I had to struggle to find 15 shows that I watched semi-regularly this year. Unfortunately, I just couldn't do it. I had to fight to find even 13. Even with DVRing, I didn't watch as much television as I had in previous years either. A smaller selection meant it would be a smaller countdown for the first time since I started doing this. Oh well.
There was also another issue when it came to making this list. Some of my favorites didn't get renewed and/or picked up so they didn't even have a chance to even make the cut. Like rookie show "Franklin and Bash". I just now noticed it never came back. Or "Friday Night Lights" that has been gone for 2 years now. So what we have left is the top 13 that did manage to capture my attention this year...
13. Saturday Night Live
Kristen Wiig finally left the cast this year to no one's surprise. All that did was leave them with a cast that's one less funny woman. Many of the same men that have been carrying it for the past several years are still there. Guys like Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, Jason Sudeikis and even Kenan Thompson. The future is looking bleek as I don't see any up and coming talent in many of the younger cast members. But then again, I've said that before about "SNL" and this show is in its 37th season. As long as their alumni keep making guest appearances, they'll do alright. And they always come back.
12. American Horror Story: Asylum
The fact this this second season of "American Horror Story" is this far down on the list should tell you something. Talk about a sophomore slump. They fell off BIG time in trying to match the intensity they brought in their inaugural season. They should consider themselves lucky they even made the countdown. It was mainly due to a few good scenes here and there. Unlike other "AHS"-followers, this seasongot off to a rocky start from the beginning with me. I tried to give them time to improve to get even close to last year's show. Never happened.
11. Repo Games
I used to watch that show "Operation Repo" until it dawned on me that it was entirely fake. It took me a couple of seasons to figure it out. Yeah..I was slow. I stumbled across this one accidentally one night while visiting my cousin's house. I almost didn't give it a chance thinking it was like all the other fake repo shows out there. But that game show part of it interested me. Especially since it involved trivia. And from what I've seen so far, it definitely appears to be one of the most genuine "reality" shows out there. I wish they would show up at my place for a repo for that show. But ONLY if I can be on the show. I'm not trying to get behind on my payments in the hopes that I may get 15 minutes of fame.
10. How I Met Your Mother
This one has the unique distinction of making it on here thanks to both its current episodes and those already in syndication. I would have never given this show a chance if it wasn't for E telling me to start watching the past seasons. I have yet to come across a rerun that's not funny. The same goes for the current season. It's weird because I want them to hurry up and end the series so we can finally see who the heck the mother is, but it would be bitter sweet because then it would mean the series is over. And how great is watching Neil Patrick Harris as Barney?
9. Catfish: The TV Show
Some of you may remember that I named "Catfish" the best movie of 2011. It never dawned on me that it was the perfect concept for a television show. For some reason, I didn't think they would be able to find enough people out there who are stupid enough to admit how gullible they are with their own online relationships. How are you going to be talking to someone for a year and he/she NEVER sends you a current pic? And they can't find a way to visit you even ONCE during that time? If you EVER think there is anything pathetic at all about your life, just watch the people on this show and you'll be relieved.
8. Parks and Recreation
I hate to say it but I think what really helped this show get a solid footing was Steve Carell leaving "The Office". This show follows a much similar format complete with a well known name in the lead. "The Office" has been floundering ever since theirs left. "Parks and Rec" has rallied around theirs and improved their writing and storylines even more in the meantime. I think the real reason this show always entertains me is it reminds me of smalltown living from back in my Norwalk days. And I wouldn't doubt it one bit if the city government back then actually operated much in the same tomfoolery way that these folks do.
7. Happy Endings
I'm pretty sure when they first thought up "Happy Endings" that they were trying to pitch it as the anti-"Friends". It wasn't just another show about a group of yuppie (do they still use that word?) friends clowning one another. For one, this show actually has a Black actor as one of the leads. Secondly, the writing is SO much better. There are many an episode that I'm laughing so hard I'm missing jokes. I have to keep rewinding to see what I missed. I just have a strange feeling that they'll end up unceremoniously canceling this show. They always seem to get the good ones.
