Overall, it was a pretty good year for tv shows. There were some that fell off more than I expected (Nip/Tuck) then other rookies that came from nowhere to blow me away. There were so many good ones working my DVR overtime that I had to expand this list to the top 15 shows of the year. If you haven't been watching these, find time to check them out in the new year...
15. Ghost Whisperer
It was number 10 on my list last time and it once again just barely makes the cut. Where they lost me a little bit was when they started making her husband able to see ghosts too. Even if it was only for one episode, it was still a bit much. That and some of those frumpy outfits they continue to dress Jennifer Love Hewitt in get very distracting.
14. Everybody Hates Chris
I just realized that this is the last good family sitcom show left on television. These days, sticoms are dominated by dysfunctional families and non-traditional taboo relationships. Who would have ever thought the mind of Chris Rock would give us a show with a strong family household that would be consistently funny?
13. Desperate Housewives
I figured it was just a matter of time before they found a way to get rid of that annoying babymama drama. Overall, it's still panning out to be an average season that paled in comparison to the first. They do get props for ending the year with a pretty good cliffhanger so hopefully they will also find a way to get rid of that annoying Orson.
It's been a couple of seasons now since they got rid of the Bitty Schram as Sharona. After a slow start with the new Natalie character, they seem to have gotten going again. Tony Shaloub has always been what made the show anyway. I just wish they would be more consistent with when they show the new episodes.
11. 10 Items or Less
It takes place in a tiny grocery store that's doing everything it can to stay above water competing with the much larger mega grocery store up the street. The style used allows the cast to improvise most of the script. What you end up with is a little bit of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" meets "The Office". It's been working so far for this rookie show
10. My Name Is Earl
The fact that it's as low as 10 is really misleading. It's not that it has dropped off that much, it's just that there are so many other good shows in front of it. In fact, after a slow start to this second season, it's actually returned to being extremely funny all over again. Even though the cast itself already makes the show good, some of their best episodes came from when they had guest appearances by the likes of Brett Butler, John Leguizamo and Burt Reynolds.
The latest in a recent trend of deja vu themed entertainment. This probably could have gotten even higher if I didn't hear some rather disparaging news about an interview that Taye Diggs allegedly had. If I find out that it turns out to be true, I'll have to stop watching the show just out of principle. Of course it will have to wait until the end of this season so I can find out what happens.
8. Grey's Anatomy
According to the Nielsen ratings, when it was in its run of original episodes, this was the number one show on television. A good show, but not even the number one hospital show on right now. It kills me how this is yet another hospital drama where no one seems to have a life outside of the hospital. They actually bucked the norm for a minute by giving Meredith Grey a love interest who wasn't affiliated with Seattle Grace. It took them 10 episodes to realize that goes against the hospital drama formula and it was back to square one.
They have really stepped it up this year. It's gotten to the point now where the first couple of minutes of the show before the intro rolls has produced classic television moments. Even though Carell is the cornerstone of the show, Rainn Wilson as his "sidekick" Dwight Schrute has slowly moved up to one of the best supporting actors on tv.
At first, I was a little bothered that they started their new season much later than all of the other fall shows. Then I realized that it worked out better since we could enjoy new episodes while the other shows were running reruns. Now there's rumors that this may be Zach Braff's last season. If it really is, or even if it's next season, I hope they at least go out with a bang and end the series while it's on top rather than trying to bring in some subpar replacement.
5. Boston Legal
The storyline of having Shirley Schmidt kidnapped was a bit much. Even for this show that is known for it's exaggerated antics. Fortunately, both Shatner and Spader have been flawless and continue to make this one of the best shows available. I was a bit leery first about the addition of Craig Bierko but he very quickly became one of my favorite things about this new season.
4. Friday Night Lights
I still don't understand how this show could possibly have low ratings and in jeopardy of not returning for a second season. Maybe it got the kiss of death that critics love it. Afterall, that seemed to be the downfall for "Arrested Development". This was one of the VERY rare instances where the movie was already exemplar then the inevitable television show spinoff proved to be just as good.
3. Big Day
There had already been a couple of shows trying to emulate the "24" format where the entire season takes place over the course of one day. This was the first one to try it as a comedy and they absolutely nailed it. Since the premise of this is based on the wedding day from hell, it'll be interesting to see how they expand it to a second season. If there's not one, this late fall schedule debut has done a more than capable job of being one of the funniest shows of 2006.
2. 30 Rock
Before they even broadcast the first episode, they were already destined for success with a cast consisting of Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan. You add to that the fact that Fey's writing runs all thru the veins of the show and all contenders were in trouble. The way that the main stars interact with the supporting cast of the show has been hilarious. Especially the Kenneth/Jack poker episode. It just doesn't get much better than that.
On a quick side note, I can't believe that I just recently realized Ali Larter is the same whip-cream gal from "Varsity Blues".
"Heroes" started off with a bang and continued to pick up more and more steam. Not only were we introduced to folks that have super powers they use for good, but they slowly rolled out a few villains that have powers of their own. They keep it up and they will have unintentionally created a real-life "Superfriends and the Legion of Doom". I don't care who you are, that's some good television.