1. Which TV shows did you start watching this year?
-Dollface (kind of, sorta...I watched the Matthew Gray Gubler episodes and also the last 1 or 2)
-The Floor Is Lava
-Sister, Sister (well, I saw it sometimes in syndication as a kid, but I forgot all the details and probably never saw more than half the eps)
-Sweet Magnolias (GIVE ME SEASON 2)
-Merry Happy Whatever
I'd like to say I forgot one, but I'm honestly not sure. Also, this question being 100% shows I watched on streaming services and none of them having any fannish investment makes me think I should adjust this question next year to just "shows I watched."
2. Which TV shows did you let go of this year?
I mean...I pretty much let go of everything? I'm hopeful most of these are temporary absences, but Man With A Plan and Carol's Second Act ended, as did Criminal Minds; I forgot Amazing Race was coming back until I'd missed too many episodes to catch up; I barely even watch NCIS: LA these days and only show up if someone alerts me to amazing shippy and/or character moments, now that Kensi is the only one of the Core Four who is still there on a full time basis. And other than Evil, which I just saw returns in January, that's still the only show I even think about catching new episodes of, since Survivor is now on hiatus until god knows when and the second season of Blood & Treasure is still off in the ether somewhere with no release date.
I always wondered what would happen when I stopped watching live TV/ran out of shows and how I would feel about it, but turns out it's a very boring turn of events.
3. Which TV shows did you mean to get into but didn’t this year? Why?
Perenially fave forgotten gem Jack Ryan; also forgot Bless This Mess; failed to watched Deadwater Fell and Staged because by the time they were available to watch here in the stupid U.S., I was too busy. (And honestly, IDEK about Deadwater Fell)
4. Which TV shows do you intend on checking out next year?
Hopefully some or all of the above? Also Call Me Kat, because the problem with Miranda is that she's simply too plain of face retain my interest, on top of the show looking horribly secondhand embarrassing, whereas the FOX remake a) features Mayim Bialik while also having her + Jim Parsons as producers, and b) is exactly the laugh-track-featuring, low-concept, comfort-food-for-my-brain level of sitcom I gravitate towards. (also: CAT CAFE)
5. Which TV show impressed you the most this year? Why?
Despite its shaky start, Criminal Minds' final season just blew my every expectation out of the water*. Every precious episode a super-personal-moments loaded event, plus tons of shippy footage to feast upon.
*And that's really impressive, considering last year I put it as a response to number 7 and said "I emotionally detached pretty hard at the end of the finale, in a way where I'm not sure I want to watch it come January." To be fair I still didn't watch any of it until it was over, but once I heard about the finale and started weaving my way in, WOW.
6. Which TV show impressed you least this year? Why?
Strictly of the ones I watched, Virgin River is such a cringe-fest of either bad acting or bad writing, I can't tell. Maybe both. Honestly, the only horrible offender is the lead actress, but that's enough to spoil it.
7. Which TV show do you think you might let go of next year unless things significantly improve?
I'll probably just fully give up on NCIS: LA if Deeks leaves as permanently as Beale.
8. Which TV shows do you think you’ll never let go of no matter how crappy they get? Why?
Survivor, I guess?? I definitely gotta update this old survey when it hits its third decade of existence. Or just like, stop doing it.
PART II: FANDOMS BY THE FAVORITES & STANDOUT EVENTS
1. Favorite female characters of the year
- JJ, Garcia, and Emily Prentiss (Criminal Minds)
- Noreen Fitzgibbons and Maddie Townsend (Sweet Magnolias)
- Every single member of the March family (Little Women, multiple incarnations)
- Tally (Sun Dogs)
- Jennifer (Billy Boy) -- this & above as played by Melissa Benoist
- Mindy Lipschitz & Jodi Schellenberger (The Outcasts)
- Beth (Step Sisters, who is basically Mindy Lipschitz in college, both of whom are basically AU Sue Heck)
- Abigail Grey (Blame)
- Ellie Carter as played by Rachelle LeFevre (Do You Know Me?)
- Annie, Britta, Shirley (Community)
2. Favorite male characters of the year
- SPENCER REID, Luke Alvez, Matt Simmons (Criminal Minds)
- Wes (Dollface)
- Kyle Townsend (Sweet Magnolias, playing the sweetest 14-year-old ever)
- Laurie & Professor Bhaer (Little Women)
- Jack whatever his last name is a.k.a. Martin Henderson on Virgin River
- Jeff, Abed (Community)
Revisited loves from fandoms past: Jim Halpert (The Office); Barbie (Under the Dome); Blaine & Sam (Glee)
- Tyler Hutton!! (All You Ever Wished For, as played by Darren Criss in maybe his most satisfying role ever?)