Tosh seems to have a lost a step since the little ruckus he unintentionally caused earlier in the year. Apparently he made a rape joke at one of his shows that didn't go over too well. But anyone that had seen his comedy knows that it's his style to offend. He always goes close to crossing the line on his show. And sometimes even crosses it. So how is someone going to get upset at him for being himself? Especially with him being a comedian? Nevertheless, after that happened, it felt like he started pulling punches on the show. It was still funny, just not as good as it had been in previous seasons. He's slowly getting back to form though.
5. Modern Family
I thought Gloria (Sophia Vergera) getting pregnant would cause the show to lose a little something. Not at all. They're in the fourth season and showing no signs of letting up on the funny. It's like every single character on the show gets better and better with each passing episode. Even the adopted daughter Lily. It's so hard to pick a favorite because any one episode there's a different character who steps up as the MVP. The one that stands out clear as day though is the one when we discover Phil's book of "Phil's-osophy". They seriously need to make an actual book of those. I'd buy it in a second.
4. Sons of Anarchy
One of these days I will go back and watch the first two seasons to see what I missed up to the point that I finally started watching. Fortunately, it doesn't matter too much how long I wait because the show still holds up on its own without backtracking. Maybe even better. I'm going to forgive them of the horrible miscast of Harold Perrineau as a Black mafia boss. Was anyone else not buying him in that role at all? Everything else about the show was so strong that I was able to look past that. Including one of the most epic death scenes I've seen in a drama in quite a while. I'd be lying if I said that even I didn't get a little emotional when Opie bought it. Yeah..maybe I should hurry up and get to watching those first two seasons.
The thing with shows that focus on any type of school (junior high, high school, college, etc.) is eventually the kids have to grow up and move on. Unless it's a cartoon where the likes of Bart and the kids of "South Park" stay in school forever. But in real life, they have to graduate. So when they started graduating the main characters off "Glee" I thought I would start losing interest. But they did the smart thing of introducing younger characters early on to carry the torch for the ones that were leaving. Plus, we still get to see our "Glee" favorites in their post-high school lives on the show. They're giving us the best of both worlds. More importantly, they finally found that right balance where they're not being too goofy OR too heavy. But still...those kids can't stay attached to that high school forever. Just ask "Friday Night Lights". I give "Glee" one more season tops. Until then, I appreciate all the joy they've brought to this former choir geek.
2. The Walking Dead
So I've got some friends on The Book (and in real life) that denounce every thing this show and shows like it stand for. Saying that one of the problems with today's society is we've embraced demonic entertainment that showcases the likes of vampires and werewolves and zombies. Well I say lighten up. It's just entertainment. Watching it doesn't mean that I'm going to start worshipping Satan and/or demonic things. And the funny thing is, I swear the folks that do this show must have heard the same type of gripings and reacted in their own way. This second season has far and away been much more gorier and violent than the first season. They're basically giving their haters even more reasons to criticize. Meanwhile, us true horror fans are loving it. Oh..and the soap opera-like storyline that they have going on during all the bloody action is an extra bonus.
1. Key and Peele
If you were ever (and still are) a fan of "The Chappelle Show" and haven't seen this show then I don't know what you could possibly be waiting on. Ever since "The Chappelle Show" left the air there has been a huge void just waiting to be filled. Still can't believe that it took this long for it to happen. Maybe Comedy Central was just waiting for the right person (or in this case, people) to come along so they could make sure they got it absolutely right. Well they flat out knocked it out the box with this new comedy. These two cats have come up with one of the funniest skit shows to ever hit television. I'm not going to go as far as to say that it's better than "Chappelle Show" but it's easily on par with it. Let's just hope they don't quit once the show gets wildly popular and drop off the face of the earth like Dave did.