Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best of 2009: TV

Top 20 TV Shows in 2010
1. Lost Season Five (ABC)
2. Breaking Bad Season Two (AMC)
3. Chuck Season Two (NBC)
4. Modern Family Season One (ABC)
5. Burn Notice Season Two & Three (USA)
6. Flight of the Conchords Season Two (HBO)
7. Spectacular Spider-Man Season Two (DXD)
8. Community Season One (NBC)
9. The Sarah Connor Chronicles Season Two (FOX)
10. Torchwood: Children of Earth (BBC)
11. The Office Season Five & Six (NBC)
12. Batman The Brave and the Bold Season One (TOON)
13. Better Off Ted Season One (ABC)
14. Leverage Season Two (TNT)
15. Party Down Season One (STARZ)
16. 30 Rock Season Three & Four (NBC)
17. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season Five (F/X)
18. Weeds Season Four (SHO)
19. Parks & Recreation Season Two (NBC)
20. Better Off Ted Season One (CBS)

Favorite Hour-Long: Lost (ABC)
There are four strong contenders in this category: Chuck, Breaking Bad and Lost, with Burn Notice as a dark horse candidate. And while the performances and sheer gutsiness of Breaking Bad tempts me, my favorite hour-long, and honestly my favorite thing on TV, is Lost. It's ambitious, but shows signs of the showrunners knowing that they need to have a satisfying ending for that ambition to mean anything. In contrast to Battlestar Galactica, which after that bullshit finale, I wish I could un-watch. It's got some of the best writing on television, elevated well above the usual quality we get in genre TV into award-worthy territory. The writers are tackling complex concepts like time travel and quantum physics (OK, magic) in a way that makes it approachable but not dumbed-down, and the characters are so compelling that you care as much about their small stories as you do the big mythology. Add in one of the best casts of actors on TV and just generally exquisite production values, not to mention that they've done this for five seasons now and aside from some arguable hiccups in the middle seasons, it's never been anything less than great, and I believe Lost will be one of those "Best of TV" shows for a long, long time.

Unless they fuck up the ending. Then I take it all back and give the nod to Breaking Bad.

I also really like Dexter, although ever since season two, it's settled into something of diminishing returns for me, and I really liked Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but it's cancellation keeps it from nudging up beyond "what could have been" territory, even though I'll definitely re-watch both seasons on DVD from time to time, as it's a solid offering, even with it's non-ending ending. Dollhouse might have made it on if every episode was like "Man on the Street" or "Epitath One" but most of it was disappointing, and I remain somewhat bitter that it got to stick around despite its downward spiral when Sarah Connor didn't, even though it was on a creative upswing.

Oh, and there's Leverage, which is just a ton of fun, and White Collar, which is usually decent and may someday be as good as Leverage if it grows some balls and learns how to better utilize its great cast.

1 comment:

acespot said...

I used to like Dexter. Although this season was pretty blah, I kept watching it.
And then I watched this year's season finale. Gotta tell you, man, as the father of a 16 month old boy, I was appalled. And still am. I can't get over it. I'm not going to be watching Dexter again, and have, in fact, canceled my Showtime.