The Crafty Monkey Awards: Our Best in Television for 2009/2010

Posted by: Paul Little  //  August 30, 2010 @ 10:35am

Filed under: SBM Awards

Last night may have been Emmy night in Hollywood, but we all know the internet was clamouring for the real winners of the past season in television: The Crafty Monkey Television & TV Achievement Awards! As the last awards to make their official debut on ShowbizMonkeys.com (after the Melodic Monkeys and Golden Monkeys), the Crafty Monkeys are also running things a bit like the major awards shows. No, we don't have a "ceremony". Or "stars". Or "anybody noticing". But we do have nominees and winners in a whole host of television categories!

The Crafty Monkeys have a whopping 14 categories -- it's not as much as the Emmys or Golden Globes, but for a little website like ours, we think it's pretty good. Awards up for grabs include Best Drama, Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Drama, Best Actress in a Drama, Best Actor in a Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy, Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, Best Supporting Actress in a Drama, Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Best Late Night Series, Best Reality Series, Best Writing in a Drama, and Best Writing in a Comedy.

Once the nominees were tabulated and the voting took place amongst ShowbizMonkeys.com staff coast-to-coast, there were a LOT of close categories. What does that show you? Well first, it means our staff has a very diverse taste in television, which we believe is a very good thing. But secondly, it shows that there is a lot of amazing TV out there right now, so much so that it's not very easy to be able to pick out the best of the bunch.

And even though a lot of the Emmy favourites -- such as Mad Men and Glee and Dexter and Breaking Bad -- didn't even make our lists, a lot of shows and performers who are often overlooked by the Emmys every year were nominated for Crafty Monkeys. We're not quite the "anti-Emmys" that we used to claim to be (just look at our love for annual Emmy favourite 30 Rock), but we do like to give a little bit of love to some of those under-the-radar shows that fans really get behind.

Be sure to let us know in the comments what you think of our nominees and winners. Are we crazy for nominating some of these shows? Did we leave out anything you think deserved to be nominated? Or do you, just maybe, like our choices? Tell us everything below.

Best Drama

The Nominees:

  • Castle
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Fringe
  • House
  • Lost
  • Supernatural

The Winner:

  • Lost

The Breakdown:

This category was extremely close, with Lost barely out-pacing Friday Night Lights, Fringe, and House. Perhaps Lost being the sentimental favourite after ending its six-season run put it over the edge, but regardless, we definitely had a hard time picking this one. While it's true that the final season (and especially the final episode) got a mixed response (even from die-hard fans), in its final season, Lost still packed an emotional punch, while bringing us plenty of intrigue, action, and character study. Not bad for a sci-fi show with heavy mythical and time-travel components! This award may very well be a "thank you" for its entire run, but Lost is a deserving winner none-the-less.

Best Comedy

The Nominees:

  • 30 Rock
  • Community
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Less Than Kind
  • The Office
  • Psych

The Winner:

  • Community

The Breakdown:

Our choice for best comedy came down to two shows -- 30 Rock and Community -- with the rookie NBC comedy just barely edging out the NBC vet. We love all of these shows -- including the less-than-seen Canadian comedy Less Than Kind and frequent ShowbizMonkeys.com favourite Psych -- but it was the strange, sweet, and often meta ensemble comedy from Dan Harmon that took home the trophy (note: there is no trophy). While the show began a bit disjointed, once the audience really got to know the characters and their dynamic, Community became the funniest thing on television.

Best Actor in a Drama

The Nominees:

  • Hugh Laurie (House)
  • Joshua Jackson (Fringe)
  • Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights)
  • Matthew Fox (Lost)
  • Peter Krause (Parenthood)

The Winner:

  • Hugh Laurie (House)

The Breakdown:

Another tough category, with every single nominee garnering a good chunk of votes. But while Peter Krause and Kyle Chandler came ever-so-close, the cantankerous doc took it down. While the whole season was great, if you watched the first and last episodes of House last season, you saw some of the best acting you'll ever see from Mr. Laurie.

