And now for some completely personal, completely random, completely belated takes on some things in 2005 that made me smile. It might be a stretch to call these things the 10 most wonderful things, but what the hell, we're already 9 days into 2006. So here goes:
10. Mary Lynn Rajskub on 24
One of the great things about Fox's paranoid, real-time actioner 24 is that it manages to bring in an unusual coalition of truly wonderful actors (and usually kills them off or roughs them up). Roseanne's Sara Gilbert? Killed in a bomb attack. Lukas Haas? Beaten and left for dead near a highway underpass. Larry Sander's old secretary Penny Johnson Jerald? Shot to death after three glorious seasons of treachery.
Then there's Mary Lynn Rajskub, formerly of Mr. Show, Larry Sanders and Punch-Drunk Love, who showed up in season 3 as the nervous, weird, nit-picking, jerkish computer analyst Chloe O'Brian. No request was made of her that wasn't received with a pout or a put-down. Then, midway through last year's fourth season, she picked up a machine gun and took out a terrorist in a charging SUV. Somewhere in between she became the very best thing about a show that is by turns the most exciting and ridiculous television on the air.