According to a group of research-and-math-types employee by FX, there were just short of 500 original television shows released in 2018. That is too many shows. It’s so many shows that, not only is it impossible to watch all of them, it is impossible to know about all of them. I know this for a fact because I am paid to know about as many of them as I can and I just found out two days ago that Catherine Zeta-Jones is in a show that premiered on Facebook last month. That’s crazy. Seven or eight years ago, that’s the biggest news of the year. Now, you’re probably Googling it to see if it’s real or if I made up to prove a point. I would argue that I made my point either way.
So, we adapt. For the third year in row, I have selected some of my favorite things that happened on television, and will present them to you in an awards-style format. Spoilers will be minimal. I’m not here to try to explain everything that happened on everything I watched this year. No one wants that. I know because I’ve seen people’s eyes glaze over when I start explaining obscure shows in person. No, no, we are playing the hits only. We’re having fun. Put your lighters up for 2018, folks.
It’s time for the Very Specific Television Awards.
Winner: Maya Rudolph saying “bubble bath,” Big Mouth
If we’re being very technical about all of this — and I see no reason not to be — then no, the most recent season of Big Mouth was not the first time Maya Rudolph’s Hormone Monstress Connie said the phrase “bubble bath.” She did it in the first season, too. It was great. It’s still great. Go listen to her say it and then try to spell it out the way it sounds. There are extra syllables and gratuitous invented “w” sounds and the closest I’ve ever come is “buuwuuuba bayyyyyeeeth.” That still doesn’t quite capture it, though. There’s like this puffed-cheek exhale that goes it into that can’t be expressed in text. I move that we take 4-6 weeks the beginning of 2019 to settle on how to do it correctly and then make that the official pronunciation. I think it will help. In a lot of ways.
Most Confusing Pronunciation
Winner: Richard Madden saying “ma’am,” Bodyguard
Richard Madden has a relatively thick Scottish accent. His character on Bodyguard, a law enforcement-type assigned to guard a controversial politician, serves under multiple female authority figures (the politician, his supervisor at work, etc.) and addresses each of them as “ma’am.” Both of those facts, separately, present no issue. But when you combine them and throw in my very simple American ears, it creates a problem: For the first episode or so, I thought he might have been saying “mom.”
I eventually figured it out. I’m not completely hopeless. It did make this really confusing when he started making sex eyes at one of them.
Best Fake Band
Winner: Shitpope, GLOW
Everything about Shitpope was and is perfect, from the name (Shitpope!) to the title of their song (“Morning in America… but Mourning is spelled with a u”) to the fact that this is how their guitarist addresses the crowd at the beginning of their show. They are every awful band in every suburban high school and I want some Shitpope merch so bad I might up and die. I hope the band gets huge in season three — full-on 80s huge, with MTV appearances and a spot on Poison’s world tour — and then gets a spinoff. The Shitpope Chronicles. I would watch.
Best Drug Dealer
Winner: Omnipresent LSD guy, The Good Fight
The only thing you need to know about this guy is that he popped up multiple times throughout the season at multiple bars and catered events and every time he did he’d lower his eyes and get a little shifty and then ask if the customer wanted something “a little harder.” Then he’d give them a microdose of LSD. That was it. Picture if this was you at the bar.
“I’ll have a vodka tonic.”
“Want something… harder?”
“Like what, tequila?”
“No. A microdose of acid.”
“What kind of bar is this?!”
Anyway, this screencap is him attempting to get Diane (Christine Baranski) to try it. “Your mind on jazz” is exactly how a high-class acid-pushing bartender would describe LSD.