I’m sure by now you have watched or read some kind of 2006 retrospective: maybe a top 10 list of movies or books or tv shows. I’ve seen a few, and tried to come up with a few myself. At the movies, this was another lacklustre year for me. I didn’t really see a lot of standouts or big surprises. My favourites were not of the “great movie” type, but more of the “fun blockbuster” variety, including Happy Feet, Pirates 2, and Casino Royale. As always, my first love is television. Let me recap five memorable TV moments that I enjoyed last year.
[SPOILER ALERT – if you’re waiting to watch 24 season 5, Lost season 2, Battlestar Galactica season 3, How I Met Your Mother season 2, or Heroes season 1 on DVD, please don’t read this article as every moment mentioned below is a spoiler.]
(April 3, 2006) President Logan is revealed on 24
24 is one of the most twist-filled shows on television, so there’s definitely a number of events in the past season that could be just as memorable, but producers had done a great job casting suspicion upon the Vice President (remember him, the scary dad from Twin Peaks?). When sniveling, gutless President Logan was revealed as the guy behind all the crazy plots of the day, it was a total shocker and led to one of the most memorable and juicy characters on the series so far.
(May 3, 2006) Michael kills Ana-Lucia and Libby on Lost
There’s a story behind this one. As Lost episodes sometimes started to run overtime, my PVR might not have always caught the last seconds of some episodes. This episode was one of them, and I didn’t really think much of it. However, after the episode aired, I started hearing chatter about the shocking ending, so I had to find some way to see what I missed. I went to ABC.com to watch the streaming version of the episode, but it downloaded so slowly (we’re talking minutes of download for each second of video) that I gave up. Eventually I found another way to watch the ending and was totally stunned. I didn’t feel bad for Ana-Lucia (who did? Everyone hated her), but felt so bad for Libby. (Poor Hurley!) Plus, after Michael’s tiresome Walt-quest, I thought this was a smart twist to make me interested in his character again.
(September 25, 2006) Yatta! Hiro arrives in New York on Heroes
We’d already seen Claire regenerate, so we knew that the heroes on this show really had powers, but with Hiro it was always a bit of a question mark. His buddy Ando didn’t believe him, so why would we? When he successfully teleported to New York and raised his arms in excitement, it was a TV geek rallying cry. I think we all shared his exuberance (not because we can teleport like him, but for this exciting new show). Also, it was a great payoff in the very first episode. This boded well for things to come, affirming that Heroes was a show full of surprises.
(October 21, 2006) Humans rescued from New Caprica on Battlestar Galactica
When season 2 ended with Cylons arriving to occupy the fledgling colony of New Caprica, my heart sank. Not only was it going to be an awful time for the human characters, I feared an awful time for the viewing audience. The show is grim and gritty enough without such political oppression as well. I was missing the ship-board environment already and didn’t like the dirty, sickly life that the humans were experiencing on New Caprica. So, I could almost feel the clear air rushing into the gun ports as Galactica jumped into the atmosphere on New Caprica. Not only were the visual effects cool, and the scene thrilling, but the human characters were being liberated and we too were being rescued from planet-side dreariness.
(November 20, 2006) Robin Sparkles video on How I Met Your Mother
Mostly I find HIMYM to be a serviceably funny show, but the episode Slap Bet really reached Friendsean levels for me. Not only was there a humourous challenge in the slap bet between Barney and Marshall (with Lily as “slap bet commissioner”–a hoot!) but there was all this suspense and mystery leading up to the revelation of Robin’s video. When Robin appeared in a school girl uniform I’m sure we all went along with Barney’s assertion that she had been a porn star, but what followed was so much more hilariously cheesy than I could have imagined. Rarely does a sitcom send me off my seat in surprise. Kudos, Robin Sparkles! Let’s see that again.