Best Actress in a Drama

The Nominees:

  • Anna Torv (Fringe)
  • Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights)
  • Emily Deschenal (Bones)
  • Lauren Graham (Parenthood)
  • Stana Katic (Castle)

The Winner:

  • Lauren Graham (Parenthood)

The Breakdown:

She was great on Gilmore Girls for seven seasons, but never received any official accolades for her work (granted, if ShowbizMonkeys.com had the Crafty Monkeys back then, she probably would've won at least a couple times). On Parenthood, while she is once again playing a single mom, the character is vastly different, but she's still quite amazing. This category wasn't a runaway for Graham, with Deschenal and Britton getting a lot of votes themselves.

Best Actor in a Comedy

The Nominees:

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • James Roday (Psych)
  • Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Jay Harrington (Better Off Ted)
  • Joel McHale (Community)

The Winner:

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)

The Breakdown:

This one nearly went to Jason Segal, but Alec Baldwin got the last couple votes to claim victory as our Best Actor. Both are hilarious in their roles, but Baldwin has been so consistent in his four years as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock that it's hard for anyone else to surpass him. This category had the most submissions prior to our nominees being selected, so this was a hotly-contested category right from the beginning.

Best Actress in a Comedy

The Nominees:

  • Amy Poehler (Parks & Recreation)
  • Courtney Cox (Cougar Town)
  • Jenna Fischer (The Office)
  • Portia de Rossi (Better Off Ted)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)

The Winner:

  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)

The Breakdown:

This one wasn't even close. Yes, Portia de Rossi and Jenna Fischer got some votes, but this was all Fey all the way. The mastermind behind 30 Rock has proven that she's just as good a comedy actress as she is a writer. And we're sure, naturally, her Crafty Monkey honours will be held with just as much esteem as all her other awards, including the Emmys, Golden Globes, and SAG awards.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama

The Nominees:

  • Enver Gjokaj (Dollhouse)
  • John Noble (Fringe)
  • Michael Emerson (Lost)
  • Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights)
  • Terry O'Quinn (Lost)

The Winner:

  • John Noble (Fringe)

The Breakdown:

With any awards, the Supporting Actor category always seems to contain the strongest actors, and this category is now different. The Lost actors were at a high level throughout the show's final season, Gjokaj showed strong acting on a show receiving mixed reactions, and Kitsch featured on a much-beloved show that very few actually watch. However, it was the extremely talented John Noble who took home top honours, as he brought a deep sense of humanity to a show filled with out-of-this-world scenarios. Adding a second character -- the alternate universe Walter Bishop -- at the end of last season managed to show Noble's range even more. There was likely no better single performer on television last season.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama

The Nominees:

  • Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights)
  • Evangeline Lilly (Lost)
  • Lisa Edelstein (House)
  • Mae Whitman (Parenthood)
  • Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)

The Winner:

  • Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy)

The Breakdown:

This award was Lisa Edelstein's for the taking up until the very end, when a few extra votes for Sandra Oh managed to push her ahead to take home the Crafty Monkey. While Grey's Anatomy may have gotten a bit too melodramatic for its own good, the Canadian actress was able to keep her character grounded amongst all the chaos. The incredibly intense finale, featuring a shooter running through Seattle Grace, really showed off Oh's skills.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy

The Nominees:

  • Donald Glover (Community)
  • Dulé Hill (Psych)
  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)
  • Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation)
  • Zach Galifianakis (Bored to Death)

The Winner:

  • Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother)

The Breakdown:

This one was a slam dunk, with no other actors coming even close to Neil Patrick Harris in this category (though Zach Galifianakis did collect a few votes). The immensely talented How I Met Your Mother actor managed to bring some emotional substance to the womanizing Barney Stinson, to the point where the audience actually cared how he felt. That doesn't mean Harris didn't still pull off great lines and zany storylines along the way. The man is, after all, legen -- wait for it -- dary.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy

The Nominees:

  • Alison Brie (Community)
  • Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation)
  • Ellie Kemper (The Office)
  • Gillian Jacobs (Community)
  • Maggie Lawson (Psych)

The Winner:

  • Ellie Kemper (The Office)

The Breakdown:

In a category of mostly newcomers, The Office's Ellie Kemper came out on top. Playing the sweet but naïve Erin, the new(ish) receptionist at Dunder Mifflin, Kemper was one of the bright spots on an otherwise uneven season of the NBC comedy. Erin's flirting, brief dating, and break-up with Ed Helms' Andy was a great ongoing storyline for the show's sixth season, and it likely wouldn't have worked with any other actress.

