex for her graphics! The Hot Ladies graph was all her too!

  1. I am not ashamed to admit right now that the photo you used for the Award for Nicest Show to Look At Award has been my computer background for the last couple weeks. and I never have stuff outside of landscapes haha … also best new show tie totally spot on. I picked Modern Family & Nurse Jackie in my head for that. …k on to page 3

  2. I would give the award to the show I miss the most being Battlestar Galactica. You are totally correct that Dollhouse is getting really good now. I feel like It peaked too late. The last 6 or so episodes have been fantastic. It makes me sad. I love dark and gritty TV. Olivia Williams playing Adele DeWitt would get my award for being the baddest bitch in the whole wild west.

      • I know. When she looses control of the house and then gets it back. “There is no smoking in my office” She is maniacal and cold yet Whedon keeps showing her flaws, the drinking, Ms. Lonelyhearts, you want to hate her then she flares the scheming and then BAM she is playing the two sides against the middle.. AGAIN.

        • The whole thing with Adelle at the end of the last ep totally blew my mind, its been soo good recently! But now everytime I enjoy an episode it just makes me really angry its cancelled. Fools. Also Eliza Dushku is possibly too hot to handle.

          • I also loved when Topher was like “I tried everything! Homotopic and heterotopic stimulation…” and Adelle is like “haven’t we all?” … amazing.

  3. there is too much to comment on, and this post was filled with too much awesome, so i will just say this:
    when it comes to shows/characters i actually watch/know, i totes agree 100% on everything that was written up there. especially re: nurse jackie (and now that mo-mo’s gone :( the tie is broken and the best secondary character is obviously zoey… tied with dr. o’hara), chuck and nate (duh), sue sylvester (duh squared), true blood/lafayette, and party down.


      I cannot wait for Party Down, Nurse Jackie, and True Blood to come back. Goddamn.

      Also I want you to know that I almost didn’t put Chuck and Nate because IN MY MIND they have already slept together.

      • it’s okay, c. i know that you’re thinking it, and i know that WE KNOW that it’s awesome.
        and chuck & nate have slept together multiple times, because there have been too many morning scenes opening in a hotel room obviously only occupied by them.

  4. does kim z already have a music video for that song? because one time I was walking to dunkin donuts and she was on the side of a building like yelling at someone on the phone about it — I feel like that wasn’t that weirdest thing I saw that day either. I <3 nyc sometimes

  5. Carly, you get the award for best host of a tv award show on the internet.

    Alex gets the award for best graphic obvs.

  6. Well, I really need to get caught up on Dollhouse (I just finished season 1 of Bones, I’m a few years behind in tv land… But Kate Capshaw had a part and I was like Calizona! when she walked onto my screen) and BSG just got ruined for me! cuz I’m only in season 3… I’m also just starting How I Met Your Mother, I’ve caught up on most of Glee via Hulu, I’m still in season 1 of 30 Rock, I stopped watching Weeds after season 2… I suck at tv. I also no longer have HBO/Showtime/any good movie channels because I have no money. But I think I might have to find some way to start watching that Party Down show.

    • Do you have netflix? I think they have party down streaming on there… I’d check right now but that would involve opening another tab haha

      • No netflix because that costs money, but I’m considering it more and more for the streaming content. Just have to decide what else I can give up first to pay for it!

      • It’s ok, Bones was already ruined a little for me elsewhere… it’s what I get for being so behind!

  7. Somewhere on this list Dexter needs to be mentioned… nothing particularly gayish about the show, but it has the chick from Buffy on it, and shes hot.

      • Yeah we mentioned the end of this season in the OMFG Moment award. Sorry if that ruined things for you, Carly! It was a helluva twist, and I’m still upset about it.

        • I went a solid week or so managing to avoid what happened and then once I let my guard down I read it on some OTHER tv website’s year-end wrap up post. O, irony!

          • I was super proud of myself for avoiding any spoilers for the whole 4th season.. But the fact i didnt have internet during those 2 wks prob had a lot to do with that

  8. I enjoyed this. But one thing I don’t get- Is Alice kind of the obvious killer of Jenny Schecter if there’s a whole series planned from her being in Jail?

    • I feel like the plan was that she was going to be framed. Either way it’s completely insane to assume that any of the characters were capable of murder so I’m glad the show wasn’t picked up.

    • the plan is that Alice was going to be framed. Ilene did not decide who the killer was when she wrote it, which is part of why the story fell apart at the seams and made no sense, Ilene broke a basic rule of writing. I know this for a fact, because I worked for Showtime, and they told me, and I also read the pilot script for The Farm. DONE AND DONE.

