This was quite a strange year for television. There wasn't a lot of consistency. Some of the shows that I liked early on ended up getting canceled for good and were replaced with junk. Some shows finished their season in the spring and then came back in the fall with questionable storylines to damage their standings overall. That's what caused "Scrubs" to fall from the countdown. Then there was the problem that everybody and their mama was putting out a reality show. It's really been enough to almost turn me off regular television for good. At the very least, it has caused me to diminish my television intake. Nevertheless, I was able to come up with 15 that held my attention at some points during the year...
Nobody was as skeptical as me about this series coming out. The original holds a place near and dear to my heart. I watched the mini-series, the sequel and the subsequent series religiously. This update did an impressive job of wasting no time in getting down to business. I even liked how they incorporated the fact that the Visitors have actually infiltrated us for quite a while and we just didn't know it. We'll see if they can keep up the pace in episodes to come.
This was one of the shows that had that consistency problem. One episode would be pretty decent and it would be followed next week by something pretty ridiculous. Even for that show. It was obvious they kept trying to outdo themselves with the storylines they were coming up with. Yet I still kept holding on. The characters of Sean (Dylan Walsh) and Christian (Julian McMahon) still intrigued me. Plus, I like that they got Kimber (Kelly Carlson) more involved in the show.
13. 30 Rock
The word is that Alec Baldwin is retiring from acting. Something about he's not getting out of it what he expected? He couldn't mean that he's tired of doing comedy because that's about all he's good at. Even he must know that which is why he's hosted "Saturday Night Live" about fifty times. He was the best part of "30 Rock" this season also. Thanks in large part to Tina Fey's writing. That episode with the HD camera and what people REALLY look like in front of it was classic.
12. The Real Housewives of Atlanta
You don't get any more "train wreck waiting to happen" than this. Their last season was just the warm-up for this year. Once they had that little fame and fortune under their belts, they REALLY started showing out. I kept watching because I wanted to see if they would finally show Kim's real hair, to see if any of them would eventually come to blows, to see if Kandi still had it from her Xscape days and to see if they could stop being phony. The answer was "NO" to all of those questions. But I'll probably tune in next season anyway.
Here's another show that suffered from consistency issues. Earlier this year they brought Micah back and got away from that time travel storyline. I thought they were going in the right direction. When it returned in the fall, Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) was gone and they flirted with the time travel thing again. GRR. But they brought in some new villains in carnies Robert Knepper and Ray Park. What "Star Wars" fan doesn't like Ray Park?? There's still hope.
10. Shark Tank
The concept of this show is what caught me in the first place. People with dreams to start their own companies go in front of these millionaires asking for their monetary help. Some of the folks had some REALLY great ideas. Like the gals that had the playpen liner. But for folks that come in there with an idea like the workout dvd, it starts to get almost like an "American Idol" audition gone horribly wrong and the show's even better. I hope next season they show more of a "where are they now" with the folks that got funding so we can see how their fledgling companies are doing.
This is easily the most underrated show on the three major networks. It's the Rodney Dangerfield of NBC's line-up. They're starting to give the show more pub now as they gear up for next season. They must have finally realized that they have a winner. I just hope that the idea of tinkering with the format by having Chuck be a spy doesn't mess up the formula. So far they've been doing an excellent job of successfully combining action, comedy and drama.
8. The Office
The brief addition of Idris Elba caused everyone in the cast to step their game up. Including the writers. It created one of their better seasons they've had in a while. I was a little leery of how they would handle Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) finally hooking up as well as their marriage. Oh ye of little faith. Their wedding episode was "The Office" at its best.
7. Better Off Ted
There was some buzz there for a minute that they were going to cancel this quirky little comedy. Somewhere along the line someone wisely decided that was a bad idea. So the networks do actually have some common sense. This show was among a batch of rookie shows that had an impressive outing. Offbeat comedies like "Better Off Ted" are a nice change of pace from the endless parade of hospital and crime shows that the networks want to keep forcing down our throats.
6. King of Queens
Yes, I cheated BIG time to include this show here. It hasn't been on the air in two years so it's here based solely off its syndication. However, I figured I would apply the same rule to tv shows that I apply to movies. This year was the first time I started watching "King of Queens" and I was LOVIN' it. It's gotten to the point now where I'll even watch repeats of the repeats I've already seen. Kevin James continues to crack me up that much.
The last of the reality shows to grace this list makes it with good reason. This joint is almost like a gross-out horror movie come to life. You know there are people that seriously do live like some of these people do but if you were like me, you probably never saw real footage of just how disgusting some people can be. Not until "Hoarders" came along. I dare you to watch this while eating. If anything else, it provides inspiration to keep your place spotless.
4. Modern Family
I always wondered whatever happened to Al Bundy (Ed O'Neill). Apparently he was just waiting for the right material. He certainly found it with this show. Fortunately, he doesn't have to exert much effort because of the format of the show. There are three different families, all related to one another in some way and all with issues. O'Neill's family is actually the least funniest of the three, but he is able to reap the benefits of excellent writing for the rest of the cast.
It makes absolutely NO sense that the CW canceled this show and decided to put on crap like "The Vampire Diaries" instead. See what type of jacked up rippling effect that whole "New Moon" junk is having in entertainment? Now a great show with an original premise is gone from the air while more moody teenage vampires with bad acting get a shot. Hopefully, someone will realize what they missed and bring "Reaper" back. They can even add a vampire into the mix if that's what it takes for them to think they're being relevant.
2. Eastbound and Down
When I did a preliminary countdown in the Spring, this HBO series was at #3. I haven't seen it since then. Partially because they didn't bring the series back (yet) and partially because I don't have HBO anymore. Absence certainly made the heart grow fonder. I started reflecting on how hilarious Danny McBride was in that starring role and realized he had no other competition out there. If they do decide to bring the series back, that alone would be a good enough reason for me to get HBO again.
This was the "Friday Night Lights" of this season. Meaning that this show focused on a high school was so far ahead of the competition that they couldn't even see them in their rearview mirror. I'm not even gonna lie...it does help tremendously that I was big into Choir in high school so I can see some of myself in this show. But what helps even more is they have some incredible vocal arrangements. I was even able to look past the fact that they borrowed a "Fresh Prince" storyline. When "FNL" does return next season, it's going to have some serious contention to regain it's top spot.