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The Best TV 2009


I missed My Monkey Baby! How did I miss My Monkey Baby? It was this one-off special about a lady with a monkey instead of a kid. And now I feel like a failure for letting it pass me by. I also sat out Jon and Kate and as much of Speidi as I could get away with. Intentionally. Especially Jon and Kate. I don't feel like a failure over them.

It seems like all I've done all year is watch a billionty hours of television. And I did it for you. ALL for you. I've spent column word-counts excavating the gay and the ungay and the antigay and I still don't think I scratched the surface. Like, for example, aside from this whole monkey debacle, Numb3rs got canceled, and I never even knew it was a show. Who was on it? That will be a mystery to me forever. Or until I go visit my mom's nursing home and she's sitting there watching it in the middle of the afternoon. Then I'll know.

Anyway, here's my list of my favorite 2009 television events. Some are programs. Some are incidents. And it's subjective. For example, don't hate me for not putting Glee on here. I like it a lot. I watch it regularly. But I can see myself continuing to live if it weren't on the air. And in the comments section, if you promise not to be jerks about it, you can tell me what you liked best. But be nice. It's Christmas and stuff:

1. Adam Lambert -- No, I don't really care about his singing that much. He's talented, obviously, but it's just not my thing. What I really like is the way he's putting his own neck out there and being all TA-DAAAAHHH with the gay make-outs on the Internet and then, most famously, on live TV, causing ABC to piss their pants. Someone had to be the first to go there in a way that wasn't just a goof like when Borat and Will Ferrell rolled around on that awards show. And he seems sturdy enough to take the heat. I'm all right with that guy.

2. The League -- My male friends and I -- whether they're gay or straight -- have a way of speaking to each other that assumes we can all take a verbal beating. It's not a secret-agenda Boys in the Band bitchfest thing. It's more like hazing and assumes an unfragile friendship bond. So I was really happy to find this new sitcom on FX about guys in a fantasy football league where the ball-busting insult hurling knows almost no bounds. Don't watch if you're overly sensitive about straight men taunting each other with gay stuff. The rest of us know that shit is still hilarious.

3. Jersey Shore -- These kids would kick the asses of those NYC Prepsters AND everyone on The Hills. Then they'd set them on fire. The Situation may be the best person on television in the history of ever. Or at least since Nene. He inspired me to adopt my own Jersey Shore-like nickname: Bacon of the Month Club.

4. Rachel Maddow calling out secretive, above-the-law, Christian power-grubbers the Family and "ex-gay" charlatans every chance she gets, especially with all their connections to this whole kill-the-gays thing going on in Uganda. And she was the only one doing it. Seriously, that woman is so calm, even-tempered, and smart it seems like a mistake that they put her television.

5. Panic Face King -- This was the Japanese game show where they pranked a guy with a fake sniper attack. They must have really strict lawsuit rules over there, because if it happened on American TV there'd be a court case for months over it. I've enjoyed this clip on YouTube almost as many times as I've watched the Baskin-Robbins animated "ICE CREAM AND CAKEY-CAKE!" commercial.

6. TV programs my friends were on -- Speaking of Japanese game shows, I rooted for my pal Bobaloo on every pink-spandex-bunny-suit-wearing moment of I Survived a Japanese Game Show and cheered when they eliminated him and he skipped off the set. I'm also a supporter of The Dish, (which is like The Soup, but for chicks and gays) featuring my pal Tony as the Fashion Crab, Bill Rancic's Sperm, and the Homosexual Cat Getting a Massage. And I really like The Rotten Tomatoes Show because my husband Skypes in movie reviews to them all the time. He's the bearded, adorable glasses-wearing one who liked Away We Go a bit too much.

7. Wendy Williams -- She knows she's being laughed at. And she's using that to her advantage. And she has a catchphrase already, one that everyone from toddlers to entire gay men's choruses seem to enjoy mimicking. Once you have a catchphrase you can merch the shit out of it. Where's my commemorative "How you doin'?" Flesh-Light?

8. Metalocalypse -- My #1 favorite TV show. Funniest, most intricately detailed animated series on the air, full of jokes you won't get unless you listen to Burzum, and songs in each episode like Josie and the Pussycats used to have (except these songs have titles like "Bloodrocuted"). I also want to have sex with Nathan Explosion even though he's a cartoon. They're a Partridge Family of doom.

9. Hoarders -- Sometimes your life spirals out of control. And you wind up with 12-year-old rotting pumpkins in your garage or the corpses of old pets under the sofa. I'd call this show entertaining exploitation if it didn't genuinely take my breath away with its harrowing sadness week after week. I'm genuinely bummed out for at least an hour after every episode. Then I go clean something.

10. Steven Seagal: Lawman -- Conversation with my husband:
Me: "Steven Seagal has been an actual, real cop in Louisiana for 20 years and no one's been talking about it!"
Him: "That's because no one's talked about Steven Seagal at all for 20 years."
Me: "That's another example of why this country's priorities are all out of whack."

The best moments on this show are when criminals realize that it's really Steven Seagal slapping the cuffs on them. Then they get disoriented and think they're just hallucinating about being in the movie Under Siege.

Next time: Worst of '09. Maybe we'll talk about Jon and Kate then.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Dave White