Intensities in Ten Suburbs

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The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: TV

Posted by Andrew Unterberger on December 13, 2007

“Girl, tonight we’re gonna make love. You know how I know? ‘Coz it’s 2007, and 2007 is the year that we usually make love.”

Good continued turnout for the movies yesterday, so let’s keep it up with today’s TV voting. Wasn’t the strongest year for the box, I don’t think–the new Fall Primetime batch failed to produce any unequivocal winners, and is it just me, or does it seem like shows are running out of new episodes earlier than they normally do this year? Bizarre, right? Anyway, I was able to come up with ten items that I still consider hall-worthy, so let’s take a look at them, why not? And if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it three times–IF YOU READ THIS BLOG SEMI-REGULARLY AND PAID SLIGHT ATTENTION TO ANYTHING THIS YEAR, YOU SHOULD BE VOTING IN THIS. Vote for up to five choices (and one write-in if you feel there’s something I missed) either in the comments box below, or by e-mailing me at Remember, if you don’t feel like voting every day, you can also wait until the end and cast one complete ballot once the nominees for all categories have been announced.

So Long, Isaiah

This whole controversy was funny/sad enough to begin with–Isaiah refuting the claim that he called T.R. Knight a faggot by indirectly calling him a faggot again on National TV at the Golden Globes (the scene of which bore striking resemblence to a gag from a bad Ben Stiller movie), T.R. Knight going on Ellen to drop some truth bombs, Katherine Heigl saying that Washington needs to just keep his mouth shot, and so forth. But what really could’ve further sealed it as a classic is if after Washinton did the whole song and dance of publicly apologizing and going through sensitivity training (rehab for homophobes), and they still fired him from Grey’s Anatomy, if he had just gone “You know what? I’m not sorry at all–fuck that fucking faggot T.R., hope he enjoys giving McDreamy rim jobs for the rest of his career, the fucking faggot.” Instead, he just quoted Network and had a stint on The Bionic Woman. Don’t worry, Isaiah, I’m sure Tim Hardaway understands.

It’s Business Time

Flight of the Conchords is the sure winner of the annual “Don’t Judge it By the Previews” award this year (’06 winner: Friday Night Lights)–I never would’ve guessed from the commercials that the show would end up being worth a damn, much less being the comedic high water mark of Summer TV. But sure enough, it provided us with many of the funniest TV moments of 2007, the most notable of which is almost certainly “It’s Business Time,” the hilarious Barry White pastiche that ended up a minor radio hit and even an unlikely regular namecheck of Scott Van Pelt on SportsCenter. We may never see these guys on TV again, unfortunately, having used up almost all of their songs in the first season, which just goes to prove that old adage–the New Zealand Folk-Parody Duo that shines twice as brightly only lasts half as long.

(And yes, I know that the song’s been around for longer than this year, tough guy)

Say Hello to Your Brother!

So this season of 24: not so great. Despite promises of this season being a sort of series retooling (which is starting to sound more and more like “This new Strokes album sounds completely different than the last one!”), within a few weeks we were back in all to familiar territory–political backstabbing at the White House, lives of few vs. safety of many dilemmas, torture of family members (so wrong, yet feels so right), you know the deal. But at least we got one stone classic out of it–the scene in which Jack dispatches the season’s primary villain Fayed in a brilliant Die Hard meets Commando brawl to the death, with Jack’s above catchphrase (a rare example of Bauer sloganeering) providing the cherry on top. Saying the season was all downhill from there is like saying it was all downhill for Alex Winter after Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure–it’s about all there was there to begin with.

One Fan’s Opinion of Sanjaya Malakar

I only watched one episode of American Idol this year, but if there was a more memorable moment to be found in the show this season, I certainly didn’t see anything about it on Best Week Ever. It was almost impossible to believe while watching it–“Is…is that girl crying at Sanjaya’s performance?” I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve never heard a more emotional, heart-wrenching rendition of “You Really Got Me” either, but whereas I only got a ltitle misty-eyed, this girl was a wreck. It was a brilliant focal point one of the more bizarre chapters in Idol history, and even got little thirteen-year-old Ashley Furl her first taste of celebrity (though, much to my disappointment, not her own Wikipedia entry–hey, Jeffrey Maier has one!)

