Some veteran shows did the disappearance act from the list this year ("Desperate Housewives"). A couple of newcomers lived up to their hype. The question for this upcoming year will be can the rookies sustain longevity and can the once reliables make comebacks? Only time will tell, but for now, let's take a look back at the year that was A View of Scenes Transmitted...
It is no big secret that most "reality" shows are just as scripted as regular television shows. That is exactly why the title shouldn't really exist anymore. They make it blatantly obvious on shows like "Little People, Big World" where a middle-class family of six is constantly taking cross-country family vacations. However, watching a show about the Rohloff family on this huge farm seems to be fascinating.
14. Grey's Anatomy
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. No, it's not just the fact that they gave Isiah Washington his walking papers that has made this drop so far. It also seems that ever since T.R. Knight announced he's gay, they have gone all their way to make him seem flamboyantly heterosexual on the show and it's just not working. That and something about Katherine Heigl annoys me. Maybe it's the huge Julia Roberts-like teeth. Still not sure.
The quality of this show varies from week to week. Sometimes it can be very good and other times just mediocre. It probably all depends on Tina Fey's writing mood that particular week. As soon as they establish some consistency, "30 Rock" has the potential to be around for quite a while.
The first rookie to make an appearance on the countdown. There were few shows that had as much hype as this one did leading into the fall season. There were even fewer that lived up to their potential. Newcomer Zachary Levi as Chuck does an excellent job of helping this show sustain its momentum
11. Boston Legal
I'm still not too sure how to take this change of John Larroquette coming on board as a new partner. I rather liked the contrast that Rene Audberjonis brought to the show. However, bringing Gary Anthony Williams and Christian Clemenson to the forefront as more central characters was a good idea. I just hope they don't wear their shticks thin too soon.
I was leery at first that Earl (Jason Lee) going to jail was going to have the show suffer. How could he keep doing his karma list from in there? It never dawned on me that the prison system would give them an entirely new cast of characters to infuse even more humor to the show.
It is like a cross between "Bedazzled" and "Ghost Rider". Although Ray Wise is definitely no Elizabeth Hurley as the devil. I love how each show is a different vessel to catch a different escaped soul and/or souls. It's a good thing it's on the WB. On one of the big three networks, it would probably fall by the wayside. On the the WB, it has at least one more year left to get even better.
What has helped keep this show is the fact that its on syndication on about three different other networks at the same time. As you watch the re-runs, you realize "Scrubs" really has not fallen off that much. Unlike many other shows, they have essentially the same cast they have had since the beginning. When something works, you stick with it.
One of these days, I will check out an episode or two of the British hit that heavily inspired this classic. Although to be honest, I seriously doubt the boss of that show could be anywhere near as perfect as Steve Carell is in his role. Even all the supporting characters have stepped up their game to keep "The Office" going strong.
6. The Soup
This one really could have make the list last year. Instead, I fooled myself into thinking that since it was not a "real" show, it should not be eligible. You will see very shortly why that doesn't matter now. If something is good, it should get the credit it deserves now matter how unconventional it is. Thanks, Joel McHale.
Another one that should have easily made the cut last year. Don't know how I could have missed this. I still remember when "South Park" was finishing up its third season and there were rumors flying around that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone wanted to end it after three. The word was they didn't want it to get stale and tired. Well they managed to find a way to still have it be as fresh as it was 11 seasons ago. No one is off limits to these equal opportunity offenders and I still can't get enough of it.
That's right, I said it. As I look back, I couldn't help but notice that some of the most memorable moments from television this year came from commercials that cracked me up. I don't know a single person that uses Cingular service, yet their spots like the meat cuter and the special burger have been hilarious. My own carrier T-Mobile has been knocking theirs out the box with back tat mentions and creepy fathers. Don't even get me started on what remains my favorite of the year...Orbitz dirty mouth.
Anyone who watched the show from the beginning knew there was no way they were going to permanently kill off Sylar. He may go down as one of the greatest television villains around so of course he had to last more than one season. I can't wait to see how they evolve this season's storyline...soon as that pesky writer's strike is over.
2. The Game
I am still surprised at how good this show has gotten so fast. The premise alone ran the risk of this show being a punchline. That hasn't been the case at all. I'm diggin' the story of Derwin and Melanie staying estranged. I like how they worked in a steroids theme with Jason and Kelly (who, as a couple, constantly remind me of my frat brother Brandon and his girlfriend Chelsi). And ancillary character Tee Tee continues to keep me rollin'.
1. Friday Night Lights
Are you ready for some football?! The thing about this show is it keeps you entertained by having some of the focal stories not being about the team at all. They explore the lives of these young men and even their families. It just so happens that football is the one tie that binds them and in some instances, helps to keep them sane. I'm glad NBC decided to keep this around despite the fact it isn't the ratings juggernaut they had hoped for. Quality beats quantity every single time.