Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Passing Opinion Off As Fact Since 2009

Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10 TV Shows of 2010

A year ago today I made exceedingly attainable New Year’s resolution: watch more good Television.

I nailed it.

There is no need to further make the argument that we are in the midst of the TV renaissance, it is fact. The below ranking does not make up the only shows I watch, just the ones from which I got the most joy.

10. 30 Rock

I complain a lot of 30 Rock and its slumping but it is always out of love. When it is on, there has never been a funnier show.

9. Lost

I am well aware that a lot of people were not happy with the final season, and I myself have some grievances (the glowing cave was an atrocity), but I think there was more good than bad. Character resolution won out over mythology exposition and I could not be happier.

8. Breaking Bad

Season 1, I knocked out in a week in late winter and was none too pleased. I already had a copy of season 2, so I made a go at it in mid-spring and was left intrigued though slightly underwhelmed. Finally, Season 3 came on this summer and, despite my low expectations, I loved it. The show’s bravado and masterful character development finally won me over. The biggest difference was the ascension of Bob Odenkirk’s character, which brought MUCH needed levity to a show I previously found dreadfully staid.

7. Modern Family

You know what show is really funny? Modern Family. It is clear it does not have aspirations to reinvent wheel, like some comedies on this list, but it is sure a great new wheel.

6. Work of Art

There was a lot of shitty art on display and a lot of average personalities masquerading as serious artists, yet there were a handful of pieces produced that completely justified the series. More importantly, it fostered a debate over art’s relationship with popular culture and the difference between high and low art.

5. Party Down

The lingering one-dimensionality of the characters in the solid albeit lacking first season, gave way to a truly wonderful second season focused on incredibly dynamic characters and a distinctive brand of dark absurdity. I have probably watched over 60,000 minutes of situation comedies in my 25 years and there have been few more enjoyable than the 30 of Party Down’s Steve Guttenberg episode.

4. Friday Night Lights

A show that was completely off my radar until a friend recommended I watch it this year. For my money, there is no show on television that is more emotionally resonate or better acted. Astonishingly, Season 4 and 5 (so far) features the best output in the shows entire run. It is a show I feel lucky to be able to watch.

3. Mad Men

Knowing myself, it is amazing I did not watch Mad Men until last winter – hell, I have been wearing tie clips and drinking old fashioneds for four years. The fourth season was easily my favorite mostly because it acts as both the shows most melancholic and its funniest.

2. Parks & Recreation

The first half of Season 2 was about changing minds, the second half focused on blowing them. P&R takes the best parts of The Office and 30 Rock and mixed it up in a way that is distinctly its own. The not at all secret weapon is what might be the best-written and performed comedic ensemble ever (EVER!). There were only 12 episodes in 2010 but there was not a miss in the lot, especially the final four episodes, which were all instant classics. The hardest decision was to have this not top the list but...

1. Community

It is weird to feel proud of a Television show. Other than sitting next to Danny Pudi at a coffee shop, I had nothing at all to do with the making of Community, yet I watch like it is my son/daughter taking its first steps/saying its first words/developing its first neurosis. In 2009, I enjoyed Community as another smartly written comedy in THE night of smartly written comedies. Then starting with the last episode of 2009 (their first perfect Christmas episode) and continuing through 2010, it grew into something different entirely, the best show on television. Week in and week out it is rewriting what is possible for the format. I am constantly reminded of the comedic reveal about the groundskeeper at the end of "Aerodynamics of Gender" (the Mean Girls meets Robocop/Secret Garden with a trampoline episode) that perfectly sums up Community; it demanded a commitment to set up a character in order to play against expectation, it subverted the traditional form, and it was supremely funny.

I might fawn over the show a bit much (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE) but what is the point of a blog if it is not to celebrate the fairly common things you adore.

1 comment:

  1. I thrill a lot of these shows and likely couldn't plectron fave episodes. Especially The Vampire Diaries, I cerebrate as presently as Carlovingian became a vampire it was all enthusiastic.

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