TV season recap by your own EW TV Staff
Best ”Dana Carvey Show” sketch: ”Germans Who Say Nice Things.” A pair of Aryans who bark hilarious banalities (”It was a pleasure babysitting Kevin!”) in Colonel Klink accents.
Worst ”Dana Carvey Show” sketch: ”The Stupid Practical Jokers.” A pair of idiots pull stunts like paying for gas — then driving off without pumping it! So inane it reportedly took a network president (ABC’s Ted Harbert) to think it up.
Best supervillain: The Who’s Roger Daltrey as an intergalactic slimeball on ABC’s Lois & Clark. ”See me, hear me, touch me, fear me…”
Runner-up: Kathy Bates as foul-mouthed ex-Tonight Show exec producer Helen Kushnick, in HBO’s The Late Shift. And we thought she was scary in Misery.
Best Phil Hartman role: As blowhard newsman Bill McNeal on NBC’s superb sitcom NewsRadio.
Worst Phil Hartman role: As blowhard newsman Hugh MacAttack in those stupid McDonald’s commercials.
Most shameless stunt: CBS’ Taylor-Made Monday, with Liz popping up on The Nanny, Can’t Hurry Love, Murphy Brown, and High Society. At least none of them were wedding episodes.
Best bloodsucker (literal): Mark Frankel as vampire godfather Julian Luna on Fox’s Kindred: The Embraced.
Best bloodsucker (figurative): Adrian Pasdar as white-collar parasite Jim Profit on Fox’s Profit.
Biggest marketing mistake: ABC’s Aliens in the Family was yanked before cute baby Bobut could become a toy.
Ratings stunts we’re sick of: Law & Order‘s Kincaid (Jill Hennessy) crashed her car and Homicide‘s Pembleton (Andre Braugher) slipped into a coma on two heavily hyped NBC finales; Roseanne‘s Dan (John Goodman) suffered a heart attack and Home Improvement‘s Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) faced cancer on Very Special ABC episodes.
Most overhyped event: NBC’s The Beast. We liked it better under its original titles — Jaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D…
Most underhyped event: David Duchovny’s uncredited guest role as a pool shark on Fox’s Space: Above and Beyond. Why the network didn’t promote his appearance on this little-seen show is an unexplained phenomenon worthy of The X-Files.
Show most in danger of becoming the ”Love Boat” of the ’90s: NBC’s Friends, with its motley crew of guest paramours like Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, and Charlie Sheen.
Best Duet: Ice-T and Tupac Shakur’s ”You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” on Fox’s Saturday Night Special. Luckily, SNS exec producer Roseanne didn’t join in.
Worst Duet: Kathie Lee Gifford and Della Reese’s ”Mockingbird” on CBS’ Touched by an Angel. Now, Della Reese and Regis — that we’d like to hear.
Best performance by an actor with bad hair: Charles Nelson Reilly as a frizzed-out writer on Fox’s The X-Files. Appropriately, his hair looked like it came from another planet.
Worst performance by an actress with bad hair: Loni Anderson as a beauty contestant’s overly coiffed mom on Fox’s Melrose Place. She couldn’t have looked less natural if she were wearing one of Burt’s old rugs.
Best cop finale: After the birth of one son and the death of another, Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) fell off the wagon (in riveting style) — then climbed back on board — for ABC’s NYPD Blue. Someone give that man another Emmy.
Biggest cop-out finale: Paul (Paul Reiser) and Jamie (Helen Hunt) nearly split up — until she conveniently got pregnant — on NBC’s Mad About You.
Biggest leap: Garth Brooks as Fiddler on the Roof‘s Tevye on ABC’s Muppets Tonight. Who knew he had chutzpah?
Season-finale plotline we can live without seeing again: The wedding that wasn’t: Paige (Joely Fisher) cheated on her fiance with Spence (Jeremy Piven) on ABC’s Ellen; George (Jason Alexander) wished for his fiancee’s death — and got it — on NBC’s gruesome Seinfeld send-off; Caroline (Lea Thompson) called it off with her fiance and chased Richard (Malcolm Gets) on NBC’s drippy Caroline in the City wrap-up.
Best star-sung theme song: Drew Carey’s sunny ”Moon Over Parma” on ABC’s The Drew Carey Show.
Worst star-sung theme song: Chuck Norris’ flat-as-a-panhandle ”Eyes of a Ranger” on CBS’ Walker, Texas Ranger.
Best episode directed by a TV doc: Kelsey Grammer’s Frasier (NBC), in which Daphne (Jane Leeves) and Niles (David Hyde Pierce) finally tango.
Worst episode directed by a TV doc: Anthony Edwards’ self-indulgent ER (NBC). Good thing directors can’t be sued for malpractice.
Cruelest trick: NBC briefly replaced The Single Guy with the even more irksome Boston Common — then renewed them both for next fall.