Nerds! Nerds! Nerds! Nerds!

As IITS buddy Victor once so succinctly put it, “2006 was all about fake sketch TV shows, and 2007 is all about nerds.” Indeed, as promised, the meek inherited the earth in fall of 2007, as the dorks and losers of new shows like The Big Bang Theory, Reaper and Chuck made being uncool uh, very mildy profitable again. Never mind that none of these shows ended up being any good (TBBT in particular coming off like the Amos n’ Andy of geekdom), that only one of them actually ended up getting popular (guess which one!), and that none of them seemed to really have any idea what true nerds and losers looked or acted like–it’s what we had to work with in 2007, and for now that’s gonna have to be good enough. Plus, some people actually liked Reaper, apparently.

It Actually is Lupus

This one might be a little tough for non-House fans to understand, but if my social world is any indication, such persons no longer really exist, so whatever. And if you are a House fan, this was basically your Moon Landing. That’s right folks, November 20 of 2007 was truly a red letter day, because after the truly countless times of it being an erroneous and easily dismissed diagnosis, for the first and quite possibly only time in House history, it actually was Lupus. Whether this means the beginning of the end for the show–as when a show’s two main characters finally relieve their sexual tension by hooking up for the first time, and the show is never the same again–remains to be seen.


What is there to say about Caveman that hasn’t been said already? As with The Simpsons Movie, the actual quality of the thing is practically irrelevant–the fact that a TV series based on a series of commercials abut modern-day Cavemen actually got made and put out is what’s really remarkable. But was it actually as bad as people expected? Well yeah, but more in a slightly-more-surreal Yes, Dear or The King of Queens kind of way than a 1983-84 NBC TV Season kind of way. Watching the pilot was sort of like having a slightly awkward conversation with a neighbor you don’t much care for right after having tried psychedelics for the first time. Is it even still on the air at this point? I have no idea.

Dick. Box. One possibly in the other.

The more finnicky contingent of IITS readers will no doubt note that “Dick in a Box” technically belongs to the pop culture of 2006, actually having been released on Dec. 16th of last year. But I figure that if I had done the Hall of Fame voting at the same time last year as I am this year, it would’ve been too late for eligibility, so it seems only fair that it get lumped in as one of the 2007 prospects for Pop Culture immortality. And immortal it truly is–non-stop brilliance throughout, surpassing even “Lazy Sunday” as the ultimate “SNL for non-SNL Fans” short, and possibly the greatest thing that Justin Timberlake attached himself to in the last 18 months, a position for which there is a somewhat staggering amount of competition. The “backstage at the CMA’s” line still kills me.

Onion Rings, Parallel Parking and a Shoddy Cable Connection

Given how little actually happened in the episode, it leads me to wonder if there’s a possible way that David Chase could’ve ended this show that wouldn’t generate days and even weeks of speculation, frame-by-frame analysis and hotly polarized debate amongst the faithful. Nonetheless, the final minutes of the final episode of the final season of The Sopranos quickly became one of the most iconic scenes in TV history, probably the biggest I Remember Where I Was When moment of my young TV watching career, and the source material for a truly innumerate number of parody videos, including one by the non-fictional most famous couple in America (though personally, I prefer the more satisfying Maxim version). Plus, “Don’t Stop Believin'”–thank God someone finally rescued that gem from obscurity.


Maybe it’s just because I always remember there being rumors of a teachers strike when I was a kid, none of which ever ended up materializing, but I never believe that walkouts are ever actually gonna take place. It’s like the End of the World–you know it’s probably gonna happen sometime, but you figure that if you just ignore the possibility, it’ll probably go away on its own. So you gotta sort of admire the WGA for putting their picket signs where their mouths are, even if they are fighting a losing battle (and getting absolutley no help from the person who they need the most, that turncoat Carson Daly. It’s sort of hard to imagine voting for a Pop Culture event that actually prevents the future creation of further Pop Culture, but the event was too significant to TV in 2007 for me to ignore any further.