Best Late Night Series

The Nominees:

  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
  • Late Night with Jimmy Fallon
  • The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

The Winner:

  • The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien

The Breakdown:

Is it any surprise that ShowbizMonkeys.com loves Coco? Despite our obvious bias indicated by previous articles and awards, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien really was a funny and entertaining show, not just during its final days when the whole world was watching, but for its entire 7-month run. While we've always been Daily Show fans (Jon Stewart et al continue to do a wonderful job of skewering politics and television news), and love what Jimmy Fallon has done to Conan's old Late Night franchise, Conan's short-lived stay as host of the late night institution was the best of the bunch. Here's hoping his new TBS show, beginning in November, keeps things at that night level.

Best Reality Series

The Nominees:

  • The Bachelor
  • The Buried Life
  • Survivor

The Winner:

  • Survivor

The Breakdown:

Twenty seasons down, and Survivor still manages to entertain and enthrall. Specifically in its last two iterations this past television season, the show really shone, in no small thanks to ultra-villain Russell Hantz (who was either loved or hated). The benefit of an all-star Heroes vs. Villains season that found a way to stay extremely engaging week after week, despite featuring returning players (some for their third time), was a minor miracle. But that's why the show still holds up -- as long as there are strange characters put in strange situations, entertaining television will be made.

Best Writing for a Drama

The Nominees:

  • Friday Night Lights ("The Son")
  • House ("Broken")
  • Lost ("What They Died For")

The Winner:

  • Lost ("What They Died For")

The Breakdown:

Why the penultimate episode, rather than the big series finale? Well, besides the finale dividing fans and critics alike, the second-to-last episode did a remarkable job of setting up the finale, while advancing the stories, continuing to build the characters, and giving us great action and intrigue. Even the fans who were less-than-pleased with the finale, enjoyed most of the final season, and "What They Died For" was a great summary of the series as a whole.

Best Writing for a Comedy

The Nominees:

  • Community ("Modern Warfare")
  • Less Than Kind ("First Nighters")
  • Psych ("Mr. Yin Presents")

The Winner:

  • Community ("Modern Warfare")

The Breakdown:

While Less Than Kind's "First Nighters" brought great character development and hilarious lines, and Psych's "Mr. Yin Presents" served as a great example of the show's balance between comedy, drama, and action (not to mention featured some wonderful Hitchcock references woven into the fabric of the story), Community's "Modern Warfare" was the funniest episode in all of television last year. Besides the humour (and kick-ass action), it also really moved along the characters.

Other Favourite Shows

  • Better Off Ted
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Modern Family
  • Glee
  • Parenthood
  • One Tree Hill
  • The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
  • The Colbert Report
  • The Amazing Race
  • Say Yes to the Dress

Other Favourite Performers

  • Mark Valley (Human Target)
  • Kate Walsh (Private Practice)
  • Zachary Levi (Chuck)
  • Jason Schwartzman (Bored to Death)
  • Ed O'Neill (Modern Family)
  • Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation)
  • Maury Chaykin (Less Than Kind)
  • Danny Pudi (Community)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Kristen Wiig (Saturday Night Live)
  • Zach Gilford (Friday Night Lights)
  • Nestor Carbonell (Lost)
  • Chi McBride (Human Target)
  • Brittany Robertson (Life Unexpected)

Check out our past honourees: 2008/2009, 2007

Tags: The Crafty Monkeys, lists, awards, Lost, 30 Rock, Lauren Graham, Hugh Laurie, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Neil Patrick Harris

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Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)

Original Comments Posted (1)

crimson says...

Breaking Bad didn't make the list?!?!?!?!

Aug 30, 2010 12:28pm

Comments Posted ()