Wiggin’ out about TV
After some of the crazy, unexpected things that happen on TV, you almost have to wonder if there’s any way each year TV producers can top what already has happened.
But low and behold, we have fresh, new and exciting material that comes to our television sets every year, keeping the media buzzing, as well as viewers hooked and fiending for more.
This year was absolutely no exception. From the MTV Video Music Awards debacle that made me lose my faith in humanity (OK, maybe not humanity, but definitely pop music) to the end of an era with the “Breaking Bad” series finale, 2013 left some lasting impressions on our minds, whether we wanted them there or not.
So here you have it. My top five TV moments from 2013, in no particular order.
1. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host the 70th Annual Golden Globes.
Two of the loveliest ladies of comedy made an award show enjoyable with their quips about the stars, as well as playing off the natural dynamic the two have. Opening lines included how happy they were, with Poehler stating, “I can smell the pills in here!” And anyone who makes fun of Taylor Swift is OK in my book.
2. Miley Cyrus’s lady-like performance at the VMA’s.
You can’t have a list of the best TV moments of 2013 without talking about Miley Cyrus in some way. She really made a household name for herself with the awkward and cringeworthy “twerking” on stage with Robin Thicke in a performance that left the audience with a “creepy uncle” feeling.
And then the media and Internet went insane. Images of Miley’s hairdo, paired with the tongue hanging out and the nude, pleather outfit left us shocked, confused, disgraced and dare I say, intrigued?
Because really what happened was Miley made everyone talk about her; it’s almost six months later and tabloids are still buzzing about it.
In retrospect, she knew a performance of that caliber was going to make her an even bigger household name. And while it only inspired Halloween costumes and parodies for months, maybe (hopefully not) years to come, it’s still going to be remembered.
So the joke is really on us. Good one, Miley. Good one.
3. “Game of Thrones” shock with “The Red Wedding” episode.
I only recently started watching “Game of Thrones.” Before I did, someone said to me, “Do not ever fall in love with any of the characters.”
This foreshadowing was definitely proven with the past season’s episode of “Red Wedding,” a brutal, yet deceitful slaughtering of many beloved characters.
I won’t give anything away, but if you’re a fan of this show, you know better than to think you know what’s going on. Based on the series by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” takes us to a mythical, almost Medieval land where everyone thinks they’re entitled to the throne. But that’s not it. Twists and turns and creatures abound; it’s addictive.
The characters are loveable (and also really really easy to hate in some cases), so that’s what made “The Red Wedding” so traumatic for fans. There’s even a series of YouTube videos of people posting their immediate and real time reactions to watching this episode.
With enough action, gore and sex (come on, it’s HBO), audiences have been raving about this show, and I don’t see it going away any time soon.
4. Netflix series gaining popularity.
Even though America’s obsession with Netflix is putting video stores out of business left and right, the company is still making waves in the television world, with recently earning four Golden Globe nominations for their shows “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and the fourth season of “Arrested Development.”
Netflix creators are geniuses. Seriously, who likes waiting a whole week for the next episode of their favorite show when you can watch the entire season in one sitting, most likely not leaving your house for at least 12 hours.
“Orange is the New Black” quickly became a popular favorite, starring Taylor Schilling as Piper, who is basically a goodie-goodie who is sent to jail for a mishap from 10 years ago.
Cue Piper being shell shocked in the prison environment. The show has the perfect mix of humor and drama, giving us a look into the lives of the women that are in the prison.
And besides, the season finale of the show left me so shocked, I’m not even sure what to expect for the next season, and it’s only the first one!
5. The end of the “Breaking Bad” era.
All good things come to an end, and a good creator knows when and how to end it. “Breaking Bad” had people on the edge of their seats, just like it has for every season.
And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, critics mostly raved, with some stating, “Simply stunning.”
TV critic Tim Goodman described what I thought was a perfect review, stating he was “quite taken with it.
“But even if I wasn’t, more than anything, I love a creator’s ability to end the story as he or she wishes,” he wrote. “That doesn’t make every decision acceptable. The finale to ‘Dexter’ was an embarrassing ham-fisted disaster. But the finale to ‘Breaking Bad’ – even if it wasn’t what I’d hoped would happen – was more than enough to thrill me and make me appreciate five seasons and six years of brilliant work.”
And that’s what makes a quality show memorable, when fans and critics can say they were sad to see it go, but respectful and appreciative of the way it went. A good storyline doesn’t go so crazy and out of the way that audiences are scratching their heads, wondering how they’ll fix it.
And a good director knows when to end it.
Let’s just say 2014 has some big shoes to fill, but I, without a doubt, believe we’ll be shocked, awed, disappointed, grossed out and fascinated with what television will have to offer.
Bethany Wiegand is a Sun-Gazette Lifestyle and Entertainment reporter. She can be reached at bwiegand@s ungazette.com.