The Year End Review: TV

It’s had its ups and downs, but overall, the gods of television have been kind to us this year. This is my list of the top 5 best shows this year, and you can add this list of new TV to what you see below.

Battlestar Galactica

One of the best science fiction shows ever created ended its four-season run this year. And in the lead up to the end it never once stopped to breathe, or wasn’t able to find that balance between action and drama. I was glad that the show decided to answer some questions while leaving others ambiguous, and give it major props for tying some things up in ways I never suspected. Except for the whole Fat Lee thing. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

Mad Men

If there’s any show that could drive me to drink, it’d be this one. And I mean that in a good way. Three seasons in and this is still one of the best shows on television, maybe the best currently running. It’s also one of the only shows I’ve seen that has yet to suffer any sort of creative slump. The stories, the characters, the acting, the production all make this one hard to keep out of any TV best-of lists this year. Plus now, any time I’m being sexist, I can just say that I’m pulling a Draper, and it’s all good.

Friday Night Lights

I’m a little late to the game when it comes to this one. I only started watching the show about a month ago, and I burned through three and a half seasons in only a couple of weeks. For me, this show is better than cocaine, and I can say that because I’m a massive cocaine addict. I really can’t say enough good things about it (the show, not cocaine). They gave us a game-changing finale last season, and have come up with a creative way to keep the story going despite the fact that about half of the cast has turned over. And where other shows try the same thing and fail, Friday Night Lights is still going strong. Plus, it’s filmed in my hometown. Seriously, I saw Brad Leland in downtown Austin a couple of weeks ago and almost crapped my pants. I might take some flak for it, but FNL definitely cracks my Top 5 best TV shows of the past 10 years.

Breaking Bad

Mad Men showed us that AMC knew how to handle their own drama series. Breaking Bad showed us that AMC was the network to watch out for. Can you believe that, up until a couple of years ago, all I could think of when I saw Bryan Cranston was, “Could you pass me a schtickle of fluoride?” He’s come a long way.

Parks and Recreation

At the end of last season, I was ready to write this one off. Amy Poehler is funny. Greg Daniels is funny. It only makes sense that if NBC put the two of them together, everyone would make bags and bags of money. Well, it turns out that building a park wasn’t the comedy gold mine everyone thought it would be. Now they’re in their second season, and have looked a little farther for their storylines, and the show couldn’t be funnier. This is easily the strongest of NBC’s Thursday night lineup.

A few popular shows that didn’t make it, and why…

30 Rock
I think there’s a reason 30 Rock has won the Emmy for best comedy series these past three years, and that is, for these past three years, it’s been the best comedy series on television. This season, it just hasn’t lived up to that. Tracy making jokes like, “I’ll show you that I can finish everything I–” or Liz liking ham can only go so far. These past couple of episodes have been a lot better, so we’ll see where they go.

The Office
I heard someone say that on this season of The Office, Dunder Mifflin should go out of business, everyone should lose their job, and that would be the end of the series. I didn’t think that was the most horrible idea I had ever heard. In its sixth season, The Office feels like it’s just spinning its wheels, especially now that Pam and Jim are happily married. A few episodes, like Shareholder Meeting, seemed like a lot of wasted potential. The company is losing money, and just when it seems like Scott and Oscar are going to save the day, every runs out of the hotel and speeds away in a limo.Hopefully the show comes back (creatively), because I don’t think NBC can afford to get rid of it right now. I’d hate to see it overstay its welcome.

Community
This show is still trying to decide what it wants to be. Is it a parody like The Office, is it over the top like 30 Rock? I don’t know, because they haven’t settled on one yet. Add that to the fact that all off the characters, with the exception of maybe Abed, are one-dimensional stereotypes, making Community one of the biggest disappointments this season. After that 5-minute clip they released last May, I really had my hopes up for this one.

Dexter
Although I enjoyed season 4 and thought the writers took some great creative twists, there have always been a few small things that have annoyed me about this show, and affected how much I enjoy it. One of them is Debra. Seriously, this woman is like a turd that just won’t flush. Hey, I wonder what happens to her this season. I bet she gets into a relationship that goes bad and manages to call everyone around her selfish along the way. My other big problem with this show is Dexter and Rita’s relationship. It stopped being believable after the first season. It’s like after she got over her experience with her first husband, she never found that balance between standing up for herself and being a jerk. And Dexter’s so great at blending in to normal life, yet still can’t stand up to her. Plus, the dialogue between the two of them reads like it came out of Marriage for Dummies.

Lost
I’m a huge fan of the show, but I didn’t think that the fifth season delivered the way previous seasons had. With the show about to begin its sixth and last season, I felt like it was taking one last, deep breath before it sped off to the finish.

FlashForward
This show is trying to be as great as Lost while ignoring everything that makes Lost great. On Lost, the characters always came before the mystery, and on FlashForward, I’m still trying to remember what the characters names are. Add that to the fact that if everyone in the entire world blacked out for two minutes, there’d be no way in Hell I’d be back at work the next day, or week. Maybe ever. This show is bogged down in its own mythology, and I’m wondering if it’ll be able to crawl back out.

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One response to “The Year End Review: TV

  1. I am a first time visitor but I noticed you are a fan of BSG. I thought you might be interested in a tribute to Battlestar Galactica posted by my guest blogger this month, Chris Ferrell. Happy New Year!

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