Honorable Mention:

Dayman” and “Nightman,” It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Barney goes on The Price is Right, How I Met Your Mother
The series finale of The O.C.
The Robot Chicken: Star Wars special
“Guitar Queer-O,” South Park (not actually a particularly funny episode, and full of factual inaccuracies, but…Guitar Hero! On TV!)


15 Responses to “The IITS 2007 Pop Culture Hall of Fame Nominees: TV”

  1. Jason L said

    What a terrible year for TV. But here’s my list:

    1. “Sopranos” finale, no-brainer
    2. Write-in: Tony Bennett going, “Ay yo, fuck it, I’ma win a bunch a EMMYS now”, and he actually does
    3. “Flight of the Conchords” (I hear there will be a second season, thank God)
    4. “Gay’s Anatomy” scandal
    5. Write-in: “30 Rock” somehow, by the grace of God, winning the Best Comedy Emmy, and then bringing in every imaginable guest star for season two (James Carville? seriously?)

    Well, the big three are down, here’s hoping you do sports tomorrow. Phillies Phorever!!

  2. ryke said

    Wow, tons of impressive moments here.
    !. FOTC. Dudes swept in, made 6 to 8 of the best comedy half hours ever, then prompt faded in “ehhh, it’s better than most the shit on TV.” But it was one of the first times I was into an awesome TV show while it was happening, and it was so exciting.
    @. Sanjaya. The girl is a part of it, but the whole thing. I’ve been forced to watch that awful show for years, but he made the thing interesting, and I am not sure why.
    #. Dick in a Box. The perfect combination of song, parody physical humor and just awesomeness.
    $. Soprano finale, cause that was out of nowhere. Never even seen a eppy of that, and I loved that finale.
    %. Umm, I’ll skip the strike. Write in for “Pushing Daisies”, even though it has tons of flaws waiting to bring the hammer down, the first eight have been a pleasure to watch. Masterfully done all the way through.

  3. jonathan said

    View from across the Pacific

    1. Sopranos
    2. Dick in a Box
    3. Writers strike

    The rest haven’t started here, never started here, or I don’t care about them.

    Write-in: Colbert runs for President (also, breaks wrist, interviews Papa Bear O’Reilly).

  4. my kinetic android said

    Flight of the Conchords

    Writer’s Strike

    Dayman vs. the Nightman – best IASiP moment since “Underage Drinking.”

    Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode – “What the hell’s an Aluminum Falcon?”


  5. Eric said

    1. Sopranos
    2. Writers Strike
    3. Dick in a Box
    4. Grey’s Anatomy scandal

  6. Dan said

    Write-in: Andy Bernard punches a wall in The Office (I can’t believe you forgot this one)
    Sopranos Finale
    Write in: Tracy Jordan does Conan on 30 Rock

  7. tomjonjon said

    I like Reaper.

  8. Ken said

    Dick in a box

    oh and screw guitar queer-o. i vote for imaginationland.

  9. Al said

    Be honest with you, only two of them were any sort of phenomenon:

    1. Sopranos

    2. Dick in a Box

    So, I can’t really rank any others.

    My personal favorite moment was “Dayman/Nightman” and after that Michael Scott saying “I DECLARE BANKRUPTCY!”

  10. You picked that Guelph image just for me, didn’t you?

    I didn’t realise you wanted us to rank them, stupidly enough.

    1. Writer’s Strike
    2. It Actually Is Lupus
    3. Gay’s Anatomy
    4. That 24 Fight
    5. Dick in a Box

  11. Griezz said

    1) End of the Sopranos
    2) Writer’s Strike
    3) Sanjayagate
    4) (write-in) Dexter – great show
    5) Reaper – aka “Clerks go to Hell”

  12. Greg Fanoe said

    1) Writers Strike
    2) Sanjaya
    3) Dick in a Box
    4) Lupus
    5) Gay’s Anatomy

  13. Haley said

    Gay’s Anatomy
    – ditto on Stephen Colbert’s greatness

  14. Jackson said

    1.) Write-in: David Bowie’s cameo on “Extras.”
    2.) Dick in a Box
    3.) Sanjaya
    4.) Conchords
    5.) Strike

  15. Millie said

    1. Sopranos
    2. Dick in a Box
    3. Sanjaya
    4. Nerds
    5. 24

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