- Dave Quinn (The Outcasts)
- Chip (68 Kill)
- Chris (My Teacher, My Obsession) (...she typed with a straight face)
- Wes as played by Billy Burke (More Than Enough/Good After Bad)
3. Favorite Ships of the year
- NCIS: LA: Kensi/Deek
- Criminal Minds: Reid/JJ (I DON'T KNOW. THIS SHOW ACCIDENTALLY WORKED ITS VOODOO MAGIC. I can't ship them in canon but after feeding myself a couple of books with fun stand-ins -- Val McDermid's Tony Hill series and Love At First Bark, specifically -- I can see it); also Reid/Maee; Reid/Cat Adams (IDK IT'S HOT); Reid/Max; Luke/Garcia
- Sweet Magnolias: Ty/Annie
- Community: JEFF/ANNIE IN A WAY I HAD NEVER SO STRONGLY DONE BEFORE; also Abed/Annie a little bit
- Little Women (every incarnation, or nearly so): Jo/Laurie; Jo/Bhaer; Meg/John Brooke; Laurie + being a sweetheart platonically to everyone in the March family
Splendid Movie Pairings:
- Jo/Laurie (Little Women 2019)
- Jo/Bhaer (Little Women 2018, modern AU) -- and yes I'm listing the LW pairings twice because these are the faces that gave me the most kicks)
- Jennifer/Billy (Billy Boy)
- Chip/Violet (is that her name??) (68 Kill)
- Richard/Tami (Adrift 2018)
- Abigail/Jeremy (Blame 2018)
Continuing Faves On Instagram:
- Mrs. & Mr. Georgia Tennant
- Eric & Sarah Olsen
- Darren Criss & Mia Swier
The Parkers (IT'S A CRACK UP AND A HALF)
5. Favorite episodes of the year:
Criminal Minds: Saturday, Date Night, And In The End
Honestly, no other new-to-me episodes really amazed me. This was not a good year for TV. Mostly because of the pandemic. Although I did hear good things about that one Grey's Anatomy episode or two that brought A Certain Person back.
6. Best new fandom discovery of the year
Probably Sweet Magnolias? It had every chance to be as bad as Virgin River but for being adapted from a romance novel series, it's really quite enjoyable. I actually have 4 novels from the book series checked out of the library right now so I can sate my need to spend more time with these folks.
7. Biggest squee moments of the year
[spoilers]Oh my god so many. SO many. Reid being dazzled and enchanted by a new lady. Basically every glorious second of Date Night. MAEVE REAPPEARING IN REID'S UNCONSCIOUS NEAR-DEATH LIFe AND him finally getting to say outright to her, "I love you." And LUKE ASKING GARCIA OUT ON A PROPER DATE. WHAT A WAY TO BOW OUT!
Sweet Magnolias: Ty gallantly helping Annie's drunk ass out of the party, taking her home and tucking her into bed.
Virgin River: Just basically Martin Henderson's face at all times. I honestly can't even remember anything specific he's done, he's just great in teh face
One day I will fill out the movie portion of this answer too, but it is not this day.
8. Biggest fandom disappointment(s) of the year
Covid-19 stealing the NCIS: LA finale and also making the Survivor: Winners at War finale bleh. But mostly, it's Blood & Treasure not coming back.
9. Favorite villain of the year
OOH I KNOW THIS ONE! Cat Adams on Criminal Minds
10. Favorite f/f couple of the year
I am once again telling you I have none.
11. Favorite m/m couple of the year
My brain shot right back into Klaine mode for no apparent reason. I love it.
12. Fandom that you never expected to get into
Listen, I had a TRIP with The Floor Is Lava. Yes it's a game show. And not really a fandom. But like, I fell so hard for it over the 2 weeks I binge-watched it that I imagined Glee teams running this challenge.
13. Fandom that made an unexpected comeback
Community -- I really spent like 2+ months in an unhinged state of watching it almost on loop, caring about it like never before.
Glee, though it comes back so regularly for short bursts at the end of every summer I almost can't call it unexpected at this point.
14. Fandom that inspired the most crack
Supernatural, omg. Even people not in the fandom, like me, have been inundated with it.
15. Your main fandom throughout the year
I think the most prominent ones were Little Women, Criminal Minds, and Community. After that I kinda fell out of the TV life and wedding-planning became my new fandom, while Glee tapped on the glass and tried to get back in.
16. The most missed of your old fandoms
I really missed the Glee fandom. Like, the actual people and sense of community. In all my sadness about LJers leaving and annoyance w/ social justice warriors, I didn't know how good I had it! ARE there even fandoms anymore?? I don't know where they went! People spit rage and fleeting live-viewing reactions on Twitter, and anonymously have pockets of discussion on Reddit, but there's not really a place where people commit to archives anymore. Tumblr sucks for discussion, but at least it has content archives tied to a specific username that you can scroll. Micro blogging was still blogging. I was a fool not to appreciate it!
17. Fandom predictions for next year
I find at least ONE new show to love.
That's it, that's all I predict.
Here's how I did on last year's:
+ Another man from fandoms past breaks free from where he's been pushed to the back of the crowd over time and sprints forward to reclaim the center spotlight (perhaps Darren Criss? he doing anything coming up? how 'bout Billy Burke?).
--> AND LO, DARREN CRISS DID.
+ I somehow watch even fewer currently-airing shows
+ NCIS lets us have a Tiva reunion in May (plz plz don't drag it out, but if you do, remember late is better than never).
--> well, the pandemic kinda screwed us if that was ever even in the cards. Also I jsut looked her up and apparently she was last seen in January, "preparing to fly to Paris to reunite with her family"? Which, awesome. So either we don't get to see the reunion, or we find out in a couple of years that Something Else Happened and she never got back to them. I don't even know which one I want, tbh. BULL STOP BEING SO SUCCESSFUL challenge.
+ Almost Family gets panned & canned, probably to my secret relief.
--> True, even though I never even bothered to give it a shot.
+ Blood & Treasure returns better than ever.
*sobs in pandemic*
Also: *Michael Scott voice* Where is the SEASON TWO?? Where is it?? (seriously, I *think* they managed to finish shooting season 2 because they said they were going to hold it until fall so they'd have fall programming, but I have not heard a peep about it since)
+ And Survivor: Winners at War DOESN'T DISAPPOINT ME LIKE THE LAST TWO ALL-RETURNEES SEASONS MAYBE.
--> Honestly at this point I barely even remember. I feel like it kinda did, not least because my four least favorites made it into the final 10 and only half of my top 6 did + all the Old School players got knocked out before the merge, but maybe I'll like it better on rewatch. I didn't hate the winner, but it also wasn't the 1 I wanted to win out of those final 3, so.