|Greatest missed opportunity:
When Princess Diana, her boyfriend and her entourage went crashing into that French tunnel support, the media hounds managed to cover all manner of ephemera, but somehow failed to explain that the deaths were actually caused, not by paparazzi, but by a combination of drunk driving and failure to buckle up. You'd think the Safety Establishment would have jumped on the opportunity, but apparently they were busy trying to talk their way out of the overselling of airbags.
Best new TV series:
Fox's Ally McBeal, which makes the startling suggestion that it's possible to be a lawyer without being venal, grasping, or even particularly self-confident. Calista (Greek for "most beautiful", and they aren't kidding) Flockhart is wonderful in this role, and it's great to see Dyan Cannon (Judge Jennifer "Whipper" Cone) back on a regular basis.
|Most heartening sign of corporate independence:
Spin the Bottle, Inc., the firm which created VH1's popular Pop-Up Video series, is more than happy to complain, in the press and on its Web site, about what it sees as VH1's misuse of the concept. Biting the hand that feeds you is a better source of nutrition than you might think.
|Top-rated collector's item of 1997:
Promotional material for Fox's fall series Rewind, which was never aired, horrifying dozens of Scott Baio fans from coast to coast.
|Most elusive Christmas present:
While Saddam Hussein's head on a platter has a certain visceral appeal, I'm still holding out for peace on earth.
|Best career move:
Occasional Suck contributor Tim Cavanaugh has now begun turning out his own acerbic commentary on life, the universe, and everything, in the guise of simpleton.
|Most effective makeover:
Whatever it took to make me notice QVC's Kathy LeVine, who figures in an awful lot of idle daydreams these days.
|Most baroque Web artifact:
The e-zine Fitshaced, which on the surface looks like another one of those tedious angry-young-white-punks-on-insufficient-dope rants, until you notice (it doesn't take that long, really) that it's actually written with great flair and designed extremely well. As for the title, well, dyslexia can warn without striking.
|Strangest celebrity photo of 1997:
This fall, the tabloid Globe ran on the cover a small shot of what was represented as Sharon Stone's upper thighs, with a headline of "Cellulite scare!" or some such business. (Does Kathy LeVine have problems like this?)
|Most unexpected publishing innovation:
TV Guide's "The Year in Jeers" issue, which ranks as the first decent ripoff of Esquire's Dubious Achievement Awards. Given the recent descent of Esquire into Details territory, it's perhaps time to shift allegiance now, especially if TV Guide decides to make a habit of it.
|Most-welcome sign of sanity on Usenet:
Newsreader filters are getting better. Other than that, forget it.
|A special Chaz Award to:
Any and all who cancel their America Online subscriptions. Enough is enough.
Posted 22 December 1997
Join us next year, same time, same URL (probably), for the next edition of the Chaz Awards.
| 1997 Awards | | Copyright © 1997, 1998 by Charles G. Hill