What are the Sketchies? Why my annual Internet awards ceremony, of course. If everyone else is already trotting out their best-of -09 lists, why can't I?
I have fun with my lists, too.
Today's category is Outstanding Achievement in Confusing Media. This prestigious honor goes to the media-based moments of 2009 that made people collectively scratch their heads, slacken their jaws, and stare blankly at an artifact that made no sense in any reasonable context.
Our first honoree is a little Emmy-nominated show called Family Guy. Love it or hate it, Seth MacFarlane's zombiefied sitcom about a middle class family in Rhode Island is full of inexplicable moments. The show may have reached its apex with an episode dedicated to jumping between universes with one scene: the Disney universe. Here, Brian and Stewie are utterly enchanted by a universe designed entirely by Walt Disney, complete with singing animals, beautiful princesses, and charming eccentrics. They sing a lovely little working song about pie.
See how there's that sudden shift to the long-standing rumor that Walt Disney was an anti-Semite? That's a perfect example of Confusing Media. There is no reason to take the joke there, and the only value is shock. People remember the twist and not the loveliness before it, making it a perfect honoree in this category.
Our next honoree has already been banned from the Internet by MTV. From the show Jersey Shore, there was the short lived viral sensation of one female cast mate being punched in the face by a drunk man at a bar. Why MTV ever thought a clip of violence against a woman was a smart marketing decision, we will never know. The important thing to note is that this moment has been worsened by the decision of many to pass the clip on as viral media. Countless Gifs and videos were created just showing the girl being punched in the face out of context. Many have complied with MTVs wishes and removed the clip from circulation. The Huffington Post has a clear write up of this truly Outstanding Achievement in Confusing Media.
Our next honoree is already a favorite accidental contributor to E's The Soup. Wendy Williams went national with her talk show after a six week try out in the NY market over a year ago. She is willing to let loose, have fun, and roll with whatever mistakes she makes on her show. It's refreshing, but frequently confusing. I'm upset that I cannot find the actual clip of her literally setting a Slim Jim on fire with a lighter as a snack. Instead, here she is calling her own show a mess and acting like a drag queen.
It's a delightful mess of a talk show that's everything other big personality talk shows (Tyra, Sharon Osbourne, Tony Danza) wish they could have been. It's truly a 5-Days-A-Week Outstanding Achievement in Confusing Media. Fortunately for everyone, Fox has already renewed the show through 2012. How you doin', indeed.
And now we have our grand champion, the ultimate Outstanding Achievement in Confusing Media for 2009. This comes courtesy of So You Think You Can Dance?, and it's truly special. One of the long standing character arcs on the competitive dance reality show was that of Bianca Revels, a talented free/modern style tapper who always came up just short of making the Top 20. The misguided fall season was her chance, but her tenure on the show was short lived. She was eliminated at the Top 18 after giving perhaps the crowning artistic achievement in the history of the show. Bianca tapped dance her final tap dance to the classic hit song "Tootsee Roll," complete with the original booty bouncing choreography. Bianca starts 33 seconds in, though it's fun to compare what she did to an utterly typical "Dance for Your Life" solo from competitor Noelle who starts the video.
What you miss at the end of this is host Cat Deeley expressing her shock over not expecting to hear that song for a tapper (or ever) on this show. It was a risky move to stand out as a fun contestant and it did not pay off. Bianca was sadly eliminated for what will always be the classiest solo in the history of the show.
That is why Bianca Revels' Elimination Solo is clearly the Most Outstanding Achievement in Confusing Media of 2009.