Not a whole lot changed from last year to this year in television. The old reliables are still in the running. Maybe not as high as they had been in the past, but they're still in there. I just found myself being too much of a creature of habit when it came to what I watch. I would occasionally try a new show and it wasn't long before I wasn't feeling most of them. We'll see if that changes next year. For now, here's how tv sized up this year...
15. Desperate Housewives
This one was teetering on the brink of dropping off the list altogether this year. It was Vanessa Williams that helped save it. If they would have better writing for her character then it could go even higher. And I can't forget Felicity Huffman. She is so far ahead of everyone on that show when it comes to acting that it's not even funny. No one even comes close to being as convincing as her.
14. Saturday Night Live
It's almost like that annoying little kid that just won't go away. Most of the time he's around he works your last nerve but every now and then he'll have an entertaining moment. That's how SNL has been once again this season. There hasn't been one single show that was hilarious from beginning to end; however, they've had enough moments they can string together from several shows that were memorably funny. Not too shabby at all for a show that's been on the air almost 40 years now.
13. The Soup
I know this one probably had the biggest fall from previous years but it's no indication that the show has declined. It was just up against some stiff competition. Joel McHale is still as funny as he's ever beeen as the host. So much so that it's carried over into his primetime network show which saw a dramatic boost in these ratings. Not everyone can make the claim that they have two joints in the top 15 so he can take solace in that fact. Because I'm sure Joel is losing sleep over where he ranks on my blog.
12. South Park
There's a good chance this would have been ranked higher had I been able to catch more shows. I swear I had the dvr all set up to record them but it would never catch them all. There must have been some conflict with something else recording at that time so new SP episodes would occasionally not get prioritized. I got it figured out soon enough to see at least 90% of 14th season. That was enough to see that South Park really hasn't lost much of a step since their first season. They could easily have a tenure like "The Simpsons" if creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone wanted to keep it going.
11. The Office
They took a big risk in getting Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) married. Most sitcoms usually lose a little steam when their characters known for sexual tension end up hooking up. Well I guess they did drop, but again, it was just a tough year to compete. What kept them in the list was the fact that the show is still just as funny with their new storylines. I just wish they would utilize Darryl (Craig Robinson) better.
10. Children's Hospital
I could probably count on my hand how many folks out there have heard of this show. I would have missed it myself if I hadn't been watching Comedy Central and saw them advertise their homemade product. It's only 13 - 15 minutes long so it's questionable as to if it should even qualify as a show as opposed to an elongated skit. The judges have ruled it's a show. They are able to make that short amount of time some of the funniest television out there. It's the perfect example of quality over quantity.
9. The Good Guys
This one ran the risk of being overlooked due to time constraints. I found my dvr getting full and needed to delete some shows. 3 episodes of this sat there unwatched. I knew there was a reason I recorded it though so I watched them. Every one got better and better. I don't even care that their depiction of a police department in a huge metropolis like Dallas is very unrealistic. I just enjoyed watching Dan Stark (Bradley Whitford) hold on to the 70s while imposing the era on any and everybody he runs into.
/ Here's where Joel McHale surfaces again. This sitcom got off to a rough start early on. There would be a chuckle here and there but nothing consistent. They seemed to hit their stride when they discovered that their themed shows were their forte. Probably because that's when Abed (Danny Pudi) was at his best. As funny as McHale is, it's Abed and Troy (Donald Glover) that really keep the laughs coming.
I wanted SO much for this show to stay on top. You all know I'm a huge gleek. I still maintain that us folks that were in Choir/Swing Choir when we were in school have a stronger connection to the show. However, as much I was pulling for it, they weren't helping themselves. They were doing too many shows that were too heavy-handed. Almost depressing. The storylines were the exact opposite of the very title of the show. They finally came around about midway thru this season. And it wouldn't hurt them at all if they had Gwenneth Paltrow guest star on there more frequently.
I almost missed this show altogether. I don't have HBO so I couldn't watch it the conventional way. However, you know you can find anything out there on the net if you look long and hard enough. I was finally able to find some places that streamed it for free. It was very much worth the trouble. They were able to realistically convey the frustration of post-Katrina as well as the hopes and dreams. "The Princess and the Frog" made you think that New Orleans was all about food while "Treme" had you thinking it was all about the music. Nothing wrong with either approach as far as I'm concerned.
5. Friday Night Lights
Not having Directv anymore means I had to wait a LONG time for the new season to start. Directv showed it for the past couple of months while the rest of us have to wait until January. Meanwhile, we got the latest season shown to us during the summer. There's just something a little off about watching a football show in the middle of the summer. Fortunately, FNL continues to provide strong writing and great acting so that becomes a secondary thought. I might even see if can find streaming episodes of that online so I won't have to wait until next month to see what I've been missing.
4. Walking Dead
So I guess this is based of comic book? Or perhaps it's one of those where the appropriate term is "graphic novel". If that is the case it is yet another example where the graphic novels translate VERY well when they are portrayed by real actors. Mainly because they already have strong writing so it's just up to the cast to make it pop. This one certainly does. More importantly, it's so refreshing to see a horror genre other than vampires get turned into a series. I swear if I see one more teenage vampire series coming out...
3. Modern Family
Fresh into its second season it seemed like "Modern Family" could do no wrong. Then they had that episode where the gay couple was being judgmental of a guy committing adultery. Sorry, but that still didn't sit right with me. I gave them a pass though because the show is just entirely too good as a whole. It only took one season for many of to almost forget that this is actually Ed O'Neill's second hit series. Even though he's really just coasting while the rest of the cast are actually the ones picking up the slack.
Something told me to start watching this show even though I had already missed the first two seasons. Or was it the first three that I've missed? Whichever it was I didn't take long for me to realize that I wish I would have seen all those missed episode too. They've got just the right mix of comedy, action and drama. All the characters are very likable to make it even more addictive to watch. But I'm still wondering how they are able to fund all of their jobs as well as pay themselves any sort of income when they give their clients all of the money they recover.
I have to give Comedy Central credit for going ahead with this one when there was already a show with a very similar format on the G4 channel. First of all...it's G4. Who even watches that chanel even if they have a cable/dish provider that DOES offer it? Secondly, the one time I did see it I was very unimpressed with how bland their host is. Daniel Tosh very clearly does not have that problem. It's his charisma that makes the show work. It's the fact that he is willing to do any and everything to humiliate and humble himself for the good of the show. He'll poke fun at himself just as quickly as he will the folks whose video clips he shows. Although "Tosh.0" is easily at his best when he's clowning those internet clips. It's the only show I've watched where there's been several times that I found myself laughing so hard I was in tears. Come on new season and hurry up and start!