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Jimmy Fallon, Glee and Michael Lynche make my alternate list of Top TV trends in 2010



best-tv2-2010.jpgYou know it's the end of the year in entertainment-land by the lists.

It's easy work for us critics who are already halfway headed toward Christmas vacation. But it's also great fun to look back over a year of snarky cheap shots and find a way to take aim all over again!

My year-ending list of top TV and media trends will come in the Dec. 26 Floridian, and I've also got a Top 10 shows of 2010 to be published in the space later this week. But there’s just too much for one list to cover, so I’m taking space here for stuff that was too quirky or crazy to make the big roster.

Most overrated show of 2010: Glee - Yeah, I said it. Not because I’m one of those haters who didn’t get the concept or twitches when a song breaks out. Instead, I’m a stone fan who felt TV’s splashiest, snarkiest take on high school seriously lost its way this fall. In short: too many uneven episodes and bizarre character moves. (Supercool villain Sue Sylvester marrying herself? Ham-handed messages on bullying and body image? Glee club teacher Will Schuester drowning in self-pity and selfish behavior?) Consider this award the kind of tough love our beloved gleek crew needs to get whipped back into shape.

Most underrated show of 2010: Late Night With Jimmy Fallon -- Like a teen growing into his daddy’s suits, Jimmy Fallon has matured as a performer before our very eyes, turning his nice-guy persona into impish routines and finding the comedy voice of Twitter and Facebook-obsessed Millennials. Nailing his Emmy-hosting gig sealed the deal, and a recent viral hit joining Justin Timberlake belting out the history of rap was icing on the cake. Forget about Jay, Conan or that other Jimmy; Fallon is the latest hope for network TV’s late-night comedy future.

Best band on TV: The Roots -- Allow this onetime music critic a brief return to form, noting how drummer-leader Questlove and his amazingly funky and soulful rap band has backed everything from George Clooney’s Hope for Haiti Now benefit to Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity. Somehow, this crew from Illadelphia also found time to drop two amazing records in 2010: their own opus How I Got Over and the sparkling, socially conscious John Legend collabo Wake Up. Move over Paul Shaffer; looks like there’s a new powerhouse rocking the wee hours.

Best Tampa Bay media jobs program: Reality TV -- From St. Petersburg native “Big Mike” Lynche on American Idol to Tampa-raised ESPN star Erin Andrews on Dancing With the Stars and quickly unmasked Big Brother saboteur/Tampa bartender Annie Whittington, local folks have popped up in key roles on every major reality show this year (yup, that was the kid from New Port Richey whose eyebrow dance lit up YouTube on America’s Got Talent). Something about Florida’s natural attraction to insane drama and sordid eccentricity draws reality TV producers like flies to, um, Shinola.

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Most overblown media coverage of 2010: The Koran-hating Gainesville preacher -- In yet another sign of the Sunshine State’s dominance of the bizarre, overly mustachioed, wannabe Koran burner Terry Jones drew pleading phone calls from the secretaries of State and Defense before falling off the media radar like he entered the witness protection program. That’s the thing about conflict-addicted media: Once we know you’re not actually going to set fire to the book like you threatened for weeks, we tend to move on.

[Last modified: Monday, December 20, 2010 5:15am]


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