  9. Riese and I should be friends. Sofia Vergara is definitely the hottest girl on the list. I would also like to honerable mention Cassidy Freeman from Smallville, who is redheaded and BADASS!
    ( http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa275/NJS06/cf.jpg )

    Best new show IS Modern Family!
    Best talk show is CHELSEA F-IN LATELY! Period
    Best reality show is Keeping Up With the Kardashians! IMO (I also watched/liked drag race). Ongina should have won. She’s so cool and pretty!
    Please have sex already award would go to Bill & Eric

    • I can’t believe I left Bill and Eric off that list. I’M GOING TO GO ADD THEM RIGHT NOW BRB.

      Phew. I spend most of my TB-watching time shouting “just do it already!” at the screen whenever they’re both on.

      I agree, Sofia Vergara is smokin’!

      • I would watch it and be like what is it about them. Its more than a dislike, not really a rivalry, its something, something in the past, he betrayed him..he defies him…he….no..no no he wants to smash, he knows he wants to smash and he won’t let him! Poor Eric.

  10. yooo i wasn’t aware that Parks & Rec was ever bad!!! the gay penguins episode? complete brilliance!!!

    • The gay penguins episode (which, incidentally, I rewatched last night, as the entire 2nd season is on Hulu right now!) was the season 2 premiere, and the first amazing episode of the series. The first season was far less awesome.

  11. Can we talk for a hot second about Skins? I watched a few episodes and whereas when South of Nowhere existed they googly-eyes’d each other, these girls are all “bow chika wow wow”.

    • Skins ftw! Can’t wait for season 4…though I hope they can think of some new scenarios. I feel like it’s getting a bit repetitive.

  12. Omg “Law & Order: Parking Violations Unit” LMFAO – and not the band, i’m really laughing my a** off.
    . I have so many feelings about this post. I loved it mainly because i agree with you with every single thing you said! i mean Rachel Maddow! Sue Silvester! JB! The please have sex award!
    This post is oozing with awesomness
    .Its so awesome that i can’t even come up with a witty comment for hey did you see that comment award fridays..i guess that’s the only downside to it..but don’t worry, i’ll live.

    • haha it really is oozing with awesomeness… I am just going to leave a bunch of mediocre comments because I have so many thoughts on this post but have nothing witty or clever to say

    • I have actually been saying this since day one! Seriously, for the first two years of recapping you may notice that every time I say the word “Tibette,” I follow it with (Tibette the couple, not the country) and a link to Students for a Free Tibet where they could donate. Surprisingly this was not the most popular outgoing link.

  13. Amazing recap Carly! I agree with 100% of it. I’m getting ideas for people we need to and will interview and photograph for Autostraddle. Margaret Cho!!, Jane Lynch, Rachel Maddow, NPH….

  14. So I’m moderately peeved with you right now. I’m still behind on BSG and had managed not to get spoiled up until this point and you just threw in who the last cylon was willy nilly. Oh well. I love you anyway. Great list.

  15. Wowww this is the greatest tv recap post ever! I’m a little confused about why Riese is being eaten by a shark, it’s kind of scary, and someone spelled “worry” incorrectly. NPH ftw. Also, whenever I read your recaps I’m always partially convinced that I should start watching 30 Rock. If I watched more tv I would probs have more opinions but for now I’ll just have to agree with everything you say.

    • That would be me, thankyouverymuch. I kinda make it my trademark to spell things incorrectly when I do photoshop while being drunk. I can totally get away with it, I’m a foreigner. And as you know: “Oh yeah, it’s always the foreigner, heh!” (-Fez)

  16. This just needs to be said.
    Best couple? Naomi/Emily on Skins (I refuse to write Naomily ’cause that’s kinda ridiculous).

  17. I know LOST isn’t known for being gay-friendly, (let alone woman-friendly) but you have to give it up to them for giving their viewers a damn stroke every WEEK.

  18. Pingback: 2009 Autostraddle Televisionary Awards: Lesbians' Choice Wiky Blog

  19. I don’t understand how Christina Hendricks did not make it into the top five. Srsly, is there even a hotter woman ALIVE!?

  20. “Dearly departed Mo Mo”
    Did I miss something?? Is Mo Mo off the next season of Nurse Jackie??
    You nailed it with both NJ and Modern Family as top new shows! I don’t even have Showtime and I managed to catch all of NJ.

  21. I know I’m late and am just catching up on this now, but this was such an entertaining read, Carly! I laughed out loud @ “She handily beat out Barney Stinson, both Blair and Chuck, ….. your mom, my mom, and Angelica’s two moms for this honor.”

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